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National Officers

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ArticlesEvent RecapBirthday ShoutoutMilestoneFarewell –  Dear RVEvent Submit

From The President

Let me start out by saying that it was great to see you at Campvention! To everyone that was able to attend, it was good to catch up on things we have missed in the last year or two. Campvention is a special gathering for those that attend. It is not the place we are or the weather that we remember. It is the time we spend with one another. If you missed Campvention this year we will not be able to tell you all the things you missed. Yes, we can explain some of them to you but you must be present to fully enjoy the experiences. There are the normal complaints like the weather, the site, but the truth is we can find something good in everything if we choose to.

For starters if YOU as the members do not make it a point to attend in the years to come our power to get sites with the things we desire will get harder to secure. When we have 500 families show up for Campvention we have far more power to secure a premium site than when we only have 150 families show up each year. You see you as the members are the ones that will make or break Campvention. I thank you, the true loyal members that attend Campvention no matter the location and the weather condition. This is a testament to your belief in FCRV.  I place myself in this group of people as I go to campvention to see each of you not the location. To me you are more important than the location. I ask each of you to reach out and encourage your Chapter members and members in your state to come next year to Richmond IN. Each of you will make the difference in having a memorable and fun Campvention. Do not allow that member that says there is nothing at Campvention steal your fun away. For some I suspect that is true. However, from my experience there is more to do than time allows. That is if you get involved and attend the things planned like Seminars, Demonstrations, Hospitalities, and the like. You see, only you determine what there is to do.

I would like to thank the members that openly showed their support for me and the other Trustees and how you are supporting our decisions. Your support is more encouraging than you will know. We as Trustees need to hear this from you. We will continue to move ahead with updating and bettering FCRV. Our job as Trustees is to operate FCRV like a Business allowing you and your Chapters to enjoy the benefit of camping and having fun. I do know that there are and will be changes that you might not like but we are acting in what we see as the greater good of FCRV. If everyone was to agree on every decision we make, I would be very scared. But you see some will see the benefit of a change and some will resist the change at the time. This is good because it causes discussion and thought on the subject. One thing I know is that your Trustees have FCRV and its best interests at heart. Never doubt this or take it for granted.

I would like to thank each of you on the Executive Board that attended the campvention and the meeting on Sunday for your time and dedication to FCRV. This also goes out to those of you on the Advisory Committee for your time and input into the items that I placed on your agenda. We will move ahead with plans to meet with Regional Directors each quarter as discussed. We will also meet with the state directors each Quarter and have a time of planning and discussion with each. This is and will be a time to help make FCRV better and move it ahead into tomorrow. My hope is that you will see the importance and be a part of this. This is a step in improving communication within FCRV. Your voice is important, and we need to hear what you have to say. Good decisions are made by hearing all the different opinions during the discussion. It is better than after the decision is made.

Again, if you were not at Campvention you missed a great time and you were missed! We will plan to see you next year. Plan now to be there and have a good time. Get registered early. Let’s fill the grounds! Will I see you there? Just so you know I am looking forward to seeing you there.    

Some of the things you missed if you were not at Campvention this year:

  • The Annual Meeting,
  • Awards given out this year
  • Seminars
  • Pueblo Riverwalk
  • The Restless Russell’s
  • Ambassador Club Luncheon
  • Sloppers
  • Hospitalities
  • And visiting with old friends and making new friends
  • As well as many other things

Everyone, get out, enjoy some camping, encourage your chapter to attend State, Regional, and National Functions, and let’s have some fun during the remaining camping season. The fun is up to you. We will continue to plan the opportunities, but it is up to you to make them fun and valuable for everyone.  FCRV depends on you. Let’s not let her down. Let’s make something fun for everyone.

I must also thank Mark the manager of Camping World in Fountain Colorado for his generous gifts of the Chairs to the Wildlife fund. I reached out to all the camping stores here in Colorado for gifts for the Wildlife program and Camping World is the only one that would help us out. So, Mark and Camping World, Thank you for your Generosity!

See you at the next campfire!
Gerry Pfirsch
FCRV National President

From National Comptroller, Debbie Swanson

The Family of FCRV

By: FCRV National Comptroller, Debbie Swanson

Campvention 2022 is now part of our family history. From the traditional ribbon cutting opening ceremony to the traditional closing ceremony, the family reunion is yet another one to remember. The Campvention team did an awesome job organizing this year’s family reunion.

The elders of the family came with a plan to keep our family going for years to come. Many discussions, and meetings, centered around how we move forward in the years to come. Terms like branding, social media, influencers, all sound foreign to us. Fortunately, we have a person in the family that knows all about those things and is hard at work using those resources to help move us forward.

Our family grew substantially over the last year. FFCC joined us as a chapter and brought 80+ new relatives to the fold. Amy DeCamp, Ohio State Representative, was installed as Vice President of Planning and Development. After her installation she addressed her new family letting them know how excited she was to be a part of the family. She has great hopes for the future of FCRV.

At the Wednesday night entertainment, our children and grandchildren showed us how bright our future can be. The teens wore tees that had a tree on the front. The tree had a large canopy that read campvention and on the trunk, back to our roots.

No family can ever avoid arguing, or disagreeing, about any topic. The future of FCRV is no different. Some of our family members don’t like change, others embrace it with great enthusiasm. Either way, we need your help. The elders have been asking for camping schedules, and contact information, from every chapter for over two years now. We have received a lot, but not all of the information needed. If we look like the family we are to the outside world, we will have all kinds of camping related companies wanting to advertise with us. People will want to join us. We can be better, and stronger, than we were when Grandpa Nathan started this family.

So I leave you with these questions. What will our family reunions look like in the future and will we still have them?

FCRV Health Guidelines

Hey Happy Campers! (And you Grumpy Campers, too!)

Your Trustees have been very busy this winter and I wanted to share some important news with you.  

Last May, Camping Today, published some information for you regarding COVID and how FCRV wanted to handle all the differing viewpoints and widely variant information on staying safe at Campvention.  In this ever-changing world, the Trustees want you to know we are still concerned about the many variants that seem to be popping up as well as “hot spots” of disease and how we can keep our campers safe without coming on too strongly. 

That being said, the article printed in the May issue covering meeting and social gatherings has been completely revamped.   It has been replaced with kinder, gentler, but no less effective, health guidelines. So please take a look at our new FCRV Health Guidelines and stay safe out there!


These are simply guidelines and as such supplementand do not replace—any state, provincial, local, territorial, or tribal health and safety laws, rules, and regulations that govern any meeting or social gathering.   

We recommend campers and their guests are up to date with vaccinations and immunizations and carry this information on a medical card as well as showing all current medications, medical conditions, and allergies that emergency medical personnel may need to know. 

Have a mask available to use for your protection and the protection of others as they can be used for more than deterring COVID.  

Use common sense in protecting yourself and others.  

Official CDC Guidelines change quickly so be aware of the local conditions and be prepared to adapt to them.

Vaccinated?  No mask may be necessary.     Unvaccinated?  Mask is recommended. 

Event coordinators will announce if local conditions change, requiring adjustments to these statements. 

Help Wanted (Open Volunteer Positions)

FCRV needs your help.  Please consider filling one of these positions.  They are very important to the operation of FCRV. Contact VP Ops – Jeff Kendle, or Immediate Past President – Shari Weber for details.

Volunteers are needed for the following National Positions:


Membership Director – Reports to Vice-President Planning & Development and is a member of the Advisory Council.  Primarily responsible for the growth and retention of membership.  Field Manual job description is currently under review and subject to change.


Commercial Director – Reports to Vice-President Planning & Development and is a member of the Advisory Council. Main responsibility is the development and retention of commercial membership/accounts. Field Manual job description is currently under review and subject to change.


Youth Director – Reports to Vice-President Programs and is a member of the Advisory Council.  Works for the betterment of future youth programs in FCRV.   Field Manual job description is currently under review and subject to change.


State/Provincial Directors for Maryland, DC, Ohio and Connecticut – Reports to their Regional Director and is a member of the Advisory Council.  Position is to administer and coordinate the activities of the State/Providence in the areas of membership and National programs at their level.  Maintain current membership list for said State/Providence.  Appoint Field Director(s).  Keep Regional Director apprised of chapters status.  Approve constitution/bylaws, promote FCRV and State/Provincial activities, submit reports to Regional Director, hold meetings with field staff.  Field Manual job description is currently under review and subject to change.


Communication & Security Director – Reports to the Vice President Planning & Development and is a member of the Advisory Council. Communication to be used for FCRV Campventions and Retiree Rallies.  Integration of electronic communication into a balanced communications system.  Responsible for electronic (walkie-talkies) equipment.  Field Manual job description is currently under review and subject to change.


Conservation Director – Reports to the Vice President of Programs and is a voting member of the Executive Board.  Conservation is at the heart of FCRV.  Maintain existing program guidelines and formulate new as needed.  Maintain records of the program.  Field Manual job description is currently under review and subject to change.


Historian – Reports to the Recording/Corresponding Officer and is a member of the Advisory Council. Preserve FCRV’s history through media and memorabilia.  Field Manual job description is currently under review and subject to change.

Veterans – Reports to the Vice President Programs and is a member of the Advisory Council. Show support FCRV members who are Veterans, conduct or arrange for, informational seminars featuring other Veterans and promote information about FCRV Veterans about activities and opportunities for them. Field Manual job description is currently under review and subject to change.


Travalong Director – Reports to the Immediate Past President and is a member of the Advisory Council. Program is designed to help travelers enjoy group-planned activities and help members and non-members learn about areas of travel and who to contact for information. Establish Travalongs with at least one to coincide with National Campvention.  Field Manual job description is currently under review and subject to change.


Region 5 Director – Reports to the Vice President of Operations and is a voting member of the Executive Board.  Represent FCRV in the region, assist State Directors in the region and provide coordination of administration between the States and the Vice President of Operations. Recommend appointments and/or releases of State Directors to the Vice President of Operations. Coordinate activities between the various States in the region. Act as the State Director in those States that have none. Within the region, administer National bylaws, Constitution, regulations, policies and directives.


Volunteer Background Records Custodian – Member of the Advisory Council Reporting to the Vice President Programs. This position receives permission forms from volunteers working with teens or youth to run a background check. Full job responsibilities are in the field manual. Field Manual job description is currently under review and subject to change. 

NCHA (FCRV) National Hank Nathan Scholarship Report 2022

NCHA (FCRV) National Hank Nathan Scholarship Report 2022

The scholarship committee is proud to announce the 2022 scholarship winners as follows:

  • Brianna Coniglio, from Spring Hill, Florida. Brianna is studying forensic science at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York. Brianna received $1,500.
  • Kerri McHale, from Carthage, New York. Kerri is studying social studies inclusive education at SUNY College at Brockport in New York. Kerri received $1,500.
  • Susie Valderrabano, from Belfair, Washington. Susie is studying medical anthropology & global health at the University of Washington in Washington. Susie received $1,500.
  • Tara Mueller, from Exeter, Nebraska. Tara is studying early childhood education at Wayne State University. Tara received $1,500.

Congratulations to all of this years recipients.

Wildlife Refuge Inc. Annual Report 2022

Wildlife Refuge Inc. Annual Report 2022

By: FCRV National Comptroller, Debbie Swanson

A meeting was held at the Colorado State Fairgrounds on Wednesday, July 13th @ 1 p.m. Comptroller Deb Swanson reported a balance in the Wildlife fund of $78,145.78.

Grants will be sent to the following:

Hobbitstee Wildlife Refuge – http://www.hobbitstee.com/
From Naticoke,Ontario Recommended by Faye Swanburg.  They are working on building a brand-new wildlife hospital with species specific outdoor enclosures.  They are asking for fencing for the fawn area.  We are granting them $1000.

Schramm Educational Center – http://www.tmcsea.org/schramm.html
submitted by Kelly Ekue and recommended by Jim Swenson from Nebraska.  This money is for the Venture Park Education area which consists of four state parks in the area for the Nebraska Naturalist Program.  The program focuses on the habitats and adaptations of Nebraska’s snake species. They will use the funds to obtain materials such as replicas, skeleton examples, and microscopes for participants to be able to use.  This program will serve up to 24 participants at a time.  We are granting them $1000.

Dakota Zoo – https://www.dakotazoo.org/
submitted by Terry Lincoln and recommended by JeAnne Shelby from Bismark, North Dakota.  The grant will be used for providing medications and daily vitamins for the newest residents 9 African Black Penguins that arrived in September.  The medications for the penguins are very expensive.  We are granting them $750.

Black Pines Animal Sanctuary – https://www.bpsanctuary.org/
submitted by Trish Nichols and recommended by Angie Shaneyfelt from Indiana.  The sanctuary recently rescued a 3 year old long-tailed macaque from an exotic pet trade.  This poor animal was kept in a dog crate inside of a trailer wearing a diaper, leash, and collar.  This sanctuary rescues animals like Tucker.  We are granting them $750.

Friends of Spring Valley Park
submitted by Larry Zachert and recommended by Mary Lehnerd from Pennsylvania.  This park has been developed and improved by mainly volunteers.  They depend on volunteer help and contributions.  They are planting plants for wildlife.  We are granting them $750.

The Wild Child Of Family Campers & RV’ers

By: FCRV National Comptroller, Debbie Swanson

Our wild child was born on October 25, 1954 with the incorporation of the National Campers and Hikers Association. This child was pretty much ignored until October 21,1967 when his birth certificate was amended. However, he really had no reason to celebrate until February 8, 1975 when he was officially given the name National Campers & Hikers Association Wildlife Refuge Inc.  This should have made the wild child happy except there was no definition as to why he existed except he could now establish natural game and wildlife preserves, and earn an allowance to give out grants. Many worthwhile organizations have benefited from Wildlife’s generosity.

On May 25,1984, the wild child got to celebrate his 30th birthday by finally having his purpose in life defined. The National Campers & Hikers Association, Inc amended their certificate to read:

“To encourage the people of North America and elsewhere to participate in recreational activities which protect, conserve and defend the natural resources set aside by the Government of the United States, or any governmental unit forming a part thereof, or any other government, for the purpose of conserving the scenery and wildlife therein unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.” Finally the wild child was happy.

For all of Wildlife’s existence he had Aunts and Uncles helping him earn an allowance and promote the reason for his being. Unfortunately, over time, he lost his relatives and no relatives stepped in to help. He became forgotten. At the 2022 Campvention new relatives stepped in to help and Wildlife was given an allowance of $1250. Wildlife was overwhelmed by the generosity of his relatives who attended the party.

What will Wildlife’s future hold? Will it return to its roots, or be forgotten again? Will someone step up and help Wildlife? His future is up to all of us.

Campvention 2022 Recap

Region 1 Hosts 62nd Annual Campvention in Pueblo, Colorado

by Jeff and Shirley Kendle, Campvention Chair

The weather in Pueblo, Colorado was hot to say the least.  Daytime temperatures varied from 93 to 106 degrees during the day and would cool down to the 70’s in the evenings.  There were 188 registrations and 26 cancellations due to health reasons and increased fuel prices.

The Opening Ceremonies took place Sunday evening.  It was a pleasure to once again have Jack Smye lead the Canadian National Anthem and the “Star Spangled Banner”.  The Canadian and American flags were posted on stage along with the flags of all the states present and national chapter flags. Miss FCRV, Brianna Coniglio cut the ribbon that was held by the Retiree King and Queen, Steve and Diane Hitchens.  President Gerry Pfirsch then declared FCRV’s 2022 Campvention open.  The Mayor of Pueblo, Nick Gradisar, and the General Manager of the Colorado State Fairgrounds, Scott Stoller were also in attendance.  The Colorado State Fairgrounds was presented the traditional “Honorary Chapter” membership certificate.

Upon conclusion of the Opening Ceremonies, Region 1 hosted a hospitality for all to attend and the youth hosted Family Bingo with cash prizes.

Beginning on Monday adult games, crafts, seminars, youth and teen activities took place every day and the Family Center was open with planned games and activities.   Commercial vendors opened their booths on Sunday at noon and sold their wares through Thursday, which allowed members plenty of time to make purchases.

Each night gift baskets and bags were raffled off.   The states, provinces, chapters, and members really stepped up and donated some wonderful gift baskets and bags.  There were so many at least 6 were given out each night and some nights 10 baskets were given out. The gift basket from Canada was full of items from Canada, their basket was auctioned off with the proceeds going to the FCRV wildlife fund.  The winning bid was $525 going to Gerry Pfirsch.

Monday highlights included Family Fun Day with carnival games, nachos sales by the youth and a hamburgers sales by the teens.  Monday entertainment was “Shelvis and the Roustabouts” and they put on a show that kept everyone dancing and laughing throughout the night.

The Any-Hat Luncheon took place on Tuesday with 183 meals being served.   During the same time that the Any Hat Luncheon took place, the youth had a pizza party and then enjoyed some time at the on-grounds splash pad to cool off from the heat.  After the luncheon, the National Membership meeting took place.  The newly formed National chapter “Family and Friends Camping Club” Charter was presented to Amy DeCamp.  Evening entertainment was Triple Nickel, and they rocked the house.  Everyone was dancing all night long and wanted encore after encore.

The Pueblo Street Rods showed up on Wednesday.  Members voted on the street rod they liked the most and a gift card was awarded to the owner, Claire and Ann.  The FCRV band performed Wednesday evening and afterwards 9 acts performed in the Rocky Mountain Talent Show, hosted by Breanna Kendle.  The youth from the Rocky Mountain Summer Camp and their Camp Counselors performed a rendition of “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt” when a bear showed up in costume – thanks Ed Shaneyfelt, Jim Turner shared a story, Otto Mcintosh sang “Fancy Like” by Walker Hayes, Dezirae Kendle did a hip hop dance to the dubstep rendition of the song “Higher”, the Trustees, Gerry Pfirsch, Jeff Kendle, Deb Swanson, and Shari Weber performed one line jokes, Jack Smye sang Danny Boy and My House is a Cathedral, Tamra Hayden sang and played the ukulele, Brianna Coniglio played a clarinet solo, and lastly Craig Weber played the guitar and sang a song he wrote.  After the Talent show, the Youth and Teens hosted a hospitality and Marty of Sounds in Succession played music to entertain everyone.

Thursday the Marketplace took place, along with the teen volleyball game, and the teen/adult softball game.  The Juke Joint Cruisers entertained us with music in the evening with music from the 50’s.

The FCRV parade took place on Friday morning with 7 entries. Friday evening, the flags were retired and the FCRV flag was presented to Region 4, hosts of Campvention 2023.  After the Closing Ceremonies, Region 4 hosted a hospitality, the youth went on a bear hunt around the fairgrounds and were greeted by a few bears during their outing – Thank you Ed and Angie Shaneyfelt.  Finally, the youth were treated to s’mores around their own campfire hosted by Breanna Kendle and Dezirae Kendle, the Rocky Mountain Summer Camp Counselors.

We hope that everyone in attendance had a good time, and we can’t wait to see everyone in Richmond, IN next July.


Family Fun Day

by Elbert & Eileen Carter

 Family Fun Day was well attended by a wide variety of ages. About 76 campers played both Indoor and Outdoor Games, with around 20 much appreciated volunteers helping set up and man the 18 booths.

 Indoor Games such as Flyswatter Badminton, Frog Race, and Pass the Plate were very popular and campers many took advantage of the Photo Booth to get a fun picture of themselves as a strong man or flying trapeze artist and/or a picture in the official Rocky Mountain Bliss photo frame. By popular demand, there were few scores kept… fun and hilarity being the order of the day. The one official winner was Judy Moravec, whose guess came closest to the number of Hershey’s Kisses in the Kissing Booth jar… and took home that sweet prize!

 Outdoor Games ranged from a Duck Pond matching game for our youngest campers to a Limbo Pole, Sack Race & Punching Clowns. By far the favorite activity on such a hot day was the Water Balloon Toss. HUNDREDS of Water Balloons kept kids and adults alike occupied and cool!

 Team 6 had so much fun that we created a Carnival parade entry from our “leftovers” and proudly won TWO awards for our efforts!

