Dear Campground Guests,

It has been quite a summer! With COVID keeping so many people close to home, our campground had its busiest season ever. It was especially wonderful seeing so many new campers giving the great outdoors a try for the first time!

That said, we understand that some of our guests were taken aback by the presence of vicious man-eating lions prowling about the campsites in search of prey. At first, we couldn’t figure out why they were so surprised, but then we looked at our website and realized they might have been expecting loons.

This was due to a typo.

In fact, the loon-for-lion autocorrect was weirdly consistent throughout the website, which we refreshed this past spring in anticipation of a rush on camping. Well, if that typo is an indication, I guess we “rushed” indeed—ha-ha!—just like that lion rushed towards those children left unattended by the Teeming Oasis Splash Pad.

For example, our description page should have read, “Lull yourself to sleep to the haunting cry of lions echoing across the lake.” Having now experienced this yourself, we’re certain you agree that the nighttime sounds of slaughter reverberating across the waters will haunt you always! And is there anything more soothing than watching a lion gliding along the water in the early morning rays with a fresh kill dangling lifelessly from its mighty jaws? I can’t think of anything!

We also appreciate that the campground guideline, mistakenly posted as “Do not feed the loons,” might have misled campers vis-à-vis a non-expectation of lions.

In retrospect, we probably shouldn’t have written “the lions’ delicate nesting area” in reference to the beasts den of carnage, and that pesky typo only made matters more confusing. It’s a long story, but “delicate nesting area” is a sarcastic term coined several years ago by our summer intern Jessie “Slowpoke” Daunton (RIP).

When we first started receiving the complaints, we chalked it up to campers ignoring our posted warning, “CAMP CONTAINS LIONS!” But then we realized the unfortunate typo was leading our renters to anticipate family waterfowl fun and not indiscriminate attacks by man-eating predators.

Should we have caught the typos? Probably, but it is always difficult to proofread your own copy, and we are a small mom-and-pop operation—or rather, a small pop operation since that day Bernadette got cornered by the dump station.

We acknowledge that we likely compounded the confusion by posting photos of loons on our website but not a single lion. Lions are extremely hard to photograph! They are very fast and, as you now know, scary to be around. Loons are much slower and have fewer flesh-rending claws. Plus, we have many photos on file from back when our campground had loons. But then lions.

While we do take some responsibility for the confusion and the shredded two-man tents, we feel that campers must also bear some of the blame. The name of the campground alone, Scarlet Streams, ought to have clued them in. What else would make a stream run scarlet but the entrails of horribly mangled carcasses! Also, even with the typo, campers should have wondered why our website counter read, “43 Days Since Last Loon-Related Death.”

And, if campers hadn’t been in such a hurry to book, a simple scan of our (mostly positive!) Yelp reviews would clearly indicate that our campsite was heavily interactive, carnivore-wise.

Indeed, our lion-themed campground has long appealed to campers looking for a back-to-nature/near-death experience. We have many, many return customers (and some not). They are well-versed in techniques for tenting in the outdoors while avoiding the razor-sharp teeth of ravenous beasts. For example, do not leave food or garbage out in the open. Do not walk to the washrooms with steak in your pocket. Do not dress like a wildebeest. We feel that if our rookie campers had been better prepared and armed with a crossbow, their camping experience would have been less unsatisfying and death-y.

However, the customer is always right, and in some cases brutally maimed. And so we at Scarlet Streams Campground would like to apologize for the whole loon/lion confusion along with any inconvenience and dismemberments incurred. Please find attached a voucher for a complementary weekend stay any time during the 2021 camping season. Big news: we’ll be introducing rattle shakes!

“Roars” truly,

Bob (and formerly Bernadette) Rochester
Scarlet Streams Campground