Life As Camp Owners
Hi! My name is Michelle and my husband, Jason, and I bought Ross' Camp in December 2018 with our two children who were 8 and 6 at the time.
As two teachers who decided to leave our professions to pursue camp life, our friends and family had mixed reactions. Anywhere from "Wow! That's amazing!" to "Are you crazy??!!"
For those who are curious, here's a little taste of our first year!
After spending the fall at the camp and helping the previous owners while we prepared to buy the camp, and homeschooling our two children, we officially took over in December.
In January we decided to send the kids to school since homeschooling wasn't really what I had hoped for and pictured. The kids weren't really buying in and with Bella in Grade 1, I had to swallow my pride and send them to school since Mommy for a teacher wasn't working out so well. Luckily, the closest school is amazing and has wonderful teachers so they were more than happy there and Jason and I were more than happy to have some much needed time to get things done around the camp!
Winter was COLD and LONG but with so many new things to learn, it flew by! It also brought the usually 'living at the lake' challenges such as frozen water lines and power outages, but we managed to get through without any major issues.
We had a few ice fishing groups, and our contractors from the mine who live here year round, so we kept plenty busy. By May we had 23 guys staying with us who we were cooking for everyday! I felt like I was having huge family gatherings every night of the week (not to mention the laundry!), but it was great!
Spring was a little late this year so we had lots to get done in a short amount of time. The bait shop and new front docks were the projects on the go. We did some clearing of trees to open up the view of the lake, planted flowers and an herb garden, and did A LOT of raking! Thankfully we had some extra help in May so everything got done and the yard was looking great in no time.
Before we knew it, our first fishing guests were arriving for the summer and we didn't have our first "breather" until into August where we were able to take a few nights and go camping as a family - all the way to Sioux Narrows, a whole hour away! hahaha
Jason fished a few tournaments in July and August and I was able to sneak away to visit family a couple of times. Thank goodness for a wonderful staff you can trust while you take off for a few days!!
The guests we met were nothing short of amazing! Everyone was so friendly and in "vacation mode" so you can't help but feel their excitement and that you are also on a bit of a vacation yourself! Even though we were working, there really isn't a better place to work and it certainly didn't feel like work.
We had many new guests, and some that have been coming to the camp for over 20-30 years! It was so neat to hear some of their stories about how the camp was years ago.
We had quite a few families stay with us this year and tried out some activities for the children such as scavenger hunts, crafts, games and outdoor movies. They went over so well and I'm looking forward to planning more for next summer!
Fall also felt short this year. We didn't seem to get the beautiful fall colours like the previous year because it got cold and windy so quickly that the leaves didn't have a chance to stay on the trees for long.
We got all of the cabins winterized early in October and it wasn't long after that that the cold temperatures started. We had some hunting groups stay with us in October and November and by Christmas we had our "usual" crews of nine contractors.
And that's a wrap!
Our first year was certainly a whirlwind, but a very successful one. We couldn't have asked for a better year to help solidify our decision to become camp owners. We were able to end our year by taking a family vacation to Disney World which we treated like a celebration for surviving our first year.
We are excited for many more years and can't wait to see how camp life unfolds!
Feel free to drop a comment below - we'd love to hear from you!