Kamp Dels is a camping resort located just outside Waterville, Minnesota which is only 15 miles west of Faribault. We chose to go there for our Weekend RV Adventure because we wanted to try something unique to our family.
Disclosure: We received a free three-night stay over a weekend in order to share our opinion about Kamp Dels, but this isn’t a sponsored post.
We are a camping family for sure, and generally when we go camping, we camp in the middle of the woods. Shortly after Ryan from Beyond the Tent contacted us about experiencing RV camping, I read through his 41 of the Best Places to Go Camping in Minnesota. I learned about a lot of different places that I had never heard of, including a camping resort an hour away from home in Southern Minnesota. Kamp Dels is such a different type of experience that two of our kids both stated it didn’t even feel like camping. However, because Kamp Dels is full of activity and family fun, it didn’t take long to adjust and start enjoying themselves.
Kamp Dels is owned and operated by the Pope family. In 1955 Del Pope built the Del’s Blue Spruce Lodges resort with two cabins. Years after the construction of the cabins, he purchased the farmland with the Red Barn the camp is located on. He added 10 additional campsites and changed the name to Kamp Dels.
The fastest way to Kamp Dels is to take I-35 south to Highway 60 and go west to Highway 13. On the Friday of our Weekend RV Adventure, my husband Chris got off work early. We picked up our RV, brought it home, packed it, and hit the road. We punched in the address into Google Maps and felt confident (or as confident as you can feel driving a house down the road for the first time). We exited I-35 at Elko and drove past the speedway be-bopping our way through small towns and farmland. It was a beautiful drive, and we were excited about our weekend.
We pulled into camp and followed the instructions we were emailed. “If you know where you are going, feel free to find your site immediately and come back to the barn to check in with the staff.” So instead of waiting, we did just that. To our credit, we didn’t really have any idea where our campsite was. We just made a good guess and found it right away. (It helped that when I booked our weekend, Grant Pope told me that we had a view of the lake. There were only so many sites that had a direct view of the lake. Well, actually, there were a lot of sites with a direct view of the lake. We just got lucky, I guess.)
While the boys and I were checking in, the girls and Chris unpacked, unloaded and set up camp. By the time we were back from the barn, everything was ready to go. (This camping with an RV is a completely different experience than tent camping. You can read about everything we learned in this post.)
We weren’t far from the pool and the kids were super excited to go swimming. However, after we ate supper and cleaned up, the waterslides were about to close, so we took Friday evening to explore. And have some ice cream.
Saturday dawned with beautiful sunshine and warm temperatures and we had a blast participating in all that Kamp Dels had to offer.
Sunday was cold and wet, but that didn’t mean we couldn’t enjoy ourselves. There was a game room to explore, a tram to ride, and an RV to enjoy.
We took advantage of it all, no matter the weather.
What Kids Will Love at Kamp Dels
- Perry’s Paradise includes Tykes Typhoon, Lazy Lagoon, and Khaos Kove
The biggest visible attraction at Kamp Dels is their swimming area. I don’t even want to call it a pool because it’s so much more than just simply a pool.
Lazy Lagoon is the typical pool that you would expect at a campground. And it is situated between Tykes Typhoon and Khaos Kove. I think that is strategic.
Tykes Typhoon is a zero entry wading pool that includes a water playground for the youngest member of your family. It looked like a lot of fun and that was confirmed by our 9 year old who went over to check it out. Tykes Typhoon is designed for the youngest, most inexperienced swimmers, so I wouldn’t suggest filling it with “big kids,” but it looked pretty exciting for most of the family.
Khaos Kove is the biggest attraction and the part of the water fun experience you can see from the road. It includes a zero entry pool with a dumping water pail and several water fountains to play with. There is a volleyball net in one end of the pool and a basketball hoop as well. There is also a 23-foot freestyle climbing wall on which you can climb as high a possible, let go, and freefall into the pool below. I believe three of our kids tried it and loved it. Some could definitely go higher than others. And the most visible activity was the 32 foot double waterslide which included a tube slide and an open-air slide. Our kids loved them and confirmed the tube slide was “WAY faster than the other one.”
- Short safety breaks at the pools
Since I’m sure the waterpark is high on your priority list, know that you will have plenty of time to swim. Safety breaks are frequent, taken on the hour, but they are kept to 5 minutes.
- 3 Playgrounds including Northern Heights and Kids Kompound
Kamp Dels is a huge place. And spread throughout the campground are strategically located playgrounds. There is a large playground near the entrance and “Outdoor Game Plaza” outside the Barn. If you take a walk to Northern Heights–a subdivision of Kamp Dels–you will find a forest-themed playground. I think this playground was my favorite because aesthetically, it was beautiful. But the kids also enjoyed playing all over the tall structure. And if you head over to West Ridge, you will find Kids Kompound that was our kids’ favorite playground.
