Firework Shows for 2020 in Somerset County

Due to the current situation, there have been a lot of cancellations for events and firework shows all over America. Somerset County and surrounding areas have been no different (thanks coronavirus…) But you shouldn’t fret, there have been communities, businesses, and organizations that have come together to keep these yearly traditions of firework celebrations happening! I mean really, what is the 4th of July without fireworks? There are quite a few options this weekend for you to go see some fireworks and enjoy some other great entertainment. You may have to travel a little, but not too far (plus I think it’s worth it for a great show!)

Independence Day at the Castle
Vinoski Winery in Belle Vernon, PA has a celebration planned for Friday, July 3rd. This event will include music, food, fireworks, and of course, FUN! Jukebox Band will be providing entertainment while local restaurants provide the food. They do ask for a $20 parking donation and the owners will be matching the donations for local charities. Check out their Facebook Event (linked above) for more information.

Fourth of July Weekend at Greenhouse Winery
Greenhouse Winery in Irwin, PA is having events the entire weekend. Friday, July 3rd will kick off the events with music by Ruffhouse from 6:30 – 9:30 pm and great food on site for this 21+ event with fireworks to follow! Then on Saturday the 4th, there will be more music by Tim & Stacey from 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm. On Sunday there is a Bloody Mary Bar and music by Jim O’Brien. Check out the link above for more information on these fun weekend events!

Here Comes the Boom! Drive-In Fireworks Show
A FREE fireworks show to attend at the Westmoreland County Fairgrounds. The owner of Wisneski’s Waste Management decided that the show MUST go on and he will be putting off the fireworks himself. This is socially distanced show where they ask families to stay in, on, or around their vehicles. The gates open at 7 pm, with the show beginning at 10 pm! The fairgrounds are only 23 miles from Hickory Hollow, so this would be a perfect opportunity to get out and see some great fireworks. Facebook event linked above for more information.

Jennerstown Speedway Racing and Fireworks
Click the link above for more information. This racing night at Jennerstown Speedway will include a 200 Lap Super Late Model race and a 100 Lap Pro Late Model race, followed by a giant fireworks display afterwards! Tickets are available at carsracingtour.com. The general admission is $20 for advance tickets or $25 at the gate.

America’s County Freedom Fireworks Show
Even though Somerset’s normal fireworks show was cancelled, our community pulled together and is putting the show on at Somerset Country Club on Sunday, July 5th. Fireworks by Little Big Shots and other local businesses and organizations. The Red, White, and Boom 4th of July Celebration will take place at 9:30 pm, so make sure you find a nice place to watch the show go on!

If you want to get out and see some fireworks, I hope this list gave you some different ideas on where you can go. Each of these places are in relatively close distance to Hickory Hollow Campground, so you can enjoy our weekend activities during the days and check out the other fireworks in the evening.

Beginner Camper Tips

Are you a first-time camper? I only started camping within the last couple years, but I am by no means an expert camper (and I don’t have the luxury of an RV yet, but hopefully in the future). I looked up some good tips for beginners if you’re a tent camper and new to the camping scene. These ideas could come in handy for anyone though. By the way, Hickory Hollow Campground is a great place for beginner campers (or any campers really!)

The tips I am going to share are things that I have taken into consideration while camping and I hope that they can be helpful to other campers as well. This will hopefully make your planning and camping trip less stressful and much more relaxing.

Whenever we camp, we only plan for a weekend. So these tips are directed more towards short stays, but can be adapted if you plan to stay somewhere for more than just a weekend.

Tip #1
Plan Ahead

I am OCD when it comes to planning for trips, even if it is just for a short weekend trip. I don’t like waiting until the last minute, because I know that I will forget something (usually it’s important too.) It’s stressful to wait until the last minute to plan and pack (unless it’s a spur of the moment trip.) So to make it easier on you and everyone else, plan what you will need to take before you leave. I personally love to make lists. This way I can physically see what I need to pack and I can mark it off as I go.

If there is anything that you are able to pack ahead of time, that you aren’t going to need before you leave for the trip, then PACK IT! If you do this the weekend (or a few days) before your trip, that is less you will have to worry about when you are getting ready to head out! Some items you may be able to pack ahead of time are: bedding, tents, bags, cooking gear, and any non-perishable food items you plan to take. Organize it and have it ready to go, so you aren’t scrambling as the last minute. If you are planning to pack any perishable food – try to buy it before the day of the trip so you can avoid stopping while traveling and you can pack them into coolers on the day of. For the items you can’t pack ahead of time, make a list that you will see or even set a reminder on your phone so you aren’t forgetting anything!