Campvention Hospitalities

by Larry & Sandy Scott

There were eight Hospitalities held throughout the week of Campvention. The two book-end Hospitalities were the welcome to Region1 gathering after the opening ceremony and the Invitation to come to Region 4 for the 2023 Campvention.  This hospitality was the last formal function of Campvention 2022.  Ice Cream sandwiches and water were very appropriate for a 100-degree day.

In between we had a number of other well-attended Hospitalities.  I guess everyone likes to eat and talk to new and old friends.  Brianna Coniglio hosted two gatherings, one to honor past teen royalty, and one in her role as International Miss FCRV.  Very nicely done.  The Trustees had a Coffee and Donut get-together on Wednesday morning.  Hooray for the Trustees! (Yummy donuts).  In conjunction with the Family Dance on Wednesday Night, the Youth and Teens hosted everyone with lots of popcorn and drinks.  On Thursday, Gerry Pfirsch honored those who had recruited new members with a Hospitality at the Pepsi band shelter.  Friday afternoon, Michigan conducted a gathering serving Michigan-sourced products.  Michigan-made potato chips and Faygo soda (better known in Michigan as “Pop”).  Apparently, Faygo is a long-standing Michigan tradition.

Retiring of the Old National President Flag

by Barb Turner

At Campvention 2022 with the introduction of the new FCRV International President’s flag to be flown by the present president, the old flag was retired.  Those past presidents in attendance, Jim Turner, Jack Smye, and Shari Weber, at Campvention signed the flag with the dates of their terms.  The flag will hang in the national office.  Gerry Pfirsch, the present president, also signed the flag and will fly the new flag.


by Allison Moore

This year at Campvention there were 63 first-timers in attendance.  Only about half of the first-timers attended the first meeting with less than half attending the follow-up meeting.  Refreshments were  provided to attendees.

Rocky Mountain Summer Camp Farewell

by Breana Kendle

Hiya Campers,

With Campvention 2022 now behind us, I would like to thank all those who attended the amazingly fun summer experience. From those who donated their time and money, those who volunteered where help was needed, and those who simply made the week-long event fun to be a part of, thank you.

In regards to the Rocky Mountain Summer Camp itself, I want to thank all of the parents and grandparents who brought their youth to Pueblo, Colorado this summer. I would also like to thank the youth themselves for making this past week so much fun to be a part of, despite the pain it caused my feet throughout the week. While I was fearful the success of the program would not meet expectations, with the support of volunteers and the amazing kiddos throughout the week, I am proud to say that this summer will be one for the books.

My number one goal when coming up with this Campvention’s youth program was to make sure it would be an experience the youth would enjoy and perhaps remember years down the line. As FCRV is a family organization, making sure the youth received just as much care and attention to ensure they also had a good time was my main priority. So, from planning a full schedule of fun activities, games, and crafts; I hope those goals were accomplished.

A big Thank You to Mike and Chris Hawkins for donating water bottles and draw string bags for the youth and to Brian Hosford and Kimberly Kendle for donating name tags for the youth bags and crafts.

Now as some of you make your way home, I wish you all safe travels, and for those who have already made it home, I hope you get the time to rest and relax.

Once again, thank you everyone for such a wonderful and fun experience (one I will remember for years to come) and I look forward to seeing you all in the future.

National Awards

Earl & Ivalee Vanderhoff were awarded an FCRV Plaque for their unselfish devotion and tireless efforts on behalf of Family Campers & RVers.

Bill & JoAnn Eckman were awarded the President’s Award in recognition of their tireless efforts and enthusiasm in serving as Membership Directors.

Don & Shirley MacKenzie were awarded a Special Recognition Award in recognition of devotion and distinguished service to Family Campers & RVers while serving as Historian on the National Executive Board from 1981 to 2022.

Mary Lehnerd was awarded the Special Recognition Award in recognition of devotion and distinguished service to Family Campers & RVers while serving Conservation Director on the National Executive Board from 2005 to 2022.

DeWayne & June Johnston were awarded a Special Recognition Award in recognition of devotion and distinguished service to Family Campers & RVers while serving as Camping Today Editors on the National Executive Board from 1989 to 2022.

Vern & Pam Failor were awarded an FCRV Citation in recognition of their service to FCRV.


by: Beth Coniglio

I couldn’t have asked for a better time at Campvention with the FCRV teens! We had 12 teens register this year. Many of the Teens were very active, participating in almost every activity. Some only attended what they were comfortable with ,and that is absolutely okay. We are all at Campvention to have fun, and everyone has a different definition of fun. The week started off slowly with just a few activities, and we packed in the fun as the week went on.

After opening ceremonies and teen registration, the teens got to know each other during a LONG game of life-size Monopoly (created by our own Brianna Coniglio for the 2018 Campvention in Virginia).

As many of you know, Monday has become the day for Family Fun Day. The teens served the hamburgers grilled up by Ed Shaneyfelt and went off to enjoy the activities provided after satisfying their own hunger. 225 lunch tickets were pre-sold, and an additional 14 meals were sold at the door. The total earned in sales was $1195. They decided to split their profits (after expenses and their roller-skating trip) 4 ways: a donation to the Nature and Wildlife Center where we did the conservation project, some to the national scholarship, a gift to the Firefighters for joining our noise parade, and the remaining to be put towards the teen program next year at Campvention. Serving Family Fun Day Lunch is a great time for our members to interact with our teens, and they did such a great job that the teens were asked to serve at the No Hat Lunch on Tuesday.

After serving at the No Hat Luncheon, the teens returned to the Teen Center for their annual Chick Fil-A lunch sponsored by the state of Florida. This has become an annual tradition after the request was made by the Pageant Director in 2018 to have an all-inclusive teen lunch prior to the competition. We hope to keep this tradition with Chick Fil-A each year when one is nearby or substituting another option when one is not. That evening there were a lot of colored hands as the teens tie-dyed shirts, hoping to use them for their talent show productions.

Traditionally our big teen day is Wednesday, but we did something different this year when the teens went off grounds to complete a conservation project at The Nature and Wildlife Discovery Center – River Campus. While there, the group cleared an area from a pavilion down to the Arkansas River, had a picnic lunch, took in a Birds of prey presentation and waded in the Arkansas River. They worked hard despite the 110-degree heat and having to stop every 20-30 minutes for a water break. I was impressed with their hard work and concern for one another. The teens left and returned to the grounds in true noise parade fashion. That evening we got on stage to tell the membership about the project, served at the hospitality, and attended the Family Dance. Unfortunately, technical difficulties kept the group from performing the talents that they had worked hard on for the talent show, but I am confident that they will be back next year to wow everyone with their awesomeness!

Boy did we pack in the activities on Thursday. We started the day off with Volleyball. Ed Shaneyfelt and Geoff Stringer thought the kids needed a good cool down afterward, so during group pictures they hit them with water balloons. After a short break, everyone enjoyed the Teen/Adult softball game. Although the adults won this year, we wonder if that had anything to do with walking Jack – who had already hit a home run at every at bat – in the last inning. We finished the outdoor teen sports with water volleyball. The theme this year was to grab an adult as a partner and we thank the many adults who joined in our crazy fun or just came to watch! We finished out the night with our last noise parade, a tailgate party, Corn Hole, sports awards, and creating the teen parade float. It was a long day, but a fun one!

