Photo By: Amy Wittmeyer


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 Publisher is Family Campers & RVers, 4904 Transit Rd. Bldg. 2, Depew, New York 14043-4906. Office Manager – Pat Wittmeyer 716-668-6242, [email protected]. Online subscription is included with annual membership. Mailed, printed copies are available by annual subscription of $20. USPS Pub.# 724-710, ISSN# 870-1465. OWNER: National Campers & Hikers Association, doing business as Family Campers & RVers (non-profit), 4804 Transit Rd. Bldg.2, Depew, New York 14043-4906. 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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ArticlesEvent RecapBirthday ShoutoutMilestoneFarewell –  Dear RVEvent Submit

From The President

Let me start by thanking each of the Trustees, Program Directors, Regional Directors, State Directors, Provincial Directors for their service this year.  I would also like to Thank all the Chapter Officers for everything that you do for your Chapter. FCRV is better for your service. It is the time of the year that we need to be Thankful for where we are and plan on the path forward into the New Year. It is my prayer that you have a wonderful Holiday Season and a very Happy New Year.

Happy Holidays! 

Happy New Year
Gerry Pfirsch
FCRV National President

Scholarship Registration Is Now Open


By: Deborah Swanson

Who Can Apply: Any FCRV member, or their dependent* children planning to enroll, or currently enrolled, in an undergraduate, graduate, or trade school, may apply for an FCRV scholarship. An applicant must be a member for at least 18 full calendar months before application, and in good standing.


*Dependent children of members applying under their parent/guardian’s membership must be a dependent thereof for the year of the scholarship award, and be eligible as an income tax deduction.


How to Apply:  Applications for 2023 will be available on Scholarship America’s website @  Applications will only be accepted online at the above address. The application MUST include the FCRV member holder’s name, membership number, postal mailing address, and, most importantly, an email address at which the applicant can be contacted.  Pay special attention to the entire website and follow the directions closely as you will only have one opportunity to complete the application. Scholarship America will not contact you to make any corrections. Do not assume that it is the same as last year as it may have been changed.


      Applications must include the following:

  1.   A current, complete transcript of grades. Grade reports are not accepted. Transcripts must display student name, school name, grades, and credit hours for each course, and term in which course was taken.
  2.   Two online recommendation forms, one from an FCRV member, (can be a trustee, regional director, state director, district director, or any member who is not related). AND, one from a school official, or your immediate supervisor if you are working. Your application will not be complete unless all required materials are submitted electronically, and you will not be considered for a scholarship.

Stipend: Annual Scholarships are awarded carrying a stipend ranging from $250 to $2,000.The Schuh award of $2500 is given to students who study the fields of wildlife or conservation. Part-time, and trade school, students will receive one-half of the granted amount. Scholarships are for one year. Recipients may reapply for a scholarship each year they meet the eligibility requirements.



Selection of Scholarship Recipients: Applicants are scored, and ranked, by Scholarship America who then recommends the ranking to the FCRV Scholarship Board. The Board then confirms the ranking and the award. The Board of Directors present the awards at, or after, the Annual General Meeting held at that years Campvention,


Eligibility Requirements


  1.   Parents, or guardians, must be a member of FCRV for 18 full calendar months or longer.
  2.   Applicants must be enrolled, or accepted, into an undergraduate, graduate, or trade school course of study in an accredited two-to-four year college, university, or trade school. Part-time students must carry a minimum of six credits and full-time a minimum of twelve credits.
  3.   Applicants currently enrolled in college are given equal consideration with incoming freshmen students.


Scholarship Considerations:


  1.  High school graduates will have their class ranking scored by Scholarship America.
  2. College students should have at least a 2.3 grade point average on a 4.0 point scale.
  3. Consideration is taken for maturity, leadership, related activities, and goal of the candidate as related to the objectives of FCRV.
  4. Special consideration is given to applicants majoring in fields related to conservation, ecology, or outdoor activities, although all other fields are considered.
  5. This is a competitive Scholarship therefore the lowest ranked applicant may not receive an award.


Since 1949, FCRV has been a friendly organization, welcoming diversity, and the wide range of talents, ideas and abilities each person brings to the campfire. But we need to adapt to the real world, too, and in that light, FCRV has adopted an anti-discrimination policy.  We believe that everyone should be treated equally and respectfully, regardless of whatever characteristics might define the individual, and at the same time, we need to protect the assets and people of the organization.  The adoption of this policy is one small step in doing just that. 

