Case Study: From Normandy to Lake Garda

This article on working on parks in Normandy and Garda was written by Brenda and Derek who worked for Canvas Holidays. Canvas operate on over 100 parks in Europe and take on several hundred staff each year to look after their customers.

Let’s travel around Europe,” we said, “let’s go camping.” Now bored with retirement we wanted to travel and have fun doing it. We discovered Canvas Holidays were looking for mature couples and the rest, as they say, is history!

To date we have managed French sites in Normandy and Brittany in 2007, and then Bella Italia, on the shores of Lake Garda, Italy in 2008. Each one has been different and there have been many challenges, which we’ve risen to, as well as the wonderful opportunity to explore Europe and get paid for it too.

From St Aubin, with 25 mobiles to montage whilst it was snowing to Carentec, another medium site, with 18 mobiles and 10 tents. Here we discovered we would be living in a tent village with nineteen 19 year olds, very interesting!

The first challenge on these sites was to remember where the Canvas units were situated! We made maps showing where our units were and map reading and bike riding simultaneously got easier each time.

Lake Garda, although a very large site was easier to manage as all our 23 units were laid out in three roads, end to end. All of our guests could see us in action and visiting was easy as we tended to see all of them at sometime during each day.

We have made so many new friends with our guests and with other couriers. Meeting up and exchanging stories encourages an instant camaraderie. The backup from Head Office is just a call away so we always feel comfortable with any situation, and there have been too many to describe now, wait for the book!

Every day is different and we enjoy seeing our guests into their mobiles and knowing they are going to have a great holiday. The only thing we can’t control is the weather which we have taken the blame for on more than one occasion!!

Having local knowledge has made us discover more than we would have dreamt of. We’ve had the opportunity to visit the D-Day landing beaches and battlegrounds, cemeteries and museums which was very moving.

We’ve explored many of the famous and historic towns and then in 2008, on my 60th had the opportunity to visit Venice, which was magical. Verona and Milan followed and it was wonderful to impart our new found knowledge to our guests when asked.

I have kept a diary noting our new outdoor life and am sure the eventual book will get written and lead to a blockbuster film. “Carry on Camping” has nothing on us!


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