Sunday, October 13, 2013

Presidents Notes

Although by the calendar it is officially Fall, you sure could not tell by the weather. Four Dogwood couples took advantage of that summer like weather on September 27-29 at Virginia International Raceway near Danville, Va. That was the site for the Heacock Gold Vintage Auto races. It was a beautiful weekend and we got to see some very interesting and fast old race cars. There were some that were valued at close to half a million dollars, yet their owners had them racing on the track.

The following week we will journey to York, Pa. for the fall GEAR rally and then some of us will attend the Quad Rally in Gettysburg, Pa. Both promise to be filled with lots of socializing, entertainment and excursions. I hope to see many of you in the coming weeks.

The Dogwood schedule continues on into November with the Urbanna Oyster Festival and don’t forget our December Christmas Rally in Williamsburg, Va. The 2014 schedule starts with the National Convention in Perry Ga. in March.

It will not be long before the weather gets below 50 degrees and it’s time to move South, so the time is right to get the pre-winter coach maintenance completed and don’t forget to practice your escape plans, you do have a plan…. of course you do.

Butch Jones

Message from VP Rallies

I know it's hard to believe but the 2013 Dogwood rally's are winding down and it's time to begin planning for 2014.

After conferring with some of our chapter elders, I have decided to approach 2014 in a different manner.  Rather than me finding rally locations and then finding hosts, we're going to approach next year in a different manner.  For 2014, I would like for volunteer host to pick a location and dates for their rally.  After you have gathered the information, contact me to confirm and lock in your dates.  I have asked Carolyn to post the following information to help you in making your decisions.
  • Potential Rally Dates for 2014 - These are potential dates that don't conflict with holidays or FMCA events.  You can use this to help with your decision process.  Try to maintain at least a 3 to 4 week buffer between other scheduled events.
  • 2014 Rally Schedule - Once locations, hosts and dates are confirmed, the rally information will be posted in the schedule.  This will be the official schedule for upcoming  rally's.  For those of you that haven't hosted lately, this is a great opportunity for you to choose your dates and locations for next year.  Remember, we will need host before we can plan a rally.
  • Dogwood Hosting Handbook - Over the past year, I have had many people to approach me about hosting, but didn't feel like they knew enough about it, to undertake the task.  I have compiled a handbook to assist hosts with information necessary to host a rally.  The information was compiled from other FMCA chapters and Dogwood members.  It should provide the necessary information to host a successful rally.  Since it is a work in progress, input from members is more than welcome.
There is one exception to the new procedure for rally selection next year.  I have taken the liberty of booking the first weekend in May for the Houstonfest in Galax, VA.  Because of the feedback from members, I took the liberty of booking the only prime event available next year at the Coolbreeze Campground.  I would like to see someone "step up to the plate" and  host this event.  Our campground host, Robert Sells, said that he would hold the weekend for us until the end of this year.  Don't let this one get away from us!  Anyone interested, get in touch we me for more details.  

I feel that we have had some great venues for rally's this past year and I am looking forward to even greater rally's next year.

Dennis Reid

Christmas Rally in Williamsburg

The Christmas Rally will be held December 6 - December 8, 2013 at the KOA in Williamsburg VA. 4000 Newman Road, Williamsburg, VA.  Your hosts for the weekend are Mike & Suzanne Greenfield, and Ron & Donna Foore. 

Campground Reservations: Make your reservations directly with the KOA campground at 1-800-562-1733. Tell them you are with the Dogwood Chapter FMCA (Dogwood contact person is Dennis Reid). A block of sites are reserved for us in the Colonial Section. 50 amp full hookup sites are $36 per night according to VP of Rally’s Dennis Reid, who booked this site last year.

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 $25 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 Mike Greenfield by November 20th.


