Sunday, November 23, 2014

Presidential Notes - November

by Butch Jones

As another year winds down, the leaves have begun to fall and fall and fall, when are they going to stop already, and it is almost time for many of us to head south, west, southwest or wherever to find warmer weather. This also brings a close to another Dogwood administration. For the past two years I have had the pleasure of serving as your president. I would like to thank my fellow officers for the work they have done and look forward to passing the torch to our next president.

I have recently become aware of a status of FMCA membership that was unknown to me. If you have been a member of FMCA and find yourself in a position of no longer wanting or being able to own/drive a motor home or no longer have a motor home for whatever reason, you can still be a member of FMCA. This type of membership is called an Associate member. Associate members have all of the rights of regular members except they cannot hold office and are not eligible to vote. To rejoin FMCA, former members only need to pay the current membership fee. If they no longer own a motor home, their old F number will be restored as an A number.

If those former members are still traveling any at all they might be interested in a benefit to FMCA membership called FMCAssist. FMCAssist returned to FMCA members effective October 1, 2014. It is emergency evacuation/reparation and emergency medical reunion benefit available to all EMCA members and the cost is included in your yearly membership dues (fee). It includes emergency evacuation, emergency medical reunion, return of mortal remains, return of dependents, RV/vehicle (if you are not traveling in an RV) in North America and pet return. So if there are any of our members that have considered leaving FMCA you might just want to reconsider.

I hope to see all of you at the Christmas Rally in Selma, North Carolina on December 5-7, 2014. 

Member updates - November 23

Jim Buelow is home following double knee replacement surgery and in patient rehab. He will continue rehab as an out patient for 4-6 weeks.  He said he is still stiff and sore and in pain, but things get a little better each day, and for that they are very thankful. Susan has been a great nurse.

Liz Jones had a mini stroke Monday.  She is doing well and there does not seem to be any residual damage. She and Butch will not be able to make the Christmas rally as her doctor does not want her traveling long distances in a vehicle, due to the possibility of blood clots forming in her legs.  Roxie (their dog) had her last Chemo on Friday and is doing fine. 

Bill Guttridge had a heart attack on Nov 23.  Following surgery for a catherization and addition of a stent, he is doing better.  

2015 Membership Dues

Dues for the Dogwood Chapter of FMCA are $10 per calendar year and are due by January 1.  To renew your membership for 2015, please send a check payable to "Dogwood Chapter - FMCA" to Pat Allen.  If you will be attending the December rally in Selma, you can give your check to Pat at the rally.  Otherwise, mail to: 
Pat Allen, Treasurer Dogwood - FMCA 9507 Lakewater Court
Henrico, VA 23229

Christmas Rally in Selma

by Barbara Dyke

The Christmas Rally will be held December 5-7, 2014 in Selma/Smithfield, NC.  There is a change of campground due to changes and new ownership at Raleigh/Oaks.  Hosts for the rally are Barbara and Bobby Dyke, Nancy and Paul Cummings, and Joyce and Dennis Reid.

CAMPGROUND: RVacation, 428 Campground Road, Selma, NC 27576 (Exit 98 from Interstate 95) 866-783-5923. Make your reservations directly with campground. Our rate is $35.00 per day; be sure to tell them you are with Dogwood.  Click here to link to their website.


4:30-6:30 pm Dinner at Robins Nest Buffet
7:00 pm Rudy Theater for Christmas Extravaganza

9:00 am Breakfast, pancakes, eggs, bacon, fruit, coffee & juice.
10:00 am Business meeting
4:30 pm Happy Hour BYOB
6:00 pm Dinner, Pork roast, potatoes, green beans, salad, and pie.
7:30 pm Yankee gift swap emceed by our own Donna Gruel.

9:00 am Continental breakfast, juice, and coffee.


Fee information:
  • Rally fee is $15.00 per person
  • Friday dinner at Robins Nest Buffet is $13.75 per person includes beverage, tax and tip.  Click here to link to their website.
  • Friday Rudy Theater Christmas Extravaganza is $27.50 per person.  Click here to link to their website.
  • We are required to collect beforehand for Buffet and Theater 

Bring 1 gift per coach for yankee swap value $25.00.

There is lots to see and do in the Selma area - outlet malls, antique shops, museums.  Click here to link to the "Visit Selma" web site.  

Attendees as of 11/29: Karen & Berkley Alexander, Pat & Clint Allen, Carolyn & Donald Anderson, Linda & Buck Buchanan, Marion & Bill Cockrell, Nancy & Paul Cummings, Carolyn & Mann Duff, Barbara & Bobby Dyke, Anke & Ed Fisher, Suzanne & Mike Greenfield, Barbara & Wilt Greenwood, Donna & Carl Gruel, Barbara & Max Hicks, Jo Ann & Fred Hutson, Dan Moore, Joyce & Dennie Reid, Cil & Fairleigh Schoolar, Kathryn & David Stankovic, Connie & Ed Tilman,  Carol & Donald Warthan

      December 5-7, 2014


Rally fee $15.00 per person ______________________________

Robins Nest Buffet $13.75 per person ______________________

Rudy Theater $27.50 per person __________________________

TOTAL ENCLOSED ____________________________________


Send check and form to:

Barbara Dyke
5325 Iron Bridge Road
North Chesterfield, VA 23234

Treasurer's report for October 31, 2014

Click here for October 31 Treasurer's report.

Friday, September 19, 2014

President's Notes - September

by Butch Jones

As the Dogwood chapter gathered at Fort Monroe, Virginia this past weekend the rain gods descended upon us. But, not for long, as the rains subsided and the weather cleared it turned into a very nice weekend. And except for some power issues I think everyone had a great time. I would like to thank our host couples, the Buelows and Sohles for a great rally.

It is almost time to get ready for the trip to Asheville, North Carolina for the Greater Eastern Area Rally. As of this time there is no formal Dogwood gathering at GEAR. If anyone would like to host a “Happy Hour”, please let me know.

Make sure that you check the Dogwood BlogSpot for the new location for the Christmas Rally as the location has changed. 

GEAR in Ashville NC

GEAR (Greater Eastern Area Rally) will be held in Ashville NC Septmeber 24-28.  

Attendees:  Alexander, Bonewitz, Gilbert, Greenwood, Hall, Hicks, Johnston, Jones, Reid, Schoolar. 

Several members are staying at Asheville's Bear Creek RV Park and Campground, 81 South Bear Creek Road, Asheville, NC  (800) 833-0798 the weekend before the rally.  Come and join the crowd.  Many sites are still available as of 9/8/14.   Click here to link to their website.  

Those staying at Bear Creek plan to form a caravan the morning of the 23rd to proceed to the rally.  If you are interested in staying at the campground prior to the rally and/or joining the caravan into GEAR, contact Dennis Reid for more info. 

Urbanna Rally

by Berkley Alexander

Dogwood will have a rally November 7 - 9 at Ed Fisher's garage in conjunction with the Urbanna Oyster Festival.  Click here to link to the festival's web site.

In the past the coaches have parked around his garage then members congregated inside for meals and socializing. We will be dry camping (limited electricity available for some coaches), however, there is water, electricity and a bathroom inside the garage. Early arrivers on Thursday (6th) probably will go to dinner at a local restaurant. Friday and Saturday meals will be pot luck and oysters (steamed, fried, & stewed).  The Alexanders 
are planning on making a pot of chili and cornbread for Friday night to go along with oysters etc. Berkley is planning on making oyster stew again.

Coach limit is about 15.

Call or email Berkley at (804-754-1308) (

Attendees as of 10/22:  Cockrell, Greenwood, Gruel, Hicks, Schoolar, Warthan & Alexander.

Tentative schedule  (Flexible)
Thursday: dinner at local restaurant
Friday: Festival begins.  Car pool to town
            Happy Hour
            Dinner- Chili & oysters  (pot luck)    
Saturday: breakfast pot luck
            Lunch- on own
            Happy  Hour
            Dinner- more oysters & (pot luck)
Sunday: breakfast - leftovers

Highlights from Fort Monroe Rally

by Jim Buelow

The Fort Monroe Rally was held in Hampton, VA at the beautiful and historic Fort Monroe September 5-7, 2014. Eighteen coaches and 35 members of Dogwood attended the rally. The weather, although very warm was nice with rain only one night.   Click here for photos from the rally.  

