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National Officers

Camping Today is a publication of the non-profit National Campers & Hikers Association, doing business as Family Campers & RVers (FCRV). Issue frequency is 12 (monthly) on line at www.fcrv.org. Publisher is Family Campers & RVers, 4904 Transit Rd. Bldg. 2, Depew, New York 14043-4906. Office Manager – Pat Wittmeyer 716-668-6242, [email protected] Camping Today is supported through FCRV memberships.  OWNER: National Campers & Hikers Association, doing business as Family Campers & RVers (non-profit), 4804 Transit Rd. Bldg.2, Depew, New York 14043-4906. Bondholders, mortgage, and other security owners holding 1% or more of bonds, mortgages, and other securities: NONE. The purpose, function, and nonprofit status of this organization and the exempt status for federal income tax purposes has not changed in the last 12 months.

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From The President

Well, everyone, October is here. The year has flown by leaving us at the closing of another camping year. When you read this, many of us will be putting the rig into storage or have already completed this task for the year. The closing of the camping season is always a little sad, but this gives us time to concentrate on the season to come our way in the Spring. This is a time to plan and build our camping schedule for 2024. I hope all of you put Campvention in your schedule and get your chapter there in force. We plan for a good turnout given this is our 75th Anniversary Celebration. Be there! We would like you to be part of this memorable time. Each of you is a very important part of FCRV. Never forget that. It is you that makes this camping organization great. Your ideas, your dedication, and your generosity have sustained your Chapter, State, Province, Region, and National organization throughout the years. Be there to be a part of the celebration. I hope to see you there.

Remember that we have an election in the spring.

Jeff Kendle is the Chair of the Committee from Region 1

Members are:

Rick Huston Region 2

Sherry McGuire Region 3

Angie Shaneyfelt  Region 4

Faye Swanburg Region 7

The positions up for election are President, Recording/Corresponding Secretary, and VP of Programs. If interested, please contact one of the committee members to get more information.

We as an organization need to make an extra focus on membership and building up the numbers of members in FCRV. As we see members fade away, we must think of new ways to increase numbers. We are faced with an aging population that is exceeding our growth with people that just can’t camp anymore. We, as Trustees, would like any ideas you might have for membership. I hope that we all will make membership our top priority in the years to come. This is a function that falls on all our shoulders. I am asking everyone to put on your thinking cap and share your ideas with us. Again, make this your passion and your project for the future.

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

Election of Officers – December 1st Deadline

Election of Officers
Jeff Kendle, – Chairperson Nominating Committee

ALL members: Here is your opportunity to serve FCRV. Become a FCRV officer!

Nominations are being accepted for the upcoming election in 2024. The positions include, President, Vice President of Programs and the Recording/Corresponding Officer. These Trustees will govern the operations of Family Campers & RVers (FCRV) for the 2024/2026 term of office.

Any FCRV member, in good standing, is eligible for nomination consideration. Please contact your respective State/Provincial Directors if you have the desire to serve in any of these positions.

Don’t hesitate, the time is drawing near.

Welcome New Wildlife Directors Tom and Cheryl Martinez

Last July I submitted my resume for the open position of Wildlife Director. I was excited when I was informed that I had been accepted. I have been associated with the out-of-doors for a long time. As a youth I was in the Cub and Boy Scouts. I enjoyed camping, hiking, and fishing. Later while in college I was a member of Alpha Phi Omega, an extension of the scouting program. I have been into wildlife viewing and photography since my younger days and continue to enjoy the wildlife where we may find it.

My wife Cheryl and I joined FCRV, and Colorado’s Hi-Country Campers in 2010. We enjoy our camping friends and being out in the countryside. We have attended several state campouts, as well as Campventions and Retiree Rallies. We have met several people throughout the country and Canada. We have held the office of secretary for the last six years and Field Director this past year.

Since my retirement from my corporate accounting position, I have volunteered at the Broomfield Birds of Prey Foundation, which is a rehabilitation facility. I now volunteer with Colorado Parks and Wildlife. I am volunteering at Barr Lake State Park in the Nature Center, answering visitor questions, and selling various hunting, fishing licenses and park permits. I have had the great opportunity to lead school groups as a naturalist. I hope to rekindle the spirit for wildlife and for keeping their habits healthy, so we do not lose these magnificent animals, birds, and fish.

I would like to see a wildlife photo contest at Campvention and entertain the idea of having members build birdhouses for a silent auction as a fundraiser. I will be contacting the state directors asking for gift baskets for a live auction as a wildlife fund raiser. My e-mail is [email protected].

Welcome New Colorado State Directors Rick and Kathy Boatwright

We are Rick and Kathy Boatwright and have been recently appointed to the position of Colorado State Directors. We thought we would take this opportunity to introduce ourselves.

We moved to Colorado in 1993 and love camping and fishing at Colorado State parks. We enjoyed camping with the kids for many years, and in many states and Germany, until they grew up and moved away. After retiring from the Army after twenty years, I started working for a Military Contractor as a Vehicle Inspector Lead until I retired from that after twenty more years. My wife started work as a rubber stamp manufacturer and quickly became the Production Manager and ran the company until the company closed in 2020.

We joined FCRV in March of 2012 and have become Lifetime Members since then. We have been members of the Colorado Cruisers for thirteen years. During the first year, Kathy became the Secretary. The next year, I was elected as the President from 2014 thru 2016. During that time, with the help of the Colorado Cruiser’s Board of Directors, we reviewed and completely changed the Chapter’s By-laws, to bring the Chapter back to FCRV standards.

In 2016, we volunteered to become the chapter’s Field Directors. We are still the Field Directors today. We keep our chapter informed and help grow its membership. We both have held many positions within the Chapter: President, Secretary, Treasurer, Board member, Membership, C.A.M.P chairpersons for the chapter and Field Directors. We volunteered to help build bluebird houses and put them in campgrounds in South Central Colorado. We also helped the Veterans Retirement Home near Walsenburg, with needed items for many years.

In January 2019, Colorado needed a new State Campers Actively Moving Program (C.A.M.P) Director. We volunteered to keep the program running, and we are still the Colorado State C.A.M.P Directors today.

We were the C.A.M.P. Chairpersons and organized the C.A.M.P. walk and bike ride at the 2022 Campvention in Pueblo, CO. We also helped with the Any Hat Luncheon and drove the Trams for many hours during this time. We were also the C.A.M.P. Chairpersons for the 2023 Campvention in Richmond, IN.

As State Directors, we want everyone in FCRV to work as a team. As for Colorado, membership, conservation and wildlife are our main priorities. We want to work with all the Colorado Chapters’ Field Directors to take care of the members we still have and bring new ones in. If we all work together over the next few years, we all can make a difference.

Kathy and I are very active in Colorado FCRV and we both would like to help keep Colorado moving into the next decade. With that said, Kathy and I are happy to become Colorado’s new State Directors.

Rick and Kathy Boatwright

Welcome New Adult Activities Director Kathy Collier

New Adult Activities Director

By Dora Lewis

I would like to introduce our new National Adult Activities Director. Kathy Collier is from the state of New York. She has been a member of NCHA/FCRV her entire life. She has been a teen officer at local and district level and an officer at the chapter level. She has spent the last 10 years working with Karen and Bob Snodgrass, and on many  occasions running the adult games at national Campvention. She currently holds a position on the national scholarship board and is also the NYSA scholarship director. She also holds the position of NYSA secretary. In Kathy’s early days, she worked with President William Harper as the Rules Coordinator, duties included, checking, modifying and publishing rules of various contests. Let’s all welcome Kathy Collier to her new position as our National Adult Activities Director.

FCRV General Membership Meeting Minutes

FCRV General Membership Meeting Minutes

July 13, 2023

All Officers, Officers Elect and Many of the General Membership attending.

Welcome by Gerry Pfirsch and brought the meeting to order at 4:10 p.m.

Prayer was offered by National Chaplain, Bill Buggeln

Pledge of Allegiance was led by FCRV Recording & Corresponding Secretary, Beth Standiford

Gerry Pfirsch gave thanks to everyone for coming.

Linda Hennie made a motion to approve the 2022 Campvention General Membership Minutes as they were published in Camping Today. Barb Turner seconded the motion.

Motion was approved.

Installation of new officers by Larry Roop

Vice President of Operations, Linda English

Comptroller, Sandi Wingert

Vice President of Planning & Development, Amy DeCamp

Certificates to outgoing Officers:

Vice President of Operations, Jeff Kendle

Comptroller, Deb Swanson

Teen Director, Beth Coniglio

Adult Activity Directors, Robert & Karen Snodgrass

Campvention Director, Ed Shaneyfelt

Iowa State Director, Dale & Karen Huston; Jan Selby accepting on their behalf.

Region 7 Provincial Director, Camy Hicks

Michigan State Directors, John & Linda English

Utah State Director, Bill & Carla Bacon – Shirley Kendle accepting on their behalf.

Communications and Security, David & Linda Blair; Deb Swanson accepting on their behalf.

2023 Campvention Chair, and Co Chair to Connie Black and Linda Hennie.

2023 Campvention Lead Pins presented to Campvention Chair, Connie Black

Jeff Kendle presentation to 2022 State/Provincial Membership gain award.

Certificate awarded to Wisconsin, State Dir, Ray Suennen accepting.

Gerry Pfirsch recognized all the newest chapter members, FFCC Chapter of FCRV. Also, is very pleased at the large number (138) 1st timers. It’s been a year of change and change can be hard, but good.


Update on our projects.

  1. Ongoing Executive Board will be soon getting a “red line” version of the Field Manual. Thanks to the Committee who worked on this. As the organization moves forward, we will have challenges and growing pains and should be seen as good. We have to teach ourselves not to say how hard it is, but to be positive and see it as a good challenge and make it a point to reach out.
  2. We are going to match funds for RV shows. Lots in the works. If we don’t hear from you we will not have your direction. It’s easy to contact any and all of the Trustees.
  3. We now have a new National Conservation Director.
  4. We have a new National Wildlife Director.

These last 2 items are especially good for the organization as we are founded on Wildlife and Conservation, and it is a portion of our roots to which we must return. In today’s society, Conservation & Wildlife, renewable energies and recycling, are the way forward.

We’ve seen great gains in the commercial area this year; Amy DeCamp is building some great commercial partnerships. Blue Compass sponsored our stage. It’s the way we need to go in the future.

We are closing the physical office this year and maintaining a virtual office. We no longer have a 1-800 number and Patty Wittmeyer carries the new cell phone all the time. Patty & Carl can work from anywhere in the country. We will save in excess of $7k/annually so that we don’t have to raise dues. Trying to move forward conservatively. This is our future.

Regional and Provincial Directors will be able to get membership reports in live time. We ask you to step up and get involved. I am glad to have another national chapter in FCRV. I want to thank Quackers for their hospitality (every year). I encourage all to get with Carl and get set up for the virtual office. We must do what’s best for FCRV. Some decisions are hard but can be rewarding.

Dora Lewis presentation for the National Conservation Award for Best Project

Award this year goes to Night Owl of North & South Dakota for their clean-up for 2 local state parks, a project they have been doing for several years. Award was accepted by Shari McGuire on behalf of the chapter.

Dora Lewis introduced the new Conservation Director, Mike & Carol Burns of New York.

Mike stated he is pleased and looking forward to the responsibility to work with state chapters.

Beth Standiford gave the Hank Nathan Lifetime Achievement Award which was presented to Dave & Linda Hennie.

Jeff Kendle said a word of farewell and thanks.

Deb Swanson offered a word of thanks and farewell to her position as Comptroller but will carry on as the 2024 Campvention Director.

Her final financial report is as follows:

Beginning balance @ 7/1/22 $78,146

Ending balance @ 06-30-2023$80,148

Over the past year, we have lost $2,546.

Annual Financial Report

Wildlife Report

Beginning balance 7/1/22 $78,146

06/30/23 $80,148

The 2023 Conservation Grants are awarded to:

Sempervirens: protects 56 square miles of Redwood Forest and created the first California State Park

Big Basin Redwoods: Their work affects wildlife from large mammals to endangered species such as red-legged frogs, coho salmon, and marbled murrelet.

Hobbitsee Wildlife: this is a repeat recipient. They will use the funds to complete their new wildlife hospital.

Dakota Zoo: this is a repeat recipient. Their funds will be used to purchase meds for the rare species of Penguins that are in their care.

All are encouraged to submit wildlife grants. The form is easy. The maximum amount you can apply for is $1,000.

Scholarship Report

Beginning balance at 7/1/22 $284,493

6/30/23 $245,687

Scholarship Winners for 2023: We had 7 applicants and some did not meet all the necessary requirements. We have made some significant changes to the scholarship program so check it over; your grandchildren could be eligible.

Susie Valderrabano $1,500

Cassandra Coniglio. $1,500

Grace Carey. $2,500

Wildlife photo contest.

3rd – Ron Cohee

2nd – Mrs. Cohee

1st – Bob Kalberer

Amy DeCamp spoke about the tremendous growth by joining this family. Together we grow. We understand the benefits and joy of camping together but our special relationships. Organization is one of service and love of camping and wildlife preservation. Our lives are all busy. But why are we here? To join with each other and convince folks that this is fun and worth joining. Commercial partnerships are our financial future. Thanks to Ron Cohee for working with our vendors.

Dora Lewis introduced and thanked Joe Boswell, the DASAT Director.

Linda English stated that she loves the organization and is here to serve you and hopes for a great future together.

Sandi Wingert jokingly said she’s just a pencil pusher.

Beth Standiford thanked those reporting to her; Larry Roop, Awards Chairman, and Joann Rich, as National Historian.

Kathy Collier moved to close meeting. Joe Boswell seconded. Motion passed.

Respectfully submitted,
Beth Standiford
FCRV Corresponding & Recording Officer

Welcome New Members

Family Campers & RVers would like to extend a warm welcome to our newest members:


Scott Young Elaine Young MO Referred by P. Standiford
Evelyn Stephens FL Referred by E. Woodward
Thomas Martorano Christine Martorano NY Referred by C. Gunning
Joshua Keto Kristi Steeples CO Referred by E. Keto
Ron Ouellette Sherry Ouellette TX Former member returning after 3 year gap
Bob Murray Phyllis Cagnola NC Referred by Mary Burrus
Dennis Ramsey Carol Ramsey OK Referred through Travlfi; are fulltimers
Buddie Stewart Janie Stewart CO Through Silver Foxes chapter in Colorado
Jon Lannom Sally Lannom TX Referred by P. Standiford
Tambra McAuliffe PA Referred by Jeff & Tina Jeffiers

Retiree Rally 2024 – Mineola, Texas

Join in on the discussion at the 2024 Retiree Rally Facebook group.
Click the link above or scan the code below.

FCRV Retiree Rally Registration Deadline

Registration deadline: March 1, 2024. Included in the fee: Full hook-ups, (30/50 amp), ice cream social, 2 dinners, and entertainment. AND, fun & fellowship with your FCRV family. Note: All are welcome! You don’t have to be retired!

Food Bank and Lap Robes Info

By Karin Snyder, Food Bank/Lap Robes Chair

Looking forward to the upcoming Retiree Rally!! My name is Karin Snyder, and I am the new committee chair for the Food Pantry and Lap Robes. I am flying by the seat of my pants so here we go!! Excited to move forward with this.

Excited to pick Rose Hill Community Pantry as the recipient of March 2024 Rally contributions!! More info to follow!! Amazing story how this couple has dedicated so much to benefit other people!! God Bless!!

We are excited to find out about Mineola Caring and Sharing. They collect aluminum cans in their trailer behind Brookshire’s, a local grocery store within walking distance from the camping area. The funds are a significant contributor to their annual budget particularly as prices for food and other items continue to rise. Their primary focus is to provide food, gifts, toys, and household items each year at Christmas to several hundred families in the area. We are very impressed with what this organization does. Please remember to save those cans for them!!

I would like to encourage everyone to start saving their pull tabs from pop cans, beer cans etc… not from vegetable cans as they are not aluminum!! Of course ,these will be donated to Ronald McDonald House. We will have a little competition so start saving up and ask your friends and family to do the same!!

We are still working on finding the recipient of all the beautiful lap robes you all make!! Thank you to all the talented people that donate their beautiful creations to this cause. Remember that lap robes can be knitted, crocheted, quilted, made of fleece, or purchased. Typical size for wheelchair patients is 27″X36″ . Lap robes sizes chart: Small-36″x45″, Medium-30″x60″, and Large-45″x60″. God bless all the busy hands at work!! Thank you again!!

More info to follow!! If anyone has any suggestions or comments, please do not hesitate to reach out!! [email protected]

God bless!! Thank you to all!!

Game in Mineola

By Shari & Craig Weber & Joan & John Jordan, Games Co-Chairs

Giddy up! Gallop into Mineola and ‘horse around’ playing games at the rally. Bring a fun attitude and competitive spirit to join us throughout the week as we play and compete in a variety of table games and indoor/outdoor games. Watch for updates in future issues of Camping Today.

Cornhole is a game enjoyed by many. Since the retirees do not have boards, we ask that you bring boards. We will need several sets. The only way we can play is with your help in making sure we have boards.

FCRV Retiree Rally Pet Parade

By Donna Powell, Pet Parade Chair

‘Round Up Your Doggies Pet Parade’ is the 2024 Retiree Pet Parade. There will be a pet parade for our ‘little Doggies’ and all dogs, cats, or pets if you want to enter our parade. I will have more information in the coming months. If anyone is interested, I could use a helper or two, also!

Mineola Texas Calls For Campers Roundup

By George & Karen Reynolds, Rally Coordinators

It’s time to gather for our annual round up the ‘herd’ of members in FCRV campers.

We would like to invite new people to come to the retiree rally. At our rallies we offer 2 meals, ice cream social, entertainment every night, dancing, and a lot more. Remember you do not have to be retired to come. Anyone can attend and bring along a guest and let them see what we are all about.

The planning for this upcoming get-together is well underway; please get your ‘horsepower’ ready for the trip out west. We will have a great ‘stall’ with full hook-ups for your steed. Chuckwagon and nightly entertainment, lots of great hospitality after entertainment nightly.

NOW is the time to make your plans to drive the stock to this roundup. Early planning allows the bunkhouse workers to provide the very best roundup so ……

GIDDY UP and Register to GO.
18-23 March 2024 (Early Days 15,16,17)

Visit Terrell, Texas

By Barb Turner, Retiree Rally Publicity Chair

The 52nd FCRV International Retiree Rally will be taking us back to Mineola, Texas in March. In 2022, Mineola was a new venue for us.

About 50 miles west of Mineola is Terrell, Texas, a ‘visit-spot’ during the early days at the rally site. Like Mineola, Terrell was settled as a railroad town with the construction of the Texas and Pacific Railroad Line in 1873 when ‘King Cotton’ was the cash crop. (Today, it is the principal commercial center of Kaufman County.) The town was named for Robert A. Terrell, a European-American pioneer whose farm was on the town’s western edge. Terrell and his bride Emily Love came to the area soon after marrying in 1846 when they built a log cabin which was located just to the south of the present house and raised their nine children. Terrell is reported to have said he “once killed a bear in their front yard, and he could sit on his front porch and shoot deer and turkey”.

He later built the octagonal house, called the Round House, on his property. The house was built possibly as early as 1860 when a master carpenter M. Goodfellow from New Brunswick, Canada was living in the Terrell household, according to the 1860 census. The architecture was a very new and innovative idea for the time. It was built that way for the light and the air circulation. The logs for the foundation were brought by wagon from East Texas and hand-hewn on the site. The octagonal house originally faced south and turned to face west in 1914 when the Texas Military College was established on part of the Terrell farm. It served as the mess hall for many years. The Round House is located on the campus of Southwestern Christian College which purchased the property in 1949. https://www.discoverterrell.com/places/robert-a-terrell-home

Terrell was incorporated in 1875. It’s noted that the first automobile appeared in 1899, which appears to be a momentous historical event!

While in Terrell, plan to visit the Terrell Heritage Museum (207 N. Frances Street) which is housed in the Carnegie Building which was built in 1904 with money donated by Scottish-American businessman and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie as a library. A total of 2,509 Carnegie libraries were built between 1883 and 1929. The Carnegie Building operated as a library until the mid-1980s. It is now the home of the Terrell Heritage Museum, displaying artifacts from Terrell’s past. Free admission! www.terrellheritage.org 

No. 1 British Flying Training School Museum (119 Silent Wings Blvd, Terrell Municipal Airport) is worth a visit as it is one of the only RAF Museums currently in the United States. The museum is located at the site of one of six British Flying Training Schools operated in the US during WW II. It was a civilian flight school dedicated to instructing

and training British Royal Air Force (RAF) pilots during the war. Why Terrell? “RAF officials sought to train aircrews outside of England, safe from enemy attack and poor weather. The cadets trained in the air on aerobatics, instrument flight, and night flying, while on the ground they studied navigation, meteorology, engines, and armaments, even spending time in early flight simulators. More than 2,000 RAF cadets trained in Terrell.” And, did you know that it is roughly the same distance from Terrell to Houston as it is from London to Paris!! In the Terrell Cemetery there is a plot where several RAF Airmen are buried who died in a training accident. www.bftsmuseum.org 

Books & Crannies, 209 W. Monroe Ave, sounds like an interesting visit. “Books & Crannies is an independent bookstore located in historic downtown Terrell. We offer all genres of books (mostly used), a locally produced line of skin care items (Susan’s Soaps and More), and we have an upscale ladies consignment shop in the same building with us. We also have a small movie theatre in the back of the store. We take gently used books in for trade credit.” www.bookscrannies.com and on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gNEEz-kMR4E&t=28s 

Downtown Terrell is a turn-of-the-century historic district complete with vintage lighting, wide brick sidewalks, and updated historic buildings with unique storefronts featuring great architectural details. Hand-painted murals add to the uniqueness of the area. Wayfaring Kiosks will aid your exploration of the historic district. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DD0ewxms-pU 

As an added note: Jamie Foxx, two-time Grammy Award-winning musician and singer, and Academy Award-winning actor, lived in Terrell and graduated in 1986.

Judy Elenburg suggested a couple of places to visit while in Terrell where she lives. First, the Front Porch is an interesting gift shop owned by one of her former principals, at 304 Catherine St. And, Jake E’ Riding Roundup is another place that might be of interest. It’s an equestrian therapy for disabled children and adults. Its address is Kaufman but it’s just east of Terrell. (10626 FM 249, Kaufman , TX) She said you can visit and even volunteer to greet kids or groom horses. Their hours are Mon-Fri 8am to 5pm. She’s been there once with her Retired School Personnel group.

Planning on the Early Days (MARCH 15, 16 & 17th) at the 2024 FCRV International Retiree Rally? If so, plan on a day-trip to Terrell!

See you in Mineola!

Campvention 2024 – Frankfort, New York

Join in on the discussion at the 2024 Campvention Facebook group.
Click the link above or scan the code below.

State Parks to Visit/Stay in New York
By Deb Swanson

We are excited to be hosting the 75th anniversary celebration of FCRV in the beautiful state of New York. The Central Region is one of the most beautiful parts of our state.

In this issue I want to highlight some of the most beautiful places to camp. We hope that you will have some time before, or after, Campvention to stay at one, or more of these places. I may be prejudiced but I think New York has some of the most beautiful state parks. Whether they are located near the Great Lakes, Finger Lakes, or the St. Lawrence, they all have something for everyone. 


  • Watkins Glen State Park
    Watkins Glen gorge was carved out millions of years ago by melting glaciers. The entire gorge is hikeable using stairs. If you are physically fit you can go from the bottom of the gorge to the top and walk back down or take a bus. Not so fit? Take a bus to the top and walk down. There are 19 waterfalls and each one is more breathtaking than the last. Most of the gorge is in the shade. This park has 288 Campsites. There are other campgrounds in the area and a short drive to the park. If the parking lot at the bottom is full, take a short drive up to the upper parking lot where there is more parking. If you are into chasing waterfalls, there are three other state parks in the area with waterfalls. Paid admission into one park will get you into the other parks as long as it is on the same day. Located in the Village of Watkins Glen.


  • Four Mile Creek State Park
    Four Mile Creek State Park is located on Lake Ontario. They have some of the most beautiful sunsets. Four Mile Creek is 15 minutes north of Niagara Falls. As of this writing they have a Discover Niagara bus that will take you to the falls, along with Old Fort Niagara, for free. They have over 200 sites, some along the water, if you’re lucky enough to get one. Located in Youngstown.


  • Kring Point State Park
    Kring Point State Park is a narrow peninsula whose south shore faces Goose Bay and north shore faces the St. Lawrence River. Standing anywhere in the park, visitors see water and many of the 1700 islands for which the region is named. Half of the 100 campsites are on the waterfront and virtually every cabin and campsite has a river or bay view. Located in Redwood.
  • Cumberland Bay State Park
    Cumberland Bay State Park, on the west shore of Lake Champlain, is very popular with campers and day-users because of its large natural sand beach and picnic grounds with tables and grills. The park has a playground and playing fields. Located in Plattsburgh.

This is just a small sample of the many state parks we have in New York. For more information use the link below for an interactive camping guide. The state parks use Reserve America to make camping reservations and can only be made 9 months prior to the first day of camping.


Next month’s issue will have an insight on what to do while in/around Herkimer and other places of interest in the state. Please share with your friends and get them to come with you to Campvention. Come see what we love about New York.

Being Green at Campvention ‘24
By Deb Swanson, Campvention Chair

Do you recycle? Do you find it to be a pain in the neck? Do you waiver from all the cleaning and trying to remove those stubborn labels? How about grocery bags? Do you take them to the store, or recycling facility for recycling? An independent study shows that recycling plastic bags does not work. Trackers in grocery bags dropped off at a recycling center did not get recycled. I have a friend who works in one of our grocery stores who told me that all the bags in the recycle bin got thrown in the dumpster. Using a reusable bag is more of a guarantee that your green efforts will go further than recycling.

So why do I mention this subject? In March 2020, New York State passed the new bag reduction act eliminating the 23 billion bags that were used in previous years. Recently the Campvention team has heard that some people would not come to Campvention because they have to bring their own shopping bags. Our stores still have paper (reusable) bags available for 5 cents each. Were New Yorkers happy about this law? Not at all. But over time we started to see the benefits of the law like no bags stuck in trees, or against fences. No bags in our waterways, and most importantly, no harm to wildlife.

As a Florida snowbird, I use reusable bags when I shop there as well. About 9 times out of 10, I forget to take them in the store. Then I tell myself how dumb I am and tell the cashier that I will put my items back in the cart and bag them when I get home.

As part of your welcome package, you will receive a reusable shopping bag. You will be advertising FCRV and helping the planet at the same time! We are working with the fairgrounds staff to recycle as much as possible at Campvention. To quote Kermit the Frog, “It’s not easy being green” but with practice it gets easier.

Campvention 2024 – ‘Celebrating Our Future’ – Frankfort, New York
By Barb Turner, Campvention Publicity Chair

‘Celebrating Our Future’, June 23-29 at the Herkimer County Fairgrounds in Frankfort, New York, will be THE Family Campers & RVers EVENT that awaits our FCRV family! In your trip planning, information about our host city might be helpful.

The Town of Frankfort is located in the southern area of Herkimer County. Interestingly, the land where the present town stands was once the land of the Mohawk Indian Tribe. The Dutch bought the land and established land patents (through which the director-general and council of New Netherland allowed private individuals to take possession of land in freehold) which encompassed a large area in the town.

“The First permanent settler was Jacob Folts, who had come to America in 1710 and settled here after purchasing lot#3 of the Burnetsfield Patent in 1723. In 1796 Major Warner Folts built the Folts Homestead on the land.

“Another early settler was Lawrence Frank, for whom the town was named. Early pioneers were German immigrants, who were called Palantines because they came from the Lower Palatinate of the Rhine River. They settled in the Mohawk Valley prior to the Revolutionary War, building mills on the river and creeks. By 1757 there were saw and grist mills in the area but were burned during the French and Indian War raids. Unfortunately, the area had very little time to rebuild before being totally destroyed during the Revolutionary War.”

Following the Revolutionary War, post-revolutionary soldiers from New England arrived and settled. About 1800 Welsh families arrived and settled in the western part of town. The area became known as ‘Welsh Bush’. “Howard’s Bush, now the Frankfort Center, was so named for the family named Howard who settled there.

Saw mills and taverns were built as early as 1794. Are you familiar with a ‘plank road’? Plank roads were composed of wooden planks or puncheon logs and were most often built by turnpike companies. “A state road was established between Utica and Schenectady by an act of Legislature in 1798. This road ran along the south side of the river through Frankfort. In 1850 this road was converted into a plank road and was Mohawk Plank Road; this of course now being Old 5S. In about 1825, the Legislature appointed commissioners to build a road from Frankfort to Litchfield traveling along the Moyer Creek Gulf, now known as the Gorge Road.”

I encourage you to research further history of our Campvention host city as part of your planning. Frankfort is a small town of less than 2500. With that in mind, over the next few months, we’ll be exploring what to do and see beyond Frankfort.

In the meantime, get registered! Visit https://fcrv.org/campvention-2024 / to do so. Remember: pay before December 31, 2023, to receive a $25 discount ($325.00). https://www.townoffrankfort.com/our-town.php 

Dear RV

Do you have questions about your RV, accessories, best practices, etc? Submit them to Dear RV and our staff will attempt to answer them. The answers are based on years of camping experience, but we don’t guarantee that the answers will apply to your specific unit or situation. If someone submits a question and you can add to our answer OR have a better answer, please submit below with information about the original question. Your submission will be reviewed for possible publication in a future Dear RV Q&A. So, send us your questions and we will send you an answer. Remember, all submissions are anonymous.

Us here at Dear RV!

Dear RV October 2023

I’ve talked to people who tell me not to drink the water at campgrounds. Only drink water from bottled water. Don’t even drink the water in your fresh water tank that came from your home faucet. Isn’t the water at campgrounds required to be tested periodically? Is it really not safe to drink? And, if I drink it at home, why shouldn’t I drink it from the fresh water tank if it came from my home faucet? Concerned H2O Drinker

Dear Concerned H2O Drinker,

Here is my thinking on this. I use my water tank on my rig all summer. In the spring I sanitize it following the directions that come with the RV. There are water treatments available from your RV dealers. There are many different filters for the rig and your drinking water. I will use bottled water, but I do not like the amount of plastic we put into the waste stream by using this practice. We are an organization founded on conservation but are willing to place hundreds or even thousands of bottles into the waste stream each year camping and at Campvention. I put water in the RV tank and travel; l travel with water on board. This allows for cooking, showering, and roadside emergencies along the way. This also gives time to evaluate the water at the campground. A good filter is an important part of your water system. Commercial campgrounds will have a safe water supply for their guests, or they will not be in business very long. I know that there are those that say taking water with you is going to cost fuel on the trip. However, you know I do not really notice the fuel cost compared to paying $2.00 or $3.00 dollars for a bottle of water each time I stop, then having to haul the bottles to the trash can at each stop. I can go to the rig, get a little ice, fill the reusable container, and be on the road and not suffer from the effects from the change of water on the body. So I say, use your water system in your rig. It is an important part of a good camping experience.

I hope that this helps you, H2O

Dear RV, Is there something special I should do to seal my roof? How often should it be done? What product or type of product do you recommend?

A leak-free roof is an important part of maintaining your RV. Sealant depends on the type of roofing on your rig. Another important factor is what does the manufacturer recommend to use on the roof product. Is the rig under warranty? I check my roof for issues every year. I will seal any potential leaks, and if I have low branches touching the roof at a campground, I check the roof. The product I would recommend is what your roof manufacturer says is safe to use on your RV roofing.

Thanks for writing Dear RV, and I hope this helps!

Milestones – Birthdays – Anniversaries

3 Generations of Volunteer Firefighting
By Art Hamilton, Nova Scotia

The Fire Service can run in your blood. This is true for the Hamilton family of Kentville, Nova Scotia, having three generations of active members in the Kentville Volunteer Fire Department (KVFD) with 72 years of service collectively: Photographer (Captain) Art Hamilton, 42 years; Chief Scott Hamilton, 27 years; Firefighter Nicholas Hamilton, 3 years.

These gentlemen proudly dedicate themselves to serving their community, and we thank them for all that they do every day. This is the first time in the history of the KVFD that three generations of one family are all active at the same time.

I had been working in Halifax and had the opportunity to return to Kentville in 1971. I knew I wanted to volunteer in the community, so I looked into various community groups. The volunteer fire service was looking for members so I made application to join the Kentville Volunteer Fire Department on April 27, 1971. My application was accepted, and I was placed on a 6-month probational period. After completing my probational period, I felt the fire service was a good fit for me, and I have been involved there ever since.

