I am not the type of person who camps in a tent - so all my friends and family were suprised when I signed up for Halloweeen weekend camping trip with a couple a the girls. They had camped before with Jeannine and her crew in prior years and all said it was fun and a great experience for inexperienced campers. I camped once before about 20 years ago, so I am a total novice - but I was excited to try something different from my usual weekend of running errands, shopping, dining out and a movie. Signed up on the website was very easy, the payment process was simple. I also RSVPed to the event on the Not a Clue facebook page- you can see there who else is going on your same trip.
About two weeks before our trip, we got detailed instructions about what to bring, what food would be available, and some suggestions on non-essentials items which might make us more comfortable over the weekend.
Arrived at the campsite in Sarasota, it was late afternoon Friday and the campsites were all set up, tents up, food was being cooked and there was a campfire going. Jeannine set up our "single ladies" tent over to the side so we were kinda out of the family zone- since all the others signed up for this trip were families with kids or couples. Very thoughtful for Jeannine to have anticipated this would be our preference so as not be be disturbed by the little ones early in the morning, and so we could keep the party going late without bothering the others who turned in a bit earlier at night. Jeannine and her volunteers showed us how to make a campfire, and were very happy to explain how they did the cooking on the camp stoves. Good information for a beginner like me. One of the guys made us cowboy coffee on the campfire, which was SUPER strong but wonderful.
I am sure it can be tough to organize a trip for this number of people, but Not a Clue did an AWESOME job keeping us busy with activities, walks in the woods, a halloweeen parade- where nearly everyone dressed in costume (FUN!) and haunted trail for the kiddies.
I do have to mention a few things which may influence others decision to do concierge camping - overall these issues did not take away from my enjoyment of this experience but they may bother others. The choice of this Sarasota campsite was not the best - and according to my friends who went previous years, other campsites in the area have better facilities. The availability of toilets, showers and changing facilities was not up to my standards. I have been pop-up and trailer camping before so I have seen and used public bathroom facilities at other private campgrounds where there were large bathrooms with private stalls, multiple showers and changing areas. At this campsite, there were only 2 toilets for our entire group- and we were nearly 50 people. The only showers were outside stall showers with a tiny enclosed changing area and rain buckets supplying the water. It was too chilly to shower outside in the morning or evening and with no hot water- no one used those as far as I could tell. The only other thing I want to mention is that the meals were tasty but they were small portions. We were allowed to come back for seconds but if you are a big eater, you might want to bring some of your own snacks to fill in. Lastly, I had to leave first thing Sunday morning, and when I attempted to exit the capground, discovered that the front gate was chained and locked. someone came to unlock it quickly, but it seemed weird to me that it was locked to begin with, and if someone had to leave the property by car in the middle of the night (for ant reason) it would have been a real problem to get out quickly.
despite these few concerns, I had a GREAT time, and I told all my friends and neighbors about it! I highly recommend Camping for Dummies, with Not a Clue Adventures if you are looking for a way to "check out" of the hustle bustle. Don't forget, leave your cell phone and ipad behind, and remember how to talk with people without a smartphone in your hand, and really enjoy the beautiful land in Florida, that we so often take for granted.
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.