There’s a meme floating around social media purportedly from a national fast food restaurant that appears to show on their signboard “Our Secret Ingredient is People”.
Thoughts of the old movie Soylent Green where the main ingredient is people, it does prompt a chuckle from most.
As you know from my article last week, husband, Doug, and I took a quick road trip up to Ohio to a rally for those of us that own the T@B/T@G teardrop camper trailers.
The NüCamp folks did a great job organizing the event, but information for newbie campers was rather scarce on their online site and in printed materials. It was fellow campers (people!) that were the “secret ingredient” to a fun-filled, memorable event.
After unhooking the trailer, we realized it was too far for our electrical cord to reach the outlet. Several guys offered to manhandle it closer so Doug didn’t have to reconnect, move a couple of feet and then disconnect again. People came to the rescue.
The water wouldn’t drain in the sink or shower due to the camper not being properly leveled. A simple “got a minute?” request had three random campers lending a helping hand to level our camper named Joshua. People came to the rescue.
All we had to do was off-handedly mention “how do you get the water hot in the camper? (yes, after TWO years we still hadn’t worked that one out…)
Within moments of asking that question, we had no less than three other campers over at our campsite, inspecting our trailer and showing us the correct controls for hot water, where to find the fuse box (turns out we had a blown fuse) and much, much more. They were wonderfully helpful people.
I suggested Doug take his brand-new drone with us so he would have something to do. After several flights, overconfidence had him crashing it into the top of an 80 foot tree. In the middle of a soybean field.
Mortified, saddened and angry with himself, Doug began the process of finding out who owned the farm so he could attempt permission to call and have a tree service person traipse through someone’s cash crop to retrieve the out-of-reach aircraft.
Once again, people came to the rescue. A fellow camper and expert drone pilot/photographer named John pointed Doug in the right direction. He also flew his own drone to pinpoint the precise location for would-be rescuers. John was the first “secret ingredient” for recovery.
John directed Doug to Joe Mullet - owner of NüCamp. When Doug explained his predicament, Joe quickly eased Doug’s concerns by “Oh, don’t worry. The soybean field owner is a relative of mine. We’ll get it down for you. Not to worry.”
The next day NüCamp employee Marvin carefully clambered up the tree onto limbs of questionable strength. Another camper (people!) offered the use of a six foot pole with a hook on the end of it. It turned out to be much needed and assisted in the successful return of Doug’s anniversary present. People, many people, were the “secret ingredient” to the happy ending.
We waited all day for a simple modification to be made to a table inside our Joshua. After dinner we were rather disappointed they hadn’t made it over to our site as we were leaving at 5 a.m., the next day and couldn’t get the modification.
In thanking the ladies who had made the delicious meal for us, I engaged in conversation and shared our perspective on the week-long rally. People. I mentioned the “only negative” was “not getting the modification to the camper.” Would you believe it – I happened to be talking with Elsie, a woman that gets things done and, 8 o’clock that same evening, an crew came over as we were breaking camp and made the desired changes.
We look forward to a return trip next year. Modifications to Joshua? No. More drone flying escapades? We’ll see. The 14-hour driving to get there? It’s worth it if the main reason (and “secret ingredient”) is… people.
Patti Beth Anderson has more than 20 years of experience in the group travel industry taking people all over the world. Her motto is "I return with the same number of people I left with… not necessarily the same people, but the same number nevertheless. So no 'crankpots' allowed" She may be reached at 918-786-3318 or firstname.lastname@example.org.