Good Sam chapters are the building blocks of the Good Sam Club. Best of all, chapters are groups of friends that camp together. Membership in a chapter only requires a Good Sam Club membership. It’s up to the chapter to decide if there are dues or schedules. Indeed, there is nothing mysterious about chapters: There are no entry rituals or secret handshakes. The only thing you need is the desire to camp with more people than your spouse or kids.
With chapters, you can travel to places that might seem too far to go by yourself. You can learn great new campground games. You can help your community by volunteering with others for a good cause, or maybe just sit around the campfire with great friends and solve the world’s problems.
Currently, there are nearly 1,500 chapters across North America. Chapters participate in Samborees, which are held in almost every state and province and feature great food, fun and entertainment. Some chapters organize theme weekends. Esthermay and I have been chapter members since 1986. Our children grew up with 23 sets of grandparents that we got to see each month. There were times when we pulled up at the campgrounds and literally handed the kids out the window.
The chapter used to plan campouts around places that had fishing ponds so our son could go fishing his every waking moment. The “grandparents” spoiled them completely and now my son is a member.
So, how do you “get with the program”? If you’re already camping with at least five other Good Sam families, all you have to do is contact your state or provincial director and tell them you want to start a chapter. The hardest thing to do after that is to pick a name. You’ll quickly learn that chapters come together for a lot of reasons. It may be geographical or because the members have a similar interest. Whatever your reason, there will be a chapter for you, whether you join an existing group or start one yourself.
We joined a chapter after we inadvertently crashed a chapter’s sing-a-long potluck. The next day we were told that anybody as crazy as us just had to be a part of their chapter. We’ve been members ever since.
We’re now regional directors of the Good Sam Club, and we’ve been able to travel around North America. When we’re home, and when the timing works out, you’ll find us sitting around the campfire with some of the greatest friends we have, the Southern Maryland Wanderers.
To learn more about chapters and contact a state or provincial director, visit Good Sam Chapters.