The Trustees have adopted a policy with the approval of our attorney. The 2022 Executive Board voted to approve the same policy which is now in effect and reads as follows:

FCRV values all members as unique individuals and welcomes and celebrates the variety of experiences, talents, and gifts each brings to the organization. FCRV is committed to a camping environment where everyone is afforded the dignity and respect they deserve. No form of harassment or discrimination on the basis of race, religion, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identification, national origin, age, marital status, covered veteran status, disability, pregnancy, or any other basis prohibited by applicable law is permitted. If you see or suspect any violation, or feel you, yourself, are a victim of harassment or discrimination, promptly report it.

This policy will be added to every current and future manual used or developed for use in FCRV.  The 2022 Trustees thank you for your support of this policy. 

Nominating Committee – Here’s your chance to be an FCRV Trustee (officer)!

Nominating Committee – Here’s your chance to be an FCRV Trustee (officer)!

By: Shari Weber – Chairman, Nominating Committee

Nominations are being accepted for one half of Trustees (nationally elected officers) who will govern the operations of the Family Campers & RVers (FCRV) during the 2023/2025 term of office.

International President, Gerry Pfirsch has established a nominating committee of which I am the chair to find and vet suitable candidates for election. The deadline for nominations is January 15, 2023.

The positions to be elected are Vice President Operations, Vice President Planning and Development, and Comptroller.

Any FCRV member in good standing is eligible for nomination consideration. Please immediately contact your respective State/Provincial Director, any member of the nominating committee, or me if you are interested in any of these offices (or can suggest a person whom we should seek).

Once a nomination slate has been selected by the nominating committee, each candidate will complete a resume and platform which will be published in the March 2023 issue of “Camping Today”.  Ballots for a contested election will be distributed at the beginning of March with the deadline for voting as April 15, 2023.  If you cannot participate in electronic balloting and will not be at your membership residence on file with the office, absentee ballots must be requested by January 15, 2023 indicating the alternate address.  Make your request for an absentee ballot to Pat or Carl at the national office 716-668-6242 or by email [email protected].

Commercial Task Force

Commercial Task Force

By: Amy Decamp

Hello, campers…

Your help is needed. 😊

Building a strong and ever-growing commercial member base has been a challenge for FCRV for well over a decade. While we are by no means alone in this struggle, we have several advantages many other non-profits do not: A 73-year organizational foundation to build upon; a consistent mission of wildlife preservation and environmental conservation that spans all demographics; and an energized, international member network.

Both current and prospective commercial members have different needs and priorities. To increase and retain financial sponsors, we must establish membership tiers that meet members’ needs and help appropriately fund our organization. They must also reflect today’s marketing desires and strategies, which the current levels do not. 

Our FCRV website now lists the commercial membership tiers as “Under Construction.” Here are the previous tiers for review:

Offering members varying levels of benefits with each tier gives current and prospective members more options to meet their needs, while also staying within their budget. This, in turn, boosts membership renewals.

How may you help? Creative minds are needed to aid in the development of our new tier strategy. As consumers, we ALL have marketing experience and opinions, especially when it comes to RVs, camping products, supplies, and campgrounds. Please strongly consider joining our Commercial Task Force and lending a hand in this endeavor. You may send your questions and/or desire to participate to [email protected]. Thank you!

Camping Today/Social Media Forms

Camping Today/Social Media Forms

By: Barb Turner

Camping Today submissions have been technologically streamlined.  By using the submissions forms below, members can easily submit articles and share upcoming events, recaps of activities completed, as well as farewells, milestones, birthday shoutouts, and ask questions of Dear RV. 

Click on the hyperlink below for the type of ‘Camping Today’ submission you’d liked to send.

Articles Event Recap Birthday Shoutout Milestone Farewell Dear RV Event Submit

In addition to Camping Today, submissions other than the articles are placed in queue for  sharing on social media – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.  After research and recommendations, promotion and publicity of FCRV and our activities via these formats will enhance our exposure, both to our members and the RV world.  From the beginning, NCHA/FCRV has been referred to as ‘the best-kept secret’.  Survival in the modern world won’t happen as the ‘best-kept secret’.  Let’s shout that we are here!  We are ‘happening’!  And, we welcome all campers & RVers!

If you have any questions submitting material, contact [email protected]

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.

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. 

Retiree Really 2023 – Dothan, Alabama

2023 Retiree Rally Host  

By: Ron & Reba Ray 

4 months and countdown.  Our registration list is growing at this time; so, get yours in, and let’s make this a good one. Put it on your calendar, March 28-April 2, 2023.  The early days will start on March 24.  

We are looking forward to seeing old friends and making new ones this year.

The fairgrounds are making it all possible for us to enjoy this rally.  They are adding more sewer sites so most everyone will have places to dump their tanks without having to move.

As I said before, we are shortening the rally by a day, but we will get everything that we look forward to every year.  There will be three nights of entertainment, the home-grown FCRV night of entertainment and then the King and Queen Coronation and the Ball, and, of course, we will have the International Parade.  It will be a fun-filled week for you.

Please bring a door prize. If you want to get rid of some things around your house that are in good shape or things you just really don’t want anymore, think about the marketplace; someone else might want it.

If you would like to run as FCRV International King & Queen, registration deadline for this is January 15th, so you need to get your name in the pot.  Please contact Leon & LaNelle Ishmael for this.  [email protected]

We have lots of people who are asking to be vendors for this rally. 

If you have any questions and need any answers about the retiree rally, please contact me, Reba, at [email protected]  See you soon.


Nuts About Dogs Pooch Parade 2023

By:  Robert & Rita Letellier, Pet Parade Chairs

Welcome! to the pooch parade.  We will be giving out a gift to all participants.  The winners will receive an award & some surprises which will be given out on awards day.  There will be 5 dog categories:  Most Adorable, Best Behaved, Best Trick, Owner pet-look-alike and Best-in-Show-dog.  Cats are invited. and the winner will also receive an award and surprises.  The category will be Best-in-Show-cat!  Please come!!!

FCRV International Retiree King & Queen Info 

By: LaNelle & Leon Ishmael, King & Queen Coordinators

Ho, ho, ho.  Santa whispered in my ear that he is getting excited to see who will be the next FCRV Retiree royal couple. Could it be you? Deadline to register is January 15.  Please don’t procrastinate! Ask your state or province to elect you their king and queen. Then email us for a registration form. You will have more fun than you imagined.  [email protected]  or [email protected].

Retiree Rally Door Prizes

By:  Pat Crow, Door Prize Chair

Halloween is over, and the shopping season has begun. So don’t forget to pick up something for your Retiree Rally door prize. It can be large or small, but please bring something you yourself would like to receive. Thank you.

FCRV Retiree Rally Flea Market

By: Richard & Frances Jackson,  Flea Market Chairs

Don’t go ‘nuts’ getting ready for the 2023 Retiree Rally Flea Market!  Start now to gather unused items or crafting items to sell! Flea market booth space will be free.

Retiree Games

By: Craig & Shari Weber & Marjorie Bates

Are you planning to get “Nutty” with the “Nutty Campers” and come to the peanut grounds in Dothan? Get your game on! Or, just come and have some fun. This month I thought I would talk about the table games we plan to play.

Chicken Foot is a game played with dominoes and is a variant of Train Dominoes. The resulting layout of the game looks like a chicken foot, thus the name. The game is typically played with a double 9 set of dominoes although bigger sets are necessary with more than 4 players. There can be 2 – 8 players per table. A boneyard is created by placing the dominoes face down on the table where each player can reach. Each player begins with 7 dominoes. Play begins with the highest double domino which is placed in the center of the table. Using strategy the players want to play all their dominoes out. Players with remaining dominoes add the total of their dominoes to create a score. Play goes for 6 rounds. The player with the lowest score after 6 rounds is the winner. Those who come to play this game should bring a set of dominoes with them.

5 Crowns is a rummy style card game. It is like 3 – 13. The special deck is a double deck with 5 suits, jokers, and no 2’s or aces. The game is played progressively starting with 3 cards and finishing with 13. Each round has a wildcard matching the number of cards dealt for the round. The object each round is to create runs (a sequence in the same suit or color) or sets (all the same number) of a minimum of 3. The round is complete when a player can go down by playing all his/her cards. Then each player has one more chance to make plays to reduce their hand as much as possible. At the end of the 13 rounds the player with the lowest score is the winner.

Card Bingo is played with playing cards. There is one deck per group of four people. All cards are dealt out with each player having 13 cards. Another deck of cards is used by the caller who will call cards one at a time. Players place their card in the center when it is called. Bingo is achieved when a player has no more cards.

Skip-Bo is another card game played with a special deck of cards. This game is also known as Spite and Malice. It is played with up to 6 players per deck. The goal of the game is to play all your cards in numerical order of 1 – 12 before the other players. The cards from the stockpile are played onto the middle building piles. There can be 4 building piles started with 1(or Skip Bo card) and built to 12. The first player to play all the cards in the stockpile is the winner!

Anyone interested in helping with a particular game or just in general, please send a message to us at [email protected].

Retiree Rally Variety Show

By: George Walters, Variety Show Chairperson

The  Retiree Rally Variety Show is a highlight of the rally2023 will again present the stars of the show, our own FCRV Campers.  Of course, there are many activities and events at any FCRV Retiree Rally, and we all have to budget our time, but we want to make this year’s Variety Show the one event you don’t want to miss.  This won’t happen without our wonderful campers participating. I hope that includes YOU! 

