Mt Pleasant News

Wash Journal   Fairfield Ledger
Neighbors Growing Together | Jul 23, 2018

For many, choice between glamping or camping comes down to tradition

Aug 29, 2017
Photo by: Grace King Mike Truntz from Wisconsin and Jim Ganoni from South Dakota sit outside what they’ve dubbed “the tour bus” enjoying the peacefulness of camping on the Old Threshers grounds.

By Grace King, Mt. Pleasant News


Vernetta Zimmerline has been setting up a modest tent on the Old Threshers grounds since she was a teenager 40 years ago.

This year, Zimmerline shares a tent with her daughter Alicia Baxter and granddaughter Dakota Harding, who don’t mind living “rustically” once a year. The trio traveled from Des Moines on Friday afternoon, Aug. 25, and are spending a total of 10 days on the grounds — going to garage sales and relaxing before visiting all the traditional Old Threshers places once the festivities begin on Thursday.

As they fussed with the sun screen to cool down the tent a little as the clouds moved in and out on Monday afternoon, campers and RVs could be seen steadily rolling onto the grounds. This is the largest amount of reservations made on the campgrounds, with 382 spots reserved, not including those people coming in and getting the spots left open, CEO of Midwest Old Threshers Terry McWilliams said during a Kiwanis meeting on Monday afternoon.

Although Baxter appreciates the tradition of tent camping, she said that Old Threshers is her “one time a year.” Even so, she emphasized the importance of having indoor plumbing with a toilet that flushes and a decent shower.

Deeper into the campground, Mike Truntz sits outside what he calls a “bus” that includes a microwave, dishwasher and a washer and dryer. Traveling from Wisconsin, Truntz’s friend Jim Ganoni, who has an RV just as large as Truntz’ one camp site over, joked that the group was actually a rock band and this was their tour bus.

“We used to do tent camping years ago,” Truntz said. “Now I need a king-size mattress.”

Denis and Jean Krogmann’s camping site falls somewhere in between a tent and a “tour-bus” RV. They estimate that they’ve been attending Old Threshers for 27 years. They have had their pop-up trailer for 10 years, and for them, it’s holding up just fine.

“I sleep at one end and she sleeps at the other,” Denis said.

The children and grandchildren join them at Old Threshers shortly after Denis and Jean arrive, and the grandchildren usually find their way to their grandparents cabin to sleep. For the Krogmanns, Old Threshers is a vacation and family reunion all rolled into one. As they sat in front of their camper, Jean worked on cross-stitching and Denis worked on his word search.

Although the camper puts a limit on their storage space, Denis said he has the back of his pickup truck for anything that doesn’t have a place in the camper.

For all the campers mentioned, one of the most memorable experiences of the campground is the friends they make. And although for Zimmerline, she says so many of the people she used to see in the 40 years she’s attended Old Threshers have passed away, she is grateful that now she gets to share the traditions with her granddaughter Harding and watch her make lifelong friends here too.

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