First Week – Lots to Learn!

I realized after posting last time that I didn’t include any pics of the boardwalk or ocean!  How did that happen?  I’ll include a few here!  Sorry about that!

There is so much to learn when starting a new job!  These are our first “traditional” campground type jobs – where the husband works outside doing the “manly” things, like landscaping, maintenance, taking care of the pool, doing hayrides, etc.  and the wife is inside doing reservations, answering the phone, checking people in/out, checking out purchases at the campstore.  I know those roles sound sexist, but they suit us just fine.  

Country Oaks Campground is fairly small, relatively speaking compared to other behemoth 500+ sites Jersey Shore campgrounds, with 140 sites and 2 cabins.  All but 40 of those sites are seasonal, where people park their rigs and come to enjoy during their vacations and weekends throughout the summer.  The other 40 sites are transient, 10 of those are pull-thrus.  I personally love the size, as it’s large enough to have plenty of activities for the family, but small enough that it feels like a place everyone gets to know everyone else and you can make lifelong friends.  

They have a really nice pool, complete with a snack bar and a separate small kiddie pool for little ones.  There is a horse shoe pit, game room with pool table, also volleyball and basketball courts.  They offer themed planned activities on weekends, complete with craft shed where the kids gather to make works of art, and dances for the whole family!  The adults get to win prizes during weekly bingo!  All this and about a half hour to the beach!  Because of that half hour to the beach, their prices are more reasonable, vs the parks that are only 10 minutes to the beach.  Down the Jersey Shore – that matters!  

So – what are we learning?  Good question!

I am inside the office – answering the phones, making reservations – except monthlies and seasonals – Lynn handles those.  Lynn gave me a big pile of guest reservations that were taken over the winter; I’ve been figuring out how much they owe for deposits for their stays (a lot of our guests come multiple weekends), then calling to accept those deposits over the phone.  Those deposits then have to be entered in the computer after running the credit cards.  They have a great little camp store, so I check out people making purchases.  I check people in when they arrive; some people leave a $10 (returnable) deposit for a gate card.  There is a gate to get in and out – the going out side goes up on its own when you pull up to it.  

One of the things I’ve been really enjoying is Lynn has been really awesome about explaining the “why’s” of how things are done.   It’s not complicated, but sometimes the reasons for things are not immediately apparent.  It helps a lot vs just being told “Do it this way” and you have no idea why.  I feel like I am learning a lot about running a CG, not just my specific responsibilities, and I am appreciative of that.  To me, it’s always good to expand your knowledge base.  

This past weekend was Easter and we had a lot of the seasonals here; the new seasonals we’re moving their rigs onto their new summer home site.  The week before there were some people here opening up their rigs for the first time this spring.  There was a lot of leaves being raked, pipes being unwinterized, windows being washed, etc.  

Country Oaks had some special things going on for the holiday.  I filled plastic eggs with quarters and candy for the Easter egg hunt.  The Activity Director, Katelyn, helped the kids make Easter Baskets; the Easter Bunny visited and filled them Saturday night.  

It was fun being an Easter Bunny helper!

Bill has been busy also.  He has been using the giant leaf vacuum to suck up all the leaves (and some rocks and dirt, etc) that guests raked out of their “yards”.  He has been using a splitter to split wood into firewood guests can purchase for $25 a cart load, which he delivers to a site after they pay for at the office.  He has learned how to drive the front loader tractor for the “hay ride” – which the kids seem to really enjoy!  

For dinner one night, we went to Mays Landing Diner.  I was wanting breakfast for dinner!  Scrambled eggs, crispy home fries with onions, pork roll and wheat toast is what I ordered!  It was good – not the best I’ve had but not bad!  This is not a 24 hour diner but I doubt we will need to be out getting food at 2am, so it’s all good!  There are other places we will be trying also.  

Our first week went off without a glitch!  Hope that’s a sign of how the rest of the summer will go!