We also travel with four furry children, two Paps and two Poms. I could not agree more with what you, Mike and Kim have said about irresponsible pet owners at campgrounds. Some people just seem to not be wrapped too tightly when it comes to caring for their pets and respecting the rights of others to enjoy a campground.
I have camped for over thirty years in tents, van conversions, popups and travel trailers. My practice has always been to enjoy my camping experiences to the max, but in a reasonable manner and never to the detriment of the right of others to do the same. Sadly, there seem many folks out there for whom certain behaviors are a way of life. Some other folks, I believe, are simply unaware of how their behavior, or that of their children, impinges on other’s enjoyment of the camping experience.
I would like to see this thread keep going, with others joining in with their own comments. I believe that we can all learn from the perceptions of others. Anyone who has camped for any length of time has rants of his or her own. Here are a few of mine.
1) I find that there are some campground owners/mangers who don’t take care of business. Most campgrounds have quite reasonable rules, designed to ensure the comfort and safety of guests while promoting their enjoyment of the campground. I have a major problem with campground owners/managers who do nothing to maintain an environment that is consistent with their own rules. I strongly suspect that these individuals are either emotionally unable to confront others or are afraid they might loose repeat business, and a few dollars, by doing so. I wonder if they realize what their laissez-faire position ends up costing them in the long run?
2) There are folks who apparently fail to realize that campgrounds are public places and not their personal domain or back yard. Why do I suspect that reasonable and permissible campground behavior is not something they often pause to reflect upon, unless someone else is annoying them? To me, these are the folks who:
A)Allow their small children to roam all, or some portion of, the campground unsupervised. Personally, I believe that many allow their children to “go play,” perhaps with some kind of instruction to “behave yourself,” so that they can have some peace and quiet themselves. They obviously fail to realize that it is a law of nature that little children will immediately congregate in groups when left to their own devices and, having done so, will communicate at the top of their lungs. (Note that this behavior is most often exhibited in front of someone else’s campsite, seldom in front of their own. Little children have an instinctive grasp of the fact that mommy or daddy would have something to say about the noise.) On a more serious note, it scares the heck out of me to watch a group of unsupervised four to ~ nine year olds running around on bicycles or on foot in a strange environment while completely absorbed in their play. I have witnessed one accident and numerous close calls when these little ones have dashed across the road in front of oncoming cars or have darted around blind corners. (See H, below.) BTW, have you ever noticed that campground playgrounds are usually deserted?
B)Believe that turning their somewhat older children loose in the old golf car will generate feelings of goodwill and joviality. I guess that in their minds my level of goodwill and joviality will increase exponentially each time their offspring goes buzzing past my campsite while merrily “cruising” the campground, often loudly and with several friends hanging on for dear life. Not!
C)Think that their brand of music is the best and is, therefore, to be shared with all unenlightened fellow campers. To me that is like being trapped in a checkout line behind some yo-yo who is having a conversation on their cell phone.
D)Believe that it is absolutely OK to have a nice smoky campfire. That is even after they discover that the atmospheric and/or wind conditions are such that other campers, near and far, are passing out from smoke inhalation.
E)Have no concept of how far “quiet” conversations can carry in an open environment. Let’s not even mention family arguments, verbal spousal abuse and drunken drivel.
F)Have such poor command of the English language and, possibly, such lack of upbringing that they must use profanity and lurid expletives to punctuate their every utterance. Look at it this way. They have an obviously limited vocabulary since they keep repeating the same words, and they have to have picked up these not-so-quaint expressions somewhere, maybe during their early formative years.
G)Become intoxicated to the point of being disorderly, augmentative and pugnacious. Mind you, my wife and I have nothing against drinking and have been known to have few ourselves. (Purely for medicinal purposes, you understand.) However…
H)Operate motor vehicles when they have such a severe visual impairment that their driver’s license should be revoked. It is sad, but some happy campers obviously fall into this category. If you observe carefully, those with this unfortunate ocular conditions are quite easy to identify. They are the ones who are quite unable to see their speedometer clearly - not even to the extent of being able to distinguish between 5-10 mph and 25 or 30 mph!!!
Happy Camping! ///// Richard D.
2006 4x4 Ford 250 SD / 2007 Flagstaff 827 FLS
One very patient wife and one furry child who travels with us. Forty-two years of trailering and camping, and I still have a blast.