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1st year at Camp Scholler...any advice?

Posted By:
Kevin Bales
4
Posts
1
#1 Posted: 4/15/2010 19:00:13

Okay the thought of 30,000 folks heading to the showers at 7:30am does not thrill me.  And what about that 1am thunderstorm, while I'm in a 3-man tent with a flashlight and airband radio? Hmmm - have thought this one through?  After looking at the aerial photos from last year, I decided to program my handheld GPS with the breadcrumbs feature, just in case I can't find my camp space. 

I've heard scholler is a blast but seriously - any good advice to offer here?

 

Thanks in advance,

 

Kevin



KB
Gregg DeVaux
28
Posts
11
#2 Posted: 4/20/2010 23:12:55

Hi Kevin.   It's not as bad as you may think.  There is always room at the many shower houses, I have never had to wait very long maybe 10 minuets. For camp a lot of people put a tarp under the tent or over it to keep water off or out. You can leave things in your car to keep things dry, in case of rain. Bring some extra tent stakes or other things like that, to have you site set up.   It really is fairly simple to find your way around in the camp. The streets are marked and plenty of land marks to locate from.  I have found that everybody in camp are very friendly and will always help.  The Busses run you everywhere so, its very easy to get around and see the things you planned. Don't worry, its a great time. EAA has made huge efforts to make a special event for all.  Hope this helps if not write to my e-mail I be glad to answer any questions I can. 

   



Anthony Goetz
Homebuilder or Craftsman
32
Posts
5
#3 Posted: 4/21/2010 23:18:01

 Hi Kevin!

This year will be my second time going to AirVenture, and the second time camping in Scholler. Last time was in 2005. So take my vast Oshkosh camping experience for what it's worth, but here are the lessons I learned from my first trip:

1.) Heed Gregg's advice about the tent stakes and tent cover. I neglected to adequately secure my tent cover when I set up my tent and, of course, it POURED the first evening. I got back to my tent after Theater in the Woods to find that it had pulled back enough to let a couple inches of rain into the tent. I did it "right" after that and didn't have to touch it the rest of the week.

2.) Lesson #1 was quickly remedied with the tent stakes and some rope I brought with me. I'd say it's a good idea to have a tool kit as well, but that's good road trip advice anyway.

3.) Lesson #1 wasn't as bad as it could be because I brought a cot with me to sleep on, so I was ~12 inches off the ground (and water) already. I think I'll be sticking with that idea in the future. Beats sleeping on the ground regardless.

4.) Store things in your car if you don't want them getting soaked, just in case. When you're exploring the warbird area and realize a summer storm is blowing in, there's not much you can do about your campsite a mile away.

5.) I hit the showers in the evening and had no trouble getting a stall. Mornings, I have no idea.

6.) Navigating to and from my camp site really wasn't that bad, though I staked out a site right down Schaick Ave which made it easy to find home. I was WAY down almost to Hwy 41 and walked it everyday, usually twice. It really wasn't that bad, but there were busses passing me frequently if I had wanted a ride.

7.) Go out exploring the camp at least one evening. One night I decided I wasn't ready for bed and went for a walk. I happened across the group visiting from South Africa. They throw one hell of a party! I'm sure it's not the only one... The people in the camp are great. That first night when I was out there tying my tent down, my neighbors invited me some shelter in case I needed it. I was always invited next door for their evening bonfires (though I tended to be running around until I was ready to drop).

8.) The camp stores are a great feature. I'd usually grab a bag of ice on my way back to camp in the late afternoon, as well as whatever perishables I wanted for dinner that night. Very handy, and much better than having to go off-site for groceries. I don't remember how the prices were, but I apparently figured the convenience was worth it since I was a frequent customer.

 

That's all the advice I have off the top of my head. Don't know if it's useful or not. I do know that I'm getting very eager for July to roll around though!

 

