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! 

Reflection

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.

Unexpected Benefits of a Game of Mini-Golf

One of our campers favorite ways to play is spending some time on our mini-golf course!

This week we unpacked some of the unexpected benefits of a game of mini-golf on the body, mind and on relationships!

 

If you are looking for a fantastic family friendly activity that everyone will enjoy, check out an afternoon of mini golf. Enjoy mini golf in the context of our Small Country Campground experience — surrounded by the Virginia Hardwood Trees that made us famous.

We opened our 18-hole championship-level course in 2014. It allows play by all disability levels as well. The course was designed by the owner and Bob Horwath, a professional mini golf course designer. Holes range from very easy to very challenging.

Check out some of the best benefits of mini-golf – and some of our favorite action shots on our course!

Cardio

Miniature golf offers cardiovascular exercise  - you can burn around 300 calories during a game of mini golf.  Adults, seniors and especially children may not need to burn calories for weight loss - but everyone benefits from burning off energy to better enjoy times of quiet. Walking off the energy, swinging the club, chasing a ball and chasing friends around the course delivers all of that. Swinging works large muscle groups while bending and squatting works legs. 

Math Skills

Miniature golf makes use of math at each hole, to calculate your score. Even simple math is a workout for the mind to keep it sharp and growing in the summer season!


Memory

Another benefit to the brain - mini golf requires you exercise your memory. At every green you have to remember how many strokes you took to reach the hole!

Hand-Eye Coordination

Hand-eye coordination is a skill that is improved when playing miniature golf. Whether your are developing your fine motor skills, or ensuring they remain sharp, as you play you work on precision control of the actions that direct your ball towards its destination. This translates into better reading and thinking.

Strategic Thinking

Logic is required to adjust the swing for the target. This requires decision making tools.  The planning of the shot will engage the brain in thoughts about speed, tempo, direction and line.

Patience

Miniature golf requires patience. Each player should be afforded the time to complete their turn so each player needs to wait patiently for their competitors to play. This is a major character trait and improve each person's ability to work cooperatively with others. 

Relationship Moments

Everyone remembers those moments when as a child you observe a skill of your dad's and try to emulate it! Many kids admire and want to be like their parents! Playing mini-golf as a family is a great way to show off your skills and educate your children.

Outdoor Health

Enjoying mini-golf outdoors leads to an increased confidence, improved creativity and self-esteem. Natural settings rejuvenate and calm the mind and improve outlook. This may also improve your mood, as well as reduce stress, anxiety and depression.

Fun!

Most of all - mini-golf is engaging and fun - while not requiring the time and financial investment that you and your children might not have for a full game of golf on a golf course. If you're looking for a way to entertain the family and engage both minds and bodies and deliver a memorable experience - mini golf is your answer! 

Our mini golf course has hosted team building activities for local business groups, membership and political organizations. Let us know if your group is interested in a visit!

Why Families Love Summertime at the Pool

You know summer has begun when the pool is open. 

Not all campgrounds in Virginia offer camping beside their own outdoor pool! Today we’re diving into a celebration of all of the ways to enjoy our own outdoor pool at Small Country Campground by unpacking all of the reasons families love summertime at the pool!

Healthy Family Fun

It's not really summer until the pool opens. Our families can't wait to head the pool! The best part - it's good for the body, engages the mind, provides an escape from the heat, and it's social time - where every child to enter the gates is a new play mate! 


The Thrill!

You know the thrill of hitting the water after a hot summer day -- the sound of your splash is followed by the chill as you're surrounded by water. There's nothing like it! 

Splash!

There's something about the water, isn't there, that just brings out the child in everyone... especially children! And nowhere is that more visible than at the pool. There's something about the safety of moving in the water that brings out our craziest moves!

Hanging with Your Buddies

Many of our most powerful childhood memories are based at the swimming pool - conspiring mischief with a buddy, inventing a game, attempting a physical feat or to bug the girls... some of the greatest friendships are forged by the edge of the water!

Learning a Life Saving Skill

Spending time in a swimming pool provides a level of comfort with water. In time, these skills evolve and accumulate into strength, ability to float and swim, ability to hold and control your breathing. It gives peace of mind to know that no matter what water adventures might be in the future, these skills may equip your family for survival!