- Tram Rides on weekends
Kamp Dels is huge. I have no idea exactly the size of this sprawling resort, but I know that it takes a long time to walk around. On the weekends, Kamp Dels offers tram rides. Hop on the tram whenever you see it and hop off when you reach your destination. Tell the driver where you are headed, and the tram stops there. Or if you don’t know exactly where you are going, the receptive drivers pull over when you inform them you want to get off. I advise you to not tuck and roll. That could be detrimental for your health and safety.
- Outdoor Game Plaza
Not far from the Barn as you drive into Kamp Dels, you will notice a space dedicated to yard games. These games include cornhole, horseshoes, and shuffleboard which are free to play. Kamp Dels has all the equipment you need and you don’t need to pay for any of it. It’s all there courtesy to you and the other campers. Included in the Outdoor Game Plaza is mini golf. Mini golf is not free. It’s $4/person, but the course is fairly challenging and worth the cost. (By fairly challenging, I mean it was pretty hard). Located around Kamp Dels, you will find frisbee golf, tennis, basketball, volleyball, and a driving range. Again, Kamp Dels provides much of the equipment you need at no cost for you to enjoy the different activities.
- Perry’s Paradise includes Tykes Typhoon, Lazy Lagoon, and Khaos Kove
- Lake Sakatah
Since Kamp Dels is located in Minnesota, you can expect there will be fun activities on a lake. Lake Sakatah is just across the road and Kamp Dels makes it easy to enjoy it. Paddle boats and water trikes are free to use. There are multiple docks and seating areas at the edge of the lake. Also, if you want to be more serious about fishing, you can rent a pontoon or a motorboat. Also, if fishing is on your to-do list, you can visit Perry’s Pond, the stocked catch-and-release fishing pond located in Northern Heights.
- Game Room
If there is a day or two you experience inclement weather, Kamp Dels has even thought of that. The barn’s loft is divided into two sides. If you enjoy playing pool, ping pong, or foosball, that is located on your left. If you need a place to relax and color or just enjoy the view of the lake, that is located on the right side.
- Special Weekend Activities
While we were at camp, Waterville was celebrating their community festival Bullhead Days. Kamp Dels joined in the fun and had special activities planned throughout the weekend. Special planned activities are scheduled every weekend with a different theme. We were able to join in the fun with participating in the coloring contest. And we also we checked out the Kids DJ Dance party for awhile. The special activities were fun and added another element of fun.
- Kamp Dels Ranch
The Ranch is not exactly a petting zoo. It’s a feeding zoo full of animals that include alpacas, llamas, sheep and lambs, goats and kids, miniature horse and foal, potbellied pig, various species of pheasants, chickens and some emus. The ranch was really fun, we had a blast. Bring your quarters so you can feed the animals. Guests are not allowed to feed animals by hand. To actually feed the animals, you purchase the food and put the feed through a PVC pipe used as a feeding tube. The tubes protect guests from injury caused by the various animals.
At the entrance of the gate is a staff member who goes through the rules and precautions. The one I remember the most was, “Watch out for the Emus!”
- Helpful and friendly staff
Staff members can make or break a perfectly designed camping resort. I’m thrilled to inform you that Kamp Dels staff is top-notch. The members of this five-star staff greet guests with welcoming smiles. They spend as much time as each guest needs to answer questions and go over anything that doesn’t make sense. They listen and are always friendly. Whenever you need a staff member, look for those who are wearing bright yellow Kamp Dels t-shirts.
Tips to Make the Most of your time at Kamp Dels
- Take advantage of all the free entertainment
- Bring goggles. Goggles are for sale if you need them, but it’s always better to bring your own.
- Check out the fitness center
- You will find lots of seating at tables on the roof of the snack shack
- Don’t be in a hurry. You have plenty of time to enjoy everything at camp
- Minigolf is 18 holes. If you are playing with a bunch of people, we have a few suggestions to prevent it from dragging on. Don’t keep score, make it a 3 par course, or split into multiple groups
- Bring yourself good coffee. The snack shack offers ice cream and pizza and snacks, but there wasn’t a coffee bar.
- Wood bundles of campfires are $6, same cost as at a state park
- If you forget anything, you can find it at the camp store including grocery staples, toiletries, and basic camping gear. What we picked up at the store seemed to be comparable to Cub Foods or Target.
Even though we had two full days at the resort, there were still things we didn’t get to. We didn’t rent a boat or hit the driving range. We didn’t make it to the frisbee golf course (though if we go back, we will bring our own disc golf discs. My husband really likes his discs). We looked at Perry’s Pond, but we didn’t actually put a line in the water. And then there were the basketball and tennis courts and volleyball net that we barely even considered. That would need to change a little. And the pony rides…well, our family was a little too big to take advantage of them. But they looked adorable.
The Popes (Grant and Cole) and their staff ensure everyone camping has a wonderful time, all the time. Kamp Dels was a blast to visit, and the perfect place to try out an RV for the first time.