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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 www.fcrv.org. 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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ArticlesEvent RecapBirthday ShoutoutMilestoneFarewell –  Dear RVEvent Submit

From The President

With the elections behind us, I would Like to congratulate Teresa Walorski and Ed Shanefelt in their election to the Board of Trustees. I know both will be a great addition to the Board. The camping year is at what  seems to be a very fast pace. Campvention will be here in just about 5 weeks! Are you registered? We hope to see you there. Early registration is over, but you can register at the gate. Come, be a part of the 75th year of NCHA / FCRV.

The Trustees have adopted a 2024-2025 Budget; again we will be operating in the RED. The only way to reverse this is to grow in members. To do this, it will take every active member recruiting their friends and family. It is up to each of us to step up and help grow Family Campers and Rvers. People, we do not have a choice. Each of us really do need to reach out this year and make an effort to sign up just one family from our friends and family. It could be that neighbor with the young children that have their first camper and would like the help and tips to get the most out of the camping experience.

We can become the teacher, helping them to have a positive and uplifting camping experience. Each of you as Chapter members have a wealth of camping knowledge and know-how you can pass to the next generation. Do not let that go without being shared with others. This is an opportunity to reach out and help new camping folks start a journey into a life of camping. I hope each of us will pass along some of the know-how that we have compiled over our time camping. In doing this we will help save a few skinned knees and possibly make a positive experience for that new family. This could be the new direction we need to grow FCRV.

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

FCRV National Election Winners

FCRV National Election Results
By Carl W Fromholzer – National Office

A big thank you to the election committee for running a smooth election process along with all of you that took the time to vote.  Your participation will help shape the future of our organization for years to come.

Congrats to the winners :

  • Teresa Walorski – Recording/Corresponding Officer
  • Ed Shaneyfelt – Vice President of Programs
  • Gerry Pfirsch – International President


Message From:  Beth Standiford – Past Corresponding & Recording Officer

Dear Campers,
By Beth Standiford – Past Corresponding & Recording Officer

As I leave the office of Corresponding & Recording Officer, I take this moment to thank you all for the support you have given to me in the past few years. Serving on the Board of Trustees has been a major learning experience and gave me more opportunities to meet so many of you. I loved contributing my time to the organization, but all good things must come to an end, and so I am passing the responsibilities on to Teresa Walorski, wishing her the very best of success in her new position. Please support her and encourage her as you did me when I was new in the position. I look forward to seeing all my camping friends at Rally’s and campouts, and hearing about your camping adventures through Facebook, Camping Today, and e-mails. Happy Trails to you, till we meet again.

Welcome New Members

Buttke, Randi Buttke, Matt ND 58072 ND Referred by: Clinton Tompt
Pagel, Terri Pagel, Jeff WI 53017 WI Referred by: Kip & Jan Cushing
Kapustin, Scott Kapustin, Jessica WI 53104 WI Referred by: Kip & Jan Cushing
Hager, Dean Hager, Dawn WI 53119 WI Referred by: Kip & Jan Cushing
Brazgel, John Brazgel, Camila WI 53215 WI Referred by: Kip & Jan Cushing
Quatrella, Susan CT 06612 CT Referred by: RV Show
Turner, John Turner, Janet NC 27107 NC Referred by: Mary Burvus
Ford, Jarrall Ford, Patricia TX 77355 TX Referred by: No Reference
Robers, Larry Robers, Andrea WI 53177 WI Referred by: Kip & Jan Cushing
Welcomer, Timothy Welcomer, Janee PA 17030 PA Referred by: Jason Jeffries
Haines, David Haines, Jennifer CO 80908 CO Referred by: LaVoris and LeRoy Fischer
Key, Billy Key, Donna FL 32536 FL Referred by: Carolina Lantern lighters
Shea, William Shea, Debbie NY 14855 NY Referred by: Linda & Nyal Austin
Sochor, John Sochor, Claudia VA 23138 VA Referred by: Internet Search
Spinnato, Joey Whitney, Anderson CO 80528 CO Referred by: Mike & Chris Hawkins
Weaber, Ronald Weaber, Sherry PA 17078 PA Referred by: Kim at Lykens Valley Roamers
Wilson, Richard Wilson, Kathy CO 80927 CO Referred by: Steve Furnish
Douma, Shawn Douma, Noel NJ 08054 NJ Referred by: Maryellen & Darris Douma

Retiree Rally 2024 – Mineola, Texas

‘Horsing Around’ in Mineola Recap
By George & Karen Reynolds, Rally Coordinators

The rally was well received by all attendees. There were additional features injected into the rally as we added a ‘court’ element each night at 6:30 prior to the announcements. Whereas 2 or 3 attendees were charged for alleged offenses, and we had a Lester Hang’um Judge (Ken Andrews) after hearing the charge the member was required to explain their reason for their plea and the audience would vote guilty or not guilty with passing the hat and all funds collected went to the food bank. ($800.) collected. This was a huge success. Additionally, upon hearing of a needy individual sleeping in their car in the parking lot a collection was taken and provided to them also. The community was very excited and happy for the rally to be there.

Additionally, there was a day trip for attendees to visit a local ranch that was the Dodson Ranch where a stunt man for the TV and Movie industry lived. He provided a tour and explanation of the history of his career and ranch.

Recap of Chairs below:

Members each night delivered the prize to winners.

GAMES: Popular games were Horse Races, Card Bingo, Five Crowns, Bean Bag Baseball. Euchre was played but very little interest was found. Cornhole was tried but very limited interest was found. Recommend it be eliminated.

DOOR PRIZES: A new system was tried and was successful. If you provided a prize, you were provided a number and when the prizes were called out the number vs names other words if you provide one you received one. Approximately 12 volunteers helped.

Vendors and Community business: Each provided prizes to the attendees.

SECURITY: Patrol grounds for safety one person fell and broke her finger, otherwise no issues.

CRAFTS: Three crafts offered 68 members participated. One hour was too short and needed at least two hours.

KING and QUEEN: All agreed that the wording ROYAL COURT was better than PAST KING and QUEEN. Trophies were provided to all participants. The coordinators stated the format used was successful.

PET PARADE: 14 ENTRIES (11 dogs and 2 Cats) 2 Judges volunteers. Delayed a day due to rain. Participation Certificates were provided, and extras were saved for next year. Also, water bowls should be located at events in the future.

REGISTRATION: Purchased Word and EXCEL program to manage the data. The program books are needed two days in advance. No problems reported.

ENTERTAINMENT: Three nights provided and a night for unit/individual skits.

FOOD and LAP BLANKETS: 30 LBS OF TABS donated to Ronald McDonald House in Rogers, Arkansas.

RED HAT LUNCHEON: Hosted by Diann Buggeln. Guest Speaker was Joe Dodson.  Salad Bar was provided.

Cowboy Breakfast was provided by Bill Buggeln, and Guest Speaker was also Joe Dodson.

A Visit to Joe Dodson’s Farm – “The Life story of a Real Cowboy”
By Betty Andrews

We had the privilege of hearing from a real cowboy and visiting his farm in Mineola, Texas. Bill Buggeln contacted Lisa, the manager of the Mineola Civic Center and RV Park in Texas, where the 52nd Retiree Rally was going to be held in March 2024. The theme chosen for this rally was “Horsing Around”. In keeping with the theme, Bill was curious about where we could visit or who we could hear from in the area. Linda suggested contacting Joe Dodson.

Bill contacted Joe, and he graciously invited our group to visit his farm on Monday, March 18th. Joe also agreed to be our keynote speaker at the ‘Hard Hat Breakfast’ for the men and ‘Red Hat Luncheon’ for the ladies on Friday, March 22nd.

So, off we went, with about 50 people, to hear the heartfelt life story from Joe Dodson. Dodson’s farm has been in his family for six generations. He bought the land from family members in 1996. Joe showed us how he trained horses with compassion and gentleness with his most prized horse, “Sweetie”. Sweetie was in the line of Champions.

He told us the story of his determination to do what his older brothers did on the farm and how he tried to get on a donkey at 4 years old. He would push up a feed basket to the donkey and would try climbing up by himself. He fell off many times, but never gave up. At a young age he had a strong desire to work with horses, and he proved to be very good at it.

At the age of 13, Joe was making a living training horses. He was making $50 a month, and that was a lot of money in 1961. After he graduated from high school, he moved to Dallas.

Joe was in movies and commercials as a stuntman, was known for ‘Walker’, in the TV series Walker, Texas Ranger in 1993. He also spoke about working with Ben Johnson, Wilford Brimley, and Chuck Norris.

His ability with horses was how Joe became a very wealthy man. Joe learned how to ride and train horses with gentle tapping, which he demonstrated to us. Several years ago, Joe had a stroke, and it took him 3 months to learn to walk again. At 76 years old he was able to demonstrate and ride for us.

This Texas Cowboy has had a life filled with many challenges. He lost everything he loved and worked for due to drugs and alcohol.

Today, Joe Dodson is a reformed drug addict and alcoholic and has been sober for the past 40 years. He was able to buy the farm from family members. He has also built an RV Park on the Farm. Joe lives there with his wife Linda, and he thanks God each day for his blessings.

We were truly honored that he took the time to share with us.

Cowboys & Cowgirls
By Bill & Dianne Buggeln, Chairs

It all actually started on Monday morning when 50+ of the Cowboys and Cowgirls went to a local ranch owned by Joe Dodson. Joe is a real Texas cowboy born and raised on the ranch we enjoyed. The Dodson Ranch was established in 1847, and Joe was born in the old ranch house. He has been involved with cattle and horses all his life. In his young years he was involved in rodeos doing both bull riding and bare bronc riding, suffering many injuries, which are still haunting him. During his career he spent some years with Walker, Texas Ranger doing stunt work. He was also a nationally known horse trainer, which is still his first love. Joe spent about an hour showing us how to train a horse, and you could tell how comfortable he was when he mounted the horse. I say all this to bring us to the Cowboy Breakfast and the Cowgirl Lunch.


The cowboys enjoyed an excellent breakfast of cheesy eggs, sausage gravy and biscuits and applewood bacon. After that great breakfast, we enjoyed about 30 minutes of Cowboy Joe’s stories. It was a great time for all. Many wore their cowboy hats and western apparel. Joe was just a simple Texas cowboy. Oh, by the way there were 61 present for the meal. The guys had cowboy cookies for breakfast. After all, there is never a bad time for a cookie.


The cowgirls enjoyed a great salad bar luncheon with chicken salad, ham, and a number of different salad makings. The ladies too were able to enjoy Cowboy Joe and his stories. He also talked about his experiences with Walker, Texas Ranger. The ladies also honored a new Queen Mum, first timer Linda Gilmore. There were 64 present, and everyone was treated to a Cowboy cookie. All the cookies for both the Cowboys and the Cowgirls were homemade by Dianne Buggeln.

Registration Recap
By Joanne Rich & Millie Pauwels, Co-Registration Chairs

The registration team consisted of Joanne Rich, Millie Pauwels, Judy Elenburg, Pat Rozzelle and Diane Hitchens. Pulling packets were Emil Pauwels and Phil Rich.

We originally had 96 registered, 14 cancellations, 2 that paid twice.

82 rigs at the rally.

26 First Timers.

Our workers were kept busy. All registrations were done on Monday.

We hope all the First Timers come back next year.

Pop Tabs Recap
By Karin & Roger Snyder, Food Bank Chair

Roger and I donated  30 lbs or more of pop tabs to Ronald McDonald House inside Mercy Hospital in Rogers, Arkansas.  The girl taking the bags of pop tabs from us was in awe!!  Thank you to all for doing such a great job!!  We explained it was from FCRV and a group effort!!

Door Prizes Recap
By Denise Hudson, Door Prizes Co-Chair

The door prizes went smoothly. The new way of doing it worked out really well. Everyone who brought a door prize won a door prize. Based on the results, we will continue to do it that way. In case there is anyone who didn’t know, we gave everyone a ticket as they dropped off their door prizes. We also had them print their name on the stub that went into the bucket. This is what ensured that everyone who brought a door prize, got one. Thank you to all the volunteers who passed out the door prizes as the names were called.

Retiree Rally Recaps
By Kip Cushing

Golf Carts: I used the same Golf Cart Ranch that was used previously with good prices and results. This year was no exception. Both Reba and I missed a typo on the contract for the delivery and pickup dates. The contract had April vs March. I made a call, and we had golf carts on Friday afternoon.

Because of the amount of rain, Delbert did not use his much; he used his truck to keep his bags dry. Parking was done using their cart early since everyone got there. Security only used one. Because the Rally director was close to the building, they walked and may have used their cart once or twice. Many used their electric bikes to get around.

Rally Crafts
By Dora Lewis, Crafts Chair

There were 3 crafts at the retiree rally in Mineola. Betty Andrews had a rock painting craft. A large group of ladies and one gentleman joined in on the fun. There were many beautiful designs, and everyone had a great time.

The other crafts were clothes hangers covered with yarn and Diamond art kits. Many ladies also joined in these two crafts. Fun was enjoyed by all.

Retiree Rally 2024 Games Final Report
By Craig & Shari Weber, Games Chairpersons

Name of Helpers: Betty Andrews, Jerry Rozelle, Carol Yates

Activities Provided:

Horse Races: This replaced frog races for this year. 24 racers plus audience. Win(1st) Phyllis Smith, Place (2nd) LaNelle Ishmael, and Show (3rd) Debbie Hansford. All players received a $0.50 merchandise certificate for C.A.M.P. credits.

Card Bingo: 54 players 25 $1 winners.

Euchre: 4 players. Winners: Denise McKerlie & Joyce Weir. Three players achieved lone hands and drew for the lone hand winner who was Pat Rozelle.

Washer Toss Doubles: 21 players plus audience. 1st Place Roger & Karin Snyder, 2nd Place Fred & Cheryl Roddam, 1st Place Men Roger Snyder, 1st Place Women Cheryl Roddam, 2nd Place Men Roger Hall, 2nd Place Women Becky Andrews. All players received a $0.50 merchandise certificate for C.A.M.P. credits.

Ladder Golf Doubles: 35 players plus audience. 1st Place Joe Wingert & Willie Walker, 2nd Place David Wolf & Tom Howard, 1st Place Men Bill Newell, 1st Place Women Becky Andrews, 2nd Place Men Fred Roddam, 2nd Place Women Dorothy Clark. All players received a $0.50 merchandise certificate for C.A.M.P. credits.

Mexican Train: 8 players. 1st Place Phillip Keeku, 2nd Place Marla Mantia

Five Crowns: 28 players. 1st Place Deb Keeku, 2nd Place David Wolf

Corn Hole: 24 players plus audience. 1st Place Dorothy Clark, 2nd Place Dave Hennie. All players received a $0.50 merchandise certificate for C.A.M.P. credits.

Bean Bag Baseball: 72 players plus audience, umpires, & scorekeepers,

8 teams played in a single elimination. 1st Place Pickup Team Larry & Debbie Hansford, Tom & Kathy Howard, Cindy & David Wolf, Willie Walker, John & Georgie Denisar. 2nd Place Winter Texans Matt & Marla Mantia, Debbie & John Lopez, Myrtle & John Whitcomb, Lois & Wayne Zuhoski, Bill Newell.

Retiree Rally Recaps
By Reba Ray

Entertainment :

We had 3 entertainment groups for the rally.

Tuesday evening was: Purple Hull, consisted of 3 ladies that sang bluegrass music, some gospel and country. They were very entertaining, and everyone seemed to enjoy them. They have been on European tours and have sung in Nashville. Now they have settled down around Kilgore, TX. One got married and moved to Waco, TX.

Wednesday evening was Air Heart which consisted of two ladies and a gentleman. They sang 50’s to 60’s music. It was pop singing from that era. For those who don’t like country music, these were the ones to listen to. They were very good, and everyone enjoyed the change.

Friday night was the Blue Mudbone band. They consisted of 5 members in the band, and they played a little country, tribute to some Eagles songs, and many more songs. They were enjoyable and very into the audience. They said they had a great time themselves, especially playing in front of all the Kings and Queens. They are a group from Mineola. They grew up together and formed a band later on in life.

All in all, there were no complaints about any of the groups. They were all very nice and well equipped to give us good music.

Biggest challenge is trying to find groups that everyone will enjoy.

We would like to have them back in the future.

State/Province/ Group Pictures:

Tom Wensel did the pictures for the rally. All States/Provinces took pictures. Tom always does a great job in doing them for us. He is good to work with, and if we are in the area again, we would like to get him back.

Program Booklet:

I, Reba, enjoyed doing the booklet. I know sometimes it seems that everything goes haywire when it is published, but I try my best to get things right. If I make mistakes, and you find them, then, I know that the booklet was read. If you have any suggestion that will make it more interesting, let me know. I will try to do better in the future. If anyone else is interested in doing the booklet, then, by all means, let it be known.


We had 3 Vendors for the Rally. SkyMed, Jewelry Lady, & Kleen Tank. There were supposed to be two others, but they had to cancel out. Jim Turner was not able to be there, so Reba Ray took over and got the vendors all set up and set up the Seminars for them. We look forward to Jim getting back with us next year.

Retiree Rally Pet Parade Results
By Donna Powell, Pet Parade Chair

Co-Chair: Sally Hoyland

Theme: ‘Get Along Little Doggies Pet Parade’

We had 13 entries -11 dogs; 2 cats


Theme award: Bill & Rita Newell, TX, Lilly

Look-Alike award: Sandy Tolliver, KS, Max

Talent award: Debby Martin, KS, Dinah

Best-Behaved award: Sally Hoyland, CO, Suzy

Best-in-Show award: George & Karen Reynolds, NC, Buddy

Best Cat award: Jill Lindley, TX, Ella

Each winner received a winner certificate and a goodie bag.

All participants received a participation award, appropriate toy, poop bags, or cat treat!

Our helpers were Sally Hoyland, Marla Mantia, and Debbie Kopetz. Thank you, ladies!

Photographers: Brenda Price and Betty Andrews

Judges: Wayne and Lois Zuhoski, NY, (NY Retiree King and Queen)

Everyone had fun! Great audience. The weather even cooperated! I enjoyed doing the parade; all my helpers were wonderful!

Retiree Rally Recaps
By Kip Cushing

Golf Carts: I used the same Golf Cart Ranch that was used previously with good prices and results. This year was no exception. Both Reba and I missed a typo on the contract for the delivery and pickup dates. The contract had April vs March. I made a call, and we had golf carts on Friday afternoon.

Because of the amount of rain, Delbert did not use his much; he used his truck to keep his bags dry. Parking was done using their cart early since everyone got there. Security only used one. Because the Rally director was close to the building, they walked and may have used their cart once or twice. Many used their electric bikes to get around.

Next year in AL with everyone spread out and walking short distances a premium, three for sure. One more used as taxi service may be considered, if there are enough driver volunteers.

Book Exchange: Wow! Everyone seemed to have brought books. There was a big variety of all types to read. I brought home many and ended up taking a box full to Goodwill. We collected $50 at last count for the Food Bank. And, Goodwill will make some money on us as well.

Sound & Lighting/Entertainment:

Sound went very well. The mixer board was like ours at church, so was easy to learn and use. We used their wireless mics, and I left a new package of replacement batteries. I had a new battery-operated PA and wireless head set that was used for many activities.

Lighting was a matter of drawing a sketch of the switch board to know which was for what set of lights and spots. They had some that were burnt-out but we did not worry about replacing them.

Reba enjoyed finding the entertainers. She would find them and email me to check them out to see if they would please our audience. She then handled the contracts and monies. She asked me to do the introductions for the groups on stage. That worked out fine.

The Bluegrass group “Purple Hulls” did not bring their sound system. I had no problems getting them hooked up to the CC system. They sounded great. The other two groups had their own setups with them and just needed power.

Choir: Had 13 sign up, and we had a good practice. We had the CC piano to use so Craig was happy, plus it made us sound terrific. He used the keyboard for the bell at memorial service on Thursday. By Sunday we lost two singers, yet we did a good job. Bill was happy with the hymns we selected for both services.

Variety Show:

BETH S. led us off with a wonderful song. (Need to have her sing more)

Craig W. and Kip C. did a Smothers Bros’ tribute skit that Craig wrote up; it turned out as a comedy.

Ashley T. sang Ol’ Man River and two others acapella.

Donna P. sang a hymn for us

Shari W. did 3 tunes on her instrument

Jo Elyn H. told some funny stories.

LaNelle I. told the car wash story.

Kip C sang 2 songs and a story.

The Royal Court Recap
By LaNelle & Leon Ishmael, Royal Court Chairs

The Royal Court and the running candidates had a good time of fellowship during the week. They helped open up the rally with a processional displaying the flags along with the two couples running for king and queen this year.. Members of the Royal Court attending the rally were Ronald and Jo Ellen Hersom, Leon and LaNelle Ishmael, Tommy and Alice Garner, Dick and Kathy Buresh, Millie and Emil Pauwel, Matt and Marla Matia, Diane and Steven Hitchens, Joanne and Phil Rich, and Barb Dodson.

During the week the group enjoyed a meal together at a local Mexican restaurant.

The week climaxed with the crowning of the 2024 International retiree King and Queen Bill and Rita Newell from Texas. First runner-up was Wayne and Lois Zuhoski from New York.

Watch Out for The Sheriff
By Bill Buggeln, Chair

Sheriff Willie, Deputy Stevo, and Deputy Rowdy were on the prowl all week looking for those who were misbehaving. Court was called to order each evening with the Honorable Lest’r Hang’um in charge. Cases of indecent exposure (knobby knees), stealing a championship race horse, wearing white pants before Easter, and, also, a suspicious masked character on the campgrounds, to mention a few. A lot of laughter was had along with some very humorous defenses, BUT all were found guilty by Judge Hang’um. The great thing about it all was that over $800 was raised for the food bank, Rose Hill Community Pantry.

Pop Tabs
By Karin and Roger Snyder

30 lbs or more of pop tabs today to Ronald McDonald House inside Mercy Hospital in Rogers, Arkansas.  The girl taking the bags of pop tabs from us was in awe!!  Thank you to all for doing such a great job!!  We explained it was from FCRV and a group effort!!

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.

Know Before You Go!
By Deb Swanson, Campvention Chair


Do NOT follow GPS directions to exit 31 on I-90. This will take you through downtown Utica. Take exit 30 (Herkimer-Mohawk) and let GPS recalculate you to NY5S bringing you right behind the fairgrounds.

Ice will be available during the day when the office is open. The cost is $3.25/bag and is subject to change.

No open fires are allowed on the fairgrounds. Propane fire pits are allowed in open areas.


Pump out service is scheduled for Sun, Tues, Thurs. You must sign up for service at Central Registration. There is a dump station available. For consideration of the people parked by the dump station, please use a sewer hose seal (available on Amazon for $8.62) on your portable waste tank. The cost for service on Sunday is $50 cash. The cost on Tuesday and Thursday is $40 cash. Sign up at Central Registration. YOU MUST BE AT YOUR RIG AT TIME OF PUMPING.


Don’t forget to bring your recyclable shopping bags. Paper shopping bags are available in our stores for $.05 each.

New York has a $.05 deposit on cans and bottles (including water). Cans/bottles without NY printed on them will not be accepted for deposit return. It is illegal to return cans/bottles (even with NY printed on them) if they were not purchased in NY and subject to a $100 penalty per item.


When you arrive at the fairgrounds, pull up the roadway a short distance and a parking team member will lead you to the gate registration area. There you will receive your registration packet. A parking team member will escort you to your site. After you are parked, and set up, proceed to the central registration area during the times listed.


Central Registration will be in Building C. The registration hours will be:

Saturday 9 am-12 pm and 1 pm-4 pm

Sunday 9:30 am – 11:30 am and 2 -4:30 pm

Stations are set up to receive/provide information regarding the various opportunities to participate while at Campvention. Please return the information cards that you received at gate registration, with your site location and emergency contact information including phone numbers. LIST ONE ON SITE CONTACT AND ONE-OFF SITE CONTACT. Central registration is also where you will pay for activities that you wish to participate in which a fee is required. This is also where you will pay for early days and pump out service so be sure to bring cash, or your checkbook.


Who doesn’t like to win a prize? Door prizes, and raffle prizes, have long been a tradition at Campvention. One year we even auctioned off a large basket donated by a chapter in Canada. This cannot be possible without donations from the people who attend. They can be anything that is new. They can be homemade, or store bought. The more that we have donated, the more door prizes can be given. Use your imagination! Be creative. Even items from the dollar store can make a nice basket. Please be sure to include your name and email address so that the person receiving the prize can properly thank you. \


This is the only time of year that Wildlife raises funds for its wildlife grants. Please donate a new purchased, or handmade item, to be raffled off.

Wildlife is again sponsoring a wildlife photo contest. Submit an 8×10 photo for entry. There are prizes for first, second and third place. There will be a youth class, 17 years and younger, and an adult class. Photos can be dropped off at Central Registration. There is also a birdhouse contest. They must be handmade and there is also a first, second, and third place ribbon. These houses will be auctioned off if you wish to donate yours. Drop off at Central Registration.


The teens are holding this raffle again this year. The idea is to “buy” TP insurance when you buy raffle tickets. THIS WILL NOT KEEP YOUR TRAILER FROM BEING TP’d, however, if you are TP’d, the teens will come and clean it up. And just like last year, they will have some fabulous prizes.


Dig out those Hawaiian shirts and blouses from the back of the closet and get ready to celebrate Hawaiian Day. The Big Fez will help us celebrate in style.


Your fur babies are waiting to show off how beautiful they are in our Annual Pet Parade. You MUST attend the Pet Parade meeting on Monday to register and receive the details of the parade.


The parade theme is ‘Camping Past, Present, & Future’.  Entries can be floats, bikes, scooters, golf carts, feet, anything that moves. Make them fancy!  You will be judged! There are multiple categories to be judged so look your best!


WE CANNOT STRESS THIS ENOUGH. Bring extra water hoses if you want a continuous water hook up. Also, bring a multiple water splitter. We definitely could use a 4 or 5-way splitter if you have one. If your rig has a 50 amp cord, bring a 50 to 30 amp dog bone. Everyone needs to bring extra electric (extension) cords no matter what amp plug you have.


This is the place where you can sell your “stuff”. Crafts, baked goods, etc. Pre-registration is required. See Camping Today for the registration form

Campvention 2024 TP Raffle
By Kathy Howell, TP Chair

It is almost time for Campvention!!! I am so excited to see everyone. I have begun packing the items for the raffle. I am hoping you are packing something special to donate to the raffle!! We had such amazing participation last year; can’t wait to see the goodies this year.

A glimpse of how TP Raffle works:

Teens will be out and about selling 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 on 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.

Campvention 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 in numerical order. 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!!

Family Fun Day
By Angie Shaneyfelt, Teen Meal Chair

The teen organization will be selling Family Fun Day tickets at registration for their hotdog/hamburger meal being served on Monday from noon to 1 PM. We are trying to keep our costs at $5.00/meal that includes a hotdog or hamburger with chips and water. At Family Fun Day the FCRV Trustees will have games for members to participate in. This is a gathering for all members to mingle with old friends and meet new friends! So, please remember to purchase your tickets at registration. We will also have some extra meals to purchase if you didn’t get a ticket. The teens appreciate your support as they use these profits for their activities this week.

FCRV’s Got Talent
By Craig Weber, Chair

Campvention this year will feature a new opportunity for members to share or show off, with the “FCRV’s Got Talent” show. This is the fourth month that this has been posted so hurry and sign up. 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. 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. https://fcrv.org/fcrvs-got-talent/ 

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

In the deep jungles of Africa there is the small kingdom of Solong. This kingdom has been its own independent country for generations. There are two tribes that live in Solong the Ohmygolly and the Ohmygosh. The king has always come from the Ohmygolly tribe. The current king, Imsilly the 8th, resolves all issues of conflict between the tribes when he rules from his throne. The seat of power, the throne, is solid gold encrusted with diamonds and emeralds. Since king Imsilly the 8th is a member of the Ohmygolly tribe he mostly rules in favor of his tribe when there are disputes. This has kept the Ohmygosh tribe very poor. While the Ohmygolly tribe has fine houses, the Ohmygosh tribe live in grass huts. Several of the men from the Ohmygosh tribe decided to end Imsilly’s rule by stealing the throne. Since, by law, no decisions can be made unless the king is sitting on the throne. Stealing the throne would end the unfair treatment. Late that night 20 Ohmygosh warriors snuck into the castle and stole the throne. When they returned to the village they decided to hide the throne on the roof of their leader’s hut. Hauling it up to the roof and covering it with more grass they were sure that the warriors from Ohmygolly would never find it. The very next day hundreds of Ohmygolly warriors descended on the Ohmygosh village and began searching hut to hut. As the general of the Ohmygolly warriors questioned the leader of the Ohmygosh tribe there came a loud crash. The throne broke through the roof and crushed the leader of the Ohmygosh tribe. This just proves the old saying …… wait for it…… People who live in grass houses shouldn’t stow thrones.

I can do at least an hour of these stories; so, sign up now!

Teen Sports – Volleyball & Softball
By Angie Shaneyfelt, Teen Sports Chair

Calling all Teens…..we will be playing volleyball Thursday morning at 9:30. Make sure you all show up; even if you don’t play, you need to come to support your fellow teens. Any adults interested in helping and/or participating in the teen volleyball are welcome to come, also. You will be put on a team if there aren’t enough teens. 

The annual softball game was originally teens competing against other teens. Then, we transformed the game to adults vs teens, and now we have just decided to mix the teams up. So, any age that wants to play softball, bring your gloves and bats. This includes youth; we need some base runners for older folks! We do have some equipment to provide for members that don’t have any to bring. Just come and play! We had a good turnout of members last year at Richmond and had a very competitive softball game. We need to make sure the membership comes to watch us play. So, when walking to the ball diamond, tell everyone you see to come and join us, either by playing or watching!

             By Dora Lewis              

Campvention is next month. CAMPING IS POSTER is one of the many great ways to participate in  Campvention. Posters and coloring pages can be done at campouts. Youth ages 5-12 are eligible for the poster and youth from 0-4 can do the coloring page. Poster size is a standard 22×28.

Click on this link for the coloring page. All entries must have members name, age and must be signed by a Field Director or State/Provincial Director. Entries are to be brought to Campvention.

FCRV Campvention Parking Information and Tips
By Wayne & Lois Zuhoski, Parking & Layout Chairs

We would love to welcome all of you to the 2024 FCRV International Campvention at the Herkimer County Fairgrounds, 135 Cemetery Street, Frankfort, NY, to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of our organization.

First of all, parking will be Hobo Style. RV Parking locations are throughout the Fairgrounds which will be close to all activities. RV sites will be 25′ x 40′ wherever possible. However, there will be some sites that will be smaller, 22′ wide or 30′ long, so smaller rigs will be located there if necessary. RV power and water connections are clustered throughout the fairgrounds, some with as many as 10 electric and two water outlets at each cluster. Mostly 30 amp with a 50 amp connection at some locations. There are a limited number of 50 amp connections available in the fairgrounds; please be prepared to use the 30 amp connection unless you absolutely need to have the 50 amp connection. The average temperature forecast during the Campvention is in the low 80’s (81º to 83º daytime) and in the high 50’s (57º to 59º at night).

When you arrive at the fairgrounds, enter and continue straight ahead to the Parking & Gate Registration Checkpoint. You will be asked for your attendance confirmation letter, your RV’s Information (size, # of slides, power requirements, and any special needs) and given instructions on how to proceed. If you are towing a vehicle, you will be directed to where you can unhook it, then escorted to the RV Parking location you are assigned. NOTE: New York Safety and Fire regulations require that your RV cannot be blocked in and must be able to pull out in the event of an emergency.

Depending on the type and size of the RV’s located at the power & water connections, you might find that you are located farther away from them then you would normally be. We recommend that you bring and have available some items (listed below) that would help you connect to the RV utilities. Over the years we have been Camping we have found that they have been invaluable to us having a successful camping experience.

Depending on where the water & power inlets are on your RV, they could be as far as away as 110 ft. from where the Fairgrounds connections are. Better safe than sorry…

Besides what you normally carry:

For Water: 3/4in. Brass Garden Hose Wye W/shut-offs, 50′ or longer Drinking Water Hose.

For Power – 50amp RV’s: A 30amp “M” to 50amp “F” adapter, a 50amp Extension Cord 30′ or 50′ long, a 50amp Surge protector.

For Power – 30amp RV’s: A 50amp “M” to 30amp “F” adapter (Not req. here but a good thing to carry if the 30amp outlet’s not working), a 30amp Extension Cord 30′ or 50′ long, a 30amp Surge Protector.

You might want to check in with your camping friends not coming to the Campvention. If they have any of the things above you could borrow, that would be a good idea.

If you do not need to use any of these things and you lend them out to someone else who needs it, remember to mark the items with your name so you can get it back at the end of Campvention.

For everyone’s safety, if you arrive after dusk you will be taken to an open area (no utilities available) to stay in overnight. You will be taken to your assigned parking location the next morning.

Attention Pet Parents
By Sue Fromholzer

It has been brought to my attention that your fur babies want to be the center of attention at Campvention. Well, don’t you know that it is a tradition that they are highlighted in their own parade! This year the contest will take place on Hawaiian day. You must attend the pet parade meeting on Monday to be registered and official. So, bring the appropriate attire and join us center stage for the best show of the week.


C.A.M.P. @ Campvention 2024
By Mark Brayman, C.A.M.P. Chair

Greetings everyone and happy spring,

The Campvention C.A.M.P. Committee (Campers Actively Moving Program) has been “Actively” putting the final touches on this summer’s program. Our hope is that you will participate in any or all of the opportunities listed. From simple on grounds strolling (including a perpetual option, see below) to local area exploring on foot, via a bicycle or in a canoe or kayak. (Rental info below). How about trying a little Pickleball or perhaps some Disc Golf? These two activities will be available on site at the fairgrounds. Let’s get moving this June with FCRV.

Plan for the following activities;

Paddling on the nearby historic Erie Canal: Tuesday 11am. We will line up at the fairgrounds and drive to a nearby launch at the Frankfort Harbor Marina and Park. We will paddle from there out to the canal. At that point we will travel west through lock E19 experiencing the “lift” of the lock as we continue our journey. After a lunch/snack stop (you pack) we will do more paddling west to a safe and accessible pullout location. The distance and controlled canal water flows should allow for all abilities to participate. In regards to rentals: It appears that the best place to find rentals is in and around Utica, NY which is ten miles from the fairgrounds. https://eriecanalway.org/explore/watertrail 

Bicycling on the Erie canal trail: Wednesday morning. This 350+ mile trail runs east west and borders the town of Frankfurt to the north. Our plan is a 20-mile round-trip trek to a scenic water feature just off the path. The trail is located close enough to the rally site that we plan to ride out and return together. The canal trail is nearly flat so your focus can be on the surrounding beauty and not overworking your muscles. https://eriecanalway.org/explore/cycling 

It should be noted that this trail is also used by hikers, runners and walkers so if at any time during the rally and you have the urge, head over. You won’t be disappointed.

In regards to rentals: It appears that the best place to find rentals is in and around Utica, NY which is ten miles from the fairgrounds.

Disc Golf: An on-site disc golf scramble is being planned in the schedule. This activity is intended to introduce attendees to this fun outdoor sport. If you’ve ever tossed a frisbee or considered it this activity is for you. No experience necessary! Equipment provided however if you own a set of disks or a portable target/basket please bring them along to Campvention. The scramble play will be similar to regular golf. Participants will play as teams with each member tossing one disc at the same target. The team will then toss from the spot of the best toss and so on till a team member lands inside the target. This way everyone can enjoy the game regardless of ability. This also makes for a great ice breaker since we usually play with teams of ten. By the end of the round (9 baskets) you will have discovered some new friends and have had lots of fun.

Note: If there appears to be enough interest there may be an opportunity to travel to a nearby public course where we can really test our skills. https://udisc.com/courses/herkimer-college-disc-golf-pJIR 

Pickleball: All abilities- Time has been allotted in the schedule for this popular activity. While the committee has a limited amount of equipment (we have enough for one court). The event will take place in an indoor setting (perfect size for court length) which could accommodate (width wise) a few more nets etc. Please bring gear if you have it. It would be appreciated Thanks

Daily Fairground morning walking: The schedule will include a morning walk which all are welcome to participate in. A meeting location will be listed in the program for the daily 8am group walk. In addition, just to change things up a bit and if you want more opportunities to stay fit, a perpetual walking/running route through the fairgrounds is planned. This honor system activity allows attendees to follow a designated route at their leisure. A sign-up ledger location will be designated where you can indicate your progress. This activity will extend from the second early arrival day to noon on Friday.

Campvention 2024 Entertainment
By Mike & Carol Burns, Entertainment Chairs

Sunday – 5:00 pm Camden Continentals – Fife & Drum Corps – (https://www.camdencontinentals.org

In the mid-1800s the Taberg (NY) Fife & Drum Corps was created under the direction of Alanson White. Mainly playing at political rallies and patriotic celebrations, in 1945 the band moved to Camden and was renamed the Camden Continentals. The corps now has an active schedule of approximately 15 events per year at parades and musters. The Camden Continentals mission is to entertain the people of Central New York while promoting patriotism and a general sense of esprit de corps within our community.