Part of the fun of Campvention is being loud during noise parades. Thanks to Rebecca Coniglio, Station 3 of the Pueblo Fire Department joined the Teens, the Youth and some golf carts for our final and BEST noise parade of the week just as evening entertainment was letting out on Thursday. The teens were so shocked when their driver (Geoff Stringer) climbed on top of his truck to start the Teen chant that they lost their voices for a minute, but regained them long enough to thank the Firefighters before they left.

Somehow the ducks got loose from the Teen Center on Thursday and waddled their way down to the Serbousek’s campsite. Most of them found their way home, but about 17 were lucky enough to be adopted at Campvention. We hope they enjoy their forever homes, but they should definitely return next year and bring friends!

Friday was a bit slower for the teens, starting with the parade and ending with a “campfire” at Marci and Geoff’s campsite. The week wouldn’t have been complete without some teen shenanigans led by the typical adults though.

I hope that all our teens had as good of a time as I did and that they plan to come to Indiana next year!

Food Drive for Colorado Care and Shares

by Teresa Walorski

We want to thank everyone for so much support in bringing food items and cash donations.  

FCRV brought in $1,530.   That will provide about 9,000 meals to families across 31 counties!   You all also donated just over 175 cans and about 90 packages of miscellaneous food items.

Colorado Care and Shares was so grateful.   This is such a tough time for so many and this was a huge help to them

Any-Hat Luncheon

By Elbert & Eileen Carter

The Any Hat Luncheon, held on Tuesday, was also a big hit. Well over 180 campers enjoyed a meal of pulled pork sandwiches, coleslaw, baked beans and homemade cupcakes. Many tables were adorned with decorative cardboard hats of different styles and shapes, other tables with colorful fairy-light vases. All the centerpieces were created by Chris Hawkins and her team. One lucky camper at each table won the centerpiece and discovered the hats had a hidden compartment filled with candy

Teen ‘Relays’/Corn Hole Tournament

by Angie & Ed Shaneyfelt, Teen Sports Chairs

Every year Ed and Angie let the teens decide what sport/activity they choose to play for the “relays”. This year the teens choose Corn Hole.  We took our boards to the teen center Thursday evening for that competition.  The teens all had to multi-task as they were building their float at the same time as the corn hold tourney.

For the Corn Hole singles, Jack Siehl took 1st place and Rylie Ward took second.  Jack is still defending his crown as he won last year.

The Corn Hole doubles was won by Rylie Ward and Cassie Coniglio, and second place went to Jack Siehl and Hunter Smith.

I would take any of these teens on my team for a Corn Hole tourney; we had some really good competition.  These teens are tough at this game!

Campvention 2022 Parade

by Gerry Pfirsch, Parade Chair & National President

Let me thank everyone that entered a float in this Parade! The winners of this year’s awards are:

  • Best Walking, went to Kansas. Great Job Kansas!
  • Best Motorized went to The Star Chasers Float from Colorado
  • Trustees Award went to Great Lakes Region for the 2023 Float
  • President’s Award went to Family Fun Volunteer Float
  • Parade Steeler Award went to the Family Fun Day Volunteer Float  

From Vern Failor (Co-Chair),  Rob Baker (Parade Marshal) and myself, Gerry Pfirsch (Parade Chair), we would like to thank everyone for the enthusiasm and support for the Parade. It was you that made it fun and your cheering on the Parade made the day. Give yourself a hand and let’s keep the Parade part of Campvention. Thanks again, and we will see you at next year’s parade.

Campvention Seminars

by Debbie Dettmer

Those of you who couldn’t make it to Campvention missed some great seminars. The week started off with good attendance as Chief Andrew Golub gave us fire safety tips for our RVs. My take-aways – have three fire extinguishers, one in the living area, one in the bedroom and one outside in the compartment where the propane is stored so it’s unlocked. Be sure to turn your fire extinguishers upside down each year and tap them on the bottom so the chemicals disburse.

Our next seminar was conducted by SkyMed where we enjoyed a root beer float. I was pleased to learn there is a product that can get our trailer home if something happens to my hubby – especially since he won’t let me drive our rig! It was good to learn they can transport you home or a family member to you if you have an accident or injury. There’s even some coverage if you are traveling overseas and need transportation.

Randy with First Stitches conducted two seminars for us. Many of us were surprised at the anatomy of the sewing machine needle – Randy had a giant one so we could see all the “parts” and more fully understand how our sewing machines work. His second session was a smaller group and got into more detail on problems you can encounter, what can be causing those problems, as well as all the different creative items you can make. First Stitches provided a discount at their two stores for all attendees.

Fred with RV101 gave great advice to his large audience. Fred came prepared with lots of gadgets and ways to make your RV journey more enjoyable and safer. He covered refrigeration, electrical, propane, and water (both incoming and outgoing).  His talk was so extensive I’m sure I’m forgetting a few topics! The audience had lots of questions.

[PDF of King’s Seminar] King, one of FCRV’s commercial members also drew a large crowd – could it be we’re all struggling to stay connected😊!  Mark had samples of the various antennas King produces that can increase your WiFi and cell phone signals.  He also provided attendees with a discount code to save money on King’s products.  Oh, I can’t forget, King also produces the Tailgater so you can also get Direct TV signals. You can find Mark’s presentation on our website. Lippert Components sponsored attendance by you-tubers, the Restless Russells.  Justin and Michelle provided two seminars to large audiences. The first on RVing full-time and the second on maintenance. The Russells, including their two kids and two dogs, had no experience RVing when they left northern California four years ago. They shared tips on ways to save costs as well as first-hand experience on maintaining your RV (we’ve all had to go to the school of hard knocks!).  Having traveled across the country this is the first time I have heard someone suggest the trailer and truck should be level! Justin also suggested turning off your circuit breakers before plugging into or unplugging from the post. You can see their presentations on our website as well.

A couple of us were able to get advice from Raelyn on skin care and makeup. The small group allowed us to get close and ask lots of questions. I was able to fill up on missing makeup without having to go to a store before my next trip.

Chief Golub returned to do a first aid class.  I was surprised at how much has changed with CPR since I became certified 30 years ago! The tourniquet has also made a return and he suggested all of us should carry one in our rigs – you can get them on Amazon. We were taught what to do for burns, cuts and breaks until the professionals can take over.  BTW, if you have to escape your RV for a fire, be sure to go feet first out that escape window in your bedroom. 

We had two delicious seminars on Dutch-oven cooking.  Kudos to Doug, Ray and their helpers for cooking in the 100+ degree temperatures!  The first session focused on delicious desserts, and the final session of Campvention was a full meal.  Yummy!