-Tony



Mike Urban
18
Posts
12
#4 Posted: 4/22/2010 11:36:10


happy Wow, for a guy only in his second year you sure do have everything down pat and listed it out nicely. I have attended OSHKOSH every consecutive year since 1974. If it is anything that I have learned in those years, it is, that I/you will make mistakes and enjoy every minute of the "OSHKOSH EXPERIENCE". We have an expression here, if you don't like the weather in Wisconsin, wait ten minutes, it will change. We have seen it rain, storm, be dusty, muddy, windy, hot, dry wet, cold, pleasant, super hot, clear and cloudy. But then there are the other days in the week to look forward to! We have come to the event for as little as one day or have stayed for the week. We now come early to watch the arrivals over the first weekend and stay to the closing weekend. The day we leave is the day we start talking about "next year". Our best advice is to "be prepared". For what, you ask? I don't know, perhaps everything or nothing. But above all, relax and go with the flow. Don't worry, you can't change what you don't have control over. The best people in the world come to OSHKOSH every year. Can you imagine a temporary city of 40,000 living in conditions that might be less than perfect (refugee camp?) for a week. Noise, bright lights, the lack of sleep, put clothes on in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, your neighbors are within talking distance to your tent with only 10 feet of air and 3 millimeters of fabric between you and them. Little crime, little garbage a lot of FUN. Need help, just ask the next person you see there. OSHKOSH has something for everyone, kids, wives, husbands, pilots and non-pilots alike. My wife and I spent our honeymoon at EAA at Camp Scholler in a 1 1/2 person pup tent. Our daughters were both less than 1 year old when they first attended OSHKOSH and yes, we stayed in a tent in Camp Scholler. My wife has become "more efficient" in what we bring along, experience does help. You will learn also over the years. We have had the opportunity to meet many fine folks over the past years around our campfire. We now pretty much camp in the same location so that everyone knows where to find us. We see many of the same faces year after year and the only time we see each other is at OSHKOSH. We met some men from Brazil at our fire that couldn't speak a word of english. The little girl with food poisoning, the homebuilders and the airline pilots. Oh, the hanger talk, around the campfire there is a lot of discussion from the pilots and non-pilots alike. You sure can get smart about many useless topics.We will be spending our 30th wedding anniversary there this year and are looking forward to being there with our "annual" friends. Now that I've started, we can't wait...

 

Mike and Brenda



Kevin Bales
4
Posts
1
#5 Posted: 4/22/2010 13:12:48


 Thanks so much for everyone's advice.  I think I will bring more tools than originally planned.   It is a bit of a trick because I am flying commercial from AZ - checking camp gear as luggage (probably will go with a large duffle) and since I am solo this year (no wife or brother along) I decided to forget doing the campus dorms.   I did camp a few years ago at a nearby campground without too many issues,  except the rain and wind.    I managed to stay dry but it gets difficult to sleep with the thunder and constant drip drip.    

Thanks for all the info - I am putting together my 'essential gear list' right now. 

 

Kevin

 

 

 




KB
Anthony Goetz
Homebuilder or Craftsman
32
Posts
5
#6 Posted: 4/22/2010 15:09:11

Kevin,

I had it relatively easy when I went in terms of luggage because I drove. My only limit was how much I could cram in the back of a Honda! I'll be driving this year too, with my beautiful and suspiciously supportive girlfriend (she *WANTS* to go to Oshkosh...I hope she keeps this attitude after we say "I do"...). We'll be driving from Southern California, which makes for an awesome road trip on top of an awesome event! If you need anything you can't pack for the flight, I'm sure you can scrounge it up around camp - someone is bound to lend you a hammer, some rope, or whatever you might need. Another suggestion is to possibly hit the Good Will store(s) near by. On the rec.aviation.* newsgroups, some of the guys buy used bicycles there, use them for the week, then donate them back. It might be useful for other items as well. Just a thought.

 We'll be there Wednesday afternoon through Sunday morning. You're welcome to whatever we might be able to help with!

 

-Tony



Dan Barnes
14
Posts
3
#7 Posted: 4/22/2010 19:10:30
Alhough I've stayed in UW-OSH dorms the past two years, I spent 20+ consecutive conventions at Camp Scholler. I do miss it! A few takeways from all those years:


1) Bring pre-knotted rope and tent pegs to mark your 20x30 foot campsite. Good fences make good neighbors.

2) If you're not arriving a month ahead of time to stake out a close-in camping spot, be prepared to be in the middle of the huge campground -- at best. But don't worry about camping way out in the corners of the place. Using the circulator school bus to get to and from the show grounds, the distance doesn't really matter.

3) If you're tenting, be prepared to be very much in the minority. Airventure is an RV crowd in more ways than one!

4) If you're tenting, use a good tent that gives you a good chance of staying dry, and extra tent stakes and guy ropes. The big thunderstorm WILL come through and the wind WILL howl! But it's really not necessary to worry about it, if you're prepared. I used to camp with an excellent quality 11x11 foot cabin tent, 7 feet tall, that I could just barely put up single-handed. But with extra guy ropes, I never had any problems with the wind.

5) A cheap silver space blanket will help your cooler stay cold in the sun of the day.

6) The best way to manage the crowds at the showers is just to shower at odd times. Very late or very early worked well for me.

7) Expect to see every kind of motorized contraption buzzing around -- skateboards, bikes, quads, you name it -- as people deal with the size of the place. Many are driven by kids. Some find this scene interesting, some find it annoying.

