November 2021 – Volume 1. Issue 11. 

Old Stone Fort Museum
Sightseeing at the Retiree Rally 2022


Table Of Contents

From or About Our Members

Upcoming Events.

Event Recaps

Camping Information

Milestones & Farewells

Past Camping Todays

Camping Today Staff

All articles/information for Camping Today should be sent to DeWayne Johnston  by the first of the month prior to publication.

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 today. Publisher is Family Campers &RVers, 4904 Transit Rd. Bldg. 2, Depew, New York 14043-4906. Office Manager – Pat Wittmeyer 716-668-6242, [email protected]. Editor – DeWayne Johnston, 126 Hermitage Rd., Butler, PA 16001-0720, 724-283-7401 [email protected]. Layout / Website – Vickie Roop, 1218 Ferguson Ave., Fort Wayne, IN 46805, [email protected]. Online subscription is included with annual membership. Mailed, printed copies are available by annual subscription of $20. Current FCRV membership is 2638. The number of mailed subscriptions for September 2018 is 65. USPS Pub.# 724-710, ISSN# 870-1465. OWNER: National Campers & Hikers Association, doing business as Family Campers & RVers (non-profit), 4804 Transit Rd. Bldg.2, Depew, New York 14043-4906. Bondholders, mortgage, and other security owners holding 1% or more of bonds, mortgages, and other securities: NONE. The purpose, function, and nonprofit status of this organization and the exempt status for federal income tax purposes has not changed in the last 12 months. Publication name – Camping Today, issue date for circulation data, September 2019.

From The President

Well, another month has passed and We FCRV suffered a big loss with the passing of Vickie Roop. Those that knew Vickie Knew the unending work that she did to see that Camping today was out and on time each month. Her dedication was unmatched in FCRV when it came to camping today. For me it was a pleasure to work with her on Campvention, Camping Today as she always had wisdom that kept us focused. In the evening meetings at Campvention she kept us focused on the task at hand and kept things on track. She could be stern when needed and caring when needed. The Campvention knowledge that we lost with her passing is unmeasurable. I would like to thank everyone for understanding Camping today in October being late. 

We are searching for a successor to take over this portion of Camping Today and I would like to thank Paul Standiford for stepping up to help us through this tough time. Thank you, Paul! This also would be a good time to address the open positions that we have within FCRV. they have been listed several times and if you or someone you know could be willing to step in and fill one of the important jobs reach out and we will get them in touch with the correct person. If you know someone that would be good in a position encourage them to step forward and submit a resume telling us what they have done and would like to do for FCRV, and we will place them into consideration. Often that correct person just needs someone to believe in them and encourage them to step out and succeed in an endeavor that is at hand.

I would like to thank Jack Syme for stepping in and heading up the Nominating committee for Larry Roop with the loss of Vickie. Larry thank you for having a group in place and the work you had done to date. You are in our prayers. If you are interested in running for office reach out to Jack or one of the committee members and talk with them.

I would like to reach out to each of the Chapter Field Directors and say to those that have gotten your Chapter Gmail address thank you. If your chapter has not gotten this accomplished yet I would ask what is holding you back. One reoccurring comment I have heard of over the years is that we do not want out personal information out there for the world to see. Well, this is just one of the many reasons that we are moving to a Chapter email address and not using a personal email address for communication within FCRV. Everyone we are trying to answer your concerns here and many appear to be fighting the change given it will do the very thing that they requested we do and that is protect their personal information. By doing this we keep you a little more secure. In the process we improve the lines of communication with you the chapters. Folks this is a win, win we just need to make the change within our own thinking. I would ask each of you what do we have to lose? If it works great if it does not well, we can say we tried and find something that works. Another benefit is people who are searching camping will find us in their online searches and thus lead to new members. Folks lets giver it a try as Carl in the office has already moved FCRV many steps forward in this project. 

I have often said that when you share FCRV with a new person you have no clue as to what they will become to FCRV in the years to come. They could become a Trustee, Field Director, or the person that shares FCRV with the person that starts a new chapter or becomes a future State Director. What that new person becomes in FCRV we do not know and may not know for years to come. It takes encouragement and allowing them to grow to develop what they might become. One thing I know there are many people out there that love and care about FCRV and there are many more just waiting for the opportunity to learn about FCRV. Well, let me challenge you to share FCRV with that friend, neighbor, family member that camps giving them the opportunity to join you in one of the upcoming functions that you have in the months to come giving them the chance to become part of FCRV. 

We will see you around the campfire soon

Gerry Pfirsch

FCRV President 

Remembering Vickie Roop


     Vickie Lawrence Roop, a long time significant builder and volunteer to NCHA / FCRV passed away at Parkview Regional Medical Center on October 13 at age 74. Nearly 50 of those years included service to the organization. Joining NCHA in 1971, Vickie and her husband Larry became active in Indiana camping and became well known enough to be offered the job of Indiana State Directors. They kept that position from 1989 to 1994 when Larry Roop was elected  2nd Vice President. Vickie then assumed the responsibilities of Indiana State Director. Then in 1997 when the region’s name was changed to the Great Lakes Region, she was appointed Midwest Regional Director. Larry was elected 1st Vice President in 1996 and re-elected on 1998 then was elected President in 2000 and re-elected in 2002..It wasn’t all serious business though as the Roops had time to take part in organizing a special chapter called The Midwest Quackers which grew quickly. Their charter was written on the inside back of a cracker box, thus the name. They also belong to the YARS and Winter Texan Chapters.

     Vickie served as Campvention Chairman for the 2004 and 2008 in Berrian Springs, Michigan. She directed her GLAD teams and held fun filled Campventions both years. She developed the team structure for Campventions followed by other regions.

     Born in Indianola, Iowa and later lived in Kendallville IN, Vickie Roop graduated from Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. She was certified in audiology, speech pathology, and mildly handicapped. She taught in the Special Education department at Central Noble Schools for 24 years. She also was a member of Ball State University Angel Flight.

     Vickie enjoyed camping her entire life, as a youngster with the Girl Scouts and later after marrying Larry. They have camped in all of the lower 48 states plus vacationed in Hawaii and Alaska.  They spent many years travelling together enjoying retirement. She enjoyed cross stich, game shows, fishing, swimming and computers. She spent many summers as a lifeguard at Bixler Lake in Kendallville.

     Her teaching experience came in handy for FCRV as she trained many new State Directors including those in her Great Lakes Region who managed their states well. She also held computer training sessions for the Executive Board and others on the use of Word and Excel to simplify reports. When the Roops were spending winters in Texas, Vickie presented computer training sessions in their RV park and she was willing to help anyone, anytime with a computer problem. One of her former students, Jason Brown left this on the memorial page, “Mrs. Roop was a very good teacher and my favorite person in Middle School. I loved to hear about her camping trips. I’m going to miss her so much.”

     Another valuable service she did for FCRV was to become FCRV’s Website Editor in its infancy and added many innovations. She held that post for several years and added the job of editing the bi-monthly online version of Camping Today before printing and mailing was discontinued a few years ago. Since then she has been doing the layout and graphics for the monthly on-line Camping Today Magazine. It is a time consuming job requiring patience, skill, and perseverance, which she had in abundance.  Husband, Larry continues to serve on the Executive Board. 

     In 2011 Vickie and Larry Roop were honored with the Hank Nathan Lifetime Achievement Award for individuals who have rendered extraordinary service to FCRV over 25 years. Their dedication to building the organization and love of camping were recognized earlier with a Citation for service in 1986, Director of the Year Plaque in1993, Outstanding Service Plaque in 1996 and Vickie received the Award of Merit in 2005. Despite a series of recurring health challenges, she fought back, kept going, kept her subtle sense of humor, and continued to serve her family and FCRV. 

     She leaves abundant memories to cherish to her husband of 49 years, Larry, stepson, Tony (Christine), a sister, Connie (Tony) Van Buren, a brother Stephen (Hazel) Lawrence, 3 grandchildren, 2 great-granddaughters, a niece, 2 nephews, 3 great-nieces, a great-nephew, and many friends. Condolences may be sent to Larry Roop at [email protected] or 1218 Ferguson Ave, Fort Wayne, IN 46805.In lieu of Flowers, Memorials may be made to: FCRV Schloarship Fund, C/O Carl Wood, Director, 137 Harley Road, RR.1, Harley, ONT, CANADA N0E 1EO.

Remembering Vickie Roop

by Barb Turner


On October 13, 2021 Vickie Roop, Indiana, left us, but she lives on with us in our memories.  Many of us who knew her, worked with her, and called her friend are feeling a void.  When asked to share memories of Vickie, the following responded with……

From Clare Gunning, New York:  “I just wanted to share.  I will always remember my arrival for my very first national board meeting as the National Discount Director.  I was very nervous, and there at the airport in the baggage retrieval area was Vickie.  I got a great big hug and welcome.  She didn’t know me from Adam, but she went out of her way to make sure that I felt part of the team.  She never knew how much that greeting meant to me.  She will be greatly missed by us all.”

From Bill & Mollie Stirewalt, North Carolina & past Trustee:  “Mollie & I are so sad that we have lost a good friend.  We got to know Vickie when I served as a trustee with Larry.  Later on in the winter they were our neighbors at Ranchero Village in Texas for a number of years.  Vickie looked after Mollie sometimes when I was not around.  She helped me out on more than one occasion with a computer problem.  That is the kind of person she was. We need more campers with her attitude.”

From Jack Smye, Ontario & FCRV past president:  “I had the privilege of knowing Vickie for more than 30 years. Our paths first crossed when my wife Sonya and I were transferred to Indiana in the fall of 1987. I had used my FCRV (then NCHA) contacts in Canada to help me find a chapter in Bloomington, Indiana. I probably first met Vickie at a statewide in the spring of 1988. Bit by bit I became more involved in my Bloomington Chapter, Travelin Turtles, and that in turn led to greater involvement at the state level. Our paths would cross periodically – mostly at state functions for the next few years until Vickie asked me to be a regional director for the South East District in Indiana. Little did I know that by saying ‘yes’ I was on a path that would eventually lead to the National Presidency. From the middle 90’s until the present, we saw each other many times, and both Sonya and I very much enjoyed the company of Vickie at campouts, Campventions, Quackers Meetings, Trustees meetings and Winter Board meetings.

“Vickie always struck me as a very positive person with a ‘can do’ attitude. She could be demanding, but was only expecting from you what she herself was continually putting out. As an educator, she was a great trainer and teacher – showed me how to more effectively use computer programs and programing – her seminars were very helpful. Vickie was fun. She loved to play -and win – at card games or any other competitive game or sport. Vickie was a great leader and administrator. She was the first to introduce  the team concept for organizing tasks related to Campvention, and the two Campventions at Berrien Springs for which she was chairman were two of the most successful (financially and in all other aspects) that have been held over the last 30 years.

“When Vickie’s health started to fail, she still kept her positive outlook and right up to the time of her death was actively working for the good of FCRV. I am a better person for having known and been touched by Vickie’s generosity and greatness.”

From George Walters, Florida & past Trustee: “During my time as an FCRV Trustee, I had the opportunity to interact with Vickie on several occasions.  I attended workshops and seminars that she directed, and I always found them informative, to the point, and helpful to me.  

“As many other members probably have mentioned, I always looked forward to receiving my monthly copy of the Camping Today.  You could tell that a lot of love, work, and care went into each issue.  

“Vicki was one of a kind; a fine teacher, leader and loyal FCRV member, always willing to go the extra mile and take on any task that she was asked to perform.  It was always a comfort to know that she was available to guide us when we needed it.  She will be sorely missed.”

From Vern Failor, Kansas:  “I really got to know Vickie in Amana, Iowa as I had just purchased a new computer, and it had Windows 10 installed on it.  I went to Vickie’s seminar on Windows 10, and she was very helpful.  Vickie was very kind and patient with me.   She always would take the time to let you do the work with her guidance.  She always had the time to help us even in later years; if you called her, she would always have the time to listen and solve your problem.  I will always cherish the friendship and memories of her.  Thanks, Vickie.  I will miss you.  Larry and family, my prayers are with you.  Thanks for letting Vickie share her knowledge with us.”

From Hazel Laughner, Pennsylvania:  “I do remember Vickie.  One of the things was her   computer classes a good while ago.  I would ask questions afterwards when I would think of something, and she was always so kind.”

From Duane & Ruth Keegan, Illinois:  “We really got to know Vickie and Larry in 2004 when Vickie as Campvention 2004 Chair asked me to be Treasurer for the ’04 Campvention in Berrien Springs.  I can say that organizationally she runs a tight ship.  This proved to be a very successful campvention, and it was my pleasure and honor to work for and with her.  

“Along came Campvention 2010 again at Berrien, and Vickie, again as Chair, tapped me again as Treasurer for this campvention, and was again honored and pleased to serve her again.  How fortunate to work for her a second time.  She is such a joy to work with, and Larry being her right-hand confidant. 

“Also, the fun times at the yearly ‘flocking’, the November Quackers gathering; as she was the ‘Mother Quacker’.  Always a great weekend get-together with other GL Regional FCRVers.  She was a workhorse for FCRV up until the end and will be very truly missed, not only by Larry but the entire FCRV family.  It will take many pairs of shoes to fill all the areas she contributed to.

“Rest in peace, Vickie, for a job well done.  The Lord will certainly find a job for you to do.  God Bless Vickie, Larry and family.”

From Joan & Richard Micelli, Alabama & Indiana:  “Where do you start with the great memories of Vickie.  I guess one of the things that comes to mind with Vickie is that she always had a big smile on her face, no matter what.  I have known Larry & Vickie from being on the Board many years ago.  She made many contributions to NCHA/FCRV, being regional director, all the campventions, retiree rallies, regional campouts, board meetings, the computer workshops she conducted and, lastly, working with DeWayne to produce a great Camping Today on-line newsletter.  Of course, we have especially enjoyed being able to get together with the two of them during the summers when we are in Shipshewana.  We have had some great outings for lunch, one of which was the Gangsters Grille in Hudson, IN where the story is that John Dillinger robbed the bank which is now a restaurant.  In fact, they still enact the robbery that took place there.  We will dearly miss the times we were able to share with Vickie.  She sent us a message after we saw them at the regional campout at Shipshewana North that we weren’t able to visit enough that evening and was in hopes when she and Richard both were feeling better we would be able to get together for lunch again before we headed back south.  Her big smile will always carry a special place in our hearts, and she will be missed by all who had a chance to meet and know her.”

From Shirley MacKenzie, Virginia & past Trustee:  “She was a jewel and a great asset to FCRV, and in the last few years she was fantastic helping with CAMPING TODAY.  Every time I was ‘out of my league’ on the computer, I would email her and get great advice on how to deal with a problem.  She always had a great sense of humor when it came to my being computer-challenged.  God Bless Vickie, and Larry and family during the days and weeks ahead.”

From Linda & Garold Smith, past Kansas state directors:  “We became acquainted with Larry & Vickie when we were Kansas State Directors back in 1998 to 2007.  We have many fond memories of working with them, especially at the FCRV Winter Board meetings.  Vickie always had a smile and a positive attitude.  She played a big part in bringing the membership from previous methods of carrying out the business of FCRV to a more up-to-date computer/digital way to do business.  Her many Computer Seminars at Campventions and Retirees Rallies were valuable learning opportunities.  We were always amazed at her enthusiasm and patience at those seminars.  That was just one of her many skills and creativeness.  We will miss her smiling face, enthusiasm and encouragement.  Our thoughts and prayers are with Larry and family.”

From Barb Turner: Remembering Vickie…..personally, so many memories have popped into my head since Larry’s call.  With a background in education, Vickie brought the ‘teacher-mindset’ to the many volunteer positions she filled in NCHA/FCRV.  The positions were many, to which others alluded.  Teams and teamwork were her approach taken when possible.  Several mentioned Vickie’s computer classes, the teacher at work.  Perhaps our background in the classroom is what sparked our friendship.  It was so long ago, back in the 1980s.  I enjoyed working with Vickie and will cherish those memories.  Our hearts go out to Larry and their family!  Vickie was special!  She will be missed!

[20% off Discount Code “FCRV20”]

Letter From The National DASAT Dir.

Spice Up Your Life

by Joe Boswell, National DASAT Dir. 


     The month of November is a time of giving thanks and a time of celebration. Many will gather with friends and family. As you begin to think about such events one may find themselves preparing meals for loved ones as you do, look around and see if you can locate any of the following spices. They may be hiding or sitting out in the open on the spice rack that you have not used in a long time. By chance, do you have any of them in your RV? Does your spice rack have any of the following:  Curry Powder, Rosemary, Oregano, Cinnamon, Ginger, Nutmeg, Cayenne Pepper and finally Cumin? Well, if not, consider make making these spices a part of your life. They can help you in so many ways and in the process spice up the delectable meals you prepare at home and on the road. Using a little dash here and a little dash there can increase so many aspects of your health.  Each one has useful properties and with additional research, you can find the grouping of spices that best suits your needs. Here are some examples as to how they can help change your life. These are only suggestions, and any time you change your lifestyle and eating habits, it is always best to consult your doctor. In a few cases, if you are taking certain medications the combinations of the medicines and the spice or spices can possibility cause an unhealthy reaction therefore do your research and make sure everything will be combatable and healthy for you as you proceed. Various spices have properties that can be very helpful, which can be a benefit to your health used in careful moderation therefore use them accordingly.  

     Let us take a few minutes in this short overview and explore how helpful each one of these spices can be to your health. Curry Powder for example, is native to South Asia and is used in cooking various delightful dishes and was very popular in the 19th and 20th Century. Its most common ingredient is “turmeric” which is very helpful to the body.  It helps to reduce Alzheimer’s disease, can help with the prevention of cancer, and relieves pain inflammation. It is healthy for the heart and bone development. 

     Rosemary helps to increase your memory and concentration. It can help reduce stress along with relieving the muscle pain and aches one may have. It provides mental energy and can assist in the prevention of cancer. 

     Oregano another useful spice helps to boots the immunity system in your body. It has anti-bacterial activity and aids in the process of digestion. It is healthful to the heart and detoxifies the body of unused chemicals. It can help improve bone health and increase your energy levels. 

     Using Cinnamon can lead to a healthy heart. It helps to regulate your bodies’ natural blood sugar levels. It provides diabetes protection and help to increase your brain function. As a side note, it is great on toast, and that hot freshly baked, sweet potato. It is commonly used in many a holiday dish. 

     Ginger helps to relieve nausea and morning sickness for our expectant mothers. It helps to reduce muscle pain and soreness. It helps with osteoarthritis. Another property of this spice is that it a can help to lower blood sugar levels and improve heart disease. Ginger has properties that are compatible in the treatment of chromic indigestion and helps to lower cholesterol levels. It has some cancer prevention qualities, along with helping to improve brain function and protects against Alzheimer’s disease. Fighting infections is also one of its properties. 

     Nutmeg here again can be used to relieve chromic pain and helps it induce sleep. It helps in the aid if digestion and relieves bad breath. IT detoxifies the kidneys and liver. It too, helps to fight cancer and assist with the prevention of diabetes. It helps to control stress and depression. 

     Cayenne Pepper is useful in increasing the metabolism of your body. It helps to reduce the hunger pains you may have from time to time. It is helpful in lowering you blood pressure and aids in the healthy digestive processes of your body. Another property of this spice is it helps to relieve pain and can aid in the reduction of cancer. This is therefore a different consideration to add to your diet. 

     Cumin promotes healthy digestion. It is a rich source of iron and help with diabetes. It improves your blood cholesterol levels. It sometimes works with weight loss and fat reduction. In addition, it may prevent food-borne illnesses. 

     The above is simply some suggestions you can take under advisement. The properties of each spice require additional exploration and, in many instances, research continues as to how it can make our bodies healthy. So, consider spicing up your life. 

     Editorial note: The inspiration for this article came from Marilyn Rausch, former DASAT Director from Indiana. This is suggestions only and not intended to be medical advice.  Spices used properly can help your body in various way. Depending on the web site you explore, some variations exist as to the overall properties and useful uses of any spice. Therefore, use them carefully and in moderation.  

Miss FCRV, Briana Coniglio Reports



     Hey everyone! Just wanted to say that I’m finally situated in NYC after my move from Florida and school is going great. Now that I’m all set up I’ve been diving into my responsibilities for FCRV. Just this past weekend I had the opportunity to represent my title at an event Called New York Fashion Week 2.0 and some future volunteer opportunities have presented themselves. I’m very excited to represent our organization, but also to get back to some camping! That being said, if you have a Campout you would like me to try and attend, please drop the event, date, location and contact person in F.B. Messenger and IwillI will do my best to get to as many as possible. Thank you!!

-Miss FCRV 2022,

Retiree Rally 2022

‘Fishin for Fifty’


After a two-year absence of an FCRV Retiree Rally due to Covid-19, the Retiree Rally 2022 is on! The location is the Mineola Civic Center in Mineola, Texas March 29-April 3, 2022.  The early days will begin on Friday March 25th.  It will be our 50th Retiree Rally and is under the direction of Kip & Jan Cushing, the rally coordinators.   The plans were ready for 2021.  The plans have been enhanced for 2022 as the FCRV retirees and guests are looking forward to being together again.  The registration form and rally info can be found monthly in Camping Today.  “Fishin’ for Fifty” is the theme.  We are ‘fishing for’ FCRV members to join their FCRV family in Mineola the end of March!

From Our FCRV Retiree Directors

by Ron & Reba Ray


Hello Retirees

Just another push for applications for the 2022 International Retiree Rally in Mineola, Texas on March 29 – April 3, with early days starting on March 25th……so go ahead and make your plans on being there.

We are planning on having this rally.  By the end of the year, most will have had the opportunity of getting your booster shot.  We are planning on getting ours soon.

If you have never been to a Retiree Rally, I can assure you that your will have a great time.  It’s a place to see old friends and meet new ones.  Every year that we have one, it is like attending a family reunion when you only see one another once or twice a year it makes it that much more special.  We have missed seeing everyone in the last two years, now it is time to get reacquainted.

If you are willing to be on a committee, please contact me ([email protected]) or Kip and Jan Cushing ([email protected]); they will welcome the help.  The more you become involved the more you will enjoy the rally, a way to meet new people.

If you need registration forms, you can find them in the Camping Today or contact me, and I will email you a copy.  

We are looking forward to seeing everyone there. Stay safe and happy travels.


by Judy Elenburg


Well, it’s time to try again!  Maybe three times is a charm!  I’ve planned to do t-shirt weaving and/or fringing the last two years.  I still have the supplies, so we’ll try it again.  You need to bring a t-shirt you want to shorten, scissors, and a ruler.  I’m looking forward to seeing you in

Variety Show Info

by George Walters, Chair


It’s time to think about bringing your talent to the Retiree Rally. Many of our members have
hidden talents and this is a fun time to share it with your fellow campers. So if you can:

  • Sing
  • Play an instrument
  • Tell a funny (clean) story
  • Get a group together (maybe line dance?)
  • Put together a short skit
  • Do anything I didn’t think of

Sign-up sheets will be available at the Registration table.

Let’s keep this tradition alive and have fun at the same time!



Cats are invited.🐱

There will be treats, awards and a gift for all participants. There will be awards and gifts for all winners.  The awards will be given out on awards day. This is the winning titles. 

  1.   Most Adorable
  2.   Best Behaved
  3.   Best Trick
  4.   Owner-pet Look-a-like
  5.   Dog – Best In Show
  6.   Cat – Best In Show

We are ready to see everyone.  Can’t wait.


by Ronald & Jo Hersom, K&Q Coordinators


We are going to have an actual Retiree Rally at Mineola, TX in March, 2022.  Couples who are King & Queen of their state or province should consider now if they would like to compete for International King & Queen at the Retiree Rally in March 2022.

First, you don’t need to be selected by a separate retiree chapter – it can be just your province or state organization that selects you.  

Next, contact us for an application form and information about conducting your campaign. Prepare a write-up about yourselves that we can use to introduce you to the attendees at the Rally.   We need all applications by the end of January.

Next, prepare a bio (300 words or less) to publish in Camping Today, (a picture to DeWayne Johnston would be good). [email protected] (need an underline sign “_” between D and j). You can send it any time.

Then decide on campaign handouts & plan your hospitality at the Rally.

You get to meet many new people and make new friends.  Other friends will help you prepare for your Hospitality (yum-yum).

The couple selected as K & Q are expected to represent FCRV for the year and attend the next Retiree Rally to pass on the crowns to the next K & Q.

Enjoy yourselves, have fun and be part of the FCRV Retiree Rally. Looking forward to hearing from you. 

Ronald & Jo Hersom, King & Queen Coordinators winter—400 E 18th St. Site 9

905 Henry Dr., Marshalltown, IA 50158 Weslaco, TX 78596

641-750-2774 (cell)

[email protected]


by Barb Turner, Publicity Chair


Texas in March!  2021 FCRV Retiree Rally in Texas in March!  FCRV retirees, are you planning your trip?  Perhaps you’ll be in south Texas and will travel to Mineola, site of the 50th rally, or you’ll be traveling from various other parts.  Nacogdoches, the oldest town in Texas, would be an interesting stop when you’re in Texas, either prior to or after the rally.


Nacogdoches (NAK-ə-DOH-chiss), located in East Texas, was founded in 1779 as a Spanish mission, Misión Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, by Don Antonio Gil Y’Barbo, “to prevent Anglos from the United States from flooding Texas.  The Mexican Government passed colonization laws and granted impresario grants to individuals to settle families in Texas.”  From, “Our name is long, but memorable. Known as ‘The Pineywoods’, you might have heard our name once before in a Josh Abbott Band lyric, ‘Her eyes are green like the trees in Nacogdoches.’ Or perhaps you have heard of our Hometown Hero, Clint Dempsey, and the Captain of the U.S. Soccer team during the 2014 World Cup.”

But, there is evidence that the settlement dates back 10,000 years!  “It is near or on the site of Nevantin, the primary village of the Nacogdoches tribe of Caddo Indians.”  Evidence suggests that a local Caddo tribe called the Nacogdoche later went to East Texas around 800 A.D. “The Caddos are considered to be travelers and traders, and they built log cabins and burial mounds between the Banita and Lanana Creeks.”  Who were the Caddos?  “The Caddos are descended from the prehistoric Fourche Maline and Mossy Grove people who settled this area between 200 BCE to 800 BCE.  They were the most advanced Native American culture in Texas. They lived in tall, grass-covered houses in large settlements with highly structured social, religious and political systems. The Caddos raised corn, beans, squash and other crops.”  Is the Caddo Tribe still around?  Yes!  The Caddo Nation of Oklahoma is a federally recognized tribe with its capital at Binger, Oklahoma with nearly 5,000 enrolled members of the nation.

According to Wikipedia, “Nacogdoches has been under more flags than the state of Texas, claiming nine flags. In addition to the Six Flags of Texas, it also flew under the flags of the Magee-Gutierrez Republic, the Long Republic, and the Fredonian Rebellion. People from the United States began moving to settle in Nacogdoches in 1820 and Texas’ first English-language newspaper was published there. However, the first newspaper published (in the 1700s) was in Spanish. An edition of the newspaper (in Spanish) is preserved and shown at the local museum.

“In 1832, the Battle of Nacogdoches brought many local settlers together, as they united in their stand to support a federalist form of government. Their successful venture drove the Mexican military from East Texas.

“Thomas Jefferson Rusk was one of the most prominent early Nacogdoche Anglo settlers. A veteran of the Texas Revolution, hero of San Jacinto, he signed the Texas Declaration of Independence and was secretary of war during the Republic of Texas. He was president of the Texas Statehood Commission and served as one of the first two Texas U.S. Senators along with Sam Houston. He worked to establish Nacogdoches University, which operated from 1845 to 1895.  The Old Nacogdoches University Building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1971.

“Sam Houston lived in Nacogdoches for four years prior to the Texas Revolution (1836) and opened a law office downtown. He courted Anna Raguet, daughter of one of the leading citizens, but Anna rejected him after finding that he was not divorced from his first wife Eliza Allen of Tennessee.”

As you can read, Nacogdoches has had an interesting history.  But, as a tourist, what might attract you to stopping in Nacogdoches when you’re in Texas in March?  Check out  The following are just a few of the things to do, perhaps just enough to ‘whet your appetite’ and place Nacogdoches on your ‘to-do list’!

Caddo Mounds: 1649 State Hwy 21W, Alto, TX 75925.  The park offers exhibits and a .7-mile interpretive trail through its reconstructed sites of Caddo dwellings and ceremonial areas, including two temple mounds, a burial mound, and a village area.

Durst Taylor House and Gardens:  304 North Street.  Durst-Taylor Historic House and Gardens is a 1830s wood-frame house interpreted to the 1840 to 1860 time period when the Blackburn family lived there. The house is the second oldest structure still standing on its original site in Nacogdoches. Visitors will start their tour at the Visitors Center and then will be guided through the house and grounds. The grounds include a blacksmith shop, smokehouse and historic gardens.

Fortney Home: 310 N. Mound St. Fortney Home defies description. Some say it is the most “fun shopping experience” they’ve ever had. Antiques, oddities, unusual fine furniture, Western decor, worldly relics, architectural treasures, contemporary art, gift items, whimsical items and outdoor sculptures. It’s more than a store; it’s a spectacle. Previously a landmark in Austin, Fortney Home is now located in a historic Victorian home just a few blocks north of Main.

Historic Town Center, 200 E. Main Street, Nacogdoches.  The Historic Town Center, also known as the Charles Bright Visitor Center, is home to the Nacogdoches Convention & Visitors Bureau, located in the heart of historic downtown. Here you will find some wonderful information about the history and legends of Texas’ oldest town – from stories of early settlers to historical artifacts.  This is an excellent place to start your tour of Nacogdoches.

As a final note for this article, are you registered for the 50th FCRV International Retiree Rally?  If not, please do so!  See you in Mineola in March!

Photo info

Old Stone Fort – By Curt Teich & Co. – The University of Houston Digital Library, Public Domain,

Pilgrim’s Pride is the largest private employer in Nacogdoches – By Billy Hathorn – Own work, Public Domain,

Stephen F. Austin University – By Billy Hathorn – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,


Campvention 2022

‘Rocky Mountain Bliss’


The FCRV Campvention 2022 will be celebrating ‘Rocky Mountain Bliss’ July 10-15, 2022 at the Colorado State Fairgrounds in Pueblo, Colorado.  Early bird days are July 8 & 9.  Pueblo is located about 112 miles south of Denver, the Colorado state capital.  The fairgrounds reside on eighty acres of land that contains paved streets, an outdoor amphitheater, outdoor stages, and impressive landscaping.  Trees line the streets, and there are shaded grass areas to sit and relax.  FCRV will have exclusive use of all facilities, parking areas, and grounds.  All buildings have either AC or swamp coolers to keep us cool.  The camping areas will be a combination of full-hookup sites and water & electric sites.  All parking will be strictly HOBO-style; sites will be assigned as you arrive at the gate.  If you want to camp next to someone, you must arrive together.

We gathered in Elkhorn, Wisconsin in 2021 after missing a year due to Covid-19.  In July, 2022, we’re looking for a larger gathering as more of our members feel comfortable to travel.  ‘Rocky Mountain Bliss’ in July in Pueblo, Colorado!  See you there!


by Larry Scott


It’s time to think about hosting a hospitality at 2022 Campvention hosted by Region 1.  

We hope that many of you are coming to the Campvention in Pueblo, Colorado next July, and what better way is there to meet new people and renew old acquaintances than to go to a hospitality.  Also, it’s a great way to share the virtues of your home state.  

We attended the 2021 Campvention in Wisconsin, and really enjoyed the meet and greets each evening after the evening program and one hot afternoon; the Teen King held a hospitality with very welcome popsicles.  

To make a long story short, it is time to send in applications to host a hospitality.  Send your applications to Larry Scott at ([email protected]).  The time assignments will be on the first come, first served basis. So please get your requests in as soon as possible.  The deadline is May 1, 2022.  The Hospitality Request Form can be found in this issue of Camping Today.


By Jeff & Shirley Kendle


The 2022 Campvention will be held at the Colorado State Fairgrounds in Pueblo, Colorado on July 10 – 15, 2022.  The complex is 80 acres, and we will have exclusive use of the whole fairgrounds.  There will be three 6-passenger trams running daily to help transport members around the fairgrounds to the different activities and functions.

In the past the Campvention Team has sub-rented golf carts for members use during Campvention.  As of 2021, this practice has changed.  Members wishing to rent a golf cart must contact the company directly and make their own arrangements.  

The 2022 Campvention Team has arranged for rentals of individual golf carts with Mile High Golf Carts.  Mile High Golf Carts has set aside ten 2-passenger golf carts and ten 4-passenger golf carts for members to rent. After those have been rented there is not a guarantee that additional golf carts will be available because July is their busiest time of the year.  If you would like to rent an individual Golf Cart, please contact Staci as soon as possible at 303-833-1400.  Staci will prepare a contract and collect the amount due at the time you call.

A 2-passenger golf cart will be $295.00 plus $22.42 tax for a total of $317.42.  A 4-passenger golf cart will be $330.00 plus 25.08 tax for a total of $355.08. In addition, there will be a delivery fee of $22.50 for each cart.   Individual golf carts will be delivered to the Colorado State Fairgrounds on Friday, July 8, 2022.  

If you have any issues with the golf carts, you will need to contact Mile High Golf Carts.


By: Jeff & Shirley Kendle


Make sure you have your dancing shoes on for the first night of entertainment at Campvention 2022.  Lori “Shelvis” Muha is an entertainment powerhouse. She captures the audience with her amazing vocals.  Lori aka “Shelvis” focuses on the music of Elvis, Buddy Holly, Johnny Cash and other rockabilly pioneers.  Shelvis and the Roustabouts transport the audience to a time when rock was born. 