Thank you to Allie for jumping in to fill a cancelled spot with her seminar on CBD.  Allie is a chemist and makes her own product – which we can personally attest works!  Allie’s CBD is made from hemp, so it contains no THC and is safe for anyone whose occupation requires drug testing.

There were so many seminars I couldn’t attend them all – thank you Allison for helping share the load to make sure things went smoothly (and thank you Shawn and George for all the AV work and setup you did).  Our own president, Gerry, led a presentation about bee keeping – people were disappointed he didn’t have time to repeat it. Patti and Ray each taught a line dancing class so everyone was ready for the evening’s entertainment. Jim taught a class on extraterrestrials, and it was so interesting and well attended we had to kick everyone out 30 minutes after it ended so we could start the next session!  Lyle taught a class on how to use your smart phone to share on FCRV’s public Facebook group.  Be sure to start posting your activities.

Thanks to all our volunteer speakers and those that helped with logistics.  See you next year!

Teen Volleyball 

by Angie and Ed Shaneyfelt, Teen Sports Chairs

 The teens played Volleyball on Thursday ,also.  We just decided to volley the ball around and practice on serving this year.  Some of the adults played to fill teams on both sides.  After a while of playing, we had to move on to our next activity.  All teens were granted a certificate of 1st place this year for participation. 

 Pictured are:  Conner Black, Brianna Coniglio, Madison Nevices.  Back row are Ember Wyant, Jack Siehl, Hunter Smith, Alaina Powell, Rylie Ward and Cassie Coniglio.

 The second picture is the teens getting a surprise attack with water from Ed Shaneyfelt and Geoff Stringer!  I don’t think anyone was upset as hot as it was!

Teen/Adult Softball game 

by Angie & Ed Shaneyfelt, Teen Sports Chairs

 The Teen/Adult Softball game was played Thursday at the Rocky Mountain Bliss Campvention.  The teens were really tough this year, and the adults were few in numbers!  Angie supplied the sunscreen before the game; every teen was “sprayed” and many adults even had enough sense to get sunscreen applied, also.  We had decided on 3 innings this year due to heat and low number of players. Ed Shaneyfelt was the designated pitcher for both teams.   After Jack Siehl hit a couple home runs in the earlier innings, there was a call by the coaching staff to walk Jack in the 3rd inning.  The adults ended up 1 run ahead by the end of the game.  A good time was had by all, and the teens were told to drink even more water the remainder of that day!

Thanks to the handful of adults that watched our annual softball game.  Also, thanks to our first-timers that showed up and got elected to be our official score keeper!

Teens pictured, front row:  Cassie Coniglio, Brianna Coniglio, Madison Nevices
Back Row:  Jack Siehl, Conner Black, Hunter Smith, Alana Powell, Rylie Ward

 Adults pictured, front row: Ian Kendel (relief player for adults),  Marcie McIntosh
Jolene Martinez, Shawn Kendel, Angie Shaneyfelt, Geoff Stringer, Ed Shaneyfelt

Golf Results 2022 Campvention

9 holes

Dave Hennie – OH 
Jack Siehl – OH
Roy Rogers – CO

Karen Snodgrass – OH
Craig Weber – FL
George Hoyland – CO


18 holes

Scott Serbousek – IL   
Nyhl Austin – NY
Jim Turner – FL              

Terry Swanburg – ONT
Jack Smye – ONT
Bob Snodgrass – OH  

1 of the Reasons We Love FCRV:

Ed & Angie Shaneyfelt

When camping In Colorado (in a pop-up camper) in the 100+ degree days, and your air conditioner goes out, what is a person to do?  You find a group of people; in my case I choose the parking crew.  I asked if there was a camper repairman on the grounds, they said no but Joe here is quite handy.  Then I met Joe diGesu from Connecticut.

Joe came back to our pop-up (borrowed from our daughter and son-in-law) to investigate our air conditioning problem.  He deducted it was an after market add on and the wiring was quite burned from the stress of running over the years (and I’m sure Colorado heat was not good on it either).  He made us an extension cord from the air conditioner that we could run out the side of the camper and plug in direct to the outlet.  At that point I was fine with life as I had air but, Joe wasn’t finished.

After two trips to the hardware store for parts, he re-wired it correctly and put in a new circuit breaker.  He did many of his repairs with us not even at our camper as we had meetings to attend.

Thanks for all your help, and we look forward to seeing you next year.  Joe, we will have our 5th wheel at Richmond next year and will look you up if we need any projects done!

People like “RV Solar Joe” make our organization great!

Aluminum Tabs Report

by Jeff & Shirley Kendle, Campvention Chair

This year we asked everyone not to bring their tabs to Campvention.  No one wants to haul the extra weight around, plus it makes it much easier for everyone and the plus side is your local charity receives the proceeds.

This year Colorado was awarded 1st Place for the state with 171.8 pounds.  A donation of  $79.09 was presented to the Ronald McDonald House in Aurora, Colorado.

The Campfire Campers from Kansas was awarded 1st Place for the Chapter award with 19 pounds.  A donation of $6.65 was presented to the Shriners Hospital for Children.

Thank you to all of the states and chapters that brought their receipts, total donations amounted to $89.34.

2022 Conservation Poster Winners

by Breanna Kendle

Ages Winners
0 – 5 1st Place – Ellinor Smith, KS
6 – 8 1st Place – Connor Smith, KS
9 – 11 1st Place – Gabrilla Gusic, PA
2nd Place – Otto Mcintosh, MI
12 – 14 1st Place – Ian Burns, NY
2nd Place – Taryn Christensen, CO
Adults 1st Place – Michael Burns, NY
2nd Place – Ashlee Ritter, PA
3rd Place – Kathy Hartwig, MI

The Family Activities Center

by Judy & Dan Kimzey

The family activities center provided a space for anyone wishing to play card, dice,  board or domino games to congregate and relax. The campers found game sets for  Yahtzee, LCR, For Get It,  Mexican Train, Chicken Foot, Chess/ checkers, Connect Four, Farkle,  Jenga , etc. as well as playing card decks and even a deck shuffler for those not wanting to strain their fingers.   Some campers brought in personal sets of Joker and Mahjong   A notebook of game rules and directions provided clarification for anyone wishing help in learning to play.  Younger campers were able to play some board games more appropriate for their age range and had puzzles available that were less difficult with more appealing children’s subjects. 

Several die-hard puzzle fans found a spot to feed their passion with an assortment of puzzles of varying sizes and difficulties. 

A book center allowed people to select  mysteries, sci-fi, biographies, romance, westerns, etc. and magazines to take courtesy of one local library. Some Campvention attendees brought some of their own to exchange and share. 

Refreshments were available from coffee and tea to lemonade and water as the high summer temperatures required that campers keep up a steady hydration plan.   Trail mix candies and other foods were available. 

