Give me a minute while I hop onto my soapbox. Joe and I have been campers for over forty years and looking back over those forty years things have really changed. Campgrounds are getting busier especially on weekends. Families are enjoying the great outdoors with bigger and better campers, their kids, their bikes, their dogs, and their fun which is great. What they are forgetting is that other people are also camping next to them who don’t care to have their kids, their dogs, their loud music or televisions blaring into their campsite. I wish when we checked into Winton Woods they would hand a list of “Campground Etiquette” to campers, not that they would read it. Some campgrounds actually do include etiquette with their rules.
Winton Woods County Campground in Cincinnati, Ohio is one of the worst “party” campgrounds we have stayed at. We stay there twice a year for two weeks at a time while visiting our son and it is the only option in that area. The park has about 150 sites and you had better have reservations over a weekend because it fills up with families wanting to have a good time. We love seeing young families camping with their kids but we don’t love the disrespect so many of these families have for their fellow campers or the grounds they camp on. This is a county run park with park rangers and rules but we very seldom see a ranger and what are rules. We took Lily for a walk on a Monday after the weekenders left and on her leash she pulled me into an empty site. After taking several steps into the site I notice several huge piles of dog poop. Joe said it looked like I might have stepped in one and sure enough I had unwanted stuff wedged into all the crevices on the bottoms of my hiking boots. I was not a happy camper which brought me to this posting. It is not our first bad weekend at a park and Winton Woods is not alone in having disrespectful campers and not enforcing their rules and we know with our lifestyle we will have many more unfortunate weekends. I use the term weekends often because we don’t seem to have issues during the week. We all want to have relaxing weekends with our family and friends but people have to use a little common sense.
These are a few common campground etiquettes that need to be posted at all campgrounds and then enforced.
- If you can hear a radio or TV at the campsite next to yours, your music or football game is on to loud. Your neighbors might not enjoy Country Western music as much as you do.
- If the shortest path to the restroom is through someone’s campsite, resist the urge and take the long way on the road or path. We all need the exercise.
- Supervise your children. If you don’t feel comfortable letting them run around your neighborhood by themselves they shouldn’t be running unsupervised in a campground.
- Clean-up your campsite when you leave. Don’t you want to come to a clean site when you check in? We have watched parents give their children a bag and as the parents are packing up the camper the kids are picking up the campsite. Great job parents!
- Observe quiet time. Nothing worse than listening to your drunken neighbor telling stories with inappropriate language as you try to sleep at 1 in the morning.
- Don’t throw you beer cans, pop cans or empty bottles in the fire pit. It is hard to start a fire with that junk in the pit.
- PICK-UP AFTER YOUR DOG!!!!!! What more can I say. I hope the person who didn’t think it was appropriate to pick up after his big dog has karma and tracks it into his camper.
For all those campers out there be respectful of your camper neighbor. Jumping off my soapbox!