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Event Schedule & Recaps

Wildlife & Conservation

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Camping Today Staff

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National Officers

Camping Today is a publication of the non-profit National Campers & Hikers Association, doing business as Family Campers & RVers (FCRV). Issue frequency is 12 (monthly) on line at www.fcrv.org. Publisher is Family Campers & RVers, 137 Crandon Blvd, Cheektowaga, NY 14225. National Office Phone #: 716-668-6242, [email protected]. Camping Today is supported through FCRV memberships.  OWNER: National Campers & Hikers Association, doing business as Family Campers & RVers (non-profit), Bondholders, mortgage, and other security owners holding 1% or more of bonds, mortgages, and other securities: NONE. The purpose, function, and nonprofit status of this organization and the exempt status for federal income tax purposes has not changed in the last 12 months.

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From The President

With Campvention less than 3 months away, are you ready? Have you registered for Campvention yet? Time is flying, and June will be here before we know it. Deb and the team are planning and working to give us a wonderful time in New York this year. I hope you have some time to visit a few of the sites that will be at our fingertips to see. Look into the many things to do as you travel to and home from Campvention. This is our 75th Anniversary! Let’s help make the most of it. I encourage you to support Wildlife as Tom will be reviving some of the things from the past like the photo contest. I also hear that the birdhouse contest might be back for this Campvention. Make your plans, and we will see you there.

Some of you have received the new banner for display. YOUR CHAIR AWAITS will replace the old COME CAMP WITH US banner. Many of us will be able to pick up our new banner at Campvention this year. We are grateful for the professional help we received on the development of this new banner. I know that many of us struggle with change; this is only human. We do not like to change. We must understand that FCRV will change whether we like it or not. The banner is a step to update our image and increase our appeal to younger campers. I believe that we must change our image to bring in younger campers.

It is my desire that we all make 2024 a year of growth for FCRV in numbers. I would like to challenge each of you to help your state/province grow in the coming year. I know we can do it so what state/province will grow the most in 2024. I hope that you help make it your state/province.

There is an important message for all members to read on the Family Camper & RVers® website. Use the following link to access the message:https://fcrv.org/trustee-announcements/


See you at the next Campfire!
Gerry Pfirsch
FCRV International President

Welcome New Members

Zadrejko, Richard Zadrejko, Kerstin PA Referred by: Darris & Maryellen Douma
Kirk, Donna Grant, Ann NY Referred by: Mallards Chapter
Bruemmer, Jane Bruemmer, Bob WI Referred by: Kip & Jan Cushing
Franco, Daniel Franco, Tiffeny NY Referred by: Mallards Chapter
Neilson, Dawn Neilson, Sean NY Referred by: Mallards Chapter
Thayer, Alfred CT RV Show
Malmquist, Daniel Malmquist, Monika CO Referred by: Dave & Michaela Anderson
Saunders. Diana Strickland, Philip CT RV Show
Ross, Bradley Ross, Crystal CO Referred by: Lee Doan
Wallace, Terry CO Referred by: Escapees Chapter
Sawyer, Joe Sawyer, Kathi IL Referred by: George Helmich
Moss, James Moss, Karen AL Referred by: Glenn Maires
Petrignani, Steve Douma, Caitlin NJ Referred by: Darris and Maryellen Douma
Linehan, Anne NY Referred by: Rita & David Blair
Ronan, Joseph Ronan, Eileen CT RV Show
Boggs, Larry Boggs, Cindy KS Referred by: Bill Bugeln & DeWayne Johnston

Retiree Rally 2024 – Mineola, Texas

Keep an eye open for a full recap of the 2024 Retiree Rally in a future issue of ‘Camping Today.’

Join in on the discussion at the 2024 Retiree Rally Facebook group.
Click the link above or scan the code below.

Campvention 2024 – Frankfort, New York

Join in on the discussion at the 2024 Campvention Facebook group.
Click the link above or scan the code below.

