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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.

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ArticlesEvent RecapBirthday ShoutoutMilestoneFarewell –  Dear RVEvent Submit

From The President

Another month has passed. Time is flying. Just an update the Trustees are meeting and working on a budget for 2024. The camping season has started for most now. I must ask, have you posted your events on the website yet?  After the event make sure you also post the follow up including up to four pictures.

We are now only a little over 2 months away from Campvention, and I hope that you plan to be there. I do not know the number of registrations we have to date, but I know that we are looking forward to seeing you there. I will say Campvention is not the same without you there. Each of you add to the adventure we call Campvention. Like Uncle Sam says, WE WANT YOU! So I hope we see you there in July.

As a reminder we have many programs that need directors.  This organization functions only as well as the volunteers who are willing to step up.. If you have an interest in Wildlife, Conservation, Youth, or Teens, we need you and your talent. Step up and give one of the positions a try. Send the Trustees a resume with your interest in a position, and we will move ahead and consider you for the position. Talk with your State/Provincial, Regional or Provincial Director, and they will help you with the process. FCRV is only as good as you make it. Each of us have a reason we are part of it and have an interest in making it the best that it can be.

I am going to ask each of you to consider remembering FCRV in your will. As a non-profit this is something that would help FCRV in the future. I plan to write FCRV into my will, ensuring that there is a lasting gift into the future for the next camping generation. I can think of no better way to help the next generation learn about camping than to see FCRV is strong tomorrow. We need to teach life-camping skills to the next generation. Be open to new ideas and places to camp from the new people we bring to our family. Make them an important part of your chapter and allow them to feel they have a part and a voice in your chapters. We need to be welcoming and open to new ideas!

Gerry Pfirsch
FCRV International President

Remembering Jewell Shields, National Director 1988-1998

Remembering Jewell Shields, National Director 1988-1998

By Barb Turner

Jewell Shields, National Director 1988-1998, passed away at home In Lampe, Missouri on April 23, 2023 at the age of 88. Husband Ray preceded her on March 8, 2023.

Ray & Jewell joined the organization in 1962 when living in Kansas. Camping and NCHA became a vital part of their lives. During our conversations over the last year or so and at the passing of Ray, Jewell shared her love for the organization and emphasized that “NCHA/FCRV/FCRV became and is our family.”

Those of us who served as state and provincial directors during Jewell’s tenure as National Director saw her as ‘our boss’, but more importantly as our friend.

As Larry Roop, Past National President/Indiana State Director, said, “Working with Jewell was always a positive experience, and she was always there when we needed help or advice when Vickie & I were State Directors. As I spent time on the Board of Trustees, Jewell was always there as a great resource when I needed advice. Most important though, she was a dear friend and will be missed by me and the whole organization.”

Charla Yost, Past Texas State Director, shared: “I’m heartbroken. Jewell and Betty Drennon (South Central West Regional Director for many years) taught me so much about FCRV. Jewell was National Director when Bobby and I became Texas State Directors. She was one funny and fun-loving lady. Y’all can be assured that heaven will be a very busy place with those two ladies pulling tricks.

“Betty and I went to National in her RV ( Bobby could not go because of work). The bugs were so bad there (Minnesota), and we had gone to bed. Jewell came to the RV window and called to us. We answered and started talking. The bugs were biting Jewell, and she kept telling us she had to go. Betty kept asking questions, and Jewell kept answering them. We kept her there for 30 minutes before she got wise to the fact she was being HAD. So many great times we had.”

Diane Shackleford, Arizona, and Jewell were good friends. Jewell’s daughter Tonya told me about a letter she found that Diane had written to Jewell several years ago. Diane shared a memory when Jewell and she played a trick on Betty Drennon that involved outhouses at Campvention!

Jewell was our National Director the last three years of our time as Ohio State Directors. Through Jewell we learned so much about the organization. Jim’s first term as National President was Jewell’s last two years as National Director. He enjoyed working with her again, this time as a member of Board of Trustees.

Jewell Shields served our organization in many capacities over many years. Her legacy lives on through many of us who learned and worked with her. Thank you, Jewell, for all you gave to our NCHA/FCRV organization.

The link to Jewell Shields obituary: https://www.cremationsoftheozarks.com/obituaries/Jewell-Marie-(Kinzer)-Shields?obId=27734661#/celebrationWall

In memory of George Walters

In memory of George Walters

Compiled by Shari Weber

George Walters April 27, 1948 to April 6, 2023. He was husband to Debbie, Father to Jason (Erin), Grandfather to Molly & Darby, and brother to Bob. He was also a son and an uncle. He was a longtime member of FCRV with Debbie and served 8 years on the Board of Trustees as Vice President Programs from 2012 – 2020. Debbie & George were members of chapters in Florida and the international chapter YARS. George was a teacher, band director, adjudicator, and professional musician. He was a member of the board of directors for the Community Concerts of Lake City, Inc. which provided affordable community concerts about 6 times a year. He shared his talents with the FCRV International Band. His skill at recognizing good entertainment gave us enjoyable entertainment at campventions and retiree rallies. His mark on FCRV is unique and will never be able to be duplicated. Finally, George was a friend to many including me. Below are George’s friend’s memories and tributes.