Friday evening: Happy hour followed by dinner.  Bring a heavy appetizer dish to share.  Soup & Salad dinner provided by hosts.
Saturday morning: Breakfast provided by hosts followed by a business meeting.
Saturday evening: Happy hour followed by dinner.  Light appetizers and dinner provide by hosts.  Dinner menu is: Chicken and Shrimp Caesar Salad, Entrées are Marinated Boneless Breast of Chicken, or Tilapia stuffed with Seafood Imperial, Cheese whipped potatoes with gravy or Rice Pilaf, Country style green beans, and dinner rolls.  Cheesecake and dessert. 
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 or dessert) to share. Please email as to what you will be bringing so the hosts can ensure there is a variety.
  • Saturday evening - Gift for Chinese gift swap.
Attendees (as of November 27):  Greenfield, Foore, Jones, Vreeland, Duff, Davis, Tillman, Buchanan, Allen, Gilbert, Greenwood, Stankovic (guest), Hall, 
Moore, Sohles, Schoolar, Anderson (guests of Foore's), Warthan, Cockrell, Dyke, Alexander, Johnston, Bonewitz, Buelow, Sharon Fisher (guest), Martha Talent (guest), Hicks, Chinery, Gruel, Zobel, Jones guest, Cummings


Dogwood Christmas Rally at KOA in Williamsburg VA 
December 6 - December 8, 2013
Names: ____________________________________________
__________________Number of people at $25 each
__________________Amount enclosed
Mail check payable to Mike Greenfield, 13224 Railey Hill Drive, Midlothian, VA 23114

Urbanna Rally

Dogwood will have a rally November 1 - 3 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.

The Urbanna Oyster Festival will be held on Friday and Saturday (November 1 & 2). 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. 6):  Alexander, Reid, Hicks, Gruel, Schoolar, Zobel, Buelow, Warthan

Rockahock Rally Highlights

The Rockahock rally was a huge success.  We had 16 coaches in attendance, most arriving on Thursday.  Friday the chapter went to Rose&Crown Tavern Restaurant in New Kent.  The rain didn’t put a damper on the fabulous dinner had by all.  The rest of the weekend awarded us with a lot of sunshine.  Saturday started off with breakfast of omelets (made by Mike Vreeland and Jim Buelow) bacon and sausage, croissants and assorted muffins.  After the business meeting, Mike Vreeland lead a forum on the different discount out there for campgrounds and resorts.  The afternoon was fulfilled with a corn hole tournament.  First place was Barbara and Bobby Dyke, second place was Pat Allen and Sue Sohles. Great time of fun and fellowship.

Delicious pulled pork and all the fixings was Saturday night dinner.  Sunday was a continental breakfast.  The tournament winners were given their prizes.   

Special thanks go to Ryan Golbitz, General Manager of Blackfinns in Washington DC (Marcy & Mike Vreeland’s son) for getting all the special things for the Welcome Bags and Raffle Bags.  Along with Marcy’s homemade candy made the bags very special.  Marcy Vreeland made the center pieces for all the tables and those who wanted them took them home to enjoy.

Click here for photos from the rally.  The hosts for the weekend were Marcy and Mike Vreeland and Marion and Bill Cockrell.  Other attendees included Pat & Clint Allen, Jim & Susan Buelow, June & Bob Chinery, Barbara & Bobby Dyke, Liz & Butch Jones, Barbara & Wilt Greenwood, Donna & Carl Gruel, Barbara & Max Hicks, Joyce & Dennis Reid, Cil & Fairleigh Schoolar, Sue & Steve Sholes, Connie & Ed Tilman,  We had 3 special guests for the weekend: the Barbara & Bobby Dyke’s granddaughter, Kate, and Donna Gruel’s brother and sister in law.  Anke &Ed Fisher joined us for dinner Friday night's dinner.  Nancy &Paul Cummings had coach problems but were able to join us on Saturday and brought their puppy Dixie.  

Thank you to everyone who helped to make the weekend fun for everyone.  

Mike & Marcy Vreeland and Bill & Marion Cockrell

Myrtle Beach Rally Highlights

Following a slow start for rally registration, 11 coaches attended the Myrtle Beach rally at Pirateland Campground.  Click here for rally photos.  

