Taking PLAY Seriously at Small Country Campground

As Virginia’s Funnest Campground – we take play very seriously!


We ensure there are lots of great ways to play – and new ways to play added each year.

Our grounds, playgrounds, lake, pool, bouncing pillow, lake toys and mini golf course engage more families each year. We facilitate lots of fun options each weekend, including firetruck rides, rides on our “Hey” wagon, water games, corn hole tournaments as well as offer game boards!

Our families love to visit Small Country Campground because we take play seriously. It’s great for a family to have a ‘get away’ from the routine, escape from technology and schedules, and engage with one another in a safe and gorgeous environment. We ensure each year the campground offers more and better ways to play. And this week we’re unpacking the importance of play!!!


Play Advances Child Development

Play is essential to all aspects of a child's development - from the well beings of their minds, bodies, emotions and sense of community. Take a look at our new and improved bouncing pillow and imagine the muscles, coordination, and sense of group being developed by these adventurers!

Parent's Full Engagement

Playing together offers an opportunity for parents to engage fully with their children. It's terribly important for a child to benefit from the undivided attention and delight of their parents. Sometimes this is referred to as high quality family time. Take a look at one of our campgrounds here at Small Country and imagine yourself chasing your little one through this! 

Creativity and Imagination

Play allows children to use their creativity while developing their imagination and strength - so important for brain development! Play allows children to create and explore a world they can master, conquering all their fears while practicing adult roles with playmates and parents. Imagine yourself at our campground - in a safe environment with many ways in which you can select to enjoy your playful adventures.

Mastering Their World

As children master their world, play helps develop new competencies that lead to enhanced confidence and resiliency needed to face future challenges. This is a scavenger hunt where together this team succeeded at getting all of the right pieces!

Undirected Play

Undirected play allows children to learn how to work in groups, share, negotiate, resolve conflicts and learn self-advocacy skills. When play is allowed to be child driven, children practice decision making skills, move at their own pace, discover their own areas of interest and engage fully in the passions they wish to pursue. Here at a game night - we give time to the children to choose their own activities with adults. 

Play by Childrens Rules

Although much of play should include adults, it's not idea for play to be controlled by adults -- because children agree to adult rules and concerns and lose some of the benefits play offers - developing creativity, leadership and group skills. One of the most populated play areas is our pool on these hot days, as usual!!!

Active Bodies

Passive entertainment doesn't build active healthy bodies like play!!! Unstructured play is a great way to increase physical activity levels in children. This group game on one of our playgrounds kept children moving for the whole afternoon!

Simple Joy!

Above all, play is a simple joy that is a cherished part of childhood! 


There's something about getting out in the water that calms the mind and soothes the soul. While we do definitely take fun seriously, Small Country also attracts couples seeking some quality time away in nature - and the water offers that to you.

Enjoy a Nature Walk or Hike Around the Lake

You can enjoy Lake Ruth Ann before you even get wet! Our gorgeous lake is surrounded by a two miles of hiking trails. Enjoy views of the lake from every direction, and some quality bird spotting and identify leafs along the way!

A Source of Beauty Around the Campground

Camping by a lake means those calming and soulful lake views are around every corner. Even if you're not in the water, the lake brings with it nature, sounds, wildlife, and a clear sky - a great space to BBQ or even walk in the evenings or stargaze at night.

Top Repellant Ideas for Camping: Mosquitoes

We’ve collected the best of the best advice on how to repel mosquitoes during your camping trip.

Take a look at our exhaustive list below and pick a few options to add to your gear on your next trip!

Lemon Eucalyptus Essential Oil

Mosquitoes just don’t like these oils, so when you put them on your skin they won’t like you either. Mix a half teaspoon of lemon eucalyptus essential oil with a cup of water in your spray bottle and apply to your skin as you would any other spray repellant.

Destroy their Breeding Sites

The most effective method of warding off mosquitoes is to identify and destroy their breeding sites. Locate the sources of standing water within a radius of several miles. Mosquitoes prefer still water for laying eggs and usually steer clear from aerated or circulating water. Common sources of standing water include: puddles, buckets, bird baths, rain gutters, downspouts, ditches, garbage cans.

