31 May

RVFTA #144 What’s New at Camp Jellystone, 2017?

One of our favorite annual family camping experiences is visiting a variety of Yogi Bear’s Camp Jellystone Parks. Jellystone campgrounds have cornered the market on family fun, and we want to share some of the things that we think they are doing right.

It’s important to realize that Jellystone Camp Resorts are individually-owned franchises, so the activities and amenities vary from park to park. In this podcast episode we are specifically talking about the features of the very best ones we have visited.

5 Things Jellystone Campgrounds are Getting Right

We visited our first Jellystone Park about 5 years ago, and had an amazing family vacation at the Luray Jellystone in Virginia. Since then, we have seen the franchise grow and many of the campgrounds invest in resort-like amenities. Jellystone knows it’s customer and is doing all the right things to make family camping a more fun experience for the young and, ahem, not so young.

So what are some of our favorite things trending within the Jellystone system?

  1. Planned Group Recreation–kids love good old fashioned summer camp activities like relay races and water balloon fights. Jellystone Parks are putting more organized sports recreation on the activities calendar and we love it.
  2. Limiting Additional Add On Expenses–we think the trend is toward including more, not less, in the cost of your campsite. We hate being nickel and dimed on paying for extra activities within a campground, especially after you have paid a premium cost for your site. Many of the Jellystones are including mini golf, paddle boats, pedal carts, and water slides with your stay. This is how we think it should be.
  3. Upping the game for teens and tweens– Jellystone Parks are paying attention to the teen and tween crowd, adding large water features, zip lines, ninja training courses, and teen-only laser tag. These are the types of thing your big kid will beg to do over and over again.
  4. Customer service training— We are continually impressed by the young staffers at many Jellystones Parks. These teenagers and college students are friendly and engaging, bringing just the right amount of ‘cool’ to rule enforcement. They are everything you want in a camp counselor, so we know they are being trained well by management.
  5. Upgrading the campsite experience–Many ‘resort campgrounds’ put a ton of money into amenities, but scrimp on site maintenance and landscaping. Jellystone Parks are developing resort-style campsites with concrete pads, upgraded fire pits, and space to spread out.

5 Fun Facts about Yogi Bear and Jellystone Parks

Where did these Yogi Bear Jellystone Park Camp Resorts come from anyway? We dug into some historical Americana, and learned more about the history of Yogi Bear and his namesake campgrounds. Did you know…

  1. Yogi made his debut in 1958 as a supporting character in the Huckleberry Hound Show, and didn’t get his own show until 1961.
  2. Yogi’s personality and mannerisms are said to be based on Art Carney’s Ed Norton character on The Honeymooners.
  3. Yogi Berra sued Hannah Barbera for defamation, but later dropped his suit when the studio claimed the name similarity was merely a coincidence.
  4. Animation historians link Yogi Bear and his antics to social unrest in the 60’s. They say Yogi represents a figure bucking against what society expects from him.
  5. Doug Haag, the founder of the first Jellystone Park, also considered Paul Bunyan, Pocahontas, and Robin Hood as recognizable figures to brand his campground around. You’ll have to listen to the podcast to find out how he landed on Yogi Bear…

What’s New with Camp Jellystone?

Michele Wisher, the Vice President of Promotions and Marketing for Leisure Systems, had a lot of news to share on this podcast episode. And as a mom of three, she spend a lot of time giving tips on how to save some dough. Here are links to the promotions and deals that we discussed:

  1. S’more Deals
  2. Yogi Rewards
  3. 2017 Great American CampOut 
  4. Jellystone Park Tiny Home RV Tour

More Jellystone Content

Want to hear more abut the Yogi experience? We paired this episode with a Campground of the Week review of our recent stay at the Hagerstown Jellystone in Maryland. Check out Campground of the Week episode #83 to hear all the details about this amazing park.

You can also check out Jellystone podcast episodes from years past…

A big thanks to our sponsors for supporting weekly content for all our camping and RV fools:

See you at the campground!

Stephanie + Jeremy

09 Jun

RVFTA #92 What’s New at Camp Jellystone?

What's New At Camp Jellystone? Read More

23 Oct

RVFTA #59: Getting the Most Bang for Your Buck!

