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Camping Today Staff

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National Officers

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

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From The President

Happy Valentine’s Day, Everyone!

You know that this means that Camping season is just around the corner. Before we know it, we will be pulling the rig out of storage and getting it ready for the first trip out to our favorite camping location. Do you have your first outing planned? Do you have to plan your use of State Parks 6 months out like we do here in Colorado? This is always a complication, but we do seem to make it work. I would like to encourage you to share the fun you have in your chapter with your friends and continue to invite them to join you on an outing. We all know a neighbor, a family, or that new person down the street that has a rig and might be new to the area. Take a moment to get to know them and consider inviting them to join you on an outing. You could gain a new Chapter Member and a new lifelong friend. When we grow our Chapter, we grow FCRV. Membership is everyone’s responsibility.

Just a reminder, we have an election coming up very soon. Now is the time to have your contact information updated with the office. We talk about the flow of information but often overlook keeping our information updated thus leading to a breakdown in the flow of that information. Please  take a moment and make sure you have the correct address and the correct email address on file with FCRV.  Also, make sure that you have the same information on file with your Chapter and with your State or Province. This will help us to keep you updated and informed.

When you receive your Ballot, please review the instructions on voting. Use the link and cast your vote. Just a reminder, we will only get one vote per membership so discuss with your spouse and cast your vote using the provided link. You will NOT be able to call the office and have them vote for you as some have done in the past. Carl has developed a wonderful voting system that will save us a large amount of time and money in the years to come, putting FCRV in a position to be good stewards of our money and time.

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

Article Deadline Reminder

Article Deadline Reminder
By Camping Today Team

Please be reminded that the deadline for articles for a given issue of “Camping Today” is the 1st of the month of issue. For example; the issue coming out on March 15th, the deadline is March 1st. There are many tasks the volunteer “Camping Today” team has to accomplish between the 1st and the 15th to provide you with the best magazine possible. Please remember this deadline when submitting articles and chapter news for publication.

FCRV Ambassador Club

FCRV Ambassador Club

The Ambassador Club: a loosely organized bunch of FCRV enthusiasts who are happy to spread the word about the benefits of membership in our international camping club.  

That’s a nice definition, but what does it mean, exactly?

Several years ago, people were sharing their experiences and happiness at being members of what was then known as National Campers & Hikers Association (NCHA).  So, it was decided to recognize those efforts, and the Ambassador Club was born.  The premise is simple: give a recognizable token to our folks who bring in several members.  A gold pin has been created, with stones to acknowledge levels of recruitment.  Blue, or “Sapphire” is awarded for bringing in 5 members; Red, or “Ruby” is awarded for bringing a total of 10 members; Green, or “Emerald” is awarded for bringing a total of 20 members; and a clear crystal, representing “Diamond” level, is awarded for bringing a total of 50 or more members to FCRV.

It’s easy to become a member of the Ambassador Club.  Bring in at least 5 new members to FCRV, keep track of who you brought in, and when the first level is attained, contact Pat Wittmeyer at [email protected] and let her know of your accomplishment.  Members are recognized at the annual Campvention with an Ambassador Club luncheon with all attending members of the ‘club within a club’.  All members of the Ambassador Club will be invited to attend, and those who have begun their participation or achieved a new level of recruitment are awarded new pins marking their accomplishments.  Forms are available for tracking recruitment efforts and are used to verify new member enlistment.

This Club is open to anyone who has recruited 5 or more families to FCRV.  You may have already become a member without even knowing it!  And those who have been Ambassador Club members over the past several years can share their recruiting efforts with Pat Wittmeyer so that we have accurate records for the Club.  If a new level of recruitment has been reached, that work will be recognized.

More information regarding the Ambassador Club will be included in future issues of Camping Today.  Welcome to the club!

Who’s Done A Great Job? – Awards – Deadline April 15th

Who’s Done A Great Job? – Awards – Deadline April 15th.
By Beth Standiford, Recording/Corresponding Officer

So many of our fellow campers do so very much in the line of volunteering, helping, knowledge, and time. Some of us have been at it for a very long time. They are a fount of knowledge. And always willing to help. Wouldn’t it be nice if we all took a moment to recognize those friends? Well, now you can. There are several possible award categories into which your friends might fit. Take a look and see if they are a humanitarian, a lifesaver, an outstanding person or chapter. Please look at the qualifications required to receive one of the outstanding prestigious awards given by FCRV and consider nominating someone. Questions? Contact your Recording/Corresponding Officer at [email protected]. Deadline is April 15.

FCRV National Election

FCRV National Election

There are three positions up for election in March.  President, Vice President Programs, and Recording/Corresponding Officer are the positions elected in 2024.  The  candidates’ bios and platforms will be included in the February issue of “Camping Today”.  Ballots will be distributed after March 15, 2024, to the email on file for your membership. This is a great time to assure your email is correct with the national office. All memberships of FCRV are entitled to one vote. Deadline to vote is April 15, 2024.  If an absentee or mailed ballot is needed it must be requested by January 15, 2024.  A request for an absentee or mailed ballot can be made by phone or email to the national office.  Phone 716.668.6242   Email [email protected].

Teresa Walorski

Recording/Corresponding Officer

Teresa and her husband, Rick, have been married since 2002. Together, they have 5 ‘kids’, 5 grandkids and 1 great grandson. After they purchased a pop-up tent trailer in 2003, they were walking around the RV Show and were introduced to the FCRV Organization. They have been camping with OOPS ever since. Currently, enjoying their Class-A Motorhome and road trips. With OOPS, Teresa has served as President and, currently, the Secretary. Rick and Teresa are the OOPS Field Director. For FCRV, Teresa has been the editor for the Fireside Embers since 2021 and has enjoyed volunteering at different Campvention events. Teresa has been with Mercy Housing since 2005, working with HUD paperwork and vouchers and Tax Credits, auditing low-income files, and has worked with HOAs keeping their minutes and financial statements. With Mercy Housing she can work remotely and sometimes works from the motorhome while camping or on road trips.

Platform Statement
Accurate and consistent record keeping are important to the history of any organization and FCRV is no exception. Currently, I see growth in membership to be the main priority. The generation we are trying to connect with will require some out-of-the-box thinking, planning and implementation on our part. It is hard to know exactly what is needed to bring in more people and to keep them happy and renewing, but working together respectfully is a great start. No one person can know everything, it takes us all working toward the same goal of making FCRV more stable and welcoming. Let’s reach out to those chapters thriving and see what they are doing. Taking in suggestions from all would be eye-opening. We must be more visible, and we have to offer attractive activities for all ages. Keeping school schedules in mind and having activities that include our youth/teens. For our current and future senior members having education in advanced technology, healthy cooking, health in general, computer safety, iPads, Medicare, exercising and such may be welcoming. Road trip ideas, group camping theme ideas, vehicle safety and RV driving instruction (so many women will not get behind the wheel of the motorhome or truck) would benefit us all. We need to set the example of working together respectfully for the good of the organization and having all age groups working together, we learn from each other and thrive together.

We are frequently asked, ‘Why stay with FCRV?’ We let them know that we attend and enjoy more campouts as FCRV members because of the comradery and the fact that we plan our future campouts. This is why we are Lifetime Members of FCRV. I sincerely hope I am given the opportunity to help wherever I can and to apply all my talents to furthering the aim of FCRV. Thank you!

Beth Standiford

Recording/Corresponding Officer

Beth has served as Recording & Corresponding Secretary since 2020. Her professional background has always been in administration, including a decade of service as Office Manager for stock brokerage houses, Sales Associate for insurance, and a Coordination Assistant at a Seminary. Beth & Paul, her spouse of 50 years, began camping in Indiana when the organization was known as NCHA They raised 3 children and guided them in the ways of camping, conservation, and wildlife. The family moved to Missouri in 2003 and joined FCRV, and have been active ever since. They stepped up to the call of volunteering in the organization and have held a variety of positions. Paul is currently the Missouri State Director, and Beth is the State Chaplain as well as Chapter (Pitch ‘N’ Pull) Secretary.
Platform Statement
I believe our main priority is membership growth. We must become more technologically savvy and take a hard look at what the campers who we are trying to attract are doing and adjust to it. We need show campers the advantages of belonging to our group, the stability and richness of a well-established organization, the friendship, the sense of belonging, the help in time of emergencies and the possible content for their blogging. New ideas should be explored. Can we get into the home-schooling curriculums and sponsor a course in Conservation or Wildlife? Can we partner with dealerships to offer information or a free campout with a local group when they sell a camper? How can we educate new campers in travel safety and camping etiquette? There are other camping organizations out there, but we must show that FCRV has more to offer. These are all avenues to explore and I’m sure there are many more. If elected to serve another term, I will support my fellow Trustees as we pursue creative ideas to grow our membership. The positions that I currently hold in FCRV allow me to be in touch with every level of the organization and help them to work together.
In addition, my current Secretarial project is compiling many historical records saved for posterity into the virtual office. This will provide a solid base of information for the future. Thank you for your time and I hope to serve you and FCRV for many years to come.

Ed Shaneyfelt

Vice President of Programs

Hello, my name is Ed Shaneyfelt. I am running for Vice President of Programs. I have been involved with NCHA/FCRV since my family joined in the fall of 1971. Through my years I participated in the youth and teen program and made a lot of friends along the way. Still today I am still making friends that become like family. In 1987 I married my lovely wife, Angie. We raised two wonderful children who participated in the programs also. Our daughter Paige was an Indiana state queen, and our son Fletcher was the first National Teen King. I have been involved or in charge of teen sports for the last 15 years. At the State level, I have been Northern rep, Vice President, President, Past President, and current President for Indiana over the last 25 years. Also, I have been serving as the National Campvention Director for the past 9 years.


Platform Statement

I am excited to embark on this new journey to make sure FCRV survives for future generations. To do this I believe the focus should be to update our existing programs, to ensure that they are best serving the needs of our existing members as well as benefitting new members as we continue to grow and expand. I am looking forward to working with the Program Directors to get this accomplished, whether it is the CAMP, Conservation, DASAT, Adult, Teen, Youth, or Veterans Programs. I will need to fill some open program director positions that are currently vacant. I understand that I would be responsible for those programs until I can find Directors. With the help of the directors and members, I believe we can create a prosperous future for our organization.

I’m here to represent the membership, please let me know your concerns if I’m elected so your voice will be heard. Your vote would be greatly appreciated.

