Monday, October 22, 2012

President's Message

Greetings Dogwooders,

Fall weather is upon us and the year is rapidly drawing to a close.  Before we can call the year finished, we have two important things that we must take care of.  First, the current 2011 – 2012 term for Dogwood officers is drawing to a close and we must elect new officers.  Dogwood's standing rules suggest that elections should be conducted early enough to allow for an orderly transition from the old slate to the new slate.  Standing rules also suggest that electronic balloting is the preferred Dogwood method for electing new officers.  By handling our elections electronically, we are providing the opportunity for all of our members to participate in the selection of new officers and also avoid some of the issues we’ve had in the past of having a quorum present for fall elections.  Accordingly, you should expect to find a ballot in your email inbox during the coming week.  There will be a deadline for returning your ballot so please watch your email.

For those that missed GEAR, Pennsylvania is beautiful in the fall.  Dogwood was represented by seven members this year.  The consensus is that a good time was had by all.

Our last event of the year is only a little over a month away.  Dogwood's Christmas rally is always a special fun filled event.  All of the information that you’ll need for participation is elsewhere in this issue of eNews.  We would like for this rally to be a huge success so please make a special effort attend.  Carolyn and I look forward to seeing all of you in Williamsburg.

Christmas Rally

The Christmas Rally will be held November 30 - December 2 at the KOA in Williamsburg VA.  Your hosts for the weekend are Fairleigh & Cil Schoolar, Bobby & Barbara Dyke, and Jim & Susan Buelow.

Campground Reservations:  Make your reservations directly with the KOA campground at 1-800-562-1733.  Tell them you are with the Dogwood Chapter FMCA (contact person is  Fairleigh Schoolar).  A block of sites are reserved for us in the Colonial Section.  50 amp full hookup sites are $36 per night and 30 amp full hookup sites are $31 per night.  

Directions:  Take exit 234 (Lightfoot) off I-64.  Turn northeast on 646 (left from I-64E and right from I-64W).  Follow 646 for 2 miles to the KOA - 
Colonial Campground on the right.  The registration office is on right.  Note that there are 2 KOA camping areas on 646; we are in the Colonial section. 

Rally fees for the weekend are $20 per person to cover dinners for Friday and Saturday and breakfasts for Saturday and Sunday.  Bring your own beverages, plates, and utensils.  Please register with Cil Schoolar by November 16.  


Friday evening:  Happy hour followed by dinner.  Fried chicken provided by hosts.  Bring a dish to share.
Saturday morning:  Breakfast provided by hosts followed by a business meeting.
Saturday evening:  Happy hour - bring an appetizer to share.  Beef tenderloin dinner provided by hosts.  Chinese gift swap. 
Sunday morning:  Breakfast provided by hosts.

Chinese Gift Swap: This event has become a Dogwood tradition. Each coach is to bring a wrapped gift with a value of $25. Each coach will draw a number from the hat. #1 selects a gift and opens it. #2 can either take #1's gift or an unopened gift. #3 can take #1 or #2's gift or an unopened gift and so on. There is lots of laughter as gifts are "stolen".  

What you need to bring:
  • Friday evening - A dish (appetizer, side dish, or dessert) to share.  Please email as to what you will be bringing so the hosts can ensure there is a variety.
  • Saturday evening - An appetizer to share.
  • Saturday evening - Gift for Chinese gift swap.
Attendees (as of November 10):  Reid, Warthan, Duff, Eastwood, Hall, Dyke, Sohles, Greenwood, Alexander, Jones, Buelow, Schoolar, Cockrell, Terry & Judy Davis, Bonewitz, Gilbert, Johnston, Tilman, Foore, Greenfield, Moore, Gruel, Hicks, Fisher, Allen, Dibble, Zobel


Dogwood Christmas Rally at KOA in Williamsburg VA 

November 30 - December 2, 2012

Names:  ____________________________________________

__________________Number of people at $20 each

__________________Amount enclosed

Mail check payable to Cil Schoolar, 1976 Essex Mill Road, Dunnsville VA 22454

Urbanna Oyster Festival

Dogwood will have a rally November 1 - 4 at Ed Fisher's garage in conjunction with the Urbanna Oyster Festival. In the past the coaches have parked around his garage then members congregated inside for meals and socializing. Most arrive on Thursday and depart on Sunday. We will be dry camping (limited electricity available for some coaches), however, there is water, electricity and a bathroom inside the garage. This is an informal rally. Berkley collects monies for oysters for roasting and the attendees provide food to share at pot luck dinners and breakfasts.

Urbanna Oyster Festival will be held on Friday and Saturday (November 2 & 3). Click here to link to the festival's web site.

Space is limited, so if you are interested in attending or have any questions, contact Berkley Alexander 804.754.1308 or ( ).

