GREEN BAY AREA REGIONAL NEWS: Brown County

Wisconsin Campgrounds considered essential housing, allowed to open

Coronavirus

DE PERE, Wis. (WFRV) — At Apple Creek Campground, opening day is usually April 1st.

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“We weren’t sure if we were going to be doing that, we kind of went back and forth,” Campground Manager Pam Packee told Local 5 Monday.

Despite those doubts, campers have already popped up, but it’s not quite the same crowd as ususal.

“We do have some traveling nurses and healthcare workers that kind of travel in their campers and need a place to stay,” Packee said.

Related: Fond du Lac County to close campgrounds under new order from public health officer

The state has deemed camp grounds essential businesses, in part because they’re housing essential employees.

Jennifer Stockwell is one of those essential employees: she’s a traveling nurse, set to start work in Green Bay soon.

“I work in ICU’s across the country on a contract basis,” Stockwell explained, “so we go to a new facility about every three months.”

Stockwell and her family are originally from Tennessee, but for almost two years now, they’ve traveled the country by RV.

“It’s just a great way to take your home from one place to the next rather than having new housing or an apartment everywhere we go,” she said.

Their lifestyle involves homeschooling, which means closures due to the pandemic largely haven’t impacted their day to day lives.

“Our daily routines haven’t changed as much as a lot of folks that were in traditional schools and had traditional out of the home jobs or relied on daycare,” Stockwell said.

Apple creek campground has also seen a minimal impact, but they’ve made changes.

“We are kind of riding it out and kind of making it up as we go along,” Packee said. “Like our store isn’t open right now, and our playground here is closed as well.”

Related: Oconto County issues order closing county campgrounds and boat landings

Packee explained that it’s early yet in the season for campgrounds.

“Things are a little bit different now and I think that might even continue a little bit into the summer,” she said.

Stockwell and her family plan to be here for the duration.

My contract goes until just after July 4th right now,” she said, “so hopefully we’ll get to stay all the way through that time they’ll need me, and if they need me longer, we’ll stay longer.”

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