Kidscapade and Xscapers at Escapade – There’s Something for Everyone!

Kidscapade and Xscapers at Escapade
Chloe Graham, daughter of Katie Graham #120124. Photo by Bruce Fay #102397.

Kidscapade - Escapade isn't only for grown ups!

As a full-time RVing family since 2010, I had known about Escapees RV Club and their well-attended annual event. I knew there were many intriguing educational opportunities and social events that allowed fellow RVers the chance to connect and enjoy nightly top-notch entertainment. 

What I didn’t know was what the experience would look like with children in tow. If I came with my children, would I be left out of some of the fun? Was it all “family friendly”? Would my kids be welcome to be in attendance at the seminars I wanted to attend? Or would my husband and I have to take turns staying with the kids and not be able to participate in things as a couple?

Those questions remained unanswered in my mind for several years while I browsed yearly Escapade photo albums, looking for clues and children in each group picture.

I kept Escapade on my radar and went about my travels, that is until Travis and Melanie Carr #8 attended an event I was hosting for full-time traveling families in Branson, Missouri, in 2015.

While we were together, I was able to ask them all of the questions, and they were candid with me. Yes, families were most certainly welcome to attend Escapade, but there was no formal schedule of activities in which children could participate.

Together, the Carrs and my husband, Chris, and I came up with a plan.

What if Fulltime Families, brought a three-day kids’ program to Escapade with the goal to provide families a safe, educational and entertaining drop-off program, while providing their parents the opportunity to attend the seminars together?

And so, on a fall day in balmy Branson, Kidscapade was born and scheduled to make its debut at the 56th annual Escapade.

Kidscapade and Xscapers at Escapade - There's Something for Everyone! 1

Camp Colorful

The inaugural Kidscapade event, affectionately called “Camp Color-ful,” featured:

• 16 hours of scheduled learning and playtime for children of all ages
• Themed activities that centered on character qualities such as respect, integrity and boldness
• Arts and crafts, including coloring souvenir camp shirts
• The opportunity to perform an original song in the the Ham-o-Rama, an Esca-pade talent show tradition.

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ulian and Vincent Salvietti, grandchildren of Susan Salvietti #128247. Photos by Kimberly Travaglino #123940

Twenty-seven children from ages four to 16 attended the first Kidsca-pade. These campers were a mix of full-time RVing children and attendees’ grandchildren. 

Although my family attended our first Escapade as staff, we immediately recognized the warm and welcoming attitude extended to us from all the Escapees members with which we interacted. 

Nightly, we set up cones in the area where families were predominantly parked, and the children had a blast expelling their extra energy at the corner of “Bike Boulevard” and “Scooter Street” while their parents mingled with fellow rally attendees at informal socials hosted by the Xscapers group.

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On scooter: Dominick Travaglino and Gage Arnold, mother Bunny Arnold #113091. Photos by Kimberly Travaglino #123940

So many people remarked how refreshing and energizing it was to have this youthful element at the rally. 

The families served by the Kidscapade program all commented on how much they appreciated the opportunity to be able to soak in all the education that an Escapade provides, while knowing their children were enjoying their own “Escapade Experience.”

On more than one occasion, veteran Escapees members commented on how wonderful it was to see so many kids in attendance. Many of them regaled us with stories of Escapades many years ago that were heavily attended by families and how, as the group matured, kids in attendance became “few and far between.” So many people remarked how refreshing and energizing it was to have this youthful element at the rally. 

It was a great success and provided so much value to the families in attendance that the Escapees Board has approved the program for future Escapades.

If you’re asking the question, “Should we go to Escapade with children”, then I encourage you with a resounding “yes” to join us this spring at the next Escapade! 

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:21

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Author

Kimberly Travaglino SKP #123940

Kimberly Travaglino is the author of the best seller, How to Hit the Road; Making Your Family’s Full-Time RV Dreams a Reality, co-founder of Fulltime Families RV membership club and one-half of the dynamic podcasting duo at Roadschool Moms. Her family of six has been traveling the country via RV since 2010. They have been to 39 states to date and have no end to their journey in sight.

For more information about adventuring across America as a family, visit www.fulltimefamilies.com.

Xscapers at Escapade

JP Smith – Xscapers Convergence Director

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JP Smith, Melanie and Travis Carr at Escapade 2018

It was only a few years ago, the idea for Xscapers was announced at Escapade. Now, a short time later Xscapers has a major presence year after year.   

Xscapers don’t bow out of the normal Escapade excitement, we embrace it (ok maybe not the early morning sessions) but we do attend the presentations, the awesome entertainment and the fabulous vendors.  

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But sometimes – That’s just the beginning of the Xscapers day. 

The Escapade has been known to continue afterward around our rigs and our parking location.  Sometimes just a low key fire or a discussion on how we manage to get good internet and work remotely while boondocking in the west.  

Sometimes a group singalong and dance party in the fringes, late night darts tournament or a movie projected on the big screen with popcorn.  

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There is something for everyone at an Escapade and now that truly includes the working age RVer.

JP Smith

Author

JP Smith - Xscapers Convergence Director

JP has been on the move full time for almost 20 years, working as a tour guide around the world and specializing in the national parks of America.  His travels have taken him to more than 75 countries and all 7 continents. An adventurer at heart, he’s walked across Spain, sailed the Virgin Islands,and  ridden a motorcycle from Alaska to Argentina. Originally from Texas, he’s also lived in both New Zealand and Europe. About 5 years ago JP started living in a motorhome between trips as a tour guide.  He now lives full time in his motorhome, traveling the country organizing convergences for Xscapers!

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