Dora Lewis

Vice President of Programs

Dora Lewis is running for VP of Programs for a second term. Dora has been a member of FCRV along with her husband Jim, for 25 years. She has belonged to the Happy Wanderers chapter in CT. for 25 years. Dora has held the position of VP for her chapter, for two years. She has been involved with many committees and always willing to help when needed.  She has worked on 3 parking committees for National Campvention, she also was Chair of parking for 2021 Campvention in Wisconsin. Dora has Co-Chaired parking for 9 retiree rallies and also chaired two Red Hat luncheon at retiree rallies. Dora currently holds the VP of programs Trustee position.
Platform Statement

My goal for the next two years is to help, and guide the program directors in updating their programs to better serve the membership. Continue to help update the field manual, and bring it up to the 21st century with hotlinks and a central location for all our members.

I will strive to fill the vacant Program Director spots for Teens, Youth and Veterans. I will advocate for programs for Conservation and Wildlife and fulfill the FCRV goals to increase support for organizations that also share our similar beliefs.

Gerry Pfirsch

International President

Joined FCRV in 2005. I been an involved in function of FCRV as Chapter Officer, Field Director, Northern District Director, Assistant State Director, Regional Director, Co-Chair on two Campventions, and Presi-dent of this wonderful Organization. We have seen challenges and successes. It has been an honor to serve as the International President. We have embarked on moving FCRV into the 21st century. This endeavor has presented us with challenges and growing pains that we must navigate through to be successful. Past experiences in service have proven to be a great asset in serving as President in my second term. I also thank the past Presidents for their reliable council in navigating the future. They are a valued asset and a source of experience. It would be an honor to serve another term as President and thank you for the opportunity to do so.
Gerry Pfirsch
FCRV International President
Platform Statement
I would like to thank all my FCRV family for their support during this term as President. We have worked diligently to bring FCRV into the 21st Century and will continue this path to see FCRV succeed. I will always place what is best for FCRV over my personal desire in every decision. I believe that we must listen to what you as members tell us in our decisions and trust that the information you give us is honest and true to form our decisions as your leadership. We try to change identified items as needed and will continue to strive to make FCRV better. Knowing that the work we do will change over time requiring us to look at the future needs for the organization. This is the reason that your continued feedback is needed. It is my greatest desire to see FCRV succeed for another 75 0r 100 years and then some. I would like to say Thank you for your support and help in the future success of FCRV.
Gerry Pfirsch
FCRV International President

Welcome New Members

Family Campers & RVers would like to extend a warm welcome to our newest members:

Stanley, Greg CO Referred by: Barbara Newsome
McCullough, Patrick Steward, Heidi CO Referred by: Gaby Usmar
Summers, Clayton Summers, Jean IL Referred by: Kip & Jan Cushing
Salisbury, Lester Salisbury, Brenda OH Referred by: Edwin Shaneyfelt
DeHaas, Ralph DeHaas, Lori PA Referred by: Kerstin & Richard Zadrejko
Scholbrock, Steven Scholbrock, Inez CO Referred by: Bob & Jeanie Reid
Hasselbach, William Hasselbach, Barbara NC Referred by: Bill Stirewalt
Harris, James Harris, Diane CT Referred by: Don & Lori Lanoue
Steinhagen, Tina Steinhagen, Allen WI Referred By: Tom & Luann Silver
Matthews, Richard Matthews, Teresa NC Referred By: George Reynolds
Johnson, David Johnson, Margaret SC Parents used to be members

Retiree Rally 2024 – Mineola, Texas

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

Retiree Rally Registration Deadline
By Millie Pauwels, Registration Co-Chair

I must receive all registrations by March 1st as we will be leaving for Mineola around March 10th. Receiving them by March 1st allows for possible delayed postal delivery before we leave. If you cannot do that, you are still encouraged to attend. See you in Mineola!!

Please pay upon arrival at the rally. I want to have as many as I can before we leave.

52nd Family Campers & RVers International Retiree Rally 2024
By Barb Turner, Publicity Chair

The FCRV Retiree Program has invited EVERYONE to attend the 52nd Family Campers & RVers International Retiree Rally at the Mineola Civic Center & RV Park, 1150 N Newsom St., Mineola, TX 75773 March 18-24 over the last few months. The grounds will be open for early days on March 15 to explore the area at $40 per night, payable upon arrival.

Reminder: The theme is ‘Horsing Around’, and rally coordinators George and Karen Reynolds have promised that this is ‘one roundup you won’t want to miss! ‘Let’s all giddy up and go to Mineola, corral the herd, and horse around together!’ Again, remember, the rally is open to ALL, not just retirees.

The Mineola Civic Center and RV Park has full hookups with 30/50 amps on large, level, concrete sites with green grass. Fast Wi-Fi! Shower facilities will be available. Find the registration form at Mineola is at the junction of U.S. highways 69 and 80, eighty miles east of Dallas in southwestern Wood County. It came into existence when the railroads laid tracks through eastern Texas in the early 1870s. Interestingly, in 1873 it was a race between the Texas and Pacific and the International-Great Northern to see which could get to Mineola first. The I-GN reached Mineola 15 minutes before the Texas and Pacific Railroad! That would have been exciting! The city government was organized in 1873. A post office was opened in 1875. Incorporation came in 1877. In the 1880s a fire destroyed 18 buildings, but the city didn’t die. It rebuilt and flourished, and by 1890 there were seven churches, several schools including a free black school, hotels, banks, and businesses. The population reached 2,000!

Plan on ‘Horsing Around’ next month in Mineola! ‘This is one roundup you don’t want to miss!’

