Growing in Every Way

Colin Monner

Hi! Welcome to another A Stones Throw RV Campground Blog Update!

Our last blog was in the middle of April and this maybe the first time we’ve got to sit down since then! We’ve been run off our feet getting the campground ready with such a late spring, and I don’t know if it has rained since? Mowing and grass whipping the 50 acres of our development is no small task on a good day. But mow and whip we did and really got the place looking sharp for the opening of our second season!

Mother’s Day Tradition

We love our birds at A Stones Throw RV Campground whether they are big or small. We have found a few Killdeer nests and saw our first little puff ball babies running around, so little and cute!! I tried to get a photo with my iPhone and had no luck, too small and quick to capture at the time. Other babies have been born as well!
On the second weekend of May we had our second annual “Goose Herding” down to the reservoir. What is a Goose Herding you ask? Well let me enlighten you for a second, picture this if you will. Within the off-leash dog park for small dogs only is a rather large hill, maybe the biggest in the whole campground! On top of this large hill that is surrounded by page wire so furry friends can not run away is a Goose nest nestled on the very top. From the top of this hill, one can see 360° around for miles.
What I’m trying to describe to you is a very secure location to make a nest and protect the wee little ones. Shortly before Mother’s day the eggs hatched and out came the goslings, four in total this year. Within a few days they started to walk the parameter of the dog park, pacing along the fence back and forth looking for a way out.
An empty nest left on top of the hill with bits of egg shell and fluff.
On Mother’s Day May 14th early in the morning my Dad Michael, Father-in-Law Brian and myself opened up the gates to the dog park. Walking slowly along the fence we end up walking behind the family of Canadian Geese. With Dad in the middle behind them, Brian behind on the right and myself behind on the left we ushered the family of six across the 50 acres of development down the road past the North Washhouse and then the South Washhouse finally reaching the gate to the water.
The gate to the water is designed as a sliding barn door, and with it open the goose family walked right on through it and got excited when they saw the water, cooing and and squawking in a louder more excited fashion. It was really neat to be a part of that little experience.
Walking along our very secure dog fence the family walked right through the opened gate while we slowly walked behind them at a good distance.
The first building to cross was the North Washhouse, it is surrounded by large red stones that we pulled up from the reservoir when we dug in the flock tank for a spill way. They did not stop to use the bathroom or showers incase you were wondering.
Walking down the road the new family has already walked across 25 acres of land, only 25 more to go!
Walking past the South washhouse (which we surrounded with large black stones), we thought they were starting to sense the water near to the south.
On the south end of the campground development is the Community Garden and the Horseshoe Pits that you can see in the background near the bench. In the distance you can see world class Alberta Beef grazing in the pasture, we’re lucky living here in an especially beautiful part of the Alberta Prairies 🙂
The gated access to the reservoir is fashioned to look like a barn with a sliding door, and through that gate walked the family of geese who will soon get their eyes onto the water below.
Making it successfully to the water the new family had their first swim, the babies took to the water like they had been swimming for years, nature is amazing 🙂

Store/ Office is Now Open for Business

In our last Blog update we got to chat about the Store/Office development over the winter and this spring. On the Friday before the May Long Weekend we opened up the Store/Office to our guests, we’re shocked by how much traffic it has received already and we are just getting started! We’ve got some great reviews and suggestions for new items in the future.
Our goal is “Commerce for the Community” and we are excited to bring Farm-to-Table opportunities for local producers. In the coming months we strive to offer guests farm fresh eggs, lamb, beef, chicken, turkey and more! We have even reached out to the Milo Art Society in hopes that we can shed some light on some of the incredible local talent around Milo.
In conjunction with our Store/Office we host Farmers Markets on the Long Weekends where we do our best to give producers a chance to sell their wares. We do not charge a commission or percentage and we do not charge for table space because vendors have to bring their own! If you stand behind a quality product that our guests could enjoy we would love to hear from you!
We are quite proud of the opening of our Store/Office, it’s been a long process getting to this point. It’s exciting knowing this is our first kick at the can, we have big dreams and feel that this is a great start!
In this corner we focus on conversation and coffee offering a free take one/leave one book shelf, free coffee bar and a cork board for local businesses, contractors and trades that have given us exceptional service over the years.
In our Store we incorporate the tax into the price so when a kid comes in with a loonie, they can leave with candy bar that costs a loonie, here a buck is a buck.
We have great pride of the Community of Milo, it really is a special place and our guests are finding that out too. Above some of our Camping Gear is a street photo of Milo in 1928, one of five printed by the Glenbow Museum and we feel awfully lucky getting to display it to our guests.
We love the Arts, growing up in this community I’m amazing by the local talent. We greatly cherish the paintings, dried flowers, and craft that we were gifted and taught from our past neighbour Lois Deitz. With her in mind we wanted to offer some shelves in our Store to help display the incredible art created locally.
Candy makes you dandy 🙂
As a family we know it can be hard to keep kids entertained. We thought it would be nice to have a big rack of games that guests can use for the day at no cost, it’s a way to discover a new family favourite! When we heard a guests had rented a hand held post pounder we thought we could save the drive for future guests so we purchased one and have it available for guest to use.

