Camping Today Staff

Please send articles through the new
‘Camping Today’ Submission Portal Page.

National Officers

Camping Today is a publication of the non-profit National Campers & Hikers Association, doing business as Family Campers & RVers (FCRV). Issue frequency is 12 (monthly) on line at www.fcrv.org. Publisher is Family Campers & RVers, 4904 Transit Rd. Bldg. 2, Depew, New York 14043-4906. Office Manager – Pat Wittmeyer 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), 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.

‘Camping Today’ Submission Forms

[ ‘Camping Today’ is currently scheduled for release on the 15th of each month.]

[ All content must be submitted by the 1st.]

Contact [email protected] if you have any questions or problems submitting material.

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

ArticlesEvent RecapBirthday ShoutoutMilestoneFarewell –  Dear RVEvent Submit

From The President

Yahoo! Campvention is less than a month away. Are you excited? Will we see you there? Are your plans in place? I hope you have your registration in, but, if not, come anyway and register at the gate.  It will cost a few dollars more, but it will be worth not being left out.  FCRV is better when you are there at a function. Each of you is an important part of the organization. Like a body, if say a hand is missing the body is not complete. Likewise when you are not there FCRV is not complete, and we know and miss your part in the organization.  Campvention is our Annual Meeting and is a very important part of the workings of FCRV.  Not only is Campvention our Annual Meeting, it is a time for us to share and update our friends on the time that has passed since we have been apart. It is a time to forge new friendships, renew old friendships, as well as a time to laugh, or shed a tear for the ones we have lost renewing that enduring friendship. I hope to see you there.

The Trustees  have adopted a 2024 budget for FCRV as we continue to look at ways to better FCRV, making changes to move  toward that goal. Over the last year we have added official games to help fit the interests of a younger generation. We encourage anyone that has ideas to share them with us. This is how we will make changes that take us into the next generation. Progress is being made, and we thank you for your support.  We have a lot to do; the Field Manual is on track for completion as planned.

Well, I hope everyone has had an extraordinary start to the 2023 camping season, and we will see you at Campvention.

Gerry Pfirsch
FCRV International President

Alcohol Policy Update 2023

Alcohol Policy Update 2023

By Gerry Pfirsch – FCRV International President

As part of a standard review process, your leadership team, the Trustees, are hard at work updating the FCRV policies. This deliberate, thoughtful process is necessary to keep the organization current in today’s business and social worlds, so we can grow and attract new members. The committee working on the Manual is working diligently. The Trustees are looking at the policies that we have in our organization and updating them, as necessary. Since our 2023 Campvention is fast-approaching and many are finalizing exciting plans, I am sharing one such update recently approved by your Trustees regarding the sale, use, and consumption of alcohol:


  1. No alcoholic beverages will be sold on the grounds. The organization does not promote the use of alcoholic beverages; but the use of alcohol by adults 21 and over, in moderation, in and around a campsite, is allowed provided you are not disturbing fellow campers.
  2. No illegal drugs will be tolerated at FCRV activities. Proper measures will be taken through Security and Campvention personnel if drug use and/or abuse is discovered.
  3. See Campvention Security Procedures in the Campvention Guidelines for detailed information for Campventions.



NEW POLICY (effective 3/19/2023)

While the use of illegal drugs is strictly prohibited, FCRV acknowledges and respects the rights of individuals to use alcohol in a legal and responsible manner, just as it acknowledges and respects the rights of individuals who choose not to use alcohol. Responsible, mature behavior is expected, and alcohol may be used only in ways that neither harm nor degrade the individual or the organization:

  1. Alcoholic beverages may not be consumed by anyone under the age of 21 years.
  2. No alcoholic beverages are to be sold on the grounds by FCRV, its members, and/or guests. Commercial vendors must obtain appropriate Trustee approval and be properly licensed according to respective community standards.
  3. Excessive or rapid consumption of alcohol is discouraged.
  4. No illegal drugs will be tolerated at FCRV activities. Proper measures shall be taken through Security and Campvention personnel if drug use and/or abuse is discovered.
  5. See Campvention Security Procedures in the Campvention Guidelines for detailed information for Campventions.