Before You Go!
By Deb Swanson, Campvention Chair

Do NOT follow GPS directions to exit 31 on I-90. This will take you through downtown Utica.Take exit 30 (Herkimer-Mohawk) and let GPS recalculate you to NY5S bringing you right behind the fairgrounds.

Ice will be available during the day when the office is open. The cost is $3.25/bag and is subject to change.

No open fires are allowed on the fairgrounds. Propane fire pits are allowed in open areas.

Pump out service is tentatively scheduled for Sun, Tues, Thurs. You must sign up for service at Central Registration. There is a dump station available. For consideration of the people parked by the dump station, please use a sewer hose seal (available on Amazon for $8.62) on your portable waste tank.

Don’t forget to bring your recyclable shopping bags. Paper shopping bags are available in our stores for $.05 each.

New York has a $.05 deposit on cans and bottles (including water). Cans/bottles without NY printed on them will not be accepted for deposit return. It is illegal to return cans/bottles (even with NY printed on them) if they were not purchased in NY and subject to a $100 penalty per item.

When you arrive at the fairgrounds, pull up the roadway a short distance and a parking team member will lead you to the gate registration area. There you will receive your registration packet. A parking team member will escort you to your site. After you are parked, and set up, proceed to the central registration area during the times listed.

Central Registration will be in Building C. The registration hours will be:
Saturday 9 am -12 PM and 1 PM – 4 PM
Sunday 9:30 am – 4:30 PM

Campvention Seminars
By Mike & Carol Burns, Seminars Chairs

Seminars will be held Monday through Thursday at 10 am and 1 pm highlighting conservation and local history & culture. Here is a partial list of the confirmed speakers:

1 pm Erie Canal History – Craig Brack

“The Mind-sets and Motivations Which Created Our Erie Canal” will explore several major events in the early history of our country which led to the construction and success of the canal. In particular, there were at least three such events which occurred from 1776 to 1815 which led directly to the ultra-expensive construction of the canal starting in 1817. Hopefully this program will help you better understand and appreciate the narrative on your trip touring the canal in the Herkimer area.

10 am The Oneida Indian Nation – Jessica Farmer (www.oneidaindiannation.com)

The Oneida Indian Nation is an indigenous nation of American Indian people whose sacred and sovereign homelands are located in Central New York. The Nation was a key ally of the United States during the Revolutionary War, and it has been a cultural and economic anchor for the region.

1 pm Mud Road Sugar House – Vern Duesler III (www.mudroadsugarhouse.com)

Over five generations, Mud Road Sugar House has grown from an 800-tap operation to a 4000 tap operation and is still family owned and operated by Vern Duesler III (Margaret), son D.J. (Erica), son Chad (Lindsay) and grandchildren Bradyn, Olivia, and Brice. Find out from the source how sap is made into syrup and taste the goodness that nature provides.

10 am Haunted Mohawk Valley – Dennis Weaver (https://www.facebook.com/GhostSeekersOfCentralNY/)

The Mohawk River winds through upstate and central New York, and along its meandering path residents and visitors have encountered the supernatural. In Utica, ghosts grace the stage of the Stanley Theater. Spirits of Revolutionary War soldiers still march on the Oriskany Battlefield and linger in Schoharie’s Old Stone Fort. And some former residents of Beardslee Castle in St. Johnsville, Boonville’s Hulbert House and the Seashell Inn of Sylvan Beach have resisted vacating

FCRV’s Got Talent
By Craig Weber, Talent Chair

It is sad to watch another FCRV tradition die, but this creates a new opportunity. Because of limited numbers the FCRV International Band will not be performing at Campvention. This opens up a new opportunity for the “FCRV’s Got Talent” show. This is the third month that this has been posted, so hurry and sign up. I currently have four members signed up, but we need a lot more. We are looking for anyone, regardless of age, to step up and show off their unique talents at Campvention this year in New York. Singing, Dancing, Story Telling, Stupid Pet Tricks, Comedy Routine, Group Skit, Piano or Instruments. ALL talents are welcome. Please try to keep your talent under five minutes. There will be a keyboard available. Sound guy will be able to handle CDs for you to sing. I hope all of you can find the time to show off your talent. Just click on this link, fill out the simple form, click SUBMIT, and I will be in touch. https://fcrv.org/fcrvs-got-talent/ 

