A Day in the Life of a Campground Owner
There isn’t a week that goes by when someone doesn’t say…how do you like running a campground? or I’m thinking about opening a campground on our family land (pregnant pause)…is it a good job? This afternoon, a Mr. Curtis checked for in for a few days and while we were waiting for his credit card to finish processing, he passed the time by asking…”so what do you do all day?” I wasn’t quite sure…I only seem to know what I’ve done 5 minutes ago, what I’m doing right now and I have a vague idea of what I should be doing 5 minutes from now…and all of the above is subject to change with whomever walks through the door at any moment.
So here it is…a day in my life.
6:30 AM The lobster boats woke us up so we made coffee (100% shade grown, organic, fair traded) and watched the seagulls swoop and dive while we talked about the upcoming day
7:30 We commute through the woods, giving J.J. the dog a chance to sniff around and scare a chipmunk. We’re cutting through the playground so Steven stops to hunt for the horseshoes around the pit while I check the bathrooms. As I’m squirting down the counters with Simple Green, a guest comes in to lecture me on the toxicity of cleaning chemicals and doesn’t skip a beat when I try to explain that the strongest chemical we use is bleach in the toilets…otherwise we use a blend of essential oils and white vinager…he’s gone before I finish my sentence…oh well…did I mention that our bathrooms are spotless?
8:00 Open the store, make coffee…Bob brings doughnuts from Weaver’s because he thought dad needed a jelly doughnut. Folks wander through for toothpaste, coffee and ice…I help a couple of families plan their daytrips to take advantage of the beautiful weather. I Google the ferry schedule to Islesboro and check to see if Moody’s is open for breakfast on Mondays. By 9:00 I remember that I haven’t yet brushed my teeth so I slip out for a bowl of granola and a bit of hygiene.
9:30-1:30 I organize the check-ins, check-outs, answer most of the e-mails (there are usually 20-30 that accumulate from evening to morning) each takes between 1 and 10 minutes to answer. In between times I answer the phone, straighten out a credit card mix up (it’s nice that around here when there’s a banking problem I just call down the street, say hi this Astrig from the Campground…ask my question…and get a quick answer). I also weeded the waterfall garden, ordered ice cream, confirmed a porta-pottie delivery and listened to a woman share her internal anguish about whether this was the right time to vacation or not. Emma and I also had a quick chat about the shirts we wanted to order for Fiber College volunteers…we’re ordering locally produced T-shirts and long sleeve denim shirts.
2:00-3:30 Taught nine girls and women to spin yarn on a drop spindle and make enough ply enough yarn for a terrific bracelet…I’m proud to say I may have initiated a fiber’holic or two!
4:00-6:00 Check in guests, answer the e-mails again, explained the tidal flows in French with lots of hand gestures and smiles…found a missing radio, chased a kid off the roof of the doll house in the playground, jiggled a toilet until it flushed and negotiated peace over the last light up frog in the store.
6:30-7:45 Walked J.J. to Moose Point State Park…admired the sailboats across the Bay, talked with a couple of guests who were just heading back and returned to find that Sally and David Lux had made spaghetti and special meatballs…and they gave dad enough for all of us…delicious!
8:00 I’m writing this blog, will take care of a few little details, and head to the cabin for a campfire and maybe a marshmallow or two….another time I’ll share Steven’s day