An introduction to DA camping
If you are a new member of the Camping and Caravanning Club and/or have never camped with a District Association before, and you are wondering what it’s all about and if its for you, then keep reading……
What is DA camping?
The Camping and Caravanning Club is organised into small units defined by geography called District Associations (DA). Your local DA is shown on your membership card and is based on your home postcode. Camping with a DA is one of the best ways to make the most of the great outdoors whilst making new friends at the same time. The Camping and Caravan Club has 93 DA’s spread across 13 Regions. Central Yorkshire DA (CYDA) offers some of the most inexpensive camping available and you’ll always be guaranteed a warm friendly welcome.
What are Meets
CYDA organises Meets which offer the minimum camping / caravanning facilities. All meets provide drinking water, waste water disposal, Elsan disposal, a safe place for families to camp plus a friendly bunch of folks to share hints and tips or socialise with. Some folks think of this as being ‘off grid’ but that makes it sound like a weekend of torture and survival using the skills of Ray Mears. In all honesty it isn’t at all like that. Let’s break it down and dispel any myths .....
Drinking water – This is provided from a tap in the field, from the same source as residential tap water. The water tap is a great place to meet fellow campers who know the local area well and will often give golden nuggets of information on 'whats on' in the locality.
Waste water – This can usually be emptied into the hedgerow
Elsan disposal – This is emptied into underground septic tanks or the foul water drain via a safe clean access route. Thankfully, the days of a large hole are long gone, its way more civilised now.!
Safety - The site is under the control of the Stewards who control access and ensure the boundary is secure at night. Indeed, many families allow their children to pitch a tent adjacent to their caravan or in a designated youth area.
One of the questions I am most frequently asked is about electricity for charging phones and for running the TV. Some campers are able to get through a weekend meet without having to charge their lesure battery. Most campers however keep their leisure batteries topped up by using 60W or greater solar panels which allows them to camp for longer than a weekend. There are alternative ways to charge your leisure battery however such as use of a petrol generator or auxiliary battery with split charger from your towing vehicle. Most members are more than happy to share their strategy.
Should the weather turn cool and you need heating, then the gas heater in your caravan is more than adequate to keep everyone warm. Within the CYDA membership some folks caravan all year round and manage without issues.
A Club Meet will normally take place over a weekend, but can last for up to five days. Members can stay for a night or the entire duration, and all fees paid go back into the Club to ensure that we can continue to offer future events for members.
What are Temporary Holiday Sites (THS)?
Situated in popular holiday destinations, seaside resorts and countryside retreats, Temporary Holiday Sites offer members the chance to camp for durations of more than 5 days affordably.
In addition to Meets CYDA also organises and run Temporary Holiday Sites which offer alternative pitches to commercial sites by utilising land exclusively available to CYDA. Stewarded by experienced members who are always at hand to help with the friendly approach our DA is famous for.
Like Meets, all sites have basic facilities of drinking water and somewhere for Elsan waste disposal, others often will have additional facilities such as skips for recycling and black bag waste, toilets, showers and electrical hook ups. These are not all available on every THS, so please check the description on our webpage so you are prepared before you leave home.
In common with meets, you can stay on a THS for a night or the entire duration and all fees paid go back into the DA to ensure that we can continue to offer future events for CYDA members.
You are also welcome to bring non-members along who can stay in your unit for a small fee. Or they can join on site, enabling them to also experience life in the Friendly Club.
Details of Temporary Holiday Sites can be found in the rally section of the CYDA website or in the Out & About section of Camping and Caravanning magazine or Phone App.
How much does it cost?
The cost per night varies depending on a number of factors but it typically between £6 and £12 per unit. It doesn’t matter how many children, cats, dogs or gunnea pigs (I kid you not) you have, the cost per night is the same. There is no additional charge for awnings and if the children choose to sleep in their tent, adjacent to the caravan or in the youth area, there is no charge for that either, all of this is included in the price.
What about children?
Are you aged between 12 and 17? Do you like making new friends and having your own adventures? Camping Club Youth (CCY) membership is free for Youth members aged between 12 and 17 years.
With CCY you can:
- Camp with your local District Association or region and take part in dedicated CCY events
- Camp at the annual National Youth Rally with other Youth Members, and enjoy sports events, games, fancy dress, discos and more
- Attend the annual International Youth Rally held in a different European country each year
- Learn new skills like pitching tents, cooking, map-reading, first aid and lots more
- Compete in sports like football, volleyball and netball
- Enjoy camping and activity weekends including pony-trekking, mountain-walking, rock-climbing and canoeing
- Take your National Youth Test – which proves your camping skills and brings extra benefits, like reduced membership fees
Your first step.
If you’d like to know anything else about DA camping, please contact CYDA through the Contact us page. or better still just turn up at one of our events – no need to book. Looking forward to seeing you soon.
Quotes from members
"It's a good way of seeing different parts of the country, with your own 'home' in the countryside."
"We like going to the meets as they are always friendly and welcoming. Prices are good and the meets are also children friendly and open to any age."
"Good value for money."
"Come along and try our Temporary Holiday Sites (THS) and Rallies. These meets are arranged by District Associations (D.A's ) of The Camping & Caravanning Club. The D.A's are run by members for the members to enjoy and we are all volunteers that enjoy meeting friends old and new."
"You always get a nice welcome. There's plenty of choice and you don't need to travel far. You are also able to explore any area you consider for whatever reason and are guaranteed a warm welcome as it's run by campers like yourselves."