Tip #2
Pack Light

I am so terrible at this, but that’s why it is a good tip! Try to avoid packing things with the “just in case” mindset. Take time to think about what you will be doing while you are away. There’s no need to pack extra activities or equipment whenever you won’t have time to use them, so think about what you have time to do during your short getaway and if you have the space for what you plan to do.

Tip #3
Keep Your Menu Simple

If you are planning a trip with a few groups of people, the best option is to share the meal planning. Split the responsibilities up so each group is in charge of a meal (or however you see fit to divide up the work.) That way each family is in charge of packing, prepping, and making a meal and all the work isn’t put on one person. This means less packing and more sharing of the preparation load when it comes to meals and the best thing of all – less work for EVERYONE! This is how we do our camping, each “family” going is in charge of certain parts of our meals and it makes it much easier on everyone and if there is anything specific we want aside from the meals we handle it ourselves.

If you’re camping by yourself (or in a single group), choose meals that you are comfortable making. You’re camping to relax, not give yourself more work to do. Avoid any meals that cause you to slave over the campfire for hours, making it less likely for you to enjoy yourself.

Tip #4
Check the Weather

This is a tip for any time that you are planning to go camping. Weather can be a pain when you’re camping since you are spending the majority of the time outside! I know that it’s not always 100% accurate and if it is bad weather, it could cause your entire trip to change. So always check the weather ahead of time (mid-week before you trip is usually good.) I also check again the day before in case I need to pack anything to prepare for some types of weather that are manageable while camping.

Tip #5
Stay Close to Home

This tip isn’t for everyone, but I think it’s perfect for beginner campers. This is something that I personally do (who am I kidding, I have ONLY camped at Hickory Hollow, so I may be a little biased…lol.) If you’re local to Rockwood, PA then this is the perfect option for you to get away for a weekend too! By staying closer to home, there is much less stress about traveling. You don’t have to worry as much about arrival and departure time, and it makes planning a breeze! You can get outdoors quicker and relax sooner (even if it’s just a short 1-2 day stay).

If you’re not local to Hickory Hollow Campground, then look into campground in your area and if you’re able to book ahead then do that! It makes it easier to secure your spot to ensure that you have a place to stay. If you don’t know exactly where it is located, then take some time before your trip to look up the directions and familiarize yourself, so there is less stress while traveling.

These are just a few tips to hopefully make our beginner campers feel a little less stressed about camping and Hickory Hollow is the perfect place for beginners! We have lots of things to do, plus it peaceful and relaxing here 24/7. If you want to know more about our campground, follow us on our social media accounts and Youtube Channel!

Tips for Camping in the Rain

I don’t know what everyone else thinks, but to me it seems like it has been raining more than anything else this camping season and it makes me sad. BUT, that doesn’t mean that you can’t camp – it just might take a few extra preparation steps. I’m going to share some of the things you could do to prepare yourself more and also what Hickory Hollow provides to plan your trips accordingly (even if rain is in the forecast.) This blog is tailored more towards our tent campers or anyone who isn’t necessarily a RV camper, but anyone is welcome to check them out!

Location
Make sure you are choosing a good location to camp. Hickory Hollow offers cabins (Rustic and Full-Service) that make a great option for dry camping, plus they are beautiful and have a breathtaking view of our lake right out the door! There are also Conestoga Wagons that we started last year and these are a huge hit with campers. They keep you up off the ground and are covered (we even added a window for airflow!) These are a great choice for anyone who wants a different experience camping!

Now that I told you what Hickory Hollow provides, there are also other tips you should consider when choosing a location to camp (even if it isn’t with us.)

Find an area on higher ground with trees overhead (these will come in handy when it comes to hanging tarps – which I will get to in a little bit.) Avoid lower areas that can collect run-off or become flooded with heavy rain. We actually moved our tent sites at Hickory Hollow from a low to a high point at the campground which is much better when trying to avoid the rain!

Rain Free Space
Create a rain-free area using tarps, paracord and the trees above you. This will make a great shelter for gathering, cooking, or simply relaxing. Even if it isn’t raining, this creates a nice shaded area for you to set up (plus it’s not a bad idea to keep your cooking area sheltered too.)

If it is raining while you are trying to set up camp, hang a tarp above where you plan to set up your tent. This will help keep you and your tent dry while putting it up.

If you have an extra tarp, it’s also good to put one underneath your tent before you set it up. This can give you tent a little extra protection from water on the ground and prevent it from getting rips and tears from anything on the ground.