Attendees (as of Oct. 15):  Alexander, Schoolar, Gruel, Reid, Greenfield, Buelow, Sohles(Sat only), Hicks

National Director Report

National Director Report by Ed Fisher

FMCA's national conventions continue to shrink in attendance, but there was a glimmer of hope in 2012 . This year, the number of attending Family coaches exceeded the budgeted number. I do not have the exact number, but in order of magnitude, the convention was budgeted for 1700 coaches, and attendance was near 2000.

There were 315 voting members in attendance, out of a possible 470.

Discussions of a financial nature centered around balancing operating costs with income. The industry did not recover as expected in 2011-2012. Thus, in Feb. 2012, the Executive Board charged the Executive Director with identifying 1.2 million dollars in possible cost savings. This was done by May 2012 with staff's help. It should be noted that membership has declined from 130,000 in 2003 to 83,000 in 2012, and magazine income has dropped in line with membership or more. The Executive Board approved a budget with a 61,000 dollar surplus, and that was increased to 107,000 dollars by vote of the Governing Board, by permanently eliminating the reimbursement to the Governing Board members of their convention registration fees. This compares to 1.5 million dollar plus deficits in previous years.

Staffing in Cincinnati has been reduced from 53 in 2009 to 37 in 2012. Executive Director Brad Koshland resigned in November 2011. Membership Services department head, Jerry Yeates was asked to be the acting Executive Director, in addition to his regular duties. He has since been appointed Executive Director at no increase in pay, and his original position has been eliminated.

The Summer 2013 Family Reunion has been scheduled for  Gillette Wyoming, and proposed future sites are Redmond Oregon in 2014, and Madison Wisconsin in 2015.

A change to member services was the deletion of the medical evacuation program as a free benefit, at a budget saving of 341,529 dollars. It will be offered as a group benefit, at an affordable cost, to those who desire to purchase it.

The 3  bylaw changes we discussed at the Rockahock rally went as desired by consensus of Dogwood. The change to allow board meetings electronically, and the one to allow a member to hold office in two chapters (except National Director) were approved, and the one to allow towables to be full members was defeated.

Due to financial pressures, the convention parking committee was asked to forgo their compensation for the Indianapolis convention. They refused, so parking was done at no cost by officers and other volunteers. All agreed that the parking went extremely well, and as a result , the Parking Committee's compensation was permanently removed from the Policy and Procedures and from the budget. 

The final vote of the day was the unanimous approval to award Life Membership in FMCA to our own Judy Czarsty.

Highlights from GEAR

GEAR was held in York Pennsylvania October 10-14.  Seven members from Dogwood attended the rally.  In addition to the seminars, vendor exhibits, and entertainment provided by GEAR, Dogwood members enjoyed getting together for happy hours, meals, and nearby attractions including a factory tour at the Harley Davidson plant and design your own ice cream flavor at Turkey Hill.  Donna Gruel said that she particularly liked the venue at the York fairgrounds.  All activities were held in one building which was just a short walk from where our coaches were parked.  

Berkley Alexander was elected Treasurer of EAMA.  Congratulations Berkley!

Butch Jones did a fantastic job presenting his Motor Home Fire Safety seminar.

Butch Jones set some sort of record for doing a complete brake job and wheel bearing/hub assembly install as well as getting the coach weighed and an air brake towing system installed at GEAR.

Pennsylvania was beautiful as the leaves were changing colors.  Be sure to mark your calendar as GEAR will be held at the same location next year.  

Member Updates

Dogwood currently has 46 members.  

Paul Cummings wrote:  Nancy and I are in Salt lake City this week.  The photo is from Arches National Park near Moab, Utah. We have been on the road 71 days and plan to be home around Thanksgiving. This week we will visit the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and the largest Mine in the World.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

President's Message

Greetings Dogwooders,

For those of you that missed the Rockahock rally in July, you missed an excellent RV Fire Safety presentation by Butch Jones.  Butch has an extensive background in fire safety and experience as an RVer.    With this experience, he brings a uniquely qualified understanding of the potential risks that we all face.  The handout that was used can be viewed by clicking here.  I encourage each of you, even if you saw the presentation, to review the handout  and be certain that in the event of a fire, you have your plan in place  and have practiced. 

Until we meet again, Carolyn and I wish each of you smooth highways and safe travels.


Highlights from Solomons Rally

Eighteen coaches gathered at the Naval Recreation campground in scenic Solomons Maryland the weekend of May 31 - June 3.  Click here to view rally photos.  Our hosts showed us some real Maryland hospitality.  Thursday evening we gathered at the Solomons Yacht Club for happy hour, then attendees ventured to the local restaurants for dinner.  Friday night attendees enjoyed a crab pickin.  Steve Hall continually made the rounds to replenish crabs for those pickin.  Saturday morning the group gathered for a breakfast of egg casserole, bacon, sausage and fresh fruit.  Saturday evening we enjoyed a boat cruise around the area on the Tennison.  Sunday morning, we gathered for a continental breakfast then packed up and headed home.  During the days attendees checked out the sights in the area including historic Solomons Island.   