Jack Smye of Ontario writes:
I had the privilege of knowing George and Debbie for about 15 years. I was aware of George playing in the FCRV band prior to George coming on the executive as an elected Trustee. Once George was a Trustee I had the opportunity to work closely with George on many occasions. George was a man of many talents both as a musician and an administrator. He worked very hard and seriously at whatever endeavour he undertook. His musicianship was outstanding. Not only was he a great trumpet player but also a very good singer and showman. His ability to organize entertainment for both Campventions and Retiree Rallies was exceptional and so was the talent he recruited. I enjoyed working closely with George on a few of the member’s talent/variety shows at our Retiree Rally and George and I would periodically do duets together-a lot of fun for us -not sure about the audience. As recently as six months before his passing he was organizing the member’s talent show for the 2023 Retiree Rally. At one Campvention, George had recruited a very good local brass band for the evening entertainment. At the end of the performance the conductor requested George to come on stage and conduct the band in an encore. He did so without a hitch and his professionalism was readily apparent. George and Debbie were good hosts and prior to the Retiree Rally in Tallahassee, he and Debbie shared their property with Sonya and me and Shari and Craig for a pre-retirement Rally campout. Good walks, and good food! I could go on, but I think you get the picture, Debbie, the family, and FCRV will miss George.

Kip Cushing of Wisconsin writes:
George was a soft-spoken gentleman.   He was one to step up to the plate whenever or wherever he was needed.  Give him a chance to blow his horn, and he would open the case, get it out and ask, “What are we playing?”  George had a vast musical background that few of us even know about.  The many bands and orchestras he played in or directed would fill a page.  He was counted on to lead the NCHA/FCRV band at rallies and held down the trumpet section when Craig directed.  I enjoyed playing in the band with him, he reminded us all if our crescendo was not good enough, or if we needed to pick it up.

After starting the Variety Show idea in 2004 at Campvention and doing entertainment, he wanted to get involved.  Since then we have collaborated on many variety shows and entertainment committees, with good success.  He got the Barbershop sound going at the Virginia National.  Since I started going to Retiree Rallies and participating in the Variety shows, we connected again.  You hear so many stories about how music raised someone up from hardships and whatever.  Well, it sure worked on us.  Singing in the FCRV Choir and Retiree Choir, and Variety Shows with him was enriching, even entertaining. Funny how we could work together so easily when it was about music.  He will be missed, yes, even in the tenor section of the choir, or if Craig was not there to give us a start with the keyboard, George found the notes.

We all know his favorite Neil Diamond hit that he loved to sing just to hear all of us sing out “SO GOOD, SO GOOD” will be remembered. And whenever we hear it our thoughts will be in remembering George singing on stage. That in itself will be a memorial to him. We may say to ourselves, “What was the other song he always sang?” ‘cause he always did two.

I’ll let you think about that, because you’ll be remembering a wonderful person who played trumpet and sang songs.  George Walters rest in Peace, may God Bless!

Dave Ludwig of Missouri writes:
My basic memory of George was when he was elected VP of Programs, without having much national experience.  He stepped up and led our Program leaders very effectively.  I always valued his counsel.

Sue Carlsen of Michigan/Florida writes:
George wore his heart on his sleeve. He loved FCRV and he loved everyone in the organization.

Jan Cushing of Wisconsin writes:

As a member of the Board of Trustees, George made sure he understood what he was voting for.  At budget time, he asked many questions. 

George wanted to be a friend to everyone.  He will be missed by all.

The FCRV Band remembers George. Craig Weber of Florida writes:
George was always a steadfast, loyal band member, and a great help as substitute director when I was not available. I could always rely on George’s knowledge to help me get over some of the hard parts in the music. George also helped to find different arrangements of music for the band because of his contacts with Florida High School Bands. I also knew George as a friend. Many nights we would play cards until the dog needed walking. George always cared about doing his best and helping others. Thank you for your many years of friendship and help.

Cameron Taylor of North Carolina writes:
For me, at one time being a “First Timer” in the FCRV Band, George was very welcoming to me and encouraged me in my strengths and always shared his vast musical and life knowledge with me in the times we had together. He sure would let you know his opinions (LOL), but had a very gentle, calming voice that I’m sure made him a very good director. It was also neat to see him do a little conducting during times that Craig was not able to be there. Thank you George for always being welcoming, accommodating, humorous, and encouraging. You will be missed. 