WARNING: If we do not get enough talent signed up, Craig Weber will have to tell stories. For Example:

Scientists recently discovered a new, very small island in the Pacific Ocean named Trios. Trios has a small population of 200 people called Trids. Without interfering with native life, scientists observed the native life far out at sea. The Trids’ diet consisted of various fruits and berries and the fish they caught daily. Life for the Trids was slow and easy. The observers noticed that each Tuesday the Trids gathered baskets of food and proceeded to climb up the hill in the center of the island. As soon as they reached the top and set down the baskets, they would come rolling downhill laughing and very happy. The Trids would then go into frantic dancing and celebrating. The observers decided that they needed to study these people more closely and soon landed a craft with scientists and religious experts from around the world. On Tuesday the Trids went about their tradition of gathering baskets of food and proceeded up the hill. As the observers watched, a huge giant came out of a cave and kicked the Trids so that they rolled down the hill, and then they began their party. When the observers asked why they did this, the Trids told them a long story about how this had been going on for centuries and the giant protected them from storms. The next Tuesday the Trids began collecting their baskets of food when the religious leader from Israel decided to join them for a close up look. He gathered up a basket of food and headed up the hill with the Trids. When they reached the top, the giant came out of his cave and kicked the Trids down the hill but did not kick the religious leader. Before the giant disappeared into his cave with the gifts the leader called out, “I did the same thing, but you did not send me rolling down the hill, why?” The giant replied…. wait for it…… …”Silly Rabbi, Kicks are for Trids”

This is your third warning. See past issues of Camping Today for other warnings.

The Joy of Cooking For Campvention
By Sue Fromholzer, Dinner Chair

Have you ever cooked for a large crowd? Perhaps for your extended family for the holidays or a party? Are you a cook who believes that it is better to have more than enough and not run out? Well, the Campvention cook team feels this way. For our anniversary, we are serving a meal unlike any that has been served at Campvention.

This year we are serving dinner. Our menu consists of jerk pork and chicken, two sides, dessert and a drink. The cost of this meal is $14 per person. The dinner will be held on Tuesday followed by FCRV’s Got Talent show. Originally, we had a limited number of dinners to be sold. Because this is a special event, we want everyone to be able to have dinner if they want one. Because we don’t want to have a lot of expensive leftovers resulting in a loss, we are asking those who want a dinner to pre-order and pre-pay. Your dinner will be served to you by one of our wonderful volunteers.

There will be indoor and outdoor seating. We are asking those who have not yet registered to fill out the form below and send along with your registration. For those who have already registered this form will be emailed to you but must be paid by check payable to:



NY 14225

NAME: _________________________________


Site Decorating at Campvention 2024
By Shari Weber, Site Decorating Chair

By now you know that Crazy Acres Campground at Beaver Spring Lake is sponsoring the Campvention 2024 site decorating contest. This year the theme for decorating is “Camping – Past, Present, and Future”. A little different from previous years, prizes will be awarded for first $40, second $30, and third $20 place. The folks from Crazy Acres are eagerly looking forward to seeing your creativity.

Remember to support our sponsor Crazy Acres Campground. They can be reached by phone at 607.278.5293 or email at [email protected]. Find details about the campground on the web at www.crazyacrescampground.com. They are taking reservations for the upcoming camping season.

Awards – Ribbons – Plaques – ORDER EARLY
By Beth Standiford

Since the Campvention will be earlier this year, please plan ahead when ordering any Awards, Ribbons, Plaques, etc. so that we have sufficient time to get them for presentation.

Awards – Ribbons – Plaques – ORDER EARLY
By Beth Standiford

Since the Campvention will be earlier this year, please plan ahead when ordering any Awards, Ribbons, Plaques, etc. so that we have sufficient time to get them for presentation.

Pet Parade
By Sue Fromholzer


It has been brought to my attention that your fur babies want to be the center of attention at Campvention. Well don’t you know that it is a tradition that they are highlighted in their own parade! This year the contest will take place on Hawaiian day. You must attend the pet parade meeting on Monday to be registered and official. So, bring the appropriate attire and join us center stage for the best show of the week.

Teen Sports
By Angie Shaneyfelt

Volleyball & Softball

Calling all Teens...we will be playing Volleyball Thursday morning at 9:30. Make sure you all show up, even if you don’t play you need to come to support your fellow teens. Any adults interested in helping and/or participating in the teen volleyball are welcome to come also. You will be put on a team if there isn’t enough teens.

The annual Softball game was originally teens competing against other teens. Then we transformed the game to adults vs teens and now we have just decided to mix the teams up. So, any age that wants to play Softball, bring your gloves and bats. This includes youth, we need some base runners for older folks! We do have some equipment to provide for members that don’t have any to bring. Just come and play!

We had a good turnout of members last year at Richmond and had a very competitive softball game. We need to make sure the membership comes to watch us play. So, when walking to the ball diamond tell everyone you see to come and join us either by playing or watching!

By Thomas Martinez

Getting off to a slow start as the new Wildlife Director but looking forward to a fun Campvention.  I have received 0ne Wildlife Grant request but hoping a few more will come in before May 20th.  The link is: Wildlife Grants – Family Campers and RVers (fcrv.org).

We are asking our members, chapters, and states/providences for donations to be used as a fund raiser for the Wildlife Grant Program.   In addition, we are asking for homemade bird houses to be auctioned as a fundraiser. 

I would like to see our members submit an 8 X10 wildlife picture, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place ribbons will be given in two categories.  There will be a category for age 17 and younger and one for 18 and older.  Each picture should have the photographer’s name, state, and chapter. 

We will be manning a table In building ‘A’  Mon, Tue, Wed from 10 AM to 1 PM.   We will have the photos on display as well as the birdhouses. 

Visit Howes Cave, New York
By Barb Turner, Publicity Chair

About an hour from Campvention 2024 at the Herkimer County Fairgrounds, Frankfort, New York is Howes Cave, a hamlet with caverns and an Iroquois museum.  What’s a hamlet, you may wonder?  It’s a small village (unincorporated community), usually without a church.  “Howes Cave is 5.3 miles east of Cobleskill. It has a post office with ZIP code 12092, which opened on November 18, 1867. The hamlet’s name comes from Howe Caverns, a popular tourist attraction discovered by Lester Howe in 1842.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Howes_Cave,_New_York

Howe Caverns, 255 Discovery Dr, Howes Cave, NY 12092, as noted above, were discovered by Lester Howe in 1842, but has been ‘in the making’ for 6 million years!  Tours will take you down 156 feet below the surface.  Glimpse and imagine its creation!  Ride a boat on the underground river.  Rules: there are no restrooms in the cave, and food, beverages or bags of ANY kind are permitted in the cave, including pocketbooks and purses. Unfortunately, the cave is not handicap accessible; wheelchairs and other wheeled devices are not permitted in the cave. Prepare for your visit by using these links:                                                               https://howecaverns.com/                                           

Secret Caverns, 671 Caverns Rd, Howes Cave, NY 12092, provides another underground experience on a smaller scale.  Caverns with a 100’-waterfalls and various formations & fossils highlight the Secret Caverns.

Iroquois Museum, 324 Caverns Road, Howes Cave, NY 12092, is located on the ancestral grounds of the Kanien’keha:ka (Mohawk) people.  Click on the links to learn what the museum offers:                                                                        https://www.iroquoismuseum.org/                          

Add Howes Cave to your ‘to-do’ list when you attend Campvention 2024 in Frankfort, NY the end of June!!

Campvention Entertainment
By Mike & Carol Burns, Entertainment Chairs

Opening ceremonies

Erin White, FCRV Teen Queen 1999 – National Anthems 

Camden Continentals – Fife & Drum Corps – still in discussion, available earlier but not at desired time

Announcements Grit & Grace (http://www.gritngraceband.com/)

Since 2011 Grit N Grace has been entertaining audiences regionally in NY as well as neighboring states with their unique blend of high energy country, rock, and dance music for a show that is enjoyable for all ages.


FCRV Talent Showcase

Announcements Big Fez and the Surfmatics (https://bigfezmusic.com/home

Big Fez & the Surfmatics are a four-man group performing classic surf and beach music from the early 1960’s and beyond. While all four members are journeymen musicians who have individually developed their craft through rock, country, bluegrass, and celtic music, it is the music of their youth, the “music of the surf”, that has brought them together to form this outstanding combo.

Announcements and Awards

Drawing Day 


Eileen & Leslie Tallmadge – Campfire sing-along

Family Fun Day
By Angie Shaneyfelt

The teen organization will be selling Family Fun Day tickets at registration for their Hot Dog/Hamburger meal being served on Monday from 12 to 1. We are trying to keep our costs at $5.00/meal that includes a hamburger or hot dog with chips and water. At Family Fun Day the FCRV Trustees will have games for members to participate in. This is just a gathering for all members to mingle with old friends and meet new friends! So, please remember to purchase your tickets at registration. We will also have some extra meals to purchase if you didn’t get a ticket. The teens appreciate your support as they use these profits for their activities this week.

Campvention TP Info
By Kathy Howell, TP Chair

Are you ready? I am ready!! Campvention is only about 2 months away!! I am so excited. My family and I have been scooping up deals to bring prizes to the TP raffle in New York. We had so much fun sharing this event with you, can’t wait to do it again.

As you are making your plans for New York and packing your camper, please consider donating to the TP raffle. Donations can be from an individual, a chapter, or group of chapters. Donations do not need to be camping related. If you are a crafty person, we love to have handmade items!! Gift baskets were great additions last year. We have some very talented people in our Campvention!! Gift cards are also a very popular item.

Happy Trails
Kathy, Jessica and Zachary

FCRV Campvention Marketplace
By Rhonda O’Neal, Marketplace Chair

Hello FCRV members! I wanted to introduce myself, I am Rhonda O’Neal of Illinois and I will be overseeing the Marketplace this year at Campvention in Herkimer, New York! Marketplace will be held in building A which is the main building this year and will be held on Thursday June 27, 2024 from 9am-12pm.Tables are 6ft long and are available for $5.00 each which includes 2 chairs or you can bring your own chairs. If you are interested in a space, please email me at [email protected], and I will send a form to you so you can get a spot reserved. If you have any questions, please feel free to email me, and I will do my best to answer your questions. I look forward to seeing you in Herkimer! If you are not familiar with Marketplace, it is when we give our members time to sell merchandise which mostly consists of handmade items made by our members. If you have a craft that you do and would like to sell it at Campvention, then Marketplace is for you! Plenty of spots are still available!

Off-Grounds Option – Red Roof Inn Info
By Ron Cohee, Commercial Chair

Not able to camp at Campvention 2024? The Red Roof Inn, 100 Marginal Road, Herkimer, New York 13350 is your option. The Red Roof Inn has agreed to a 10% discount on any room type for the week of Campvention. It’s all set up! It’s under “Camp Convention June 23-28.” Call (315) 585-8548 to make your reservation!

Volunteer Help Request
By Chris Wheaton, Gate Registration Chair

Would you like to be a Campvention volunteer? Gate check-in help is needed for Friday, Saturday, & Sunday. If you want to help out, list it on your registration form. We would like to volunteer for: ________________________ or email me at [email protected].

There are many opportunities to volunteer at Campvention 2024. Indicate where you can help on the registration form. Plan to sign-up upon arrival at Campvention or during the week. Your help will be greatly appreciated and will enhance your Campvention experience.

Personalized garments; drinkware; clings; decals; kitchen & bath items. You can choose from our large graphic collection or use your photos or designs.

For FCRV branded items: https://stores.inksoft.com/fc_rv/shop/home

For other items: https://stores.inksoft.com/marshall_creations16/shop/home

Call or text: 410-533-0038
[email protected]

Wildlife Update

Wildlife Update
By Thomas Martinez

Wildlife Projects: I have been informed there are several Regions, States, Provinces, Chapters, and individuals participating in some sort of wildlife or conservation project.  I believe it would be advantageous if these projects were posted to your chapter, state, provinces, and national Facebook walls.  It is a good thing to receive recognition, but more importantly it is good to tell others what FCRV people are doing to help conserve our decreasing habitats and wildlife.  It may help other FCRV groups to get an idea of what they may want to accomplish. 

Campvention: We will have a wildlife photo event for ages 17 and younger and another for ages 18 and older.  Ribbons will be awarded for 1st, 2nd and 3rd places.  The photos should be 8X10ish.  Put your name, chapter, and state/province on the back. 

We are accepting homemade birdhouses for auction as a fundraiser for the wildlife grants.  There will be a wildlife table manned 9 AM to 1 PM, Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu to accept photos and birdhouses. 

Dear RV

Do you have questions about your RV, accessories, best practices, etc? Submit them to Dear RV and our staff will attempt to answer them. The answers are based on years of camping experience, but we don’t guarantee that the answers will apply to your specific unit or situation. If someone submits a question and you can add to our answer OR have a better answer, please submit below with information about the original question. Your submission will be reviewed for possible publication in a future Dear RV Q&A. So, send us your questions and we will send you an answer. Remember, all submissions are anonymous.

Us here at Dear RV!

Dear RV

We are planning to go on the first outing of the year in a week or so, but this is the first time we have had to remove the antifreeze from the water system. How would you remove it from the system? Please understand we have not had to do this living in a warm area and are very new to RVing.


Well, Unsure

The best advice I can give is to flush the system with water until it runs clean. Then get your manual that came with the rig and look up the care of your water system. Use this valuable tool to help you through the process. In it you will also find instructions on how to sanitize your drinking water system. This is a task that you should do every year. I often sanitize my drinking water system a couple times a year. I will do this often after returning from a trip where I did not like the water from the area that I traveled to. The long and short is flush the system with plenty of water.

Thanks for writing Dear RV.

Dear RV

Do stabilizing jacks on the rear of a 5th wheel help when parked?

Tired of Rocking

Well, Rocking, as you know there are many different types of stabilizer jacks one can get  for trailers and 5th wheels. There are several types of stabilizer systems. Manual, electric, and hydraulic. There are also self-leveling systems on many new rigs. I am still in the dark ages here and believe in the old tried and true. I, however, now have electric stabilizer jacks on the back of the 5th wheel. This is a step up from the hand crank on the old rig. I still like the control of the hand crank jack on the old rig but like the convenience of the electric and only one button to push to set the stabilizer jacks into place. I like the added stability of the added cross brace of the electric as the jack controls movement in two directions on each corner of the rig. I must say this is a large improvement over the older version on the old rig that allowed front to back movement of the rig requiring the addition of a tripod jack under the 5th wheel pin. So the long and short answer is that I do believe that the addition of stabilizer jacks do add stability to the rig and will be an overall good investment to your camping experience.

Hope this helps!
Thanks for writing Dear RV

Traffic Alert!!

Traffic Alert!!
By Joe Boswell, National DASAT Director & Maryland resident.

The Baltimore Francis Scott  Key toll bridge collapsed March 26th. The bridge was hit by a cargo ship containing lots of shipping containers. All routes leading to this bridge have been closed. Traffic is rerouted around and through Baltimore. The detours are not designed to handle the larger volume of traffic or lots of larger vehicles. The detours  may send you into downtown Baltimore.

Note:  It will take several years before a new bridge is constructed. The loss of this bridge affects all traffic headed north or south along this major thoroughfare along the east coast. It is also currently affecting major shipping routes.  

The Baltimore Harbor Tunnel, an alternate route, is restricted travel for various types of larger vehicles, including Recreational Vehicles, with propane. This is also a toll road. 

Currently the only way to travel up and down the east coast around Baltimore is to take the Baltimore Beltway 695 west, no matter if you are traveling north or south. Expect extra traffic along this route due to the bridge collapse. 

This bridge collapse is going to take months before all investigations and clean-up operations are completed. If you’re traveling north to Campvention from our southern states, please be aware of this major traffic alert. 


(607) 278-5293
263 Beaver Spring Road Davenport, NY 13750
Get Directions – Email the CampgroundReserve Online

Milestones & Birthdays

Congratulations, Chubby & Caddie Joseph
By Barb Turner

Chubby (Alfred) & Caddie Joseph celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary on February 27. They were married in Chubby’s family’s church in Lewes, Delaware on February 27,1954. Caddie said it was an extremely warm day, no jackets or sweaters needed. They have 3 children: Charles, Paul, and Suzanne J. Steele.

Caddie celebrated her 90th birthday on March 6th, 2024.

Chubby and Caddie joined NCHA in 1972 and attended their first Campvention in DuQuoin, Illinois with Suzanne with them.

They served as Delaware State Directors from 1997-2002. They sold their RV in 2023, and they do miss it greatly. Health issues prohibited traveling very much.

Caddie said, “We took Suzanne & Ron Steele’s two daughters to several Regional Campouts, two in Maine and to Gillette, WY in 2001 for Campvention followed by Campvention in Maine the next year. The trip to Wyoming was the longest trip we ever took them, stopping at places we’d been to before to share the experience with them. They were 12 and soon-to-be 6 years old.” The Indianapolis Speedway was a hit, and she said they’ll never forget Jackson Hole, Wyoming. They had their first cell phone so the girls called home every day. Mallory had to know how the Yankees were doing. She had a huge crush on Derek Jeter. Standing near that famous block-wide park with the antler entrances at every corner, they would call home. Mallory liked to walk with the phone and they’d lose the connection. Caddie said, “I finally told her to put her feet exactly where mine were and NOT MOVE. That worked. It was a fun trip to be sure. They were the only two kids at the Monday night hospitality event to highlight the Northeast in 2002, wearing the blue chicken hats as well.”

They have been very involved with the Lewes Fire Department. Caddie shared: “Chubby joined the Lewes Fire Dept in May 1977 so he is working on 47 years of membership. He had his first stroke in 2013 which pretty much stopped his actual participation in the firefighting side for the company as well as the ambulance service. We are Volunteers, not paid personnel. In 1984, there was a huge shortage of help, and that’s when I joined to ‘just be’ an ambulance driver. I was told I needed to take the associated classes, and I did. I’m now working on year 40 in membership which I hope to complete this coming October. Once I retired from the federal government in the Department of Defense (Navy & Air Force), the president of the Lewes Fire Dept asked me to join the small Fire Prevention Program the company had. The earliest date I could find for this was 2004. That was 5 years after I retired so I think it may have been earlier, but no record could be found. . The Fire Prevention program grew over the next few years as two other elementary schools were built in our fire district. I did NOT do this alone. I had a couple of excellent co-chairs.

“Chubby was always a part of the accountable leadership. The program targeted kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd grade students. The school located closest to us was cooperatively scheduled to walk to the Fire Department, and we took them back on a fire truck. If it was raining, we picked them up and took them back. The chaperones (parents) find their own way to the fire hall. They were introduced to one of our two museums, given a briefing (age appropriate) to a pumper, saw a firefighter slide down our fire pole from the 2nd floor, taught about calling 911, and how to Stop, Drop & Roll. They walk through an ambulance to help ease their fears. A back-up grade appropriate video is shown before they line up to use a fire hose on our miniature home that appears to be on fire. This is always a hit! With the second school very much out of walking distance opened up, we arranged to go to them. Built with all same level grades in one hallway, we set up in the respective area to do our teaching and then took them outside to our pumper for show and tell. The miniature house was present, our hoses attached to a fire hydrant, and the house once again got a soaking. It was a very busy two weeks in October which everyone enjoyed doing. It always amazed me how much kindergarten students retained from the year prior. It showed we’d done something right. Then the State has a poster and/or essay contest with specific rules and regulations which we administer and finally recognize the  1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners.

