Editor’s Note: This is a 2016 blog post but we are offering this service in 2017 as well.
Life is busy, crazy, always in motion. If it’s possible to eliminate a hassle somewhere in all the hectic pace wouldn’t you want to?
I just may have the answer for you!
Picture this — you’ve decided to drive your daughter to camp but you also have two other kids with you that day. After her trunk and duffel fill the mini van, space is tight, not exactly the most comfortable for the long trip down.
Or, you’re dropping her off at grandma’s to catch the camp bus the next day and grandma has a tiny car and no one to help tie the trunk to the top.
Or even if your circumstances aren’t tight or complicated, you just wish that the whole luggage piece of getting off to camp was a little easier.
Garrett, Taylor and I were wandering through the exhibit hall and walked past the Camp Trucking booth but weren’t really sure what they were offering. We thought it had something to do with renting trucks for your camp, something we don’t need. But then I saw something about luggage. The three people at the booth caught our eyes just as we were literally about to pass them by, and they struck up a conversation. They were so nice, and they explained their process very well, and by the end I knew it was a service that so many of our families would LOVE!
So, what DOES Camp Trucking do?
Camp Trucking is a company that delivers campers’ luggage to and from camp for you, not only to make your life easier on travel day, but also to make your camper’s life easier on Opening Day at camp since her luggage is already in her tent waiting for her!
Camp Trucking only serves East Coast camps — no other types of businesses, and no other areas of the country for camps. (However, they can and do pick up luggage from almost anywhere in the US for delivery.) And they’re experienced, having hauled camp luggage to and from homes for over forty years!
Now we’re ready to join their roster of camps served!
This year we’ll offer Camp Trucking only for Term Camp since they typically service camps with sessions longer than one week. At the same time, they’re open to trying Mini Camp for Summer 2017 pending the success of our 2016 Term Camp run.
Nuts and bolts
The way YOU get on board with Camp Trucking is by signing up online with them directly beginning today or via a paper form that you’ll get in our spring mailer. There is a deadline: You have to sign up by May 15th!
However there are options— you can sign up for one way (either opening or closing day) or round trip. Once you do, you’ll hear from them in June with an exact luggage pick-up date (about a week before Opening Day at camp), along with some tags to put on the trunk, duffel, luggage, etc. Of course you have to make sure your trunk and duffel are packed and ready to go that day.
And guess what’s even easier? It’s not like waiting for the cable guy because you don’t even have to be home when the pickup occurs! You can stipulate in your communications with Camp Trucking that you’ll be leaving the luggage outside somewhere, or in your back yard, or wherever you want to, and they will get it.
Come luggage collection day, Camp Trucking puts all of Camp Alleghany’s luggage together in one truck (no other camps share the same truck that day) and then they deliver it all to camp approximately two days prior to the Term’s Opening Day.
Since we’re already staffed by that point, our Facilities Director Garrett O’Dell and his Green Team crew will collect all the luggage they deliver and then parcel it out to each camper’s tent (also already set up by the administration team) prior to arrival on Opening Day.
The same thing goes for Closing Day, with Garrett and his crew picking up all luggage from the tents to deliver it directly to Camp Trucking’s truck in our parking lot. It will then be delivered to your home or to whichever address you indicate.
Talk about turn key!
The sweet benefits of Camp Trucking!
Why should parents do this? Do I really have to explain? (Just kidding!)
But seriously, there are so many benefits to this!
New parents might find it difficult to visualize an Opening Day at camp with hundreds of girls descending upon the check-in point in our parking lot, and queuing up first for a lice check, and then to take the barge over to the “other side of the river.” But returning parents will understand why this is such a great idea!
Not only will the luggage be a non-issue in terms of “lugging” it both in the car and once out of the car, but like I said, there’s more room in the vehicle, and more transitional ease over all.
With that in place, all of Opening Day will be quicker and smoother the more people who sign up for this.
There will be fewer trunks and duffels to transport across the river, therefore the barge loads can be more people-focused, simple, quick, and efficient, without those annoying “luggage only” barge runs that slow things down for waiting families. All of this makes for more time to visit and tour camp, check things out, and settle in with fewer tasks.
Secondly, you won’t have to wait for your luggage! Returning families will all know that feeling of sitting there wondering when Garret’s crew will come by to drop off a round of trunks and duffels. Then when they finally do come by with luggage and…darn! — your luggage didn’t make it this time. Hurry up and wait gets old pretty fast! With Camp Trucking this is simply a non-issue as your luggage will be right where you need it the moment you arrive!
Third, as I said earlier, think about how much space is taken up in your vehicle with trunks and duffels — especially if you have sisters attending camp at the same time, or if you want to carpool with another camp friend, or you have other family members in tow.
Finally, if a camper arrives with lice (as determined by The Nit Fairies, our professional lice screening company that screens all campers before they cross the river, (as we’ve written about in several blogs), all that camper’s luggage must go in a hot dryer for 20 minutes, meaning not only a longer wait for the luggage, but all that nice folding and packing you did has to come undone.
If you sign up with Camp Trucking your luggage will be picked up about a week before camp starts. Lice can’t live on isolated clothing/fabrics for more than 48 hours. So this means if a camper comes with lice o her head but her trunk is already in camp, there’s no need at all to have to put her things in a dryer! The lice are already dead.
Those are some of the most obvious benefits to you, and to the smooth sailing of Opening Day. (Anyone who remembers last year’s Greenbrier River crest on Opening Day will also remember that luggage had to sit on the other side of the River for 2-3 days after Opening Day, a terribly inconvenient thing for campers but something that couldn’t be avoided because of where we’re located — that pristine setting has its costs. If luggage had been delivered even one day earlier that would have been avoided.) Of course we can’t guarantee weather, etc., but the main point is that pre-coordinating luggage will cut out hassles, make things run more smoothly for you and your daughter’s camp experience, and save time in so many ways.
More details and sign ups
To register and calculate your trunk/luggage shipping fee you’ll visit the Camp Trucking website, enter our camp name, and then go through the process for your address. (Your fee is based on where the luggage is originating).
If you’re concerned about the truck breaking down or lost luggage, you can always choose the option to insure the luggage. (But remember, Camp Trucking has been doing this for over 40 years and they have back-up plans in place in case of trucking trouble, so that’s not a huge concern. And they plan well in advance to ensure the luggage will arrive on time, regardless of any mishaps.)
Once you’re on their website you can contact them directly with any questions or concerns, to keep in touch, or with any changes.
You may wonder if it’s worth it to do this if you’re daughter is riding the bus. For a couple of reasons it still makes sense.
First, she’ll still enjoy the ease of slipping into camp unfettered by luggage waits, or luggage derailed due to lice.
Secondly it would also mean more room for more campers on the bus, because we have to limit the number of campers due to how much luggage they bring.
If you’ve already planned to UPS your daughter’s trunk, we ask that you go through Camp Trucking instead! They work directly with FedEx and the pricing is competitive. Your daughter’s luggage would be shipped via FedEx to Camp Trucking’s hub (Colorado or New Jersey depending on the original shipping location) where it will then be placed on the truck heading to Alleghany. This means her things will arrive at the same time as everyone else’s. Also, you will not have to purchase a large shipping box, as Camp Trucking doesn’t require boxes.
Just for full disclosure, we want you to know that Camp Alleghany does not in any way financially benefit from this. This is purely to make logistics easier on both camp and the camper families. All we gain from it is smoother opening and closing day logistics, maybe less man power working on lice laundry, and getting started on the fun stuff at camp sooner!
Let’s do this!
We already liked the idea when we first heard it but it was also fun to see their reps get giddy over the idea of our Barge — they had to watch our camp video right away to see it in action and thought it was the coolest thing ever!
We ended up talking to them for about a half an hour, excited about how great this would be if parents signed up for it, and how much more smoothly opening day would be for everyone involved, and that’s how it started! From there, lots of emails and phone calls began, and now we have our plan in place — all that’s needed now is you.
We encourage families to take advantage of this added bit of ease on you and your planning, and the added bonus of it being so much better for your camper when camp begins and ends.
I’m excited and I hope families will be, too!
— Elizabeth Dawson Shreckhise, Assistant Director, Camp Alleghany for Girls