By George & Karen Reynolds, Rally Coordinators

February brings terrible weather to the United States! Let me reassure you that our Retiree Rally in Mineola will be very satisfying to you, and you will be entertained throughout the rally. Review our Chair’s input to this Camping Today. It will be exciting to attend. We offer you one of the best rallies. We all have wanted to get this winter weather behind us and rejoice with our friends and Family at this ‘Horsing Around’ celebration.

You will find so many activities to enjoy this year and put our cold weather and snow behind us. Let’s reminisce and share all the changes that have occurred.

Our entertainment, activities, games, flea market, variety show, and super hospitalities along with the cowgirl luncheon and cowboy breakfast meals, and, of course, ice cream, will certainly be favorites ‘SO GIDDY UP YOUR STABLE IS READY’!

By Bill & Dianne Buggeln

The Judge has been appointed, and the Sheriff and his deputies will be on the site to enforce his rules. They all have some history with the Law Firm of ‘Dully, Cheatom, and Howe’.

Court will be held each evening at 6:30 as we begin evening activities.

(All proceeds from this activity will be donated to a local charity or foodbank).

Any questions, let us know.

By Bill & Dianne Buggeln, Chairs


Hey guys, how about a great breakfast to start the day? The program will feature  special guest Joe Dobson, a local Rancher/Cowboy, stunt man from “Walker Texas Ranger” and family with deep Texas roots.

Bring your hat and come to have a GREAT time. Cost $10 per plate.


Ladies – Wear your hat, any hat or no hat, and come to have a great time. A great salad lunch catered by Fusion In the Woods. Also, great guest speaker Joe Dobson. Cost will be $10 per plate.

Crafts in Mineola
By Dora Lewis, Crafts Chair

1st craft at this year’s Retiree Rally will be a diamond art project. Kits will be provided, along with supplies. Cost will be $6.00 for this craft. Sign up will be at registration. No experience required.

2nd craft will be covering hangers with yarn. This craft involves covering metal hangers with yarn. Yarn & hangers will be provided. This is easy, and no experience is needed.

3rd craft will be rock painting. Betty Andrews will have different designs to guide you through. This is the second time for this project. It was requested as a repeat craft. No experience necessary, and all supplies needed will be provided.

So, get your ‘giddy up’; come and join us in the fun in Mineola, Texas in March!

Food Bank and Lap Robes Info
By Karin Snyder, Food Bank/Lap Robes Chair

Looking forward to the upcoming Retiree Rally!! My name is Karin Snyder, and I am the new committee chair for the Food Pantry and Lap Robes. I am flying by the seat of my pants so here we go!! Excited to move forward with this.

Excited to pick Rose Hill Community Pantry as the recipient of March 2024 Rally contributions!! More info to follow!! Amazing story how this couple has dedicated so much to benefit other people!! God Bless!!

We are excited to find out about Mineola Caring and Sharing. They collect aluminum cans in their trailer behind Brookshire’s, a local grocery store within walking distance from the camping area. The funds are a significant contributor to their annual budget particularly as prices for food and other items continue to rise. Their primary focus is to provide food, gifts, toys, and household items each year at Christmas to several hundred families in the area. We are very impressed with what this organization does. Please remember to save those cans for them!!

I would like to encourage everyone to start saving their pull tabs from pop cans, beer cans etc… not from vegetable cans as they are not aluminum!! Of course, these will be donated to Ronald McDonald House. We will have a little competition so start saving up and ask your friends and family to do the same!!

We are still working on finding the recipient of all the beautiful lap robes you all make!! Thank you to all the talented people that donate their beautiful creations to this cause. Remember that lap robes can be knitted, crocheted, quilted, made of fleece, or purchased. Typical size for wheelchair patients is 27″X36″ . Lap robes sizes chart: Small-36″x45″, Medium-30″x60″, and Large-45″x60″. God bless all the busy hands at work!! Thank you again!!

More info to follow!! If anyone has any suggestions or comments, please do not hesitate to reach out!! [email protected]

God bless!! Thank you to all!!

Rally Book Exchange
By Kip Cushing, Book Exchange Chair

There will be a Book Exchange set up on a table inside the Civic Center for our avid readers. Please feel free to bring your books and exchange/swap them out. You may also be welcome to donate to the food pantry if you see a book you just need to get!

Retiree Rally ‘24 Door Prizes
By Denise Hudson, Door Prize Co-Chair

The ’24 Retiree Rally is next month; can’t wait to see everyone in Mineola. Wanted to update everyone on the door prizes for the campout. When you drop a door prize off at registration, you will receive a number. The numbers will be drawn during nightly entertainment. We are trying to ensure that everyone who brings a prize, gets a prize. We are recommending $15.00 for the prizes. If anyone has any questions, please do not hesitate to ask either Vina Haggerty or Denise Hudson. Looking forward to all the fun with everyone. See you in Mineola.

Retiree King & Queen Election Tradition
By Barb Turner, Publicity Chair

The first annual Retiree Rally came from the idea that retired ‘Snow Birds’ who spend their winters in the sun belt would like to get together for a big campout or rally. The first one was organized in 1972 and held in Harlingen, TX with past NCHA President, John Grant and Stu and Estelle Reed at the helm. From that rally, came the suggestion that since states and provinces have Kings and Queens, there should be a competition among them for the title of International Retiree King and Queen to represent the large Retiree (specialty) Chapter made up of members from all across both the U.S. and Canada. The first couple elected was Maynard & Margaret Dakin from Nova Scotia in 1973.

