Starting a camp site in France makes for great stories

If there is one thing you learn when you start a campsite in France, it is that people never cease to surprise you. Because you meet a lot of people, you get to know more people. But even then, guests know how to surprise you; positively or negatively. The best thing about camping is that you meet a lot of different people. And that they all enjoy a special place. Our spot. And whatever their background, they all go home with memories of beautiful moments, experiences and conversations.

Brabant France Emigrate Starting a campsite

Alin
June 5, 2022

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The introduction to this blog sounds very ideal. And in most cases it is. You meet people at a pleasant time in their lives: holidays, freedom, good weather..... These are all factors that contribute to a good mood. But that good mood doesn't always come immediately on arrival at the campsite. A long, tiring drive has preceded, with the stress of a whole year's work still resting on the shoulders of the guests. And when things are a bit disappointing, such as the weather being less than perfect, or the prospect of pitching a tent when you are tired, the good mood is not immediately visible on their faces. By now, we know that it is good to leave them alone. The next day, after a quiet and relaxing night, the mood is much better! And then they do have an eye for the beautiful place they have ended up in and some of the stress has been shaken off.

Protecting privacy
But there are also those who immediately feel at home and report the very same day at the kitchen door to find out more about the area and what to do there. Sometimes it is important to protect your privacy, even though you make yourself as much as possible 'available' to the guests. Especially when the children were still small and they were entitled to our time and attention, we sometimes had to be 'strict' and set limits for guests walking in. But you start with a campsite and you still have to find your way in it. After more than ten years, this is no longer a problem. Even though unexpected things still happen sometimes, with a guest suddenly sitting on your couch in front of the television to watch the Tour de France. Huh? How did that happen again?

You meet people at a pleasant time in their lives: holiday, freedom, nice weather....

No need for electricity
Fortunately, most people respect our privacy, and you learn by doing. We used to have a freezer in the shed, for our own use. The barn door was always open. I often found guests in the barn making their ice cubes in our freezer or putting in their cooling elements. No, they did not need electricity, they did not need equipment or a cool box. I quickly understood why not. Eventually you make other choices and adapt your service. Our pitches are now for rent with electricity, whether you use it or not. Solved.

Chicken shit
There have also been many special incidents; some you never forget. Like the one of a couple that arrived unexpectedly in the evening for a camping spot. A car from a somewhat higher price range, the lady in a cheerful summer dress and open sandals with a heel. The man stayed in the car, the lady spoke to me while I was talking to another camper. Whether there was still a place available. Yes, you can choose one. But, they told me, their tent was new and should not get dirty. Fortunately, it was dry, so that seemed no problem. The mouth of the guest next to me fell open a little. The lady inspected the campsite and came back wobbling on her heels to tell me they would not be spending the night here. "There are chicken droppings everywhere and the tent will get dirty," so they looked for another campsite. Chicken droppings? Indeed, our chickens run free, also on the site, but it turned out later that they meant the stirred-up piles of earth from earthworms. You see them a lot here. In the meantime, the man had turned the car around and the woman got in and the couple drove off again. The camping guest's mouth had now closed again and he asked me: "Did she say that the tent shouldn't get dirty? We laughed heartily about it several times afterwards.

Big family from Brabant
Another special visit that we remember with great pleasure: a cosy family from Brabant, where everything was 'grand'. They came with a bus, with a really big caravan behind it. Upon arrival, the whole combination got stuck halfway down our road; it goes up quite a bit with us and the gentleman couldn't drive on. Fortunately, we have an old Landrover with a lot of horsepower that could pull the caravan uphill. Once installed, two giant Great Danes got out of the van. The caravan was quickly stabilised and an enormous awning was put on, covering the entire length of the imposing caravan. Halfway through their holiday, the son joined them. He put up a small tent himself, next to the caravan he was sleeping in. We did not understand. Such an enormous caravan and awning; surely there was room for one more person? "No, that is not possible. Our two little dogs each have their own bed in the caravan and awning!" We felt sorry for the son, although fortunately he didn't seem to be bothered at all.

Summer & Music
It often happens that we are around the campfire with a group of different nationalities. One summer we had a few families visiting at the same time. Belgians, Dutch but also French. One gentleman was a member of a pop group and had brought his guitar. His children had clearly inherited his musical talent because they sang along with him. He played the most recent pop music and he and his children also knew the lyrics by heart. Good music that inspired other families to perform their acts and encouraged guests to sing along. A musical summer without any plans. Also not to be forgotten........