Samboree rolls into town

The Eastern Idaho State Fairgrounds will be lively with activity now through Sunday as members of the Idaho Good Sam Organization (RV Club) roll into Blackfoot with their RV's and an agenda filled with food, learning, entertainment and fellowship for the club's annual camp out and rally - '2012 Samboree.'
This year's Samboree theme is 'Here We Have Idaho,' and Blackfoot Mayor Mike Virtue, along with state directors from the various Good Sam chapters, signed an official proclamation Tuesday afternoon welcoming them to Blackfoot for the week.
The city can plan on approximately 150 RVs from around the state as well as Canada and a few neighboring states motoring into town for the event. A Samboree has not been held in Blackfoot since 2004.
Jack Olney of Blackfoot, a former Good Sam state director and co-chairperson of this year's event, is a longtime member of Good Sam and has attended over 150 Samborees since 1972.
He said the mission of the Good Sam Organization is simple: "Have new people...renew old acquaintances...and make memories."
While most of the week's events will be for club members, Olney said Saturday is an 'Open House' - free to the public - with events from 9a.m. to 4 p.m. for people of all ages to enjoy.
"There will be a tractor rodeo where one of the drivers will be blindfolded and drive through an obstacle course of cones," Olney said. "That'll be fun to see."
Other 'open house' events include a tea party, a dog parade and a 'flag retirement' ceremony sponsored by the Good Sam Military Chapter.
"If you've never seen a 'flag retirement ceremony, it is really something for the whole family to see," said Jennie McCormick co-chairperson of the Samboree.
Food booths, including Mammoth Burgers - a popular food booth from the Eastern Idaho State Fair, and approximately 25 miscellaneous vendors will be set up selling a variety of goods such as hand-crotcheted items, candles, soap and jewelry
In keeping with the 'Here We Have Idaho' theme, each chapter will make a replica of the state of Idaho featuring the Good Sam logo and depicting the town they represent. The replicas will be judged, the winning chapter receiving $50, and used as stage decorations.
Entertainment for the Samboree includes cowboy poet Bob Schield and the Portneuf Gap Blue Grass Band.
McCormick said anyone with an RV is welcome to join them at the Samboree for the low price of just $65 for two people. This price includes parking and admission to all the week's events except for the final banquet dinner.
After three jam-packed days of camaraderie and activities, the club members will pack up on Sunday and roll on down the road again to their next destinations.
Anyone needing more information about the Samboree or Idaho Good Sam Organization can call Olney at 208-709-4945.