The RVers Way of Living Welcomes All Members of Our Communities to Join Us and Have Fun!

By: Good Sam Club Indiana Travelers Chapter 96 Last Updated: July 14, 2010

Demotte, Indiana is almost the center of Northwest Indiana’s Good Sam’s Club District ( 1) one and covers the counties of: Fulton, Jasper, Lake, LaPorte, Marshall, Newton, Porter, Pulaski, St. Joseph, and Starke. There are (10) ten districts in Indiana.. If you belong to the National Good Sam Club, you may be one of more than nearly one million Good Sam Club’s members; many who are not getting their money’s worth. Sure you’re taking advantage of discounts and other benefits such as RV Financing, and VIP insurances; but there’s other membership benefits that you may not be utilizing and which are priceless. It is the fun and fellowship associated with belonging to a Good Sam Chapter. In a nutshell, chapters are groups of members who like to come and camp together, But Camping is only a part of the fun. The camaraderie and the friendships often last a life time. sams-indiana-logo

If you are not a Good Sam Club member, Sams Indiana Travelers has applications to be used that will save time enabling you to join a chapter at the same time. Special going on now - The combining dues at this time depends on you. (A member is a family living at home with dependents who have not reached the age of majority). For both the National Good Sam Club (1 year is $19 USD; or 3 years membership is $45 USD – you will receive a $25 free night of camping at a participating Good Sams Campground (which you choose). Renewal Dues are with the current rate. If you wish, you may send your National Good Sam Club application and your payment the same day. Sams’s Membership Treasurer will forward your check or money order to Good Sam Club’s home office for you. Other wise, it takes usually 4 to 6 weeks before you receive your National Identification card with a magnetic strip on the back used for discounts, and your First Free Highway’s magazine; along with the Good Sam Handbook. (The Good Sam Handbook explains how you may acquire a life time membership.)

Write another check or pay cash to Sams Indiana Travelers to cover the year’s ch apter dues; and you will receive a receipt card. Sams Indiana Travelers Chapter #96 (yearly dues- January 1st to December 31st ) is $12.00 Some members join more than one chapter and are considered Associate members in the other chapters that they join. Holding an Associate membership in the other chapters requires that they do not hold any elected Chapter office nor will they have any voting privileges in the subsidiary chapters.

In the Associated Press section of some newspapers was this headline: “Indiana campgrounds reap benefits of a weak economy as residents stay closer to home.” Department of Natural Resources official stated, “People want to stay close to home and that the low cost of camping has made it more attractive even to those who have never camped before. Cost for a weekend campout can run under $100.”

Sams Indiana Travelers Chapter #96 has been observing the above statements for several years. Ever since the Gas Prices increase started, this chapter has traveled under a 100 miles to local campgrounds in Indiana to attend monthly get to gathers. It is a shame when people are not able to utilize their RVs. We try to keep expenses low for most members’ budget. However, some of our chapter members choose to travel in a group, long distances to special events such as the Indiana Good Sam Samborees or Rallies. Some go in a group, to various places such as other states, for a vacation, sometimes more than just for a weekend. Sams Indiana Travelers Chapter #96’s members camp, the 3rd weekend, of each month (depending on the weather – April to October). In the off season, we meet at a centrally located restaurant, (1) one Saturday a month depending which Saturday we can get a reservation for an 1:00 P.M. afternoon lunch, short meeting, and a lot of fun for 3 or 4 hours.

The Wagon Master for our Chapter reserves several sites for each month’s campout before the camping season closes in the fall, for the next years camping season. The price per night is about $25 per site for 2 adults and children at most campgrounds. Most Pets are allowed as long as they are kept on a leash and you pick-up after them. Reservations must be confirmed at each campground office; by everybody, who wants to attend Sams Indiana Travelers’ campout at least 2 weeks in advance of scheduled campout. For the next couple of months we will be camping at EZ-Kamp in Grovertown, Indiana and going to the Fall Good Sam Samboree in Greentown. For more information: contact Nancy Mills for a camping schedule at (219) 844-8727 before you make your reservation, to be sure there has been no changes and to find out what out schedule will be (Depending on the weather). Before winter begins we may have a couple more campouts. When you contact the Campground’s office, in order to be parked near our sites, be sure to state “you will be camping with Sams Indiana Travelers Chapter #96”; otherwise you may be parked anywhere in the campground. When we stay at a Good Sam Club campground there is an automatic 10% discount for Good Sam Members. Sometimes, even at Non-Good Sam Club Campgrounds, there is a discount of 10% for our chapter’s group.

The Good Sam Club has literally been the “campers” choice for RV and outdoor activities. In 1970, the first chapter was originated in Indiana. Since then more than 100 chapters have formed. There are 5 (five) Chapters in Northwest Indiana. Sams Indiana Travelers was the last to received its National Good Sam Charted on September 25th, 2005. It is the newsest chapter formed in Northwest Indiana. Sams Indiana Travelers has relatively all new chapter members but it is growing in membership; and still looking for more egger and active members that would like to meet with us. Visitors are allowed to attend up to 3 times before they join Sams Indiana Travelers; but if they wish, they may join the 1st visit.

Several of our members have stated, “Life is shorter than you think”. One man called to find out about our chapter from a Good Sam Chapter newspaper article. He was very interested in coming but he was sick at that time. He said, “I wished I had joined a group of RVers, when my kids were all still at home.” A few days later our publicity/membership chairman took some Good Sam information to his house and to see how he was doing. His wife answered the door then started crying she said, “Thank you for coming but my Husband died a few days ago. He was buried today.” The wife said, “I pray younger and healthier people will not put off joining before it’s too late”. She cried, “We did;” and politely closed the door. The Membership Chairman still remembers that day with regrets.