I have served in various roles within the department (Bingo and fundraising committees, historical committee and Board of Directors). I have served on pumpers, utility units, as driver operator, and company officer of different units. Some of my most enjoyable years were the 13 years I served as Captain of the Heavy Rescue Unit. In 2002 I felt it necessary to take a step back and went on the Veterans list. Then 10 years later in 2012, I returned to active duty serving as Fire Ground Photographer. I completed the Level I Fire Investigations course, so I could also help with fire investigations.

In April of 1993 I was very proud to have my son, Scott Hamilton, join the KVFD. He is employed as a full-time paramedic with Emergency Health Services of Nova Scotia. He too has held many positions in the fire department and is currently serving as Chief of Kentville Volunteer Fire Department.

Another milestone was having my grandson Nicholas Hamilton join KVFD in November of 2021. Nic is employed as a full time 911 Operator and Dispatcher at Valley Communications, Kentville, NS.

Although they are not pictured; my wife Sylvia and daughter Karen Hamilton-McNutt have also volunteered with the Kentville Department, though not as active members. Sylvia served on the KVFD Ladies Auxiliary for several years and was always supportive of my role in the department. There were many nights that our family suppers were interrupted by a Fire Alarm. My daughter Karen is currently assisting the KVFD Historical Committee who oversees and maintains the various artifacts displayed in the Museum within the department.

Career Tech to Careers: Luke Kurburski at Birchwood Farms Golf and Country Club

by piehlb | Sep 13, 2023 | Career Tech to Careers, CTE News |

If you’ve eaten a meal recently at Birchwood Farms Golf and Country Club in Harbor Springs, there’s a good chance that many of the finer details that make a meal delicious and memorable were prepped at the hands of Luke Kurburski.

As the “garmo,” or pantry chef, Kurburski prepares all the cold foods and salads and their ingredients – chopping vegetables, making house-made dressings, creating and presenting desserts, and making sure all the ingredients that executive chef Rob Antoine needs for each meal are fresh and ready to go.

“It didn’t take Luke much time to catch on,” said Antoine. “He is really reliable, was prepared out of high school, and does a great job for us.”

Char-Em ISD’s Career and Technical Education team celebrated Kurburski’s entrance into the culinary workforce during a Career Tech to Careers signing event on Sept. 6, 2023, at Birchwood. The Career Tech to Careers initiative recognizes the decision of high school graduates to enter careers after earning diplomas, specifically those students whose high school careers included CTE classes.

Kurburski is a 2023 Petoskey High School graduate who took the Culinary Arts class, a career tech program taught by Bill Sommerfeldt, for two years. His interest in cooking grew while in the class, and he began to envision it as a career path. Now out of high school, that is exactly what he’s doing at Birchwood as he learns the ins and outs of the fine food business that is the lifeblood of northern Michigan’s tourist and resort industries. He joined their staff in May 2023.

Antoine said while kitchen crews are typically in the younger age range – Kurburski is 19 – the skills he brought with him from Sommerfeldt’s class are not always found in new staff learning the ropes. Kurburski noted that the transition from school to work was helped by the high school’s culinary program, which is set up like a restaurant atmosphere, giving students what feels like real-world experience while under instruction in everything from food prep to food safety.

Sommerfeldt said that Kurburski was a successful student in his program, and someone “he could always count on.” Kurburski was also a Skills USA competitor in regional and state contests, where students prepare and present high-level foods. Kurburski prepared a five-level torte and a lattice-topped pie that wowed the judges. He said the more time he spends cooking the more he realizes he likes working with desserts, though he enjoys all the aspects he’s learning under chef Antoine.

“I really enjoy being in the kitchen and talking with colleagues. I really like everything about it,” said Kurburski, who works approximately 36 hours a week, six days a week.

Sommerfeldt said he was proud to see his student finding success in a field he enjoys. “I’ve known Luke for many years, first through Boy Scouts and then through the high school,” he said. “He’s really a great kid. He was my right arm in class. He was always willing to help, and I didn’t have to explain a lot to him. He has a natural talent for cooking.”

Photo caption:
A recent Career Tech to Careers signing event celebrated Luke Kurburski, center, a 2023 Petoskey High School graduate and now pantry chef at Birchwood Farms and Country Club. Pictured with Kurburski are (front row, from left) PHS Culinary Arts teacher Bill Sommerfeldt; Jim Rummer, Char-Em ISD Director of Career and Technical Education; and Executive Chef Rob Antoine; back row, from left, Hannah Sanderson, CTE Consultant with Char-Em ISD; and Cathy Schanski, a new Jobs for Michigan’s Graduates (JMG) specialist working with students at PHS.