Camping Twin Mills Camping Resort in Indiana
Camp Indiana: I’m talking with Paul this morning. He is the Property Manager for Twin Mills Camping Resort in Indiana. Paul, why don’t you get us started by giving us a little bit of background about Twin Mills Camping Resort?
Paul: Well, first, thanks for having me. The simple background regarding Twin Mills Camping Resort located in Northeast Indiana and the Town called Howe, which is a couple miles south of the Indiana-Michigan State line, we’ve got about 180 acres of land here, straddling state road 120. The key to this part of the camping world, if you will, is we have two different feelings of campgrounds in the same camping complex. What I mean by that is on one side, on the north side of the road, we’ve got about 80 acres or so where it’s a little more active. Our swimming pool is there. Our sports courts are there. Our lake access is there. So, it’s much more active. That’s also where our recreation hall is, our camp store and our arcade.
So, the activities are basically on the north side of the road. On the south side of the road, again we have roughly 80 to 11 acres, give or take, where it’s much more quiet. That’s the kind of camping if you’re looking to be kind of off to yourself, maybe just stay on the camping site, if you will, and just setup the fire and have a couple of cold beverages and hang out with your friends and family. So, we can kind of cover both bases when it comes to what kind of camping you’re looking for. You want to be active? We’ve got that. You want to be a little more mellow and hang out with friends and family? We’ve got that too.
Camp Indiana: Awesome. Very unique. That’s one of the first parks I’ve talked to that has a division like that, and you certainly get both types of campers. Now, you have tent all the way up to RV I’m assuming.
Paul: That’s correct. We do offer the primitive campsite, which is nothing more than dirt and grass, if you will, with a picnic table and a fire ring with a community water spicket all the way up to the pull-through sites that have 50amp to 100amp service and can take the biggest of rigs. So, 45-foot monsters that you see driving by and you go: “Whoo.”
Camp Indiana: Yeah.
Paul: We can take them too.
Camp Indiana: Perfect. Now, what are the favorite activities for people in the Park?Paul: Well, dodge ball. Now, this is going to sound strange. I’m from Chicago and dodge ball was an interesting game when I was growing up. I’m only 41 now, so growing up, dodge ball was something that was kind of, let’s just say for fun, popular. But here at Twin Mills, dodge ball is over the top for the kids. What I mean by that is it’s eight ‘o clock in the morning on a Saturday in the middle of June and there’s 30 kids out there playing dodge ball, and they’ll play all day long. It’s unbelievable. I don’t understand it. I don’t get it. I think it’s fantastic, but you sit back and go: “How many times can you get hit in the head with one of these dodge balls before you finally stop playing the game?” But these kids love it. So, without question, the runaway leader in terms of kids activities without a doubt is dodge ball.
Camp Indiana: That’s amazing. And think about back to – you and I are roughly the same age. When I was in Grade School, dodge ball was the thing, man. You just couldn’t. We were so stoked. It was unbelievable.
Paul: Yeah. And I didn’t think it was any big deal anymore, but coming from Chicago and this upcoming will be my second season here, it’s incredible how popular dodge ball is here, because you can’t play it anywhere else on a campground scenario that I’ve found in the area. In my area, I go out and go a hundred miles trying to find areas where you can do certain things for activities. And our two dodge ball courts are the only dodge ball courts in that 100-mile radius.
Camp Indiana: Wow.
Paul: So, these kids come and I’m telling you they’re crazy. Even the parents get involved. You just sit back and you watch it, and it’s just like wow. It’s really, really cool, yet weird at the exact same time.
Camp Indiana: Amazing. So, dodge ball occupying the number one slot clearly. What are some other activities people like to do at the Park?
Paul: Well, there’s a lot of activity going on in our lake. We have lakefront access or lake access with a beach area to the South Twin Lake, which is connected to the North Twin Lake by a small causeway. Each lake is about 130 acres or so, so there’s a decent amount of boating, although they’re no wake lakes. Lots of pontoons. Lots of rowboats. Paddle boats. Canoes. Those sorts of things. And we rent the rowboats, paddle boats, canoes, and kayaks here at Twin Mills. But the big thing that we have is we try and draw people towards the lake, giving them activities in the water. Those sort of things. And an example would be, and I would ask you and anybody listening, when was the last time you played, with your family, tug-o-war? That game where you get a 100-foot rope. That rope is two or three inches in diameter and you’ve got ten people on each side and you’re pulling like crazy to pull the other one down.
Camp Indiana: Yeah.
Paul: Well, now put that about five feet into water. Okay, so the water is hip or chest deep, same teams, and now think of when was the last time you even tried that. And I’ll get a video of it and throw it up on YouTube. I’m telling you it’s amazing. We’ll have 300, 400, or 500 people watching these games because these are things you don’t get to do.
Camp Indiana: Right. Right.