The campsites were just a short walk to the beach and the campground donated a campsite in the middle of our rally sites.  The group was then able to set up 4 canopies to protect us from the elements.  This made an excellent area for all of the groups functions.  With the beautiful weather bestowed upon us, we never had to use the inside facilities.  A special thanks to Cil and Joyce for rising to the occasion and volunteering as host for the rally.  The Reids provided the ham for Friday night's dinner and pancakes Friday morning.  The Schoolars provided the London Broil for Saturday night's dinner.  Attendees provided the side dishes for the meals.  I would also like to thank the Buelows for the fantastic Saturday morning breakfast and Dan Moore for the Fried Pickles during happy hour. - Dennis

Attendees for the rally were, Reid, Sohles, Johnston, Schoolar, Fisher, Buchannan, Vreeland, Buelow, Allen, Duff and Moore.  

VIR Rally Highlights

Some of Dogwood's  car lovers gathered at the Virginia International Raceway for the historic races and the car show for road driven cars. This Ford GT40, MG A and Rat Rod Postal Jeep were among the cars at the show.  Click here to view other photo section of eNews.

Ford GT40

Classic MG A

Rat Rod
Besides the racing, weekend highlights included Thursday night happy hour - where we all caught up on recent activities of the group, Belgian waffle breakfast at the Tilmans on Friday morning, Friday night meal of burgers and fixins, Saturday and Sunday breakfasts of eggs, sausage and french toast, and Saturday evening meal at Oak Tree Tavern where we enjoyed great food, drink and camaraderie.
Dogwood women enjoying crafts
Jigsaw puzzles and crafts occupied the ladies when they weren't into the racing.

This Audi was easily the fastest car on the track

One of the really neat things about this event and others at VIR is the open paddock where there's an opportunity to meet and talk with car owners, crew and drivers who are all passionate about the sport of auto racing.  There are many photos included in the photo section.

Business Reports

A business meeting was held August 24, 2013.  Click to link to the Secretary and Treasurer reports.

Member Updates

Dogwood currently has 45 members.

Paul Cummings recently had rotor cuff surgery.  We wish Paul a speedy recovery.

Former Dogwood member, Donald Longest, passed away.  Click here to link to his obituary.  Our condolences to his wife Anke and their family.  If you would like to send a card, the address is  6773 King William Road, Aylett VA  23009.  

Campground Membership Information

Click here for a writeup on RV Campground Memberships by Mike Vreeland as discussed at the Rockahock rally.


40-60 pieces depending how big the mount of chocolate
(from Home Cooking with Trisha Yearwood Cookbook)

  • 2 pounds salted dry-roasted peanuts
  • 4 ounces German's sweet chocolate (about 4 squares)
  • One 12-ounce package semisweet chocolate chips (about 2 cups)
  • 2 1/2 pounds white almond bark
Put the peanuts in the bottom of a 4-quart slow cooker. Layer the chocolate over the peanuts, beginning with the sweet chocolate, followed by the chocolate chips and then the almond bark. Set the temperature on low and cook for 3 hours. Do not stir the mixture.

After 3 hours, stir the mixture with a wooden spoon until smooth. Drop the candy into cupcake pan liners using about 2 tablespoons per liner. Allow the candy to cool completely before removing the cupcake liners.

2013 Rally Schedule

Click here to link to the 2013 rally schedule.

Motor Home for sale

2007 Itasca Horizon, 40td model with a diesel cummins engine. Along with all the standards that are included in this top of the line model, the coach has all of the factory added options available at the time including washer/dryer, dishwasher, in-motion satellite, generator, tile kitchen/bathroom, and many, many more. Asking $148,500, which is $10,000 below the lowest NADA price.  Click here to link to listing on RV Trader. Contact Mike or MB Myer at or 804.784.3838.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Dogwood at GEAR

This year's GEAR (Great Eastern Area Rally) will be held from October 9 to 13 at the York Expo Center in York, PA.  Those of us who attended GEAR last year at this location enjoyed the venue and area.  You can register on-line at FMCA through the Area Rallies section or with the application in the FMCA magazine.

I will be hosting several activities for Dogwood Chapter.  First, on Wednesday, October 9 at 11:15 am, we're going to visit the Turkey Hill Experience in Columbia, PA--about 30 minutes from the Expo Center.  Turkey Hill Experience is a fun, interactive facility highlighting the manufacturing of Turkey Hill Teas and Ice Cream--with unlimited samples!  Cost is about $10 per person.  There is also a very interesting National Watch and Clock Museum in Columbia that you can visit with a combo ticket from Turkey Hill Experience.  We'll carpool from Expo Center and will be back in time for the Chapter Fair.

