There is something pure and amazing about camping alone. It allows you to get back to nature – no strings attached. The degree to which you thrive is literally based on your ability. It is the most honest assessment of where you are. More, there’s no expectation about where to be and when to show up – it’s great!
But…like…look, I recently had the opportunity to go group camping and y’all, lemme tell you, it’s what’s up. I had a freaking awesome time.
My first group camping experience was based on whim and a stranger’s Instagram post. I wasn’t the only one to see it either- about 30 of us stayed at Geers Royal Kingdom Campground just outside of Richmond, Virginia.
This is a primitive/dry campsite – no power, no sewage, and cell service was reduced to one bar without a cell booster. Be prepared to bring in everything you need. You’re about a 15 minute drive from the nearest resupply (a truck stop w/showers to boot!).
Don’t be surprised to see deer around your campsite. There’s even a small hiking trail that leads to a series of groves and firepits for group mediation or group rum imbibing.
Okay, okay, so who did I go with? I traveled with Black Nomads Meet. I’d never done large group camping and I wasn’t the only first timer. In this massive campout we had folks from all over the east coast, including TWO PEOPLE WHO JUUUUUUUUST purchased their rigs and showed up.
To confirm, not just newbies to group camping, but newbies to everything. One person had only purchased her RV the day before!
Let them serve as your reminder to get outdoors now. Their rigs weren’t finished and they didn’t know how to use everything inside, but that didn’t stop them from having fun! You’ll never have the perfect van or RV, so just get out with what you have.
I wonder how different my entire camping viewpoint would be had my first experience been with a group? My first camping trip was…umm…challenging. But here, there was a community effort to assist with everything from setting up stoves and figuring out tanks to leveling out and setting up tents.
Anyway, with a group campout out we had structured events to allow for community building, but also plenty of solo time. Someone set up a coffee table (in the woods), yoga (in the woods), a potluck (in the woods), and gotdanged brunch station.
A brunch station? A brunch station!
Would I travel with this crew again? Absolutley. I met folks there I consider friends – so much so that a few of us signed up for another group camping event (but that’s a post for another day).
So, check out the Geer’s Royal Kingdom if you’re passing through central Virginia. Just as important, Google local camping groups in your area. You never know when you’ll meet your next camping buddy.