Friday, June 02, 2006

Big Oaks Camping? More like Big Oaks Scamping

Every once in a while, Jessica and I like to go camping. We're not really outdoorsy-types, at least I'm not, so camping is really a big deal. And when we camp, we really don't rough it that much.. several camp sites have electrical hookups and we just go to have fun, which usually involves some electrical toy.

So we've been planning for the past month to go camping at a place in Rehoboth, DE called "Big Oaks Camping." It's a fairly decent campground - it's no Mahoney State Park, but it'll do. As Murphy's law demands, though, as the weekend approached, the weather guys predicted severe lightning and thunderstorm warnings to go along with flood predictions for the weekend we were going to go camping. We suffered through a really fantastic thunder storm last night.. lost power for a brief moment, cable went out on us.. poor Yankee barked at the thunder rather authoritatively. Needless to say, camping in that kind of weather is probably not the smartest thing to do. So I call up the campground and request to reschedule our reservation, citing the dangerous thunderstorms.

They wouldn't let me.

That's right - they need a 72 hour notification or else they'll take all your money, which we had paid upfront.

Now, I can understand why this policy is in place, especially if the campground is busy, which campgrounds typically are this time of the year. But it's not like we cancelled just for the sake of cancelling. We cancelled because it's NOT SAFE TO CAMP IN THIS KIND OF WEATHER. Severe lightning storms, spot flooding, heavy rains, strong winds.. not safe.

Their claim was that they couldn't predict the weather. That makes sense. Wussing out because it might rain is pretty silly. But wussing out because you might get caught in the middle of a severe thunder storm is a whole different ball game. The representative from Big Oaks put a manager on line and the manager proceded to tell me that the weather was supposed to be beautiful this weekend. I don't know about you, but when tells me that the forecast in Rehoboth, DE calls for heavy lightning and thunder storms, I don't think that's a beautiful weekend. In fact, at the time of this writing, there is a severe weather alert for the Rehoboth area: "AT 135 PM NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED A VERY STRONG THUNDERSTORM NEAR BETHANY BEACH. THIS THUNDERSTORM IS CAPABLE OF PRODUCING NUMEROUS CLOUD TO GROUND LIGHTNING STRIKES, STRONG WINDS, SMALL HAIL, AND VERY HEAVY RAIN. THIS STORM WAS MOVING TO THE NORTHEAST AT 20 MPH." Mmmmmm... now that's what I call beautiful weather!

Finally, after much protesting on my side, the manager agreed to not charge me for cancelling my reservation. But she told me that she was putting a note in my file ... ooooooo! Well, I'm putting a note in their file - don't go to Big Oaks for camping. They treat their customers like this - just imagine how they treat their campsite.


Anonymous Brent O'Connor said...

Wimp!!! :)

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