What is a District Association?
The Camping & Caravanning Club is comprised of 93 District Associations. DA’s are groups of local members who organise rallies and camping meets for all members who wish to camp in their area. Our DA covers most parts of Hampshire. Several DA’s grouped together form a Region, our DA is part of Southern Region. There are 13 regions covering the whole of the UK. Members are automatically allocated to the DA which covers their postcode area (printed in bottom left corner of the membership card). However you are welcome to attend meets organised by any DA in any region. You may also opt to change your DA by co-opting into another DA at any time, this then gives you a voting right at the DA’s AGM in February of each year.
What Hampshire DA has to offer.
Regular weekend camping meets held throughout the season on a wide variety of sites. Social events where you can meet other members and make new friends -such events from walks and skittle evenings to dinner dances and discos. Activities for children are arranged at some weekend meets.
How to Take Part
Any member of the Camping & Caravanning Club can attend any DA meet, you are NOT restricted to the DA shown on your card, although generally their meets will be closer to your home. Each meet will be organised by and under the control of a Steward. The Steward is a regular DA member who has volunteered to put out directional signage,liase with the landowner and generally facilitate the weekend’s activities. They are unpaid. DA meets are generally without the benefit of commercial facilities unless noted otherwise and you will need to provide your own toilet facilities. Electric hook ups are not usually available, Elsan disposal points and fresh water will always be provided.
Arriving on Site
The site opening time is Noon on the first day of the meet (usually a Friday) unless notified otherwise. Please do not arrive earlier than the stated time unless you have previously phoned the Steward and received his or her permission to arrive early. On entering the site please observe the 5MPH signs (walking pace) and visit the Stewards unit to ‘Book In’. The Steward will generally have their unit set up close to the site entrance and they will have a STEWARDS sign outside their unit. This is the only formality all weekend and in itself is very informal.
When booking in the Steward will ask you for your membership cards, payment, inform you of the location of the water point and Elsan disposal point, point out any site features and advise of events (if any) planned for the duration of the meet. You are then free to pitch your unit anywhere within the site boundaries ensuring only that you are a minimum of 6m (20 foot) clear of any other unit. This includes awnings, tents and windbreaks.
Please observe the 5mph speed limit whilst on site. This is to safeguard all on site, but in particular the many children that attend, all of whom are having too good a time to pay any attention to traffic on site. You should always keep 6m (20’) between units so as to give your neighbour some privacy and to ensure that in the unfortunate event of fire in one unit that no other unit is affected and also to allow access for fire fighters.
A fire bucket, filled with water should be kept by the front of your unit. This will be extremely handy in the event of a fire in a unit when the collective effect of everyone’s fire buckets can prevent a small problem becoming a major one. In hot weather they also provide drinking water for animals. Between 11pm and 7am we all try to keep noise to a minimum, and vehicle movements are not allowed unless in an absolute emergency. This is so as not to disturb those who wish to sleep.
Dogs are welcome at all meets. All considerate dog owners will appreciate that whilst on site dogs must be kept on a lead at all times and will remember to clean up behind their pets. When you leave site we ask that you ensure that you leave the area around your pitch as clean as when you arrived.
What happens at a meet?
The Stewards may arrange a walk through the adjoining countryside or to the nearest pub. Various sports may be organised, at the bigger meets a swimming pool and use of a hall may be arranged. Some meets include a disco, occasionally fancy dress parties or prize bingo. All meets have social gatherings where people just congregate together for good company and conversation.
At a lot of our meets you will see that the DA marquee will have been put up. This is to provide a meeting point for all and is generally used on an evening for social get togethers, where you bring your own chairs and refreshments for yourself. This is your invitation to come along and join in. A group of people collected around BBQ’s or sat in a circle of camping chairs is not a clique of members wishing to separate themselves but an open invitation to all to join in.
Wander along with your chair and/or BBQ and join in, bring a drink and enjoy the atmosphere and friendships you will undoubtedly make. On Sundays (or the last day) we normally have a coffee morning (11am unless stated otherwise) in front of the Stewards awning (or marquee) where all you need to do is turn up with a chair and an empty cup and we will provide hot drinks and biscuits.
What about the Children
The ages of the children camping in the DA ranges from newborn through to late teens. All make friends with each other regardless of age and all look out for each other. Children have a great time and this is one of the principal reasons so many families love DA camping. Most children sleep by their parents units in their own pup tents, sometimes sharing with friends.
For children it’s just like a big sleepover. Exploring, playing rounders, hide and seek and football are just some of the activities they either organise for themselves or have organised by some brave adult, this combined with the chance to form another friendship group away from school and home and the opportunity to find the only mud for miles results in happy but exhausted offspring on a Sunday evening allowing the parents the chance to relax all weekend. Upon reaching the age of 8 for the Junior section (CCJ) or 12 for the Youth section (CCY), which are even more fun. When youth and junior lines are organised at a meet they are in an area on the same site but separate from the parents units. They are supervised by the
Youth Leaders and Junior Leaders who organise many activities as well as teaching them the principals of camping. Recent events have seen our younger members travelling to Yorkshire for the National Youth Rally and Alton Towers. Those who pass their Youth test and are 14 years old become eligible to attend the annual International Youth Rallies. In the past few years we have seen them travel to Poland, Slovakia, Portugal and Italy.
Is DA camping just for Families?
Not at all, DA camping is for everyone. Our current membership has members still camping regularly who are retired, some have been camping with the DA for 40+ years and have seen their children and grandchildren become DA members. Others have taken to camping with the DA only recently and having experienced the friendliness of our DA have become regulars.
What about the Sites
As mentioned earlier we visit many different areas around our region and use sites with varying facilities and attractions, full details are within our calendar of events
Where do I find out about DA meets and events?
You receive a monthly ‘Camping and Caravanning’ Magazine, the back section of the magazine is called ‘Out & About’ and is dedicated to DA’s and special interest sections. In here, you will find information about meets taking place over the coming month. The listing will state whether or not you need to book and other useful, general information.
There is an Introduction to Out & About on the first few pages which is also very useful if you’re reading for the first time. Abbreviations are common in the listings because we’re limited to characters – you’ll soon get used to them and there’s a key to help you.
Do I need to book or can I just turn up?
Each meet is different, but it will indicate it the meet listing whether you need to book.
‘Bkg Ess’ means Booking Essential – you must contact the meet organiser to book a place.
‘Bkg Adv’ means Booking Advisable – in order to guarantee a space, you should pre-book to avoid being turned away.
Usually, if it doesn’t say anything about pre-booking you can simply turn up on the day. If you’re unsure – contact the DA, they’ll be happy to help.
We take pride in welcoming you as a member or visitor to Hampshire DA and assure you of a pleasurable time in our company.