Community Garden

Pun intended… Our Community Garden is growing! With over 100 feet square we have lots of room to grow in every which way. Including our own garden we have 24 plots each 15×15 feet square in size. Guests are excited to try growing new things, we’re impressed with all of the seed purchases and of course the diligent gardeners who have started corn and tomatoes in March!
This year we have introduced bins for weeds and garden trash as well as more water barrels. Our hydrant for water runs off a low PSI pump so we’ve been experimenting with different kinds of sprinklers to help soak garden plots. Each year we get the chance to learn and grow, it’s exciting to see how our garden has over doubled in size from last year and who knows what we have in store years from now!? What I do know is that what does not get taken home at the end of the year will get donated to the FCSS Food Bank in Vulcan, every little bit counts!
We placed two benches at the Community Garden, they are a nice place to sit and rest as well as offering some shade for the furry friends.
We like to say the irrigation is provided but you have to do the weeding! We want our guests to have success in the garden and we do our best to help. We wanted the garden to be ready by Mother’s Day this year and already lots of things are popping out of the ground 🙂
We gridding out 100 feet square every 10′, with that done we then created two 15′ plots with a 5′ pathway running between each 30′ section. Areas with W dots are for Water Barrels and C dots are for tools and weeds. The space not used for guests plots in the north has been turned into a Community Pumpkin Patch, the sky is the limit!

Garbage Bins

We do not have a money tree to shake, often we have to think outside of the box and figure out how we can make things ourselves. If you get pricing around you would be shocked to discover how much garbage bins can cost! Everything seems to cost more nowadays but a simple receptacle to hold trash is apparently not that simple! Hundreds of hours of engineering must go into the design and fabrication of these plastic bins, nothing is as simple as you might think!
Last year we had the opportunity to recycle some fertilizer bins into garbage cans. A big thanks to Nutrien Ag Solution in Milo for helping us find our barrels! As with life you might learn a thing or two if your eyes are open, and last year we discovered that without lids the plastic will warp and distort when out in the sun. They did a great job for us this year but we thought we could do better, and so we did!
This year we recycled some old metal hand railing into a cage to hold garbage bins (last year we tied them to a fence post). This allows us to place more bins out into the campground and ensure they can’t blow away. Another improvement are the lids which will help keep bags in place. Lids with holes cut in them are for empty pop cans and bottles which we recycle 🙂
When we made a spillway out of a 52′ long flock tank off of the dam we removed the handrails. With a little cutting and figuring things out we managed to make 3 holding racks for garbage bins, one at each building.
Filled with garbage bins we think these racks will do a good clean job holding bins. We did consider larger industrial bins for garbage but personally we don’t care for them as they usually stink and end up with wasps. It’s more work changing out more bins but we think the benefit is worth it 🙂
The garbage bins that we made last year did not receive any lids and the barrels really warped due to the heat of the sun. Live and Learn, we made lids this time!

New Arrivals

This May we had the opportunity to help park the 50th RV trailer in the campground! It felt like a bit of a milestone, a nice round number. With 167 sites available we have a lot of room to grow but is certainly exciting to see the growing interest and word of mouth our development is receiving.
We give tours almost everyday, campers interested in this year or the next. We often receive a comment about being able to find us, why is there is no signage along the highway? It is a good question and we have a good answer for it too! We want to grow slow through word of mouth, it’s often the best form of advertising. We don’t want to grow too big too fast. We’re not interested in waving a flag and attracting everyone. We want to be that Hidden Gem and we are off to a good start!
We are a quiet, peaceful environment and how could we maintain that if we had signs off the highway? We do not advertise at Lake McGregor and we don’t post our location off the highway. If you know about us it’s because you’ve got some good people in your life. We are a home for good people, we know we can’t make everyone happy and we don’t intend to either! We attracted an incredible group of people on our first year last year and this year is much the same! If you know of someone who might appreciate the singing of birds or a prairie breeze in the grass you let them know about A Stones Throw RV Campground, good things to good people!

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