Wet Clothing or Gear
Sometimes the rain is unavoidable which can result in wet clothing and gear, so of course you’ll need a way to dry them. If you set up a tarp covering, you can then add a drying line to hang up your wet clothes and gear to dry.

Campfires
I know you’re thinking it is impossible to make a campfire in the rain, right? Well there are options to make this a little easier on you. Campfires are essential for camping when it comes to cooking and heat, so there are ways to make a fire even when it’s raining. Of course if you make a tarp cover high enough up that it is safe to make a fire, that is always a good option. Trees make decent covering too, but if everything is wet, how do you think you are going to make fire?

There are some waterproof fire starter options like waterproof matches and lighters, but we know that’s not all you will need to start a fire.

Starting with Tinder (because wet tinder won’t help you at all) check underneath pine trees, you may have to do a little digging, but you may be able to find some dry pine needles that make great tinder for fires. You can also make your own by finding the driest log you can, pealing off the bark (hoping that the wood underneath is dry) you can then use a knife to scrape at the wood to create thin shavings that can burn quick and hot! If you don’t like that option, you can also pack your own waterproof tinder (which you can find on Amazon or other places that handing camping equipment) that is good to pack in your emergency/survival kit.

Next you need Kindling, which like tinder can be found under trees or you can also find branches or twigs to scrape down to find dry wood beneath the surface.

When it comes to fuel wood, yes there are ways to find it outdoors (which you can look into if you’re camping at a more rugged terrain), but at Hickory Hollow we have you covered on the wood to fuel the fire. We sell bundles of wood for $5.00 to our campers and it is kept dry (plus it’s already split for you!) This makes the idea of finding large, dry pieces of wood a little less tedious on our campers.

Here are a few other quick and easy tips to remember if your camping gets hindered by the rain:
– Pack Ponchos or Raincoats to protect yourself from the weather
– Emergency Rain suits for your survival kits for those seriously wet situations
– Waterproof backpacks or a backpack rain cover to keep your items dry

If you have any other tips or trick to camping in the rain, feel free to leave us a comment! If there are any other blog topics that you would like me to write about for the campground, please let me know and I will do my best to incorporate it into our blog!

Thanks for reading!

What do People think of Hickory Hollow Campground?

I’ve gone on and on about how I feel about our campground and how much our campers and staff care about it, but I know not everyone believes what they hear. Well let me tell you something, we have lots of great reviews of people who have stayed at our campground over the years. Maybe you’ll believe the reviews over what I say, maybe not, but let me tell you I am so proud of what has been said that I want to share it with all of you too!

I’m only going to hit on a few reviews (mostly because there are so many) and you can go check out more at the sites that I mention if what I give you isn’t enough to convince you to stay at Hickory Hollow. We receive reviews from a few different sources, the most popular ones being Google, Facebook, and TripAdvisor. We are also a part of Campground Reviews. I have shared most of the ones that I will post below on our social accounts too, but I know not everyone sees posts all of the time (now there’s no excuse! lol).

Also, we are always looking for ways to improve and make our campers stay better any way that we can so if you have never left a review for us, please feel free to do so. That way others know what you think about the campground as well! The reviews I will be posting are all positive, but we are always open to new ideas and thoughts from others. You can click the links below to leave a review or read other reviews!

Google 4.6/5 Stars
TripAdvisor 5/5 Stars Ranked #1 Specialty Lodging in Rockwood, PA
Facebook Reviews 4.9/5 Stars
Campground Reviews

2020
2020
2020
2020
2019 Reviews
2019
2019
2019
2019
2019

Hopefully these few reviews sway you to come check out our campground in Rockwood, PA. I’m not going to go on and on this time, because I feel like these reviews speak volumes for Hickory Hollow Campground!

If you haven’t reviewed us yet, please do! Your review may show up on our socials and help us gain even more campers and we are always welcoming new people. Thank you all for being loyal and caring campers. We are so lucky to have such a great group of people at Hickory Hollow!

Family – What It Means to Us.

With all of the current circumstances and all of the negativity that is surrounding us in the world today, I wanted to focus on a positive and important factor in all of our lives – family. As most of you probably know, we are a family owned campground, but Hickory Hollow is so much more than that. We are a family, all of us (yes that means you campers!)

I searched for the meaning of family this morning and found a lot of differing definitions and I’ve learned over the years that is the absolute truth. Family doesn’t have to mean your blood relatives (I have some of those that I don’t consider family, but that’s not the point.) I found a great explanation from another blog, which I feel fits our campground perfectly as well.