A special thanks to our hosts Richard & Elle Bonewitz, Steve & Mary Hall, David & Jackie Gilbert, and Regis & Terrie Johnston for all the hard work they put into making such an enjoyable weekend to all who attended.  Richard said that if there was enough interest, they would do it again in 2014.

Highlights from Rockahock Rally

The weekend of July 13-15, members gathered at the Rockahock campground in Lanexa for an informal rally.  Attendees provided food for a covered dish dinner Saturday night, breakfast Saturday morning, and several happy hours.  As usual, Dogwood is known for its good cooks and abundance of food at gatherings.  Attendees also enjoyed eating at local restaurants and shopping in Williamsburg.   Click here to view rally photos.  

FMCA Convention in Indianapolis

FMCA's International Convention will be held in Indianapolis Indiana August 27-30.  Richard Bonewitz is organizing a Dogwood caravan before, into the fairgrounds, and after the convention.  

If you will be attending the convention, but not participating in the caravan, please contact Richard at or 301-481-6003 so he can let you know if the Dogwood group has any get togethers.  


GEAR (the Eastern Area rally) will be held in York Pennsylvania October 10-14. There are no organized Dogwood activities associated with the rally.  If anyone is interested in parking together as a group, contact Mann or Carolyn Duff or reply to  

During the 2009 Dogwood rally in Williams Grove, several members enjoyed attending the Apple Harvest festival near Gettysburg.  The festival is held the first 2 weekends in October, so you may want to check it out when you are in the area for GEAR.  Click here to link to their website.   

Berkley Alexander needs volunteers to monitor seminars at GEAR.  Contact him if you are interested.

Attendees (as of Oct. 2):  Alexander, Greenwood, Gruel, Jones, Sohles, Czarsty, Tilman, Duff

Christmas Rally in Williamsburg

Dogwood Christmas Rally
November 30 - December 2, 2012
Williamsburg KOA Campground
Williamsburg Virginia
Exit 234 off I-64, left on 646
Follow 646 to KOA registration office on right

Please make your reservations with KOA @ 1-800-562-1733
Name of group:  Dogwood Chapter FMCA
Contact Person:  Fairleigh M. Schoolar

Colonial Section
Full hookups 50 amp $36 per night
Full hookups 30 amp $31 per night

Make your own campsite reservation now.  
Rally details will be provided closer to the rally.

Other upcoming rallies

Richard Bonewitz is planning a Dogwood caravan to Alaska in 2013.  If you are interested, contact Richard at or 301-481-6003   

Fire Safety

Motor Coach Fire Safety
Butch Jones

I would like to thank all of the Dogwood members that attended our presentation at the Rockahock Rally. I hope that we didn’t scare anyone so badly that they are tempted to leave motor homing. Fire awareness and preparedness can be scary stuff. However, it does not need to be petrifying.

As a result of the presentation several members came up with some excellent suggestions.  As an addendum to the presentation I have included these suggestions.

Mann Duff suggested that we might want to keep the Emergency Bag in the towed so it will be outside and ready when needed. If you do that make sure that you leave the hammer inside to assist in breaking out a window or skylight and you have the towed keys if you keep it locked.

Pat Allen observed that if you or your spouse has the need for glasses, contacts or a hearing aid make sure that those are kept with you along with your keys, cell phone, wallet and purse. Even if you wear reading glasses you should keep them handy.

Wilt Greenwood has come across a small extinguisher with a sprinkler head that can be placed in the outside refrigerator compartment to help extinguish a fire before it spreads to the interior.

Installing a suppression system in the engine compartment is a great way to limit engine bay fire damage.

I have thought about the fact that I am not getting any younger. Using the bed comforter or spread as a rope or slide might be something to consider for anyone that feels that they cannot climb down a ladder or climb out the window.

I’m sure that many of you have had thoughts on this subject. Send me your ideas and I will pass them along. Fire safety is an ongoing process. Even after you have developed your plan you may change it as your situation changes.

The following are two articles I came across which I found interesting.

Three killed in northwest Arizona motor home fire
KINGMAN, Ariz. - Three Lake Havasu City residents were killed in a fiery motor home accident about eight miles north of the northwestern Arizona city Monday.
The Department of Public Safety said the 2006 motor home towing a Jeep blew a right front tire about 12:05 p.m. on Arizona Route 95.
"The fire started on the right front wheel, which is directly adjacent to the main doorway that you come in and out," Desert Hills Fire Chief Matt Espinoza said. "In that case the primary entrance and exit was blocked by fire which basically forced the occupants to the rear of the RV."
Espinoza said the bodies of the occupants were all located in the rear of the motor home.
The victims were identified as John P. Thomas and Susan L. Thomas, both 63, and Joyce Lowry, 73.
           A right front tire blowout at less than 65 mph on I-95 in South Carolina 2005
A right front tire blowout at less than 65 mph on I-95 in South Carolina resulting in our 2000 Newmar Mountain Aire coach burning (it) to the ground, on Friday, April 22, 2005.

I was traveling Northbound on I-95, in the right lane and the coach was climbing an overpass and at about 300 feet from the top, the right front tire blew out. The coach immediately pulled hard right into the parking lane and it took a lot of strength to keep the coach in that parking lane and not going off the right edge of the road and into the grass and down the grade. I was able to regain control and bring the coach back into the right traffic lane so that I could continue over the overpass and miss the narrowing guard rail. After returning to the right lane and while on the overpass, I was able to begin to apply the brakes and slowly moved to the right and back into the parking lane on the down grade. At this point I already noticed flames in the right rear view mirror. I was unable to stop in the next 600 ft., because of the guard rail adjacent to the parking lane, which would have made it impossible to open the exit door, which is located in front of the right front blown, burning tire. I was able to stop about 600 ft. past the end of the guard rail and off the road in the parking lane. By the time I stopped, the flames were over the top of the exit door, and it was now impossible to exit via the front door. As I attempted to get the FOAM filled fire extinguisher from behind the passenger's seat, I noticed flames between the front door and the passenger seat about a foot high in the coach. I couldn't believe the volume of fire which had developed within less that 1 minute from the time of the blowout. Without any further expectations of possibly being able to extinguishing the fire, my immediate interest shifted to how we were going to get out of the coach. Since the traffic was still screaming by us without stopping, the bedroom emergency exit on the driver's side was out of the question, so the bedroom non-emergency window on the passenger side was the only one left. Exiting the coach via this window wasn't bad, but the edge of the grass was on fire from the end of the guard rail, 600 ft. back to the front of the coach and I had to jump clear of the fire. I jumped first and beyond the flames, and ended up several feet down the steep grade because of the overpass. I climbed back up to the flames and kicked dirt on the fire with my stocking feet. Then I lifted my wife from the rear window to safety. I had her run to the back of our toad and I proceeded to unhook the car. Needless to say, that took less than another minute, and out came the brake buddy, and we were out of there.
For the next 15 minutes we watched our coach burn with all our possessions, jewelry, cloths, identification, money, computers, everything, until the fire department arrived and by that time the coach was fully involved. The fire department couldn't do anything but cool the ashes. I-95 was blocked for about 2 hours and we just stood there, thankful we were alive and trying to figure it all out.
I wanted everyone to know, that I was very safety conscious, and never expected that this could happen to us, but it did. I thought I had thought of everything and prepared for most everything, but never expected it could happen to us. With all the safety preparations we still lost everything. Now there is more, the insurance issues, contents coverage. When you are a full-timer or a most timer we carry a lot of STUFF. We have more than you think you have. Our coverage may not be enough. And of course then there is the insurance for the Motorhome itself. Believe me, I am an insurable person, and I still may have missed things. My insurance is via Mendota, and my homeowner's in Florida is Allstate. I hope I can help better prepare someone better than I was, if we can ever be better prepared.

-Tony & Mary, Pembroke Pines, Fl. NEWMAR CLUB, DATASTORM

These bring it home that we need to BE PREPARED.

We received our Kidde Emergency Escape Ladder and Berkley and I tried it on his and Karen’s Dutch Star as well as our Discovery. It worked well but was quite a bit longer than needed. I cut 5 rungs off and I believe that will work better. I have an extra rung in case the coach is on more of an incline. 

I have included several pictures of the ladder in the packaged and installed mode.
If I can be of any assistance to anyone in evaluating their coach, developing their plan, deciding which detector or extinguishers to buy, practicing their plan or anything else relating to fire safety just let me know.

Business Reports

A business meeting was held July 14.  Click here to view the secretary and treasurer reports.

Nominating Committee Update

Paul Cummings stated that the nominating committee has a full slate of officers, however, to let him know if you are interesting in volunteering for an office for the 2013-2014 term.  Elections will be held electronically this fall.

Member Updates

Dogwood currently has 46 members.  Welcome to new members Jerry and Starr Eastwood who joined at the Solomons rally.