The largest attendance at a Retiree Rally was in Harlingen in 1975 headed by Paul & Renny West with 600 units on grounds. King & Queen that year were Art & Barbara Betros of Oklahoma. (Complete list on FCRV web site, under Retiree Rally History). The most Retiree Rallies were held in Texas with 19, then Florida with 13. Others were held at AZ, LA, and SC The 2020 and 2021 Rallies were canceled due to Covid.

The 2024 Rally will be in Mineola, TX, March 18-24, 2024 with Early Bird Days: March 15-17, 2024. It’s not too late to register! The form on the FCRV website at:

’24 Royalty Candidates: Wayne and Lois Zuhoski
By LaNelle & Leon Ishmael, K/Q Coordinators

Wayne and Lois grew up on Long Island, NY. Wayne was from a boating family and Lois from a camping family. Lois’s family belonged to NCHA in the early 1960’s through 1970’s. She attended numerous chapter, district and state campouts back then.

Wayne and Lois met in August 1971 and were married in 1972, 51 years ago. Then years later their first son was born, followed by sons 2 and 3 within 4 years.

Lois convinced Wayne camping would be great for the family and the boys. They bought their first trailer in 1989 and loved it. They met and joined a Long Island NCHA/FCRV chapter in 1990. Over the years they have held many local and district positions in their chapter and FCRV. In the early 1990’s they were appointed Field Directors, working closely with many chapters on By-Laws, Membership, and other programs. They are currently Scholarship Chairmen for Suffolk District, NY. They are also Ambassador Club members holding Ruby Status.

As a family they attended their first International Campvention in 1993 in Lebanon, Tennessee. Since then, they have attended ten International Campventions including the last six. They retired February, 2017 and hit the road two weeks later for their first Retiree Rally in Canton, Texas. They have attended every retiree Rally since, except the year Wayne was recovering from his heart surgery.

They love helping at Campvention and the Retiree Rallies and have volunteered in the past for Security, Parking, Registration, First Timers, Hospitality and Door Prizes. They are currently working as Parking/Layout Chair for the 2024 International Campvention. They share their love of traveling and camping. They have camped in 46 of the lower United States. They have met so many new people and can truly say they have friends all over this beautiful country of ours.

They would love and appreciate your vote to represent the Retirees at the International Campvention in the summer of 2024 in New York, where it all began 75 years ago.

’24 Royalty Candidates: Bill & Rita Newell
By LaNelle & Leon Ishmael, K/Q Coordinators

Meet Bill and Rita Newell from Texas. They are lifetime FCRV members. Rita joined the Colorado’s Ute Bobcats Chapter in 1997. She is always willing to take on new responsibilities. Rita was the Bobcats’ President, Vice President, Secretary and Field Director. Bill retired from the United States Air Force as a Full Colonel with 29 years of active-duty service. He then worked as a Colorado Springs architectural, planning and information technology firm project manager. Bill earned his first open water scuba diving certificate in 2004. He is still an active diver with 850 logged dives and was the senior staff divemaster at a Colorado Springs dive shop. Bill and Rita were both widowed when they met and were dance partners at a senior center ballroom dancing class: the rest is history !!! They were married in 2009. Between them they have 7 children, 17 grandchildren, and 12 great grandchildren.

Bill became an RVer, joined FCRV and the Ute Bobcats in 2009 and for three years was the Chapter’s C.A.M.P. Chairman. Later, he was Colorado FCRV’s C.A.M.P. Director for six years.

The Newels snow birded many years to Fiesta Village RV Park in Mission, Texas. They were the park’s King and Queen from 2015 to 2016. Bill was a three-year member of the board of directors,and Rita is the park’s Head Block Captain. They relocated to Texas in 2021. Bill and Rita are active members of Texas Retiree Chapter 89, YARs, and The Winter Texan Chapter. Both enjoy traveling, camping, dancing, scuba diving trips and have attended and worked as volunteers or activity chairmen at a number of campventions and retiree rallies. If elected to be the 2024 International Retiree King and Queen, they will continue to encourage others to join the FCRV family.

Introducing Airheart
By Reba Ray, Entertainment Chair

Airheart is Dan Garner, Paula O’Nea, and Amelia Blake, three seasoned musicians who stumbled upon their mutual love of tight harmonies while playing a benefit for a dog park in Shreveport, LA in 2011. All three members trade off on lead vocals and harmonies. Dan Garner plays acoustic guitar and harmonica; Amelia Blake plays acoustic guitar and foot tambourine; and Paula O’Neal rounds out the sound with cajon (box drum), tambourine, penny whistle, triangle, cowbell and whatever else she can get her hands on. Bass and drums can be added for a fuller sound (such as for dance parties), but the core is this trio that brings the heart, soul, and fun to every event. Their love of people is evident in their interaction with their audience, and listeners are encouraged to sing along. The connection through music makes for a magical event.

Their sound is folk/rock, and they’ve been compared to Fleetwood Mac, the Mamas and the Papas, and Crosby, Stills & Nash. Airheart has released 3 CDs – the first (“Airheart”) featured 9 cover songs and 4 original tunes; “Airheart Christmas”, featured familiar Christmas favorites; and their latest release, “All Dressed Up”, features 14 original songs. Dan Garner and Amelia Blake, the principal songwriters, still also perform as solo singer/songwriters.

A common quote at their gigs from new fans: “You guys play all of my favorite songs!” 

