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Camping Today is a publication of the non-profit National Campers & Hikers Association, doing business as Family Campers & RVers (FCRV). Issue frequency is 12 (monthly) on line at www.fcrv.org. Publisher is Family Campers & RVers, 4904 Transit Rd. Bldg. 2, Depew, New York 14043-4906. Office Manager – Pat Wittmeyer 716-668-6242, [email protected]. Online subscription is included with annual membership. Mailed, printed copies are available by annual subscription of $20. 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.

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ArticlesEvent RecapBirthday ShoutoutMilestoneFarewell –  Dear RVEvent Submit

From The President

Here we are already into October! WOW, this year just flew by!  Some of you will soon be holding your last campout of the year, while a few of you have just started your camping year. No matter whether your Chapter is starting, or finishing, enjoy! To each of you that will soon be traveling South for the winter safe travels and enjoy your winter in the South. Above all stay safe and return to us in the spring.

It is time to start thinking about next year’s camping. I ask each of our State, Provincial and Regional Directors to send your camping schedules to National as soon as you have a general idea of your plans. If you have a state/provincial function, provide the general information as soon as you can and then fill in the details as you get them. We all know in advance that we are having our yearly functions and probably already have general info ready to send to your Regional or Provincial Directors. Go ahead and send it in. This will help us as we work on having social media personalities make appearances at our functions. The Trustees are looking at an influencer program to promote FCRV and make our organization known to the world of camping. Influencers are today’s sharing by word-of-mouth in an electronic world. Would you like to have your function be spotlighted on social media and promoted by one of the well-known names out in the media world? Would this make your State or Regional and Provincial function better? And how about your Chapter?  Would it be a boost to be spotlighted on YouTube or another social site, highlighting the activities of your members and your chapter?  I believe it would.

There are two FCRV Facebook pages.  Look carefully at the top line which identifies what group is posting.  If it says “Private” only FCRV members can see it.  We would like to ask that you share your outings on the OFFICIAL FCRV Facebook site first (it says FCRV but does not have the word ‘private’). Many of you are sharing your recaps on the private site and not the Official site. That means campers who are potential new members cannot see how much fun and activity you had at your event. We very much want to promote your FCRV campouts and activities with non-members on social media so they become interested in joining.  Rather than share your activities with friends who are already members, I ask that you share your outings on the Official FCRV page. FCRV is the best-kept secret in the camping world, and we would like to change that. So please share your photos and write-ups with the non-private FCRV Official page on Facebook so all visitors can see what fun we have.

It is the job of the Trustees to look out for the well-being of FCRV and keep it relevant as we move ahead each year. I must say to all of the Directors that have been supportive of the steps we are taking forward for FCRV, a big THANK YOU! We have heard that as an organization our communications could use some improvement.  To that end we have asked chapters, states and provinces to set up a G-mail account for more efficient communication. Let’s face it, the day of the home telephone on the wall is fading fast. Electronic communication, email and text have replaced it with speed that is positively mind-boggling. Taking advantage of this growing form of communication will help FCRV keep pace with the advantages of modern communication practices.

At Campvention I said that I wanted FCRV to get back to Conservation and Wildlife, the very foundation of our start. Now is the time for your Chapter, State, Province, and Region to start the work of setting up a Conservation / Wildlife campout. There are a few Chapters that are already doing this. If your chapter already has a Conservation Campout, we need to highlight it. I say this as I know for many years the Roaming Buffalo Chapter and the Aberdeen Night Owls have both done Conservation Campouts. There are also chapters in Canada and New York state that hold Conservation/Wildlife focused events that I am aware of. You would ask how do you set up a Conservation Campout? Well, one way is to contact a park that you care about and start talking with the manager about the idea of helping out. Show them that you could offer your services, like park cleanup, minor site repairs and the like. If you can show them that it is a financial benefit to them, there is a good chance it will benefit you both. When I started the Aberdeen Night Owls, I worked very closely with the South Dakota State Parks, and we offered to clean up a local park in the spring and another local park in the fall. This proved to be a great partnership for both the parks and the Night Owls. South Dakota Parks got a boost, saving them money on cleanup, and the Chapter in return camped free for the work that they did over the weekend. This was and is a win for the parks and a win for the Chapter. This is just one idea; so be creative and give it a try. The second part of this is to post the information as a planned outing and a recap after your outing. This is only one of a variety of ideas; I am sure that you can come up with many more ideas as well. There are many other things that we can do as well, things like as a Chapter saying that we will not use Styrofoam and plastic tableware as a Chapter at our functions. This is harder than you would think to do but is a step ahead and a little that can go a long way to being helpful for the environment rather than harming it.

There are many FCRV Field Staff that are diligent and take the position that you do very seriously. To each of you, I say Thank You for all you do. You are the backbone of FCRV. It is your diligence that keeps this organization going. To each of you that submit your reports, thank you. To each of you that take the time to place your state/provincial outings on the website, I thank you. You are the backbone of FCRV. Again, I tell you, thank you!

For those who have not placed your information on the website, I would ask if there are problems that need to be overcome in order for you to post your chapter, state or provincial activities, pictures and wrap ups on the FCRV website. It does require a willingness to change, and an interest in supporting the organization as a whole. It might even involve a little bit of instruction as to how to actually upload information to our website.  We can help with that.  Reach out to the national office and they will put you in touch with someone who can assist with posting your events. Let me challenge you to be the first to submit your report to your State/Provincial Regional Director. Be the first to submit outings for publication through the website as soon as you know you are having them. The bottom line here is only you can make this happen, and we are counting on you to get it done. Again, thank you for each of you that are getting it done.

We will see you at the next campfire!
Gerry Pfirsch
FCRV National President

FCRV – Past, Present, & Future

FCRV – Past, Present, & Future

By: Deb Swanson

I am disappointed to say that I was not a member of NCHA/FCRV in its heyday. I have a ninety-five year old member of my chapter who has the whole history of the organization in his house. We spent lots of nights around the campfire hearing stories of what it was like “back then”. He, like other members, can no longer camp due to age and health issues. He will come and spend the day with his camping friends wishing he could still camp.

I have volunteered to lead the project of getting the history, and records, of the organization digitalized. I have done a lot of reading about the good old days. I came across a letter to the Georgia State Director denying their request to host the 1976 Campvention due to their inability to get more than 7,000 campsites! The states used to bid on hosting Campvention. Now we have to beg regions to host campvention due to having less members in the regions to do the work. The future of Campvention has been the subject of discussion by past, and current, board of trustees.

The office walls are covered in memorabilia from the first year of existence. On one wall is the NCHA/FCRV White House. It contains 26 pictures of past Presidents. One of those pictures belongs to Shari Weber, the first, and only so far, woman President. When I look at those pictures I wonder what kind of challenges they had to face. Some only held one year terms, some two, and many had four. Poor Shari had the most and thought she would be a “lifer”. I wonder how many members quit because of their decisions to keep the organization current with the times.

For the last three years we have asked the membership for the much needed information to bring us up to date. We did not think we were asking for the world. From the bottom of the responsibility ladder to the top, we have members who refuse to give us the information that we need to keep this organization going. We’ve heard “they can’t make me”, “I refuse to do that” “I can’t get the information” and some who have outright ignored us.

We still hold out hope that members will become willing to do whatever it takes to keep FCRV alive. This is what I’ve learned about change, it is neither easy nor comfortable, but necessary. We, as Trustees, have spent more hours than we can count talking with each other about how we save the organization we love. Our work is hard, our decisions not easy, and yet we continue to plug along. We are working hard on communication with our membership. The office staff has told us of the numerous calls from members saying they are unaware of what’s going on with FCRV. We have been working on getting more information in Camping Today. That line of communication only works if everyone reads it. I have volunteered to be the acting regional director for the Northeast Region as we are the host of Campvention 2024. If you are a State Director in this region please contact me at [email protected]. I am excited to work with you and help you any way I can.

The future of FCRV is tenuous at best. We all can change that. We can stop being the best kept secret in the camping world. We can be as vibrant as we once were. We all need to take one step forward to make this work.

Camping Today/Social Media Forms

Camping Today/Social Media Forms

By: Barb Turner

Camping Today submissions have been technologically streamlined.  By using the submissions forms below, members can easily submit articles and share upcoming events, recaps of activities completed, as well as farewells, milestones, birthday shoutouts, and ask questions of Dear RV. 

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

Articles Event Recap Birthday Shoutout Milestone Farewell Dear RV Event Submit

In addition to Camping Today, submissions other than the articles are placed in queue for  sharing on social media – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.  After research and recommendations, promotion and publicity of FCRV and our activities via these formats will enhance our exposure, both to our members and the RV world.  From the beginning, NCHA/FCRV has been referred to as ‘the best-kept secret’.  Survival in the modern world won’t happen as the ‘best-kept secret’.  Let’s shout that we are here!  We are ‘happening’!  And, we welcome all campers & RVers!

If you have any questions submitting material, contact [email protected]

FCRV Health Guidelines

Hey Happy Campers! (And you Grumpy Campers, too!)

Your Trustees have been very busy this winter and I wanted to share some important news with you.  

Last May, Camping Today, published some information for you regarding COVID and how FCRV wanted to handle all the differing viewpoints and widely variant information on staying safe at Campvention.  In this ever-changing world, the Trustees want you to know we are still concerned about the many variants that seem to be popping up as well as “hot spots” of disease and how we can keep our campers safe without coming on too strongly. 

That being said, the article printed in the May issue covering meeting and social gatherings has been completely revamped.   It has been replaced with kinder, gentler, but no less effective, health guidelines. So please take a look at our new FCRV Health Guidelines and stay safe out there!


These are simply guidelines and as such supplementand do not replace—any state, provincial, local, territorial, or tribal health and safety laws, rules, and regulations that govern any meeting or social gathering.   

We recommend campers and their guests are up to date with vaccinations and immunizations and carry this information on a medical card as well as showing all current medications, medical conditions, and allergies that emergency medical personnel may need to know. 

Have a mask available to use for your protection and the protection of others as they can be used for more than deterring COVID.  

Use common sense in protecting yourself and others.  

Official CDC Guidelines change quickly so be aware of the local conditions and be prepared to adapt to them.

Vaccinated?  No mask may be necessary.     Unvaccinated?  Mask is recommended. 

Event coordinators will announce if local conditions change, requiring adjustments to these statements. 

Help Wanted (Open Volunteer Positions)

FCRV needs your help.  Please consider filling one of these positions.  They are very important to the operation of FCRV. Contact VP Ops – Jeff Kendle, or Immediate Past President – Shari Weber for details.

Volunteers are needed for the following National Positions:


Membership Director – Reports to Vice-President Planning & Development and is a member of the Advisory Council.  Primarily responsible for the growth and retention of membership.  Field Manual job description is currently under review and subject to change.


Commercial Director – Reports to Vice-President Planning & Development and is a member of the Advisory Council. Main responsibility is the development and retention of commercial membership/accounts. Field Manual job description is currently under review and subject to change.


Youth Director – Reports to Vice-President Programs and is a member of the Advisory Council.  Works for the betterment of future youth programs in FCRV.   Field Manual job description is currently under review and subject to change.


State/Provincial Directors for Maryland, DC, Ohio and Connecticut – Reports to their Regional Director and is a member of the Advisory Council.  Position is to administer and coordinate the activities of the State/Providence in the areas of membership and National programs at their level.  Maintain current membership list for said State/Providence.  Appoint Field Director(s).  Keep Regional Director apprised of chapters status.  Approve constitution/bylaws, promote FCRV and State/Provincial activities, submit reports to Regional Director, hold meetings with field staff.  Field Manual job description is currently under review and subject to change.


Communication & Security Director – Reports to the Vice President Planning & Development and is a member of the Advisory Council. Communication to be used for FCRV Campventions and Retiree Rallies.  Integration of electronic communication into a balanced communications system.  Responsible for electronic (walkie-talkies) equipment.  Field Manual job description is currently under review and subject to change.


Conservation Director – Reports to the Vice President of Programs and is a voting member of the Executive Board.  Conservation is at the heart of FCRV.  Maintain existing program guidelines and formulate new as needed.  Maintain records of the program.  Field Manual job description is currently under review and subject to change.

Veterans – Reports to the Vice President Programs and is a member of the Advisory Council. Show support FCRV members who are Veterans, conduct or arrange for, informational seminars featuring other Veterans and promote information about FCRV Veterans about activities and opportunities for them. Field Manual job description is currently under review and subject to change.


Travalong Director – Reports to the Immediate Past President and is a member of the Advisory Council. Program is designed to help travelers enjoy group-planned activities and help members and non-members learn about areas of travel and who to contact for information. Establish Travalongs with at least one to coincide with National Campvention.  Field Manual job description is currently under review and subject to change.


Region 5 Director – Reports to the Vice President of Operations and is a voting member of the Executive Board.  Represent FCRV in the region, assist State Directors in the region and provide coordination of administration between the States and the Vice President of Operations. Recommend appointments and/or releases of State Directors to the Vice President of Operations. Coordinate activities between the various States in the region. Act as the State Director in those States that have none. Within the region, administer National bylaws, Constitution, regulations, policies and directives.


Volunteer Background Records Custodian – Member of the Advisory Council Reporting to the Vice President Programs. This position receives permission forms from volunteers working with teens or youth to run a background check. Full job responsibilities are in the field manual. Field Manual job description is currently under review and subject to change. 

Retiree Really 2023 – Dothan, Alabama

Family Campers & RVers International Retiree Rally – What It Is & What to Expect

By: Barb Turner, Rally Publicity Chair

In 1972 the Retiree Program of the organization held its first rally to offer a winter activity for its retired members.  Over the years as camping and RVing have changed and evolved, the rally has also changed.  From the winter months of January & February rallies, the rallies are now held in March.  Also, ALL ARE WELCOME TO ATTEND – retirement is NOT a condition of attendance.  Planning trip south in March?  Include the rally in your plans.

What to expect?  Rally activities include indoor & outdoor games, seminars, commercial area, pet parade, and entertainment.  Also included are two meals and an ice cream social.  The highlight of the week is the crowning of the International King & Queen who reign for a year.

In addition to the rally activities, you might want to take advantage of the Early Days prior to the opening of the rally.  Early Days allow you to arrive early, get set up, and enjoy exploring the ‘things to see & do’ in the area before you get involved in rally activities.

For 2023 the rally is being held at the National Peanut Festival Fairgrounds in Dothan, Alabama March 28-April 2.  Early days begin March 24th

https://fcrv.org/retiree-rally-2023/ is your link to the 2023 FCRV International Retiree Rally.

FCRV International Retiree Rally 2023

By: Ron & Reba Ray, Rally Coordinators

FCRV International Retiree Rally 2023 will be coming up in about 6 months; so, let’s get those campers ready to roll.  The rally begins Tuesday March 28.  The rally will conclude Sunday April 2, 2023 after the non-denominational service.  We are to be off the grounds by 2 PM on Sunday, April 2nd.  Early days will begin on March 24th.  It will be at the National Peanut Festival Fairground in Dothan, AL.

Dothan is a pretty good-size town, with lots to offer.  Lots of shopping, museums and eating places around.  It has 2 RV dealerships, Gander RV and RV Connections.  The people at the Fairground are looking forward to us being there.  They are making lots of plans for us.

As I said in my last letter, the rally will be a day shorter, with all the benefits of a full week.

You will have 6 days of paid camping, 3 Entertainers, 2 meals, Ice Cream Social and the King and Queen Pageant.  We don’t think you will be disappointed in us cutting one day.

We are looking forward in seeing everyone there.  Last year in Mineola was wonderful to see old friends and making new ones.  Let’s make this one just as special.  We think you will like the Fairgrounds there, and there is lots of open land there to sit and enjoy the view.

So, go ahead and get those registrations in, so we know how many to prepare for.

See you in about six months.

Nuts About Dogs Pooch Parade 2023

By: Robert & Rita Letellier, Pet Parade Chairs

Welcome! to the pooch parade.  We will be giving out a gift to all participants.  The winners will receive an award & some surprises which will be given out on awards day.  There will be 5 dog categories:  Most Adorable, Best Behaved, Best Trick, Owner pet-look-a-like and Best-in-Show-dog.  Cats are invited. and the winner will also receive an award and surprises.  The category will be Best-in-Show-cat!  Please come!!!

FCRV International Retiree King & Queen Info

By: Leon & LaNelle Ishmael, King & Queen Coordinators 

The clock is ticking down. The 2023 Retiree rally will be here before we know it. Time to think about who will be the next king and queen to represent FCRV.

You do not have to be nominated by a retiree chapter. The nomination can come from your provincial or state organization.

The next step would be to contact us for an application form and information about the do’s and don’ts of your campaign.  Prepare a letter of introduction, telling us about yourselves and your involvement with FCRV that will be read at the rally.

You will want to host a hospitality during the rally. Your state or province will help you with that.  The only requirement for the elected couple is that they return to the retiree rally the following year to relinquish the crowns.

Looking forward to hearing from you. [email protected]

Retiree Games

By: Craig & Shari Weber, Rally Games Chairs

We are ready to be a little “Nutty” with the “Nutty Campers” coming to the peanut grounds in Dothan. Get your game on! Or, just come and have some fun. Ladder golf, washers, and corn hole will be played in singles and mixed doubles categories. Mixed doubles can be two ladies, two men, or 1 lady and 1 man. Beanbag baseball will be teams of 9. Form your own team or sign up and you will be placed on a team. Come to Frog Races and make your frog “hop” the fastest.

Table games will include chicken foot, Skip-Bo, card bingo, and 5 Crowns (this was quite popular last year).

We have an equipment request. To play corn hole, we need you to bring your corn hole game boards and bags. Check the schedule for time and place at the rally. If the boards are out at your site, you just might get drop in players.

Anyone interested in helping with a particular game or just in general, please send a message to us at [email protected].

Door Prizes    

By: Pat Crow, Door Prizes Chair

Door Prizes.  We all like to receive them. The Retiree Rally never disappoints in this category. It is not too early to be thinking about what you will bring. Please provide a door prize that you, yourself, would be happy to receive. Thank you; looking forward to fun in Dothan, Alabama in March.

Flea Market

by Richard & Frances Jackson,  Flea Market Chairs

Don’t go ‘nuts’ getting ready for the 2023 Retiree Rally Flea Market! Start now to gather unused items or crafting items to sell! Flea market booth space will be free.

Variety Show

By: George Walters, Variety Show Chairperson

Hi all!

We are planning once again to present the  Retiree Rally Variety Show.  The stars of the show are our own FCRV Campers.  Of course, there are many activities and events at any FCRV Rally, and we all have to budget our time, but we want to make this year’s Variety Show the one event you don’t want to miss.  This won’t happen without our wonderful campers participating. I hope that includes YOU! 

Please remember that this is not a contest, but a chance to see your fellow campers in a different light. Many of our member campers have talents that we don’t often get to enjoy. AND IT’S A LOT OF FUN!

So, if you sing, tell a funny (clean) story or joke, put together a skit, dance group (maybe a coordinated line-dance?) or anything else I didn’t think of, get it together and let’s have some fun! Now is the time to talk to your friends about putting together one of these entries.

Sign-up sheets will be available at the Registration Area when you arrive in Dothan.  Now is the time to plan for the Variety Show, and this can be the highlight of the 51st Retiree Rally in Dothan, Alabama.  Will we see you there?  As my dad always said, “I certainly hope so”.

Do you have an idea or do you want to help, please contact me at [email protected].

Visit Dothan, Alabama

By: Barb Turner, Publicity Chair

Dothan, Alabama is the site of the 2023 FCRV International Retiree Rally beginning March 28 through April 1, 2023, leaving the grounds by 2 PM on April 2nd.  The early days start March 24th which will give you time to explore Dothan and the area.

Dothan is known as the Peanut Capital of the World.  Why?  The peanut farms in the Dothan area supply about 1/4th of the country’s peanuts, according to Wikipedia.  The peanut is celebrated in Dothan in so many ways, including naming the local fairgrounds the National Peanut Festival Fairgrounds where the annual National Peanut Festival is being held November 4-13, 2022 and where our rally will be held in March. 

Dothan is located in the Wiregrass Region of Alabama.  Wiregrass is a tall, wiry grass that is native to the area.  Browsing the Murals of the Wiregrass in downtown Dothan should be added to your list of things to see and do while in Dothan.  The murals depict the history and character of Dothan.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JfuBDhOjOG4

Dothan is ranked as Alabama’s 8th largest city after the 2020 census.  It is named after the biblical city where Joseph‘s brothers threw him into a cistern and sold him into slavery in Egypt. The first permanent white settlers to the area were nine families that arrived in the early 1830s to harvest timber.  They named their settlement Poplar Head.  The settlement failed to survive and was abandoned by the Civil War.  “After the war, a local Pony Express route was founded; together with other developments during the Reconstruction Era, the town began to grow. On November 11, 1885, the citizens voted to incorporate, naming their new city Dothan at the suggestion of a local clergyman after discovering that ‘Poplar Head’ was already registered with the U.S. post office for a town in northern Alabama.

On October 12, 1889,[7] Dothan was the scene of a deadly altercation resulting from a dispute over a tax levied on wagons operating within city limits. Local farmers opposed the levy and united in a body called the “Farmers Alliance”. The arrest of some of the alliance’s men led to a riot that left two men dead and others seriously wounded.[8] Chief of Police Tobe Domingus was found guilty of murder and sentenced to ten years in prison. Appeals to the Alabama Supreme Court resulted in a new trial,[9] and Domingus was acquitted.[10]

Expansion and growth

Farmers turned to peanut production, which was successful and brought financial gain to the city. It became a hub for the production and transport of peanuts and peanut-related products.[11] Today, one-quarter of the U.S. peanut crop is harvested within 75 miles (121 km) of Dothan.[11]

Looking up Foster St. toward downtown Dothan

The Southern Company constructed the Joseph M. Farley Nuclear Generating Station near the city between 1970 and 1981; this 1,776-megawatt facility generates about 13,000 gigawatt-hours (47,000 TJ) per year.[12

This quaint little city in Alabama that is fondly known as the Peanut Capital of the World. The peanut farms from the surrounding areas supply almost all of the country’s peanuts, so it is not surprising that Dothan celebrates the humble peanut in every way that it can.

Dothan is located in the Wiregrass Region that is named after the tall, wiry grass that is native to the area. The city is full of interesting history and rich in culture. It was once a derelict and forgotten place, but has gone through a period of rejuvenation over the last couple of decades!

Visit one of the many museums that preserve the rich heritage of the city, a park that displays the natural beauty of the area, or theme park that entertains the whole family. Each year the city hosts the largest peanut festival in the country! And if you aren’t able to make it, you can still check out these other awesome things to see in Dothan, Alabama.

Campvention 2023 – Richmond, Indiana

Family Campers & RVers Campvention.  – What is that?  What to expect? 

By: Barb Turner, Publicity Chair

Every July the Family Campers & RVers members hold a rally/convention called Campvention.  Since 1998 the location is rotated around the seven regions of the organization (6 in the U.S. & 1 in Canada).  Meetings are held as required by the constitution, but ‘fun & fellowship’ are the focus.  

To this end, a full schedule awaits arrivals.  Youth, Teen, and Adult activities and games (outdoor games, including a golf outing & indoor games) await the age groups.  Whole family activities include Family Fun Day, the FCRV Band (bring your instruments) and evening entertainment.  Education is provided by the various seminars and FCRV programs – conservation, wildlife, C.A.M.P. (Campers Actively Moving Program), and D.A.S.A.T. (Disaster and Safety Awareness Training).

The first step is to register.  The first step is to register. Registration forms for check payments and Online Payment options can be found on the our website; https://fcrv.org/campvention-2023/

Upon arrival, parking will be hobo-style (park as you arrive).  If you want to park together with others, arrive together.  Once you are parked and set up, go to Central Registration to check in where you’ll receive your program book and other goodies.  Check out the various program information stations; perhaps you’ll want to sign-up for an activity.  You will especially be welcomed by the First Timers chair who will help you navigate your first Campvention.

FCRV Campvention 2023 in Richmond, Indiana can be your destination in July to enjoy a week of fun & fellowship with fellow campers and RVers.

Special Adult Activity

By: Craig Weber

The Adult Activity Chairpersons for Campvention 2023 in Richmond, IN are looking to bring back the adult bowling event. We have found a bowling alley in Richmond that does two hours of bowling, one pizza and one two-liter bottle of pop for 6 people per lane, including shoes. The more lanes we fill, the lower the cost. If we can fill 5 lanes (30 people), the cost is about $12 per person. The cost  will go down as we fill more lanes. In order to make this happen, we need to make reservations way ahead of time. This event will be open to anyone 18 or older. We are also going to be working with the teens to find babysitters for those with younger children. At this time the committee is trying to gage interest. If you are interested in this event ,please e-mail YES to Craig Weber at [email protected] before January 10th. Look forward to hearing from everyone. Thank you.

First Timers

By: Donna Powell, First Timers Chair

Have you ever been to National Campvention? No, well now is the time to plan for it! How will you figure out what to do first? Well, let me introduce myself; I am the 2023 FIRST TIMER CHAIR PERSON, Donna Powell. Once you are parked; have been to registration, or going through registration, you will meet me at the 1st timers sign in area. I and those helping me will help you feel welcomed. 

We will have two meetings during the week! The first meeting will be on Monday; more details as I get them worked out. Towards the end of Campvention, there will be a follow-up meeting, when we will have you fill out a questionnaire about Campvention!

Of course, all week, you will be welcomed with hugs, fist pumps or elbow greetings; why, because that’s how we welcome you to Campvention!

Until next time….

All-Hat Luncheon

By: Chairperson, Deborah Swanson & Co-chair, Donna Powell

There will be an All-Hat luncheon at the National Campvention! More details will be coming as we get them planned out!

Campvention 2023 Teen Center Request

The Teen Center for Campvetion 2023 is asking that States, Provinces, or Regions will ‘take over’ the teen center for 1 night of Campvention week.  If your State, Province, or Region would like to host one evening, please contact [email protected] to get more information.

Save The Date

By: Paul Standiford

South Central West Region (#2) is making plans to host a regional campout from June 27 – 30, 2023 in Branson Missouri. This would be a great layover on your way to Campvention 2023. Planning is in very early stages, but we would like to get some indication of interest in attending so that we might begin to finalize numbers with the campground. If you or your group have interest in attending, please send an email to [email protected]. Please know that this is NOT a commitment to attend and is strictly for planning purposes. However, if you could let us know if you are LIKELY to attend or simply CONSIDERING attending it would be appreciated, Also, if anyone would be interested in volunteering, please let us know.

Richmond, Indiana & Campvention 2023 Await You

By: Barb Turner, Publicity Chair

The 63rd FCRV Campvention will be held at the Wayne County Fairgrounds & Expo Center in Richmond, Indiana July 9-14.   The City of Richmond offers sightseeing/touring options that might be of interest.

Richmond is known for its preserved architecture and early recording industry.  “The early history of Richmond is tied to the National Road, which, after opening in 1833, brought many immigrant families through the city and Wayne County on their long journey west.  In the years that followed, Richmond became the most populous city in the state and a center for industry and the arts.  It was here in the a film projection machine late 19th century that cinema pioneer Charles Francis Jenkins invented his Phantoscope (a film projection machine in the early 1890s)   Richmond was the gathering place for a number of important Impressionist artists, while in 1923 the very first recording to feature Louis Armstrong was pressed in this city by Gennett Records.”  https://www.thecrazytourist.com/15-best-things-to-do-in-richmond-indiana/

Perhaps a couple of unique touring opportunities might interest you:

Model T Museum:  The headquarters for the Model T Ford Club of America, the largest club for Model T enthusiasts in the world, is found in Richmond at 309 N 8th St.  (http://www.mtfca.com/museum/)   The collection is spread across two buildings, emphasizing the main years of the Model T’s production from 1908 to 1927.  Exhibits include Fordson tractors and a recreated machine shop with belt-driven tools.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BmVhvdzCpJE

Gennett Records Walk of Fame, 201 S 1st St., honors music legends with record-shaped plaques in the pavement.  (https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/gennett-walk-of-fame) “Richmond’s Gennett Records, founded by Henry Gennett in 1917, produced some of the earliest recordings by a whole raft of jazz and blues greats.  These include Louis Armstrong, King Oliver, Duke Ellington, Hoagy Carmichael, Bix Beiderbecke, Charley Patton, Blind Lemon Jefferson and Jelly Roll Morton.  You can visit the site of the studio next to the Whitewater River, where there’s an interpretive trail pointing out the former location of the studio and paying tribute to the many artists associated with the label.  The most famous artists are commemorated with medallions embedded in the path, designed to resemble 78 rpm records.”  (https://www.thecrazytourist.com/15-best-things-to-do-in-richmond-indiana/) (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8MN1CKRjhvI)

Glen Miller Park, 2200 E Main St, might be of interest.  The park dates back to 1885 and is named for railroad executive Colonel John Ford Miller.  ‘Glen’ means a valley with gentle slopes.  The park features natural freshwater springs.  “One of the contributing monuments is the Madonna of the Trail (1928) by the entrance, erected by the Daughters of the American Revolution and dedicated to the spirit of pioneer women in the United States.”  In addition to the E.G. Hill Rose Garden, the park includes fishing, skate park, splash pad, disc golf, and a nature area.  (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SKoc8hETkj4)

Over the next few months ‘things to see & do’ in the Richmond, Indiana area will be shared.  The Great Lakes Region, hosts for Campvention 2023, will be welcoming you in July.  If you aren’t registered, you can register online at https://fcrv.org/campvention-2023/

Take advantage of the special and save: PAY BEFORE DECEMBER 31ST, 2022 TO RECEIVE A $25 DISCOUNT ($310.00)!


[20% off Discount Code “FCRV20”]

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]

Conservation & Wildlife – The Foundations of FCRV

Conservation & Wildlife – The Foundations of FCRV

By: Deb Swanson

If you look on the internet for the definition of conservation you will find more meanings than you can count. For the purposes of this article I chose this one:

The protection, preservation, management, or restoration of natural environments and the ecological communities that inhabit them.

The very purpose of FCRV is to encourage the people of North America, and elsewhere, to participate in recreational activities which protect, conserve, and defend natural resources for the purpose of conserving the scenery and wildlife unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations. This statement is the foundation of NCHA/FCRV, the reason for our incorporation, and the reason the Federal Government considers us tax exempt.

FCRV members have always been concerned with protecting the environment and conserving natural resources. A history strong in conservation programs has earned FCRV the title of “Campers with a Conscience”.

We are in need of a Conservation Director due to the retirement of longtime director Mary Leonard. According to the field manual the conservation director:

  • Serves on the Executive Board
  • Represents FCRV in conservation matters
  • Maintains a National Conservation board to help initiate and carry out the administrative duties of the conservation program and to provide continuity should the Director resign or be released.
  • Appoint or release at-large members of the National Conservation Board upon approval of the reporting trustee
  • Keep the FCRV membership informed through articles in the official FCRV magazine

We are in need of 2 members at large for the National Conservation Board

We are also in need of a Wildlife Director and a Wildlife board. The duties of the Wildlife Director are as follows:

  • Oversees the Wildlife board and meets with them once a year
  • Oversees wildlife grants with board approval
  • Oversees the Wildlife Refuge program
  • Places articles regarding wildlife in Camping Today
  • Assists with fundraising

We are in need of 3 members at-large for the Wildlife board.

We welcome any of the FFCC Chapter members to join us on these boards. It’s a great way to meet FCRV members and help support wildlife and conservation. The job is not a difficult one but a necessary one. We would love to have you on board.

“Being a Good Camp Neighbor”

“Being a Good Camp Neighbor”  Adventures in the Field: Stories from a Wildlife Technician

By Amy Wittmeyer

When I was working in California in 2021, we usually camped in the field for several nights during the week. Most of our work sites were over an hour’s drive away from our base house, so camping was more efficient in regard to both time and gas. Most of the time, it was just myself and my field partner, though sometimes we camped with other crew members and occasionally, we were in a campground open to the public. Many campgrounds were closed due to fire regulations, and since we camped during the week, we normally didn’t see anyone anyways.

One week, my field partner Abby and I were alone in a campground for the first night of our stay, and we enjoyed the peace and quiet. She liked to read in her tent after work while I picked at my guitar. The next evening passed similarly, and we went to bed still the only people in the campground. I was exhausted from a 10+ mile day in high temperatures, so I fell asleep quickly, which doesn’t usually happen. I always wore earbuds at night for white noise, playing low music to block out the skitters and shuffles and strange noises of the forest at night.

Not too long after falling asleep, I was startled awake by a loud noise through my earbuds. I purposely kept the music low in case my partner tried to alert me of any trouble or needed help, so I could hear anything louder than a rustle. I was quite confused and very tired; my brain felt like it was full of cotton. I stared blankly at the wall of my tent as I tried to figure out what I was seeing and hearing. A bright light was shining into my tent, and I heard female voices. Somewhere a loud truck was running. I listened hard, taking out one earbud. For a brief moment, I thought maybe Abby was talking to a ranger and I became worried a fire had started nearby and that we were being evacuated. I listened harder and realized it wasn’t Abby; I didn’t recognize the voices.

As my brain finally woke up enough to realize what was happening, I became angry. Several women had pulled up late to camp and were loudly trying to figure out what site they were on. Naturally, they were right next door to us. They shouted over the noise of the running truck as they poked around, the headlights shining straight into our campsite. There was no way they couldn’t realize there were people trying to sleep next door; we had a white pickup and two tents set plainly on the site. They knew we were there; they just didn’t care.

The noise and lights continued for at least 30 minutes while the women set up camp; I was silently seething the whole time. I’d been woken roughly from a sound sleep, and we had to get up at 5:00 am the next morning. I was too tired to get up and not in the mood for a confrontation though, so I stayed in my tent waiting for them to settle down, wondering what Abby thought of the ruckus (we had no cell service, so I couldn’t text her).

Finally, the women settled down and the camp became quiet and dark again. It took me at least another half hour to calm down and I fell asleep over an hour after I’d been woken up. Needless to say, Abby and I were both tired the next morning and annoyed at how inconsiderate the group next door had been. We complained to each other the whole way to our work site. Even if we hadn’t had to get up early the next morning, their behavior had still been quite impolite. Luckily, we were headed back to the house that night, so we didn’t have to worry about them again.

The moral of this story is really to just be a kind and considerate camp neighbor. Accidents happen; you get lost or delayed on your way to camp and you arrive after dark. Everyone’s been there. But to be so loud and to keep your car headlights shining – not towards your own site, but onto a different site – is unnecessary and quite frustrating for the people around you. Especially if they happen to be in tents and are very plainly in bed. When you arrive late to camp, it’s always best to try to talk quietly and keep light to only what’s necessary to set up. Turn off music, dim your lights, and set up quietly, and you’ll help maintain and spread the happiness that is a peaceful night at camp.

Thank You Letter – From Black Pine Animal Sanctuary

 Batty Over Bats And Halloween 

Batty Over Bats And Halloween

WASHINGTON, DC (Sept. 28, 2022) — Just in time for Halloween, National Wildlife Federation is sharing some interesting Bat Facts that may change the way they are perceived. The National Wildlife Federation’s Naturalist David Mizejewski is available to talk all things bats and more. To schedule Mizejewski for a media appearance or interview, please contact Hali Simon, [email protected]

“Bats are an incredibly cool group of wildlife, but probably one of the most misunderstood and persecuted,” said National Wildlife Federation Naturalist David Mizejewski. “I love sharing true facts about these wonderful flying mammals and seeing people’s irrational fear of them disappear.”

Bats and Halloween

  • Bats are one of the biggest symbols of the Halloween season.
  • Bats, along with owls, wolves, spiders and snakes have long been associated with darkness, death and danger by many cultures.
  • In reality, these types of wildlife are extremely beneficial to our ecosystems and to humans.
  • It’s thought that bat association with Halloween goes back to the ancient Celts. They believed the barrier between the living and spirit world thinned one night during the fall called Sawhain (sah-win) which is the root of our modern Halloween celebration. Bats flying around bonfires feeding on moths attracted to the light were thought to be spirits of the dead.
  • Bats have also been tied to the medieval European myths of witches who kept animals as companions or “familiars” including bats.
  • Vampire bats DO exist! There are three species found in South America north into Mexico. They’ve evolved not to feed on insects or flower nectar like other bats, but to feed on the blood of vertebrate animals. Don’t worry, they feed on wildlife and livestock, not on humans, and only consume a tiny amount of blood leaving their hosts basically unharmed. And their victims don’t turn into vampires!


Bat Facts

  • Let’s take a closer look at why bats are so important:
  • Globally there are over 1,400 bat species making them one of the most diverse groups of mammals on the planet. They make up 25 percent of all mammals.
  • Bats are the only mammals that fly.
  • In the continental U.S. there are 47 bat species. The Hawaiian hoary bat is the only native mammal there. All but three of those U.S.bat species feed exclusively on insects and other invertebrates. The three that don’t feed on flower nectar and are pollinators.
  • Scientists estimate that insect-eating, or insectivorous, bats may save U.S. farmers roughly $23 billion each year by reducing crop damage and limiting the need for pesticides. Most, on average, can eat up to half their body weight in insects, while pregnant or nursing mothers will consume up to 100 percent of their body weight each night.
  • Bats pollinate giant cactus and agave plants. Bat pollination also plays a vital role in the cultivation of a host of commercial products, including balsa wood, carob, cloves, and durian fruit.
  • In tropical areas, fruit-eating bats are seed dispersers and play an important role in reforestation of these tropical rainforests, some of the most important ecosystems in terms of biodiversity and carbon sequestration.
  • Some bats migrate south for the winter while others hibernate. Hibernation spots include caves and hollow trees. One species, the red bat, buries itself in the fallen leaves to hibernate.
  • Bats are NOT blind. They have eyes and can see. Many insect-eating bats rely on echolocation—a kind of sonar where they emit high-pitched sound waves that bounce back, letting the bat know what’s in front of it—rather than sight to hunt, and typically have tiny eyes. Bats typically have large, round ears which serve to pick up sonar signals.
  • Bats do NOT attack people or get tangled in people’s hair. Bats might sometimes swoop close to people to capture insects such as mosquitoes that fly near people, especially if they are carrying a flashlight or wearing a headlamp.

Bat Conservation

  • Bats like many other wildlife species suffer when we remove their habitat. Development that removes large trees where bats roost, human activity in caves where bats hibernate, the general removal of native plant communities that support the insects that bats feed on, and persecution based on myths are all threats to bats.
  • North American bats have been hit hard by white-nosed syndrome, a fatal illness introduced to this continent in 2006. It causes bats to be stricken with the growth of a white fungus on their face and wings and repeatedly rouses them from hibernation, causing the bats to burn through the energy stores they need to survive until spring. Billions of bats in North America have been lost to white-nosed syndrome including over 90% of northern long-eared, little brown and tri-colored bat populations.
  • The Indiana bat, the gray bat, the Hawaiian hoary bat, and seven other bat species are currently listed as endangered species under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. The Northern long-eared bat was listed as threatened due to rapid decline from white-nose syndrome.
  • Wind turbines can also pose risks for migrating bats. While research is still being done on the reason why, species of tree bats appear to be prone to fly near wind turbines and it has resulted in bat mortalities. There is hope that technologies like noise deterrence and practices like curtailing wind operations at certain times of the day when bats are more active can mitigate these risks.

How to Help Bats

  • Stop spraying pesticides. Bats feed on insects.
  • Some bat species do feed on mosquitoes. While bats will never eliminate all mosquitoes in an area they are an important natural check on these biting insects
  • Plant native trees and other plants in your yard. Bats roost in trees and native plants support the insect populations that bats feed on.
  • Put up a bat house. Some bat species will roost in these boxes during the day. Design is important. Bat houses should be large, have multiple chambers and be mounted at least 12 feet off the ground on a pole or the side of a building. Bat houses can provide important roosting areas in the absence of hollow trees.
  • If you have bats in your attic, work with a professional licensed wildlife removal company to install exclusion devices that allow bats to exit but not re-enter.
  • Never handle a bat. Like most mammals, they can and sometimes do carry rabies. If a bat gets into your house, open the windows and shut doors to corral it into one room and it should find its way out on its own. If it doesn’t, call a professional licensed wildlife removal company for assistance.
  • Get involved in your community to protect green spaces with mature trees that are habitat for bats.
  • If you go hiking or caving in an area known to host white-nose syndrome, scrub your clothes and boots with soapy water before wearing them elsewhere



Visit the National Wildlife Federation Media Center at NWF.org/News.

Dear RV

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

Us here at Dear RV!

Dear RV

Dear RV, 

Your article about TP in RVs was interesting. A couple of things I would add to your comments. First, all TP used in an RV should simply be septic safe. The RV holding tanks are the beginning of a septic system, so if it is septic safe, it is safe for an RV. I have had several RVs since 1997 and have never purchased RV specific TP and do not have problems. Another thing RVers need to pay attention to is the impact on the environment. The TP promoted by the bears is the worst as far as environmental impact. A long-time camper

Dear Long-Timer,

You are correct here. At the onset of Dear RV, we said we would give honest and upfront information here. Paper that is septic tank safe is important as is the time that it takes to break down in the tank. I have seen (Septic-tank-safe-paper that would not break down in the tank for an extended time frame.  In this case, the septic-tank-safe-paper was not good for the RV.) Environmental impact is also important and needs to be considered. I still will use the quart jar and water test on any paper that I use in my rig, and if it does not start to break apart in under 6 to 10 shakes, it will not go into the tank on my rig. I would prefer it to begin breaking up in 3 or so shakes of the jar. This test is a general test that was shared with me by the salesman that sold my mother and father their first camper back in the mid 1970’s. It has held true and has not let our family down in many years. So, it is a test that will keep the king of the crapper happy, and you, too! NO POOP PYRAMIDS is the goal!

Thanks for writing Dear RV

Dear RV,

I would like to ask you all if you have a preference on the type of cooking device that you use when camping? What is your opinion on a Blackstone grill and a regular grill?  We are new to RV Camping and would like to know what others think. I would rather not ask my chapter as I am a little embarrassed having to ask.

Embarrassed in midwest!


Dear Embarrassed,

I will say this is nothing to be embarrassed about for starters. You know, of course, that preferences in outdoor cooking are as wide as the west. I will tell you that I have been bitten by the Blackstone bug myself. I have a 17-inch Blackstone, and for camping it is plenty big. I think it is the best for camp cooking! However, I do not like hot dogs cooked on it. Just my opinion! So, I must admit I have both a grill and a Blackstone in the rig, along with a few other cooking devices that make camp a better place. It really is a personal preference, but I would say that the Blackstone will open many cooking options to you as will a grill. I will tell you that I like to try out new gadgets, so I had to get a Blackstone grill,and now I am hooked and use it almost every campout. I also have to say here I also like my Dutch Ovens for camp cooking as well.

My advice is ‘Just Go For It’ and have some fun cooking in camp.

Well, Embarrassed, thanks for letting me give you my opinion for what it is worth.


Thanks for your questions and comments and keep sending them to us here at Dear RV.

Dear RV,

I would like to thank you for your tip on TP! I tried your tip at the insistence of the wife, and we found that the paper we use in the RV, (and the house) does not break up very fast with insistent shaking.  We both were shocked, and I am glad to say that we have changed to a paper in both the house and the RV that met the test with 6 shakes that were not arm breaking! I would like to again thank you for this tip as now our Throne Room has an upgrade and a happy King as well as a happy Queen!

Thanks again, Dear RV

The Flu

The Flu

By: Joe Boswell, National DASAT Director

Did you know that FLU season begins in the fall during the month of October and stays around until April? To help control the spread of the flu virus, it is important to get an annual flu shot. This vaccine takes approximately two weeks to be effective. So, the earlier you receive the preventative flu shot the better your resistance to the flu viruses. If by chance you have put this off, it is not too late to get vaccinated for the flu viruses. In many communities, drug stores and health departments offer this free of charge. In other instances, it is at a reduced rate. You can also get this from your local healthcare provider.

First, let us explore some facts about the flu virus. “The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat and sometimes the lungs. The two main types of the flu virus are Type A and Type B.” The flu virus is in a constant changing state, and therefore it is important to get the flu vaccine yearly. The vaccine from a previous year may not be a preventative measure for the next year. The severity of this illness can vary from year to year. One year it can be mild or severe for an individual; in some cases, it can lead to a hospital stay or even cause death.

Here are some suggestions to help reduce your chances of contracting the flu virus. One of the most important ways of prevention is to “wash your hands” frequently using soap and water. If you are out daily, carry along some “alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Find yourself sneezing; cover your nose and mouth. Use a tissue; if a tissue is not handy, it is suggested that you sneeze into your upper shirtsleeve or elbow. The germs from a simple cough can travel upwards of over 6 feet. Thus, when you sneeze, those around you can be exposed, too. It is possible that you can receive droplets made by someone who sneezes. You may not totally realize that this is one of the ways this virus spreads. It is recommended that you do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth, all of which help to prevent spreading of your contaminated flu germs. A person can also become affected if they have touched something that has the virus upon it and you touch your nose, mouth or eyes. An interesting fact, the flu virus can live on any surface for up to 48 hours. As an added suggestion, keep the surfaces within your house free of the flu germ by using disinfectants. Finally, reduce your interaction with other infected persons. “It is hard to think of prevention when caring for a sick child, partner, or parent. As a caregiver, the precaution of a flu vaccine is your best defense.”

Are you wondering if you have contracted the flu? It is mainly a respiratory illness, but, in fact, the total body can display symptoms. It includes, but is not limited to, the following: a high fever, continuous cough, a sore throat, a runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches, and extreme exhaustion. If you find yourself with any of these symptoms, it is suggested that you seek the assistance of medical personnel.

Now for the treatment of the flu. First, if you are experiencing any of the symptoms previously listed, consult with your doctor. Let your doctor make the proper evaluation and determine if you have the flu. Do you not want to have any complication setting in that will make the situation worse? Your doctor can make a diagnosis and start you on the path to recovery. Treatment can include antiviral medication, taken within the first two days of the symptoms; this will lessen the symptoms for a speedy recovery. In some instances, a prescription may be written that will help to reduce the pain and fever you are experiencing. This could include fever-reducing medication, which would help with the nasal congestion. If you have an ill child within the household who may have the flu virus, it is best to consult with medical personnel for the best measures to handle this situation.  One way to help your recovery efforts is to drink plenty of fluids and rest. In all instances, the flu virus symptoms can increase; therefore, make sure medical personnel are attuned to your medical history. When in private consultation with your doctor, please let them know of your concerns, especially about some of the symptoms of the flu. It is possible you need additional care for a successful recovery. Except for seeking medical care, if you have the flu, stay at home and help avoid infecting others. Many have occupations whereby you are around lots of individuals throughout the day.  If the flu symptoms occur, stay at home to avoid infecting others. The best suggestion for everyone is to get a flu shot.


Brief handout from CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield of Maryland http://www.dec.gov./flu/index.htm accessed June 6, 2018