Most of you know that Dogwood members have an attraction for Crocs (shoes).  I couldn't resist sharing this article (click here) about a grizzly bear attacking a woman in Alaska.  For those of you going to Alaska next year, remember to wear your Crocs (or as Mann says make sure you are with someone who runs slower than you do)! ... Carolyn


Sausage and Cheese Crescent Squares from Karen Alexander

2 cans (8 oz each) Pillsbury crescent dinner rolls or 2 cans (8 oz each) Pillsbury crescent recipe creation refrigerated seamless dough sheet
1 pound spicy or mild bulk pork sausage
1 package (8 oz) cream cheese
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese (8 oz)

  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. If using crescent rolls:  Unroll 1 can of dough into 2 long rectangles.  Place into ungreased 13x9 pan (3 quart) glass baking dish; press over bottom and 1/2 inch up sides to form crust.  If using dough sheets:  Unroll 1 can of dough; Place into ungreased 13x9 glass baking dish; press over bottom and 1/2 inch up sides to form crust.  
  3. In skillet, cook sausage over medium heat until no longer pink.  Remove sausage and discard drippings.   In same skillet add cream cheese.  Cook over low heat until melted.  Add sausage.  Stir to coat.  Spread evenly over crust.  Top with cheese.
  4. If using crescent rolls, unroll 2nd can of dough on work surface.  Press to form 13x9 rectangle; firmly press preforations to seal.  Carefully place over cheese.  If using dough sheets, unroll dough on work surface.  Press to form 13x9 rectangle.  Carefully place over cheese.
  5. Bake 21 to 26 minutes until golden brown.  Cool 15 minutes.  Cut into small squares.
Makes 32 servings.  

A Working Wine Vacation

Carl Gruel shared this article by Dr. David Eifrig from the Palm Beach Letter.   

A Working Wine Vacation That Feels Free
If the idea of working on vacation seems interesting, you should consider the idea of a “crush” vacation. Working the crush means helping a winery pick, de-stem, press, and move juice, barrels, and waste during the harvest. It is one of the most unique cultural experiences you can imagine. I’m not going to lie... this is a physically demanding vacation. But in the end, you get a vacation and a few bottles of good wine to take home.

For the 2007, ‘08, and, ‘09 harvest, I traveled to Calistoga, Calif., and stayed with my friends, owners of the Mutt Lynch Winery. Their Sonoma winery produces some of the best unwooded (fermented in steel tanks rather than traditional oak ones) chardonnays I’ve ever tasted. The description on their website says it all: “Fresh, juicy fruit aromas and flavors of peaches, pears, and apples, with a creamy and zingy finish. The fruit ‘jumps out of the glass’... .”

For more than a week, I worked for the Lynch family. I did everything from helping the grape pickers pluck dead leaves under a warm September sun, to dumping the pomace at the end of the day. I didn’t get paid a thing and the work conditions were sometimes a bit difficult, but the benefits included room, board, and a great experience. Most importantly, I learned about winemaking—from world experts.

One of the experts I learned from, Phyllis, is half owner of a winery called Deux Amis that shares space with Mutt Lynch.  I watched (and helped) Phyllis and her colleague Brenda measure levels of sugar and pH in the fermenting juice and “punch down” grape skins floating in the nascent wine to ensure a uniform fermentation. Seeing them monitor and adjust the winemaking process to tease the flavor they want from every unique batch of grapes taught me how much of an artist’s touch great winemakers bring to their work. It’s not the sort of perspective you get from reading the Wine Spectator.
Phyllis and her partner Jim have been in the wine business of northern California for more than 70 years combined. It was an honor to learn from them.
It turns out there are dozens of small local wineries like Mutt Lynch and Deux Amis around the world who desperately need help during the harvest season. These tiny wineries simply can’t afford to pay for full-time help. Instead, they offer free room and board to ordinary folks who are looking for a memorable experience.
In most of America’s wine-producing regions—including Napa and Sonoma in California, Willamette Valley in Oregon, and New York’s Finger Lakes region—you can work a crush. If you’re interested in a wine-country vacation, I recommend you contact your favorite vineyard directly.
For example, some smaller and less-known vineyards of Ohio love having volunteers help them with the harvest. Simply register your interest prior to the season by contacting the individual winery, or just visit the winery on public picking days that get advertised in local newspapers. In Ohio, you can try these vineyards:
Debonné Vineyards in Madison, Ohio (tel.,
Troutman Vineyards in Wooster, Ohio (tel.,
Rainbow Hills Vineyards in Newcomerstown, Ohio (tel. 740-545-9305; no website), and
Slate Run Vineyard in Canal Winchester, Ohio (tel. 614-834-8577;
By the way, my friends at Mutt Lynch specialize in dog-themed wines. Their wines include names like Merlot Over and Unleashed Chardonnay. Give them a call or check out their website.

And it goes without saying, by mentioning their info I get nothing from my friends... other than a thanks.

The Ford House Car

Bill Guttridge shared the following article on the Ford House Car.

This is one of only six Ford House-cars said to have been made per year in the mid-30's at the Ford plant in St. Paul, Minnesota, according to an article in a 1993 "Old Cars" magazine.  Very few others--perhaps none--remain on the road and certainly not in such amazing original condition!  When discovered in a garage under a heavy cover in northern Minnesota in August of 2001, it had only 19,000 miles on the odometer and the owner's manual was still in the glove box in like-new condition!  The RV had always been garaged and treated with much 'TLC' as a collector vehicle. 

The all wood lined interior was still the way it appeared in the '30's complete with framed photos of the original owner on his travels, mainly to Florida, and his cabin in the North Woods. It also had other memorabilia from that era.  The Ford House-car was built on a '37 Ford Pickup frame and cowling and was powered by a 60 horse power, flathead V-8 with aluminum heads. The rear framing is all wood, with the metal skin wrapped around it. The roof structure is all wood over which the heavy, waterproofed canvas top is still very securely fitted. The structure of the body is solid, appearing to be all oak hardwood and it's still in a remarkably unaltered, undamaged condition!  The door frames are thick, solid oak as are the window frames although those have been painted over.  This House-car was a big hit at this campground once we got that great old 'flattie' V-8 hummin'! Note the expanding roof (it's that 'extra' roof piece barely visible in the picture) and the original dark green color, which has been repainted. All four side windows open while the back one tilts out in three positions. The windshield also tilts open at the bottom for 'natural' AC while driving. 
It's a slice right out of 1930's just as the original owner had it. All the windows have curtains for privacy and there are pull-down shades on the back window, as well as on the driver's and passenger door windows. Note the wide storage cabinet under the bed. 

The wood headliner gives the 'cabin' a warm and inviting rustic feel. You can also see it has a ceiling vent and the canvas expanding roof portion visible in this picture. Four wood pieces securely support the expansion when it's in the 'up' position, while clamps secure it when it's down while traveling. 

Note the cedar branches hanging in the corners to give the cabin a natural, north woods aroma. Cabinets and the aluminum sink, that includes a wooden cover insert, are visible on the left. All the antiques inside, as well as on the walls, came along for the ride. Also note the collapsible table behind the driver's seat. 

It's amazing how simple vehicles were back then! No computerization to be concerned about, eh?  

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

President's Message

Greetings Dogwooders,

Many if not most of us are home from winter travels and the Dogwood fun has already begun.  Elsewhere in this newsletter there’s a recap of the Outer Banks swan migration rally and it’s almost time for the migration to Solomon’s Island.  In short, we’re off to another year of fantastic Dogwood activities and camaraderie.  I’d like to offer special recognition to Paul Cummings who claims special communications between himself and Mother Nature accounted for the great weather we enjoyed while viewing the Swans.  I’ll speculate that Richard Bonewitz will have some similar story to share following  Solomons Island in a couple of weeks.  My suggestion to each of you, take full advantage of your Dogwood membership by attending this years scheduled events.  Carolyn and I will look forward to seeing you there. 


Solomons Island Rally

Anchors Away!  A Dogwood Rally will be held the weekend of June 1 - 3 at the Navy Recreation Area of Solomon's Island, Maryland.  Hosts for the rally are Richard & Elle Bonewitz, Steve & Mary Hall and David & Jackie Gilbert.  There is a lot to see and do in the area.  Bring your bikes, as there are lots of places to ride on the base. 

Campground: Campsites are $35 per night and include electric and water.  RIchard Bonewitz is responsible for making the campground reservations for the group and he must pay all the fees to the facility before May 1.  Let Richard know if you want to arrive early or stay later than the official rally dates.  

Click here to link to the Navy Recreation's web site for more information about the facility, things to do in the area and directions.  Richard will give the base a list of attendees, so when you check in tell them you are with Dogwood.  Since this is a military installation, there are some special requirements / restrictions.  Each person must present a picture ID for entry into the facility.  Vehicle registration and proof of insurance are also required.  No firearms are allowed.  Bicycle riders must wear helmets, so don't forget your helmet if you plan to ride a bike.

Rally Schedule:
Thursday Night - 5:00 pm Welcome Aboard Happy Hour
Friday Morning – Continental breakfast 
Friday Night –  An old fashion Maryland crab feast for those who want to eat crabs and hamburgers and hots dogs for those who don't.  Bring your own beverage.    
Saturday Morning – Continental breakfast will be provided.
Saturday Night – 5:30 pm - Cocktail boat cruise aboard the Tennison.  Bring your own beverage and a heavy hors d'oeuvre to share.   
Sunday Morning - Continental breakfast will be provided.  

The basic rally fee is $15 per person and covers the cost of Saturday and Sunday breakfasts and the basic dinner Friday night.  The boat cruise and crabs at Friday night's dinner are optional and an additional fee will be charged to cover the costs.  

Deadline for payment of camp site and rally fees is April 25, 2012

Attendees (as of April 13):   Allen, Bonewitz, Buelow,  CockrellDavis, Duff, Dyke, Gilbert, Greenwood, Gruel, Hall, Hicks, Johnston, Jones, Luxton, Schoolar, Vreeland 

Reservation Form
Please fill in all blanks even if the number is zero.

