01
Mar
2012

Hello! I’m Susie Storey, Director of Communications for Great Wolf Lodge. I love to read and I love to write. With a degree in Communications and many years working in the amusement and travel industry, I have made a career out of finding unique stories and sharing with anyone who will listen, read or skywrite them (hey – a girl can dream.)  Most recently, I have added “mom” to my work experience and now blend my busy work life with a busy home life. Being part of the Great Wolf Lodge pack means each day brings a new story to tell about providing fun for families. It will probably also guarantee that my little guy’s first word will actually be a HOWL. I look forward to sharing my Wolf Tales with you. 

Great Wolf Lodge Traveling with Babies

Family vacations are fun, but traveling with little ones can be stressful. As a new mom, I still struggle to remember everything we need each time we step out the door.

Having a baby does not mean that vacations are over, but it does mean you need to plan a little more. Great Wolf Lodge specializes in vacations for families with young children. Here are a few of my tips for making your Great Wolf Lodge visit a success.

Play with your visit dates

There are 365 days in a year and only 104 are weekend days. Plan your Great Wolf Lodge stay during an off-peak time of year when the water parks are not as busy. Surprise your family with a mid-week getaway, or start your stay on a Sunday.

Do your research

There is so much to see and do! Visit Greatwolf.com before your trip. Water park attractions are listed by age, so you can plan what is appropriate for everyone in your family before you arrive. Utilize the Great Wolf “Ask A Mom” panel and visit the Great Wolf Facebook page each Monday to see questions from moms like you.   

Bring Baby’s food

Every room at Great Wolf Lodge comes with a refrigerator and a microwave, free of charge. This makes it easy to store formula and baby food, as well as re-heat meals. Purchase a “Wolf it Down” Family Meal during your stay, which includes pizza, salad, soda and cookies. You can save whatever is not eaten right away for a midnight snack after the kids have gone to bed!

Don’t sweat the small stuff

Our water parks help make baby’s day easy. Water park rest rooms include baby changing tables and towels and life jackets are provided free of charge. In case you forget to pack them, swim diapers (and other amenities) are available for purchase in the Bear Essentials Swim Shop. 

Take a break

With the water park down the hall from your room, you can keep your family’s naptime schedule. Pack ‘n Play beds can be borrowed on a first come, first serve basis from the front desk. Bring your child’s favorite blanket and put it in the Pack ‘n Play so it feels like home. While baby sleeps, stretch out on your comfortable bed and relax. Isn’t that what vacation is all about?

Bring pajamas

This may seem obvious, but I have two reasons. Each night Great Wolf Lodge invites all children to the lobby for Story Time. The resort’s youngest guests all arrive in their pajamas and nightgowns for the Clock Tower show and that night’s bedtime story. Who doesn’t love to see little ones in pj’s?

Need a second reason? On your last day, as you change from swimsuits before heading to the car, dress your children in their pajamas. This way, when they all asleep on the drive home, it’s easier to transition them to bed once you get home.

 

 

 

Great Wolf Pack Members participate in Bowl for Kids Sake

Last night the Corporate Team and the Customer Contact Center Team from Great World Lodge joined together for a howling good time as we took part in the annual Bowl for Kids’ Sake, benefiting Big Brother Big Sisters.

Since 2009, we have participated in the fun event. Over 100 Pack Members have taken part and last night’s theme celebrated the ‘80’s.  Pack Members came dressed in attire inspired by the era, ready for a night “Livin’ on a spare.”  (Bad pun, I know. I just couldn’t help myself.)

We had a great time! Even a few “future” Pack Members joined their parents, and utilized the bumper option on the lanes. I wish I could have done the same. The evening was complete with contests for bowling “Granny style”, bowling backwards and for hitting a strike when a colored pin appeared at the end of the alley. Truly, there is no better way to spend time with your colleagues than by bonding over frustrating splits and gutter balls, and knowing that with each frame, you are helping others. This year’s Bowl for Kids’ Sake raised over $13,000 for the local Madison agency, and we are proud to have taken part!

Great Wolf Pack Members participate in Bowl for Kids Sake

For the past three years, Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) has been the Great Wolf Lodge official non-profit charity partner. As a company that works every day to provide smiles and happy memories to children, it means a great deal to us to work with a charity that is as focused on childhood experiences as we are. Our Pack Members embrace BBBS and take part in many ways; from serving on the local agency Boards in resort communities, to volunteering as a “Big”, to hosting special events on property each year, we are proud to raise money for this amazing organization. Last year alone, Great Wolf Lodge raised over $200,000!

As a guest of Great Wolf Lodge, you can help us support Big Brothers Big Sisters. Next time you book your reservation online, please consider adding a $5 donation. You can also make a donation to the organization as you check-in at your local resort. 

Now, with my jelly bracelets, asymmetrical sunglasses and fluorescent nail polish back in storage, I can’t help but smile as I think of the great time we had last night. We work together, we play together and we help our community. Truly “You just can’t get enough” of the Pack!

