March 25, 2011
By Karen Brucoli Anesi
as appeared on Woodall’s Family Camping Blog
That comes as no surprise for us because camping is easy on the toddlers and the grandparents, too, as long as families are realistic in their planning and expectations. But as gas prices top $4/gallon many camping families are forced to become resourceful in their search for affordable, wholesome family entertainment.
Where do smart families start when it comes to saving money while camping?
1. Consider off- season, off-weekend pricing if your work schedule permits. Many campgrounds are deeply discounted if you camp between Sunday and Wednesdays. Families save upwards of 40% and they have wide open site selection, not to mention easy use of amenities. If you are not using the swimming pool, but like to fish, the weeks prior to Memorial Day and after Labor Day can offer ideal pricing and recreation tailored to filling these less occupied weeks.
2. Park it where you’ll use it. If you visit your favorite campground three or more times a season, consider why you keep returning. It may be the year to seek seasonal/permanent membership. Haul it once, stock it for the summer and return to the woods without factoring in high fuel costs.
3. Set a summer outdoor education goal and measure your progress. Have you been putting off learning about the hardwoods, flora and fauna of your region, identifying the wildflowers and wild mushrooms that grow under the pines? Use a library card to access book resources or stop at a used book store or thrift shop. You can tuck a reference book in the corner of your car’s trunk and have instant “edu-tainment” and an outdoor learning lab for learners of all ages. Offer incentives for families being “on the move.” Hiking is good for the heart –literally and figuratively.
4. Plan, plan, plan. Teachers will tell you which parents give children decision making responsibility during summer months. What better way to save money than to have your pre-teen make a packing list, a meal plan and associated grocery list. Teach organization where there are real world consequences, then reward kids with the money you saved because you remembered to pack the pancake syrup.
5. Look for fuel saver specials. Some campgrounds offer discounted packages for campers returning two weekends in a row. Many have safe weekday storage and incentives NOT to haul goodies home on Sunday afternoon. Check now, as often these specials are first come, first serve and dependent on storage space available.
6. Think of hidden vacation costs that camping vacations avoid. Have you checked into the cost of kenneling a pet lately? Keep them with you and not only will they be happier, you will, too.
7. Let the campground reservation folks know your wants and needs. If you tell whomever answers the phone that you are seeking inexpensive quality entertainment for your family, then not only can they tell you when the campground’s free fire truck rides are offered, but they might point you toward charming local festivals, celebrations and local attractions within minutes of the campground. Build a full vacation experience by being aware of “out of the tent” opportunities.
8. Summer birthday? In this day of over-the-top birthday celebrations, consider how you can make a lifelong magical memory by taking two or three of the birthday boy or girl’s best friends camping. Rather than 4 hours of noise, sugar and stressful planning, invite partiers to a camping overnight. You’ll get to know them and they’ll get introduced to a wholesome alternative.
Karen and the Lock 30 Woodlands Crew
About the Author:
Karen Brucoli Anesi, along with her husband, Frank, own Lock 30 Woodlands, Ohio’s only Best Park in America and the highest-rated campground in the tri state area of Ohio, PA and W. VA. She is a member of the Board of Regents and an instructor for The National School of RV Parks and Campground Management. Karen has a home in Durango, Colorado, where she’s a contributor, former columnist and special assignment reporter for the Durango Herald.
March 22, 2011
Contributor and author of Knowing His Name
(part 1 of a series)
He’s my Everything, but I forget that. (How can I forget?!?)
He knows me better than I know myself. Of course, (oh, silly bird)…He made me.
He is Creator God.
How can this be? How can I know God for so many years, and yet, not know Him? I met Him as Savior so long ago. Young. Life got to me. You know – men, self-image, my agenda, thinking I knew better. The stuff of life filled the place He wanted in my heart.
He is Patient.
So, I hit rock bottom a few months ago. Was it Him who “pulled the rug out” or was it just a slippery, earthly base I was standing on? Doesn’t matter. Here I am, still, on my knees. Needing to know Him. Know. Because it’s time. Time for me to know Him the way He intended in the first place. In a way that actually brings healing and makes a difference in the mundane Thursdays of my life. To know Him in a way that gives Him glory, (oh, may it be!).
He is Jealous for my heart.
He is so much. And I want to know Him – as much as I can understand. (Give me grace to learn, Father…). And I will share what I learn.
Because He is Worthy.
Do you know Him?This is the first in a series presented here. You can also follow HLB at Knowing His Name
March 14, 2011by John Imler
John is an RVchurchesUSA Ambassador and author of It’s Never Too Late
You see, I sincerely believe that the God of this universe intended for mankind to rule over the earth that He had created (Genesis1:26-28). I believe that the good we enjoy in this life comes from God our Creator (James1:17). I believe that the original laws He established sustain our earth and universe today.