Names _____________________________________________

Rally Fees:
$                     Campsite fee ($35 per night = $70 for the weekend)
$                     Basic rally fee for _______ people ($15 per person)

$                     Boat cruise fee for _______ people ($12 per person)
TBD                Crabs (at Friday's dinner) for  ________ people. Crab prices vary.  The charge will be determined based on market cost and will be collected at the event. The charge will most likely be $10 + or - per person.

$                     Total Amount Enclosed (does not include charges for crabs)

Please mail the completed form along with a check, payable to Richard Bonewitz,  P.O. Box 616 Solomons, MD  20688. 

If you have any questions, contact Richard at or 301-481-6003.

Rockahock Rally in July

Dogwood's summer rally will be held July 13- 15 at Rockahock Campground in Lanexa VA. Located on the Chickahominy River between Williamsburg and Richmond, the campground has full hookup sites and a pavilion for our group gatherings. Hosts for the rally are Carol & Donald Warthan, Liz & Butch Jones, Marna Seal and Debby Deffendall.  

This is a "no frills" rally.   This means there is no set schedule other than happy hour each evening and a covered dish dinner on Saturday night!   We all just get together and enjoy each other's company.  There is plenty to do at Rockahock, fishing, swimming, Williamsburg (you can check out the new stores at the Pottery), etc.  So everyone can do their "own thing" and we'll plan on getting together for happy hours.  We have done this in the past at other gatherings and it worked very well.

If anyone decides to get together for breakfast and/or dinner, we can bring a covered dish for it or each one prepares their own meal and brings it to the pavilion...whichever the group decides on at the time.

Campsite: Make your campsite reservation directly with Rockahock, 804-966-8362.  Mention that you are with Dogwood to receive group rate.  Rates are $42.75 plus tax per night or $95 plus tax for a 3 day stay (several members plan to arrive on Thursday). Includes water, electric (30 amp; 50 amp) and sewer. One night's deposit is required at the time of making the reservation.  Check out Rockahock's website  Deadline for making reservation is June 25 .

Rally registration:  There are no rally fees, however, in order to know who is attending, please contact Carol Warthan at  804-966-1541 or

Attendees as of 7/6:  Alexander, Allen, Buelow, Cockrell, Cummings, Davis, Duff, Dyke, Fisher, Foore, Greenwood, Guttridge, Gruel, Jones, Luxton, Moore, Schoolar, Vreeland, Warthan  

Highlights from the Outer Banks Rally

Dogwood's spring rally was held in Rodanthe North Carolina the weekend of April 13-15.  Hosts for the rally were Nancy & Paul Cummings and Susan & Jim Buelow.  We stayed at Camp Hatteras which has campsites on the sound and ocean.  We enjoyed watching beautiful sunsets from our sites and meeting room which overlooked the sound.  It was as an all around great weekend - scenery, seashore decorations (including swans!), food, camaraderie.  Click here to view pictures from the rally.

Eleven couples attended the rally.  It was good to meet new members, Mike and Marcy Vreeland, and to see members Vern & Margie Davis who drove from their place in Florida to join us. 

The rally officially kicked off Friday with a polish sausage dinner.  Saturday morning we enjoyed a breakfast of eggs, sausage, and gravy biscuits.  During the days members checked out the local attractions, Hatteras Light House, Ocracoke Island, walked along the beach or just sat back enjoyed the sunshine.  

Saturday we had dinner at the nearby Good Winds restaurant.  Our tables overlooked the sound where we watched the sun set and the kite surfers.  The food and service were great.  We topped off the evening by celebrating Carl Gruel's birthday.  For those of you on Facebook, be sure to check out Paul's video (click here) - don't we look like a happy bunch!  And if you haven't seen it, check out Paul's Camp Hatteras rally video (click here).

Attendees received a welcome bag stuffed with goodies and door prizes were awarded both evenings.  A special thanks to the following businesses who contributed:  Becky's Hallmark, Camp Hatteras, Dixie RV, Dodd RV, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, and State Farm Insurance Agent John King.

This area of the Outer Banks was hit hard by hurricane Irene last summer.  We found the local people to be very friendly and appreciative of our business.  The restaurant even gave us a 10% discount!  This is definitely a place to return to for a future rally.

This was truly a fun, relaxing weekend.  My only regret was that had I know the scenery and weather would be so nice I would have made plans to stay extra days.  

FMCA Convention in Indianapolis

FMCA's International Convention will be held in Indianapolis Indiana August 27-30.  Richard Bonewitz is organizing a Dogwood caravan before, into the fairgrounds, and after the convention.  You can participate in all or any leg of the caravan.    