Relationship Moments

Everyone remembers those moments when your dad holds you up in the water - teaching you to float - and promises not to let you go! What a beautiful image of the types of parent child learning experiences the pool brings!

Low Impact Cardio

Swimming is one of the best low-impact exercises - every member of your family can enjoy a workout without the impact. Cardio gets your heart rate up - giving your lungs additional strength. 

Reflection

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 floating in the water offers that to you in a way that nothing else can.

Outdoor Health

Enjoying the pool outdoors lead to an increased confidence, improved creativity and self-esteem. Natural settings rejuvenate and calm the mind and improve outlook. This may also improve your mood, as well as reduce stress, anxiety and depression.

Plan Your Stay

Here at Small Country Campground we take play very seriously!!! We’ve been working hard to add new ways to play and prepare for summer fun ahead of schedule! Take a look at our upcoming events through 2017 now available online and set your time to enjoy all the fun and recreation camping here offers!

Ways to Play when Camping by a Lake!

Everyone knows there is no better way than to take some time from the daily grind to enjoy nature. But, how much more awesome is it to enjoy nature… beside a lake!

Not all campgrounds in Virginia offer camping beside their own lake! Today we’re diving into a celebration of all of the ways to enjoy our own 25 acre lake, Lake Ruth Ann at Small Country Campground by unpacking all of the extra ways to play that camping beside a lake offers!

Soulful Views

Is there anything more epic than standing in front of a calm body of water, taking a breath of fresh air and enjoying some bird watching or the expansive sky?

Swim, Swim, Swim!

Nothing says it’s summer like getting your tykes into their swimwear and splashing into the lake! For parents, children and grandparents it’s good for the skin, for the heart and for the muscles!

Splash!

There's something about the water, isn't there, that just brings out the child in everyone... especially children! It's a fantastic feeling as a parent to see families come to Small Country and watch the parents enjoying fun with their children!

Paddle Board

We love to encourage families to bring their favorite lake toys! Paddle boarding on our lake is a fantastic way to have some fun and move quite fast and get a little sun while getting a little workout!

Beach!!!

Who doesn’t daydream of breaking out the beach chairs, the coolers, and the beach towels to enjoy some fun in the sun on a warm summer’s day? It’s not summer without some quality time at the beach!

Fishing

For those looking for an opportunity for quiet getaways, you can’t beat a sweet afternoon between a man and his fishing. Our Lake Ruth Ann is stocked with bass, bream, crappies, and channel catfish – some have reached citation sizes!

Boating

For an irresistible experience we encourage folks to bring their canoes and paddle boats! We don’t allow gasoline power, but we do offer own jon boats, paddle boats and kayaks for rent.

Our Famous Lake Toys!

Each year, we unveil a new giant lake toys!!! They offer hours of bouncing, twisting, climbing and splashing fun! One of our favorites is a 16 x 16 foot trampoline and a climbing and sliding wall. And we are very excited to announce the arrival in spring of 2017 of a spinner, an even larger ice climbing wall, and a diving platform.

Reflection

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.

Ways to Stay to Enjoy the Lake

There are several ways to stay at the lake. Our Historic Manor House and our Lake View Efficiencies both offer lake views. There are lake adjacent tent camping sites and our Park Models, and RV sites are only a stone’s throw away.

Featured Way to Play: Hiking

Hiking trails loop around Lake Ruth Ann and through the woods at the front of the campground. Great for walkers and bicyclers, they pass through some of the beautiful hardwoods of Virginia.

Virginia byways are some of the prettiest roads in the nation. Bicyclists love traveling these country roads. Two pass very close to the campground and running groups often use Small Country as a stop-over point as well. These drives are particularly beautiful with the autumn leaves.

The Quarter Deck is centrally located next to the mini golf course. With an expansive deck and tables it offers a great place to watch kids or friends play golf. It also offers a variety of table games for FREE, along with boat rentals and LOANER life jackets for the lake. You can also buy water balloons and play with the giant sling shot Water Wars.

Special Events range from Christmas and Mardi Gras and beach parties to Que and Cruz, the annual Championship BBQ contest that also offers an antique car show, vendors, music, and food.

Fall Ways to Play for the Family

Fall is a great time for camping, and we have a fantastic list of fall family camping activities that the whole family will enjoy on your next trip.