To me, the word “family” means something very specific. It means to be with people, who understand and accept you without condition. A family can be a small group or a large one, who all support one another. They will help you when you struggle and be there for you in trying times. They also know you as a person; knowing your quirks and habits and how to manage them. As a member of the family, you yourself also contribute. If someone has a problem, you would do your best to listen to understand. Give advice if they ask for it. Usually, others are kind to you if you are kind to them. Blood relatives are commonly seen as a “real family,” but people from different races, backgrounds, and beliefs can also become one. – Jeremy Chriss

Jodi Murphy, What Does Family Mean to You

Now this is just one person’s point of view, there are a few others in the blog mentioned above that give other definitions. This one really hit home for me though, especially with all the issues happening in the world around us. We have been fortunate here in our area to not be directly affected by the physical destruction occurring, but that doesn’t mean that we are not completely sheltered from it all. We are aware of what is going on, but with that being said it makes us much more close knit as a family.

People from all over the country come to stay at our little campground in Rockwood, PA. I am proud to be a part of this community that we have at the campground and I truly believe that we are exactly what a family is, based on the explanation above. Our campers are supportive and caring towards everyone then encounter. They will do anything to help others and work together when need be. We accept new people without hesitation, get to know them and show them what true friends and family really are.

I was amazed during Memorial Day Weekend at how many people just acknowledged me while I was walking around the campground and taking pictures. I know that not everyone knows who I am, so it was heartwarming when every person I passed would smile and wave. In today’s world, it is normal to be afraid while being in public, which is extremely sad. However, at our campground, I feel safe and I know our campers do too. I always see kids out playing and having a great time. Campers gather together at different sites to have dinner and enjoy the company of others. During activities, there are always people involved and working with others. It is an incredible thing to feel safe and welcomed in a community. I may be slightly biased, but Hickory Hollow is definitely my favorite.

I know this isn’t a normal blog post offering advice or fun facts, but I felt like now more than ever that I needed to focus on the large positive that is our campground. I am so proud to work at a place like this where I feel welcome and at home every time that I am here (makes it feel less like work too.)

If you want to be included in our family, then you have to come visit! We have also created a Hickory Hollow Campground Friends Facebook group for anyone who has stayed and loved being at our campground. So if that sounds like something you would like to be included in, make sure you join the group. Click here to request to join, you must answer the questions before we accept your request. This is a group to ask questions, share ideas, pictures, anything you could think of that would be useful for our campground or other campers, all we ask is that it is kept positive for others. I also share our activities and other important information there too, so make sure you check it out if you have camped with us!

I hope this brought a little happiness, joy, and peace into your lives during these times. Please feel free to comment below telling us what you think about family and/or our campground. We love hearing from you!

Thanks for reading!

Always at home, wherever you roam.

If you’ve ever gone camping, one of the best parts about it is making your campsite home-y for yourself no matter how long you are camping for. There are lots of great ways to go about doing this and our seasonal campers (even some of our overnighters!) are pros at making their campsites their home away from home. I have put together a few ways that I have seen our campers make their sites home-y that could help you spruce up your campsite the next time you’re out!

All photos were taken at Hickory Hollow Campground.

Make people feel welcome
You can make your site welcoming to other campers with a few simple touches. Just like you put at your house, why not decorating your site with welcome signs, mats, or even flags that invite people to your site. This shows that you are open and willing to have people hang out at your site.

Inviting Outdoor Space
Your outdoor space is the most important area (in my opinion.) This is where you gather to eat, spend time together, play games, visit with others, or just relax. There are so many ways to make it comfortable and inviting for other, as well as yourself. You’re patio area is open for creativity! Find your favorite patio furniture and make it comfy! There are campground rugs that really tie the space together and they are made to let sunlight through, and they don’t hold water. Hammocks are another great addition to your campsite. They make a comfy area for you to sit and relax (which is what camping is all about, right?) Don’t forget about those pets though! It wouldn’t be very home-y without them. You can include them with pet-friendly items like ties and mobile play yards that keep them safe. If you have a seasonal site a fence is also an option or having a built in patio area.

Decorations
The best way to make your home feel inviting and comfortable is to decorate it of course! So why wouldn’t you want to do the same at your campsite? You can show off your style and interests while making your campsite comfortable and an enjoyable place to be. Another simple way to do this is to dress up the table. You can easily do this by putting a table cloth on (vinyl ones come in many different patterns and are easy to clean!) Then add an extra touch by putting a centerpiece on the table. This could be a great way to get the kids involved! Have them go on a scavenger hunt and use items from nature to build your own centerpiece. This will not only look cute, but it is a great conversation starter too!