God also provided the way for man to have intimate spiritual fellowship with Him through the death of His Son Jesus Christ (John 3:16-18). I believe it is only our refusal to recognize God as our Creator and our Heavenly Father that keeps us from enjoying that fellowship.
I would be thrilled if, as a result of the miracle He has performed in my life, you would learn to trust Him completely for all He has provided for you.John welcomes your comments either below or email him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
March 3, 2011by Pam Cloud – Times Record
Through Timothy’s Burden Evangelistic Ministries, the Rev. Tim Adair isn’t waiting for those needing to hear the message of salvation to come to him — he’s reaching out to people wherever they might be, whether it’s a truck stop, a train station, an RV park or at a fitness center.
“I feel like my primary calling is to reach people that are not in church,” said Adair, 37. “We have to go to where the people are.”
The Monticello native answered the call to preach at 14 and went into full-time ministry at 21. Though he pastors the Vista Free Will Baptist Church in Van Buren and serves as chief administrator for its education ministry, Van Buren Christian Academy, he still feels led to reach out to those who might not ever step foot in a church building.
“Timothy’s Burden is a nondenominational ministry, totally separate from our church,” Adair explained of the ministry, which he founded in 2003.
He does, however, record his sermons and distributes the audio CDs to area truck stops and street ministries.
“I try to put out 200-400 CDs a month,” Adair said, going through a stack of sermon CDs he was going to leave in the lounge area of the Cherokee Travel Plaza at Interstate 40 and U.S. 64 in Roland.
Mike and Kathy Young of Van Buren assist Adair in distributing the CDs to more than a dozen businesses and truck stops from Sallisaw and Roland to Fort Smith, Van Buren and Dyer.
As a former truck driver, Mike Young said the road can be a lonely life.
“We hope and pray the CDs will give them hope and maybe change their lives,” said Mike Young.
“And their families,” Kathy Young added.
The Youngs also help Adair with another Timothy’s Burden ministry – an RV camp outreach at Park Ridge RV near Interstate 40.
“We have been doing this ministry for three years,” Adair said. “There are people at the RV park who have never known anything about Christianity. They’re excited just to hear the Word. I’m excited to see the changes in them.”
The Youngs usually visit the RV park on Saturday, handing out fliers and inviting residents there to visit the 9:15 a.m. Bible study on Sundays. They also provide coffee, doughnuts and snacks for the gathering.
“The Lord just really has done some amazing things there,” Adair added, noting that after the Bible study there he makes it back to Vista Free Will to deliver the Sunday morning message.
From April to November, Adair takes Timothy’s Burden ministry to the streets at the Van Buren train depot on Saturdays when the excursion train runs back and forth from northwest Arkansas.
“We play Bible trivia and give out $10 or $20,” Adair said. “We share the gospel with them. My message is biblical. There are some that get offended and some walk away while I’m preaching.
“I don’t skip the part about sin, judgment and hell,” he added of the ministry holding to fundamental Christian doctrine. “But I take people through that to get people to the cross, so the cross will make more sense to them.”
Timothy’s Burden also uses traditional evangelism by handing out gospel tracts, New Testament Bibles and food to those in need and conducting revival services at area churches.
Adair said he was excited about a new facet of the ministry that should be coming together soon in which fitness training programs will benefit children, adults and senior citizens.
“This ministry will work like the Upward Program but specializes in training, exercises and nutrition instead of one particular sport,” Adair explained.
Jennifer Bauman, a personal trainer, life coach and owner of Cardio Studio, has already started training children at the church and will begin a program this spring with students at VBCA.
“We want to help underprivileged athletes with speed and agility training,” said Bauman, who said the free training would be for athletes ages 7 and older. “We want to help these … athletes with everything for training they otherwise wouldn’t get.”
Bauman added the training would be for any sport, such as basketball, baseball, football, track, volleyball, tennis or golf.
“We wanted to partner with Tim so he can preach the gospel to these students when they’re being trained,” Bauman added. “It’s kind of a neat program.”
The Youngs are happy to assist Adair with his ministry, adding that they probably get as much out of it as those they are reaching out to.
“It really blesses us to do it,” Mike Young said. “We help with a lot of outreaches, but this outreach is honest … and caring.”
When it’s time to replenish the audio sermon stashes, all the CDs are usually gone.
“I pray that God would actually create curiosity in these truckers to see what (the CDs) are so they will listen to them on the road,” Adair said. “I don’t care what motivates them to take it — just that they take it.”
Adair always includes his address and phone number on the CDs, but has yet to hear from anyone.
“I’d love to hear back from people, but if I don’t, it’s OK,” he said. “I just obey the Lord and try to get them into the hands of as many people as I can.”
To assist or contribute to Timothy’s Burden Evangelistic Ministries, an area nonprofit organization spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, write to Timothy’s Burden, 1613 Valley View, Van Buren, AR 72956; e-mail Tim Adair at email@example.com; or call Adair at 459-4049.