FCRV Retiree Rally Variety Show
By Kip Cushing, Variety Show Chair

There will be a Variety Show on Thursday evening featuring our internationally diverse, talented, and homespun members. Our audience will be looking forward to good singers, humorist comedians, exciting storytellers, and terrific skit groups for entertainment. If you need special props or music, please bring it along for your performance. A Karaoke machine will be available that can play CD discs or USB thumb-drives for music.

Renowned FCRV Retiree Rally Choir
By Kip Cushing, Director

The Renowned FCRV Retiree Choir will be in full swing for two events at the Retiree Rally. Be sure to pack up your ‘Class A’ voice along on your trip to Mineola. There will be a Memorial Service on Thursday afternoon. Then on Sunday we will do a Palm Sunday set of songs for Easter. Look for a sign-up sheet at the registration tables. We will be accompanied by our master pianist Craig Weber on keyboard, so everything we sing will sound terrific.

By Bill Buggeln

We have been invited to the ranch of Joe Dobson for a demonstration with horses and trick riding. Who is JOE DOBSON? Joe is a local cattleman and rancher in the Minneola area. He has a family history back to the Alamo, and his family has been on the ranch for years. He has raised cattle and horses and worked with them his whole life. He was also a stuntman on the TV series “Walker, Texas Ranger ”. We will be leaving about 9:30 on Monday, March 18th. We will have information available when you arrive or see Bill Buggeln. We need to carpool to his location.

Yee-Haw! Retiree Rally Flea Market
By Richard & Frances Jackson, Flea Market Chairs

Yee-Haw! It’s time to plan for the Retiree Rally Flea Market. Booth space will be provided, including table and chairs. Bring items you want to sell. There is no fee for the booth, and you keep all of the proceeds. So giddy-up, and get items together to bring to the flea market!

Round Up Your Little Doggies Pet Parade
By Donna Powell, Your Roundup Wrangler

Howdy! Have you ever had your pet in our pet parade? You haven’t!?! Well, now is your chance to do just that! It is fun, maybe a bit noisy from all our little doggies, but fun! We have all breeds, all sizes, and all kinds of costumes, tricks and great fun!

As you can see our theme is ‘Round Up Your Little Doggies!’ (That means any size, any breed, even cats or whatever your pet is, if you want to enter our parade)

The following categories will be: 1 -our theme-roundup your little doggies; 2 – best talent; 3 – owner/pet look alike; 4 – best behaved; 5 – best of show. We will have judges; so, get on those thinking caps. Let’s have some great fun!

I will have treats, certificates and prizes for the winners. Participation certificates and goodies for all. Come and join us. Let’s have lots of fun with our pet parade. Mineola is the place to rekindle with old friends, while making new friends!

Campvention 2024 – Frankfort, New York

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

Campvention 2024 Program Book Ads

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 2024 Campvention Program Book!   (The form is available in this issue and on the FCRV website @


Campvention ’24 Marketplace
By Rhonda O’Neal, Marketplace Chair

Hello FCRV members! I wanted to introduce myself, I am Rhonda O’Neal of Illinois, and I will be overseeing the Marketplace this year at Campvention in Frankfort, New York! Marketplace will be held in building A which is the main building this year and will be held on Thursday June 27, 2024 from 9am-12pm. Tables are 6ft long and are available for $5.00 each which includes chairs or you can bring your own chairs. If you are interested in a space please email me at [email protected] , and I will get a form out to you so you can get a spot reserved. If you have any questions, please feel free to email me ,and I will do my best to answer your question. I look forward to seeing you in Frankfort!!

If you are not familiar with Marketplace, it is when we give our members time to sell merchandise which mostly consists of handmade items made by our members. If you have a craft that you do and would like to sell it at Campvention, then Marketplace is for you!

Campvention ’24 Youth Center
By Barb McHale, Youth Chair

In keeping with our 2024 Campvention theme “Remembering our Past-Celebrating our Future,” are there any past youth activities you would like to see return? I have been collecting various potential project ideas and plan to find a nice balance of both physical activities and craft activity options for our youth. Please contact me with any requests. If you would like to volunteer to assist or have items to donate, feel free to contact me at [email protected]. I’m looking forward to a fun week at Campvention! See you there!

FCRV’s Got Talent
By Craig Weber, Chair

It is sad to watch another FCRV tradition die, but this creates a new opportunity. Because of limited numbers, the FCRV International Band will not be performing at Campvention. This opens up a new opportunity for the “FCRV’s Got Talent” show. We are looking for anyone, regardless of age, to step up and show off their unique talents at Campvention this year in New York. Singing, Dancing, Story Telling, Stupid Pet Tricks, Comedy Routine, Group Skit, Piano or Instruments…. ALL talents are welcome! Please try to keep your talent under five minutes. There will be a keyboard available. The sound guy will be able to handle CDs for you to sing. I hope all of you can find the time to show off your talent. Just click on this link, fill out the simple form, click SUBMIT. and I will be in touch. 

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

A man walks into a restaurant and orders Eggs Benedict served on a Hub Cap. The waiter just shrugs and takes the order back to the chef. The chef tells the waiter to inform the customer that they do not serve food on Hub Caps. The waiter informs the customer, and the customer demands to see the chef, The Chef comes out, and the customer repeats his order of Eggs Benedict served on a Hub Cap. The chef offers to serve him on a silver platter, but the customer insists on a Hub Cap. The chef, very confused, asks the customer why it has to be on a Hub Cap. The man replies……… wait for it……. “Because, there’s no plate like chrome for the Hollandaise. “

I do have at least four hours of stories like this……so sign up now!

