New to DA camping?
Ever wondered what ‘D.A’ means on your Camping and Caravanning Club Membership Card?
DA stands for District Association and each member is assigned a DA based on the area in which they live. There are over 90 DA’s in the UK, within 13 Regions. Staffordshire DA is part of North Central Region.
As a Camping and Caravanning Club member (you can join here), you are able to camp with any DA (not just the one on your card) at the meets that they organise. Information about the meets can be found online or in the ‘Out and About’ Section of your monthly magazine (assuming you’ve now opted in to receive it)
DA’s are governed by the Camping and Caravanning Club but the day to day business is managed by voluntary committees. The committee is responsible for organising meets and events, booking sites, maintaining equipment belonging to the DA, managing finances and ensuring that members adhere to club rules, plus lots of other things.
DA meets vary from week to week – sometimes there are ‘special’, themed weekends like Halloween or our Duck Race; sometimes we provide entertainment (usually at our Birthday Meet in May) and other times it’s a relaxing meet with no plans. In any case, visitors can choose to be involved to as much or little extent as they wish. No issue not taking any part, you’ll still be very welcome!
Frequently Asked Questions
Where do I find out about DA meets and events?
Information about the meets can be found online or in the ‘Out and About’ Section of your monthly magazine (assuming you’ve now opted in to receive it)
You should receive a monthly ‘Camping and Caravanning’ Magazine by post and if you’ve opted in, an additional section called ‘Out & About’ and is dedicated to DA’s and special interest sections. In here, you will find information about meets taking place in the coming month. The listing will state whether or not you need to book and other useful information.
There is an Introduction to Out & About on the first few pages which is also very useful if you’re reading for the first time. Abbreviations are common in the listings because the amount of characters is limited – you’ll soon get used to them and there’s a key to help you.
Do I need to book or can I just turn up?
Each meet is different, but it will indicate it the meet listing whether you need to book.
‘Bkg Ess’ means Booking Essential – you must contact the meet organiser to book a place.
‘Bkg Adv’ means Booking Advisable – in order to guarantee a space, you should pre-book to avoid being turned away.
Usually, if it doesn’t say anything about pre-booking you can simply turn up on the day. If you’re unsure – contact the DA, they’ll be happy to help.
What can I expect when I arrive on site?
Expect the basics – added luxuries are a bonus! DA’s offer the most inexpensive camping available. Our meets are at basic venues with minimum facilities, there aren’t normally toilet or shower blocks and no electric hook ups. Fresh drinking water is always available, along with toilet disposal point(s).
When you arrive on site, you must report to the meet Steward – the person who is ultimately responsible for the meet – they will take your details and guide you to your ‘pitch’. Staffordshire DA does not charge for awnings, pets etc. The only added charge is for extra adults (more than two per unit) at £1.50 per night.
Our dedicated Sites Officer puts a great deal of work in to finding the best sites – the ones that are mostly flat with decent ground that drains well. Many of our sites are used year after year and the land owner has great pride in maintaining the field for us. We try to book sites to coincide with local events, or that are near some visitor attractions. Extra information can be found in the magazine or on the DA website.
What can I expect from the meet?
Staffordhire DA’s meets vary from week to week – sometimes its a quiet weekend, other times we put our marquee up and visitors are welcome to join us in the evening – just bring your chairs and drinks along. Sometimes we even have themed weekends! You’re never obliged to take part in an of the activities – if you’d prefer to sit back and relax, that’s fine too!
At a normal weekend meet, we hold a ‘Coffee Morning’ on a Sunday at 11am. Visitors are invited to bring their chairs and cups – we’ll provide tea, coffee and biscuits – for an update of what’s scheduled for the coming weeks.
When you take part in a rally with Staffs DA you will always receive a warm welcome from the meet Steward and there’s always someone to offer help if you need it.
Remember, we have all been first time campers at some point in time and we remember what it is like, so please do not struggle with anything. If you need any help, please speak to us. We are a friendly group and we will help however we can. If you let your site steward know you are new to camping, they will also offer any assistance you need
Anything else I need to know about? Any rules?
We are The Friendly Club and want you to enjoy your stays with us and for the comfort and safety of yourselves and your fellow campers we do have some site rules that you need to adhere to.
‘Unbooked’ Meet and THS Sites are ‘open field’ which means you can park your unit anywhere in the allocated site. The Steward will advise you as to a location to best suit your needs
‘Booked’ Sites – These must be booked in advance as places may be limited. A space for your unit will be allocated and you will be directed to it by the Steward
All rubbish must be taken home with you at the close of the meet unless stated otherwise. (Certain THS’s provide waste disposal)
Waste water must be collected in a suitable receptacle and must not be allowed to foul the ground
Please remember to bring your own toilet. No part of any toilet should be taken to a drinking water tap
Open fires are not permitted
All quiet on site after 11pm
All units must place a bucket of water outside their unit in case of fire
Dogs must be kept on a lead at all times and Poo disposed of immediately and responsibly. Dogs must not be taken into the marquee (guide dogs excepted)
Respect must be shown to the landowners property and all ‘out of bounds’ areas observed
Some DAs may permit the use of generators between the hours of 11.00am – 12.00 noon and 5.00pm – 6.00pm. They should be used with care and positioned next to the door of your own unit and not left running unnecessarily. Always check with your Staffs DA site stewards
There is a maximum speed limit on site of 5mph. Please keep to this limit and keep traffic movement to a minimum
No driving on site between 11.00pm and 7.00am