The Kallmayer family on Gl. Klitgaard Camping
We are a family of five:-Emil is the youngest and he is 9 years old. Emil is a ’camping-child’ through and through, as he was born one week before our very first high-season in 2006. Big brother, Jonas, is 12 years old, and he can guarantee that there is always someone on the campsite to play football with. Big sister, Maja, is 15 years old. Maja is, like her mother, wild about horses and loves to be with the many Icelandic horses, which we have on the campsite. Maja is also very helpful when it comes to saddling up and when the youngest horse riders need to be towed. Mother Helle is 41 years old, and she, as already mentioned, also loves the Icelandic horses. Helle was, originally, educated both as a sales assistant and as a dental nurse.Father Leif is 44 years old and is therefore the elder. He is, like Jonas, a real football nurd. Always taking part when a match is arranged on ’Arena de Klitgaard’. Many years ago Leif was an apprentice at a timber yard in Viborg, but he has primarily worked as a fitter and a project leader for a large exhibition company, where he ended up as a salesman.
Why run a camping place and why Gl. Klitgaard Camping?
It happens that people often ask the following question: How does one get the idea to buy a camping place? There are several reason for this. Back in late sommer 2005 we often talked about trying something new. We would quite like to work together and make something jointly – not just as a couple, but as a family. As we previously had talked about running a camping place, the focus was soon on the possibility of this. We made a decision – we would make our dreams and ideas a reality. We were aware that this meant saying goodbye to a secure way of life, but at the same time going onwards to something new and exciting. At this time we lived in a lovely house which we had built ourselved some years earlier. We both had good jobs and everything was fine but still the thought of something new was there.While we were looking for the right place, we put our house up for sale. The housesale went much quicker than buying the camping place – in fact, the house was bought by the first (and only) buyers who came to view it. The process involved in buying the camping place was long and complicated. First of all we toured Jutland, looking at places but the feeling of ’love at first sight’ was not there. We decided that if it meant going further away than Jutland, then so be it, and we travelled to the island of Bornholm and viewed one camping place that sounded very nice. After returning home from the island and unsure of many things, we then had a mail saying that there now was a place was for sale, and that this matched our wishes regarding where it was situated, place potential etc. As soon as we were able we went to look at the site and fell in love with it the moment we arrived there. Here there were many possibilities andU lots of space which had not been managed to its full potential, meaning there was room for improvement. Unfortunately the site was for sale to the highest bidder, so we couldn’t make a sale there and then. Traditionally this would not matter, however, it meant that it was out of our hands as potential buyers were betting against one another. On November 1st, four envelopes were opened by the seller and our offer was unfortunately only the next highest. We were told that the other buyer of course had first right to the camping place, and it was only a matter of the sales agreement being signed. It was, and our dream was burst forever, we thought.The day after Helle phoned the broker to thank him for the way the sale had been dealt with and to let him know that we were still very interested in the site. His first words were:” This is strange, I was just about to phone you”. It turned out that the highest bidder had regretted buying the site. What had made them change their minds, we do not know, but it was to our benefit. The same afternoon we looked through the sales agreement and the day after it was signed. We were beside ourselved with joy – it really was a dream come true. An amusing ending to the story is that we for some time had talked about extending our family. This we had put on the back boiler, partly because of our wild plans, at least that is what we thought. After the signing of the sales agreement we drove directly to the local pharmacy and bought a pregnancy test kit. The test was positive and the baby was due week 28 the following summer. The timing could have been better, but here reality overcame our expectations. Everything went superbly well even though it can cause some problems having to run a camping site with a newborn baby in your arms.
What is like to run a camping site?
It is great. As with everything else, it does of course become ordinary and there are many routines and much work, so one does, at times, wish oneself far away. But, the contact with our guests, making something that is your own and the varied jobs which include being hosts, marketing, maintenance, cleaning, activities with our guests and much more, is what makes one forget that this is work. We do not have much free time, but we rarely feel that we are ’at work’. We have never regretted our choice, and the things that we miss from our ’earlier life’ are so few compared to the many beautiful experiences which we have now.
How has it been since the takeover in 2005?
Luckily we have experienced progress on the Camping site in all six seasons, since we took over. We started with 12 permanent pitches and today we have about 100. People staying overnight has risen from about 15.000 to just under 40.000. We have erected 2 new playgrounds, made beach volleyball court, built a place for open fire, and an outdoor kitchen. We have extended our Mini-Zoo, new riding track and stalls for this. We have about 14 Icelandic horses and much more. We have many activities for our guests and we are, of course, lucky to have the best campers in the world on this site.For us the criteria for success is not just the number guests who visit our pleasant grounds. We want all our guests to leave here feeling that they want to return. We hope we have achieved a nice atmosphere on the site and we like being talked about as ’Helle & Leif’ and not as ’those that run the campsite’.
Vision and ambition for the future
On a personal note, we wish to be happy together with our children. This depends to a certain degree on how everyday life is, and this is the same for both children and grown-ups.Regarding the site, we have lots of ideas and thoughts. All new activities on the site involve nature and physical activity. This is shown in our present activities which are on the activities calendar.We hope that our guests will feel welcome and happy at this site.Gl. Klitgaard is the place where everyone greets everyone.We hope you would like to visit us.Kind regardsThe Kallmayer family