By Chuck Woodbury
Sooner or later you show your age whether you want to or not. I just watched the video below that was produced for a Jellystone RV park, one of 79 franchised Jellystones around the country.
Staying at this park would be a bit of hell to me. On the other hand, if I were 10 years old, this would almost certainly be a piece of heaven. From what I see in the video, the idea here is to entertain kids. And, of course, entertain the kids and the adults will follow (and pick up the tab).
I grew up camping with my parents in National Parks, National Forests and sometimes on public lands of Southern California, first with a tent trailer then a 15-foot travel trailer with only basic amenities — a stove, sink (but no holding tanks), butane lights, beds and a dinette. I don’t recall if there was 12-volt power. The bathroom was a short walk away — a stinky pit toilet that doubled as a fly sanctuary.
I accept that times have changed, and I understand that the change does not always please me. My early camping days meant fishing with my dad, hiking, playing with other kids in the campground, and in the evening sitting around the campfire roasting marshmallows. No WiFi, no electronic games, no phones, no TV.
Sometimes there was a general store nearby, which was excellent for a candy run. One camping trip was absolutely horrible: A nearby lodge held a Saturday night dance. I was probably 13. The dance itself was okay. The bad part was my parents making me dance with my 10-year-old sister. Maybe you can understand how horrible that could be. I’m not saying this is true, but it’s possible that any mental illness issues I have today could be traced directly back to that humiliating experience.
Times change. To me this Jellystone is an amusement park with RV parking. I’m just letting off a little steam here, so please excuse me.
Feel free to call me an old fart because that’s what I am, even though I don’t want to be.
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