Jill Serbousek of Missouri writes:
Scott & I met George at our first Campvention in Canada in 2012 when we joined the FCRV band for the first time. I had not played my clarinet since college (15 years) and George sat with me and helped me relearn how to read my music and clarinet fingerings. His love of being a band teacher came out often during band and he helped us all at various points. He would give Scott a hard time about playing his drums too loud in the tiny rooms we had to practice in :). Scott will remember the good times they spent together as trustees trying to find ways to make FCRV better. He would often stop by our campfire at Campventions to say hi and relax at the end of a long day. George loved FCRV and the FCRV band and he will be missed.

Karen Snodgrass of Ohio writes:
George was a fellow FCRV band member and friend. We enjoyed playing in the band with him. He was helpful with the music, sometimes singing or counting out the tricky rhythms, and encouraging everyone to play their best. We got to know George outside of the band when he was our reporting director on the board of trustees. We enjoyed sightseeing and visiting with the Walters during various Campventions and the 2023 Retiree Rally. George will be missed by the entire Snodgrass family.

Horst Shaller and JoAnn Baker of Wisconsin write:
About ten years ago, we first joined the FCRV band group.  At that time, we were struggling to play our instruments.  George was very encouraging and said not to give up, but to keep on trying and practicing.  He was right. Several years later, George played with us at the Variety Show. This year in Dothan, George and Horst played Taps together for the Memorial Service.  We will always keep these memories of George.  Thanks, buddy.   

A YouTube from Florida Bandmasters Association remembering George Walters and his career in music and band can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wN513ZYq8mE.

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

“How did it get so late so soon?”   “Time is an illusion.”  “Time flies when you are having fun.”  “The clock is ticking.”  “Time is of the essence.”  “The sands of time…”  “A race against time.”  “Living on borrowed time.”  “Lose no time.”  “Out of time.”  “It’s high time”   “Time’s a-wastin’.”   I could go on and on, but that’s enough at this time.

What do those all suggest?  That we are just a few short weeks from the deadline for Campvention 2023 registration.  If you have already registered, be prepared to have a “whale of a good time”….“The time of your life”….“ Let the good times roll”….To have “a time of it”….“Hardly have time to breathe”…. in a good way with all the games/activities, seminars, fun/etc.  Maybe even a chance to become “A legend in your own time.” 

We cannot touch, smell or taste time, so is it real or merely an illusion?  If you know the answer to that, you are way smarter than a 5th grader! 

So, as stated above, you still have a chance to register, but all registrations MUST be postmarked no later than June 1, 2023.  Put that check in the mail today!

“Oh no,” you say, “I forgot to mail my check before June 1.  I will have to miss out on Campvention this year”  (tears flow steadily here).  No, silly, that is not true at all.  If, for some unknown reason, like being human and forgetful, you don’t send in that registration, you can drive right up to the door of the Wayne County Fairground in Richmond, IN and say (proudly), “Hi Beth!!  I need a site for Campvention but didn’t register in time.  What can I do?”

Well, Beth will answer, “Hey!  I am so glad to see you came anyway.  You are just in time!  We have sites available, and if you just fill out this information, we will get you into a place lickety split!”

Done and done!  So, send in your registration no later than June 1, 2023, but if you decide at the last minute to attend, come on up/down/over anyway! 

Bring your family.  Bring your friends.  Bring your neighbors.  Invite the people you see at the Rest Area with a camper to join you and FCRV for a fun filled week.

Time for Campvention is July 9-15, 2023 with Early Bird days July 7-8.

Don’t forget to sign up for Volunteer Opportunities while at Central Registration.  There will be plenty of areas that will need volunteers to help things run smoothly.

See y’all soon!!!

Adult and Family Activities

By Craig Weber, Adult and Family Activities Chairman, Campvention 2023

The Adult and Family Activities Committee has been working hard to come up with some exciting events for Campvention 2023 in Richmond, IN. Balloon Volleyball, BINGO, Line Dancing (for all levels), Bowling (see separate article), Euchre Tournament, and much more. The Adult sports looks strong with Ladder Golf, Washer Toss, Horseshoes, Bocce, Corn Hole, and maybe a few other surprise events. For those who Golf, Wednesday at 9:00 we will hit the links for a shotgun start thanks to Jim Turner. The Family Fun Day on Monday will bring our FCRV family together for food and carnival games. The Adult and Family Activity Center will be open every day for anyone who wants to play games, work puzzles or just sit and talk. Many different card games, board games and other type games will be available for use or bring your own. Campvention 2023 is coming together and should be a great time for children of all ages.



FCRV International Band

By Craig Weber, FCRV International Band

It’s not too late to become a member of the most exciting group at FCRV Campvention 2023. The FCRV International Band is made up of volunteers who attend Campvention and love to play music. The Band has five practice sessions that are about an hour long. We play music that is in the easy to medium range of difficulty. We then play about an hour-long concert for our FCRV friends’ enjoyment. The music has been selected and is available upon request at [email protected].  Please include your email address, instrument you play, and T-shirt size, and the music will be electronically sent to you. Yes, you read that right; T-Shirt Size, the FCRV International Band has its own special T-Shirt which will be yours to keep for playing in the band. You also get an exclusive FCRV International Band Member Badge with year tab. If you’re not ready to jump on the BandWagon, we have one more special offer. Free Pizza Party the night of our concert. So put it all together, free pizza, free T-shirt, free membership badge, meet new people, and loads of fun. This year we would like to dedicate our concert to our recently deceased friend and long-time band member George Walters. Thank you for your attention.



Save Those Pop Tabs & Plastic Caps

By Patti Thieme, Tabs/Caps Chair

Pop tabs will be collected at Campvention 2023; they will be donated to Ronald McDonald House at the Riley Children’s hospital in Indianapolis.  If you choose not to haul all your tabs to Richmond, you may take them to a recycling center between now and the Campvention and get them weighed, obtain a receipt for pounds and the dollar amount.  Then take the donated amount to your local Ronald McDonald House or similar charity.  Don’t forget to make a copy of the receipt and bring it to Campvention to turn in to myself.

Also, we collect plastic caps for benches. Indiana FCRV members have purchased a few benches in the past in memory of an FCRV member and placed the benches in those members’ hometowns or favorite campgrounds, or wherever that member wants to donate to.  The list of caps include: water bottle caps, Gatorade caps, milk jug caps, butter bowl lids, cottage cheese lids and peanut butter lids to name a few.  We will have containers for collection of these all week.  Just put that plastic cap in your pocket until you pass one of our containers!  You can also start saving now and bring with you.  Go to www.greentreeplastics.com to find a complete list. 



By Kathy Howell

What are they and what do you do with them?

Kathy Howell and family, members of the FFCC chapter, are bringing to FCRV a fun way for teens to meet and socialize with members of the camping club, learn how to count money, how to be responsible, and raise funds for their activities/charities.

Teens will be out and about selling these tickets from Sunday evening until just before preview time. Please be sure to ask them who they are, why are they selling and what can be won. Campers purchase a “card” of tickets for $1 . 

There are 26 tickets to each card.  Included is a “ticket” that says door prize, it is the same as all the other tickets. You use these tickets to win raffle prizes.  How do you submit tickets for the prize?? You break the tickets apart and put them in a bag or container. Then bring them to the preview session. Simply put your tickets in the container next to the raffle prize you want to win.

There are cash awards for the teens based on the number of tickets that they sell; every teen that sells tickets will receive a cash award.  These are given out at closing ceremonies.

Since rallies/campventions can always involve a bit of fun and shenanigans, the tickets serve as insurance to not have your rig toilet-papered by the teens. Simply display a card in your rig’s window, and you’re safe, at least from the teens.

Raffle time

Some people purchase a few tickets, some purchase a lot of tickets. You need a way to keep track of the numbers so you can claim your prize! Here is a picture of Robert, he uses a Lucky Charms box to line his tickets up, and his daughter Carol in the background is carrying her tickets lined up on a tray. Campers use a variety of items to line up and organize their tickets. Here is a picture of organizing the tickets, be sure to pack some tape to hold them still. The final drawing is for cash prizes!!

Entertainment Spotlight – Friday Night – Dinner & Comedy Night

By Jill Serbousek, Entertainment Chair

We’ll close out Campvention 2023 with a catered dinner from a local BBQ restaurant followed by comedian Scott Long. After a busy week, sit back and relax with no cooking and enjoy some laughter.

Scott considers himself “The Top Corporate Comedian in Fly-Over Country”. Scott has been seen on NBC, FOX-TV, and the Bob and Tom Show, plus written the Frank Caliendo NFL Comedy sketches for 13 seasons. He has performed for Fortune 500 companies like State Farm, John Deere and GE to rave reviews. He also performs at fundraisers and is committed to raising money and awareness for worthy causes. One major thing that makes a Scott Long performance stand-out versus other comics is about how his daughter on the autism spectrum has taught him the most in life. It’s why one reviewer described his show…

“Scott is a true class act and absolutely hilarious. His material is ahead of its time, and the manner of his presentation is humble, yet captivating.”

Tentative dinner menu will be a choice of pulled pork or pulled chicken sandwich, mac-n-cheese, green beans, and potato casserole. If you or anyone in your family are vegan or vegetarian and plan to eat, please email Jill Serbousek at [email protected] so we can get a head count and come up with an alternative meal for you.



‘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.



Campvention 2023 Adult Game Competitions 

By Karen and Robert Snodgrass. National Adult Activities Directors

This year we will be playing our “official” games; Horseshoes, Washer Toss and Ladder Golf.  Any adult, ages 20 and up, may play.  You don’t have to be a state/provincial champion to play; the games are open competition. There will be awards for these three games presented during an evening program.

New this year will be a Bocce competition.

Corn hole will be played again this year. We need additional corn hole boards. If you have a set and are willing to let us borrow them in Richmond, Indiana, please let us know, at kssnodgrass@gmail.com.  

Sign-up sheets for all events will be in central registration.  Check your programs for day, time and location of all the games. 

See you in Richmond, Indiana!


Campvention 2023 Service Project

By Barb Turner

Quilters, knitters, crocheters, cutters, and tyers, your skills are needed to complete a new Campvention service project for Richmond, Indiana in July.  The idea: make quilts and blankets to provide comfort to children experiencing trauma. 

At this time, we are working with Birth to Five of Wayne County (https://mybirthtofive.org/) and the Richmond Fire Department.  The local hospital stopped accepting handmade quilts and blankets with the onset of Covid and hasn’t resumed at this time.

Some of you are accomplished quilters, knitters, and crocheters.  Some of you might be ‘wannabes’!  For you, cut & tie fleece to make warm comfy blankets.  Self-binding quilts made with two pieces of fabric & batting and tied with embroidery floss might be the project for those with basic sewing skills.  (That’s me!)  For help/review, there are many YouTube tutorials to help you.  Sizes: keep in mind that we’ll be servicing from birth and beyond.

We are asking you to bring completed projects to Campvention 2023 in July.  In addition, for those of you who travel with your sewing machine, a ‘sewing center’ will be set up where you can create as your time allows.

We hope that you are as excited about this project as we are.  So, let’s get to quilting, knitting, crocheting, sewing, cutting, tying……creating for kids!



Rose Paws Pet Parade

By Karen Decker, Pet Parade Chair

If you have a pet or two, maybe several, why not register for our parade?  It will be fun! It is right after Marketplace, Thursday, July 13th,1-2pm. It will be in the Seminar Pavilion (inclement weather- Commercial building).

If you want to come and just watch, please do!

First Timers

By Donna Powell, First Timers Chair

First Timers, you have never been to Campvention! Well, just register; my committee and I are getting ready to welcome you and your families! After parking your rigs, then come to Central Registration; you will find us along the line as you encounter all the areas to check out for the week. Parking crew gave you instructions to do after parking; we will welcome you in line for FIRST TIMERS! AND, after we welcome you, we will  let you know of our first meeting! Please attend! The National Board of FCRV will try to be there; my committee will be there with information to help you get started for the week! See y’all in Richmond, IN!

Golfers, Tee It Up at Campvention 2023

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!


[20% off Discount Code “FCRV20”]

South Central West Regional Rally

South Central West Regional Rally

Hey Campers!  Looking for a fun event?  Take a few extra days before Campvention 2023 and mosey on down to Branson, Missouri for the SCW Regional Campout June 18-21.  We are gathering at Treasure Lake right IN Branson, close to all the action and attractions and very close to Lake Taneycomo, & Table Rock Dam.   Space is limited in the exclusive Treasure Lake Resort, and you MUST pre-register by June 3, 22023.  If you want to stay at a different Branson campground and still attend the fun, you should still register and pay the activity fee.  

Plans include evening meal on Sunday, June 18, Continental breakfast on June 19, Door prizes, Wildlife presentation, scavenger hunt, and a Goodie Bag for all who attend and pay the Activity Fee.  Our team has been getting some great door prizes – including 4 VIP tickets to the Presley show.

If you have any questions, please call State Director, Paul Standiford (636-544-8933).

Registration Form : CLICK HERE

DO NOT call Treasure Lake. 


 51st FCRV International Retiree Rally Recap

Retiree Rally Registration Recap

By LaNelle Ishmael, Registration Co-Chair

The registration team was kept busy with 89 registrations. We had 83 units with 3 off grounds and 3 in units with other campers. It was great to see some faces that had not been with us for several years. We had a great team and managed to get all but 3 registered by Tuesday. It was exciting to see 25 units with First Timers. We certainly hope they will be with us again next year in Mineola, Texas.



C.A.M.P. Report for 2023 Retire Rally

By Dick & Kathy Buresh, C.A.M.P. Chairs

Line Dance – For Line Dance Class we had a total of 15 Participants and 15 hours of line dancing. We worked on dances for the songs of “Boot Scootin’ Boogie”, “Wagon Wheel” and “Texas Time”.  There were many positive comments from people watching the class and the variety show.

Walking – We measured a ½-mile course so a person could walk a minimum of a ½ mile. Most people walked twice around for 1 mile. Several people walked 4 times for a total of 2 miles. We had 22 participants who walked a total of 113 miles.



FCRV International King and Queen Recap

By LaNelle & Leon Ishmael, King & Queen Coordinators

Congratulations to our 2023 King and Queen, Joanne and Phillip Rich from South Carolina. They were the only ones who ran this year. Despite articles in Camping Today every month we had no other response. As we said at opening ceremonies, if no one will participate, we will lose a tradition that we have had since 1973.  Our royalty is important, as they help to open the rally by presenting the flags. This year we only had 6 couples attending. On Wednesday we enjoyed a finger-food gathering with the royal court. We thank the Full Timers Chapter for a great reception at the ball. We hope you will consider running in Mineola.



