, Corbin, KY


April 21, 2014

Kamping Out

"You don’t have to travel a great distance to enjoy the fun of camping." — Kendra Cooney, owner of Corbin KOA Kampground

CORBIN — By Bobbie Poynter / Times-Tribune Features Editor

Sisters Laura (9) and Jenna (8) Cooney could barely contain themselves as the car finally came to a stop at their familiar summer home at the KOA Kampground in Corbin. Energy abounding, the girls flitted like fairies, from one spot of interest to another. It was a beautiful sunny day and the girls just wanted to play. However, mom had other ideas.

In May 2010, Kendra Cooney and her husband Jerry poured their lives’ savings into a new family venture as owners of the Corbin KOA Kampground and its 26 acres of beautiful woodland just off the Cumberland Gap Parkway.

In October 2013, 44-year-old Jerry Cooney lost his year-long battle with cancer, leaving his wife and daughters to carry on. With her husband’s blessing and the support of her new KOA family, Kendra Cooney has stepped up and taken over the reins of the business.

Unlike her energetic daughters, Kendra Cooney had much more pressing business on her mind once she reached her destination.

First things first, check in with the campground’s winter managers, Butch and Linda Goulette, to see what still needs to be done to bring the campgrounds out of its winter hibernation.

There is so much that needs to be done. Cabins must be aired out with water and electricity checked, shrubbery and trees need to be clipped back to reduce the chance for fire hazards, the swimming pool needs to be cleaned, the dog park needs to be mowed, the store’s stock needs to be replenished in preparation for the insurgence of spring and summer campers . . . and more and more and more.

Kendra Cooney can’t wait to get started. Although there is still so much to be done, she personally greets her guests as they roll in, making sure their needs are immediately attended to.

Once the young girls have run off some their nearly-interminable energy, they pitch in to help their mother, learning the basics of running the store and helping to clean the cabins, of which visitors will be enticed by the fresh smell of a log cabin the minute they walk through the door.

Cooney is grooming her girls to one day take over the business.

“It’s important for the girls to learn the basics of the business and the value of teamwork, which will, in turn, help them grow to be healthy, independent women,” said Cooney.

KOA’s owner is currently a registered labor and delivery nurse at a Knoxville, Tenn., hospital and must commute back and forth every few days between her homes and jobs.

I started out here in Corbin,” she said. “Both of my girls attended Corbin Independent. It’s my hope that the success of the Corbin KOA Kampground will someday allow us to return to Corbin and plant our family’s roots.”

Cooney feels that it is very important that the local community understand that the Corbin KOA Kampground is more than just a resting place for long-distance travelers.

“You don’t have to travel a great distance to enjoy the fun of camping,” she explained. “We have a pool that is open to the public and a beautiful outdoor pavilion that families, clubs and organizations can use for their picnics, reunions or special occasions.

“The community is also welcome to join us during our numerous pool and crafts activities throughout the summer months, not to mention our holiday hayrides and free outdoor movie nights.”

As the owner of Corbin KOA Kampground, Cooney plans to keep the business’s close relationship with the community through its membership in the Southern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce and sponsorship of local school and organization fundraisers.

Soon, she hopes to utilize the campground’s full 26-acre potential and expand the campground all the way to Laurel Lake, with the addition of more cabins and campsites.

Kendra Cooney and daughters, Laura and Jenna, have begun a new chapter in their lives, and as their story continues, they invite the Tri-County community to join them on their new adventure.

Corbin KOA Kampground contact information

171 City Dam Road  

Corbin, KY 40701

(800) 562-8132

(606) 528-1534



FACEBOOK: Corbin / Laurel Lake KOA

Text Only
  • 0708 Kelsey White Miss Ky.jpg Local woman vyes for Miss Kentucky crown

    A Williamsburg woman is among the 32 contestants representing local scholarship pageants from across the state who will vye for the title of Miss Kentucky 2014. 

    July 8, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0621 Flag Day-Legion.jpg Elks Lodge hosts Flag Day ceremony

    Tri-County Elks Lodge #2826 of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks of the United States of America hosted a Flag Day ceremony Saturday, June 14.

    June 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • 0621 Zip Line.jpg Flying across Sheltowee

    There was a brief burst of laughter as they all joked about signing their lives away, but there was also a hint of nervousness about it.

    June 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Rose Masters-ALA88 president.jpg Masters elected Legion Auxiliary 88 president

    Rose Masters (left) accepts her president’s gavel from Department of Kentucky Past President Brenda Berry during the American Legion Auxiliary Unit 88’s June meeting.

    June 5, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0619 Smart Shop.jpg Smart Shopping

    Andrew Pennington, 24, born and raised in Corbin, was also born into the retail business, with his parents, Tim and Sarah Pennington, operating the Pennington Block Company.

    June 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0616 Nelda Barton-Collings.jpg The life and death of Nelda

    Nelda Lambert Barton-Collings passed away Friday, and, according to U.S. Congressman Hal Rogers, “Kentucky has lost a true jewel.”

    June 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0611 storm damage 1.jpg Storm Damage June 10, 2014 Damage reports came from all across the Tri-County area after Tuesday’s storms swept through southeast Kentucky and northeast Tennessee.

    June 11, 2014 1 Story

  • 0602 Extraordinary Olympics-ceremony.jpg Going for the Gold

    Tisha Duncan received a gold medal at Saturday’s slalom event. Neither she, the spectators, nor those waiting at the finish line seemed to notice or even care that it took her a whopping 78 seconds to get there or that her feet never once touched the ground.

    June 2, 2014 5 Photos

  • 0530 Kristina Smith.jpg KPA intern joins the Times-Tribune staff

    Kristina Smith has joined the Times-Tribune staff this summer as an intern through the Kentucky Press Association.

    May 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0517 KSP Estes.jpg Selling Safety Through Magic

    Long before the days of email, smart phones and social media, one Kentucky State Police pioneer was blazing a trail using innovation and outside-the-box thinking to spread safety messages throughout Kentucky.

    May 19, 2014 1 Photo

Front page
Featured Ads
AP Video
Ariz. Inmate Dies 2 Hours After Execution Began Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors Raw: Funeral for Man Who Died in NYPD Custody Migrants Back in Honduras After US Deports Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return Raw: ISS Cargo Ship Launches in Kazakhstan Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme Former NTSB Official: FAA Ban 'prudent' EPA Gets Hip With Kardashian Tweet Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in the Netherlands Biden Decries Voting Restrictions in NAACP Talk Broncos Owner Steps Down Due to Alzheimer's US, UN Push Shuttle Diplomacy in Mideast Trump: DC Hotel Will Be Among World's Best Plane Crashes in Taiwan, Dozens Feared Dead Republicans Hold a Hearing on IRS Lost Emails Raw: Mourners Gather As MH17 Bodies Transported Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-free Travel Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter