A New Lease on Life
Second Chance Sams share more than a love of RVing At the 1977 Spring Samboree in Belleville, Kansas, 14 Good Sam members came together to form the first Second Chance Sams chapter for RVers who’ve been given a second chance at life. The chapter was the brainchild of former firefighter A.W. “Smokey” Linn, who survived a career-ending coma but was happy to be alive. Linn, who was Good Sam’s Kansas director at the time, formed the Kansas Second Chance Sams chapter to offer a hand to others who’d experienced an illness or injury that had brought them near death. Thirty-five years later, Second Chance Sams chapters can be found throughout North America. Membership is limited to those who’ve survived a near-fatal accident or a life-threatening event such as a heart attack, stroke or cancer and been given another chance to enjoy life to the fullest. Of course, spouses are welcome too. Because Second Chance Sams members may be separated by hundreds of miles, most chapters meet at state or provincial Samborees rather than monthly campouts. For example, the eight-rig Arkansas chapter holds campouts and meetings three times a year after Samborees and other Good Sam gatherings. Chartered in 1980, the Arkansas Second Chance Sams take part in Good Sam Cleanup Days and raise funds for Dogs for the Deaf, including $229 collected at a recent raffle. Other Second Chance Sams chapters can be found in Alabama, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma and Wyoming. After several years of inactivity, Wisconsin is reorganizing its Second Chance Sams chapter with 16 couples who met for a potluck meal during the state’s June Samboree. Ontario is likewise reviving its chapter and seeking members who’d like to celebrate their second chance with fellow survivors. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or meet the new members in person at the Ontario Samboree, August 31 through September 3. In March, members from six states and one province gathered at the Second Chance Sams International Rally following the Mississippi Samboree. Next year’s get-together comes after the Nebraska Samboree the second weekend in June. For details, contact Oly Oleson at email@example.com or check with the president of your state’s Second Chance Sams chapter. If you qualify for Second Chance Sams membership and live in a state or province with an active chapter, go to your state or provincial website to find out more or get in touch with your Good Sam director at GoodSamClub.com/chapters. If your state or province doesn’t have an active chapter, consider contacting your director about forming a new one. Then enjoy RVing in the company of others who’ve been given a new lease on life.