The Camden Continentals will step off in formation and parade around the Campvention grounds at 5 pm. They will conclude near the stage, where they will perform a few numbers before providing accompaniment for the national anthems.

Opening ceremony:

Erin White, NYSA & FCRV Teen Queen 1999 – National Anthems

Monday – 7:00 pm – Announcements Grit & Grace (http://www.gritngraceband.com/

Since 2011, Grit N Grace has been entertaining audiences regionally in NY as well as neighboring states with their unique blend of high energy country, rock, and dance music for a show that is enjoyable for all ages.

Tuesday – 7:00 pm – Announcements

FCRV’ Got Talent Showcase

Wednesday – 7:00 pm – Announcements Big Fez and the Surfmatics (https://bigfezmusic.com/home)


Big Fez & the Surfmatics are a four-man group performing classic surf and beach music from the early 1960’s and beyond. While all four members are journeymen musicians who have individually developed their craft through rock, country, bluegrass, and Celtic music, it is the music of their youth, the “music of the surf”, that has brought them together to form this outstanding combo.

Thursday – 7:00 pm Announcements

Awards and Drawing Day –

Friday – 7:00 pm – Announcements

Leslie Tallmadge – Campfire sing-along

With a decade of experience as a Girl Scout leader and camp counselor, Leslie has collected hundreds of camp songs. She has performed many times to appreciative audiences at Camp Amahami, and during COVID kept the Camp spirit alive through Facebook Live campfire sing-alongs.

Campvention 2024 Seminars
By Mike & Carol Burns, Seminars Chairs

Seminars are scheduled daily at 10 am and 2 pm (mostly). They will cover both conservation and local history/interest and alternate topics by time. All presenters have volunteered to join us, and several will have their products (honey, maple, books) available immediately following their session.


10 am Sunny Hunny Farms – Tracy Robbins-Garrison

Sunny Hunny Farms, owned by Violet Robbins and Tracy Robbins-Garrison, in Amsterdam is a licensed nursery with an apiary for beehives. The mother and daughter have just opened a seasonal store at their 18-acre farm to expand access to its fresh cut flowers, potted plants, fruits, vegetables, honey and bee products.

2 pm Origins of the Erie Canal – Craig Brack

“The Mind-sets and Motivations Which Created the Erie Canal” will explore several major events in the early history of our country which led to the construction and success of the canal. In particular, there were at least three such events which occurred from 1776 to 1815 which led directly to the ultra-expensive construction of the canal starting in 1817. This will help you better understand and appreciate your trip along the nation’s first highway.

Tuesday 10 am The Oneida Indian Nation – Jessica Farmer (www.oneidaindiannation.com 

The Oneidas are an indigenous nation of American Indian people whose sacred and sovereign homelands are located in Central New York. The Nation was a key ally of the United States during the Revolutionary War, and it has been a cultural and economic anchor for the region. 2 pm Mud Road Sugar House – Vern Duesler III (www.mudroadsugarhouse.com)

Over five generations, Mud Road Sugar House has grown from to a 4000-tap operation encompassing several hundred acres of sugarbush. Like most operations it is family owned and operated by Vern Duesler III (Margaret), sons D.J. (Erica), and Chad (Lindsay) and the grandchildren. Hear from the source how sap is made into syrup and taste the goodness that nature provides.

Wednesday 10 am Invasive Species – Addison Kubrick (www.capitolregionprism.org

Invasive species are any non-native species (plant, animal, microbe, etc.) that have the ability to cause harm to the environment, economy, and/or human health. The Capital

Region Partnership for Invasive Species Management works in collaboration with partner groups to promote prevention, education, and outreach strategies, create early detection and response networks, and execute best management practices for invasive species control.

2 pm Revolution in the Valley – Ft. Stanwix National Monument Staff (www.nps.gov/fost

For centuries, the Oneida Carrying Place, a six-mile portage connecting the Mohawk River and Wood Creek, served as a vital link for those traveling by water from the ocean to the Great Lakes. When Europeans arrived, nations fought for control of the carry and the rich resources of North America. Learn how this strategic location became the lynchpin that allowed our nation to survive.


10 am Haunted Mohawk Valley – Dennis Weaver (https://www.facebook.com/GhostSeekersOfCentralNY/

The Mohawk River winds through central New York, and along its meandering path residents and visitors have encountered the supernatural. In Utica, ghosts grace the stage of the Stanley Theater; Spirits of Revolutionary War soldiers still march on the Oriskany Battlefield and linger in Schoharie’s Old Stone Fort; and some former residents of Beardslee Castle in St. Johnsville, Boonville’s Hulbert House and the Seashell Inn of Sylvan Beach have resisted vacating.

3 pm Rawlings Adirondack Bat Company – TBD (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FQ6LRohZY8I

One of a few manufacturers of major league baseball bats, Rawlings Adirondack has supplied amateurs, all-stars, and Hall of Famers with the tool of their trade for over a century. Discover how bats are made, why the lumber comes from such a small region, and how they have reacted to the demise of ash due to the invasive Emerald Ash Borer.

Friday – 12:00 Noon, Flag Retirement Ceremony

Canajoharie Boy Scout Troop 81 will lead a retirement ceremony for American and Canadian national flags. Please bring any worn flags that are in need of retirement, and they will be disposed of in a proper and dignified manner.

A flag is considered to be worn when the color has faded, it has developed a hole or the outermost seam (fly) of the flag has become frayed. When a flag becomes tattered and is no longer in a suitable condition for use, it should be disposed of in a dignified manner.

Campvention Parade
By Lynn Tinter, Parade Chair

Have you been making plans for the parade?

Our Campvention 2024’s parade will be Friday at 10am (registration will be at 4PM on Monday in Building C).

All participants or a representative MUST attend to register and receive a number to attach to the float/vehicle from the Parade Committee.

The parade theme is “Camping – Past, Present, and Future”. Be creative – figure out how to depict the past, present, and/or future of camping. This is the 75th anniversary of FCRV, and 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. Historically, the parades went through the town we were camping in, but in recent times we have stayed on the campgrounds.

