The next time you go camping, be sure to check out the campground community center. Over the past few years, during the COVID-19 pandemic, many of these facilities closed down for health reasons. With the pandemic easing, it’s time to rediscover this often-hidden gem.
Campground community centers
Chances are that if you stay in a larger campground, you’ll find a host of activities scheduled for the campground community center. That’s because larger campgrounds have bigger budgets. They budget a good deal of money for building, staffing, and promoting an active community center. Why? Because folks like to get together. Meeting other campers is one of the major “perks” of camping. The community center draws people together, fosters friendships, and provides campers with organized activities.
Larger campground venues often offer exercise or dance classes in their centers. These big spaces sometimes feature permanent amenities like billiards or foosball tables and big-screen televisions. There are also tables and chairs available to campers. At any given time, you might see craft classes, tournament card games, or other organized activities happening in the campground community center.
Even smaller campgrounds often have a scaled-down version of a campground community center. While the space may not be as large as some bigger venues, it’s still worth checking out. At our current location, a small campground, we have a dedicated room that measures approximately 20’ x 25’. Yes, it’s small. But it’s great!
Our small community center houses a floor-to-ceiling wall of donated books. Campers can take a book, read, and return it. Simple! There are tables and chairs stored inside a nearby closet. They are often used for impromptu card games or small-group crafting projects.
Our campground center has opposing doors—one on the north and one on the south side of the community room. This set up provides unique opportunities for campers. Our campground community center hosts ice cream nights, potluck dinners, and even free blood-pressure checks. Campers enter the south door, get what they came for, and exit via the north door. We make the small space work!
Our small campground community center doesn’t have an activity director. What we do have are outgoing people who organize a variety of activities for the camp. They invite folks via the campground bulletin board and people just show up! You might want to consider this if your small CG lacks an activity director. Campground owners know that happy campers often become return customers. They may welcome your suggestions, especially if you volunteer to lead an activity.
Benefits of a campground community center
- Provides a safe gathering place for RVers. I feel more comfortable getting to know someone in a neutral space. With a community center, the weather won’t interfere. Rain or shine, you can gather together.
- Potential personal venue. You may be able to reserve or rent out your campground community center for private parties or get-togethers. We’ve had private birthday parties, anniversary celebrations, and even “watch parties” for special sports events in the community center. Because RVs have limited space, the community center provides an opportunity for several families to get together in one place.
- Comfort-driven. Who doesn’t want to relax in air-conditioned comfort once in a while? Instead of gathering around the campfire, we often choose to get together inside the campground community center. It’s perfect when the temperatures and humidity make a campfire undesirable.
- Opportunity for personal growth. A community center offers campers the chance to learn new things, perfect their skills, and get to know others, too. Whether you learn a new craft technique or card game, it’s more fun to learn alongside others. The shared experiences can build and strengthen friendships.
What do you most like to do in the campground community center? Let us know in the comments below, please.
Dauphin Island Campground had a great Community Center when we visited before the pandemic – we hope to get down there again. They offered games of all sorts, a small library, pot lucks, craft sales and so much more! It was a great way to get to meet your fellow campers!