Featured Good Sam Chapter: Blue Crab Fun Bunch
The chapter's formula for success? Activities that could include potlucks, dinner theater, winery tours and other such outings
The Blue Crab Fun Bunch was formed in 2006 shortly after several of the founding members met at the Maryland Good Sam Rally First-Timers Orientation. At the time, the only chapters close to each of them had seemed disinterested in taking in new members. So, with the help of Shirley Bass, they officially formed a new chapter.
“Our chapter was intended to serve Charles, St. Mary’s, and southern Prince George’s counties in Southern Maryland,” said Bob Curran, the current Chapter President and one of the founders. “Our membership is currently at a break-even proportion for Charles and St. Mary’s counties with three rigs that hail from southern Prince George’s County.”
When the chapter formed, most of the members were still working. As such the chapter established guidelines to select campgrounds that could be reached before dark on a Friday evening. That seemed to work.
“If anyone is familiar with Waldorf traffic, which is the crossroads for virtually all of our trips, you can imagine how daunting it is to maneuver a rig through Waldorf on a Friday evening after work and reach any destination before dark," Curran said. "Even though that limited our campground selections and travel distance, it proved to be a successful plan. We have always enjoyed participation levels that exceed the national average for organizations like ours. We often have 50 percent of our members participating."
The chapter's name also says a lot about it's members -- somewhat.
“As our name implies, we are a ‘fun bunch,' " Curran said. "That is the key to success for any leisure organization. People don’t join a social group because they’re looking to have a lousy time. They join because they’re looking to have a good time.”
The chapter’s formula for successful campouts extends to activities. They strive to have a volunteer host for each campout who will, at a minimum, plan a dinner on Friday and Saturday night. Most hosts will pick a local restaurant for Friday night and have a themed potluck dinner for Saturday. Other hosts might also plan a pancake breakfast for Saturday morning or a light continental breakfast on Sunday morning. Many times there's also group participation games after dinner, including rowdy adaptations of Minute to Win It or The Newlywed Game. Most Saturdays are spent sightseeing, shopping, touring or just lazing around the campground.
Evenings are for sitting around tables playing games, talking and laughing. The most common games played are Fast Track and Mexican Train. It’s not uncommon for an intense game of Checkers to occasionally breakout.
When The Blue Crab Fun Bunch goes camping, which they do monthly from April through October, they vote on campgrounds within 200 miles driving distance of Waldorf, Maryland. That distance is measured from the intersection of U.S. Route 301 and Maryland 5 in the heart of Waldorf.
During the off season, the chapter continues to meet. Lunches are planned monthly, also hosted. This is when elections are held, the next camping season is planned and the annual holiday dinner set.
In November each rig nominates two campgrounds they would like to visit the following camping season. The Wagonmaster compiles the list of nominations. At the December Christmas Party every rig gets to vote for seven campgrounds from that list. The top seven overall are the destinations for the next year.
That's when the Wagonmaster's job really gets tough. Each winning campground has to be contacted for availability and a block of sites need to be reserved. If a winning campground can’t accommodate the chapter, the Wagonmaster will replace it with the next runner up.
The Blue Crab Fun Bunch must be doing something right. They currently have 29 rigs on their roster.
Photos courtesy of Blue Crab Fun Bunch