The National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (National ARVC), the leading association in the outdoor hospitality industry, has officially launched the Handbook for Outdoor Hospitality, which will serve as a voluntary resource for the industry and gives campground owners and operators a set of tools to help meet guest expectations should they choose to use them.
For those who may be new to the outdoor hospitality industry or want to learn about basic operational principles, the Handbook for Outdoor Hospitality is an easily accessible resource that provides expectations for how to be successful in outdoor hospitality, according to a release.
The Handbook for Outdoor Hospitality was developed by a task force of industry leaders and surveys to National ARVC members and stakeholders over the course of more than a year.
“After strategic discussion with campground members and leaders, the need for a common language to describe the camping experience emerged as a key issue,” said Susan Motley, CAE, vice president of Member Programs at National ARVC. “So did the need for a consensus document noting industry guidelines. Research continuously shows that consumers are united in the view that park and campground standards drive decisions about where they choose to stay. National ARVC wants to position the industry to be able to meet that need, and the Handbook is one way we’re supporting that.”
The Handbook for Outdoor Hospitality task force represented all facets of the industry and brought a combined 319 years of industry experience to the table. The following industry leaders served on the task force throughout the past year and a half: Jim Button (owner of Evergreen Campsites in Wisconsin); Christa Neundorfer (operator of Aspen Grove RV Park in Utah); Lisa Courtney (director of franchise sales and support for Camp Jellystone); Nick DiBella (senior VP of operations for Sun Outdoors); Ann Emerson (COO of Kampgrounds of America); Al Johnson (executive VP of Recreational Adventures Co.); Rob Schutter (president/CEO of Camp Jellystone); Chris Hipple (managing agency co-owner of Leavitt Recreation and Hospitality Insurance); Chuck Hays (former independent campground owner and National ARVC Past Chair); and Jeff Sims (senior director of state relations and program advocacy for National ARVC).
The task force, National ARVC education committee, and the National School of Outdoor Hospitality faculty were key in vetting content for the Handbook, which has been cross-walked with the curriculum of the National School to serve as a “101” for those attending. National ARVC’s education team will also continue building traditional online learning modules for the ten domains.
“The Handbook for Outdoor Hospitality is a teaching instrument. When you review it, you get a true view of what it’s like to own a campground and how the operation is a huge endeavor,” said Kathy Palmeri, chair of the taskforce. “I know for us, running our campground was like running a small city. You get into stuff that in normal life you never have a background in. This is a template for that education.”
The Handbook is available for free as a downloadable PDF or an interactive learning module at arvc.org/OutdoorHospitalityHandbook. The tool includes legal disclaimers as to the usage of the material.