Remember when you were young and there was always an cranky old lady or couple who just seemed to hate kids ? The kind of person who would peer out from behind their lace curtains when you were out on your bike or kicking a ball about ? The kind of person who, if you did happen to kick your ball over their fence, would never ever give you it back ?
Well, I can exclusively reveal that these people are alive and well, and are running the CAMPING AND CARAVANNING CLUB. Yes, they’re running a secret society to spoil our fun and they’re on a mission to enlist even more curtain-twitching members to their cause.
Before you dismiss this as some ludicrous accusation, take a few moments to consider the evidence. It wasn’t until I wrote my recent post on Scotland’s Top 10 Campsites** that the pieces started to fall into place: not one of the Top 10 sites (or for that matter, the additional 18 good alternative sites) I’ve listed is run by the C&CC. This is essentially because they’re not very good.
Consider my evidence:
- First, the C&CC are DISCIPLINARIANS. They like rules, rules, and yet more rules. Have you noticed how many signs they have on their sites telling what you can’t do ? When you get your campsite information at check-in, the good staff at the C&CC give you a whole book of rules ! No ballgames. No barbeques. No fires. No mobile phones in the washblocks (sadly, true). No fun, that’s what I say.
- Their campsites are IMMACULATE. The grass is always manicured, the hedges neatly trimmed and the wash block spick and span. Yes, that’s right, just like their bungalows in suburbia where they came from. There’s a saying – “dull women live in spotless houses” – and I think that just goes to show they are in fact the same boring busybodies that use to terrorise us as kids.
- They’re out to SPOIL OUR FUN and they have a specific plan to grow their membership so they can indoctrinate the rest of us. Yes, they claim that they are already “the world’s oldest and largest Club for all forms of camping, with over 500,000 members” and they even want to recruit more members to their rules-based culture.
They call themselves “The Friendly Club”. Ha, could’ve fooled me ! Like the time when we called to book a site*** they steadfastly refused to confirm that we could camp in a pitch next to our friends. They made us book separately – rules, you see – and said we’d just “have to take our chances“. It turned out there was acres of space; they just didn’t want to appear helpful.
So, beware the curtain-twitchers. Camping is supposed to be fun. It’s where you get to experience the outdoors, stretch your boundaries and even take a few risks. It’s not supposed to be safe, boring and manicured. There are plenty other good sites that manage to get the balance right – so my advice is to go and stay at one of them instead.
** a shameless plug for a slightly more serious article.
*** yes, I admit it, I am a member (but not for long though). I was taken in by their “friendly” marketing ploy. Sucked into thinking I might enjoy staying at one of their sites.