“Now with Chubby’s latest stroke in July ’23 and a TIA in Jan ’24, we try to get to the monthly meetings, and hopefully I can help our ‘mixed’ auxiliary in the spring & fall to do something at one of their scheduled fundraisers. They are fun.”

At Chubby & Caddie’s 70th anniversary party at the fire department, one of their fire department colleagues said, “This couple is very special to me. They are both Hall of Famers in the DVFA. When I was a junior fireman, I used to go on 300 or more ambulance runs a year with this husband-and-wife team. I rode the back step with Chubby to a lot of fires. Caddie ran the Fire Prevention Program for years and still has her hand in it and keeps us all in line at the monthly meetings. I even sit behind them in church, too.”

Caddie concludes in regards to NCHA/FCRV with: “We enjoyed meeting all the people from other states and Canada. Campventions and Retiree Rallies offered us a reason to go see the rest of our country and experience new things. The Rayne, LA Retiree Rally took place over our anniversary. Every little town had their own Mardi Gras parade, much like every little town in lower Delaware has its own Christmas Parade every year. Each had its own flavor, so to speak. We were in Lafayette for the largest, most colorful. Rayne’s was probably the smallest. King Cakes and Bead Trees, we remember. All in all, it was 50 years of adventure, great fun. and friendship that we will always hold dear to our hearts. God Bless You All. “

Congratulations, Chubby and Caddie, on 70 years of marriage, and Happy 90th Birthday to Caddie. They have had a wonderful life of service together to NCHA/FCRV and their local Lewes Fire Department.

Click on a year to see those months past issues of “Camping Today”.

20212020 2019




Letter From Retiring Camping Today Editor

by DeWayne Johnston

July 15, 2022.

In 1989, then President Lyndon Mayer urged  me to take over the editor portion of Camping Today since Editor Dave Higbie needed to spend more time on his successful travel business. I had been doing volunteer publicity for NCHA. As editor I was hired as a contractor for service. Dave and Martha Higbie would stay on as publisher and continue to do the layout and printing and supervise mailing. Copies were printed and mailed at that time. Since then, NCHA/FCRV has had several publishers who took care of layout, printing and mailing for a fee.

I was fortunate to have several mentors who knew the organization inside out. Among them were the Higbies and Noreen Smith,  I was also glad to get to know founder Hank Nathan, National Director Don Plummer,  Office Manager Fran Opella, Layout Person Cathy Williams and many others including the presidents I served under. My wife June was always a great help, too.

My last few years were made a little easier by Vickie Roop who volunteered to take over layout when Camping Today alternated  between print and mail and online issues.  Of course, today, it’s all done on line with Carl Fromholzer and Paul Standiford doing the layout and Pat Wittmeyer taking care of the mailed subscriptions . 

My overall goal was to develop sources for interesting and useful articles and to encourage the membership to share what they are doing in the way of camping activities and other community service projects. Covering Campventions, Retiree Rallies, and other special events was also important. Making FCRV look good wasn’t hard since so many chapters, states, and provinces were doing lots of public service such as Conservation Projects, fundraising for charities, and things like bringing Christmas to orphanages and nursing homes. Also, the Connecticut ’Make A Wish’ support and the Winter Texans Veterans Home gift drive were significant. Rallies have always taken up donations for the local food banks and nursing homes, etc. including Ronald McDonald House.

Although I am retiring as editor, I’ll still be around taking a few pictures and may contribute a story or two.  We’ll continue to camp and enjoy the many great friends we have in FCRV.