By Tina Snell, Staff Writer
Little Falls will be hosting the annual Minnesota Samboree Thursday – Sunday, Aug. 15 – 18. The family-friendly event will draw many campers from around the Upper Midwest and Canada to the Little Falls Fairgrounds for a weekend of camaraderie, games, food and good times.
“A state Samboree is a gathering of people who love to camp and/or RV,” said state treasurer of the Minnesota Good Sam’s Club Brenda O’Neil. “Minnesota is known for its many activities that keep attendees busy. Plus there is plenty of time to meet new friends and renew old acquaintances.”
The Minnesota Club is part of the Regional Club which includes Wisconsin, North and South Dakota, Saskatchewan, Northwest Ontario and Manitoba.
The regional club is part of the international organization of recreational vehicle owners who strive to make RVing safer and more enjoyable, plus save members money through club-endorsed benefits and services.
About 300 campers are expected at the Little Falls Samboree. The campers, ranging from families to retired couples, are expected to explore the local area through tours set up by staff or by going out on their own.
One of the events is a golf outing at the Pierz Golf Course, lots of games, cards, horseshoes, bocce ball and ladder golf. Several informational seminars which promise to be fun to attend will be held.
Vendors will also be available with wares to explore and purchase.
Entertainment includes Sherwin & Pam Linton, The Porch Dogs, Red Johnson and his band and a jam session where anyone can get on stage with their instruments and play, sing or tell jokes. The Good Sam choir will perform at the opening ceremonies Thursday night and during the church service Sunday morning.
“Each year a different spot in Minnesota is chosen to hold the Samboree,” said O’Neil. “It’s like a family reunion.”
The name Samboree comes from The Good Samaritan, or Good Sam, an international club.
“It’s like a jamboree, but we call it a Samboree,” she said.
O’Neil belongs to the Little Falls Chapter of the Good Sam Club. That group, with about 12 members, goes camping together the third weekend of each summer month, May through October. They try to stay within 100 miles of Little Falls. During that weekend, they hold their Chapter meeting, play games, have a potluck dinner and a campfire.
Anyone who would like to check out the Samboree is welcome. While a fee is requested during the event at the Fairgrounds, Fridays are free. New members are always welcome.