So, you've taken the plunge and bought a camping unit. You've then made the wise choice to join the Camping and Caravanning Club and you've been sent lot's of literature and on your card it says North East Lancs D.A. (or something similar). You might be wondering what a D.A. is and what's all this other jargon people keep going on about. Well, read on and hopefully enlightenment will follow.
D.A. District Associations (not Dumbledoors' Army). These are the backbone of the club, with the country being organised into D.A.'s, who are then part of a region (NELDA are part of the North West Region) and then National Council and HQ. D.A.' s and Regions are run entirely by volunteers, who give up their free time to run and organise meets and events, as well as carry out administration tasks and run websites. There are also special interest sections who cater for those with specific interests, e.g. The Walking and Cycling section tend to favour meets in areas where walking and cycling are easily accessible close to the site. For ease this article refers to all sections as D.A.'s.
Meets Also known as rallies, these last between 2 and 5 days, often in areas where you couldn't otherwise camp. You don't always have to book, but it's wise (and polite) to check that there's no last minute issues , by checking the Website or Facebook page or you can call the Steward if their number is listed. Sometimes D.A.'s will organise activities around at specific times such as Halloween or Bonfire Night. Othertimes they create their own events, such as Leeds D.A.'s famous Bogie Race which is usually held in June. Sometimes there are no activities at all. What's important to remember, is that there is no enforced 'fun' at meets and Ted Bovis definately does not make an appearance.
T.H.S. Temporary Holiday Sites, run by D.A.'s and regions lasting between 6 and 28 days and you can one night or the whole event.
Unit This what we call your tent, Trailer Tent, Caravan, Motorhome or whatever you're sleeping in.
Facilities All meets will have access to fresh water and disposal for toilets and grey water and most of the time, that's it! Some sites will have more facilities or access to them such as toilets, showers or electric hook ups. If in doubt please check with the Steward or meet listing. Some T.H.S. meets are near commercial sites giving you the use of those facilities and the meet listing will usually reflect this.
Steward This is the person/people in overall charge of the meet. They will usually be positioned at the entrance to the site and will be on hand to show you where the facilities are, as well as take your money. On some occasions it will be necessary for the steward to allocate you a pitch and tell you where to site your unit. This is usually for space and safety reasons, rather than making the site look pretty. If you have any issues on site that you cannot resolve yourself, then please let the steward know and they will try and help.
Pitch This is the space allocated to camp on, some sites have limited space and will allocate you an area but the majority will have plenty of room for say a car, caravan, awning and somewhere to sit out. Again, if you are in any doubt ask the organiser of the meet.
Pup Tent This is a smallish tent, usually occupied by children on the pitch of a family group. It's a great opportunity for kids to start to appreciate the independence of camping as well as some of the responsibilities involed, e.g. proper pitching. Please note there should be no cooking or naked flames in a pup tent.
Elsan The Elsan point is where you empty your chemical toilet. There will sometime be a tap to rinse it out, if not please do not take your toilet to the fresh water tap but use a seperate bottle.
Fresh Water Do not take any part of your toilet to the fresh water tap at any meet, under any circumstance, ever. It's also polite to santise your hands before using it.
Grey Water The water that comes out of your grey water pipes, such as washing up water, should be collected in a suitable receptacle and disposed of according to the landowner/stewards instructions.
Rubbish You are responsible for the removal of your rubbish from the site. The majority of T.H.S.'s will provide rubbish removal and some recycling but ultimately you must ensure that your pitch is clear when you leave and that rubbish is disposed of properly.
Dogs Dogs and other pets who can roam should be on a lead at all times when outside. Poo to be cleaned up promptly and disposed of properly.
Rules You should adhere to the Club's rules at all times whilst on site, the main ones being: 20 feet distance between units, 5mph max speed on site for all types of vehicle and no noise between 11pm and 7am.
Other Campers From time to time you may encounter other campers wandering the site, usually with a beverage in their hands. Do not fear them, as they are generally friendly, as long as you do not remove their beverages.