Opening Up

flagI pretty much live in campgrounds here in the USA. I have a rule: No politics in the campground. We are here because we love nature and the outdoors (most of us anyway) so let’s all get along. Another reason of no politics is safety. Some people feel very strongly about their political affiliation, some so much so I fear for their mental stability. Mostly, I believe in the inherent worth and dignity of each person. We all want to feel valued. I may disagree, but it is important to be respectful and listen.

Central Florida

Lately, there has been a “government shutdown” also known as “lapse in funding”. This affects all the National Parks, Preserves and Forests. These are the very places I book because I get a discount which makes it affordable. Now, with the “lapse in funding” some of these are open; some are open, but without rangers, bathrooms or trash pickup; some are closed altogether. You can’t find out if no one is there to answer the phone.

I was lucky the place I’m staying currently is part of the Army Corps of Engineers and is fully funded. The next place, however, is a question. We campers are a friendly bunch (usually) and we’re all exchanging information about where we are heading, which campground is open and which are not. It is interesting how in times of trouble, we can all manage to get together and help one another.


Boat lock at the Army Corps of Engineers

I was joking with a friend the other day how when we were young we could see at a glance which of us were hippies and which were preppies. Then life got going and it became more important to blend in. The older set in campgrounds, baring T-shirt logos or bumper stickers, it isn’t easy to fit people into a political slot. People still group together with other ”kindred spirits”. It’s natural, but maybe too easy to miss a learning experience.

I’ve befriended a wide variety of people, both progressive and conservative; Christian and Atheist; retired farmers and young tech workers. I tend to connect with people who live in the countryside, many off-grid. I have solar panels, no air conditioner on the roof of a standard van. That probably puts me in a classification, yet one that I’m proud to own. Still, I believe my life would be much less rich if I only made contact with people that live my lifestyle, that agree with me. 

That said, here are some examples of politics in the campground I don’t like:

A bumper sticker in South Carolina
Two images from the same truck (named “Shaggin’ Wagon”)
Note this is not an official vehicle even with the presidential seal on the side and cameras on top.

1 thought on “Opening Up

  1. No politics in a campground is the best rule ever. If you can’t escape politics while camping there are no safe places left!


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