Good Sams relish fellowship, fun at annual Samboree

By LIZ HARTNETT

neighborhoods@ColumbiaMissourian.com

Have you ever been to a Samboree?

From Sept. 23 to Sept. 26, region four of the Good Sam Club met for its annual gathering, known as the Samboree, at the Boone County Fairgrounds.

The Good Sams, short for good Samaritans, is a nationwide recreation vehicle club. Their philosophy is one that believes in helping distressed drivers, wherever they may be.

“We’ve chosen to be helpful to other people on the highway and elsewhere,” said Jean Gardner, state director of the Missouri chapter of the Good Sam Club.

Every September, the Good Sams of region four, which includes Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas and Louisiana, meet at the Boone County Fairgrounds for their annual Samboree, a weeklong gathering of RVs, which is sponsored by Loveall RVs. Other members from across the country also travel to participate.

The event includes activities, games and entertainment that center around the three Fs that the members, most of whom are retirees, believe in: food, fun and fellowship.

“If our kids knew how much fun we were having, they’d have us committed,” Gardner said. “We’re just having a good time.”

Some members have been going to the Samboree for several decades. Wally Wallingford and his wife, Gloria, have been attending their regional Samboree for the past 30 years.

“We’ve met people and made friends that we never would have seen,” Wallingford said. “We absolutely love it.”

The Good Sam Club started in 1966 and was developed in Trailer Life magazine, formerly known as Trailer News, a newsletter made for those who enjoyed traveling with their RV. Since then, Samborees have continued across the world, including places such as Venezuela and Canada.

“It’s like a family reunion,” “Sambassador” Don Woodard said. “It’s centered around one word: love.”

The next Samboree will be held in Winfield, Kan.

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Filed under Blue Ridge—Oakland, Columbia-Boone County

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