More than 550 campers and RVs will be parked at the Missouri State Fairgrounds over the next week, as Family Campers and RVers will celebrate the organization’s 60th birthday during the group’s annual Campvention.
Charla Yost, of Springtown, Tex., said members started arriving Wednesday for the event, which started Friday and runs through Thursday.
It is the second time the non-profit has held its annual outing in Sedalia.
“People are nice in the town. We had a national rally in 1994, and had such good response from the area we decided to come back,” said Yost, the event’s chairwoman.
Members will attend events ranging form educational seminars to a teen queen pageant. Yost said the group’s members range from families with children to retirees.
“We have a wide variety. We have people who are coming in today with children, because they’re working ... and we open up early, two days before Campvention, and the full-timers and retirees can get set up early,” Yost said.
One of those families, the Snodgrass family from outside Cleveland, Ohio, comes every year.
“We plan our summer vacation around coming out here. We’ve been different places,” said Robert Snodgrass. The family has visited Canada, New York, Wyoming, Pennsylvania, Missouri and more. His wife, Karen, said they get to see a lot of friends at the event.
“Some of them we see along the road on our way here,” she said.
She said she enjoys the comfort of traveling in an RV.
“I like having my house along with me,” she said, and she doesn’t like the idea of sleeping in beds others have slept in, in rooms others have cleaned.
“I like having the comfort of my own home there. We don’t have the biggest RV in the world, with all the bells and whistles, but it’s a soft bed,” she said.
They bring their dog, a Chihuahua mix named Homer, along with them and their daughter, Jennifer, gets to see and play with old friends and make new ones at the annual event. She enjoys doing crafts and participating in the activities.
The group’s motto is, “Where strangers become friends and friends become family,” and event co-chairwoman Luella Sprague, of Independence, said the group is all about “fun and fellowship.”
The group will hold a parade at 10 a.m. Thursday at the fairgrounds. The public is invited to attend the parade, and see what the group is like.
“We would invite anyone from the city to come out and come to the registration booth and we’ll show them around, get them acclimated. Come to an entertainment and try us out,” Yost said.