 

In my first post I wrote about being a new member of the Great Wolf Lodge Pack. I’m also a new guest to the Great Wolf Lodge experience. Recently, my husband, eight month old son and I enjoyed our very first experience at the Wisconsin Dells Lodge.

Our family suite was wonderful! Not only did we have a king size bed, but we also had an inroom Jacuzzi, fireplace and complimentary refrigerator and coffee maker. I was also pleased that we were able to borrow a safe “Pack and Play” by calling Guest Services.  

My husband and I love waterparks and we were excited to explore the Lodge’s. We started at the North and South Hot Springs whirlpools. Aiden loves to “swim” in our arms and soon he was bobbing away.

Our next stop was Fort Mackenzie. Aiden is too young to splash through the 4-story interactive tree house but he did smile big when the 1,000 gallon bucket spilled over. We all enjoyed Slap Tail Pond, the Lodge’s wave pool. Listen for the howl that signals big waves are coming!

While we did not experience the “thrill” rides this time, we had a lot of fun. I was pleasantly surprised by the relaxing atmosphere; it wasn’t loud, overwhelming or uninviting. It was a true indoor water playland!

Next we played MagiQuest®. The interactive game is part scavenger hunt, part live action, part video game. We purchased one wand, complete with a cool armillary topper, and shared it on Aiden’s behalf.

MagiQuest is quite unique. We had fun reading the quests, searching for clues, collecting coins and elevating Aiden to “High Score of the Day”. I think we also underestimated how quickly we would become competitive with each other.  

We enjoyed dinner at the Loose Moose Bar & Grill. We had not yet put away our MagiQuest wand and soon discovered we could make a raccoon swing from the ceiling. What a fun surprise - the wand even has powers in other areas around the Lodge! 

The one souvenir I wanted from our stay was a pair of wolf ears. While a set of ears comes with a children’s meal, you can purchase them a la carte. I bought three pairs! 

Our visit ended much too quickly and I can definitely see why a Great Wolf Lodge visit is best for multiple nights. There was so much to do. As a Pack Member, and as a guest, I cannot wait for our next Great Wolf Lodge getaway!

Susie

 

Great Wolf Lifeguards Deserve a Howl!

At Great Wolf Lodge, the safety of our guests is our number one priority. Every day, families come to our resorts to play in our waterparks and make lasting memories. Our Great Wolf Pack Members are a key part to delivering these safe and fun experiences.

Great Wolf lifeguards are among our most visible Pack Members. It is their job to ensure that our guests are safe while they enjoy our indoor waterparks. To help in these efforts, Great Wolf works with Ellis & Associates, a third party consultant that specializes in aquatics safety. In addition to assisting with our training programs, Ellis & Associates conducts random audits of our guards at work, to ensure key practices and procedures are being used.

Each year, Ellis & Associates announces its list of “Golden Guards” – lifeguards around the country who epitomize what it means to be a great lifeguard. Leadership, knowledge, and teamwork are areas that the guards are rated on. This year ten Great Wolf Lodge lifeguards earned the honor.

Great Wolf Lodge sends a collective “Howl!” of congratulations to the following Pack Member guards who work each day to provide a safe, fun waterpark experience for our guests.

  

Nathan Hughes and Zyra Edwards from our Niagara Falls Lodge

As one of the newest members of the Great Wolf Lodge Pack, I have been excited and enamored with all things, “Wolf!” During my first week, I took part in Wolfology; that’s Great Wolf Lodge-speak for “employee onboarding.”

The class took part at our Wisconsin Dells Lodge, and included two of my colleagues from the Corporate Office and several new employees from our many important resort areas. Over the years, I have taken new employee classes at other companies. While each had its own spin and tone – no such class ever asked me to howl before!

As a guest at our lodges, you have probably learned how to “Stomp, stomp, clap, clap, HOWWWLLL” – but did you know that pack members do it, too? We even have our own little version of the Howl that is slightly different at each lodge. For instance, the Wisconsin Dells Lodge is our first Great Wolf location. Pack members in the Dells proudly say, “Stomp, stomp, clap, clap, Howl! Number one!”  Our Grapevine, Texas Lodge pack members welcome all new pack members by taking them to the lobby and having them yell, “Stomp, stomp, clap, clap, Howl! Yee-hah, y’all!” I love that!

Wolfology then went on to discuss the Great Wolf Guest. With are so many options for family entertainment these days, we are honored each time you choose us. It truly is our responsibility to do all we can to ensure that our properties are clean, inviting, exciting and as wonderful as our advertising makes us out to be. We must exceed our guests’ expectations. Call me a little geeky – but that makes me proud. (More on that later when I write about my first experience as a guest.)

Soon, we were knee deep in Great Wolf Lodge lingo: “pack members” – employees of Great Wolf Lodge; “dens” – employee offices; “wolf wear” – employee uniforms. Do you like to give the celebratory High Five from time to time? At Great Wolf Lodge, we give the “High Paw.” Teach your kids to do it tonight! Start with your hand open, palm facing out. Then, bend each finger inward at the knuckles. Lastly, raise your paw and howl. You can’t help but smile as you do it.

Welcome to our pack!

Susie