Retro camper club enjoys good times while ‘glamping’

KateLynn Slaamot

Lindsey Steber’s retro camper is decorated sunflower theme and is named “Movin’ Marie.” Her camper’s motto is “always at home wherever you roam.


KateLynn Slaamot

NLJ Reporter


The Jackknife Jypsies, a club for retro camper enthusiasts that was started in 2012, has been offering fun times to its members for almost a decade. These “glampers” are a
fun group of ladies who have renovated retro campers, which allow each member to camp with their own theme.  

But how did this unique club get its start?

Mary Jane Butters, of Moscow, Idaho, is one such glamper, or glamorous camper. She had a magazine called “Mary Jane’s Farm” and wrote a book called “Glamping with Mary Jane.” Shery Jespersen, a club member from Upton, had blogged for Butters in the past and decided to head up the local club in 2012. 

“From there, we have added several ladies to our group, the Jackknife Jypsies, where we travel in a caravan to the events we are interested in attending. Usually this involves camping, junking, antiquing, gathering for meals and sitting around the campfire eating s’mores
and laughing a lot. We always tell people we tend to be loud, all in good fun,” said Michele Hieb, one of
the founding members of the Jackknife Jypsies. 

The group usually camps about once a month in the summer, mostly in the Black Hills. They also attend festivals and car shows as a group, including Born in a Barn in Sheridan, Festival in the Park in Spearfish and Newcastle’s Shine & Show Car Show in September, which they’ve been attending since the start of the club. 

Lindsey Steber, another member of the group, was introduced to the group at the Newcastle car show soon after the club began. 

“I thought they were so cool,” Steber said. 

Steber then decided that she wanted to buy a retro camper of her own, purchasing one in 2014. She didn’t go camping until 2017, though, because she initially just wanted to show her camper. A coworker of Steber’s and member of the club tried to persuade Steber to go camping with her and her “old lady friends,” as Steber referred to them. Steber decided to go, soon realizing she loved it. 

“We have such a good time,” Steber said. “They’re a really fun group of ladies.” She noted that the ladies
are a group of “problem solvers” because they always deal with any issue that may come up, such as a flat tire, with confidence. 

One of Steber’s and Hieb’s favorite memories was when the club went to Festival in the Park this year. The women decided to have a fancy dinner at the campground with tablecloths, china dishes and oil candles for a fun and classy evening. 

However, the heart of the group is really just having a fun time with friends and “stepping back in time.” 

“People enjoy stepping back in time when they camped with their grandparents or parents in a vintage camper similar to one of ours,” Hieb said. “It brings a smile to their face and joy in their hearts.”

The group has several members, including a few from Upton, and they hope to continue for many years, passing the baton down to other generations. 

Although the glampers won’t be at the Newcastle Shine & Show this year due to a conflict with Born in a Barn, the community is welcome to attend the show on Sept. 18, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Dow Park for a fun time.


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