Whitecourt Wanderers is a chapter of the Good Sam Club. We have been a Good Sam Chapter since 2007. Our first President Bruce Parent was instrumental in getting the chapter started.
At the present time we have 10 rigs in our chapter, but we are trying to recruit more people interested in camping. We have supper meetings every two months in different resturants in Whitecourt, trying to let people know that we are here.
When we get together for campouts, rain or shine, we always have a good time. We also have had other chapters join us at our campouts. (5th Meridian Sams and the Parkland Jays) Our chapter is the most northern, Good Sam Chapter in Alberta.
If anyone is interested in joining our chapter please contact President Ray & Darlene Soper at 780-778-6123.
An article that was written by Carla Howell for the Whitecourt Star.
Those who like camping should think about joining a group also interested in the past-time. The Whitecourt Wanderers have been together for five years to celebrate the love of camping.
"We have a great time together, play games, and do a lot of eating, of course," said Darlene Ouimet, President of the chapter. "We're hoping to get bigger, as people come to know us." The Whitecourt Wanderers is a Chapter of the Good Sam Club, a non-for-profit organization that has 'Chapters' of locals around the world. These 'Chapters' are made up of people who enjoy camping. They get together once a year as a province and have what they call a samboree.
"Our samboree this year is in Tofield, Alberta, and will be June 13 to 17," said Ouimet. "We play games, such as beanbag toss and bocce ball, we socialize with other campers that come, and eat lots of food." There is a parade during the beginning of the samboree where chapters march with their flags. Chapters regularly attend other province's samborees, so it isn't rare to see campers from other provinces attend the gatherings. One year, some Australian campers decided to pitch," said Ouimet.
Anyone who is interested in camping can join the Whitecourt Wanderers. "A RV isn't needed," said Ouimet, people camp in trailers, motor homes and tents. "A lot of those in our group are retired and we can't do the tent camping any longer," said Ouimet. "We encourage all campers to join us though, we go to quite a few different campgrounds. People that I've met since we started have become very good friends to me," said Ouimet. "There are people who have been living here for years and we didn't know they were here. When you're retired or semi-retired you should have that group of friends."
Ouimet said the group also encourages empty nesters to join them. She describes an empty-nester as someone whose children have left home but are too young to sit around and not do much.
"Please join us," said Ouimet to those empty nesters. "The kids might be gone but that doesn't mean they cannot go camping with us." She said the Whitecourt Chapter holds garage sales, bottle drives and other fundraisers to help cover the costs. They do not fundraise by going door-to-door. Membership fees are $50 and cover pre-booking of sites and down payments on reserved outings. Members also receive a vest with the crest of the Whitecourt Wanderers. Each samboree has it's patch for members who attend, and these are sewed onto the vest. Ouimet calls it her 'bragging vest', as it shows the amount of samborees she has attended.
"Fees for sites are usually $20 to $25 a night, which is quite reasonable," said Ouimet. "We go dry camping, but that certainly doesn't mean no alcohol." Dry camping means there's no electricity or water hookups and cooking must be done over the fire.
Those who are interested in joining the Whitecourt Wanderers can call Ouimet at 780-778-3562 for more information or to register.