The entertainment is uniquely created by Lori.  This one-of-a-kind artist provides nothing short of electrifying impersonations of some of our most beloved male entertainers, yet recreated and delivered by a female artist! 

Shelvis and the Roustabouts continue to consistently draw large crowds and maintain a “sold out” status at local venues statewide.  Her loyal fan base pack the house wherever they play and stay until the end.  It’s not a gig, it’s a SHOW!!!  

Shelvis and the Roustabouts was voted Denver’s Best Band (2019) by the readers of 5280 Magazine.  Shelvis’s love for people and the stage will be quite evident from start to finish.


by Team 6


We look forward to seeing everyone at the Any Hat Luncheon.  This will be a combined luncheon with both women and men attending at the same time.  Have kids?  The RM Summer Camp program is planning to entertain and feed your youth while the Luncheon is in progress!  So, this will be a great event for the whole family to enjoy.  

Make sure and check the “plan to attend” box on your registration form.


by Team 6


CARNIVAL will be the theme of this year’s Family Fun Day. As usual the Teens/Youth will be offering lunch for a reasonable charge.  We plan on both outdoor and indoor games and activities for all ages to enjoy. Family Fun Day is a great way to start off your Campvention week and see your friends, both old and new. 

Visit La Junta

by Barb Turner, Publicity Chair


About 70 miles east of Pueblo, site of the 2022 FCRV Campvention, is La Junta, situated along the Arkansas River.  La Junta is Spanish for ‘the junction’ – at the intersection of the Santa Fe Trail and a pioneer road to Pueblo.  La Junta developed near Bent’s Post (now designated as Bent’s Old Fort National Historic Site) which was a fur trading post in the early 19th century.

In 2019 the FCRV Travalong visited Bent’s Old Fort National Historic Site (35110 State Highway 194, La Junta) where we learned that the fur company of Charles Bent, William Bent, and Ceran St. Vrain established the fort to trade with local Native Americans and the fur trappers.  ‘For much of its 16-year history, the fort was the only major white American permanent settlement on the Santa Fe Trail between Missouri and the Mexican settlements. It was destroyed in 1849.’  The area was designated a National Historic Site in 1960.  The fort was rebuilt and is open to visit to explore life during that period in that location. 

The Koshare Indian Museum, 115 W 18th St, La Junta, was another favorite of the 2019 Travalong.  The museum is ‘a registered site of the Colorado Historical Society in La Junta, Colorado. The building, located on the Otero Junior College campus, is a tri-level museum with an attached kiva that is built with the largest self-supporting log roof in the world. The building was built in 1949.’  ‘The museum is different than many of its contemporaries in that it was founded by civic and history-minded local Boy Scouts in the years of the Great Depression.  Under the tutelage of their scout leader, the group set about amassing an impressive collection of Native American artifacts that tell a remarkably complete story of the culture’s fascinating histories.  The museum also hosts special events that include traditional dance and artwork and regularly scheduled guided tours.’

‘In February of 1933, sixteen Boy Scouts met in a backyard owned by the family of one of the boys. Under the inspired leadership of their Scoutmaster and the Koshares’ founder, James Francis “Buck” Burshears, the boys would form the Koshare Club. This club would be the foundation of the Koshare Dancers, the group whose efforts would build and expand the Koshare Museum.’ By the late 1930s, the Koshare Dancers found great success as interpretive dancers. Buck and his boys decided to use the funds they earned through their performances to construct a great round room inspired from the kivas of the Anasazi. This structure gave them a new home for their Boy Scout Troop and the inspiration for what would become the Koshare Museum. With change from a pop machine and the dollar bills left in the donation basket, the group began purchasing artwork from New Mexico and Native American artifacts from around the country.

‘Today, their noteworthy collection, an extremely rare museum assembled by kids, contains original artwork from the Taos Art Colony Founders and Santa Fe Art Colony Founders, ancient artifacts from the Plains and Pueblo tribes, and several Western artifacts from the early days of the American West.  For fifty-four years, Buck Burshears would serve as the only Scoutmaster for the Boy Scout Troop and more than 500 of his boys would achieve the rank of Eagle Scout. Buck’s guidance and mentorship provided the foundation for an active and educational youth development program focusing on leadership enhancement, cultural enlightenment, and character enrichment.  The core of the Koshare Youth Program was based on scouting principles with a focus on artistic expression. The museum remains true to its origins and scouting remains a vital element within the Koshare organization.’

We personally first visited the museum and kiva in 1976 and attended the dances which included the snake dance with real snakes.  In 2019 we learned that they no longer use live snakes.  The museum, kiva, and the performance are a highlight of visiting La Junta.

The Crazy Tourist website also suggests visiting Picketwire Canyonlands, 1420 East 3rd St., La Junta, where you can see ancient dinosaur tracks and rock art images by prehistoric peoples.  Visit HERE

If La Junta and any of these sites are of interest to you, visit to explore the possibilities for trip to Campvention 2022 in Pueblo, Colorado in July. Look for more touring possibilities in future issues of Camping Today.

Kentucky Colonel Thanksgiving Campout 2021

This notice is for all Kentucky Colonels and all other FCRV interested members!!


The annual Kentucky Colonel Thanksgiving Campout held at Lake Cumberland State Resort park in Jamestown, Kentucky is a little more than a month away.  The dates will be Sunday November 21 thru Friday November 26, 2021.  This notice is to inquire if there is interest this year to meet for a campout.  The Kentucky Colonels did cancel the campout in November 2020 due to the Covid-19 outbreak.  Indications show that many persons have since chosen to be vaccinated to combat this virus.  However, new variants have emerged and many states and regions have shown a spike in new cases nationwide.  Mask wearing is again and still encouraged and in some situations mandated to be masked for admittance into events.  This will be the masking rule at Lake Cumberland State Park as well.  I, Mike Royal, current Ky. Col. President,  intend to be at the Lake Cumberland State Park campground with my family during the week of November 21 to 26.  If anyone is interested in joining us for a week of camping, an informal Ky. Colonel Thanksgiving campout, you can contact me for more information and details.  Looking forward to hearing from you.  Thanks.  Contact Mike:     [email protected]   or   270-903-5871…….The campout is open to all FCRV members.  We attended for many years till we moved to Florida.  Give it a try!  Contact Mike for info.  You’ll have fun.  The campfire burns all week, by the way!!