Please remember that this is not a contest, but a chance to see your fellow campers in a different light. Many of our member campers have talents that we don’t often get to enjoy. AND IT’S A LOT OF FUN!

So, if you sing, tell a funny (clean) story or joke, put together a skit, dance group (maybe a coordinated line-dance?) or anything else I didn’t think of, get it together and let’s have some fun! Now is the time to talk to your friends about putting together one of these entries.

Sign-up sheets will be available at the Registration Area when you arrive in Dothan.  Now is the time to plan for the Variety Show, and this can be the highlight of the 51st Retiree Rally in Dothan, Alabama.  Will we see you there?  As my dad always said, “I certainly hope so”.

Do you have an idea or do you want to help, please contact me at [email protected]

Give What You “Can” Retiree Rally Food Drive

By: Beth Standiford, Food Drive Chair

FCRV makes a big impact on the locations where we hold Rallies and Campventions.  For this reason, we want the impact to be a positive one.  We, as a collective group, bring a lot of income to the area where we camp in the form of fuel, food, tourism, eating out, entertainment, local sites, etc.  Food/Fund drives are a great way to give back and say thanks to a community where we’ve had so much fun with our friends.  Food drives help local charities keep their shelves stocked, and it raises awareness among our camping community to the hunger and needs of those around us, even though they may not be immediately visible.  

We are providing for the basic needs of others and giving a sense of dignity and pride to those who can then provide for their families. The facility we will be donating to is yet to be determined. Last year, cash donations exceeded my expectations by so much more than I thought possible.  This year, I am asking every person at the Rally to donate the equivalent of one meal, either in canned goods or in cash donations.   I know you won’t let down the deserving people of Dothan, Alabama.  Any questions or comments can be directed to me at [email protected].

Visit Ozark, Alabama in March

By: Barb Turner, Retiree Rally Publicity Chair

Ozark, Alabama is located less than 35 miles from Dothan, site of the 51st FCRV International Retiree Rally.  Ozark is located in the southeast corner of the state in a region known as the Wiregrass, the long-stemmed grass that is native to the region.  According to local lore, the city received its name for a traveler who thought the terrain looked like that of the Ozark Mountains in Arkansas.  The city borders Fort Rucker which is the center of the U.S. Army Aviation.  ( ,

The Ozark area was originally inhabited by the Muscogee people.  (The Muscogee (Creek) Nation is now located in Oklahoma and has land claims in the Florida panhandle. The Tribal headquarters is located in Okmulgee, Oklahoma, and the tribe has approximately 44,000 tribal members.)

Ozark is home to three sites listed on the National Register of Historic Places: Claybank Log Church, the Samuel Lawson Dowling House, and the J. D. Holman House.

The Claybank Log Church, 1570 Andrews Ave., was built in 1852.  It’s a hand-hewn log church that was actually the second to stand on its site. The original, built in 1829-1830, was a crude building of round logs. It deteriorated over the years and was finally replaced by the church that can still be seen today. ( and

Samuel Lawson Dowling House (311 Owens St.) was built in 1870 by Samuel Lawson Dowling, whose family was one of the first groups to settle in the area.  “The house is similar in style to a Tidewater-type cottage, which was popular on the Atlantic coastal plain where many of the area’s early settlers came from. Being built just before the railroad came to Ozark, it was one of the first architecturally styled homes in the area; most previous houses were log structures that emphasized function over form.”  (

D. Holman House (285 E Broad St) is one of the most elaborate Neoclassical homes in the Wiregrass Region.  It was built in 1912–13 for Jesse DeCosta Holman, a prominent local merchant. The house was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.  (

As noted above, abutting Ozark is Fort Rucker.  Visit the United States Army Aviation Museum (6000 Novosel St, Fort Rucker)  which boasts a collection of over 160 military aircraft.  The museum houses one of the largest displays of military helicopters in the world. Visitors can view a multitude of machinery, ranging from World War I early combat aircraft to highly advanced UH-60 Blackhawks flown by military personnel today.  If you enjoy researching military history and aviation, don’t miss a trip to this fascinating museum.  (

Ozark, Alabama awaits rally attendees.  Tour and eat. This YouTube video will entice the latter!  See you in March!

Campvention 2023 – Richmond, Indiana

Campvention Registration Info Discount Deadline is Approaching

By: Beth Muschinski, Registration Chair

Hello, FCRV members!  Camping season is just around the corner, and it is time to start making your upcoming camping season plans….especially CAMPVENTION.  The 2023 Campvention in Richmond, IN promises to be a fun-filled week of seminars, games, food and fellowship. 

The discounted Campvention fee is only valid until December 31, 2022.  If your envelope is postmarked after that, the full fee is needed.  Get it in now before the last-minute Christmas mail rush.  We all know how slow and unreliable Snail Mail is, especially during the Christmas season.

When you fill out those registration forms, please, please, put in a CELL phone number and email address.  Without an email address, there is a possibility of you not receiving any updated information.   Without a CELL phone number, you will be unreachable in case of an emergency.

If you have sent in your registration and have not received an email from me confirming this, please contact me via phone or email to check on your registration status (see Snail Mail remark above).

Keep your eyes on the Campvention Facebook page for information about the Campvention and “things to see and do while in the area” information tidbits.

See you in July.

FCRV International Band

By: Craig Weber, FRCV International Band Director

This is a special notice to all of you who will be attending Campvention for the first time in Richmond, Indiana this summer. FCRV has a volunteer band that plays one evening at Campvention. We welcome anyone who would like to be part of a fun group and be part of Campvention. We practice four or five times before we play, and we try to keep the music simple. 

Here’s what you get as an FCRV International Band Member:

  1. Exclusive FCRV International Band tuxedo t-shirt
  2. The enjoyment of meeting new people
  3. FCRV International Band Member badge and year tab
  4. Pizza party for you and your family before Concert

If you play an instrument and would like to be a part of the FCRV International Band, just dust off your instrument, blow in it to get the dead critters out, and keep your eyes peeled for more information. Music will be made available in May so that you can get in some extra practice. 

Keep watching for future updates.  Thank you.

New Campvention Fun!

By: Kathy Howell

Hello, Campers!

I am Kathy Howell, and I recently joined FCRV with the new Family & Friends Camping Club (FFCC) Chapter. I am so happy to share with you a teen activity that has been a longstanding tradition in the FFCC group. It is called TP (toilet paper) Insurance and Raffle.

A little history of the program: Our group needed a fundraiser to increase the budget for our teen activities. The plan was simple – teens would sell TP raffle tickets, meet and socialize with other members of the club while doing so, and learn how to count and be responsible for money. Members purchase a “card” of tickets, with 26 tickets per card to put toward raffle prizes. Since rallies always involve a bit of fun and shenanigans, the tickets serve as insurance to not have your rig toilet-papered by the teens. Simply display a card in your rig’s window, and you’re safe, at least from the teens. 😉 If TP’d by adults (that, of course, would never happen), the teens will clean up the mess.

Teens sell the tickets Monday morning until Wednesday evening. Thursday is the raffle. Where do the raffle prizes come from? Well, parents of the participating teens are asked to bring a raffle gift per teen to place in the raffle. Club chapters and individual families may also donate prizes. A small portion of the ticket sales proceeds is also designated for prizes.

There is pre-raffle viewing time to make your selections and place tickets in the containers next to the prizes of your choice. You decide how many of your tickets to put in as many raffle items you want. Teens help set-up the raffle and as winning numbers are selected, they deliver the prizes to the respective winners. Cash prizes are available, too. The teens also win cash prizes for selling the most tickets. The money raised is then used to finance future teen activities, and as noted above, a small portion designated for the next year’s prize purchases. 

For the 2023 Campvention, my daughter, Jessica Hicks, and son, Zachary Chearhart, and I will be handling the TP ticket sales and raffle. We are asking that families of teens, please, bring a raffle prize per participating teen. Items donated in the past included camping chairs, games, gas/gift cards.  Items may be camping or non-camping related, with a value of $25-$50. Specific donation drop-off instructions will be provided prior to Campvention.

Special Adult Activity

By: Craig Weber

The Adult Activity Chairpersons for Campvention 2023 in Richmond, IN are looking to bring back the adult bowling event. We have found a bowling alley in Richmond that does two hours of bowling, one pizza and one two-liter bottle of pop for 6 people per lane including shoes. The more lanes we fill the lower the cost. If we can fill 5 lanes (30 people), the cost is about $12 per person. The cost  will go down as we fill more lanes. In order to make this happen, we need to make reservations way ahead of time. This event will be open to anyone 18 or older. We are also going to be working to find babysitters for those with younger children. At this time the committee is trying to gauge interest. At this time, I have received interest from 20 people. We need to get that number up to 30. You still have a month to respond. If you are interested in this event, please e-mail YES to Craig Weber at [email protected] before January 10th. Look forward to hearing from everyone. Thank you.

Campvention ‘23 Camper Rentals Info

By: Connie Black, Campvention ’23 Chair

We have been asked to supply members with information on Camper Rentals for Campvention 2023 in Richmond, IN. 