Secondly, some of the women may be interested in joining with the group of "Stitchers" that Liz Jones has organized. We'll do that on Friday, October 11 at 2 pm at my coach.  Just bring along whatever you're working on and Show and Tell is always welcome.

Also, I've reserved a seminar room for a Happy Hour.  On Friday, October 11 from 5:15 to 6:30 pm we have use of Seminar C.  Invite someone to join the chapter and bring them along to this Happy Hour.  BYOB and a snack to share.

There will be no official registration for these events but please let me know via e-mail or text if you will be attending. ( or 804-513-7274).

See you then!  Connie Tilman

GEAR Attendees (as of 10/2):  TIlman, Jones, Reid, Vreeland, Guttridge, Greenwood, Alexander, Czarsty, Bonewitz

Potential 2014 rally dates

Click here to link to potential rally dates for 2014.

Dennis is working on the 2014 rally schedule.  If you have any ideas for rally locations or are willing to host a rally, please contact him. 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Rally at VIR for Heacock Classic Races

Take a step back in time and watch cars from the 50s, 60s and 70s race on the track at VIR.  Join us Sept 27, 28 and 29 for a Dogwood rally at the Virginia International Raceway in conjunction with the running of the Heacock Classic Gold Cup races. VIR is located between South Boston and Danville.

Camping: We will be dry camping on the grassy infield along the track. There are no designated "sites" and the place fills up quickly on a first come basis. The cost is $50 to dry camp for the weekend (Friday - Sunday).

Races and qualifying run all day Friday, Saturday and Sunday starting at 8:00 am every morning . Everyone will need a ticket for each day you are there since we are camping within the actual raceway. You can set up your lawn chair along the track to view a race. Three day ticket tickets are $30 per person. For those who have golf carts, bikes, four wheelers, etc, this may be a good place to use them. The track is over 3 miles around and part of the fun is seeing the activities from various vantage points.

Rally Fees: The rally fee will be determined later after we have a better idea of attendance and the wishes of the group. We may ask attendees to bring a side dish for dinners to simplify meal preparation. In addition to evening meals, we will definitely plan for happy hours and breakfasts.  We will plan to have one of our evening meals at the Oak Tree Tavern which has gotten high marks on previous visits.

To Register for the Rally:
1Send an eMail ASAP but no later than September 5 with the heading “VIR Historic Races” to to commit to attend. Your prorated share of costs will be due at the event. Payment by check is preferred.

2. Purchase and print your tickets directly from VIR by clicking here.  Select 3 day pass for $30, answer their questions about credit card numbers etc. and they'll let you print your own tickets. The weekend camping pass should be $50.00 payable at the gate by cash or credit card.

We will communicate between now and then to work out the details. As things are firmed up, we’ll update this article. Contact Mann or Carolyn Duff (your rally hosts) if you have any questions.

Links to additional information:
Race schedule - you may wish to print this while you have access to a printer
Map to our camping area - follow the yellow road marked on map

Attendees (as of 9/23):
Mann & Carolyn Duff, Butch & Liz Jones, Bobby & Barbara Dyke, Ed & Connie Tilman

Thursday happy hour:  bring an appetizer to share

Friday Dinner:  Hamburgers and condiments (Duff), potato salad (Jones), baked beans, chips, brownies (Dyke)

Saturday Breakfast:  eggs, sausage, biscuits, fruit

Saturday Dinner:  Oak Tree Tavern

Sunday Breakfast:  French toast, sausage, fruit 

Myrtle Beach Rally

Dogwood will have a rally in Myrtle Beach the weekend of September 13-15 at the Pirateland Campground.     

Campground:  Call the campground at 800-443-2267 to make your campsite reservation. Sites are $38 per night.  Be sure to mention that you are with the Dogwood group.  The Pirateland Family Camping Resort is located at 5401 South Kings Highway, Myrtle Beach, SC 29575.  Click here to link to their web site.  

Meals -  Since the crowd is small and there are no kitchen facilities, this rally will be a combination of pot-luck and dinning out.  The Reids and Schoolars volunteered to host and coordinate the pot-luck meals.  They will be providing the entrees for Friday and Saturday nights' dinners and are requesting that each coach provide a dish (side, dessert or appetizer) for each night.  When planning your side dishes keep in mind that there will be 20 people in attendance.  Please contact the Reids to let them know what dishes you plan to bring in order to avoid duplicates.

Friday Breakfast - pancakes provided by the Reids; sausage - Fisher

Friday Night Dinner
  • Ham and rolls provided by the Reids
  • Side 1 - candied yams - Buchannan
  • Side 2 - cole slaw - Sohles
  • Side 3 - black bean and corn salad - Duff
  • Side 4 - green bean casserole - Allen
  • Dessert 1 - Buchannan
  • Dessert 2 - Vreeland
  • Dessert 3 - Johnston - apple pie
  • Appetizer 1 - Vreeland
  • Appetizer 2 - Buelow
  • Appetizer 3
Saturday Breakfast provided by the Buelows

Saturday Night Dinner 
  • Marinated London Broil provided by the Schoolars
  • Side 1 - mashed potatoes - Buchannan
  • Side 2 - veggie casserole - Duff
  • Side 3 - mac and cheese - Allen
  • Side 4 - cranberry jello salad - Fisher
  • Side 5 - string beans - Johnston
  • Dessert 1- Sohles
  • Dessert 2 - Vreeland
  • Dessert 3 - Allen
  • Appetizer 1 - Vreeland
  • Appetizer 2 - Duff
  • Appetizer 3

Pirateland has DONATED a camp site in the middle of our coaches to accommodate our outside activities.  The Schoolars and Reids have two 10 X 10 canopies to use for those activities as well as meals (weather permitting).  We will have access to the campground's activity room Fri 5-8 pm; Sat 7-10 am and 5-8 pm; and Sun 7-10 am. 

Goody Bags - Since it's to late to assemble "goody bags" we ask each coach, to make up one goody bag to exchange.  Don't go to a lot of expense.  We can devise a way to distribute after we get there.

Attendees (as of 9/5):  Reid, Sohles, Johnston, Schoolar, Fisher, Buchannan, Vreeland, Buelow, Allen, Duff and Moore.

See you then,

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

President's Message

From the Not So Oval Office
Butch Jones

It is the middle of July and the east coast is mired in wet, damp, humidity. It seems that the monsoons have arrived and don’t know when to leave. Liz has been trying to finish a folding coffee table we purchased for the coach, trying is the optimal word. The stain will not dry in an air conditioned building and not even laying out in the sun with the temperature at 96 degrees. That is humid.

When you read this we will be ending our rally in Galax, Virginia. This promises to be interesting and a lot of fun. I just hope the campground name indicates that there will be cool breezes.

We will return to Rockahock in Lanexa, Virginia for our next rally. It will be August 23-25. We will have a short business meeting at that rally so I hope many of you can attend.

If you have not do so recently, it could be beneficial to check out the member benefits on the FMCA website. Just log on to, click on the Join FMCA dropdown at the top of the page and scroll down to Member Benefits. Click on it and click on All Benefits. There just might be something useful to you.

We have talked a lot about tires in the past, however, it is getting hot and more of use are hitting the road. Take time to check your tires before each trip and ensure the pressures are correct and the tires are in sound condition. Look for sidewall cracks and tread damage. Sometimes I think that RV tires should only have half the tread of other tires so we won’t feel bad when the sidewalls give up and there is still 9/32 or more tread left. One thing that you can do to help protect your tires is using tire covers when the vehicle will be stationary for a few days or longer. This will help protect them from the sun and keep the oils from leaching out thus drying them.

I hope to see as many as possible at the Cool Breeze Campground and Rockahock so stay safe and “Happy Motoring”.

Addition to President’s notes 7/22/2013:

I think that everyone had a great time at the Cool Breeze Campground and the manager Robert provided us with sites close to the meeting area and was very accommodating in every way.

I had no idea that there was so much to do in that area. There were some things that I thought I was going to get done on the coach, however, I was not at it long enough to do anything. I think that that says “Great Rally”.

Even with the showers the weather was almost perfect. If you like beef and/or pork you really should go the “Smoke on the Mountain” BBQ cook-offs. The food was good and the cooking teams were very personable and eager to talk about their specialties.

Now that we are back in “Rally” mode, Liz and I can’t wait for the next Dogwood Rally.

Rockahock Rally

Come join us at the Rockahock rally, August 23-25, for a fun filled weekend.  We will be camping at the Rockahock Campground, in Lanexa VA, which is located on the Chickahominy River between Williamsburg and Richmond.  The campground has full hookup sites and an enclosed pavilion for our group gatherings. Hosts for the event are Bill & Marion Cockrell and Mike & Marcy Vreeland.  

Campsite: Make your campsite reservation directly with Rockahock. Rates are $42.75 plus tax per night or $95 plus tax for a 3 night stay. Includes water, electric (30 and 50 amp) and sewer. Call Jody at 804-966-8362.  Mention that you are with Dogwood in order to receive the discounted rate. Check out Rockahock's website  Deadline for making reservation is August 5.

Rally fees for the weekend event are $10 per person.

6:00 pm- Dinner at Rose and Crown Tavern restaurant (see details below)

9:00am  -  Breakfast - Omelets (cheese and western), scrambled eggs, sausage, bacon, coffee and juice
2:00pm  -  Corn hole tournament, prizes to be awarded to the winners
5:00pm  -  Happy hour
6:00pm  -  Dinner BBQ, coleslaw, baked beans.  Bring an appetizer or dessert to share.

9:00am  -  Breakfast - Continental style, coffee and juice

Bring your own plates and eating utensils.  Coffee and juice provided at breakfast; bring your own beverage for other meals. 

Friday's dinner at Rose & Crown Tavern Restaurant 11861 New Kent Hwy. New Kent, VA 23124
The original building was built in 1860; it has nice décor and great food. We met with Chef Jim and came up with diverse choices for dinner. All meals come with choice of soup or salad, spoon bread (local favorite), 2 sides, dessert (a cobbler), and coffee, tea or soda.  
The price is $20 per person and does not include gratuity or pay as you go bar. We need to know what folks want by 8/12/13 since the chef order fresh food. Directions will be in your Welcome Bag.
The meal selections are as follows:
Cranberry Supreme Salad – Romaine lettuce or spinach with mandarin orange slices, sun-dried cranberries, feta cheese, and chopped pecans topped with grilled chicken breast and served with sweet onion dressing or another of your choice.
Meatloaf - very popular item
Fish and Chips - House breaded flounder or fresh fish of the day and served with fries and coleslaw.  Tartar sauce is optional.  This is a good portion of fish.
Smothered Pork ChopsChef Jim’s specialty, not on the menu but he added it for us.
Bangers and Mash – Traditional British bangers (mild sausage) served over sautéed cabbage with red peppers, onions, mashed potatoes topped with house gravy and garnished with a roasted tomato and dollop of sour cream on the side.  

Rally Attendees (as of 8/5):  Vreeland, Cockrell, Allen, Buelow, Chinery, Cummings, Dyke, Jones, Guttridge, Reid, Schoolar, Sholes, Tilman.

Registration Form for Dogwood Rally 
at Rockahock August 23-25

Names ______________________________________________

____  Number of people attending ($10 per person)

____  Number of people attending Friday dinner at restaurant ($20 per person)

_______________  Amount Enclosed

List dinner selection for each person attending Friday dinner at restaurant

Send check, payable to Marcy Vreeland at 4 Abington Court, Fredericksburg, VA, 22406 by August 5.

Please let Marcy ( know whether your would like to bring an appetizer or dessert for Saturday night.

Highlights from the Galax Rally

By Dennis Reid

From all indications, everyone seemed to enjoy themselves at the Galax, VA rally this past weekend.

The facilities at the Cool Breeze Campground were excellent and ideal for our type of rally.  With only short drives to major venues we were able to enjoy a wide variety of interest.

The hosts (Sohles and Reids) took advantage of arriving early and were able to to attend  activities in the area.  A jam session occurs every Wednesday night in the town of Independence, VA.  Also, on Thursday night a jam session occurs at the civic center in Fries, VA.  The hosts were able to attend both jams.  I have posted a few pictures of the events including a Youtube clip of Sue Sohles and her new found (click here

With the Smoke on the Mountain event, the Rex Theater and the Blue Ridge Parkway perfomances  it was very busy weekend.  Click here for a Youtube video.

The feedback that I have gotten so far, leaves me to believe most members would like to return.  It's a shame that our Alaska caravan missed this one but it looks like they're having a great time anyway.

Click here to view pictures from the rally.

8/1/2013 - Click here for another Youtube video from Dennis.

Save the Date

Save the date for the following Dogwood rallies.  More information will be available closer to the event.  The detailed rally schedule can be accessed from the Reference Documents section on the right of the screen.

September 13-15   Myrtle Beach
September 27-29   VIR for Heacock Classic Gold Cup
October 9-13   GEAR in York PA
November 1-2   Urbanna Oyster Festival
December 6-8   Williamsburg

Secretary's Minutes

July 20, 2013 at Cool Breeze Campground, Galax, Virginia 

Members present discussed happenings in Galax for the remainder of the weekend – in particular the BBQ cook-off contest to be held in downtown Galax that day. 

New members, Buck and Linda Buchanan were introduced and welcomed. 

Rally Master, Dennis Reid, talked about our next rally at Rock a Hock and said we still need hosts for Myrtle Beach. 

Connie Tilman discussed she will be hosting something at Gear and asked for opinions/feedback.  Options:  happy hour at one coach; go out to dinner and/or lunch as a group; go to Turkey Hill Ice Cream for a tour.  The unanimous vote was to have a happy hour at Connie’s coach AND do the Turkey Hill Ice Cream tour. 

Jim Buelow asked how we felt about another rally at Fort Monroe (possibly spring 2014).  He and Susan have briefly discussed a rally with the new campground management there.  The campground is small, some 20 something sites and they offered to give us the entire campground.  Some folks would rather park at the seawall as before.  There are so many new entities now within the Fort, Jim to clarify what we can do, etc. and get back to the membership.  Those in attendance voted to do another rally there. 

Treasurer Pat Allen was traveling somewhere in Washington state and when contacted said we “have somewhere around $3,000 in the treasury.” She will provide exact report at our next meeting. 

Carolyn Duff talked about the newsletter and asked for everyone to send her news, photos, etc. 

There being no old or new business to discuss, the meeting was adjourned. 

Liz Jones 


Membership updates

Welcome to new members Buck & Linda Buchanan who joined Dogwood at the Galax rally.

Dogwood currently has 45 member coaches.

Five Dogwood coaches continue their travels through Alaska.  The guys were enjoying salmon fishing on their last update.   To follow their travels, click here to link to the Bonewitz's blog.  We wish everyone a safe, enjoyable trip.  

Welcome to Dogwood's newest 4 legged members:  Gillette Greenwood, Reba Buchanan

Former Dogwood member Elizabeth DeMonte wrote that "Nick wasn't really happy with his 73 GMC so he thought he would add to the fleet and get a 74 GMC.  He is having fun fixing and playing."

Friday, June 7, 2013

President's Message

From the Oblong Office
Butch Jones

I will assume that our snowbirds have returned to their middle Atlantic nests. The first rally of the year at Hatteras was a success and we are now officially into the Dogwood Rally Season.

This year I hope that we will have more of our seasoned members return to rallies and help the newer members learn what FMCA and Dogwood are all about.  We have some excellent locations for this year’s rallies. And there should be some really good times ahead.

I have attached the results of our Dogwood Survey. The Board would like to thank those that responded to the survey. This type of information is helpful to the Board in plotting our course and ensuring that we stay the course of the membership’s choosing.

The 88th FMCA Family Reunion and Motorhome Showcase will be kicking off this month and some of our members will be attending this event in Gillette, Wyoming. We wish safe travels to all.

Our next Dogwood rally is in Galax and we hope to see many of you there.

We received 20 completed Dogwood Surveys.  We were glad to see that most gave some serious thought to their answers. The results are interesting and some were surprising. There were quite a few questions left unanswered these are listed as “No Answer” in the results. The answers are indicated in red for clarity. I did not include all of the answers given as many received only one response.  These results will be used in guiding the chapter and planning for next year. Thanks to those taking their time to provide us with their input.

Dogwood Chapter FMCA Participation Survey
1. In the last 3 years, which Dogwood Rally did you enjoy best?
Solomon’s Island was the number 1 pick followed by Camp Hatteras.

1a. What did you like best?
“Location” was listed as number 1

2. In the last 3 years, which Dogwood Rally did you enjoy least?
“No Answer” was the number 1 response followed by Rockahock

2a. What did you least like?
No scheduled meals or activities received the most responses.

3. In the last 3 years, did you attend a non-Dogwood rally that you particularly enjoyed?
10 respondents reported having attended non-Dogwood rallies.

3a. What specific thing(s) were most enjoyable?
Although more respondents did not respond to this question, those that did indicated that seeing old friends was most enjoyable.

4. How many rallies do you think Dogwood should have each year?
Again more did not respond than responded to any specific number. The number of rallies receiving more than 1 response ranged from the following:
“Same as last year” and anywhere from 3-4 to 6-8 were listed most often. So we can surmise that about 6 rallies seem to be the number of which most are comfortable.

5. Do you like rallies with structured meals (rally fee covers some meals, predetermined times) or unstructured (no meals and flexible times)?
More responses were received for having structured meals than not.

6. Would you like to have a 1 hour or less seminar at Dogwood rallies and if so how often (every rally once a year, etc.)?
Most of the respondents were in favor of having seminars. Having a seminar once or twice a year was the most often given frequency.

7. Please list any topics that you would enjoy.
“No response” and “RV topics” were the most often given topics. History of local area and both RV and non RV topics were next.

8. Would you like to have a preplanned side trip included in a rally? This could be a winery tour or historic place or other place of interest?
This question received an overwhelming “yes” response.

9. What other activities would enhance Dogwood rallies?
Although “no answer” was given in almost half of the surveys, having a game night was the next most listed answer.

10. What is preventing you from attending Dogwood rallies?
“Other commitments” and “nothing” responses were given the most to this question.

11. What is preventing you from hosting a Dogwood rally?
Even though “have done so in the past was the most often given response, “don’t know enough about it” received the next highest number of responses.

12. How far are you willing to travel for a Dogwood rally?
Dogwood members responded that they were willing to travel between 150-200 miles as a maximum for a rally.

13. What is the maximum number of days for a Dogwood rally?
The survey indicated that Dogwood members like rallies to be 3-4 days in duration.

14. What should the maximum cost of a rally (including rally fee and meals both provide and not provided and campground cost)?
Once again “no answer” was the most often not given response. Cost was not an issue was the next most often given response, however, 250-300 dollars was the top response with a dollar figure. 

15. Would you be in favor of a Thousand Trails (TT) rally (since they allow groups with non TT members)?
Overwhelmingly the responses were positive to a Thousand Trails rally.

16. If Dogwood established a “Members Only” section of the chapter website would you be receptive to having a password to enter the section?
The responses to this question were almost evenly divided between yes and no.

17. Are you interested in Dogwood establishing a Facebook account as a means of communications?
“No” was the overwhelming response to this question.

18. Are you interested in having rallies planned around events such as races, festivals or concerts?
Most of the responses were yes to this question.

19. How important are full hookups for a three day rally?
We are evenly divided on this question with one response pushing full hookups to the very important factor at a rally.

20. Is dry camping okay for a few days?
Once again the same number responded “yes” as “no” to this question with several “depends” and one “up to 7 day” responses.

21. Are you interested in planned activities?
Most of the respondents were in favor of planned activities.

22. If so, should they be included in rally cost an extra charge?
Overwhelmingly the responses were in favor of making extra activities an additional charge for those wishing to participate.

Additional Comments (Please list any additional comments to the above questions or any other Dogwood related topic):
Prefer smaller rallies where we get to spend more time developing friendships.
We will be unable to attend the May rally. We have a prescheduled event with our family.
Maybe it is worth paying for campground facilities, if we have small group.