Good Sam, great fun

It’s all about fun and fellowship. What else could be expected from an organization named Good Sam?

Good Sam Clubs can be found throughout North Dakota and all across the United States. In a nutshell, Good Sam Club consists of campers of all types. Some have motorhomes. Others mini-homes, but 5th wheelers, pull-type campers, even tents will do. The idea is to enjoy each other’s company in a comfortable, outdoor setting.

“I wouldn’t be without it. There’s a lot of entertainment there,” said Wilbert Harsch, Pick City.

Harsch is the director of the Good Sam 2nd Chance Chapter and a member of the Southwest Trailblazers.

“We travel around to different areas and set up different games,” said Harsch. “We’ve had demonstrations from Dogs for the Deaf and had the Luther League Ladies come and entertain. We play a lot of cards too.”

Faye and Ernest Arlt of Minot head up the Northern Lights Chapter of Good Sam. As such, they have attended many “Samborees,” large and small gatherings of Good Sam members.

“It’s a wonderful club. We have made a lot of good friends. So many, many good friends,” said Faye Arlt. “You don’t have to have a camper to belong. You can stay in a hotel if you want. It’s just a great bunch of people.”

Arlt says anywhere from “60 to 100 rigs” come to a Samboree. Of course, there are smaller gatherings too. Not all Good Sam outings are held in conjunction with other events. In fact, quite the opposite is true.

“We used to go to Donnybrook, to that little camp,” said Faye Arlt. “We had bonfires and sing around the campfire.”

A typical Good Sam outing for the Northern Lights Chapter, where ever they choose to go, includes a soup and sandwich affair on Friday evening.

“Everybody brings a can of soup and we pour it into a bucket,” said Faye Arlt. “They bring sandwiches and bowls. There’s usually 18 to 20 of us.”

Saturday is usually reserved for pot luck dinner where everyone contributes something to the meal. However, the main idea is for people to gather in a friendly atmosphere where friendships can be formed or renewed.

“It gets in your blood,” said Harsch. “There’s been times when we’ve camped in the snow.”

Good Sam chapters sometimes get involved in volunteer work, such as cleaning up road ditches or donating to local food banks. The 2nd Chance chapter has its own unique qualifications.

“It’s people who have had heart attacks, strokes or been close to death,” said Harsch. “Many of us are the same age, all retired.”