Although the rally officially started on the 5th, most members arrived on the 4th, and we had a social hour and pot luck dinner. As usual, the food was good and plentiful.

Friday social hour included a raffle, which was fun, and a delicious meal of home made soup and build your own subs, along with plenty of desserts. After dinner we gathered around another great Steve Sohles bon fire to finish off the evening.

Saturday morning included a very good full breakfast, a business meeting, and a guided tour of the Fort, which about a dozen members attended.   

Saturday social hour included another raffle and our goody bag swap. Everyone brought a goodie bag to swap and I think the group enjoyed this approach and put together some very good and interesting bags. Our Saturday dinner meal of  BBQ, chicken, beans, salads, rolls, and fantastic desserts was catered by the campground and was delicious.  After dinner, we had a local DJ provide 2 hours of entertainment for us, along with another bon fire. Some of our attendees also provided some entertainment by singing and dancing. Good job Don Warthan on the singing. Jury is still out on the results of the dancing, but it was fun to participate and watch.

Special thanks to the Colonies Campground for donating 1 night free camping as a door prize.  

Although a few of our members had some power issues, our campground hosts were very accommodating and  helpful and a good time was had by all. Thanks to all members who attended, and a special thanks to the Buelows and the Sohles for hosting the rally.

Nominating Committee Update

by Mike Vreeland

We still have a couple of Dogwood Officer Positions open and urgently need your help in filling the vacancies. The following is a list of the Dogwood Officer positions and the candidates we have so far.

President Candidate – Michael Vreeland

Vice President Membership Candidate - Pat Allen
Vice President Rallies Candidate – Marion Cockrell
Vice President Communications Candidate – Need a volunteer/s
Secretary Candidate – Need a volunteer/s
Treasurer Candidate - Pat Allen
National Director Candidate - Ed Fisher
Alternate National Director Candidate - Mann Duff

On behalf of the Dogwood Chapter membership the Nominating Committee would like to thank Pat Allen, Ed Fisher, and Mann Duff for their willingness to continue in their current positions. 

All Dogwood Officer are necessary, without them we are not a FMCA Chapter instead we are just a bunch of old folks camping – in style of course. As you can see above we still have two vacant officer positions and of course you can volunteer for any of the positions. I know we all miss the political excitement from the most recent elections and would welcome a good old fashion down and dirty political race. In fact the Nominating Committee will donate the tidy sum of $1 to each candidate for those Dogwood Officer vacancies that have more than one candidate to ensure a fair and equitable media blitz campaign. The Nominating Committee will also arrange and moderate debates between opposing candidates if necessary. I know I relish a good political debate and understand the importance of a good one line zinger. I have already started writing several like “You wife or husband wears combat boots in the motor coach” or “the only way your wife or husband can get you in the motor coach is to tie a pork chop around their neck”. As Smokey Bear says – “Only you can volunteer of a Dogwood Officer Position”- or he said something like that. So please volunteer to help our club.

Please contact any member of the Nominating Committee or Dogwood Officer if you would like to volunteer. The Nominating Committee members contact information is as follows:

Michael Vreeland –
Buck Buchanan –
Regis Johnston –

Business Reports

A business meeting was held September 6, 2014 at the Fort Monroe rally.  Click to link to the Secretary's report and to the Treasurer's report.  

Member Updates

Welcome to new member Sharon Fisher!  Sharon has joined us for the rallies at Tangier, Solomons and Fort Monroe.

Dogwood currently has 43 members.

Looking ahead . . .

Mark your calendar for the week of July 13, 2015 in Galax as the meeting room and sites have been reserved at the Cool Breeze Campground for a  Dogwood rally.

Mark your calendar for the weekend of November 1, 2014 when Jim Buelow will be participating in the "driving experience" at the Richmond International Raceway.  The campground at turn 4 will be open at $35 per night.  The Buelows will be staying at the campground and having a get together at their campsite following Jim's driving experience.  Come join them.  10/5/14 update:  Postponed until spring of 2015.

Monday, July 7, 2014

President's Message

By Butch Jones

As we head into summer the days are already hot and humid. I understand that the Solomon’s Island rally was a big success, as it was last year. Many thanks to the Bonewitz, Halls, Gilberts and Johnstons for hosting this rally.

Barbara and Max Hicks are on the mend and if all goes well we may see them at Fort Monroe. 

There are several things happening in September. First is our rally at Fort Monroe on September 5-7. Then the next Eastern Area Motorcoach Association (a chapter of FMCA of which Dogwood is a member) meeting will be at the Hershey RV Show in Hershey, Pa. in September. September 24-28 will be the 2014 GEAR Rally at the Western North Carolina Agricultural Center located in Fletcher, NC, outside of Asheville. 

Summer has really hit the ground running with high temperatures and no rain, at least not in the Sahara area of Powhatan County. High temperatures can cause headaches for motorhomes. Now is the time to check cooling systems, the engine, generator and the human (air conditioning) types. Tires are also something that need a little extra attention when the temperatures rise. A little preventive maintenance can go a long way. 

Hope to see all of you at Fort Monroe.

Fort Monroe Rally

The Fort Monroe Rally, hosted by Jim & Susan Buelow and Steve & Sue Sohles, will be held at Fort Monroe in Hampton, VA, September 5-7 2014. If you would like to come early or stay longer, that is fine. Most attendees thus far are coming in on Sept. 4th. We will have an informal get together on the 4th for social hour and pot luck dinner for those interested. This is a beautiful area with a lot of history and things to do. Please join us for a great time.

CAMPGROUND: All attendees are responsible for making their own campground reservations. Sites are limited and it is first come, first served for full and partial service sites. Fees are $45-FHU, 50A, $40-FHU 30A, $30-water/elect, $30-Dry camp. A 10% discount will be given to FMCA, Good Sam, and Military members. Call Colonies RV Park at 757 722-2200 to make reservations. Talk to Pat or Patricia O’Connell and tell them you are with Dogwood. Cutoff date for reservations is August 15.  Click here to link to the campground's website.

GOODY BAGS: Let’s have some fun. All interested attendees are asked to put together one goody bag to swap. Value should not be more than $10. Thought is to put together a bag of useful items you have available, or get free or at minimal cost from wherever you can. A prize will be given for the best goody bag. We will also have a raffle on Saturday night.

RALLY FEES: The cost of the rally is $20.00 per person, and includes Friday and Saturday night full dinners, Saturday morning full breakfast, and a continental breakfast on Sunday morning.


5:00 pm - Informal social hour. BYOB
6:00 pm – Pot luck, bring a dish to share.

5:00 pm – Social hour. BYOB
6:00 pm – Full dinner to include hot and cold subs along with soups and all the trimmings. 
Please bring an Appetizer or Dessert to share.
7:00 pm – Possible entertainment by a local musician.

8:00 am – Coffee available
9:00 am – Full breakfast
10:00 am – Business meeting
11:00 am – Possible guided tour of Fort Monroe, there may be a small fee.
5:00 pm – Social hour BYOB 
6:00 pm – Full meal to include pork BBQ, fried chicken, beans, salads, drinks, dessert. 
Please bring an Appetizer or Dessert to share.

Sunday 9:00 am – Coffee and continental breakfast. 

Please bring your own plates and utensils for all meals, except for Saturday's dinner.  

ATTENDEES: (as of 8/27) Allen, Alexander, Buchanan, Buelow, Duff, Dyke, Sharon Fisher, Greenfield, Greenwood, Gruel, Hicks, Jones, Reid, Schoolar, Sohles, Tilman, Vreeland, Warthan.

  • Travel to Hampton, VA using interstate 64 east or west. 
  • Take exit 268 in Hampton, and go to top of hill.
  • At top of hill, make a left turn onto east Mallory Street.
  • Follow Mallory to Mercury blvd.
  • Turn right onto Mercury blvd.
  • Follow Mercury to Fort Monroe. Stay in right lane as you enter the fort. This will be McNair Drive
  • Follow McNair to stop sign. McNair changes to Fenwick Rd at stop sign.
  • Follow Fenwick along the water and through housing area to campground. 
  • Campground entrance will be on your left just past the Paradise Beach Club. Pull into the campground up to the registration building and check in. They will show you where to park. 
  • Address is 501 Fenwick Road, Fort Monroe, VA 23651

September 5-7, 2014


Rally fee is $20.00 per person.

AMOUNT ENCLOSED $__________________

Friday, we will bring appetizer______or dessert_______.

Saturday, we will bring appetizer_______ or dessert________.

Number of people interested in the guided tour of Fort Monroe ______.

Please mail form and fees (check payable to Susan Sohles) to:

77 Oyster Cove Landing
Hartfield, VA 23071

Rally Registration cutoff date is August 15, 2014

Christmas Rally

Mark your calendars for December 5 - 7, 2014, for the Christmas rally in the Selma NC area.  The rally will be held at the Raleigh Oaks RV Resort and Cottages, 497 US 701, Four Oaks, NC 27524 which is under new ownership (formerly the KOA where we had a rally several years ago).  Rally details will be available later this fall however preliminary plans include a Christmas show at the American Jubilee Theater with dinner at a restaurant beforehand.  The Dykes, Buelows and Cummings are the rally hosts.    

Highlights from the Solomons Rally

Eighteen coaches gathered at the Naval Recreation campground in scenic Solomons Maryland the weekend of June 5-8.  Click here to view rally photos.  The weather was fantastic and a good time was had by all.

Thursday evening we gathered at the Solomons Yacht Club for happy hour.  The club provided heavy appetizers and inexpensive drinks.  Friday night David Gilbert was able to provide 2 bushels of great crabs.  The meal was supplemented with beer brats and burgers.  After a great breakfast of special casseroles prepared by Elle, Jackie and Mary and a great fruit bowl provided by Terrie, a short business meeting was held by Dennis Reid.  Members were on their own during the day then enjoyed a 2 hour cocktail cruise on the Patuxent River.  All Dogwooders attended the cruise and provided an assortment of fabulous appetizers.  The rally concluded on Sunday with a breakfast.    

A special thanks to our hosts Richard & Elle Bonewitz, Steve & Mary Hall, David & Jackie Gilbert, and Regis & Terrie Johnston. 

Nominating Committee Update

It is time to elect new officers for the various offices of the Dogwood Chapter. As part of this process and following FMCA Operating Procedures, Dogwood has nominated and elected a 3 person Nomination Committee to solicit volunteers and/or nominees from the membership to fill Dogwood Chapter Officer Positions. The committee is comprised of Michael Vreeland, Buck Buchanan, & Regis Johnson. Although we need to have a completed list of candidates for the Dogwood Offices by September 30, 2014, we would like to complete this prior to this date so there is plenty of time for voting. To that end we would request everyone please submit their nominations to the committee by August 15, 2014. 

If you would like to volunteer or nominate a person for one of the offices please provide this recommendation by email to any one of the Nominating Committee members.  Their email addresses are as follows:  Michael Vreeland –   Buck Buchanan –   Regis Johnston –

This is a great time to participate in the Dogwood Chapter.  Although everything in our chapter just seems to happen, it does so through the efforts of the Chapter Officers and our membership. Without this participation we would not have a chapter so please volunteer or nominate someone for this positions. Actually volunteering would be best since nomination someone without first consulting them may be problematic. We currently have one volunteer for the office of Vice President Rallies – Marion Cockrell. So if you would like to volunteer please let us know.  

To ensure everyone understands the responsibilities of the offices we have listed them below to include their responsibilities and the individuals who current hold that office. 

President (Butch Jones) – The President is responsible for oversight of all aspects of operating the Dogwood Chapter. The president should provide leadership and guidance for other Officers of the chapter.

Vice President Membership (Pat Allen) – The Vice President Membership is responsible for initiating all activities associated with recruiting new members including but not limited to promotion of the chapter through chapter fairs, publication of articles in FMCA magazine etc.

Vice President Rallies (Dennis Reid) – The Vice President Rallies is responsible for all activities necessary to organize rallies for the Dogwood Chapter including soliciting Rally hosts, assisting volunteer hosts with planning, finding suitable locations for rallies, arranging for necessary rally supplies being accessible by hosts, offering guidance to hosts on communications, collection of rally fees, and preparation of required rally expense forms.