8) Definitely explore eating off the field at least once. Ardy & Ed's is my one must-go spot for dinner. It's an old A&W-like drive-in on the short of Lake Winnebago, just east of Wittman Field. Carhops on roller skates and arriving planes overhead!

9) The outdoor movies near the Camp Scholler barn store are another must-try experience. It's a swell little natural amphitheater and a real nice improvement to the place. The new wi-fi at the campground is nice, too.

10) Use sun screen. Have bug spray. Wear a hat and comfortable shoes. Bring or buy a lightweight folding rain poncho. Stay hydrated. Have fun!










Gregg DeVaux
28
Posts
11
#8 Posted: 4/22/2010 21:31:26

Hi Kevin  You mentioned you would be flying in. One alternative to getting some of the things you may need there is to ship UPS or Fed-Ex, I'm sure they have a satellite store close by.  It may be lessor expense than Commercial. Like others mentioned  I carry extra things too and your always welcome stop by for help. We use the Wi-Fi in the evenings so you can always shout out.



Marti Buckely
AirVenture Volunteer
3
Posts
4
#9 Posted: 4/24/2010 08:21:08

Hi Kevin,

    Good advice about the extra tent stakes and covering.  As Dan said - there will be a thunderstorm (or two) and the winds will howl.  It would be an oddity if it didn't. 
happy

    You might want to consider filling out the locator card.  Should someone need to find you in case of emergency (or just to say Hi), it is the only way.  I know most people don't take it seriously but you never know.  And should you get lost, a trip to security will then tell you where you are camped.

    I don't know if Oshkosh has any rental places that might rent you camping gear.  Might be cheaper than trying to ship a bunch of stuff. 

    I think with the increase in the number of RV's, the showers aren't quite as populated as they once were.  I can remember times when you needed to shower at 4-5 am to get hot water.  Now days it's much better.  During the airshow is another time when the showers aren't quite as busy.

    Personally, I would want to have an air mattress.  That way if the floor gets wet, you are still sleeping dry.  Make sure if your tent has a skylight or a lot of mesh netting, that your rainfly is sealed well.  I got flooded out a few years ago because my skylight in the rainfly leaked and the water came through the meshed tent top as well.  Seems they make these tents for "fair weather" camping these days.
happy

    Ask for help if you want it.  Everybody is usually pretty friendly and you make some great friends that way.  My second y ear at OSH I locked myself out of my car.  I met some really great people that I stayed in touch with for several years.  They eventually passed away as they were older people.  The campground is sort of like one big happy family - for the most part.  If you camp in the west end, you will have a store and shower house plus the bus that will take you up to the flight line. 

   Have a great time and if you need any assistance, stop by the Assistance Center at the Main Gate and say HI.

 Marti



Marti B
Andris Mikelsons
1
Post
1
#10 Posted: 4/25/2010 17:15:29

Kevin,

I went last time in 2007 (after a 20 year absence) and camped in Camp Scholler.

Everything was much improved, including the showers and stores. And things have improved since then.

You will walk a lot (I wore out a pair of Clarks).

You will lose weight (I had to add an extra  hole in my belt on each of my visits).

You will be dead tired at the end of each day (I could hardly crawl).

You will wish you could have stayed another week.

And you will have a lot of fun meeting some of the nicest people. I sure did.

I suggest is that if possible you come a day or two early. This will enable you to get a better camp site and you will have a lot of fun watching the planes arrive.

It helps if you can sleep in your car thru a storm. Otherwise, do not worry about the weather.

Enjoy the greatest airshow on this planet.

Andy



Thomas Balistreri
AirVenture Volunteer
19
Posts
7
#11 Posted: 4/26/2010 09:19:47

Here's a few thoughts I can offer:

1) Plan for cold or hot weather, and if you can find a shade tree, camp under it.  I have been there during terribly hot and really cold nights.

2) Navigating the grounds is easier than it looks from the air.  You will be an expert by the second or third day.

3) As previously stated, shower at "off-times".  I camp in Paul's Woods, and have found those showers are quite busy from about 5:30-9:30am.  My daughters shower at night to avoid the crowds.

4) Be sure to bring a chair.  Sitting around the campfires with your camping neighbors are some of the most fun you will have.

5) Bring a battery-powered AM/FM radio with you.  You can listen to EAA Radio's live broadcasts during AirVenture.  It's a great way to start the day, and hear about the day's happenings.  The station can be heard on 1210AM and possibly an FM frequency.  (Disclaimer: I am biased as I am one of the station's two station managers)

You will not regret your decision to camp this year.  It's an experience not to be missed!