Retiree Rally Door Prizes Recap

By Pat Crow, Door Prize Chair

It is always fun working with the door prizes, getting to see what everyone is bringing and the happy faces of those who are receiving the prize.

My co-chair was unable to make the rally, and Vina Haggerty stepped in to help me.

We had a drop off area with a sign. This worked well, and we collected the prizes throughout the day and assembled them in a separate area where they were counted and separated to be sure we had enough for each night. We were nervous that we would not have enough prizes for every unit. At the end though, we did have enough.

Vina wanted to do the nightly name announcements and did a great job!



Retiree Rally Food Bank and Lap Robes

By Beth Standiford, Food Bank & Lap Robes Chair

I wish I could personally hug each and every one of you who donated their time to make or purchase lap robes.  The Dothan Rescue Mission was over-the-moon to receive the 72 blankets of all sizes, types, colors, patterns and materials.  The housing they provide for homeless men, women and children will be a little cozier, thanks to all of you who donated. 

In planning for 2024,  please remember that the sizes are: for wheelchair patients – 27”x36”.   Lap robes sizes chart: Small – 36”x45”; Medium – 30”x60”; Large – 45”x60”.  

And for all of you who donated so generously financially to the Wiregrass Area Food Bank, what can I say, except, “Holy Cow!”  Donations totaled $1348.    As I announced at the Rally, these donations would feed a family of 4 for 2 years!!!!!   You have outdone yourselves.   A special thanks goes out to Kleen Tank, one of our vendors at the Rally, for making a healthy donation to put us at that huge amount of donations.  And the amount of food that was donated really filled up the back of the car!  Such generosity!   I hope you all enjoyed trying to get a quarter in the water container, and I would like to again congratulate Ms. Gloria Taylor on winning the camping beaver.  

I have organized the Food Bank and Lap Robes for a couple of years, and now it is time for someone else to put their talents to work.  Please support Karin Snyder at least as generously (if not MORE)  as you have supported the organizations I have arranged in the past.  Thank you, and God Bless You All.  



Retiree Rally Games Recap

By Craig & Shari Weber

Marjory Bates and Vera Bates Williams served as co-chairs.

Games Results:

Frog Races with 48 players plus audience. Gerry Owens, Winner; Sierra Stanley, 2nd place

Card Bingo had 58 players.   23 $1 winners

Skip-Bo had 11 players. Winner: Karin Snyder

Washer Toss Doubles had 32 players plus an audience. 1st Place Kip Cushing & George Goodnature, tie for 2nd between Donnie & Debbie Stanly and Willie Walker & Frances Jackson.   Donnie & Debbie Stanly won 2nd place

Ladder Golf had 30 players plus an audience. Mens: 1st Ron Servant, 2nd Jerry Rozelle, Women’s: 1st Vera Williams, 2nd Sierra Stanly

Chicken Foot had 19 players. Winner: Joan Jordan

Washer Toss Singles had 22 players. Women’s: 1st Linda DeCamp, 2nd Karen Snodgrass. Men’s: 1st Fred Roddam, 2nd Donnie Stanly

Five Crowns  had 47 players. Winner: Joanne Wollinger

Corn Hole had 28 players plus an audience. Winner: Donnie Stanly, 2nd Jerry Tannehill

Bean Bag Baseball  81 players plus audience, 9 teams, 4 rounds played. 4 teams formed from individual sign-ups. The Scramble Team with Mark Mierzwa, Bill Newell, Roger & Pat Hall, Lisa & Kenny Warren, Gerry Owens, Rita Letellier, and Judy Kimzey were the winning team going from the first elimination round through all 4 rounds. The Pickup Team with Ashley & Gloria Taylor, Bobby & Phyllis Smith, Debbie Stanly, Carol & Ray Yates, Willie Walker, and Paul Wollinger came in a close 2nd. Roger Hall and Gerry Owens each had 3 home runs in one game, Roger Hall had 6 home runs in the series.



Retiree Rally Pet Parade Results

By Robert & Rita Letellier, Pet Parade Chairs

Co-Chairs:  Marla Mantia & Debbie Lopez (First Timer)

Judges:  Debbie Ludwig & Ray & Carol Yates (First Timers)

The Pet Parade went very well.  There were 16 participants.  All participants got Crawfish glasses filled with dog treats, participant awards, pencil with religious saying, and quilted dog place mats.  All winners received an award, doggie Easter Basket filled with many items. 

The winners were:

Jim Howsley & Jake (Most Adorable)

George Goodnature & Roanin (Best Behaved)

Pat Crow & Abbey (Owner Pet Look-alike)

Bill Newell & Lily (Best Trick)

Amy DeCamp & Stetson (Best in Show)

The Pet Parade went well; all said they had lots of fun.  Weather was beautiful.



The 2023 Retiree Rally Flea Market

By Richard & Frances Jackson, Flea Market Chairs

The 2023 Retiree Rally Flea Market had 15 booths. Items sold included a large variety of hand-crafted products, registration for the 2024 Retiree Rally, FCRV insignia, books, cleaning products, and camping items.

Thank you to all who worked to make the Flea Market a success, from booth vendors to those who helped set up and clean up, as well as those who came to shop.



Public Relations – Barb Turner

Barb did an excellent job in getting information out there about the fairground and the surrounding area of Dothan.  She posted a lot of pictures on FCRV Facebook, Retiree Rally Facebook and also on her own Facebook page. 

Barb also took the State/Province/Group photos this year.  We did not have a photographer, so Barb took it upon herself to take the pictures and sent one to a person of each group to get it to their group.  They can print one out if they prefer.  In 2024 Tom Wensel is supposed to be there to take photos of all the groups.

Many thanks to Jim Lewis for putting the schedule on Facebook so people would have them on their phones.

Parking  – Joe & Sandi Wingert

Joe and Sandi prepared a layout of grounds, including layout for VIP, special needs, Registrations, Security, Vendors, & Parking Committees.  With about 84 rigs on ground the challenge was getting everyone situated because of the heavy rain a couple of days.  All in all, they were happy campers.

Golf – Jim Turner

Jim had 12 golfers to sign up.  All had a good time and seemed to have a good course to play on.

Meals – Ivalee Vanderhoff  (Reba Ray) & Pat Hall

Ivalee was not able to attend but worked diligently getting everything together for this rally.

They provided 2 meals and an ice cream social for this event.

Thursday evening’s meal was a disappointment to a lot of people.  The caterer was supposed to have enough food to serve 200 people.  Well, he gave out some of the food before even half of the people were through the line.  He was rushing around to get more food.  With one serving line, it took way too long to serve as many people as we had. Everyone got some food but not all got everything he promised.  Way too long to wait for food and service.

On Saturday the evening meal went a lot smoother, with 2 serving lines, and the food was good.  Everyone was served and had no complaints for this meal.  Everyone was invited back for seconds, and the leftovers were given to the Dothan Rescue Mission (Shelter for the homeless).

The Ice Cream Social was a cup of ice cream with plenty to have seconds if wanted.  It was a success.

Locator Board – Jan Cushing & Catherine Goodnature

When the locator board was received, it was in a plastic container with about 2 inches of water.  It was put out into the sunshine and wind to dry out before it could be used.  Once set up inside, it was sorted out in alphabetical letters in order to sort by last names.  There it was used by anyone who wanted to know where friends were parked.  It was all dry when packed back in the box to be taken to National Campvention.

Book Exchange– Kip Cushing

Kip provided a number of books to get the book exchange started.  You could swap a book or take a book for $1 with the proceeds going to the Food Bank.  $4 was collected for the Food Bank.  At the end, the books were donated to a good cause by another camper.

2023 Retiree Rally Recaps

By Reba Ray, Rally Coordinator

The Retiree Rally in Dothan was a great success with a few little hiccups.  Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves despite the rainy weather for a couple of days and the shortage of food for the Thursday night meal.

As Host for the rally, I was pleased with all the chairmen I chose and their co-chairs.  This was really their rally, and they all did their jobs to make it happen.

Many thanks to the National Peanut Festival Fairgrounds for everything they did to make this an enjoyable week for us.  We couldn’t have asked for better people to work with.

Congratulations to the 2023 Elected King & Queen  Phil & Joanne Rich.

Sound and Special Services – Kip Cushing

Sound was good; not too loud.  Kip kept up with all the demands on getting microphones when needed by line dancing, seminars and games.  Kip used a lot of his own equipment.  In the future, maybe the rally could rent sound equipment to be used, if not provided by the venue.  The Entertainment provided their own sound system at this event.

Crafts – Judy Elenburg, Betty Andrews, Dora Lewis and Sandi Wingert

Judy did the roses made from wired ribbons.  They had 11 show up to make the roses and had a good time. 

Betty taught how to paint rocks.  Several people enjoyed this project.  Some of them were very interesting once finished.  A good time was had by all.

Dora and Sandi provided the CD card holders craft.  There were times when people would pull the thread too tight and the thread would break, but everyone enjoyed the project.  Several people were involved in making card holders.  They make it a lot easier if you have a large number of cards to hold in your hands.

Stage Decoration  – June Johnston

June did a great job with the stage.  Having had the peanuts stored for two years because of the cancellation from 2021, it was mostly already done for this year.  With the teardrop lights and the large peanut king & queen, it looked really great.

