Please do not call it a rally. There was no itinerary. No organized programs. And no nametags.
We all made our own reservations and the only coordinated planning was letting the word out on our Roadtreking Facebook Group that a bunch of us were going to meet on a particular weekend at a particular campground in Michigan.
It was more fun than any of us expected and a great example that great RVing times can be spontaneous and as easy as just showing up and gettingtogether.
In all 10 coaches pulled into the Addison Oaks Campground in Oakland County, Michigan. We had 20 people show up, from Michigan, Ohio, Missouri, New York and Ontario, Canada.
Many of us knew each other from either Facebook or the Roadtrek rally in May in Branson, MO.
So in that sense, this gathering was more of a reunion than a rally. Maybe a better word is rendezvous. Whatever it was, it was very good.
We mostly just chilled, forming a huge circle of chairs in the shade of a willow tree. On Saturday afternoon, a half dozen or so headed into nearby Rochester, MI to take advantage of a Farmer’s Market and a gourmet food shop. We all brought our own food, but shared a dish at dinnertime.
At a time when there is so much polarization in our culture, our group was warm, welcoming and harmonious, despite the fact that we are all over the place politically. Some were conservative, others liberal. Some were religious or spiritual, others agnostic. Those differences were not important. What bound us together was our love for travel, particularly travel in small motorhomes.
One couple was on their very first camping trip in their new motorhome. Another couple had covered over 20,000 miles in their Roadtrek Class B coach just since January.
We laughed a lot and shared stories of our adventures and just hung out together. One of our friends, Lisa Gruner from Huntsville, AL, was recovering from a knee replacement surgery. So since she couldn’t be physically in our circle, we Skyped her from our circle of chairs.
But what amazed me the most was what we learned about each other when we visited around the campfire. In our midst were nature photographers, boaters, a model train hobbyist, a couple of golfers, a knitter, a basket weaver, a fitness fanatic, Scuba divers, cyclists, fishing lure makers, a family liaison volunteer for a U.S. Marine battalion in Afghanistan, a master gardener, a beekeeper and a very busy community volunteer.
And that’s what hit me about this group: Though we ranged in age from the mid-fifties to near 70, some were retired, others still working, everyone was extremely active and connected. And that’s why we all chose our Class B small motorhomes. Because we like to be on the move and on the go once we get wherever we’re going, hiking, kayaking, exploring.
Except for this weekend. This weekend was a time to enjoy each other’s company.
I came away with three takeaways from this weekend.
1 – RV gatherings need not be complicated. Just announce a time and place and people will come. You can send emails, post to Facebook or pick up the phone and call people but that’s about as organized as you have to be. I’d say 20 people is about as big as you want. Any larger and it will be hard to get to know everyone.
2 – Social media is great. But nothing is as fulfilling as connecting with people as real face time. There is something very satisfying about getting to know someone shoulder to shoulder.
3 – We are all much too busy. Even when we RV, we spend a lot of time rushing from place to place, sight to sight, campsite to campsite. Sometimes, it’s very good to just stop, sit and chat for a spell.
That’s what 20 of us did this weekend. I didn’t know everyone when we first met Friday night. But when we all returned to our homes Sunday, we left as very special friends.
I’m betting there will be a reunion of our reunion.