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Good Sam group cherishes friendship

By Staff | Aug 23, 2013

Good Sam members enjoyed their state Samboree in Rugby at the Pierce County fairgrounds. The Good Sam members say that friendship keeps bringing them back every year. Photos by Chris Bieri/PCT

They may have their RVs in common, but the thing that brings the enthusiasts in the Good Sam together is the friendships.

Many of those friendships were renewed last week as the North Dakota Good Sam chapter held its state Samboree in Rugby at the Pierce County Fairgrounds.

“We’ve made some really great friends,” said Linda Baker, the president of the Wheat City Sams out of Brandon, Manitoba. “As soon as you get in the gate, somebody is giving you a hug.”

Baker and her husband Ivan are just one example of the couples who travel hundreds of miles to go to Samborees in other states and provinces.

“We’ve got several from Canada, Wyoming, Nebraska, Minnesota,” said North Dakota State Director Luther Schoon. “That’s just off the top of my head.”

Good Sam members enjoyed their state Samboree in Rugby at the Pierce County fairgrounds. The Good Sam members say that friendship keeps bringing them back every year. Photos by Chris Bieri/PCT

The North Dakota Samboree had 65 pre-registered couples and Schoon and state secretary Frank Bondeson were expecting another two dozen drive-ins.

“We were predicting 25 drive-ins and by 4 p.m. today, we already had eight drive-ins.”

The Pierce County Fairgrounds was packed with RVs over the weekend, but Bondeson said they are just the vehicles of friendship.

“I think it’s the RVs and people from all over getting to come together to see each other once a year,” Bondeson said. “You talk to old friends.”

The Samboree had a number of scheduled events, from potlucks and musical acts, to seminars and card games.

Good Sam members enjoyed their state Samboree in Rugby at the Pierce County fairgrounds. The Good Sam members say that friendship keeps bringing them back every year. Photos by Chris Bieri/PCT

“The key is participation,” he said. “If you don’t participate, you don’t get much out of it.”

The Bakers have been to 19 Samborees in North Dakota and another 40 in other states and provinces.

“It’s a small family,” Linda Baker said. “Every state and province has at least one.”

Schoon said there’s plenty of shared events and a lot of talk on the latest and greatest things in the RV world.

“There’s an idea of sharing and helping others,” he said. “Particularly tech topics. Why is this problem happening and how do you solve it?”

With so many RV enthusiasts in one place, rarely is there an issue that hasn’t come up with another Good Sam member.

“If you need something fixed, someone around here can fix it,” she said. “Somebody knows the solution.”

The RVs range from humongous to small and cozy, and Schoon said everyone is treated the same.

“You get out of your rig and walk out that door, we’re all just Good Sammers,” Schoon said.

Rugby has been a popular location for the state Samboree, as much for the people as the location.

“The fireman have been so great, and Shelley (Block) has been the girl on the go,” Schoon said.

“Rugby is wonderful to us,” Bondeson said. “We’re not just saying that because we’re here. We’re saying it because it’s true.”

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