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      When camping, be sure to follow campsite etiquette

      When out camping at a State Park such as Van Riper, you might consider it your home away from home, but you should still treat it as well as you treat your real home.

      That falls under a term the park rangers call "campsite etiquette." So what exactly is campsite etiquette?

      "Being courteous and thinking about your neighbors. In a campground, you're pretty close to each other," says park ranger Matena Coron. "So, the idea of keeping down the noise, not burning garbage, not having, not letting your kids run through other people's campsites."

      That's what campsite etiquette is during your stay. But what about etiquette when your stay is over?

      "We really appreciate if you don't burn trash in your fire ring," says Coron. "Clean up after yourself, clean up after pets, a lot of people have dogs, clean up after your dogs. Just make sure you're not leaving a mess."

      Fortunately, this hasn't become a problem worth worrying about at Van Riper as campground hosts have observed.

      "For the most part, we have really good campers here," says campground host Julie Hosang. "Every once in a while, you get somebody that kind of makes it hard for others, but for the most part, we really have a good bunch of campers here. Seems when you come here hosting, it's just like a lot of family to you."

      Park rangers do their best to check over campsites before their occupants head out, but sometimes that isn't possible due to busy summer schedules.

      So they've stuck to what works, laying out the rules and trusting campers to do their part to keep the park clean enough for everyone to enjoy.