Friday, August 3, 2007

Camping for Large Families (as long as your family isn't too large)

We were going to go camping this weekend at a place called Happy Acres. I mean, Happy Acres! What could be bad about a place filled with acres of happy people camping? I perused their website and was impressed with the fact that they used the word "family" nine times on the first page! Wow, this place is really geared toward families. In fact, their website states - The modern concept of "family camping" has led to the success of many campgrounds. It also has given many families, especially large families, an opportunity to go out camping at an affordable price.

However, a little farther down that same page, they write - The camping rates are based on family units. One site equals one family, one family equals Dad, Mom, and up to 4 dependent children. Anybody else is considered a visitor or an overnight guest and is expected to register as such at the camp office and will be charged $12.50 per person, per night. Those who fail to register are considered to be trespassers, and may be prosecuted.

Ohhhh. OK, so let me get this straight. You offer affordable camping for large families, but if the "large" family has more than four kids, then they must pay $12.50 per child, per night or you'll prosecute them for trespassing. I see. Yep, that sounds pretty family friendly to me. I never realized that a family with four children is considered large and having more than four children is considered grounds for legal action and punishment.

Although an extra $25 a night may not sound like a lot of money, we will never camp at this "family friendly" (and I use the term lightly) place. It's a matter of principle! Instead we will be spending our weekend at Holiday Acres where you pay one price for your family no matter how many children you have. Maybe there aren't acres of happy people there, but there are sure to be people on holiday and holidays are good. Especially when you can bring ALL your children with you.


Anonymous said...

I feel your pain about the large family "rules". We have not been allowed to share a hotel room with all our kids since we passed #3! We have to get a condo or a house, or there's always the option of renting that 2nd hotel room for the little ones.

Yes, I am such a good mom I would put 4 kids in a hotel room alone. We could put my hubby in one with a few kids and myself in the other with the rest. Nothing says vacation like toddler feet in your face and sharing your pillow with a preteen. Fun times I tell ya!

Then you have the "Family package deals" 2 kids, 2 adults. When we went to Disney we bought 2, since we have teenagers and small children it worked. To add the "extra kids" on to the first package it would have cost more than the package cost in the first place. Family friendly my eye,but certainly not check book friendly!

Dawn Penguin said...

:nod: I can't figure out these so-called "family friendly" places that consider a family four total people. Ok, so I grew up in a 4person family, but I haven't had one since 1996!

And don't even get me started on hotels :rolleyes:

Sharon-shutterbug said...

I found this entry about Happy Acres so unbelievable I actually went to their site to check it out for myself. Yep, there it was in black-and-white (well, green-and-white), just as you said. As a family of 9, you can be sure I didn't take to kindly of their assessment of what constitutes a "large" family either, and I just finished sending them an email telling them so. Perhaps other of your blog readers would do the same, so they might get the message that having more than 4 children isn't criminal!
Loved your ebay auction by the way, and I'm glad it led me to your blog - I'm looking forward to reading more of your entries. :)

Anonymous said...

Dudette... Holiday Acres has a bar er... I mean restaurant on the grounds. Sounds like a winner to me!

Kathleen Pitt said...

Four kids as a family, that is GREAT, here it is 2 adults and 2 kids constitute as a Family Pass for anything! Sucks when you have a family of 3, which lots of people I know, think is a LARGE family !

Krista said...

The best is when you do go somewhere that has a family rate for however many people are in your family, and then they proceed to question whether they are all *actually* your children.

Anonymous said...

Yes... and along the whole lines of "family friendly" exactly when did it become okay to make wise-cracks of a family larger than 2 children? There was even an article in People magazine this summer about a family with a dozen+ kids. Like it was a freak of nature worthy of bizarre comment.

Anonymous said...

This reminds me of scrambling to get enough camping sites for me, 3 of my friends and all of our children... plus a few extra kids. We ended up with 4 mommies and over 20 children!

Good times, good times. I'm just glad that I didn't have to do all the cooking! That job was left to my friend who has 9 children (and counting). She just brought her regular pots and pans from home and cooked up a mess of food for all of us. It's nothing for her to "just cook for 50."

Yup, I'm amazed. I can cook for a crowd but 1.)not that large of one and 2.)not over a campfire!

Anonymous said...

We recently discovered that the Sleep Inn hotels often has rooms that sleep 7 or 8. We were thrilled, because we have 5 kids, and like you don't wish to separate into two rooms.

I've really enjoyed your blog! My sister forwarded your ebay auction, and I've now spent at least an hour reading your posts. I can completely relate to your life!

I often hear, "Are they all yours? God bless you." I usually reply with a grin, "He already has." And I definitely get the, "Are you going to try for the girl?" To which I usually reply, "How do you think I ended up with five boys in the first place?"

But for all the trials and tribulations that being mom to five boys brings, I wouldn't change it for anything. I love my boys!

Anonymous said...

I 'accidentally' came across your site through another blogger site - and it's like your telling my life stories - only funnier. I'm should be working but can't stop reading your stories - and then came across this camping one. Funny we are reserved to camp at this 'Happy Acres' in Bristol Wi for Labor Day weekend. I have a larger family (4 kids) and always... take at least 2 more with us - plus have other late reservers throw up a tent on our site here and they don't charge you for the extra kids - not if you don't tell them about them anyhow. It's actually a really great, kid friendly place and if your kids love to catch frogs - they'd be in frog heaven there. Their sites are huge, grassy sites also - and no I don't work there - or have any relationship to them. Thanks for making my Monday morning brighter. I'll be reading your blog often.

Yatie said...

HI, I 'accidentally' came across your site through Ebay.

Anyway, you sooooooo amazing mom having 6 kids and all in your "control"

I have 2 kids and we 're planning for camping soon(2nd time camping) They charge per tent. So we will get 1 big tent and it's only RM15 (Malaysia Ringgit) - anyway I'm from malaysia.

We will be camping near to the beach And I hope no frogs.

Anonymous said...

I found your sight on a board i was on that showed your the pokemon cards on ebay. I can TOTALLY identify with the family vacations. We have 8 kids.

I laughed so hard with your grocery store trip. It reminded me of what happens when i go out! :)

Anyhow, good luck and God HAS blessed you. :) (Even though it doesn't feel like it sometimes. :)

kevin said...

camping is relly fun to do with your family, its a great way to relieve stress and spend time with yuour kids, cooking hotdog, helping setting up the
hiking tents. every family should try it.

Keith Johnson said...

Wow, I was definitely considering visiting Happy Acres UNTIL I came across this post. Thank you for the heads up! It's unfortunate that these campgrounds punish people who travel in larger groups with additional fees and restrictions.


Unknown said...

Well im hoping to find a cozy family fun vacation spot for my large family. Its a bit of a problem though, trying to accomodate a family of 9, yes nine. Ive been searching for that lovely inexpensive, Knock out ,rock star fun ...for my family but no luck. While searching I stumbled onto this blog. I like! Finally someone else feels my pain. 😀

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