On this week’s episode of RV Family Travel Atlas, we are talking about getting the most bang for your buck by taking advantage of the many rewards and memberships programs available in the campground industry.

We reached out to Jellystone Camp Resorts, Good Sam, Kampgrounds of America, and Thousand Trails and asked them to tell us about the costs and benefits of their company’s programs.

Maybe one of these memberships is the perfect fit for your family. Maybe all four have something to offer your RVing crew. The bottom line is that it depends on where you camp and how often.

Our guests on this episode:

Follow the links above to find out more information about any of these programs.

And listen at the end of the show for a special sneak peak from the RVFTA Podcast Network and our brand new podcast, Girl Camper: Going Places, Doing Things. 

This great new show with Go RVing blogger, Janine Pettit, is full of inspirational stories and practical travel tips. Oh, and we are simply in love with the logo…

girl camper

 

24 Jul

RVFTA #45: Great Smoky Mountains Wrap Up!

On this week’s episode of RV Family Travel Atlas, we are talking about the third stop on our Great Smoky Mountains summer tour.

We left Townsend, Tennessee and headed to Cosby on the northern part of our country’s most visited national park. We stayed at one of our favorite campgrounds ever, the Great Smoky Mountains Jellystone. The combination of peaceful creek front sites and awesome kid-friendly amenities suited us just fine.

great smoky mountain jellystone site

And then there was Dollywood! It may be a bit pricey, but listen to hear why we think this theme park is worth every single penny. Oh, and you can’t miss Jeremy describing how he squealed like a small child during his first ride on an upside-down roller coaster…

dollywood roller coaster

Plus you will hear an interview with Keith and Tia Sims of Soulful RV Family. Keith is a retired offensive lineman from the Miami Dolphins and 3-time Pro Bowler. He and his wife love traveling in their RV with their 3 young boys…and they also want to share their experiences with the growing number of African Americans entering the RV lifestyle.

And we are thrilled to welcome back GoRVing as our RVFTA sponsor. Listen for a special message from them just a bit later in our show. To find your AWAY head over to gorving.com/rvfta.

We are on the RVFTA summer road trip and you are listening to Episode #45: Great Smoky Mountains Wrap Up!

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29 May

RVFTA #37: Greetings from Camp Jellystone!

Camp Jellystone Yogi Bear

On this week’s episode of RV Family Travel Atlas, we are taking an in-depth look at the Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp Resorts franchise. There are over 80 of these campgrounds across the US, and they are a great option for many RVing families.

Camp Jellystone Yogi Bear

We will talk about the activities and amenities that are available at many Jellystone Parks. From pools and water slides to hay rides and jump pilows, some of these parks are super tricked out for the kids.

However, every Jellystone franchise park is independently operated, so it is important to do your research before making a reservation. The company’s internal ratings system can help you choose the right campground for your family vacation, and we will discuss the ins and outs of navigating the reviews.

For our campground review this week, we will talk about our recent visit to Yogi at Shangri-La, a Jellystone campground in Milton, Pennsylvania. The enclosed play area, pool, playground, and arcade could have kept our boys entertained for the entire weekend. Add in hayrides with the bears, dance parties, and wild water fights…kid nirvana!

This campground has so many of the activities and amenities that make Jellystones family friendly. But there is a huge variety of sites, so listen to our podcast review for recommendations on finding your perfect campground.

And we couldn’t resist throwing in a review of the Yogi Bear classic cartoon box set and the more recent Yogi Bear feature film. These DVDs are fun to watch before, during, and after your visit to a Jellystone. The best part is that the adults and the kids can enjoy them together.

Yogi Bear Show Cartoon

To read about more of our Jellystone camping experiences, check out our articles about our time at the Jellystone Luray, an amazing campground resort in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley.

And keep an eye on those pic-a-nic baskets, folks.

05 Oct

RV Family Travel Atlas: 5 Myths about RVing

In this week’s RV Family Travel Atlas podcast, we discuss five common myths about the RV lifestyle. We also talk about some delicious alternatives to the traditional campground breakfast. What else is on the agenda? A review of the Jellystone Luray campground, impressions of the new Winnebago Brave, and ideas for our upcoming trip to Washington, D.C.!

Remember, you can also find us on iTunes now. So download a episode, jump in the car, and hit the road…