The building housing the activity center was in use several times during the week for various meetings, seminars, a family dance complete with a DJ and lively music and fun , a hospitality and teen activity.  

Three contests were staged for cribbage, card bingo, and dice bingo. Card bingo drew the largest crowd with about 55 players who competed for gift bags. The men skunked the women scoring the winners for all four games played.  Cribbage and dice bingo had smaller crowds, but several people participated who were newcomers to the games and a fun and profitable hour-long contest offered a diversion to the action-packed schedule on three different days.

Certificates of Service to retiring members of the Executive Board and Advisory Council Members

Matt Mantia – Vice President Planning & Development – 2019 – 2021
Jan Cushing Comptroller 2017 – 2021
Ron & Carla Martinez – Colorado State Directors – 2019 – 2021
Chris & Denise Weiss – Membership Directors – 2019 -2021
Craig Weber – Commercial Director – 2019 – 2020
Lorne Douglas – Vice President of Programs – 2020 – 2022
Kip Cushing – Wisconsin State Director – 2008 – 2021
Barb Dodson – Missouri State Director – 2013 – 2021
Ron Braley – International Veterans Program – 2017 – 2021
Anne & Emily Kurburski – Teen Directors – 2019 – 2021
Robert & Gene Lockhart – Volunteer Background Records Custodians – 2011 – 2022
Bill & Margaret Alderman – Virginia State Directors – 2015 – 2019
Ron & Reba Ray – Retiree Directors – 2016 – 2022
Joe & Peggy Lins – Maryland, D.C. State Directors – 2006 – 2022
Lawrence Phillips – Texas State Director – 2010 – 2022
Carl & Lynda Wood – Scholarship Director – 2010 -2022
Vicki Roop – Website Editor and Camping Today Graphic Design & Layout – 2008 -2021

This is your Campvention Director, Ed Shaneyfelt. 

Dave and Rita Blair have resigned from the position of Communication and Security.  I want to thank Dave and Rita Blair on all their service during their time in this position.  They have organized the equipment and many forms.  The work during their time has been much appreciated.

So, I am looking for a new person to fill this position of Communication and Security.  Please let me know if you are interested.  Contact me by cell phone 260-615-0421 or email [email protected] for more information.


I also will be in need of a First Aid Chairman after Campvention 2023 in Richmond, Indiana.  Both gentlemen in this position (Delbert Powell and Captain Jack Thomas) are resigning.  Everyone should be very appreciative of the work both of the men have done for many years.  Thanks Delbert & Jack for all your hard work in keeping us all healthy!

If you are interested in this position in the near future please contact me to discuss.

Ed Shaneyfelt


[email protected]

Campers Actively Moving Program (C.A.M.P.)

by Chair: Rick & Kathy Boatwright and Co-Chair: Bill & Rita Newell

We would like to thank everyone that participated in C.A.M.P., whether it was walking, biking or line dancing. 

Even though it was very hot during the day and warm in the morning, we had quite a few participants.  There were 3 different courses that were measured by GPS: ½ mile, 1 mile and 2 miles. The bike riders used the 2-mile course.

We had 3 Line Dancing classes with a total of 40 participants from 21 different chapters and 6 different states. The total dance time was 3,363 minutes.

We walked every day during the week with a total of 23 participants from 13 chapters and 5 states. The total walking mileage was 191 miles.

We also had 3 bike riders during the week from 2 Colorado chapters. Their total mileage was 50.8 miles.

We would like to have had more participants in C.A.M.P. but with so many things going on, we understand.

We hope everyone had fun at Campvention 2022 and can’t wait to see everyone again at Campvention 2023 in Richmond, Indiana.

Thank You

by Jeff & Shirley Kendle, Campvention Chair

Jeff and I would like to take this opportunity to thank the 2022 Team Leads, Team Co-Leads, Chairs, Co-Chairs, and all those that volunteered to help at Campvention.  Campvention would not take place without volunteers such as you.  It takes an army to put on Campvention and we appreciate your help, support, and dedication to FCRV and to Region 1.

51st Family & Campers & RVers International Retiree Rally 2023

The 51st Family Campers & RVers International Retiree Rally will be held at the National Peanut Festival Fairgrounds, 5622 US-231, Dothan, AL 36301.  The coordinators are Ron & Reba Ray.  The rally is open to all, not just retirees.

Retiree Rally 2023



March 28 – April 2, 2023.

Early Bird: March 24-27, 2023.


National Peanut Festival Fairground

5622 US-231, Dothan, AL 36301




Before deadline/after deadline:
2 people in unit: $330/$365
1 person in unit: $300/$335

Camp pass on grounds staying in someone’s rv (must pay $10 per day for early days).

2 people $200
1 person $100

Camp pass off grounds:

2 people $200
1 person $100

Event Organizer Contact:

Ronald & Reba Ray – [email protected]

Registration Forms:

Pay By Check: PDF FORM
Pay Online: Not available at this time. 

FCRV International Campvention 2023

The 63rd Family Campers & RVers International Campvention will be held at the Wayne County Fairgrounds & Expo Center, 861 Salisbury Road, Richmond, Indiana.  The Great Lakes Region is hosting. The theme is ‘A ROSE BY ANY OTHER NAME IS FCRV’.  

Richmond defined itself as the ‘Rose City’ in the early 1970s,  Richmond was the home of Hills Rose Growers (E.G. Hill Company, Joseph H. Hill Company, and Hill Floral Products Company) the premier rose growers and marketers of cut roses, selling millions of roses annually in the U.S. and around the world.


Campvention 2023



July 9-14, 2023.
Early Bird: July 7 & 8, 2023


Wayne County Fairgrounds & Expo Center

861 Salisbury Road, Richmond, Indiana.47374




  • One Family in the Unit $335.00/$365
  • Extra Family in the Unit (separate pay) $150.00/$165
  • Week Drive-in Pass (July 11-16) $175.00/$190
  • Walk-in Camp Pass (per day) $ 30.00/$35

Take advantage of the special and save: PAY BEFORE DECEMBER 31ST, 2022 TO RECEIVE A $25 DISCOUNT ($310.00)

Event Organizer Contact:

Connie Black – [email protected];
Co-Chair – Linda Hennie – [email protected]

Registration Forms:

Pay By Check: PDF Form
Pay Online: Not available at this time. 


[20% off Discount Code “FCRV20”]

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]

Getting All Our Loons in a Row

Getting All Our Loons in a Row Adventures in the Field: Stories from a Wildlife Technician

By Amy Wittmeyer


While I was working as a wildlife crew leader at the Adirondack Ecological Center (AEC) in summer 2019, I participated in several fun activities outside normal work hours. The AEC is right next door to the Adirondack Interpretive Center (AIC), also run by SUNY ESF. Every summer, as part of a weekend-long festival in the town of Newcomb, the AIC holds a fundraising “Loon Race,” where they pour sponsored rubber common loons off a bridge into the property’s stream and have them race down to a second bridge about 1/5 mile away. Once loons are poured off the first bridge, the audience walks down an inland trail to the second bridge, while the “loon handlers” in the water assist the loons downstream to the second bridge and the eagerly awaiting crowd. The rubber loons are custom-made specially for the AIC, and each sports a number on the bottom that sponsors claim and hope for it to win. There are prizes for first, second, and third place loon finishers. 