COMING TOGETHER IS A BEGINNING! FINDING FRIENDS IS ONE OF MANY GOALS! ACTIVE PARTICIPATION BRINGS REWARDS! SHARING COMMON INTEREST AND ENJOYING CAMPING MEANS: “HAVING A GREAT TIME! ” sams-logo

In a Good Sam Club brochure it states: You will find friends to camp, feel secure, and share common interest with. You will utilize your camper more. You can save ware and tare on your RV, spend less money for gas and frequently travel shorter distances. You will even learn more about your RV capabilities by listening to experienced campers. You can build family unity and learn more about your family. Children will remember the “Play and Happy Times you had”. Given a chance, they will learn team work can be fun. They will learn about other people and appreciate the country we live in more.

Our primary goal is Camping and getting way from home. We are all about having fun, leaving our worries behind us and escaping into the outdoors, enjoying a good time around a campfire with friends and family, doing things like cooking out with our chapter’s members or having a potluck supper, playing games and engaging in favorite activities – such as taking advantage of the campground facilities (exploring the campground either by walking or riding your bike, fishing in a lake or swimming in a pool or lake, - all the things that bring a smile to your face.) Sometimes we take tours of the country side, go to a restaurant or an interesting site, and etc. It’s our group’s job to make camping fun, comfortable, safe and carefree. We promote family unity, good citizenship, and security for the members camping in a group. We want to make sure there’s a smile on your face every time you attend our outings either for a campout or attending one of our Monthly, Saturday’s Lunches during the off camping season (depending on the weather) -November to March.

It is in our By-Laws to elect a President, Vice- President, Secretary, and Treasurer. The President asks for volunteers and any other positions such as the Wagon Master; he may appoint someone for an office position such as a Chapter Chaplin. We thank God when we come together, before meals, meetings, and for our safe trip home, etc. (Most campgrounds have a list of local Churches and allow an early Sunday afternoon check out time.) On Sundays, some of our members go to their choice of church services, before leaving for home. A different Volunteer Host plans the activities for each month’s campout. Sams Indiana Travelers elected positions and other members want to make sure we are providing you with what you want and making your experience with our Chapter positive and rewarding. If we fall short in any way, we want to know about it. We want to correct any complaints.

In 1966 Art Rouse, who owned Trailer Life publishing purchased Art Griffin’s newsletter called Trail-R-News and its association of RVers. Art Rouse developed the now “Highways” FREE monthly magazine. It contains information about interesting places to travel, updates on RV Recalls, Technical Information and much more. Art Griffin had already started the club when readers suggested bumper stickers be made for all his readers. The word “Club” was applied loosely since there was no formality to it at that time but they thought making themselves visible on the road that, they could provide emergency assistance to each other and swap ideas about RVing. There were no benefits or services as such. Art Rouse had the smiling face in the red logo created so members could be recognized by one another. Art is honored in the Elkhart, Indiana’s RV Hall of Fame Museum as being the first pioneer of the private Good Sam Motor Home club.

The face was patterned after the biblical Good Samaritan character that went out of his way to help a traveler in distress.

GOOD SAM CLUB

The Good Sam Club has expanded the logo to include a variety of volunteer efforts. The National Good Sam Club encourages all Chapters contribute to Helping Keeping Our Communities and The United States a place to be proud of, by helping various charities and people in need for a number reasons. We all need to help keep our county beautiful. Every Year, The National Good Sam Club promotes a “National Clean- Up Week” for Campgrounds, Parks, Communities, Highways, and All Roads. It’s listed in the Good Sam Club’s Handbook that some members even do light work at State and Government Parks in exchange for Free Camping.

The original National Good Sam card had the Identification number on the front of the card and the original eight items that made up the Good Sam Pledge on the back which all members were asked to follow. Sams Indiana Traveler’s chapter members honor the current National Good Sam Pledge:

  • I will stop and give aid to fellow Good Sam members where safety and traffic conditions permit. I will not attempt to stop and give aid on turnpikes, freeways or expressways, but instead will give three short blasts on my horn to indicate that I am reporting the breakdown to the nearest highway patrol, toll gate or police department.
  • If I am broke down on the expressway, I will raise the hood of my vehicle to indicate I am in need of assistance and stay with the vehicle until help arrives.
  • I will keep my recreational vehicle in safe condition at all times and give special attention to brakes, tires and running lights.
  • I will drive within the law and with consideration for others.
  • I will watch following traffic on upgrades and pull off the road as soon as possible whenever I am causing a slowdown.
  • I agree to observe and cause to be observed all posted rules and regulation for the betterment of the enjoyment of outdoor recreational facilities.
  • I will leave my campsite in BETTER condition than I found it.
  • I will try to wear a smile (like Good Sams’s) and promote the objectives of the Good Sam Club whenever I meet other RV Owners.

Just helping other RVers and promoting the Good Sam Club was not enough for the members. When you become a member of the National Good Sam Club, you will receive a full detailed description, in the long list, of the National Good Sam Handbook’s Benefits. Since the original chapter was formed in 1966; many benefits have been added such as discounts at Good Sam Club campgrounds and various other businesses such as gas stations, restaurants, RV repair shops, and more. RV Insurances are also available on request that provide more coverage for Motor Homes, Travel Trailers and other RVs than the usual Vehicle Insurance Companies do. Many Traveling Emergencies or Health problems are also covered by the Good Sam insurance policies. Some People also have a policy for pets. If you need it, mail can be forwarded to anywhere you desire.

Sams Indiana Travelers is a group of friendly people who love to camp, share experiences, and have a good time. We are Americans and proud of it. We welcome people from all walks of life and nationalities. Contact (219) 844-8727 (If there is no answer, leave a message and we’ll return your call.) or email: n.millsgsc@hotmail.com