|U.S. Air Force Frequent Camper Program|
Would you like to receive 30 nights of FREE camping at U.S. Air Force FamCamps for only $25? You can, with the Air Force's Frequent Camper Program.
The Air Force operates more than 60 FamCamps around the world, some at locations you may never have heard of. The Frequent Camper program was developed by U.S. Air Force Services to let you know where they offer camping facilities and provide some incentives to try them all. Lifetime membership in the program is only $25, which includes a logbook, "Military Living's" military campgrounds book, a set of membership decals for your RV and enamel pins, AND 5 free nights of camping. But that's only the starter kit. As you progress through the program, you can earn up to an additional 25 nights of free camping at USAF FamCamps. A pretty good deal, considering the book alone sells for about $15 - $25.
Since they want you to travel around and visit their campgrounds, the program is based on the number of places visited rather than how many nights you stay. The program is set up in tiers, each tier representing 10 FamCamps. You earn Frequent Camper awards and incentives for each tier you complete. Visit the FamCamps in any order you like and take as long as you want to reach each tier. Each completed tier earns 5 "Camper Cash" certificates, a decal for your RV and two enamel pins to mark your achievement.
The FamCamp logbook keeps track of how many FamCamps you've visited and is used to claim awards and incentives in each tier. You can earn one Frequent Camper logo stamp for each FamCamp visited. The first time you stay at a particular FamCamp, simply present the logbook when you pay for your visit and the Services staff will fill it in and stamp it with a Frequent Camper logo
The Camper Cash certificates are your most valuable incentive items. Each is good for one day of free camping at any Air Force FamCamp. There are a few restrictions on using Camper Cash certificates:
Once you've visited any 10 different FamCamps (and used your 5 free nights of camping), you photocopy your logbook and mail the copy to the Air Force Services HQ. In about 6 - 8 weeks, you'll receive your awards and the additional 5 Camper Cash certificates for use on the next tier.
Within 2 years, we've visited 16 Air Force Famcamps and have received 8 nights of free camping (I still have a couple Camper Cash certificates left). We've never had problems getting our logbook stamped, and advancement to the second tier went smooth. I figure our 8 nights of free camping saved us about $130. Although we travel fulltime in our RV, I doubt we'll finish all 6 tiers (60 different FamCamps), but I don't doubt we'll finish tier 4. At that point, we would have received 25 free nights of camping at Air Force FamCamps (when we reach tier 5).
You can join the USAF Frequent Camper program and receive your initial packet, for $25, from "most" Air Force Outdoor Recreation offices or FamCamp offices. The initial packet IS NOT available by mail.Hint: Be sure to join before you sign-in to the campground. This way, you can use a Camper Cash certificate immediately and get a free night of camping.
Here's a few Frequently Asked Questions on this program:
September 1, 2008 Update:
The USAF Frequent Camper Program appears to be having problems. While the program still exists, it's difficult to find new member packets. No new packets were produced for over a year and many Air Force installatins ran out, or have decided NOT to carry them. In late 2007, new packets were being produced and distributed again, but many USAF locations still don't have them. It may take looking around at different USAF FamCamps until you find a new member packet. These new member packets ARE NOT available on the web or through the mail
In addition to the difficulty in finding new member packets, the redemption of moving up to the next tier is experiencing LONG delays. Some users report that it takes more than 6 months to get the next tier returned, or you need to send the upgrade in again, or call the Program Managers office to find out where your upgrade is
These problems are partly attributed to MISUSE by campers. The USAF Frequent Camper Program is meant to get users to visit different USAF FamCamps. It's not meant to be an abused free camping program. Please... only purchase ONE new member packet and use the Campers Cash coupons at different FamCamps. Please obey all rules and don't attempt to get your book stamped at the same FamCamp more than once. Those campers that are abusing this program are runing it for everyone!
Sepember 3, 2010 Update:
OLD information - read the January 2011 Update below for the lastest Contact Information.
Unfortunately, there hasn't been any improvement in the USAF Frequent Camper Program. There are still NUMEROUS problems with getting new member packets and with getting upgraded to the next tier. Reports are still constantly received that members are not getting their upgraded tier returned to them. Some people have called the Program Managers office and received the "run around", or don't get satisfactory results. Personally, NONE of my phone calls or email inquiries have received any response.
If you encounter problems, here's the last known contact information for Mr. Phil Heeg, the Program Manager:
Frequent Camper Program
January 1, 2011 Update:
I've received numerous emails about this program. Most of these emails were from frustrated members, not getting any response from the USAF Program Managers. However, I did receive the following message that is encouraging:
"I emailed you a few days ago concerning contact info and lack of response from the managers of the program. After spending considerable time on the phone with the CO's office at Randolph AFB, I was able to get the following CURRENT and CORRECT info:"
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June 2012 Update:
Campers are still reporting problems with this program. Stil the same issues. Mainly, campers can't get a response to their inquiries or when they mail in for a tier upgrade. The initial USAF Frequent Camper Program packets are also still hard to find.
A new phone number for Mr. Frank Black has been reported. According to Mr. Black, his phone numbers are (210) 395-7489 or (210) 395-7512.
|Last Updated on Sunday, 17 June 2012 09:47|