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'It's not me, it's you' - a warden reflects

June 8, 2012
by Laura Canning | guides

T Not a barbecue. (Photo by fritzmb@flickr) he long break is over! Cue sighs of relief from parents, from non-parents who can now get an ice cream from the van in the park without queuing…and from many campsite wardens.

In our Camping Stereotypes blog, we covered the stereotype of the maniacal warden prowling about the campsite with a torch to leap and shush anyone giggling at one minute past quiet time. (although we're always on the lookout for campsites with unusual rules, such as one in Lancaster where swearing - and booze - is banned.) But, as we said in the camping stereotypes blog, no-one we know has ever met this type of warden and thus it is a Scurrilous Myth. And a Facebook post we received at the weekend from one campsite owner has made us firmly jam our ‘warden support’ hat on and decide to fly the flag here for anyone who’s ever had to deal with annoying customers, on campsites and off. Let the ranting begin!

Sadly the campsite owner in question has decided to hang up his keys after this season because of the behaviour of what he says is now the majority of campers at the site, as opposed to a few rogue campers as it was a few years back.

‘I am sad to say that due to the actions of the majority of campers my loyalty has now gone,’ he writes.  ‘Rubbish strewn all over the tent fields, refusal to restrain dogs, refusal to pick up their dog mess (even when witnessed by myself). Refusal to follow site rules (continuing to have campfires when they have been told we do not permit them), arguing that their fire is "actually" a BBQ, even though it has logs on it with flames and no griddle… Being abusive to staff trying to do their job of ensuring ALL campers have a good time.’

Most of the trouble is with large family groups, he adds, especially with parents ‘letting their kids run riot the length of the site while they sit around getting hammered even though the site is very busy with cars, vans, motorhomes coming and going.’  And, our favourite part of his post: ‘OH and btw, when the site has 10amp hook ups, don't threaten to punch the warden because it keeps tripping. Try not to have the TV, PlayStations, laptops, microwave, heater and blasted kettle on at the same time........if you need all this, then perhaps you should consider staying at home!’ A fine rant, sir, and we applaud you fully.

It’s not just this one campsite owner either. Clueless and rude campers are everywhere, it seems, as one of our favourite Twitter feeds often shows. It’s run by a chap known as CampsiteWarden , who, in between general camping advice and helpful comments, shares his thoughts on some of the hapless folk who somehow find their way onto his site. He has had people complaining that it is dark at night and that apparently it was his fault when a camper fell off her bicycle (sans helmet) on a cycle route he had suggested. Some of our favourite gems include:

  • ‘Closed for cleaning’ can apparently also be read as ‘Climb over obstacles, move bins, take toilet brush out of pan and use anyway.’
  • I've just found a customer getting frustrated by our exit barrier - He couldn't find anywhere to put his own front door key!
  • Why is it that campers never ask me "What have you done to the weather?" when the sun has got his hat on?

‘God help us all’, CampsiteWarden added to his front door key tweet, for which we applaud him fully too.

There are excuses to be made for dimness and some types of annoying camper , but not for rudeness or acting like you think you’re the only group on the campsite, as of course y'all know. Why, you’d almost think that not everyone going to campsites has read the Pitchup.com guide to camping etiquette . Perhaps it should be forcible, sorry, recommended reading upon any arrival at a campsite. We’re sure many put-upon campsite wardens would agree.

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