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Celebrating Thanksgiving at Your Campground

November 17, 2023

Thanksgiving may not immediately bring campgrounds to mind for some, but plenty of folks choose to celebrate this holiday while camping. If you’ll be hosting guests at your campground this Thanksgiving, here are some ideas to help create a memorable holiday stay and bring them back again next year. 

Thanksgiving Potluck

You can never go wrong with a classic potluck! A Thanksgiving potluck helps guests feel a sense of community on the holiday and takes the pressure off putting together an entire feast on their own. Decide what food items you want to provide for campers – many campgrounds supply the turkey and ask their guests to bring side dishes, desserts, and beverages.  

You’ll want to check the weather forecast to see if you should plan indoor or outdoor accommodations, then get the word out to your campers using the Firefly Reservations mass email invitation. Let them know what food and utensils will be provided and what kind of dishes to bring. You can also keep a signup sheet in the office to keep track of the food items.

Read more about organizing a potluck.

Holiday Food Drive & Raffle

If you’re hosting a Thanksgiving potluck, you could host a joint food drive and have guests bring items to donate in addition to their dishes. A food drive is a great way to get everyone in the holiday spirit of giving and could also help campers clear up overstocked RV pantries. Before you start, contact your local food bank before Thanksgiving and learn their process and what items they can or can’t accept. 

Once you’ve found a food bank to work with, ask if they can provide collection boxes or promotional posters you can put around the campground. Ensure your campers know what items will be accepted, including expiration dates. 

You could also create a raffle for guests who donate food items and announce the winner at the end of the potluck. This is a fun way to get campers involved, and the prize could be as simple as some campground merch or a small discount on their stay. 

Learn how to host a food drive.

Thanksgiving-Themed Scavenger Hunt 

If the weather cooperates, hosting a Thanksgiving-themed scavenger hunt is fun for your campers with young kids. There’s plenty of room for creativity here – you can hide your items around the campground or make it a photo scavenger hunt of different trees, critters, plants, or landmarks unique to your campground.  

Putting together a scavenger hunt can be as simple as making and printing the item lists and putting together a fun prize for the winner. It’s an easy way to get families involved and help them explore different campground areas. 

Tips for creating your own scavenger hunt.

Bonfire & Craft Night

Again, you’ll have to plan accordingly with the weather, but sitting around a roaring bonfire is one of the best ways to remind your guests why holiday camping is a prime choice. Host a bonfire night and provide snacks, s'more kits, and craft packs. You could also sell these items as add-ons for a little extra cash! 

Create an announcement for your bonfire night with a group email, and let guests know if they need to bring chairs, wood, or other items.

See Thanksgiving craft ideas for kids.

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