As one can see there is a slight change, and we as Trustees hope this clears up the confusion and in some cases the misunderstanding of the policy.  We, as Trustees, hope this clears up the policy eliminating future misunderstanding. 

As we move into the future, if you identify a policy that you feel strongly needs to be updated, please bring it to the attention of the Trustees. This will allow us to review and consider the policy. As we identify these, we can grow and improve the organization that we all dearly love. The Trustees do take your input seriously and consider all suggestions to better the organization.

Welcome Commercial Sponsor TravlFi

Welcome Commercial Sponsor TravlFi

By Amy DeCamp, Vice President of Planning & Development

Hello, campers!

Building a strong and growing commercial partnership base has been a challenge
for FCRV for well over a decade. I previously shared that we are updating our
commercial marketing strategy, the foundation of which is seeking, maintaining,
and growing mutually beneficial partnerships with camping/RVing vendors and

Campvention is fast-approaching, and numerous new vendors look forward to
making their debut. Exciting ads and offers will appear in the program guide, and
several vendors will have reps onsite to not only offer discounted products and
services, but also seek information from you. They anxiously await the
opportunity to meet experienced campers and discuss how their products may
better serve you.

Today, I am pleased to introduce TravlFi, the first new commercial partner to join
our ranks this season. TravlFi offers high speed, pay as you go, multi-carrier
Internet that travels with you nationwide and has add-on packages available for
Canada and Mexico.

My own positive experience as a 12-month TravlFi customer led me to contact its
marketing folks, who couldn’t wait to partner with FCRV. Their excitement
throughout our months of discussions has been palpable! The TravlFi team will
attend Campvention, host an Internet Café and seminar, and happily discuss your
Internet needs. Please join me in welcoming our TravlFi partner onboard!

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]

Campvention 2023 – Richmond, Indiana

Campvention ’23 Registration Musings

By Beth Muschinski, Registration Chair

Well, the time has come…….and gone!  What time?  Why the time for Campvention registration, of course.  The deadline is past, BUT you can still join us in Richmond, IN for a great time.  Registration at the gate is always available, and with over 900 campsites, we are sure to find room for you and a few of your closest camping friends. 

I must say that it has been an interesting experience being your Registration Chair.  I have talked via phone and/or email to a LOT of people, and everyone is excited to be camping together in just a few short weeks.  It has been exciting for me to see the list of campers grow and grow each month.  I would love to get to meet each and every one of you in July!

I hope I have been able to answer all your questions satisfactorily and helped find the information if I didn’t have a ready answer.  It has been challenging in some cases!

I have enjoyed writing these little articles each month, and I will miss that.  I hope they weren’t boring.  I did try to include some (sometimes useless) information on a variety of subjects while attempting to tie them all into the registration process.  I do tend to ramble, sometimes. 

So, all that said, I am looking forward to Richmond, IN and the FCRV 2023 Campvention ,and I hope y’all are, too.  It promises to be entertaining and fun-filled.

See y’all in a few short weeks!



Great Lakes Rose Parade

By Sue & Carl Fromholzer, Parade Chairs

Campvention 2023’s parade theme is the “Great Lakes Rose Parade”.  We are hoping for a large showing at our national Campvention parade.  We are planning on a walking and riding parade so start planning your entry . We encourage all state, province,  teen, youth groups, retirees, chapters and individuals to participate.  More information will follow in upcoming issues of Camping Today.  Check the schedule for the parade meeting to be held at the beginning of the week.

Golfers, Tee It Up at Campvention 2023

By Barb Turner

July 12, Wednesday, 9 AM

To register for the Campvention 2023 golf outing, email Jim Turner at [email protected].  Jim will be compiling a list of golfers to determine the needed tee times for the group.  In addition, a sign-up sheet will be in Central Registration, but pre-registering helps with planning.  Bring your golf clubs to Richmond, Indiana in July!

