Well we had a new experience recently. We were in Lincoln Nebraska watching the University of Kansas Formula SAE team (http://www.jayhawkmotorsports.com/
)compete at the Lincoln Airpark. We checked our new Android App (We Camp here) and found a nearby state park, called Conestoga. We called the number provided by the app and a friendly person told us that there were 20 sites open at this time (around 1pm) We drove the 10 miles or so to the park and found only 2 sites vacant. Strangely there were a number of sites with tents laying on the ground, but not set up.
We chose a vacant site. We filled out our little form, clicked it onto the post, wrote out our check, inserted it into the provided envelope and inserted it into the payment drop. As an added precaution, we placed two orange cones at the sites entrance. One of the cones had occupied written (rather poorly I might add) on it with a sharpie.
We left and went back to the competition.
Around 5:30 we returned to the park. We moved our cones, and pulled into the site. We proceeded to set up our camp chairs outside and enjoy a sundowner. The camper across the street came over and let us know what we had missed.
During our absence, the park officer(s) came by and proceeded to take our cones, and remove our registration from the post, in order to open up the site. The camper from across the street stopped them and informed them that we were in a small RV and had no trailer or toad to leave behind. The officers relented and did not take our cones, remove our tags to open up the site, due to our neighbors intervention. If he had not interfered, we would have been without a site, and out our $20 fee.
Apparently, in Nebraska there is a problem with people filling out the registration, putting it on the post and saving it for friends. This is supposedly unacceptable to park management. The neighbor explained to me that the parks are in Extremely high demand on weekends. The locals know to lay a tent down to "claim there spot"
Here is my recommendation, should you find yourself in Nebraska and desiring to stay at a state park during the weekend. Make sure that the camp host know that you have occupied the site and have paid. Maybe even showing them the check. In the future, I plan on doing this if possible at other self registration campsites.