The following links should be quite helpful in their rental efforts:

RVs for rent in Charleston

As for hotel information, we found it easier and less expensive for someone to go to the booking sites such as Travelocity, and others. There are many hotels available Richmond, IN

Campvention 2023 Program Book Ads

By: Marci Mcintosh, Ads Chair

Now is your chance to say thank you or recognize someone special or wish someone a Happy Birthday or Happy Anniversary.  Perhaps you want to tell someone in the organization Thank You for all their hard work.  Or you’d like to remember one of our own who has passed and is missed at Campvention. You can do any or all these things in the 2023 Campvention Program Book!   (The form is available in this issue and on the FCRV website.)

Additionally, if you have a vendor (non-member) interested in advertising, ask them to email me at [email protected].  I will send them the Vendor version of the Program Ads form to help the vendor better understand the metrics of our program book.

Step Back in Time in Metamora, Indiana

By: Barb Turner, Campvention 2023 Publicity Chair

Step back in time less than 40 miles from FCRV Campvention 2023 in Richmond, Indiana July 9-14, 2023.  In Metamora, Indiana you step back to what it was like in the 1800’s in eastern Indiana.

Metamora was platted in 1838 along the projected path of the Whitewater Canal, infrastructure to provide a transportation canal to ship products from eastern Indiana to the Ohio River and onto the Mississippi River and on south.  “The town of Metamora was named after the popular 1829 play, Metamora, or The Last of the Wampanoags. It takes place in Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1677 and tells a fictionalized version of the story of Metacom (called King Philip by the colonists), leader of the local Wampanoag tribe.”  (  Canal boats transported people, lumber, livestock and grain until the early 1860’s with the arrival of the railroad.

Experience Metamora –

Whitewater Canal State Historic Site/ The Metamora Gristmill:   Start your visit at 19073 Main St.  In 1845 Johnathan Banes built the 3-story frame mill as a cotton mill equipped with almost a thousand water-powered spindles.  The cotton factory idea didn’t do well, as we would think, as Southern Indiana didn’t produce cotton crops.  Bringing cotton from the south and the import of finished textiles wasn’t productive. In 1856 Banes brought in a new partner and converted the cotton mill to a flouring mill.  (I found the idea of a cotton mill in eastern Indiana rather strange)  The mill was destroyed by a fire in 1899 and was rebuilt in 1900.  Following a second fire in 1932, it was converted to the present 2-story brick building where you can purchase flour and meal.  You can mill grains yourself with a hand-powered grinder and learn how millers secured sacks of flour with a miller’s knot!  ( (  (  (

Ride the Ben Franklin canal boat. Shop the many shops. Experience quaint Metamora, Indiana. Step back in time!

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Where Strangers Become Friends

Where Strangers Become Friends

By: JeAnne Selby, Region 3 Regional Director 

If you’ve belonged to FCRV (and NCHA before that) for very long, you’ll recall one of the slogans associated with FCRV:  “Where strangers become friends, and friends become family,” or “The friendliest people in the world.”  Carefully examining the traditional half-circle former FCRV logo, it reads “Fun and Friendship” across the lower horizontal border.

Each of these slogans simply presents the substance of the Family Campers & RVers’ mission statement at a glance!  The mission statement reads “to share with all campers/RVers, the Family Campers & RVers fun, friendship, fellowship and family feelings of camping together, and to promote and enhance the experience and enjoyment of recreational family type camping/RVing.”

This story of fun and friendship started with on-line research at and a short August 29th email inquiry from new Ohio FCRVer Shirley Dethlefson to North Dakota/South Dakota State FCRV Director Sherry McGuire.  Shirley was looking for a contact in Bismarck, as a source of local travel information AND FCRV information.

Sherry offered to show Shirley around Jamestown (ND), if she had time, and referred her email on to Roughrider FCRV Member and Region 3 Regional Director JeAnne (Jan) Selby, Bismarck.

Both Sherry and Jan were favorably influenced by Shirley’s comment that she has been to 46 states in the U.S. in her personal quest to visit all 50 states; and they were excited that Shirley had chosen North Dakota to be number 47!

Shirley, an eight-year member of Family & Friends Camping Club (FFCC), was among the 85 Ohio charter members joining FCRV during the 2022 International Campvention at Pueblo, CO last July.

Although air service into Bismarck, ND is limited compared to options into such hubs as Minneapolis, Denver or Dallas, getting a flight into Bismarck is easier than getting a flight into Jamestown.  So Bismarck was the North Dakota destination!

Subsequent e-mail exchanges between Shirley and Jan revealed that Shirley had collected quite a bit of tourist information on Bismarck and its services.  She had found a hotel that offered shuttle service both to and from the local airport and included daily breakfasts; she had also learned that Bismarck offered good public transit service.

