Sitting in the campsite with SO-WE-GO
We have been members of the Good Sam club for a number of years. The benefits of discounts, information, and insurances are excellent. But we are not "club" joiners. We have a couple of friends we enjoy camping with, and that is fine. But last year, on a whim, we visited one of the local chapters near us when they were camping. We were taken by their friendliness and ease. So we joined the SO-WE-GO Sams. Last fall we attended our first Samboree in Harrisonburg, VA. We were told it was smaller than the spring one, so this year we were really looking forward to going.
At the winter luncheon meetings (no camping in December/January snow), it was announced the theme was Beach Party and there would be a parade of the chapters to see who had the best "Beach Theme" costumes. A suggestion was made that we do something different, and BOY, did we ever.
The Samboree was held at Bethpage RV Resort in Urbanna, VA. They say they have over 1,000 sites. This includes a large number of permanent seasonals scattered in sections. They have a large convention hall, smaller enclosed activity center, outdoor pool, small lake with beach,
Local seafood dinner
These 2 plates were HEAPED from one serving at Doo-Willeys. Total cost for the meal was under $15 and we had leftovers.
and lots of grounds to ride bikes and play.
We arrived on Thursday and set up with our club. After greeting friends and looking around, we began to get involved in the activities. I must say, I believe one of the main activities of our club is to gain weight; every time we camp, we eat and have more good food. This time Sandy made 3 trays of lasagna for the "small group" expected. Following our feast, we attended a concert at the convention hall featuring songs of the 40's and 50's from a local group of retirees. It was very well done.
Friday morning our club prepared and served breakfast for the samboree. We got up early and went to the activity center to serve coffee and donuts, clean up, and make sure everyone got plenty to eat. Trish and I then headed to a seminar on weather, but realized quickly it was pretty basic, so left. We decided to ride into town and get a local seafood lunch featuring food of the Chesapeake Bay. After looking around and asking some locals, we headed to Doo-Willys, a small trailer near a major intersection where we bought a take-out (all
Chapter sitting together at opening ceremony.
they had) seafood platter of clam strips, oysters, scallops, fish, fries, and shrimp. We got one order and took to back to the coach to eat.
That evening we had our club pot-luck and the food just kept on coming--these folks can really cook and and eat! In addition to some left over lasagna, we had salads, fruits, vegetables, pasta and wonderful desserts. After dinner we waddled to the convention hall for opening ceremonies and another concert, this time by a country singer.
Saturday was the busiest day of all! Breakfast was provided at the activity center with pancakes and sausage and hot spiced apples along with coffee and juice. Then we attended a seminar on pet first aid. Yep, we learned how to give CPR to dogs (not difficult) and cats (good luck!). We learned about documents to carry and how to be ready for an emergency. It was an excellent seminar and we learned a lot. Back to group to get ready for lunch. This time, we were fixing hot dogs and selling to raise money for the charities we support. We served the hot dogs, chips and soda after first wandering and supporting other clubs providing similar
services. There were grilled sausage, hamburgers, fried fish, barbecue, boardwalk fried, strawberry shortcakes, and funnel cakes. At the same time, under a large tent, the clubs ALSO were selling tickets to raffles to raise money and the raffles had everything from large food baskets to camping supplies. AND, clubs also had tables for a large flea market. With all the goings on, it's a wonder there was anyone to attend other folks events. But we managed to eat, shop and serve food, all in the short space of 2 1/2 hours. Then we cleaned up and headed back to the RV to get ready for the parade.
We had been practicing for this since our March meeting. We were not going to just walk in the parade: we were marching in a lawn chair brigade. We had bought lawn chairs all alike and had been practicing our "jodie" chant along with motions and actions. We had started with about 6 folks willing to take part and by the day of the parade, we were up to over 12. We got lined up and as the parade started, begin with our drill master calling the cadence and the group responding in
Slim out front
Slim did not carry a chair; instead, with his long arms, he held the club banner at the front of the parade
unison. It was a short march and at the end we got to see the rest of the clubs march by. Then we were asked to do it again, so we all marched back the other way. The temperature was warm and the sun was beating down. But the end of the parade we were exhausted. We got back to the RV, changed to swim suits and headed to the beach at the lake for a quick swim. Surprisingly, the water was not too cool. It felt really good after the long, hot afternoon.
After dinner, it was back to the convention hall for closing evening and awards. There was a lot of speechifying and then the awarding of door prizes and then the raffle winners. Trish finally got really tired and left. I stuck it out until they announced the winners for the parade. Yep, SO-WE-GO won first prize. As the state president said, "I've never seen synchronized lawn chairs before." Finally the music started and they had an entertainer that had been there before, playing piano and telling jokes. It was good, but I was also beat, so headed back and to bed.
Sunday morning we had a
Start of Lawn Chair Chant
So-We-Go goes to the beach, keeping sharks just out of reach, We have fun in waves and sand, watching ships come in to land. Sound off--1-2, Sound off--3-4
leisurely breakfast and prepare to pack up. It was drizzling and no one was anxious to leave. Slowly we put away lights, folded up chairs, and broke camp. Suddenly a huge gust of wind hit and our awning started to lift off the ground and bend. I grabbed quickly and held on, and then the wind was past. But Slim's awning had bent back. Quickly folks came from all around to help. I offered to help but was told to go get my awning in first. By the time I was done, they had Slim's back and it appeared to be all right.
And THAT is the memory of the Samboree I will take with me: friends rushing to help one another quickly. It's what Good Sam is all about and we are very glad we are members.
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