So, If you follow me on Facebook (which if you don’t- why-ever not??? Hop over there and do so right away! http://www.facebook.com/andanothermonkey), then you saw where my husband and I recently went camping and hiking at Turkey Run State Park in Marshall, Indiana. While we were hiking, we got to brainstorming and landed on this idea that we thought was cool— we love camping, and we love hiking, and we love our state park system. And so, we thought we might embark upon a series (with no defined timeline) to review the Indiana State Parks and put that on my blog. Needless to say, I was a little surprised when DH got pretty excited and when I said, “Would you want to go by [real name] or an Alter-Ego/ Pseudonym?” He took me quite seriously. He is currently pondering potential Alter-Ego’s as I type :).
We thought of all sorts of things that needed to be considered in the parameters of our reviews while we were on the trail, and when we returned to our site we hashed them out on paper. I am going to lay them out here in this article- so that, one, you can decide if you want to follow this series (I, personally, think you should, because my husband has a pretty sharp sense of humor, and I think there will be some pretty cool one liners that will result from his contributions, but I am biased…), and two, it’s available for future reference and followers.
I am glad that he wants to be part of this because we consider different things to be important. For example, fishing is REALLY important to him, so the lack of availability to fish or claiming to have fishing but it being nearly impossible to do, would be something that he would notice. I wouldn’t. At all.
However, I would notice if there wasn’t a pool. Not that I am prone to using them (I am not), but because for some reason my brain wants the option. And I most certainly notice if there are playgrounds or not, and he doesn’t notice that at all.
So between us both (and possibly any friends who join us), we hope to be able to provide fair and comprehensive reviews.
A review will include the following information:
- A list of available amenities
- what amenities we took advantage of
- what amenities we didn’t take advantage of, but we did try to either talk to people about or look into, and what our impression was.
We will be using a star rating system. We think 5 stars. We feel that there are certain things that should not cause a park to receive reduced star marks. Those things include the following:
- Poor camp neighbors
- mother nature
- not catching fish
When we review an amenity, we will be looking at the following things:
- Availability of amenity
- ease of use of amenity
- quality of amenity
- cost of amenity if known.
Our full review criteria (as they are currently defined) are outlined in the PDF linked below:
Campground review sheet
Some amenities will not be included in reviews- namely, inns. We are campers, not inn-ers or whatever you call people who use inns. I am sure the inns are quite lovely, they appear to be from the outside, but we will not disturb inn guests to get a review. If you are looking for a review of the Inn at a state park, I apologize, chances are we will not have the information that you are looking for.
We can’t wait to post our first park review and pictures for you!!! We are so excited to embark on this adventure of exploring the hiking and camping that is right here in our own back yard so to speak!
~Anda and DH