Renting Personal Golf Carts for Campvention ‘24
By Nyhl Austin, Golf Cart Chair

For those attendees interested in renting their personal golf carts for the Campvention at the Herkimer County Fairgrounds, they should contact New Penn Golf Cart Leasing by Email at [email protected] or call them at 315-278-1985. The fairgrounds are quite small compared to previous Campventions, and there will be on-grounds transportation provided. The cost will be $325 per week, with an additional fee for delivery. They are reserved on a first-come-first-served basis. So, if interested, you should make a reservation as soon as possible.

Volunteer Help Request
By Chris Wheaton, Gate Registration Chair

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

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

A big Thank You goes out to those of you who have already volunteered!

TP Raffle 2024
By Kathy Howell, TP Raffle Chair

Here in Michigan the winter has been dreary!! But just recently there was a bright spot – The RV Show and SUNSHINE!! This made me think of Campvention and how close it is! We can’t wait to see you in New York. We have been busy scooping up deals for the TP raffle.

As you are making your lists of things to pack for Campvention, don’t forget to add a donation to the raffle. At Campvention last year we heard that someone didn’t like all the items in a grouping and didn’t want to put tickets in for the prize. Guess what? We take regifted items for the raffle!! Even if you win the prize and don’t like all of it, regift the unwanted item the following year! Did you receive a gift that isn’t just you? Bring it to Campvention and donate it to TP raffle!! All donations welcome – handmade items, gift baskets, gift cards.

This raffle raises funds in a fun way to support teen activities.

Happy Trails,
Kathy, Jessica, and Zac

Red Roof Inn Info
By Ron Cohee, Commercial Chair

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

Campvention Site Decorating Contest
By Shari Weber, Chair

“Camping – Past, Present, and Future” is the theme for the site decorating contest at Campvention 2024 in June. Put your thinking caps on to figure out how to depict the past, present, and/or future of camping. Remember, displays can be created by groups, chapters, families, or individuals. There will be first, second, and third place displays chosen by the judges. Use materials that depict your display the best. Have fun and be creative! There will be a sign-up sheet at central registration, and you will have until noon Wednesday, June 26th. Displays will be judged Wednesday afternoon.

Remember to support our sponsor Crazy Acres Campground. They can be reached by phone at 607-278-5293 or email at [email protected]. Find details about the campground at  They are now taking reservations for next year.

Visit Cooperstown, New York
By Barb Turner, Campvention Publicity Chair

Cooperstown! What comes to mind? The National Baseball Hall of Fame & Museum? Of course, but Cooperstown offers more!

Cooperstown is less than 40 miles from the Herkimer County Fairgrounds, site of the 2024 FCRV Campvention, June 23-29. Arrive June 21-22 for early days and explore the area, including Cooperstown.

Cooperstown is a village and the county seat of Otsego County. It has been nicknamed ‘America’s Hometown’. Cooperstown has ‘small-town charm and world-class attractions’. 

The National Baseball Hall of Fame & Museum, 25 Main St, “serves as the central point of the history of baseball in the United States and displays baseball-related artifacts and exhibits, honoring those who have excelled in playing, managing, and serving the sport. The Hall’s motto is ‘Preserving History, Honoring Excellence, Connecting Generations’. Cooperstown is often used as shorthand (or a metonym) for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.:” according to Wikipedia. 

The Farmers’ Museum, 5775 State Highway 80 (Lake Road), is a living-history museum recreating 19th century rural life, complete with craftspeople demonstrating rural trades and skills in the restored buildings of an 1845 village. The site of The Farmers’ Museum has been part of a working farm since 1813. In addition, the museum is the home of the Empire State Carousel, “a hand-crafted merry-go-round” which celebrates New York State’s history, culture and environment, built on a vintage 1947 36-foot Alan Herschell carousel mechanism. The carousel is the result of efforts made by carver Gerry Holzman of Islip, NY and over 1,000 volunteers from across New York State. The entire production took over two decades. Its artwork incorporates 25-hand carved animals that represent the agricultural and natural resources of New York State.”  , 

Fenimore Art Museum, 5798 NY-80, Cooperstown, NY 13326, features fine collections of American art, James Fenimore Cooper memorabilia and historic photographs. 

Doubleday Field, 1 Doubleday Ct, is the mythical birthplace of baseball, reportedly the site of the first-ever baseball game, held by Abner Doubleday in 1839 – to pay homage to the history of the sport. Ted Williams, Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays, Hank Aaron and many other greats came to Cooperstown to play in the game and honor those being inducted into the Hall. 

Visit  and learn about other ‘things to see and do’ in Cooperstown while you attend Campvention 2024 in June.