Introduce Natural Predators

The gambusia fish, also known as the western mosquitofish, eats mosquito larvae. Dragonflies are a top predator of mosquitoes – dragonfly larvae live in the water and feed on mosquito larvae, and adult dragonflies eat adult mosquitoes. Other species with an appetite for mosquitoes include ants, ground beetles, spiders, water striders, frogs and snails. Birds such as purple martins and bats have also play a role in managing insect populations, including mosquitoes.

Use Your Garden

Some gardeners swear by certain types of geranium plants to keep mosquitoes at bay. Others grow lemon thyme and lemongrass to yield oils that are supposed to serve as effective insect repellents. Other herbal remedies recommended for battling mosquitoes include mountain mint and even basil.

Citronella Candles

Citronella candles, which contain oil made from lemon-scented plants that are native to Asia, have long been used for this purpose. Citronella is an oil that is considered a natural insect repellant. Many companies make candles infused with citronella oil and a few lit candles can be effective around camp. Though they aren’t typically strong enough to ward away the masses, citronella candles do minimize the bugs.

Catnip Oil

Scientists have also reported that oils found in catnip can be effective at repelling mosquitoes.

Light Colored Clothing

Put on light-colored, loose clothing (mosquitoes are attracted to darker colors). 

Electric Fan

Nothing beats an old-school house fan. It’s clear that mosquitoes avoid flying through a 10-mile-per-hour airstream. The fan also provides steady wind while diluting and dispersing the carbon dioxide you exhale — a major chemical known to attract mosquitoes. However, fan control solutions may be difficult at campsites without electricity.Mosquitoes can fly but they are terrible at it. You can use that to your advantage by using a fan and blowing it across the area where you will be sitting. It should be just enough to disrupt their flying and they will avoid the area because they feel off balance. If you don’t have electricity, hope for a good, steady breeze.


Lavender has considered a natural insect repellant and a number of sunscreens have lavender oils for a little-added bug protection.

Avon’s Skin so Soft

Avon’s Skin So Soft products are considered by many people to be the most effective insect repellant that does not contain DEET.

Raw Garlic

Garlic is also thought to ward the bugs away, but you’ll have to eat a lot of raw cloves to see any results. Many people swear that garlic steers bugs away from them. It doesn’t hurt to try, so why not add a few extra cloves of garlic to your dinner!

Insect Repellant Clothing

A few outdoor clothing companies make clothing with insect repellent in the fabric. These shirts actually work well. You can also by a wash and treat your own clothing. The advantage of wearing treated clothing is that you don’t have to put toxic creams or sprays on your skin.

Mosquito Coil

Mosquito coils can also be effective around your campsite. The pyrethrum-infused coils emit a repelling scent and smoke. A few coils placed strategically can help decrease the mosquitos.

Mosquito Repellent Lantern

There are camping lanterns that are customized for insect repelling. A removable cartridge on these lanterns emits a scent that fights the bugs and keeps them away from the lantern’s vicinity. These insect repelling lanterns have removable cartridges that need to be replaced.

Screen Room

When all else fails, the clothing, the repellant, candles, coils and lanterns just won’t keep the bugs away, consider a screen room. Try to purchase a screen that has openings that zipper from the bottom up and are located in the centre. The D-opening style I would not recommend if you are a family with small children, as they are a tripping hazard. Remember to make sure the entire bottom of the tent is sitting flush on the ground. Place rocks on the lower flap. Mosquitoes are heat seekers, so even the tiniest of holes allows them to enter.


Not only is coconut practically the official smell of summer, but it’s also said to be a natural bug repellant. Use coconut soap to wash yourself, and finish up by rubbing coconut oil into your skin. Bugs should steer clear, and your skin will be gloriously soft.

Be Smell-less

Aside from a little coconut, you should aim to smell like nothing at all. Bugs love our fragrant perfumes, colognes, shampoos, shaving creams, deodorant… the list goes on. Opt for unscented products to blend into the environment as well as possible.


The number one chemical product on the market is NN-Diethyl – Meta-Tolumide or as we know it “Deet”. Although it is harsh in smell, Deet does work wonders.

Pure Peppermint Oil

Natural Peppermint oil can be dabbed directly on skin, clothing, picnic table, umbrellas, tent‘s or wherever you need protection.