Review Detail

4.5 201
Arizona 183866
Jan-Mar 2016
Overall rating
Overall Experience
We have been spending 3 months Jan - Mar at Davis-Monthan Fam Camp for the past seven years. It deserves all of the high ratings and awards it has received. Last spring, 2015, new management was installed. Rather than continue a successful system the new managers had their own ideas and began to vilify previous procedures and camp hosts to implement their new "system". Their oft told anecdotes about the problems they were resolving are largely fictional - no one we know that is a regular here can confirm them. They are claiming they "fired' the camp hosts, when in fact the hosts all resigned when management violated the written rules in order to give preferential check-in to favored parties. Managing the Fam Camp from the spring of 2015 through the end of the year probably seemed easy, given that the camp is far from full then. The trouble started as the camp filled up in Dec 2015 and Jan 2016. Then the overflow crowds presented situations that the camp staff was not prepared for. Rather than stick with the tried and true, hugely successful and widely accepted rotation system that had made Davis Monthan a legend in fairness, they started "winging it". The short list of overflow rules they posted raised more questions than it answered. They lost track of open sites, resorting to driving around and counting vacancies at 10 am instead of using previously reliable computer data. We often saw sites set empty overnight, some for 2 days, when there were many people in overflow waiting. The new arrivals told us they had just been notified and were unaware the site had set empty. This happened almost every day during the January rush. The office staff offered varied excuses when the empty sites were pointed out to them. To be fair, some empty sites were those of 3 and 6 month campers who took a day or more to travel elsewhere. Their empty sites were not assignable we were told.  Different staff would announce different times to come in to get assigned from overflow to hookup sites, "around" 10 or 11 a.m. Twice we witnessed them start assigning sites 15-20 minutes early, before everyone had the chance to show up. There were no consistent rules. At the end of January they published a full page instruction sheet that helped resolve some of the uncertainty. Yet nearly everyone we met had tales of disgust with the lack of professionalism and clear rules in the camp office. The manager herself was vocally and physically confrontational to anyone she felt was being critical. Even her husband got involved in one shouting incident outside the office, declaring that Fam Campers were just a bunch of whiners. The sad fact is that the folks in charge appear to not really like people and do not understand that they are dealing with military professionals who expect rules to be clear, posted, and to apply to all. Maybe they will learn from their first season and re-establish order for next year. Maybe. This is too great a military campground to allow it to descend into the chaos so many experienced in winter of 2016.
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March 26, 2016
Agave Gulch is at risk of losing their hard earned reputation as one of the finest FAMCamps in the nation. It would be regrettable.
September 20, 2016
As FamCamp manager, you shouldn't pretend to be a camper. Your defensiveness and hostility give you away. I like that you threw all those ya'll's in there to hide your identity. But there is no hiding the fact that you accused me of taking photos of placards in people's windows. That's the second time you accused me of being a liar. As I asked you then, what is the purpose of taking photos of placards? I tell you what I did take photos of: 11 open sites when the sign on the FamCamp office said there were no available sites. And these were not long term contract sites. That's terrible mismanagement. Maybe if you knew how to use the computer so you could teach your employees how to use them, this wouldn't happen. Oh, and by the way, when gas prices are cheaper, people travel more, not sit in one place. The reason there were longer stays in overflow were because you opened up more sites for long term contracts, thereby reducing the number of sites available on a daily basis.
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