A Rally & Retreat
Boondockers Welcome is a small team, and being RVers we're often on the road! So it was great for us to find an opportunity for us all to get together. The rally marked the first time that Marianne & Anna got to meet Carrie in person, so that was very special. We had such a great time that we're talking about trying to make this an annual "Boondockers Welcome" retreat.
The amazing Boondockers Welcome Team together at our booth in the Vendor's Village
Marainne's Master Class
Thursday morning we started things off with a bang with Marianne's Masterclass Seminar on finding free camping. The place was packed, standing room only!
Marianne outlined her 20-year history of RVing on the free and cheap in some of the most scenic places on the continent, and gave a comprehensive overview of the best resources to help find free places to camp in North America.
Boondockers Welcome did indeed get a slide or two, and we were able to take an opportunity to have the amazing hosts we had in attendance stand up so we could thank them with a round of applause. And we were thrilled and honored when several of our members, both hosts and guests, got up afterward and shared their experiences with the crowd.
There was entertainment every evening with multiple options to choose from, but we particularly enjoyed socializing on the main field while listening to live music and enjoying the warmth of the amazing Firebirds, the metal sculptures by artist Charlie Blackcat Smith that double as campfires.
A Boondockers Welcome Happy Hour
We know that Boondockers Welcome is all about community, so we had to invite all our members, old, new and future, to come join us at a happy hour.
We had some beer, wine, soda, water and snacks to share, and the weather cleared up just in time for us to have a grand old party! Anna had flown down from Kitchener, Ontario for the occasion and was staying in one of the cabins at the park, so we partied in front of it for a solid 2 hours on Friday afternoon, which just happened to be Valentine's Day. The "We Love Our Members" get together was a rousing success that we hope to repeat in future years!
Meet and Greet with The RVers
To cap off the weekend, we attended the Meet & Greet with the cast of the RVers TV show, airing on Discovery and PBS. This show has an amazing cast, an amazing production team, and some amazing sponsors. (Did we mention we're one of them?)
And there was a question from the audience about whether "unconventional camping" options like Boondockers Welcome might be featured in an upcoming episode, and the answer was Yes! You heard it here first folks! :-)
Our Greatest Thanks
A giant thank you goes out from us to everyone who made this rally such a great experience, including Curtis Coleman, the founder of RVillage who tirelessly puts together the rally, along with his staff; to the amazing members that we met there, with a special shout out to Larry and Rose Ann who represented us at a previous rally and went above and beyond to help us with our happy hour and so many other things; and to our significant others - Randy, Alden, and Ed - who were either there with us helping out, or at home taking care of kids so that we could all be there together. We love you all, and we hope to see you next year!