Vice President Communications (Carolyn Duff) – Vice President Communications is responsible for maintenance of the chapters’ membership files, publication of the chapter’s communications through maintenance of the chapter web site and any other communications sent to the general membership. The Vice President Communications will work with and coordinate with the Secretary and the Treasurer to maintain membership records in a way that all needs are satisfied.  Carolyn has been in this position for quite some time now and has done an excellent job. However she has indicated she would like to step down. She has agreed to provide technical support as needed.

Secretary (Liz Jones) – The Secretary will prepare and publish minutes of all chapter business meetings and will fulfill all requirements of the office defined in the Member and Volunteer Handbook.

Treasurer (Pat Allen) – The Treasurer will establish bank account(s) with a reputable local bank. To the extent possible, the Treasurer should seek out banks that will minimize any banking expenses. When the treasury of the chapter is sufficiently large, both a checking account and an interest bearing account should be established. All financial records of Dogwood Chapter will be maintained using Quicken software.

National Director (Ed Fisher) – The National Director shall keep their chapter informed of items pertaining to the national organization and of the FMCA areas, as well as keeping the national organization apprised of items happening at the chapter level. Another important duty is participating in and voting during the Governing Board meetings.

Alternate National Director (Mann Duff) – The Alternate National Director shall serve whenever the National Director is unable to attend meetings of the Governing Board or is otherwise unable to serve.

To paraphrase a famous person “Ask not what your Dogwood Chapter can do for you – What can you do for your Dogwood Chapter?” If you have any questions or concerns please let one of the Nominating Committee Members know so we can respond accordingly.

Member Updates

Congratulations to Richard and Elle Bonewitz who were married on May 24.

Max and Barbara had a difficult winter and spring. Max had minor surgery on his wrist and also an ablation procedure for his heart. Barbara had a knee replacement and is recovering and going through rehab.  We hope they both are feeling better.

Butch Jones wrote back in June "The Solomon’s Island Rally is getting under way. Liz and I had to miss this one. We recently found out the Roxie has Lymphoma. After weighing the two options, we decided to go with chemotherapy. It would give her the best chance at maybe another year or two. She is ending her first week of chemo and since we were not sure how she would react to the drugs, we decided it best to stay home with her. She has done very well so far. So for now we will take one day at a time. Living with a pet is a very rewarding experience and one that we don’t want to give up just yet."

Butch Jones is looking for volunteers to man the Dogwood booth at GEAR in October and  the FMCA booth at the Hershey RV show Sept 10-14.  If you will be attending and can help out, please contact Butch.   

Donna Foore wrote on 7/9 that Ron was having surgery the next day.  Keep him in your thoughts and prayers.

Treasurer's Report

Click here to view June 2014 treasurer's report provided by Pat Allen.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

President's Message

by Butch Jones

Our Rally Season got off to a great start the first weekend of May. The week started off with a tremendous amount of rain and I have to admit I was doubtful that it would happen. However, after consultation with some of the board members and Bill and Marion it was determined that the ground was dry enough and the rally would be held as planned.

When we arrived at the Cockrell’s home we found the parking to be dry and parking was not an issue. We had 7 coaches and it was good to see Pat and Clint Allen, who stopped by for the afternoon and dinner on Saturday. We also had two guests that stopped by for dinner and one even went to Tangier. We hope that they decide to come back for a full rally.

The view from our site was a wonderful view of the Wicomico River. The weather was perfect and so was the trip to Tangier Island. Saturday night we found out that most Dogwooders should keep their day jobs and not venture into the word of song. Our dinner location hosted a karaoke night and we did not find any new untapped talent in our group.

Our next rally is in June and will be at Solomon’s Island, Maryland and will be June 6-8, 2014. We look forward to seeing more of you there. Then we have a dry spell because the next rally is in September at Fort Monroe.

If anyone has an idea for a summer rally, be sure to contact our VP of Rallies, Dennis Reid. 

