Author: Brandon Giles
A Digital Presence
I believe my grandfather was an incredible man. He and my grandmother raised six children, cared for their elderly parents at home, worked full time, and built his business from nothing. He was old school. Not in an ironic way, like I sometimes think of myself. Really, honestly old school. As an example, I remember spending summers at Clearview as a kid and Pap listening to Pirates baseball on the radio. I didn’t really get it. Why would anyone listen to a sporting event that they could just as easily watch on TV?
He did not ever use a computer, nor did he ever process a credit card for his business. Old school. My modern Clearview needs to do both of those things, and well. So this winter was spent researching POS equipment and merchant servicing software. I’m pleased that in 2018, in the 44th year in operation, Clearview Campground accepts digital dollars. As evident by this website, we have moved into the millennium! While I admit that we’re starting small, I’m excited about the opportunities that integrating technology bring to the table. I can run the business from anywhere I have decent cell phone reception.
Pap would be amazed at everything we can do. Heck, I’m amazed. We now process your credit card from anywhere on the property. You can have your receipt printed, texted, or emailed. Analytics and insight come in immediately. Data syncs, records are accurate, and my accountant is happy. A little technology goes a long way! I will try to keep Clearview a little old school. That’s a lot of what I love about the place. Now that I understand the beauty of listening to baseball, I’ll keep the Bucs on the radio. I’m certainly not going to run the business without a computer. Now, if only I could get an app to side a building…
All this modern technology just makes people try to do everything at once. – Bill Watterson
Bill hit the nail on the head. I look at all that time I’m saving and think, “Gee, I really could be doing something else.” So what do I do? Tear down a building, and put it back up. Only this time with indestructible metal siding. I know what you’re thinking, and I was thinking it too. I don’t know anything about siding a building. That’s true, but I also don’t know anything about owning a campground. Why should a little detail like that get in the way? It couldn’t be that difficult.
Well, it turns out that while it’s not impossible to figure out, hanging twelve feet sheets of metal siding, in the rain, isn’t exactly a stroll in the park. Of course, one could wait for better weather, but I don’t really have a lot of free time, so waiting isn’t in my cards. Over two weekends, my father and I knocked out a pretty solid job. The crimson siding, and brown roof look fantastic together. More importantly, the old school office that my grandfather erected in 1974, will continue to function well into our digital age. Oh and I listened to sports while we worked. Only it was Penguins hockey, and it was playing from my cell phone instead of a radio. But I still think that’s a little old school.
The Journey Begins
Brandon and Kelly bought a campground.
Well, we did it. After much planning, and a lot of discussion, we bought the Giles family’s DuBois property and took over the business that my grandparents began in 1974. The transition took some time, but in the end we established a new LLC in order to better manage the company.
Our goal is to continue the tradition of making wholesome family fun in the great outdoors accessible to everyone. My grandfather, Duke, wanted his beautiful country hillside to be a retreat from the demands of modern living. In the 44 years my grandparents owned the campground, they had created a wonderful community of seasonal and regular campers. He built two pavilions on the property where he hosted numerous concerts, and barbeques. One of my greatest joys has been hearing all of the stories, and found memories that some of my clients share with me of these events.
In an effort to modernize the campground, we will be undertaking many projects. Some weekends will be spent tearing down walls and repairing roofs. Others will find us integrating merchant services in order to process credit cards (right?), executing a marketing strategy, or even just cutting the grass. We hope that our efforts will help to restore the energy and enthusiasm that my grandfather brought to Clearview.
This seems like a good way to organize my thoughts and plans, and share them. I look forward to taking the first steps on what promises to be an interesting journey. I pray that I can find the skills to grow the business over the next 44 years, cultivating enthusiasm for camping, respect for the environment, and a love of friends and family in a way that honors my grandfather’s memory.
Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton