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 rwitz@aol.com 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 cdwarthan@yahoo.com

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 www.rwitz@aol.com 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 (Fschoolar@Yahoo.com).

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 www.rwitz@aol.com 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 Fschoolar@Yahoo.com.  We will be publishing an updated Dogwood directory this summer, so please send any updates to fmcadogwood@gmail.com

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.