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Former Disney Hotel Manager on the Role of Campground Associations: You Control the Culture

Campground associations from various states all over the country, for years now, have been serving member parks and suppliers through legal efforts, organizing conferences, and more. One important responsibility of an association often overlooked, however, is creating culture.

Association leaders are responsible for controlling the culture, John Formica, the “Ex-Disney Guy,” said during his session at the Campground Association Management Professionals (CAMP) Fall Meeting in Florida today.

Using Starbucks as an analogy, Formica suggested that campground associations are one and the same in many aspects. What set the organizations apart, however, are the different experiences they offer.

“That Starbucks pike is going to taste the same [because] they do a great job with consistency. However, as I walk into each and every one of those Starbucks, I will get a different experience,” he said.

Also, the culture or energy a group gives can either make or break it. Those with good culture can attract more members, the customer experience coach suggested.

Furthermore, association executives serve as ambassadors that represent their groups. They are capable of drawing potential members through the excitement that they create.

“As the head of those associations [or] the head of the campground, […] you control the culture,” said Formica. “It’s a direct reflection of you,” he said.

“What drives your association? It’s the leadership,” Formica later on added.

Prior to the session, Modern Campground spoke with Formica in which he shared that associations exist more than just to provide membership services, but also to make their location magical.

The speaker of the session called “If Disney Ran Your Association” is one of the many speakers delivering sessions at the Fall Meeting of CAMP. In the coming sessions, Christine Taylor of Towne Law will be tackling some legal issues, followed by Michael Moore who will discuss what members are looking for from their state association. 

Larry Brownfield of Kampgrounds of America (KOA) is also set to speak tomorrow about competition in these changing times. More topics tomorrow include cybersecurity for campground associations, helping members understand electric vehicles, and more.

For the association’s president, Joann DelVescio, the event is a great way for state association executives to meet and share ideas. During CAMP meetings, executive directors of state campground associations meet twice a year to connect, educate, and share ideas.

“[W]e share what’s going on in our individual states. We share ideas from one another and take back to our associations and tweak them so that they work for our individual states and hopefully make our location stronger and then, in turn, make our members more profitable,” DelVescio said.

Campground owners or suppliers who want to support CAMP are welcome to sponsor the event and have the chance to deliver a presentation for attendees, she said.

DelVescio also shared that campground and RV park association executives are scheduled to meet again in Spring 2024. Specifics of the 2024 meeting such as the venue will be discussed at the group’s annual meeting tomorrow.

The 2022 CAMP Fall Meeting is underway at the Rosen Centre Hotel in Orlando, Florida today (November 7) until tomorrow (November 8).

Visit https://campgroundexecutives.com/ to learn more about the Campground Association Management Professionals (CAMP).


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Hi, you might find this article from Modern Campground interesting: Former Disney Hotel Manager on the Role of Campground Associations: You Control the Culture! This is the link: https://moderncampground.com/usa/florida/former-disney-hotel-manager-on-the-role-of-campground-associations-you-control-the-culture/