Camping club arrives in Hastings

A lot of RVs are coming to town — a lot.

The Nebraska Good Sam Camping Club has held its annual state Samboree in Hastings annually since 1998. The Samboree took place in earlier years but it moved to Kearney for a few years before returning to Hastings.

“They are expecting between 230 to 250 campers (RVs). We probably have maybe 100 on the grounds right now,” said Sandy Himmelberg, general manager of the Adams County Fairgrounds.

The Samboree will take place at the fairgrounds through Sunday.

“Probably by 2 p.m. Sunday, the majority of these people will be gone,” she said.

During the week, events at the annual Nebraska Samboree include many games, seminars and visiting with vendors.

“They call it a big family reunion. Some of these people only see each other once a year and that's when they come here to Hastings. So they just call it their big Good Sam family reunion,” Himmelberg said.

The Samboree also features some “Jam Sessions,” craft classes, a pet parade and a “well-attended” ladies tea Friday morning, according to Himmelberg.

“We rent them out the large activities center building. We set it up and they take it over from there. I am just glad that they are in Hastings. The economy in Hastings will certainly see an influx with this group,” Himmelberg said.

“We offer like 30-some different games ranging from outdoor games like ladder golf and a tractor rodeo, horseshoes, Bocce ball to indoor games like pegs and jokers, cribbage, skip ball, dominoes and all kinds of indoors cards and board games,” said Carla Gries, director of the Nebraska Good Sam Camping Club.

The Samboree also features seminars on subjects like how to find the right satellite signal, grills, essential oils and RV safety.

“Those aren't all of them but that is a sample of what we have,” she said.

Opening ceremonies for the Samboree will be Thursday night with many local dignitaries scheduled to appear.

The nightly entertainment at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday is open to the public free of charge, according to Gries.

For the last few years, Gries said an average of 230 RVs have attended the Hastings Samboree. This equates to about 500 people.

To read more, see Wednesday's Hastings Tribune or the Tribune e-edition.>>

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