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

Hello FCRV members! I wanted to remind you of Marketplace. I am Rhonda O’Neal from Illinois, and I will be overseeing the Marketplace this year at Campvention in Herkimer, NY! Marketplace will be held in Building A which is the main building this year and will be held on Thursday June 27, 2024 from 9:00am-12:00pm. Tables are 6ft long and are available for $5.00 each which includes 2 chairs or you can bring your own chairs. If you are interested in a space, please email me at [email protected], and I will send a form 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 questions. I look forward to seeing you in Herkimer! 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 make and would like to sell it at Campvention , then Marketplace is for you! Plenty of spots are still available.

Honey Wagon & Propane Services Info
By Daniel Tinter, Chair

Honey Wagon Service: RV dump service will be provided by Jon’s Johns Portable Toilets on Sunday ($50), Tuesday ($40) and Thursday ($40). Sign up will be at central registration. A minimum of 10 RVs each day must sign up or the service is cancelled for that day. Members are required to be present at their RV at the time of service.

Propane Service: Propane service will be provided by Harbor Point Energy Products on Monday. Sign up will be at Central Registration. Cost will be $4.50 per gallon in cash. Members are required to be present at their RV at the time of service.

Youth Activities Campvention 2024
By Barb McHale, Youth Chair

Theme: ‘Remembering Our Past…Celebrating Our Future’

There will be youth activities daily Monday through Thursday for the hours of 9-11 am and 1-3 pm. Expect to have fun! Please dress in clothes that can be played in! We will also be using paints frequently. Sneakers should be worn for Tuesday afternoon’s races/activities. For our Wednesday afternoon water activities, you may want to consider wearing bathing suits under t-shirts/athletic shorts and bring a towel.

Expect to participate in numerous fun activities ranging from crafts to obstacle courses, each embracing our campvention theme. Plan to learn about the NY State Bird while you assemble a Bluebird house to take home. We will also construct wooden stilts and land skis to play and compete with. We will be playing some small group games that many enjoyed years ago as well as creating art work with various methods and mediums. Ornaments to remember our time at Campvention will finish out our activities. All supplies will be provided for activities.

Children under 5 must be accompanied by a parent/guardian. Youth 5-8 must be signed in and out by a parent/guardian (or accompanied by). Parents of youth ages 9-12 can choose whether or not to allow their child to sign themselves in and out- a permission statement indicating choice must be signed.

Anyone interested in volunteering with our youth at Campvention should reach out to me soon because there are forms required to be filed. Remember our children are our future. [email protected].

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

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

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

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

Wildlife Update

Wildlife Update
By Thomas Martinez

With warmer weather in the forecast, people are flocking to trailheads to see what’s blooming on our colorful landscapes. Every time we go into outdoor spaces, we play an integral role in keeping our trails clean, living in harmony with wildlife, and making the outdoors safer to explore. Birding tips (Barr Lake State Park brochure) Always view birds and other wildlife from a safe distance. Use binoculars or a spotting scope for a closer view. Protect young by avoiding nests and dens. Help protect birds by using your senses to find than, and not recorded calls. To see more birds, keeping voices and other sound low. Protect plants and wildlife by staying on trails and respecting closures. Keep dogs leashed and under control. For the best viewing experience, leave pets at home. Human food can hurt wildlife, please keep their diets wild. Take nothing but pictures, leave what you find for others to enjoy.

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!

Dear RV

What are the advantages and disadvantages of exchanging propane bottles?

This is often a debate in the world of campers. When you have the bottle filled, you get a full bottle. Say 20# of propane in that 20# tank. When you exchange ,you will find that the tank is filled to 75% to 80% of the tank’s holding capacity. Some say this is cheating the buyer. I do not think that is the motive here. Federal standards limit the transporter to the amount that they can put in the tank and ship on the highway. So, for capacity you are often better to fill your tank and have the full amount of the tank, in my opinion. The other thing to consider is the convenience factor. Exchanging is a huge plus if you are on the road and need a bottle of propane in a pinch. Many exchanges are available in the off hours that a propane distributor might not be open. So, as you can see, both options have advantages and disadvantages.

Thanks for writing Dear RV.

Dear RV

I have been reading about Herkimer Diamonds and the possibility of being able to dig for them. Besides Crater of Diamonds State Park in Arkansas, are there any other places to dig for precious gems?

The locations are endless. There are Emerald mines in North Carolina. There are the Yogo Sapphires in Montana, Turquoise in Arizona, Jade in California and Wyoming, Agatized Coral in Florida. So, you see the list is endless. These are just a few that come to mind and are out there for the explorer to find. Keep exploring, possibly you will find your riches. I hope you will take time to go dig in the mines around Herkimer.

Thanks for writing Dear RV.


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

Click on a year to see those months past issues of “Camping Today”.

20212020 2019



Letter From Retiring Camping Today Editor

by DeWayne Johnston

July 15, 2022.

In 1989, then President Lyndon Mayer urged  me to take over the editor portion of Camping Today since Editor Dave Higbie needed to spend more time on his successful travel business. I had been doing volunteer publicity for NCHA. As editor I was hired as a contractor for service. Dave and Martha Higbie would stay on as publisher and continue to do the layout and printing and supervise mailing. Copies were printed and mailed at that time. Since then, NCHA/FCRV has had several publishers who took care of layout, printing and mailing for a fee.

I was fortunate to have several mentors who knew the organization inside out. Among them were the Higbies and Noreen Smith,  I was also glad to get to know founder Hank Nathan, National Director Don Plummer,  Office Manager Fran Opella, Layout Person Cathy Williams and many others including the presidents I served under. My wife June was always a great help, too.

My last few years were made a little easier by Vickie Roop who volunteered to take over layout when Camping Today alternated  between print and mail and online issues.  Of course, today, it’s all done on line with Carl Fromholzer and Paul Standiford doing the layout and Pat Wittmeyer taking care of the mailed subscriptions . 

My overall goal was to develop sources for interesting and useful articles and to encourage the membership to share what they are doing in the way of camping activities and other community service projects. Covering Campventions, Retiree Rallies, and other special events was also important. Making FCRV look good wasn’t hard since so many chapters, states, and provinces were doing lots of public service such as Conservation Projects, fundraising for charities, and things like bringing Christmas to orphanages and nursing homes. Also, the Connecticut ’Make A Wish’ support and the Winter Texans Veterans Home gift drive were significant. Rallies have always taken up donations for the local food banks and nursing homes, etc. including Ronald McDonald House.

Although I am retiring as editor, I’ll still be around taking a few pictures and may contribute a story or two.  We’ll continue to camp and enjoy the many great friends we have in FCRV.