Camping Clubs are for Fun and Fellowship

If you are looking for a group of campers who share the same interests as you do, camping clubs may be for you. Clubs are organized for members who own a particular RV brand, such as a Bounder. Clubs can be based on a hobby like classic car collecting or square dancing. No matter what the club's focus, you will be camping with folks who enjoy your particular pastime.

Club organization
Clubs are organized by chapters. In the Good Sam Club, each state has several chapters. The chapter members attend rallies during the camping season. These fun-filled rallies are held at campgrounds where the group enjoys social activities such as catered meals, potlucks, theme dinners, tours of the points of interest in the area, games, crafts and entertainment. The chapters within the state come together for a state rally, and each year all the chapters meet together for the national rally which offers information for RVers, well-known entertainers and lots of food and prizes.

Discount camping clubs: Passport America and Good Sam Club

Passport America and Good Sam Club have excellent reputations as great camper clubs that offer discount camping.

Purchase a PA membership, no home park required, for about $44.00 a year and receive an RV travel card authorizing you to receive a 50% discount on the regular nightly rate in any of their 1,348 campgrounds throughout North America. Learn about them at http://www.passportamerica.com.

The Good Sam Club is a trusted organization with more than 1,700 campgrounds throughout the United States and Canada. Purchase a yearly membership for $29.95 and receive a card allowing a 10% discount off the nightly rate and a beautiful magazine, Highways, written especially for RVers. Also included with membership are free RV trip routing, special rates on emergency road service, RV financing and RV insurance. Visit them at http://www.goodsamclub.com.

Clubs for motorhome owners
The Family Motor Coaching Association connects motorhome owners. This national organization sponsors rallies, offers motorhome insurance, educational programs, trip-routing services, emergency road service plans and a full-color informational magazine, FMC Magazine. More information can be found at http://www.fmca.com.

Bounders United has more than 1,500 members of all ages throughout the world. Their goal is "to promote and facilitate the ownership and use for pleasure of Bounder Motorhomes." This club offers fun, relaxation and information for RVers. The monthly newsletter, Bounder Sounder, has technical hints for the Bounder owner, chapter and national news and a calendar of upcoming events. See http://www.bounder.net.

RVing Women
Women who RV full-time or recreationally benefit from RVing Women. This network of women offers friendship, information, shared activities and assistance when needed. This club provides women with technical and general information and advice related to RVing. They organize rallies and seminars and an annual convention and publish articles and stories in the RVing Woman magazine. Members can take advantage of discounts for RV parks, repair shops, accessories and other fun RV products. Visit their Web site at http://www.rvingwomen.org.

Escapees RV Club
The Escapees RV Club provides a total support network for RVers. The abbreviation for the club is SKP. Say it fast and it sounds like Escapees. Members began calling themselves SKiPs because it was easier to say.

According to their Web site, the club is built on the letters S-K-P. In their abbreviation. S is for Support. The members can always count on receiving support from each other as they travel. Members proudly display the logo, a house-in-a-wagon, on their RV's so they can recognize a fellow SKP. The support also includes the benefits and optional services that the club provides, such as mail forwarding, a discount park system and discounts on affiliated services.

K is for Knowledge. The Escapees magazine is full of helpful information. Rallies, known as Escapades, held in the spring and fall, offer seminars that are like "attending a concentrated five-day course on RVing."

P is for Parking. This club offers members places to park at their club-owned campgrounds. There are 8 Rainbow Parks, 11 SKP Co-Op parks and 2 new Escapees Rainbow Parks Unlimited. There are overnight parking opportunities with other Escapees members throughout the country.

Many full-time RVers of all ages belong to this club because of its strong tradition of helping each other and those who are in need. To learn more about this club, go to http://www.escapees.com.

Form your own club
There are groups of friends who begin their own tradition of getting together during the camping season and staying at a different location with distinct themes each month. Get some of your friends together to form your own camping club. It can be a casual get-together with some planned activities. One idea is for everybody to bring a canned vegetable to combine for a huge pot of Stone Soup. Or how about a lazy float down the river on a sunny afternoon?

Your unique group will establish its own plans (or maybe no plans). These informal groups can offer years of fun-filled camping experiences. Many groups continue the tradition long enough to become carefree, retired campers.

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