Campvention’s Coming Up Roses – Site Decorating Contest

By Shari Weber

There is only a little over a month until we will be together in Richmond Indiana for Campvention. Are you ready to make ‘Campvention Come Up Roses’? Don’t forget to include your decorating supplies. Individuals, a family, a group of families, or a chapter can decorate. The displays can be made of any material you wish to use to depict the theme. Come to Campvention ready to WOW everyone with your amazing decorating theme.

Displays will be registered at central registration indicating the site number where the display will be set up and who the creators and decorators are. The decorations can be put up at any time. They must be ready by noon Wednesday, July12. Judges will come around Wednesday afternoon to judge the displays. The prize categories are, Most Colorful, Most Creative, Prettiest, and Most Unique. One winner will be selected in each of those categories.

Grandpa’s Farm Campground & RV Park in Richmond Indiana is our sponsor supplying us with the funds to provide you with 4 cash prizes of $25 each.. Please be sure to stop and stay or just to say, “Thank you”.

Get those creative juices flowing and bring some roses to Campvention in a few short weeks!



Waggle Rose Paws Parade

By Karen Decker, Pet Parade Chair

We are very fortunate to have a sponsor for our pet parade this year. Thank you, Waggle Pet Monitoring Systems, for sponsoring our Waggle Rose Paws Parade!  The Waggle smart device monitors your pet’s ambient temperature and sends you alerts in real time.  Waggle constantly monitors the temperature & humidity in your vehicle and alerts you via text/email in real-time, so that you never have to worry about your pet’s wellbeing.  Check out Waggle on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sHAUZHTs0sA.

On to our pet parade…….Who has pets? You do! Our pet parade this year is ‘Waggle Rose Paws Pet Parade’! It will be on Thursday, July 13th, 1-2pm at the outdoor Seminar Pavilion! When going through registration, I will have a sign-up sheet for those who want to enter their pet(s). What pets can be in the parade?  Your pet! If you want to enter them, please register them! The categories are as follows: Dogs: owner/pet look alike; best trick, best behaved, most adorable, Best-in-Show. Cats: Best-in-Show; other pets will also be judged. The winners will receive a certificate and prizes. All participants will receive a participation certificate and goodies! Come and watch our pets in the ‘Waggle Rose Paws Pet Parade’!  It is always lots of fun!


The Any Hat Luncheon

By Deb Swanson, Luncheon Chair

Ladies and Gentlemen, you are cordially invited to the Any Hat Luncheon. You will be welcomed by our teens who will also be your servers. On the menu: meatball hero, Italian pasta salad, desserts, and drinks. Be sure to participate in our hat fashion show. There will be prizes for the prettiest, the funniest, and the most outrageous. The cost is a mere $10, cheaper than a meal at McDonald’s. Looking forward to seeing you there.  There will also be vegetarian and gluten free options available. Please contact the luncheon chairman, Deb Swanson, at [email protected] if you need one of these options.



Campvention 2023 Awaits YOU! – Put YourFace Here….

By Barb Turner, Publicity Chair

Campvention 2023 awaits YOU!  The 63rd Family Campers & RVers International Campvention will be held at the Wayne County Fairgrounds & Expo Center, 861 Salisbury Road, Richmond, Indiana.  The theme is ‘A ROSE BY ANY OTHER NAME IS FCRV’.

Thanks to Marilyn Rausch, Indiana, YOU can place YOUR FACE in one or all of the photo boards she created. Share your photos with family & friends!  What a perfect way to remember the fun and fellowship that you had in Richmond, Indiana in July! 



A Marketplace of Fun

By Marci McIntosh (not the chairman, just a passionate participant)

Have you visited the FCRV Marketplace at a Campvention?  It only happens for a few hours each year mainly because the participants aren’t necessarily businesses.  They are your fellow FCRV members and chapters.  It can be almost anyone in our group, and the wares range from cozy blankets to tabletop firepits, bags to camper games, from potholders to jewelry.  Last year, there was even honey from the hives of some of our busy beekeepers!  It’s a great place to visit and an even better place to sell! 

So, stop by if you’re at Campvention on Thursday and bring some cash.  There’s sure to be something you like.

And, if you have a ware to sell, get your registration in now!  We love to have a bustling Marketplace, and we can’t do it without members and chapters joining in!

FCRV Scholarship Board Meeting

By Deb Swanson, Scholarship Program Director

There will be a meeting of the Scholarship Board at Campvention. If you are a parent of a student attending college soon, or a grandparent of students in 10th or 11th grade, please join us at this meeting regarding important information for National Scholarship grants. Please see the program for the time and location.

Campvention Is Almost Here!!  Checklists.

By Marilyn Rausch & Barb Turner

Even though you have missed the registration deadline, you are still welcome to come. You can pay by cash or check at the gate. There will be lots to do.  If you prefer just to come and visit with old friends and make new ones, that is fine, also! We want to see you in Richmond, IN in July!


  • Come prepared for anything you wish to participate in!
  • Site Decorating Contest – bring your ‘stuff’ to decorate your site!
  • Wildlife Photo Contest – print your best wildlife photo!
  • Youth Coloring page/Poster contest – be creative!
  • Dress for your decade for the ‘Dancing Through the Decades’ dance!
  • TeePee Insurance/Auction (bring money)
  • Crazy Hat fashion show at All Hat dinner – prepare your ‘crazy hat’!
  • Pet Parade – bring a costume for your pet!
  • End-of-Campvention Parade (walking/riding) entry – bring your attire, decorations!


  • Bring items that you would like to give.
  • Pop Tabs for Ronald McDonald House
  • Plastic lids for benches.
  • Children’s Blankets/Quilts to provide comfort to children in need.
  • Gift Basket Giveaway – states & provinces have been asked to bring gift baskets.
  • Door Prizes – bring items that you would like to receive if your name was drawn!
  • Non-Perishable food for Teen Trick-or-Treating
  • Candy for Youth Trick-or-Treating.
  • $20.00 item for Wildlife auction – benefits wildlife grants
  • Food Bank – non-perishable foods and/or money


  • Bowling
  • Golfers – bring your clubs


  • Balloon Volleyball – bring a fly swatter
  • Line Dancing – all levels; classes will be given
  • Euchre Tournament


  • Fancy Hat – the more outrageous the better, but any hat will do!
  • Float Rose Petal – if you have pre-made one; if not, we’ll work on them throughout the week!
  • Disc Golf disc – if you have discs for disc golf, bring them along!
  • Roller Skates – if you have your own; otherwise, we can rent them!
  • Clothes to get wet in!
  • Clothes to get dirty in!
  • Clothes to play sports in!
  • Shoes to hike in!
  • Clothes from your favorite decade to dress up in
  • Backpack
  • Water bottle
  • Sunscreen


  • Halloween costume & candy
  • Bring swimsuit/water attire
  • Photo of a veteran who is important to you. 

ADULT SPORTS: Sign up at Central Registration

  • Ladder Golf
  • Washer Toss
  • Horseshoes
  • Bocce Ball
  • Corn Hole – bring extra boards if you have them!

FAMILY FUN DAY – Food & Carnival Games

SEMINARS – Check program book for offerings, location, times


  • Bring your instruments!


  • Commercial Area
  • Food Trucks
  • Ice Cream Truck
  • Wick’s Pies
  • Marketplace (Members Crafts)
  • Wildlife Merchandise raffle, 60/40 cash raffle, silent
  • TeePee Insurance
  • Adult Crafts ($5.00/craft)
  • All Hat Dinner ($10.00/person)
  • Honey Wagon ($35/dump. Sign up at Central Registration
  • Bingo at the Adult & Family Activities ($1.00/card/


By Marci McIntosh, Teen Center Chair

TEENS: Bring Along Items

Use this as a Checklist!

  • Fancy Hat (the more outrageous the better, but any hat will do)
  • Float Rose Petal (if you have pre-made one, if not we’ll work on them throughout the week)
  • Disc Golf disc (if you have discs for disc golf, bring them along)
  • Roller Skates (if you have your own; otherwise, we can rent them)
  • Clothes to get wet in
  • Clothes to get dirty in
  • Clothes to play sports in
  • Shoes to hike in
  • Clothes from your favorite decade to dress up in
  • Backpack
  • Water bottle
  • Sunscreen

TEENS & Guardians: We have a meeting on Sunday evening from 8:00-9:00 pm.  We will issue your teen cards and provide your schedule for the week at this meeting.  It is important that you and your guardian attend.  Please and Thank You!

Campvention Entertainment Highlights

By Jill Serbousek, Entertainment Chair

We hope you will join us each night for some music, dancing, and more at Campvention 2023. Previous issues of the Camping Today have provided details on each of the entertainers, but here is a final summary:

  • Monday – Michelle Robinson Band, Country
  • Tuesday – Matt Waters & The Recipe, Rock/Soul/Funk
  • Wednesday – FCRV Band (bring your instrument and come play with us!)
  • Thursday – Stays in Vegas, Dancing Through the Decades Dance (come dressed up if you like, there will be prizes)
  • Friday – Scott Long, Comedian and FREE Catered dinner



Plan Your Campvention Trip

By Barb Turner, Publicity Chair

As you plan your Campvention trip, make Google ‘your friend’ going to, while at, or leaving Campvention 2023 in Richmond, Indiana in July.  There are so many interesting and often unique places to visit and things to see.  Richmond sites have been previously shared.  Since Richmond sits on the Ohio line, reach out to the Garst Museum (Annie Oakley & Lowell Thomas) in Greenville, Ohio.  Dayton, Ohio offers the National Museum of the Air Force Museum, Carillon Historical Park, Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park, America’s Packard Museum, and Sunwatch Indian Village.  Near our summer site in Fletcher, Ohio, visit Johnston Farm & Indian Agency (ride a canal boat on a section of the old Miami & Erie Canal); Troy, Ohio for the WACO Air Museum (take a ride in a bi-plane) and maybe to New Bremen, Ohio to the Bicycle Museum and another section of the old Miami & Erie Canal with the Lockmaster house.  Cincinnati awaits your exploration.  The Queen City offers the Cincinnati Zoo, National Underground Railroad Freedom Museum, American Sign Museum, Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal, and Great American Ballpark for your exploration. .

Besides enjoying Campvention 2023, there are so many places to visit and enjoy!  See you in Richmond, Indiana in July!  Safe travels!

Campvention Bowling Event

By Craig Weber

IT’S NOT TOO LATE. I know that the deadline of June 1st has passed, but you still have a chance to sign up and pay for bowling at Campvention. If you forgot or just put it off, it’s not too late. Arrangements have been made with Richmond 40 Bowl to add lanes up until June 30th. As of this date we have 60 bowlers signed up and paid. Please use the form at https://fcrv.org/campvention-bowling/ and follow the instructions on how to pay. Bowling is on Thursday July 13th from 2:00 until 4:00 and includes 6 people per lane, shoes, one 14′ pizza and a pitcher of pop and all the bowling you can do for 2 hours. Cost is $12.50 per person payable in advance. Hope to see you all in Richmond.



The Trade Item Tradition

By Marci McIntosh

Geoff and I grew up in this organization.  From our youth in the 80s and our teens in the 90s, one of our favorite things was the tradition of Trade Items.  If you’re new or missed this trend, it wasn’t sanctioned by FCRV, so you won’t necessarily find it in the Field Manual, but it was so much fun to do.  When meeting new people at Campvention (most often in the Hospitality lines) you would ask if they had something to trade.  And then watch the smile spread on their face as they reached into their pocket and pulled out…. (Insert mystery item here).  You never know what a trade item would be!  It could be a button or a pin, a keychain, or a kazoo.  The best one I ever received was a pin with hand-painted Rocky Mountains on the front.  They could be handmade or purchased.  They could be state/province, city, region-related, or something special to the person trading.  But almost always had a way to somehow have the name, state/province, and sometimes, the year on them. 