 

  1. Nature tic tac toe – This one is easy and great for kids and adults of all ages. The game remains the same, 3 in a row to win. But what makes this extra fun is that each player must find their own pieces around the campground. Rocks, pinecones, acorns, or some yellow leaves all work great as game pieces.
  2. Find the tree leaf hunt – Speaking of leaves, it is a great time of year to start pointing out which leaves belong to which trees. Make it a scavenger hunt and include a small prize. This game is fun for the whole family and teaches kids about nature.
  3. Study the stars and constellations – The five easiest constellations to spot are The Big Dipper, The Little Dipper, Orion, Taurus and, Gemini, learn how to spot them here – http://blog.eurekatent.com/5-constellations-everyone-can-find/
  4. Build a colorful fire together with just a few ingredients and a little pre-planning you can have an amazing display of color in your fall campfire! (http://www.smallcountry.com/taking-your-campfire-to-the-next-level/)
  5. A classic– I spy. There are so many different things around the campground and campsites, this game is sure to entertain the whole family for hours.
  6. For a twist on an old standby, try playing the alphabet game as you relax by the tent or hike along a trail. The idea is to find a natural object that starts with each letter of the alphabet and make it through the whole thing!
  7. Write campfire songs, create your own instruments. Use old hollow logs as drums, whistle, and get out some spoons! Anything works, just get creative! Write new songs or re make your favorites.

 

We hope you enjoy camping in the fall as much as we do and that these fall family camping activities come in handy this season!

Day Trip to Small Country Campground

During the busy days of back to school, it can be tough to find week day or weekend activities that are great for the whole family, and cost effective. Look no further, Small Country offers day passes to visit and enjoy the great amenities at our campground. This means the whole family can come for the afternoon after school, or from open to close on either day of the weekend, or on teacher work days!
Visiting for the day gives you access to all of the great play areas for the little ones. You can fish on the lake ( no fishing license required) or just relax on the beach and enjoy the view. Don’t forget that we also have horseshoe pits and hiking trails that dot the campground and are also available for day pass holders. If you visit during early fall, you may find that the pool is still open and we are still swimming in the lake as well!
While our Mini-Golf course and boat rentals are not included in the day pass price, they are still available for pass holders to purchase and enjoy at their discretion for just a few dollars more. So if Mom wants to relax by the lake and Dad wants to play Mini Golf, everyone can enjoy exactly what they like!
Day Pass guests can also enjoy most of the campground events. The only time this is not allowed is if we are serving dinner to campers.
Can you guess the best part? Day passes are only $15.00 per person! That is less than a movie ticket, and covers a whole day of excitement. Come on down and enjoy the day with us at Small Country. See you soon!

Campground Events for the Family to Love

Many popular locations offer campground events. Small Country Campground is no exception. Starting in the spring and running through the end of fall, there is an event here every weekend. Most events are included for campers, and guests who would prefer to visit for the day are welcome to join in on the festivities as well.

Campground events are a great way to get involved with the camping community.  You can mingle with other campers, let the kids play, and have a great time with new people who have similar interests to your own.

Three of Small Country’s most popular annual events include Que & Cruz, a day of barbecue competition, antique cars and trucks, food, vendors and music; MagStock, where geeks demonstrate their ability to generate computer game music; and our own Oktoberfest, with German food and music.

It doesn’t stop there! Small Country has become a popular destination for weddings, company picnics, family get-togethers, and camping clubs.

Our 3600 sq. ft. Pavilion provides inside space for weddings and dances, seating up to 400 people. Receptions for 200-300 can be done, as well. An outside deck of 24′ x 50′ adds significant additional space for dancing or entertaining.

The Song Shed is another great place to get married or hold a party. Musical events take place often. It is also the center of festivals with vendors of food and wine and other goodies.

The Island has been the site of several weddings. A bridge makes it ideal for activities and/or group camping.

Small Country has its own team of DJs who specialize in weddings and receptions, but who can spin any sound for your event. Contact Your Sound Choice website or give them a call at 540.223.3922.

Our very own catering team is Bill the Grill Guy, a barbecue specialist for certain but able to provide all types of food and all the courses from soup to nuts – salads, desserts, anything you need. Call Bill at 540.223.6329 or email him.

We hope to see you at an event soon!