Southern Colorado Retiree Rally 2021

Southern Colorado Retiree Rally 2021
Don’t Worry ~ Be Happy!


Forty -two FCRV Retirees from Colorado spent a happy week together at the Colorado City/Pueblo South KOA Campground. 

Greeted with Smiley Face Balloons decorating the main hall, campers soon had their own smiles AND smiley balloons for their rigs as they signed up for the scheduled activities and greeted each other.  

The SILVER FOXES celebrated their 25th Chapter Anniversary with a hospitality featuring cookies that were fox-shaped or the number “25”.  Jeff Kendle, FCRV VP of Operations presented the Silver Foxes with their 25th Anniversary Certificate from National.  

The weather was wonderful all week.  Many participated in the morning C.A.M.P. activities, and even more got plenty of exercise during the Photo Scavenger Hunt… where the winners were determined by a combining the number of correct photos taken and the time required to do so.

Favorite games were played both outdoors and indoors.  Standards like Cornhole, Ladder Golf and card games were offered along with SoCo Retiree favorites like Flyswatter Badminton, Frog Races, card Bingo and Toilet Paper Toss.  A “Learn to Play Kubb” session was well attended and produced some new devotees to the game.  

Free make-your-own SnoCones at lunch time and KOA’s Ice Cream Sundae Bar were the main food highlights along with the traditional KOA farewell breakfast on Friday.

This year’s special feature was a Pinewood Derby Race, produced by Michael Adolf, a Colorado Eagles member.  Those interested could make their own cars or borrow one from children or grandchildren. Thirteen cars were entered and ran multiple heats on an electronically-timed track.  It was a fun afternoon.

The Wednesday evening Dance Band obviously hit the spot, as nearly everyone was in attendance and listened, danced and enjoyed themselves for the full 2-1/2 hours.  The Thursday night awards ceremonies were also well attended and a lot of fun, with a few creative prizes given out as well as smiley-faced medals!

Always wonderful to be with fellow FCRVers… those “strangers who became friends who became family!” 

October 2021 Event Recaps

Overview of ‘The Escapist RVer’

RV Owner Demographics: Overview of ‘The Escapist RVer’

By: RVBusiness|Published on: Aug 9, 2021

The Go RVing RV Owner Demographic Profile is the most comprehensive study of RV ownership ever conducted, providing deep insights and perspectives on the demographics and ownership habits of RV Owners, Former RV Owners, and RV Intenders. The study identified seven distinct clusters based on RV owners’ unique motivations, needs, and habits, according to a News & Insights report by the RV Industry Association (RVIA).

The “Escapists” cluster comprises 16% of RV owners. They enjoy the freedom that RV travel provides and particularly enjoy water-based activities and scenic locations. This is reflected in the Escapists’ reasons for RVing, which include relaxing, exploring the great outdoors, and visiting a location with natural beauty. Additional reasons include saving money on travel costs and controlling their own itineraries.

When they’re on the road, Escapists commonly enjoy fishing, hiking, and boating. Regarding accommodations, 63% choose to stay at state parks, while 56% prefer to stay at a private campground and 44% stay at a national park campground.

The majority of Escapists hit the road in an RV during the summer months (90%) or during fall (73%). Their RVs are used anywhere from 31 to 90 days out of the year, and the types most frequently used among this group are a conventional travel trailer, a fifth-wheel trailer, or a Class A motorhome. 68% bought their RV new, and 75% who already have an RV plan to purchase another one.

In terms of demographics, 54% of Escapists are over 55, and 50% are male and 50% are female. 40% of Escapists are employed fulltime while 40% are retired. Of those who do work, 60% make over $65,000. 31% of Escapists live with no children in the home.

There are two remaining clusters that we will be exploring in the coming weeks. Check out our overview of the clusters here.

Members of the RV Industry Association can view the full study here.


Long time North Carolina member, Henry Walton celebrated his  87th birthday September 21st.  Formerly form New York City, he and wife Carole were active In NCHA / FCRV there. Henry was a chef and helped train Bobby Flay at the restaurant where they worked  in the Theater District. Henry also taught classes at a culinary school. He said, “Even though we’re not camping any more, we were on the road over 30 years and enjoyed every minute of it.

Contact them at [email protected] or 1640 Timber Crossing Rd., Charlotte, NC 28213


George and Neva Lockett of Virginia celebrated their 65th Wedding Anniversary in August with neighbors and camping friends. Neva recently had her 89th Birthday. George is still golfing. Longtime active members in Virginia and YARS Chapters.

Contact them at:  [email protected].



Phyllis Cornwell, 87, 9-9-21, Kansas City, KS. Mother of former FCRV Teen Director Jane (and Ed) Alft. Grandmother of Kellie and  (Kara Cornwell, past Miss FCRV.) Condolences to [email protected]



Bernice Nigh, 65, Manilla, Indiana, 10-19-21, Wife of Indiana Chaplain, Harlan Night. Condolences to [email protected]

Roger Descoteaux, October 20, 2021 , Greenwood, SC, formerly from Connecticut. Active members in CT. and SC. He and wife Cheryl represented SC in the 2018 Retiree King and Queen contest and were 3rd Runner Up. Condolences to [email protected].

Margaret (Peggy) Hyle, 9-15-2i, Derby, Kansas. Lifetime member With late husband, Donald. Helped with many KS Campventions a And rallies.