Lighting
I know this could be lumped in with decor, but I have seen so many creative lights used around our campground and they are such a nice touch! Everything from fun solar lights that can be put around the camper or fire pits. Tiki torches can give a really fun look to the site. There are also rope lights and really cool string lights that you can hang on your campers or in the trees! Our campers have been creative with their lights and they always look so good! We have even had events where campers can create their own Puzzle Lights to hang up!

Christmas in July 2019
Christmas in July 2019
Puzzle Lights

Do home activities/routines
What better way to make your campsite feel like home, than to treat it like it is and continue with your normal activities and routines while camping? There are a lot of ways to do this. Bring actual dishes to use, because it definitely feels more like home when you’re using a real plate and glass. Keep up with your normal routines. If you like to get up early and drink a cup of coffee, then do it! Take it outside and enjoy the outdoors too. Not a coffee drinker? Then mix drinks at night and invite your friends to join. You can sit outside and talk while enjoying a campfire! Cooking is important at camp and home, so enjoy making meals. They don’t have to be camping meals, you can try out some non-traditional camp meals at the campsite too. You can have fun too. Hold a game night and play outside.

Celebrate Holidays outside
This isn’t necessarily something to do to your campsite, but more of what you can do at the campground or just at your site. Hickory Hollow always provides fun activities to get involved in during the weekends, the holiday weekends especially. This is a great way to get involved and meet others. You can also create your own holidays or traditions that you have while you’re camping! I have seen graduation parties, birthdays, and so much more. Lots of people create camping traditions, so why haven’t you?

Anna’s birthday on Memorial Day!
Christmas in July 2019

We hope this gives you some great ideas on how to make your campsite a little more like home. If you have other recommendations please feel free to leave them in a comment below!

Eat Like the Locals

During all of this craziness, there is one thing for sure that has seemed to grow within the last few months majorly! I’m sure by the title you can figure out what that is. Restaurants and food industries have had to adapt in order to still provide food services for people (being that food will always be an essential.)They have grown and succeeded greatly in providing food services to their communities. The area local to Hickory Hollow Campground is no different.

I know what you’re thinking, there can’t be many options in such a rural area like this, but you would be incorrect. There are six places I would like to mention in this blog. These restaurants/food services are local to us, but as most of you know, the campground isn’t far from Somerset where there are many more options if these ones do not fulfill your hunger needs. Each of the businesses that I am going to mention have offered alternative arrangements due to the current situation that have satisfied their customers and we hope that they can bring some satisfaction to you too.

Please keep in mind that all hours and services are subject to change. Check out their links for more information.

Zambo’s Country Cottage
This restaurant is only 1.3 miles from the campground (make a right out of the campground entrance and is on the left side) and offers a variety of homemade food! The Country Cottage is open for TAKE-OUT Monday through Friday from 7:00 AM to 8:00 PM. Call to order at (814) 926 – 4800.

Dough Girls Pizza
Pizza is always a great go to for a fast meal (but that’s not all they have), and Dough Girls is only 1.6 miles away at 3003 Kingwood Road, Rockwood. This locally owned restaurant is offering TAKE-OUT and DELIVERY options at this time. They are also opened 7 days a week! (hours vary, so check their page for more info.) Call to make an order at (814) 926 -1010.

Rock City Express (no website available)
This is a little more unconventional, but this gas station has more than just your average convenience store. The pizza here is always a big hit with the customers, so I feel like I have to include it in the list! I don’t have much more information other than it is located 4.3 miles from the campground at 1211 Bridge Street, Rockwood. This would be a TAKE-OUT order, and you can call ahead to place your orders. Call (814) 926 – 2117.

Rock City Cafe
This is a family favorite too. What’s better than wings and beer? Not a whole lot in my opinion. The cafe is located 4.6 miles from the campground at 671 Main Street, Rockwood. They are offering TAKE-OUT and DELIVERY at this time. They are open Tuesday through Saturday from 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm, so make sure you get your orders! Call (814) 926 – 1009 to order.

Mill Shoppes Pizza
I know I seem to be focusing on pizza, but I promise these places offer other food too, I’m just partial to pizza (lol). Check out their whole menu on their website if you don’t believe me! Mill Shoppes Pizza is located 450 Main Street, Rockwood and are offering TAKE-OUT Monday through Saturday from 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm. Call (814) 926 – 3663 to order.

Hometown Pizza
Last pizza place, I promise! This is a small pizza place located at 905 Main Street, Rockwood. You can see their menu on the Facebook page (it’s their profile picture) to find out all that they have to offer. Their hours are not set entirely yet, as they are attempting a trial run for business. You can help them out by ordering this week (Thursday 5/14 and Friday 5/15) from 11:00 AM to 7:00 PM. Call (814) 926 – 4922 for any additional information or to order!