Mail & Information – Debbie Walters & Bob & Gene Lockhart

The mail and information booth is always a good place to meet and greet people and get to know and make new friends.  Debbie and Bob & Gene Lockhart did a good job in greeting people.  There were several brochures there for going out to eat and how to get to Walmart and other things there for people to look through.  The chocolate candy was a big hit for everyone. 

Entertainment – Reba Ray

The Entertainment was contracted by Reba Ray.  The Bands were GP-38, Roger & Bama Breeze and Neil Dover.  There was a lot of dancing going on, and everyone seemed to enjoy the music.  The bands were from the surrounding area of Dothan.


All seminars were very interesting and gave a lot of information.  Both vendors, Kleen Tank & Fantasy Tours, gave out a door prize at the end of the rally.  Also, Amy DeCamp did a seminar on Travlfi, internet on the go. 

Vendors –  Jim Turner

There were two vendors there at the rally.  Fantasy Tours and Kleen Tank.  Very nice people and very interesting seminars by them.  SkyMed and the Hustons weren’t able to come this year, and we really missed them. 

Hard Hat Breakfast – Bill Buggeln

Bill did a good job of chairing the breakfast.  Sixty-two men attended this event.   The food was good.  Right at the end again the caterer ran out of food, but quickly remedied this as his place was on grounds.  The food was enjoyed by all.  There was a speaker that spoke about peanuts and their uses other than eating them.  It was very interesting.

Red Hats – Diane Buggeln

Diane did an excellent job of chairing the Red Hat Luncheon.  There were 70 ladies who attended this event.  The food that was chosen was a salad plate, which the women loved.  The speakers were 2 women from the National Peanut Festival Fairgrounds.  They spoke on all the uses of peanuts besides just eating them.  Many of their uses was oil and some of the uses were made into lotions and creams.  A lot of good info.  Two items were donated for door prizes. They were given out by a drawing,

Choir – Kip Cushing

With 16 choir members along with Craig Weber playing the piano, the choir sang wonderfully.  The music for songs were provided by Kip.

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

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

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

Call or text: 410-533-0038
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Out In the Field

Out In the Field

By Deb 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.

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

My question is it possible to change from regular 12-volt light bulbs to LED bulbs without changing the fixtures in the entire RV?

Sitting in the Dark!

Well in the Dark!

The short answer is yes you can change your bulbs. I found some on Amazon; most RV Dealers will have them as well as auto parts stores. Read the description and find the correct replacement bulb for your light fixture.  It is as easy as changing a bulb. I have found that LEDs extend the usable time on my batteries as well as give off ample light. They also come in Bright White or Natural Light giving you the type of light that best suits your needs.

Enjoy not being in the dark!

Dear RV May 2023

My motorhome has a tire inflation recommendation of 95 lbs. cold front and 110 lbs. cold rear. So what do you do when you inflate them, and the air temperature is 45º.  Then when you drive it, the temperature is now 75º and the TPMS keeps alarming on high pressure? Or the reverse, you fill it at 75º and drive when it is 45º and the TMMS keeps alarming on low pressure? Should I stop along the way and adjust the pressure? And what should I adjust it to since the tires are no longer “cold”?  Puzzled

Great question. Everyone should make a point of checking tires on a regular basis, and certainly before a trip. Correct tire pressure can influence your fuel efficiency and that includes on the vehicle you may be towing.

If possible, add air when the tires are not warm/hot from travel. You should not overinflate your tires because the weather is going to be colder, nor should you underinflate them because the weather is going to be warmer. The recommended (by the manufacturer) tire pressure is the best pressure. As you drive, heat causes the pressure to increase and that may drop overnight. By evening, you may have reached a different climate and may want to adjust your tires accordingly. Are you using a pressure monitoring system of some kind? Minor changes in temperature as you are driving are not a major concern. But continuous changes in one direction, either up or down, may call for some attention. Some go by the “rule” that for every 10 degrees of change in air temperature, tire pressure will adjust about 1 psi. So if outside temps decrease by, say 30 degrees, you can expect monitored pressure to drop about 3 psi. So try to remember what the temperature was when you checked/inflated them. If you were wearing a winter coat when you checked them, and now you’re headed out the door in your swimsuit, it’s a good bet it’s time to check your tire pressure again. Thanks for asking Dear RV.

Here is another angle. I find that you will extend the life of your tires and get the greatest fuel economy if you keep your tires properly inflated. I keep mine to the pressure listed on the tire itself. Unless the tire shop has given me different instructions. Over the years I have always been instructed that you should check the pressure cold. If traveling, the only time you can do this is in the morning before you set out for the day’s travel. I recommend that you make this part of your multi-day travel. Get up, start your coffee, check the tires, have another cup of coffee, and then set out on the day’s travel. I say make this part of your travel activity. I was taught by my father that you should never check the pressure on a hot tire from a day’s travel as it will read that the pressure is often going to be high.

Thanks for asking our opinion here at Dear RV and safe travels!