Long live community camping with GCU!


A new way to camp! It’s more than a marketing slogan for the French GCU (University Camper Group) founded in 1937 and now managing a hundred campsites in France; it runs through its veins!

A stay on a GCU campsite means having a holiday and getting involved in the day-to-day running of the site. That changes everything. Of course you experience the joys of camping in stunning natural sites but you also contribute to the management, reception and maintenance (e.g. bathroom facilities) of your holiday destination. An unusual yet rewarding experience!

© Groupement des Campeurs Universitaires de France

A potted history

GCU is a non-profit organisation that launched in 1937: the first members were teachers’ families who loved the great outdoors and socialising. GCU is now the biggest campsite association in Europe with 50,000 members from all backgrounds. Its voluntary running has always been the core of the community campsite management as it is today. An annual contribution makes you part of GCU’s impressive “fleet” of almost a hundred self-managed sites and partner campsites in France and Europe.

Seaside, countryside, mountainside. The choice is yours!

From the Opal Coast and the Mediterranean to the Atlantic, all that’s missing on GCU’s campsites is you. If you love holidays in the great outdoors on the mountain or in the countryside then you’ll be spoilt for choice. GCU even gives you the chance to camp on the ski slopes in Les Menuires (Savoie) and Prémanon (Jura). The family-friendly sites are all in fantastic settings. What sets them apart is that you won’t find campers looking for facilities or star ratings but instead the sense of community that you get from everyone getting involved in the site. GCU also provides rentals rooted in a spirit of balance: 14 sites have bungalow tents, 25 have mobile homes and 1 has apartments all at great rates so everyone can have an affordable holiday.

© Camping GCU

How does it work?

GCU campsites have been open to all holidaymakers since 2016 subject to adhering to their core values (secularity, solidarity, community) and becoming a member of the association with the budget-friendly annual contribution (26€ for adults aged over 26 in 2018). You can pay the contribution on the website ( or when you arrive at the campsite.

The association’s beloved principle of self-management is applied to the campsites so they are run by camper volunteers. When you join GCU, you agree to commit a block of 3-4 hours to campsite life during your stay: reception, management, day-to-day maintenance etc. There are endless possibilities to contributing to the campsite’s running. It’s a great way to meet people, take care of the site and your fellow campers.

The people’s campsite

GCU campsites are for anyone who thinks that holidays are all about unwinding, broadening horizons, recharging your batteries and socialising. The medium-sized campsites focus on respect for mankind and nature based on relationships. Everyone shares their variety of surprising passions during their stays. Campers organise activities in high season on certain campsites for you to take part in (volleyball, table tennis, pétanque, children’s games etc.). So, are you ready to experience community camping for yourself?



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