My crew and I were recruited to be official members of the “Loon Navy” to help the loons downstream in areas of slow flow or entanglements like rocks and branches in the water. Two of my crew members were responsible for manning the boom; a set of pool noodles tied on a rope between two kayaks to help herd the rubber loons downstream. Myself and one other crew member were “catchers;” we paddled along behind the boom and grabbed any loons that slipped out from underneath or the sides of the boom. Sounds easy, right?

Wrong! It was pure, unbridled chaos. Every time the boom gathered too much speed, or snagged on a branch or a rock, 30-40 loons would seize their chance to spill out under the boom and spread all throughout the water. My fellow catcher and I would paddle frantically to try to corral all the escapees and throw them back in front of the boom, which was continually being paddled downstream with the rest of the loons. It required speed, precision, and no small amount of arm strength to accurately lob the loons 10-20 yards downstream to the small target area directly in front of the boom (and not hit my fellow loon handlers in the head!). I developed quite a good technique for throwing the loons; the rubber heads were heavier than the bodies and the perfect size to get my index and middle finger around and snap my wrist to get maximum distance and precision with minimal effort. Over the course of about 15 minutes while we were out of sight of the crowd waiting down on the second bridge, I must have sent 40 loons sailing through the air downstream to rejoin their companions in the boom. 

Eventually, the four of us managed to get all the loons downstream to the crowd at the second bridge, where some AIC staff waited in the water with nets to collect all the loons. The loons were released from the boom and sent on their way to the finish line. The winning loon broke away, swimming through some rocks into the waiting net of a volunteer. All loons were then gathered into nets and baskets and hauled back to the AIC to rest and recuperate for their race the following year. It was one of the funniest, most entertaining and chaotic things I had done in a while. After the race, my crew and I cooled off in the lake and had a picnic dinner, then went down the road to an overlook of the high peaks, where the town of Newcomb held a spectacular firework show. It was a very fun day! If you would like to learn more about or participate in this unique fundraiser, simply Google “Adirondack Interpretive Center loon race;” it should be one of the top results. Information about the race for this summer 2022 is already updated online at https://www.esf.edu/aic/festival.asp .

Dear RV

Hi there everyone, we are introducing a new article in Camping Today. We would like to welcome you to Dear RV. This is a place where you can ask the questions that you are hesitant to ask members of your Chapter, State, or your Neighbor. Your questions will be answered from our point of view, and it will hopefully give you a chuckle as well as some useful information to help you in your RVing experience. You may not agree completely with all our answers, but our goal is to give honest information to you as to how we do our RVing. We would prefer to not know who is submitting the question. So, send us your questions and we will send you an answer (possibly that you were not expecting) but an answer, just the same and possibly with a small dose of humor for good measure.

Us here at Dear RV!

“Dear RV,

Our new camper is a toy hauler, and the refrigerator runs on gas when we are rolling. I keep heavy items like a gallon of milk, 2-liters, etc. in a cooler when moving down the road, but I am always concerned about other items in the refrigerator (falling out, moving around). Do I need to be concerned or can you provide some tips or tricks?”

Well, Toy Hauler

When traveling with my RV, I have invested in the spring-loaded rods that fit into the fridge. I place them in front of the items on the shelves, and this helps to hold them in place. I place 2 of them on each shelf, and this holds the things in place securely as I travel. I often travel with a full fridge and have never had a problem. I very rarely take an additional cooler since I am going to run the fridge. I will be darned if I will drag a cooler along and have one more thing to pack and trip over. I also do not like warm milk, so I keep it in the fridge and have done so for many years without a problem.  The shelves are stronger in the fridge than you give them credit for. One other thing that you should always do is engage the lock on the fridge door when traveling. Use the fridge and enjoy cold milk when you get to camp!

Dear RV

How do I clean black tank sensors?


Well, from my experience, there are several products on the market that will help.  It will also help if you invest in a tankrinsing device that you insert into the tank through the toilet and hook to a garden hose and rinse the tank. These are relatively inexpensive and do a somewhat good job in helping clean the tank. Many new rigs have this rinse system built into the tank and are a great improvement. It pays to rinse the tank well after use. Adding an enzyme treatment to the tanks will help to improve the readings in your tank.  Overall, the best thing you can do is rinse the tank well   

Dear RV, I really need your help and quickly. I seem to somehow have gotten a nest of birds in my camper and, of all places, where the electrical cord goes into the camper. I thought we had the little flap closed, but somehow, they got in! Help!


Dear Birds!

You are not going to like what I have to say here. You are faced with only Two choices as I see it.

One, not go camping until the birds move out of the nest. That sounds like no fun for the year. 


Two, remove the nest and the birds and get on with camping. This sounds cruel but they made a very bad choice in a nesting place and will cause damage to your rig. Many birds carry lice and are not very clean. There are also the bird droppings that they will drop around the nest, not a good thing to have in your camper. As cruel as it sounds you will need to remove them as soon as possible. So very sorry to have to be the one to say that but I must say I would remove them and get on with my camping, after cleaning up the mess that they are leaving you.

Dear RV,

Please help. Suddenly we have an infestation of ants! An inspection indicates they are using my wires as a superhighway. I don’t have food just lying around, but they seem to be everywhere! Can you recommend a solution? Thanks.


Dear Ants!

Not knowing what type of ants you are having problems with it is hard to say what to do. Ants are often attracted to sweet items such as sugar that was spilled, or that soda pop spill that slipped under the edge of the cabinet. It takes so very little to attract them, and they seem to never stop. I can only say to clean everything very well with soap and water. Go under the RV and spray with ant spray in hopes of cutting off their path up and into the rig. I do not know the best answer here.  As a good precaution place a few ant traps after you wipe everything down.



Dear Biscuit!

I have over the years always used my oven. If you can bake it at home, you can bake it in the camper. Don’t let your oven get the best of you! With my chapter we have potlucks at every campout and I will be darned if I am going to make it at home and take it along. I make it in the camper. My old camper I would use the broiler pan upside down and this would keep the temp more even in the oven. In the rig I have now, the pan would not fit and everything burnt. I could not bake a loaf of bread without it being undone inside and burnt on the bottom. I searched online until I found a baking stone that would fit my oven and low and behold I installed it in the oven on the plate above the burner. I placed my oven thermometer on the rack setting the oven to 350* and BAM!!!! Oven temp is now right with the temp on the thermometer. I would recommend getting a pizza stone that fits your oven and show them that you can make anything in your camper that you can make at home. Only smaller!