This weekend we used a new camp for Exiles. We were drawn to it by its promises of bunks (with mattresses!), fully functioning kitchens, running water, and air conditioning. Yes, the site we had before was not so fancy - for some of you used to deluxe locations, you're probably cringing right now :) Unfortunately as a small game, we have a small budget, so we're only now getting to the point of being able to afford a nicer site.
Problem is, we can't buy out the whole camp. As a Girl Scout camp, that means we're sharing with, well, girl scouts. We've got the main lodges in the center of camp, but they're still there at some of the tents. And I'm sure we're not the only LARP group in a similar situation.
So, what to do if you are sharing your site?
First, set some ground rules with the site and any rangers. Ask the ranger/camp coordinator to tell any other groups not to wander through. If nothing else, there's the safety issue.
This helps to protect both groups from the actions of the other, since outside groups won't have signed your waivers.
Be clear with your site about what you're doing, and how it might affect other campers. Most LARPs are up late yelling about strange things (and maybe swearing), and that you might have props and set ups in certain places. Let them know that you like your privacy (if you do) and see what suggestions they have to help.
If you're getting people coming through your reserved area, nip it in the bud early on. Take the issue to Staff. If Staff can't get a hold of the ranger, or already have, someone should talk to the other group's leader and work something out. Choose someone who's not scary :)
Try to have someone take a look at the location ahead of time to see if you can use some other, out of the way areas for your mods. A lot of sites are okay with groups using unreserved camping areas, so you can avoid interruption by taking the action there.
You can also plan more mods inside, if your buildings allow for it, and keep out of the way of oglers.
Make sure and mention to your people that the camp is shared, and ask everyone to be on good behavior. Know the camp rules and follow them, since you don't want a violation getting you reported and possibly deported. :)
In the end, you'll probably still know the other group is there, and the immersion is going to be broken a bit. So I guess it's up to each group as to whether or not it's worth it. For us, it seemed like everyone was okay trading some minimal interruption for air conditioning and showers. But it may not always be the case.
What do you think? Are nicer facilities worth sharing? How do you compromise with sharing a camp?