North Dakota Discovery Begins

Jan met Shirley at her Bismarck hotel after she got settled in her room the afternoon of Wednesday, September 29, and took her downtown to the Blarney Stone, one of Bismarck’s many unique restaurants, for dinner.  Never having met till dinner, the two had LOTS to talk about!  In addition to simply getting acquainted, the two compared similarities and differences in their respective camping clubs, plus potential tourist attractions in the Bismarck-Mandan area.

The following day State Director Sherry McGuire drove the 100 miles one way to Bismarck and joined Shirley and Jan, as they toured the 19-story ND State Capitol, constructed in 1934 after a fire.  The three had an amazing lunch at another unique Bismarck dining spot, the Walrus, then spent the afternoon at Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park, an 1875 cavalry post located seven miles south of nearby Mandan.  They hiked past Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer’s house (already closed for the season), the commissary and officer’s quarters, explored six reconstructed earth lodges at the On-A-Slant Indian Village, checked out the artifacts on display at the Visitor’s Center and Museum, and paused at the edge of the Missouri River adjacent to the on-site campground.

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“The Best Day Yet”

“The Best Day Yet”  –  Adventures in the Field: Stories from a Wildlife Technician

By: Amy Wittmeyer

When I was working in California on a camera trapping project in 2021, we would hike all over Sequoia and Sierra National Forests. The locations would vary; some were horrible, with thick, tangled thorn bushes, dense understory, or super steep, exposed mountainsides. Other locations were beautiful, with large trees and open forests carpeted with pine needles; these locations were usually higher elevation and much more pleasant to work in. The best day I have ever had in the field was in one such location. Located in the Dinkey Lakes Wilderness of Sierra National Forest, my field partner Abby and I spent the week at almost 10,000 feet and the landscape was GORGEOUS.

The day hike we were completing was originally planned as an overnight backcountry backpacking trip, but logistics being what they were, it wound up as an 18+ mile day hike. We drove out almost 2 hours from the nearest paved road and camped out of the truck at the trailhead. The next morning, we hit the trail at 6:00 am, just as the sun was breaking. We started out with relatively empty backpacks, but we would be taking down six camera trap sites and six track box sites by the end of the day, leading to a massive increase in weight.

Luckily, much of the morning hike was actually on an established, if lightly used, trail, which was not a common occurrence in our work. The trail out was also fairly flat, as we had gained most of our elevation in the truck the day before (thank goodness!). However, we were anticipating a tough 800m (half-mile) hike almost straight uphill and off-trail to get to our last two camera sites.

I had never hiked over 12 miles in one day before, let alone with massive backpacks filled with heavy and awkward gear. We had done the hike once before, but I had been struggling with some tummy problems that day, which left a bad taste in my mouth for this go-round. But boy, was I wrong.

It was an incredible day, only made better by the fact that I had a great hiking partner. I suffer from exercise-induced asthma, as well as energy and endurance issues, so long hikes are always a challenge. But Abby had been a climbing guide for several years in college and understood and respected people’s limitations and abilities. She also has asthma, so she was in a similar boat to mine. She never complained when I called for a breather, never hassled me for hiking too slow, and was never more than 30 or so feet in front of me the whole day. With her cooperation, we made incredible time, hiking over 12 miles and taking down eight out of twelve stations even before lunch. And the landscape was absolutely beautiful, making the hike that much more enjoyable even when we were off trail.

By the end of the day, we had hiked 18.5 miles (about 6 of those were off trail) in 7.5 hours with twelve station stops and a half-hour lunch break. We averaged 2.5 miles/hour, even loaded down with backpacks weighing over 45 lbs for the last four miles or so. We surprised ourselves and our crew supervisor with how quickly and efficiently we worked on one of the biggest assignments of the season.

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!

Thanks for writing Dear RV. Keep sending in your questions, and we will give you our answers, like them or not. We would like to let you know that we will be taking December off here at Dear RV but will be holding over your questions for January and in the New Year. We enjoy hearing your questions, and l search out the answer that we give. Again, you may not like our answer because we will have fun giving our opinion at the time. So let us say Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and Happy New Year! We will see you in 2023!

Happy Holidays from Dear RV

The Silent Killer: Carbon Monoxide

The Silent Killer: Carbon Monoxide

By: Joe Boswell, National DASAT Director

As this holiday season begins and everyone starts to travel about to be with family and friends, now is the time to consider how safe we will be during this time. For those who stay at home, and family and friends come to visit this too, applies. The following is important, so we all are safe as we commence our larger celebrations.

