A meet can be anything our members want it to be – they are organised by our members for our members, but a certain style has emerged over many years of la strada Club meets. The venues are many and varied, across the UK and in Europe. Some are formal campsites, others are rally fields with lots of space to do our own thing, while others are something different, from museums to motorhome dealers. The Club has a Natural England exemption certificate, which allows us to meet at locations which don’t normally allow camping, so we also enjoy meets at places such as rugby clubs and schools.
We often have group activities, but there’s no expectation that everyone has to join in. If you want to, you can turn up at the venue, say hello and go off every day to do your own thing – or you can come along for a group walk, a shopping expedition, or spend a warm summer evening chatting to fellow Club members
Our meets are usually for four nights, either a long weekend (Thursday to Monday) or during the week (Monday to Friday). You needn’t attend for the entire duration and in some cases, depending on the venue, it’s possible to arrange to extend your stay if that’s what you want to do. With most of our meets you don’t need to make individual arrangements with the venue – the Club handles the booking and payment to the venue. However, for some meets, particularly those on formal campsites, you do need to make your own booking with the venue.
Our meets are each organised by a Meet Organiser, who has volunteered to help with the logistics of the meet. In some cases people identify a local venue or event, and offer to help as Meet Organiser. Our Meets Coordinator creates the overall meets calendar each year and works with the individual Meet Organisers to make every meet a success.
What can I expect at a meet?
Once you’ve booked up and travelled to the venue, what might you expect? Here are some of the activities and terms you might hear about from the Meet Organiser. Don’t worry – not all of our meets will feature all of these.
- “Meet and Greet” – drinks and snacks hosted by the Meets Organiser (the Club pays for the costs of this) to allow everyone an informal opportunity to get together. We usually locate this in and around the Club gazebos so that we can make the best of the weather. The meet and greet is usually on the first evening of a meet, but sometimes this is changed if people’s arrival times suggest a better arrangement.
- “Shared Supper” – people bring along food contributions to be shared amongst the attendees. The contributions are all a bit random, but it always seems to work.
- Pub meal – if there is a local pub, it’s often fun to have a group meal.
- Walks and cycle rides – many of our members walk and cycle, and these are often group activities, organised by the Meet Organiser or another member.
- Sporting activities – we sometimes enjoy what might loosely be regarded as sporting activities. In recent years we’ve had informal boules matches, a more formal croquet introduction and a couple of quizzes. As with all our activities, there’s no shame in not taking part.
- Places of interest – we sometimes have the opportunity for a group visit to a local attraction, sometimes exclusive to our group.
- Local events – some of our meets, both in the UK and in Europe, are centred around a local event or festival.
- The AGM – as a properly constituted club we hold an AGM every year, and build this into one of our meets. It’s an opportunity for our members to put a face to names they will have seen, to hear what has happened over the previous year and to share ideas about the Club’s activities with the Committee and other members.
- Sharing technical knowledge – there is a wealth of diverse experience in the Club, with la stradas in particular and motorhomes in general.
Just as important as what to expect is what you won’t expect. It’s not Butlins. You won’t be forced to join in or (except where there’s good reason) told which way round to park.
How do I get to enjoy all this?
You will find information about our meets on the Club website, via our Newsletters, on our Facebook Group page and directly by email. All you have to do is to let the Meet Organiser know that you’d like to come along – or sometimes book direct with the site. For those who have a busy life, in many cases our venues are such that you can make this a last-minute decision, but it does always help us if you can let us know that you’re coming, and when you expect to arrive.
Of course, all of this is only possible because people let us know about attractive venues and interesting events, and some wonderful people volunteer as meet organisers. While it’s lovely if you can help us with meet organisation, you don’t have to organise the meet just because you’ve suggested a good meet opportunity – all contributions are welcome.
The most important aspect of being a member of our Club is for it to be enjoyable, and our meets calendar is a wonderful way for our members to share the happiness of la strada ownership and the motorhome lifestyle.