Bobbie Bienvenue (L) and Diana Fadden (R)

Getting To Know…..Diana Fadden & River Meadow Campground

We were pleased to speak with Diana Fadden, who along with her husband Alvin Fadden owns River Meadow Campground & RV Park. Bobbie Bienvenue, a longtime employee also joined us for the conversation. River Meadow is located at 3125 Dartmouth College Highway in North Haverhill, New Hampshire along the beautiful Connecticut River. The campground offers 123 spacious full hookup RV sites with picnic tables and fire rings; 7 rental cabins, heated pool and hot tub, playgrounds, basketball court, horseshoe pit, cornhole area, two ponds with fountains, river access, canoe & kayak rentals, an event pavilion, convenience store, laundry room, showers and more! You can contact River Meadow by email at camp@rivermeadowcampground.info, by phone at (603) 787-6700, visit them online at at www.rivermeadowcampground.com or visit them on Facebook.

How long have you owned the campground and did you have much experience in this type of business?

We took over the business a little over five years ago from the previous owner. Although we were involved with the prior owner, we had never worked at or owned a campground before. We rely on a lot of help from a lot of good people such as Bobbie and many “Workampers” and seasonal folks who help keep the campground running. Bobbie was here before we took it over and brought a lot of experience and knowledge. She was a previous campground owner.

What are “Workampers”?”

These are folks who work for a Campground in exchange for getting their campsite for free. They help us out in so many ways and we are so thankful for them. They assist with everything including cleaning, gardening, pool maintenance, landscaping, organizing events, assisting in the store and so much more. It is very common in the campground industry and a lot of retired folks “Workamp” because it is an inexpensive way to live and is very social. There is actually a magazine just for folks engaged in the lifestyle.

Do you have a lot of folks who return each year?

We do. We currently have 78 “Seasonals” who return each year and whose camping units remain here in the off-season. They are spread out throughout the entire campground. We pride ourselves in having a really special group of Seasonals. They are friendly, courteous and welcoming to all. On average, we have about 30 families on a waiting list for Seasonal spots, but very few of our Seasonals leave. We also offer plenty of transient sites and get a lot of returning campers who rent by the weekend, day or month.  Our patrons, whether Seasonal or Transient, come from all over, as far as Florida, Wisconsin and Canada. The majority though are from as close as right here in North Haverhill and our border States.  This summer we welcomed a lot of new names we believe we picked up from a New Hampshire Trade Show. We are thankful for their support of River Meadow Campground.

Did you and Alvin grow up in the local area? Are you natives?

Alvin was born and raised in Haverhill. I (Diana) was actually born in Athens, Greece. Although my parents were both from the local area, my Dad was enlisted in the Air Force, and we lived in various places in my younger years.  I was 12 when my Dad retired, and we returned to live in Woodsville near family.  Alvin and I met on a blind date set up by a friend of Alvin’s. His mother and my mother both went to school with each other in Groton, Vermont.

What do you like best about the business and what are your biggest challenges?
We enjoy the people the most. You get to meet a lot of people which is great. We really have a nice family community. Our campground is well-laid out and spacious and we keep it very clean and tidy. We feel when you do that, people respect the premises in return. We receive our biggest compliments regarding the cleanliness, and the friendliness! We really like that. Our dream is to put in a bigger swimming pool!
Although it is nothing new, taxes and regulations remain our biggest challenge. For example, current legislation requires Seasonal Campers to register their RVs or either they or us must pay a property tax on the Camping Unit. The loss of the Blackmount Rail Trail for people with ATVs was a challenge. Luckily, because of a lot of hard work and persistence from the local ATV Club and Town of Haverhill, an alternate route was finally approved.