Geoff and I will have trade items this year, so be sure to see us if you bring something to trade!

Campvention First Timers

By Donna Powell, First Timers Chair

Are you attending the FCRV National Campvention for the FIRST time? Great, my committee and I are getting ready to help you enjoy this Campvention!  We will see you at registration after you have checked in, been taken to your site, and set up! We hope you are ready to enjoy yourself, the activities, meeting new friends and having more fun than you ever thought you would.

When going through registration, you will be welcomed along the line. First Timers will have a sign-in spot along the way. Oh, did I mention that you will receive a name tag and First Timer ribbon? The ribbon lets everyone know that you are here for your first time; we want to make it a great adventure for you and those with you. Guess what – that ribbon also signals everyone to welcome you, maybe a hug, a fist pump, even an elbow tap.

We are here to help you. We will have 2 meetings during the week. Both meetings will be in the Expo building, back left-hand corner of the building in the Seminar area. First meeting will be Monday, July 10th at 9-10am; we will be passing out a survey.  Please take time during your week to fill out. We want and need your feedback. I will give you some helpful information for the week; several of our National Board will be on hand to welcome and explain Campvention to you as well. The second meeting, Friday, July 14th at 1:30pm,  will be a follow-up meeting, remember your surveys, or have someone bring it to this meeting.

Welcome, come to have lots of fun, not too much confusion and enjoy!



Campvention Hospitality

By Denise Weiss, Hospitality Chair

Hello from sunny Richmond, Indiana. We still have a lot of open spots for hospitalities. Let us show the First Timers what we are all about.  We all remember the motto “Where Strangers Become Friends and Friends Become Family.”   No truer words were ever spoken. I can tell you that when I originally joined NCHA while living in Colorado, before it became FCRV back in the Jewell Shields and Denny Campbell days, I was greeted at a hospitality by a bunch of people who welcomed us with open arms. Little did I know that those strangers would soon become our family.  These people that I met so many years ago are still in contact with us, and we talk to them on a regular basis even though our paths have spread us all across the United States.  Our kids are still friends and share in each other’s life events.  After several life changes and a move to Indiana, my husband and I bought a trailer.  I told my husband about my experience with FCRV, and we looked up FCRV in Indiana. GUESS WHAT???? They did not disappoint! They too welcomed us with open arms, and we consider them our family as well. We even spent Thanksgiving with some of them. (FYI, Brad and Stacy Davis are excellent cooks!) So please don’t hesitate when thinking about hosting a hospitality. It does not have to be a big production, just a couple of you who want to make a difference, as they are pretty easy to do.  You never know, you may just be surprised at the friendships and family that come together that you never knew you had.

Missouri Slow Travelers Spring Update

Missouri Slow Travelers Spring Update

By Pat Crow

The Slow Travelers have had a good time camping the first few months of 2023. At the Retiree Rally in March in Dothan, Alabama, we had a good showing for Missouri with 8 rigs(14 people). We enjoyed seeing old friends and participating in all the rally activities.

After the rally we traveled down to Gulf Shores and Gulf State Park. This is a favorite for us. Sightseeing included a ferry ride to Dauphin Island and the aquarium there. We rode bikes several mornings and were able to spot alligators along our route. One day we had snacks and a ladder golf tournament. Campfires were almost nightly with lots of laughter and stories. And the food, oh the food. We have our favorite restaurants that we like to visit, some more than once. Ask any of us about gator bites and swamp soup. We experienced several storms while there but we made it through.

Higginsville and MSCA campout was next. Enjoyed seeing some folks we hadn’t seen in a while. Appreciate that the Jacksons had some new activities such as the campers show and tell. We were able to see ideas from other campers that have made camping easier or more fun for them. There were lots of super and clever ideas. 

