At Isabel Vander Stoep / [email protected]
When Mineral Lake lit up green in the Saturday morning sun, people strolled around the lakeside Lions Den Campground with coffee mugs in their hands and smiles on their faces.
A man approached camp manager Tina Moore to say he just got the best sleep at Lions Den Campground of his life — he’s been there for 40 years.
Thanks to “hundreds of hours of work,” according to Lions Club vice president Stephen Meyer, camp has received major upgrades over the past few months. More than a dozen volunteers joined in the process. Upgrades were made for both aesthetic and safety purposes, such as repairing the sidewalks, cleaning up trash from the lake, adding new gravel and mulch to the ground, and installing a sign near the entrance with information on the history of the minerals.
Volunteers are also continuing with plans to add flowerbeds and other park-like features.
With the onset of the hunting season, the campsites were bustling with happy families on Saturday. The camp will now remain open until the beginning of December.
For decades now, the campground, which borders picturesque Lake Minerale, has occupied the same two campsites year after year rather than opening it up for reservation. Now, thanks to the efforts of the Lions Club, Lions Den has an online reservation system where campers can choose their locations on a map. Locations start at $35 per night with an occupancy of six. Lakefront sites, sites with electricity and water, and RV/trailer sites cost more.
Mayer recommended having a few campsites for a family reunion or similar event.
Before the promotions, Moore said people sold campgrounds for thousands of dollars even though the property was not theirs to sell.
In their efforts to reform the space, members of the Lions Club have seen some opposition from these people, especially on social media.
But the goal is: to make the city better. It is a non-profit organization. We can help the city more. All this for the benefit of everyone. “Companies here are winning,” Moore said.
The area will now also be able to host events for local children and those staying at the campground. During the Easter holidays, they host an Easter egg hunt.
“It feels great. Can we do more? Sure, we’re trying and it’s going to keep building, but the amount of time and work that’s been put into this — it’s been ‘strain, strain, push, push’,” Meyer said. It happens to this city, to this camp and to our club. It really is. All of this money is donated. There is a donor council. We don’t get paid to do this; It all goes to the community. We bought fire trucks. We put roofs in the fire station. We put docks here. We donate to the food bank. That’s what this applies to.”