If you plan to caravan into the fairgrounds and park with the Dogwood group during the convention:  
  • Our Arrival time is scheduled for Saturday August 25 before 12:00 noon
  • When you make your convention reservations with FMCA, tell them you are a participant of the Dogwood chapter caravan arriving Aug. 25 and sign up for general-dry camping. 
Here is the initial itinerary for the caravan before the convention: 
  1. Rendezvous Washington/ Pittsburgh KOA on Aug. 23. Make your own reservations (800) 562-0254
  2. Indianapolis KOA Aug. 24. Make your own reservations  (317) 894-1397.  Richard has reserved 10 spaces, so let him know asap if you want to camp here with the group.
  3. Depart Aug. 25 at 9:00 a.m. and transit to FMCA Rally
Plans for the return trip will be discussed at the Solomons Rally.

If you are interested in participating in the Dogwood caravan, please contact Richard Bonewitz at or 301-481-6003 so that he can get a rough estimate of attendees.

Other Upcoming Rallies

GEAR (the Eastern Area rally) will be held in York Pennsylvania October 10-14.  Dogwood is planning to do a post-rally event in the Gettysburg area.

Christmas Rally.  Mann has been unable to secure the Outdoor World facilities in Williamsburg for the weekend of Nov 3- Dec 2, so has turned the task over to Fairleigh Schoolar, VP Rallies.  If you have any suggestions for the location (we need an indoor meeting room with cooking facilities), please let Fairleigh know (

Richard Bonewitz stated that they are still planning a trip to Alaska in 2013 and will be talking about the trip to develop ideas at the next few Rallies.  If you are interested, contact Richard at or 301-481-6003   

Member Updates

Dogwood currently has 45 members.

Former Dogwood member Linda Baker has liver and pancreatic cancer. She and her husband Al currently live in Florida.  Susan Buelow spoke with Linda last week and she was in good spirits. Linda is going through a lengthy and intense chemo treatment program and no word yet on the effect it is having on the cancer. 

Dennis Reid seemed to moving well at the Outer Banks rally following knee replacement surgery in February.  He received some ribbing at the rally about his favorite line "Hun, while you are up could you get  me ...".

Fairleigh Schoolar has a new email address  We will be publishing an updated Dogwood directory this summer, so please send any updates to

Business Meeting Notes

A business meeting was held April 14.  Click here to view the secretary's and treasurer's reports.

Nominating Committee:  Paul Cummings asked people to consider volunteering for an office for the 2013-2014 term.  He stated that a list of candidates would be presented and voted on later in the year.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Spring Rally at Camp Hatteras

The Dogwood Spring Rally will be held the week end of April 13, 14 & 15 at Camp Hatteras RV Resort, 24798 Highway 12, Rodanthe, NC.  Hosts for the rally are Nancy & Paul Cummings and Susan & Jim Buelow.   Click here to view Paul's rally video. 

Campground Reservations: Call the campground at (252) 987-2777 to make your own reservations. Be sure to tell them you are with the Dogwoods. They honor Good Sam, FMCA, KOA and active or retired military. Plus you will be getting a special rate. Check-in time is 1:00 PM.  Click here to link to the campground's web site.

Directions: Camp Hatteras is located on Hatteras Island ½ mile south of mile marker 40. Driving east on US-64 follow the signs for Cape Hatteras National Sea Shore and take a right onto NC-12. Traveling south on NC-158 at mile marker 17 follow signs to Cape Hatteras National Sea Shore and take a left onto NC-12.

Rally Schedule:
Friday Night – Dinner will be provided. Bring your favorite snack for Happy Hour at 5:00 PM and dinner will be at 6:00 PM.
Saturday AM – Breakfast provided at 9:00 AM with business meeting shortly after. Coffee and Juice will also be included.
Saturday Night – Bring your favorite snack for Happy Hour at 5:00 PM. Then we will travel a short distance to a great seafood restaurant, The Good Winds, for dinner at 6:30 PM. You may choose anything from the menu and they have a full service bar  (Note:  you are responsible for paying for your own food & beverage).  Click here to link to the restaurant's web site, however, your hosts were told the menu will change and more selections by April.   The view of the sound is beautiful and we will also be able to view wind and kite surfing, as well as, the awesome sunset while dining. Then after dinner we will travel back to the recreation center for dessert.
Sunday AM - Pastries and left overs will be available at 9:00 AM before departure.

The rally cost per person is $15.00 and does not include Saturday night dinner at the restaurant. Please bring your own eating utensils, plates and beverages.

Deadline for reservations at camp ground and rally fees is March 17, 2012. We will need to know if you plan to go to dinner at the restaurant so we can make reservations ahead of time.

Attendees (as of April 2):  Reid, Vreeland, Schoolar, Duff, Buelow, Cummings, Luxton, Sohles, Gruel, Greenfield, Vern Davis, Anderson.  

Reservation Form
Names _____________________________________________
Amount Enclosed ($15/person) ___________________________
Restaurant Reservations for how many people: _______________ 
Send check (payable to Nancy Cummings) and form to: Nancy Cummings, #4 Pitman Circle, Newport News, VA 23602