After the MSCA weekend the Slow Travelers traveled to Topeka Kansas. Deer Creek Valley campground was beautiful. Topeka had a lot to offer. We enjoyed touring the Combat Air museum with its many planes and displays. Next day we went to Ward Meade Old Prairie Town and Botanical Garden, interesting old buildings and lovely gardens. We saved the best for last and went to the Evel Knievel Museum. He was quite the showman, and the displays and reels of his jumps were interesting and painful to see. Don Hopkins and Steve Hitchens took part in a virtual jump. Thank goodness they had no broken bones. LOL! And again, the food, BBQ, Mexican, BBQ and more BBQ. We also had a potluck and a dessert night. 

So come and join the Slow Travelers for lots of fun and food. Next campout after the fall MSCA will be the Amana Colonies in Iowa. Would love to see you there.

Snow Day

Snow Day  – Adventures in the Field: Stories from a Wildlife Technician

By Amy Wittmeyer

This summer, I am working in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem of northwestern Wyoming, studying the small common loon population in the area. Winter is hanging on tight, and the higher elevations still had several feet of snow in mid-May. We had signs to put up and lakes to close to boating, though, so we had to think creatively to get to our work sites. The only access road to a few of our lakes is unmaintained and had far too much snow to attempt to drive down in a normal pickup. So, we dug out the company’s Prospector Pro, a sort of hybrid between a 4-person UTV and a snow cat, with treads for tires. Hauling it over 2.5 hours, we spent the night at an adorable little hole-in-the-wall motel and went to bed early. 

The next morning, we woke up at 4:30 am (ew!) so we could get a start on the still-frozen snow before it began to melt and make it difficult to hike and drive on. We all piled into the truck while it was still dark, clutching our respective caffeinated drinks tightly. By the time we got to our parking area the sun had risen, so we unloaded the 4×4 and got straight to work. 

The snow was still quite deep and frozen enough to drive on. Unable to go faster than about 20 miles/hour, we chugged our way over the snow out into the wilderness, startling a few elk out of the road. Then the path to our lakes got too narrow to drive down with the 4×4, so we set off on foot. Thankfully, the snow was still frozen hard enough that we didn’t need snowshoes to hike, though we did bring them just in case. Hiking out into the wilderness of Caribou-Targhee National Forest, we put signs up at various lakes to ask people to not disturb nesting loons and to please give loons their space. While some loons can be very tolerant of human and boating disturbance, the loons that make up the Yellowstone population are disturbed very easily, leading to nest abandonment and failure. 

Hiking back from the lakes mid-morning, things began to get interesting as temperatures crept into the high 40’s and the snow started to warm up and turn to slush, or “rotten snow.” We began to slip and slide more, and even post-holed several times each; me up to my hip at one point! Post-holing is when your foot sinks unexpectedly into deep, soft snow, or even a drift with an air pocket below, creating a deep hole that looks like you could put a post in it. I stepped between a tree and what looked like a mangled old stump, but that mangled old stump was actually a mass of roots and branches from a fallen tree, and snow had drifted over the downed log to create a large pocket of air over 3 feet deep. Climbing out of that little mess was certainly an adventure!

Finally, we made it back to the 4×4 and began our journey back to the truck. With the snow super soft and slushy, it made the drive back even slower than the drive out, but we eventually made it back to the gravel parking lot and paved road without getting stuck. Tired but happy with our successful day, we headed home with our eyes set on very big dinners and warm, comfy beds. 

Out In The Field

Out In The Field

By Debbie Swanson

In this article we want to highlight FCRV chapters that are out in the field doing Conservation work. Our first article highlights the efforts of the chapters of Connecticut.