There is one more opportunity to get a great meal that I am going to mention, because it is only taking place this weekend on May 16, 2020. The Rockwood Fire Department is holding a Chicken BBQ from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM and it’s one heck of a deal! For ONLY $10 you get a full meal of BBQ chicken, baked beans, macaroni salad, bread, and cake. Pick up will take place at the fire hall, 630 Main Street, Rockwood. They ask that if you come, please stay in your vehicle and they will assist you.

I hope this helps bring some business to our local restaurants and serves as an outlet for our campers too. Feel free to share with us your favorite meals at these places or pictures from them too. We love hearing from you, especially if we helped you to try something new or revisit somewhere you haven’t been in a while.

Your little home away from home.

I can’t believe that I just realized that I have been writing all of these blogs and telling you what you can be doing during this time, but I have failed to tell you about our campground! The most important piece behind all of my work and everything that I’ve shared with you. I don’t want you to think that I don’t love and appreciate our little campground, when in reality it is my home away from home!

Hickory Hollow Campground is a privately owned campground located in Western, PA. If you’ve ever heard of New Centerville or Rockwood, PA then you’ve probably heard about our campground (or at least you’ve heard about Haunted Hollow which is owned by the same family.) If you’ve never been to the Laurel Highlands in Pennsylvania, then you are missing out! Our campground is located in such a beautiful area, with tons of great things to see and do without going far. There are plenty of places to get out and adventure nearby.

Just a few places you can check out while visiting us are the trails at Laurel Hill State Park (Pumphouse trail has one of the prettiest waterfalls with public access!), the Flight 93 Memorial (which I have mentioned in an earlier blog), and there are ski resorts with beautiful views and things to do while you’re visiting us. There are also plenty of local restaurants that are still accommodating during this time (just in case you don’t feel like cooking over th fire.) But you don’t have to leave our campground to have a good time or enjoy the peace and beauty of our campground.

The scenery at Hickory Hollow is more tthan just for looks! There are plenty of things to do right on our own piece of land. We have a lake (yes, it does classify as a lake) for fishing, a playground, volleyball net, basketball hoop, a pool, an off-leash dog park for our furry family, and lots of places to walk to enjoy everything nature has to offer. That’s not all though! We offer great activities during our holiday weekends and more activities on regular weekends too. This season may be a little different due to social distancing, but that doesn’t mean that we won’t have fun things to do while you’re camping with us!

Now, I know what you’re thinking, I’m just saying all of these things because it’s my job and I have to. Yes, that is true, but that’s not the only reason! We have proof that our campground is great and that we aren’t being biased. If you don’t believe me, believe the people! Our campers have given us so many great reviews on TripAdvisor, Google, and Facebook! We have recieved a 4.9/5 on Facebook reviews and 4.6/5 for Google and that’s pretty great if I do say so myself! Some of the biggest comments we get are that Hickory Hollow is peaceful, beautiful, relaxing, and quiet. It is also comfortable, and extremely clean and neat. We take great pride in our cleanliness and upkeep of our campground and we could do it without our staff and campers!

That’s also a big perk of this campground. We treat everyone like family, because that’s what we are. I consider the people here to be my family and I wouldn’t trade that for anything. We work together to keep going even under stressful, uncertain times like now.

So I hope this clears up anything I may have missed when talking about Hickory Hollow Campground, but feel free to ask questions or let me know what else you’d like to read from me.

We are opening for the season TOMORROW!!! MAY 1, 2020 and we are so excited! Book your reservations now, online here or call the office at (814) 926 – 4636.

Staying Connected during Quarantine

Even though we are to be keeping our distance (6 feet or more to be exact…), it is important to stay connected to our friends, family members, and even the campers sharing the campground with you. We know how important these people are to each of our lives, so we should be checking in on them (and hoping that they would return the favor). It is so hard not to go stircrazy at a time like this and feel alone, but you aren’t! There are tons of people out there in the same situation as you, so why shouldn’t we work together and keep each other sane?

At Hickory Hollow Campground, we are working on our activity schedule. I know, sounds crazy right? How can you plan activities that will follow guidelines of social distancing at a campground? Well that’s exactly what we are working on. Finding ways to keep our campers engaged and interacting with each other, while continuing to be safe and healthy! There are a lot of ways to communicate and interact with others, without actually being near them. So whether you’re camping or not, try out some of these ways engage with others. Then tell us what you tried and if it worked for you (or give us ideas of your own!)

