Jellystone Park Camp Resort in Warrens, Wis., has received this year’s Camp-Resort of the Year award from Leisure Systems Inc., the Milford, Ohio-based company that franchises Jellystone Parks across the country. LSI also bestowed two awards — the Jim Webb Spirit Award and Entrepreneur of the Year — upon Ian and Sally Steyn of Jellystone Park at Larkspur.
The Warrens Jellystone, which has 645 RV sites, 132 cabins and a 100,000-square-foot outdoor water park, was cited for its outstanding customer service and guest reviews, attractiveness of facilities and dramatic double-digit growth in each of the last two years. The park is also regionally famous for its weekend activities, which include live music, organized family activities and entertainment provided by visiting hypnotists and magicians.
“We have something going on every day from Memorial Day through Labor Day,” said manager Dean Bradley, adding that the most popular weekends are Father’s Day, when the park has its annual classic car show, and Labor Day weekend, when it holds a barbecue competition sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbecue Society. The park also fills up during the last weekend of September, when Warrens holds its annual Cranfest celebration, the largest cranberry festival in the world.
The park is open from April 15 to mid-October each year. Warrens Jellystone will be celebrating its 40th anniversary next year. For more information, visit the park’s website at www.jellystonewarrens.com.
The Steyns, meanwhile, were recognized for their innovative efforts at their park in Larkspur, Colo. Examples include the introduction of on-site organic farming as well as the use of goats to groom hiking trails and the park’s disc golf course.
The Steyns also try to provide educational experiences at their park, which has 150 RV and tent sites.
Ian’s goats are a case in point.
Ian brought what he thought were 24 male goats to his campground last year after a local dairy goat farmer expressed remorse over having to butcher the males since they couldn’t produce milk. But Ian later discovered that four of the goats were wrongly identified and he wound up with four doelings, who later became pregnant and gave birth.
Because Ian bottle-fed his new goats from infancy, the animals are unusually tame, companion goats that interact gently with guests, sometimes even jumping on their laps like cats or dogs. Many accompany guests on short hikes on park trails.
In addition to providing entertainment for children, Ian uses the goats to naturally maintain and fertilize the grass on the campground’s 2-mile long disc golf course. He also uses the does to educate park guests about the benefits of goat’s milk and the cheese that’s produced from it, which is called “chevre.” In fact, the park frequently holds classes for guests who want to learn how to milk a goat and make various products from it, including cheese, butter, ice cream, pudding and goat soap.