Bill and Shauna Campbell love being the owners of Besant Campground
Natural beauty abounds at this welcoming and friendly camground
Bill and Shauna Campbell began their career, and their lifestyle, as the owners and operators of Besant Campground near Mortlach, Saskatchewan, 23 years ago, and they haven’t looked back once.
And why would they? The spacious Besant Campground is nestled in a beautiful treed grove laced with a spring-fed stream: not the the typical prairie landscape in this south-central area of the province, but more of a hidden paradise. Though it’s located just one kilometre off the Trans-Canada highway, the lucky guests here aren’t able to see or hear the highway’s traffic and the convenient location makes the park easy to find and get to.
“The land just opened up for sale, and we went for it, without much experience.” said Bill Campbell when I asked how he got into the business. Knowing that they wanted a relaxing lifestyle but to be active in the guest services industry, this seemed like the perfect opportunity for the couple. This proved to be true, since after almost a quarter century they still make their home in the on-site suite at Besant during the summer. Besant’s season runs from May 5 until September 15, so in the off-season they leave the property and go back to their other occupations: Bill is a homebuilder and Shauna is a nurse. But when the temperatures warm up again in May, the two are excited to dive back into another busy summer.
When asked what his favourite part of this RV park lifestyle is, Campbell said, ”Meeting all the people. We get travellers from all over the world: the United States, Europe, Japan. Because we are right off of the Trans-Canada, we are lucky enough to meet all kinds that pass through.”
There’s also a large population of locals that choose Besant as their summer destination. The park hosts 27 seasonal sites, mostly occupied by city-dwellers from nearby Moose Jaw, 25 kilometres east, and the province’s capital city of Regina, a one hour drive away.
“Camping has changed in the last few years,” said Campbell. “RVs are easy to finance and afford, and people are looking for a place to settle in them, a kind of home away from home.”
And why do all these people choose Besant? Campbell reckons it’s the modern amenities that their campground offers. There are 80 sites, half of them with services, as well as the comforts of showers, flush toilets, a store and a laundromat.
“Guests are able to vacation comfortably, stress-free,” said Campbell.
The park also functions as a festive community hotspot. Each year Besant Park hosts a gospel jamboree and a car and motorcyle show, both in mid-July. There is also one of Saskatchewan’s most popular electronic music festivals held here, the four-day Connect Festival, which draws thousands of concert-goers from across the country. With all this happening, the park is a lively place to be during the summer months.
When I asked Bill Campbell his advice to those vacationing in their RV on how to make their trip more enjoyable, he didn’t hesitate.
“Expect the unexpected. Let go of being in a certain place at a certain time. Remember, it’s your vacation.”
Who would expect anything less than this relaxed and happy attitude from a man who’s settled into the lifestyle of meeting world travellers and sharing with others this beautiful little section of the wild Saskatchewan landscape?
If you’re interested in vacationing here yourself, you can contact Bill and Shauna Campbell at Besant Campground, either by phone at 306-756-2700 or by e-mail at [email protected]