December 11, 2013 3:31:41
Arkansas State Good Sam coordinates many state functions.
Currently 111 Arkansas Good Sam couples donate two weeks of their summer to help at the State Parks
as Park Host. The parks are Bull Shoals, Lake Catherine and Petit Jean State Parks. The Host sites are
open the first week of April and close the last week of October.
The Special Olympics is another service that the Arkansas Good Sams do. They drive behind the Law
Enforcement Officers from all sections of the state. In their RV's are cool drinks for the runners and a
place to rest when necessary.
A large number of Arkansas Chapters have adopted several State Parks. They go to the parks and do
leaf raking, painting and many other things the park crews would like for them to do. Members have
donated their time, labor and in several instances lots of materials. Many Arkansas Chapters do
Arkansas Good Sam Chapters/Members donate many hours and dollars to numerous other
organizations, The Blind, Deaf, Senior Centers, Shelters for Battered Women & Children etc...
The Arkansas Good Sam History
Arkansas got started in 1971, John Allen was elected as the first state director in January of that year,
and Arkansas One the first chapter was formed that month. This was a state wide chapter and still has
members from all over the state. John Allen resigned in November '71 to accept the job of South Region's
first regional advisor. South Region is made up of six states; Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri,
Oklahoma and Texas.
Our State Directors following after John Allen; James Coleman, 11/71 thru 12/73; Ralph Roush, 1/74 thru 12/77;
Bill O'Neal, 1/78 thru 12/79; Bob Steel, 1/80 thru 12/83; Bud Cox, 1/84 thru 12/89; Harold Salyer 1/90 thru 12/93;
Samuel 'Bud' Wright, 1/94 thru 12/99; Earl Hooker 1/2000 thru 11/2002; Dan Freyaldenhoven, 1/2003 thru 2009;
Tom & Shirley Blackwell 2010 - 2012; Bill & Dee Nery 2012 - the current State Director.
Since the first Arkansas chapter in 1971 there have been 68 chapters formed and of those, 33 are still active,
with over 420 state member rigs. There are 2 to each rig, more than 800 state members. The states 1st Samboree
was held June 23-25, 1972 at Petit Jean State Park near Morrilton. There were 45 rigs present and 97 people.
Our largest Samboree held, so far, was held April 24-26, 1987 in Hope, with 579 rigs present. From 1972 to 1979
there was one Samboree a year. But starting in 1980 there has been one in the Spring and one in the Fall. The
Spring Samboree held in the Southern part of the state and the Fall Samboree in the Northern part of the state.
Cities hosting the Samboree so far are, Morrilton, Harrison, North Little Rock, Cotter, Hot Springs, Benton, Hardy,
Bentonville, Mountain Home, Hope, El Dorado, Fayetteville, Jonesboro, with Texarkana and Fort Smith the current
two host. The Arkansas Good Sams currently has 24 Good Sams Chapters, divided into 6 areas.
Return to the Arkansas Good Sams Page