  1. Group Chats/Groups (i.e. Facebook, snapchat, messages, etc.)
    Make a group chat with your closest friends or family members and make it a point to at least do a “check-in” with them once a day. It will make you feel better and make others feel cared about. This is important for everyone in order to avoid feeling so isolated at times. Set an alarm and send a little message. It doesn’t even have to be elaborate or super specific, just a “Hey, how’s everyone doing today?” message will be plenty to get the conversation started. Even if someone doesn’t feel like chatting, you still put forth the effort to make them feel important. There are also tons of great apps that have come out to play games with friends from afar like Houseparty or even on snapchat or iphones!

    A camper from Hickory Hollow made a suggestion for us to start a private Facebook group for our campers to post and talk, and I loved the idea! This group is for our campers to talk and share ideas and activities to other campers. I felt like this was such a great idea to get more of our campers talking to one another and show that we are #camperstrong during this time. I am also, personally, a member of a group called Power of Positivity which is used just for people to post positive and inspirational posts to lift each other up. These are both great environments to be engaged in and show that no one is alone right now.
  2. Facetime/Zoom
    I know some of you are craving that face-to-face connection and reading words on a screen just doesn’t do it for you. Trust me I get it! There are ways to get around that too without even leaving your home (or RV)! Anyone who has a smartphone has the capability of using video calls or facetime. There is also this great meeting tool that I’ve used personally (and have seen/heard about lots of others using it too!) that gives you the opportunity to see, chat (written or verbally), and screen share too! There are probably tons of other great uses, but these sold it for me when I used it. If you haven’t used Zoom yet, you’re missing out! (Skype is also a very similar platform.) Sometimes it’s nice to see a smiling familiar face, so I promise you won’t regret doing this with someone you care about and they will appreciate it too. Houseparty works like this as well!
  3. Movie Streaming
    This is something that I am excited to try at the campground. There is this great app called Netflix Party which allows multiple people to watch the same movie together wherever they may be. So talk to a group of your friends, pick a movie, get your favorite quarantine snacks and watch your favorite movie together! It even includes a group chat, so you can talk to your friends while watching the movie. I seriously cannot wait to try this as an activity at the campground since our movie nights were such a hit last year!
  4. Letter Writing
    I know this sounds old-fashioned, but this is such a simple and sentimental way to reach out to others during our social distancing. Find some fancy paper (or really any paper will do), use your neatest handwriting, and write a letter to someone you know! I love this idea for the campground, especially since we are in walking distance of one another (if you aren’t at a campground do this for your neighbors!) People will appreciate the thought and effort you put into a letter and it can be saved as a keepsake – I’m a sucker for memory boxes.

    If you are concerned about spreading germs this way, please be informed that porous materials, such as paper, only holds the contaminates for about 24 hours, so if you are concerned you can leave your mail “quarantined” for that amount of time and you will be good to go!

These are just a few ideas for you to stay connected with others while continuing to social distance! There are so many different activities that people are creating to help everyone during this time, you just have to figure out what you want to do! If you have any other ideas, leave a comment below.

We will be doing videos on our Youtube Channel with different crafts and activities, who knows maybe your thoughts and ideas will end up there too! Make sure you’re subscribed and following our socials for Hickory Hollow Campground (buttons at the top of this page).

Self Care While Social Distancing

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I know, I know it sounds ridiculous in the current situation, but there is one thing that is extremely important during this time (and at all times for that matter) and that is SELF CARE! Your mind, body, and emotions should be your number 1 priority and honestly what better time to focus on yourself than during a stay at home order?

These are such trying times and everyone (literally everyone) is having to deal with the changes and uncertainty that goes along with it. Every person that I have talked to during the last few weeks has been dealing with anxiety, depression, loneliness, and so many other concerns that threaten our self preservation. The best way to prevent these issues from taking over our lives is by practicing self care DAILY (yes, these are things you need to take the time to do every single day.) I’m going to go into a few different areas of self-care that I feel are important for every person to do.