Paul: Yeah. Another example would be drawing people to the beach is think of a canoe race. Okay. Now, some people might say, oh, you get a canoe and you just paddle from one side to the other. Well, the idea here, what we do at Twin Mills is totally different. If you know what a dizzy stick is your eyes will immediately start rolling. Think of your team of four, so it’s you and three people. And you’ve got your back to the beach, and on the count of three you jump up out of your chair and you grab a dizzy stick, which is nothing more than a three-foot pole.
Camp Indiana: Yeah.
Paul: And you spin around ten times and now you’re dizzy, now you’re disoriented, but now you’ve got to stop spinning, grab your bore, run onto the canoe, and while you’re getting your bearings not only do you have to get into a canoe, which is hard enough as it is when you’re not, but get everybody in, get everybody seated and shove off and then paddle about I’m going to say it’s maybe about 60 yards, maybe 70 yards out, turn around and come back. And what we have – my goal is not to have people win or lose the race. My goal is to have people sinking, quite frankly, because it’s so unbelievably funny. The water is not that deep, so it’s not really a fear thing. But we’ve ran over the past season – 70% of all the teams that were trying to race sank in one way, shape or form. And it’s the funniest thing. Nobody cares who wins.
Camp Indiana: Right.Paul: When somebody sinks. We actually had a team of four about 60 yards off land just sink. It was the funniest thing. They just sat there and then, all of a sudden, one of them leaned the wrong way and sure enough there goes the canoe. Now, everybody was fine. Don’t think anything bad happened, but you know, just the visual of four people sitting in a canoe and then, in ten seconds, the canoe is gone and they’re just kind of bobbing there. It’s absolutely hysterical.
Camp Indiana: Wow. So, a lot of unique activities there. It sounds like an absolute blast.
Paul: We try and have a lot of fun here or as much fun as we possibly can. Our activities run from roughly Friday afternoon all the way to Sunday afternoon, and we’re trying to hit for the little kids, the medium-aged kids, all the way up to the kids who are 80 and 90 years old, because you’ve got to keep people active. Sitting at the campfire is one thing, but at the same time, when you can sit at your campsite and have a golf kart parade of anywhere from 50 to 100 golf karts go by on a Saturday night and they’re all throwing candy, these are things that just don’t happen in normal experiences.
Camp Indiana: No, they don’t.
Paul: I mean these things are incredible.
Camp Indiana: Your right about that.
Paul: It is a lot of fun. It really is.
Camp Indiana: Very cool. Two more questions for you, Paul.
Camp Indiana: If you were going to spend just one hour at Twin Mills Camping Resort, how would you spend your time there?
Paul: Actually, I would literally just get a golf kart and I’d drive around and I’d look at the way our campers – our annual campers – treat or prepare their campsites. Some of these people have been here 20, 30, or 40 years.
Camp Indiana: Wow.
Paul: And what they’ve done with the foliage and some people have been growing grass in areas that we can’t get grass to grow, and the plants and the shrubs, and the things that they’ve brought on property to beautify the area. I would just spend my time just driving around and talking to people. I wouldn’t necessarily do any activity per se, but I’d just drive around and talk to people because what you’re going to find is people are genuinely happy around here. Sure, you’re going to get a couple people here and there who are just having those “bad days,” but for the overwhelming majority of people here at Twin Mills, they’re just having fun. And that’s what I’d spend my time doing. Just out and about, talking to people, and just kind of soaking it all in.
Camp Indiana: Awesome. And last question for you. If you were going to spend just one night at Twin Mills Camping Resort in Indiana, which specific site would you stay at and why?
Paul: Now, I’m from Chicago, so the diehard camper is going to probably be a little put-off by this one, but I would not show up in an RV. I would not show up in a tent. I’d actually rent one of our brand new park models. Now, this isn’t a marketing pitch to have somebody rent a park model. I’m saying it because me sleeping in a tent probably would not be a good combination, just because that’s a personal thing.
Camp Indiana: Sure. Sure.
Paul: But yeah, I mean nature is great and all, but I’m a big fan of a bed. That’s just a personal thing. But I think our park models are terrific. They’re kind of in the heart of everything. You’re equidistant to the pool and to the lake and those sorts of things, so you’re kind of in the middle of the northern side of the Park. On the other side, if I did have anything under a 30-foot RV or so, I’d really go into our West Woods on the south side of the road if I wanted to be just quiet and kind of away from everybody if I had those two choices. If I had a smaller RV, I’d go onto the West Woods in the south side of the road just from a quiet perspective. And if I didn’t have an RV at all, I would definitely rent a park model just so I could be kind of in the middle of everything.
Camp Indiana: Perfect. Well, that’s a lot of great information for us to get up on our website, Paul, and thank you for chatting with us this morning to give us more information about Twin Mills Camping Resort in Indiana.
Paul: My pleasure. Thanks for having me.