The campers are from a bygone era and the women who like them gathered this weekend at Starved Rock State Park for a weekend of 1950’s-style roughing-it.
It was a Midwest/Great Lakes Region gathering of Sisters on the Fly, women who camp together in vintage campers. First-timers are called “Sisters on the Try.”
Biological sisters Sandy Muffley of La Crosse, Ind. and Donna Knapp of San Pierre, Ind. came with Rhonda Campbell of La Crosse.
“I’ve been camping vintage for eight years,” Muffley said. “I own 22 vintage campers. I’m known as the ‘vintage hoarder.’”
Knapp began with tents and pop-ups before going with a 1967 Layton camper, she said. Campbell said Muffley got her into it.
Now Campbell and her husband are restoring an old camper she found free through Facebook.
“I love the campers,” Campbell said.
The weekend group had 19 women in 12 campers, mostly trailers from the 1950s and 1960s with teardrop shapes and colors such as pink, orange, aquamarine and silver.
“We call it glamping (glamorous camping)” said Mary Neps of Ottawa, a member of the sisterhood for 5½ years. The women were from Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Wisconsin and Kentucky.
“Half of the women I didn’t know before this weekend,” Neps said.
Sandy Taylor of Cissna Park was in a silver camper by Serro Scotty, a company that made campers for 40 years starting in 1957. Taylor and her husband renovated it with new countertops and flooring and added an air conditioner.
“He had the ductwork fabricated so it would go underneath the bed,” Taylor said.
Neps was in a white-and-pink (or as she calls it, salmon) Shasta with wings flaring off the back.
“It’s so much fun,” she said. “We make girls out of women. You always will find somebody you can talk to.
“We all want to be outdoors and sometimes you don’t get a chance to.”
Jeff Dankert can be reached at (815) 220-6977 or firstname.lastname@example.org.