Body
Our bodies need taken care of during this time, that’s no lie to any of us. I’m sure some of you are feeling sluggish and exhausted from being stuck at home and limiting your activities (trust me I am too), but there are solutions to taking care of our bodies from the comfort of our homes (or RVs). The most important task are really just the basics that every person needs in order to live. Make sure you are eating, drinking water, and moving your body. These don’t have to be daunting tasks like they may have been before. You can make them specific to what you enjoy. When it comes to food, I know it’s tempting to eat all of those quarantine snacks (I am bad for this) but usually it is solely out of boredom, which I am sure is the case for a lot of you too. So in order to change this action to something that keeps you busy. Read a book, watch a movie, go for a walk (safely social distancing of course), play a game, color, draw, seriously I could go on and on with different activities to help you. So put that junk food down and go do something else! -If you want ideas for social distancing outside, go read my last blog Social Distancing in the Great Outdoors.
The next thing our bodies need is water. I am so bad about drinking enough water, especially while being at home, but our bodies NEED it! I know most of us our using our phones regularly, so here’s a challenge for you: every time you pick up your phone to check social media or answer a text or anything really, take a drink of water. This will make you feel so much better in the long run and your body will thank you.
Along with drinking water, we need to make sure we are moving our bodies. It’s so easy to get into a slump sitting on our couches, binge watching the latest Netflix series (I bet Tiger King came into you mind, don’t be ashamed I watched it too), but this isn’t good for your body, mind, or emotions. It’s okay to watch it on occasion, but maybe get moving while watching and eventually you’ll find more reasons to move your body. I personally love doing yoga (and plan to incorporate some into my activities this camping season) and I found that it helps me relax. It also makes my body feel great. I mentioned a few activities that go along with this idea earlier, but it is so important. Trust me, if you make sure you are eating better, drinking enough water, and moving your body, you will feel so much better!

Mind
Personally, I feel like this is one of the hardest parts to work on during this time. There is an abundance of information being put out there for people, some of it being helpful, but a lot of the information is causing a lot of stress, anger, and frustration. I, personally, try to avoid the news and social media that is revolving around the current situation. This does not mean that I am not informed or aware of the changes occurring, it means that I am limiting and researching the information that I am taking in. I wish more people would do this, but that is hard to control. So instead of trying to control it, I am offering some advice on how to go about it. Be careful of the sources you are getting your information from. Limit how much you are reading that is related to the situation. Make sure you are getting a variety of sources to compare and do your research! The reason I try to avoid social media during this time is because this is a HUGE concern. You cannot believe everything you see on the internet (or on tv for that matter) and the ability to share false information has gotten out of hand. There are fake news sites that are being shared and information that people claim as facts that may not be the case at all. All I ask is that you do your research first before believing (or reposting) anything you see on social media. Make sure your sources are legitimate and beneficial. The hearsay on socials is a major cause of stress and anxiety.
Along with these tips, your mind needs taken care of in other ways too! A way to help this is to give yourself a schedule. Times are hard right now and we find ourselves diving deeper and deeper into our electronics, the news, and tv right now, so break those habits. Make your life feel somewhat normal again and make a schedule. It doesn’t have to be elaborate or go into detail with every single thing you should do in the day, but a basic schedule will help you (and your family) survive the stir craze that I am sure is consuming your lives. One thing I will suggest to add to your schedule is that you cut out any type of technology (or just cut out your research/social media intake) before you go to bed. This is easily something that can help improve your sleep in general, which who doesn’t like getting a good night’s rest?
Another suggestion for improving your mental state is making sure that you are connecting with others. There are so many ways to go about this with technology and it is so beneficial for everyone. We are in a state of isolation and so are others. Take this time to reach out and check on the people you care about, it not only helps you but will help them feel better too. Be intentional, and reach out to others. Even if it’s just to see how someone else is doing, I’m sure it will make both of you feel so much better and not so isolated during this time.

Emotions
I know it seems like emotions should go hand in hand with mind, but I feel like our emotions are something we need to focus on specifically at times and can also be one of the hardest things to control (especially right now). One thing that everyone should be aware of is that we may not be able to control the current situation, but it WILL get better. Find some positive aspects of the current situation. Change is inevitable in any situation, it is a part of life, which we are all aware of (even if we don’t like the idea of it.) Look at the bigger picture of the stressful situation and remind yourself of the good that is happening. People are working together and being more helpful. You’re able to spend more time with your family at home having family dinners, playing games, and making memories that you may not have had time to do before.
During all of this, make sure you are paying attention to your needs and feelings. Everyone has them and is entitled to them. You’re allowed to feel what you want during this time, but that doesn’t mean to push it onto others either. It’s okay to get your feelings out, but you should be considerate of other people’s feelings as well. A good way to get your feelings and emotions out is by writing them down. I try to journal regularly to get thoughts out of my head. That way I am not dwelling on them and I can move on to other thoughts. Use this opportunity to discover yourself. Self-discovery is important. You may learn things about yourself that you didn’t know before and you can try things that you haven’t had a chance to (within reason of course.) So why not listen to your emotions and thoughts in order to find out things about yourself. This can be liberating and help you grow as an individual in so many ways.

We take self-care for granted and it is so important to make sure we are happy and healthy in every way possible right now. That means taking time for you and making sure that your needs are met.