Let’s all learn about the silent killer: Carbon Monoxide. “Carbon Monoxide is an invisible, odorless gas that comes from burning fuels such as gasoline, wood, coal, propane, oil, and methane.” As the various listed items are burned gasses are produced. Keep in mind that home heating and cooking appliances can produce Carbon Monoxide. Our vehicles, such as cars, trucks, tractors, and lawn mowers are also sources of this deadly gas. Any motorized machine that runs inside can produce a very dangerous level of Carbon Monoxide. The safe and proper installation of appliances that use fuels, or that burn fossil fuels is the best protection you can provide for your family.

For RVers we need to look at this slightly differently. Motorhomes, and vehicles that pull your travel trailer, or fifth wheel can produce Carbon Monoxide. Motorhome owners need to be extremely careful because you are traveling and living in the same space. Carbon Monoxide is a product of this vehicle moving down the highway. Thus, you can be exposed to this dangerous gas and not even realize it is occurring.

Why is carbon monoxide so dangerous? Exploring and fully understanding this question is very important. Carbon Monoxide is a gas that one breathes into the body. It has no smell, and no taste. It is a poisonous gas one breathes in. As one breathes in Carbon Monoxide it replaces the oxygen in the bloodstream, thus causing the body to poison itself, a process that reduces the oxygen intake into the cells. One may at first experience flu-like symptoms, indicating a low level of oxygen in the blood cells. Continued exposure to the dangerous gas, results in dizziness, mental confusion, severe headaches, fainting, and even death. Carbon Monoxide is a silent killer, it kills many individuals each year.

To protect yourself and your family it is recommended that you get and install Carbon Monoxide Detector in your home and recreational vehicle. The main purpose of a carbon monoxide detector is to measure the amount of CO, gas present in the air over time. The CO detectors will sound an alarm when levels are beginning to increase. The alarm is very sensitive thus it may resound before most symptoms appear. For your own safety, it is important to hear the warming sounds and look for the cause for alarm. It is important to make sure your RV and home is safe for occupancy.

Everyone should have at least two and maybe more Carbon Monoxide detectors in their home or RV. Some detectors are battery operated, while others may be hard wired directly into your 12-volt electrical system.

Depending on the type of detectors you purchase, only purchase CO detectors that have been tested by at least one testing laboratory. Make sure you follow the suggested guidelines as stated by the manufacturer installation instructions. For installation purposes, install one CO detector, close to the sleeping quarters. Make sure you can hear the alarm with doors closed. Test your CO detector at least once a month. (Test your smoke alarm during the process, too.) It is suggested that you replace the CO detector every 2 years and or following the replacement recommendation by the manufacturer. Have a plan, and practice it, with all members of your family in case you must evacuate due to carbon monoxide gasses within your residence.

Here are some ways to prevent carbon monoxide in your RV and permanent residence. First and foremost, do not run combustion engines in an enclosed space. If you use a generator, place it outside away for any buildings/home/RV. Get your vehicle, motorhome, too, inspected for exhaust leaks. Get a qualified professional to check your home for carbon monxide-you can do the same for your motorhome. Make repairs as needed. Home repairs are always important and should include the chimneys, fireplaces, wood stoves, etc., each year. Have your RV furnace and home furnace inspected on a regular basis, and that it has an adequate supply of fresh air for proper combustion? Never use your gas oven to heat your home-this practice is dangerous. If you have a fireplace in your home make sure, have it inspected, and remember to open the flue before starting a fire in the fireplace. Kerosene heaters are not for indoor use in some areas of the country-check with local authorities before you make this purchase. If you need to refuel the kerosene heater, wait until it cools down, and refuel outside away from your enclosed space. Do not use a gas or charcoal barbeque grill inside, this is for outside use only as they produce CO, that is deadly. When camping use battery-powered heaters and lights in your tent, trailers, and motorhomes. Remember to be safe, the standard is to have a Carbon monoxide detector in your recreational vehicle.

What should you do if the Carbon Monoxide sounds an alert? Make sure no one is experiencing any of the signs of CO poisoning. The best thing to do is to exit the building/recreations vehicle, opening and leaving open the door and windows as you depart. Get medical help immediately. Once outside, call 911 for additional assistance, and follow the directions of the dispatcher. If you do not experience carbon monoxide, turn off the heating and cooking equipment, and open doors and windows for ventilation. Once the danger has passed, have your appliance inspected.

“Safe use and proper installation of household and RV appliances that burn fossil fuels, as well as proper use of vehicles, especially in attached garages, is the best protection you can provide for your family.” By installing and using a Carbon Monoxide detector can add a level of protection for all family members. Remember, an ounce of prevention can go a long way. 

Source: (brochure)