 



"Code Talker" - Co-Station Manager- EAA Radio - http://www.eaaradio.net
Thomas Balistreri
AirVenture Volunteer
19
Posts
7
#12 Posted: 4/26/2010 09:52:46
"Code Talker" - Co-Station Manager- EAA Radio - http://www.eaaradio.net
Kevin Bales
4
Posts
1
#13 Posted: 4/26/2010 11:54:24

 

Thanks so much folks - great advice all around.  

 I like the idea of staggering shower times during the day - that could be refreshing.   Does anyone happen to know about movies playing or Theater in the woods events?   Never done that, but always wanted to.   I think my schedule right now has me arrive on Wed PM and depart on Sat PM, so I should get in 3 good days.   I am trying to think about how to pack a folding chair with me, as I can see now how that would be useful.   I know there are a good variety of portable folding chairs - perhaps the advice about buying in OSH (Walmart) then donating to Good Will after the show is the way to go.   I'm thinking I will probably try to get out for 1 good Bar/Grill meal per day, the eat breakfast items onsite.  I seem to remember pretty decent pancakes down near Ultralight area.

Kevin



KB
Thomas Balistreri
AirVenture Volunteer
19
Posts
7
#14 Posted: 4/26/2010 12:26:24

I don't know if there is a schedule yet, but you can watch this thread, where EAA's Adam Smith asked for suggestions:
 
http://www.oshkosh365.org/ok365_DiscussionBoardTopic.aspx?id=1235&boardid=147&forumid=177&topicid=3383 

You MAY find difficulty in buying ANYTHING camping related during the week, so if you can, bring a chair with you!



"Code Talker" - Co-Station Manager- EAA Radio - http://www.eaaradio.net
Tony Fletcher
24
Posts
3
#15 Posted: 7/16/2010 15:26:14

In camp Scholler, can I just drive to a spot, jump out and pitch my tent? Or do you park, then walk to a camping area?



Bryan Stanke
3
Posts
0
#16 Posted: 7/16/2010 17:50:48

at camp Scholler you just drive around until you find a spot, then set up right there.  its a good idea to chat with your neighbors a bit and make sure everything is ok with them (had a bad experience with some college buddies and moving our camp at 2 am last year). but otherwise yea you just park right next to your tent.



Tater Schuld
Homebuilder or CraftsmanAirVenture Volunteer
29
Posts
4
#17 Posted: 7/20/2010 20:13:50

hitting the showers at 6:30am is a great idea. it seems the rush is around 7:30-8am


If nasty WX does show up security might parol and let you know (did one year for me). if the weather is bad hopin in your car and sleep there for the night (done that) OR pitch your tent next to an RV and introduce yourself and be real helpful, most EAAers will gladly let you weather a storm in theirs if worse than yours(was offered 3 times, but thanks em and said no)


GPS is not needed, campgrounds are only a couple miles square. noting permanent landmarks(campstores, major named roads) and temporary landmarks (RV with mini kites) and counting portapotty locations(turn left at 4th groups of portapottys from camp store) and you'll be fine


other advice? good shoes, plus extra insoles. those 1/8 inches of foam dont look like much but do wonders(they sell overpriced liquid ones in the hangar that worke well too) 

freeze all your bottles of water you are bringing. but only bring one  or two each day and refill at the water fountains. 

ride the tram as much as possible. faster than walking and easier on your feet. 

hit the hondajet tent ASAP as they have really good bags for all the goodies you'll accumulate, and they are re-useable and work well 

dont bother carrying a map, everyone else will have one you can peek at if you ask nicely. 

backpack in small light  snacks that wont melt(i prefer pop-tarts and dry cereal in ziplocks)



Tater Schuld
Homebuilder or CraftsmanAirVenture Volunteer
29
Posts
4
#18 Posted: 7/20/2010 20:24:55
Kevin Bales wrote:

 


 Thanks so much for everyone's advice.  I think I will bring more tools than originally planned.   It is a bit of a trick because I am flying commercial from AZ - checking camp gear as luggage (probably will go with a large duffle) and since I am solo this year (no wife or brother along) I decided to forget doing the campus dorms.   I did camp a few years ago at a nearby campground without too many issues,  except the rain and wind.    I managed to stay dry but it gets difficult to sleep with the thunder and constant drip drip.    

Thanks for all the info - I am putting together my 'essential gear list' right now. 

 

Kevin

 

 

 


 

another good thing to think about next year is to meet a local who can stash your gear in their garage until OSH starts. I know 3 people who do this, one person lets anoterh in their camping group sotore his camper so he doesn't have to haul it across 3 states(if the camper would survive that trip)