CT FCRV has been involved in Conservation projects for a good many years, in one form or another. At one time they did clean up, trail clearing, and tree planting at Rocky Neck State Park. This park is located in East Lyme. The beautiful, gently sloping, soft sandy beach, picnic areas, train watching, diverse trail systems and salt marsh viewing platforms make this park ideal for families.  Try crabbing or fishing.  Look for ospreys, cranes, and herons or other waterfowl.  Rocky Neck provides something for all members of the family.

Bob and Ruth Pingree have been in charge of the West Thompson Lake cleanup for the last 18 years. West Thompson is a Federal Campground located in North Grosvenordale.

It has 24 sites with water and electric that are offered to those who offer their time. They work several days at a time clearing brush and trash, clearing leaves, putting down mulch, and anything else that is asked of them.

Donna and Glen Dains head up the Point Folly project. Point Folly is located on Bantam Lake and is part of the White Memorial Foundation located in Litchfield. This is a primitive, dry camping campground with 47 sites. They do leaf and brush removal, fire pit clean out, pick up trash, and paint the outhouses and observation deck.

The FCRV Conservation Board thanks the chapters of FCRV Connecticut for their years of dedication to conservation efforts.

If there are chapters in other states that are making a difference in Conservation, we want to recognize your efforts as well.  Please send as much information: who, what, why, where, and when to: [email protected]. We would like to make this a monthly column.

Calling All Gardeners – October 15th Deadline

Calling All Gardeners

By Debbie Swanson

FCRV is sponsoring a gardening contest for our Conservation Program.

There will be cash prizes awarded for a winner and a runner-up.

The rules for the contest are as follows:

The garden plot can be any size. 75% of the garden must contain plants that are native to your area and attract pollinators.

It can be a container garden. There must be at least five 5-7 gallon containers and have plants that are native to your area and attract pollinators.

The growing part of the contest ends September 30th. Pictures of the garden, and a list of the native plants must be received by October 15th. Bonus points for pictures showing pollinators in your garden.

The above information, along with your name and address, should be sent to: [email protected]

Winners will be notified by November 1st.

For information on pollinator gardening go to https://www.fs.usda.gov/learn/plants-animals wildflowers.  

Dear RV

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

Us here at Dear RV!

Dear RV

How important is leveling the rig?

Off Plumb

Well, Off Plumb

I find that when the rig is level the stay is overall better. The fridge works better; the stove works better. Above all, sleeping is far more comfortable. Having the rig at least close to level will help keep you from rolling out of bed and waking up on the floor. Overall it is important to be somewhat close for overall operation of the rig.

Hope this helps

Dear RV June 2023

Dear RV

My question is how do I get my water system ready for Spring? The rig was winterized last fall, and I am ready to put water in and take the rig out for the new camping year.  This will be the first time that I had to do this. What should I do?

Running Dry!

Dear Running Dry

What I do is I reinstall the caps on the low level drains. Mine are under the rig. I reinstall the anode/drain plug in the water heater.  After this I put water in the tank, maybe a quarter tank,  or enough to run fresh water into all the lines and get the anti freeze out. I then check everything for leaks, making sure the system is good to go.  I turn the pump off and drain the tank, open all the lines, and drain the water heater. I then add some bleach to the holding tank. I use about a quarter to a half cup for my tank. This depends on tank size. I use a bleach that is as usable in drinking water. Some bleaches are not usable in drinking water. I put this in the fresh water tank. I then fill the tank and pump this throughout the entire water system, letting it stand for 30 to 60 minutes in the entire system. I then drain the fresh water tank and refill it. I do this two times, filling the tank full each time. I also run fresh water through the system, running each water valve to flush the lines. This includes the shower. After this the system is ready for the year. I have used this method for the last 30 years on about 7 different rigs, and it has worked very well for me.  I find flushing the tank and line are very important for water quality.


The Lay-Zee-Hayseeds were presented with their 50th Chapter Anniversary Award. Loretta is their charter member and she received her 50th Membership plaque last year. Congratulations!!

The State Director Awards went to Marci, Geoff, and Brian this year!


…well deserved.

Birthdays – Anniversaries