Conservation Essay Contest
By Dora Lewis, Acting Youth & Teen Director

Campvention will be held in Herkimer, New York from June 23-29, 2024. All youth and teens in grades 5 through 12 (13 in Canada) (a senior in high school) are eligible to enter in the essay contest. All essays for this year’s contest must be sent to the National Conservation Director Michael & Carol Burns and postmarked by April 1st, of this year at [email protected] , 518-763-3868


  1. Contest will be open to children in grades 5 through 12 (13 in Canada) (a senior in High School). See division one and two below.
  2. The subject of entries must pertain to some phase of Conservation.
  3. All entries must be typewritten; double spaced or neatly printed and can’t exceed five hundred words. Please note that all words are counted, even prepositions.
  4. Entries will be judged by the National Conservation Board on originality and creativity in relation to the subject. Drawings, art work, etc., will have no advantage in the judging. The decision of the judges will be final.
  5. Entries must be submitted to a local Field Director or State/Provincial Director for approval. His signature on the cover page of the essay will approve the entrant’s family as being current members ofFCRV.
  6. Cover page of the essay must give the following information: a) Title of essay b) Entrants full name c) Date of birth, grade in school d) Address e) Have the following: (Signed by Field Director, State/Provincial Director.) “I certify that the youth’s family is currently in good standing in FCRV.
  7. Entries will be mailed to the National Conservation Director, postmarked no later than April 1, of each year. Entries may be submitted any time between January 1 and April 1. The essays shall be forwarded by the Field Director or State/Provincial Director approving the same.
  8. Winners will be announced by mail, and awards will be presented at the National Campvention. In the event there is no National Campvention, the awards will be mailed.

Division One: For children in school grads 5 through 8

Division Two: For those in grades 9 through 12 (13 in Canada) (a senior in high school) Awards in both categories:

First Place – $50.00 U.S. Funds

Second Place – $35.00 U.S. Funds

Third Place – $25.00 U.S.Funds

A Conservation Merchandise Certificate will be awarded to all qualified entrants.

  1. All entries become the property of the Family Campers and RVers and will be kept on permanent file and can be used by the National Conservation Board, FCRV to promote the FCRV Conservation Program.
  2. When possible, the winning first place essays will be published. First place winners will be asked to furnish a picture and biographical write-up to accompany their essays.

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

Have you ever cooked for a large crowd? Perhaps for your extended family for the holidays or a party? Are you a cook who believes that it is better to have more than enough and not run out? Well, the Campvention cook team feels this way.

For our anniversary, we are serving a meal unlike any that has been served at Campvention before. This year we are serving dinner. Our menu consists of pork and chicken, two sides, dessert and a drink. The cost of this meal is $14 per person. The dinner will be held on Tuesday followed by ‘FCRV’s Got Talent’ show.

Originally, we had a limited number of dinners to be sold. Because this is a special event, we want everyone to be able to have dinner if they want one. Because we don’t want to have a lot of expensive leftovers resulting in a loss, we are asking those who want a dinner to pre-order and pre-pay. Your dinner will be served to you by one of our wonderful volunteers.

There will be indoor and outdoor seating. We are asking those who have not yet registered to fill out the form below and send along with your registration. For those who have already registered this form will be emailed to you but must be paid by check before June 15th 2024.


NY 14225

NAME: _________________________________

Camping Is Poster & Coloring Contest
By Dora Lewis, Acting Youth Director

With Campvention just around the corner in June, one of the activities that all youth can participate in is the “Camping Is Poster Contest “. This is a poster contest held at Campvention every year. This year’s Campvention is being held in Herkimer, New York June 23-29; come and join in all the fun activities. Any youth ages 0-4 will have a coloring contest, and ages 5-12 will have a poster contest. For information you can contact your youth director in your chapter. Your posters can be done at a campout or at home. The coloring page is available at Youth – Family Campers and RVers ( The rules are listed below.


  1. Contestants or contestant’s parents must be FCRV members.
  2. For Coloring Contest (ages 0-4) an official coloring page is required. Entry forms will be available from State/Provincial Youth Directors and/or State/Provincial Director.
  3. For Poster Contest (ages 5-12) posters must be a standard size of 22” X 28’. Standard sized poster board or heavy paper of determined size may be used.
  4. All work, coloring, drawing, lettering, etc. must be the youths own work. Coloring contest entries may use any non-electronic drawing or coloring materials. Posters may be any media.
  5. Each State/Province may enter ONLY ONE ENTRY PER AGE at the National Contest level. These must be registered in the National Contest.
  6. Name, address (complete) and birth date, along with Field Director’s or State/Provincial Director’s certification of FCRV membership must appear in the lower left hand corner on the back of the poster/official coloring sheet.
  7. Age will be determined as of July 1 of the year of the contest.
  8. Each 1st prize winner becomes the property of FCRV for promotional uses. All others may be claimed at the end of Campvention.
  9. Entries brought to the National Campvention must comply with the stated rules, or they will be disqualified.

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:

For other items:

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

Dear RV

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

Us here at Dear RV!

Being winter the mailbox is a little bit unused this month. I understand this and would like to take the time to thank everyone over the past year for their questions and comments.  The goal of “Dear RV” was to provide an opinion on issues experienced by fellow campers, but not to be the only solution to the issues. Sometimes lighthearted, sometimes serious, and, yes, sometimes just funny. We do not intend to wade into local issues unless they are unmistakably camping related without a doubt. 

Moisture in a home can be like moisture in an RV. However, one is mobile, and one is not. Problems are similar, but different. RVs are on the move, and everything gets bounced around as we roll down the road. One of the biggest problems we can face with the rig is a leak and water intrusion into the rig. If unattended it will lead to devastating results over time. Make it a point to always check for leaks and water issues. Never let them go unattended. Keep moisture vented from your RV.

Another recommendation is to always keep tire pressure as recommended for safe travel and longer tire life. Remember that it is the little things that will keep RVing fun and safe.

We here at “Dear RV” are looking forward to a new camping season and will see you on the road.

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

Milestones & Birthdays