We are in need of three or more members to run for the Nominating Committee. We need three members for the committee. These vital positions must be elected by the membership every other year. We will be voting on these positions at the next meeting on Solomon’s Island. If you would be willing to serve on this committee, please contact me either by phone or e-mail.

Well, that all for this month see you on Solomon’s Island.

VP of Rallies Message

by Dennis Reid

After meeting with Marion and Bill Cockrell, I was confident that the Tangier rally had the makings of being a memorable rally.  According to attendees, it was just that.  I would like to personally send them "kudos" for opening up their home and facilities to Dogwood.

After a long cold winter and nursing another new knee, Joyce and I were looking forward to the start of the rally season and the Tangier cruise.  Unfortunately, Mother Nature had her own plans for the weekend of the rally. 

While traveling the weekend before the rally, the results of ALGAE growth in our fuel tank finally took it's toll near Glen Burnie, MD.  Fortunately we were able to lope into a Cummins dealer.  I won't bore you with all of the details but it was very expensive to remedy the problem.  I would like to pass along some information that was published in an FMCA forum on the subject.  

Algae grows as a diesel/water interface.  The key is to keep water out of the tank.  Anytime you will be parking/storing it, make sure the fuel tank is FULL.  This reduces water from condensation.
Example:  You have a 100 gallon fuel tank.  You used half, leaving you 50 gallons of fuel and 50 gallons of air.   When the ambient temperature reaches the dew point of the air in the tank, the moisture in that air CONDENSES and goes to the bottom of the tank (water is heavier than diesel).  Each day as the temperature rises, the tank "breaths out" and each night, with falling temperatures it "breaths in".  Then moisture in that air can condense.
So, add your BIOCiDE, but also make sure that the tank is full.

I'm not going to bore everyone with the schedule for 2014 since it is posted on the blog, but I would like to point out the lack of rally's during the summer months,  Since no hosts have stepped up, we don't have any rally's between Solomon's and Ft. Monroe.  That's nearly 3 months.  

Come on people!  There are many capable host out there that haven't hosted in years.  If anyone has a suggestion for a rally location and would like to host, just drop me a line or email.  How about Myrtle Beach?  Anyone?  We had a great time there last year.

Solomons Island Rally

Anchors Away!  A Dogwood Rally will be held the weekend of June 5 - 8 at the Navy Recreation Area of Solomon's Island, Maryland.  Hosts for the rally are Richard & Elle Bonewitz, Steve & Mary Hall, David & Jackie Gilbert and Regis & Terrie Johnston.  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 $36 per night and include electric and water.  RIchard Bonewitz has already paid a $36 deposit for each site, so please mail him a check for your $36 deposit before May 1.  You will be responsible for paying the balance of your campsite fees when you check in.  Richard will meet all attendees when they arrive to assist in the 
registration process.    

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.

Saturday evening there will be a 2 hour boat cruise upon the Tennison.  The total cost of our private cruise is $400, plus tip, and will be divided between the participants.  The estimated cost per person is $15.
Since the price of crabs has risen to around $24 per dozen, the crab feast has been canceled this year.  In the event the prices should drop, we will make an announcement to see if there is any interest in proceeding with a crab feast.

Rally Schedule:
Thursday Night - 5:00 pm Welcome Aboard Happy Hour at Solomons Island Yacht Club
Friday Morning – 9:00 am Continental breakfast (briefing on Solomons area to follow) 
Friday Night –  5:00 cocktails.  Hamburgers and hots dogs for all.  Bring your own beverage. 
Saturday Morning – 9:00 am Special breakfast 
Saturday Night – 5:00 pm - Meet at the museum to board the Tennison.  Boat departs at 5:30.  Bring your own beverage and a heavy hors d'oeuvre to share.   
Sunday Morning - 9:00 am Farewell breakfast  

Rally Fees:  The basic rally fee is $20 per person and covers the cost of Friday, Saturday and Sunday breakfasts and the basic dinner Friday night.  The boat cruise is optional and an additional fee of $10 per person will be charged to cover the costs.  Since Richard moves between WV and MD please be prepared to pay him your fees when you arrive (cash or check).  Do not mail your fees!

Attendees (as of April 29):   Allen, Alexander, Bonewitz, Buchanan, Buelow  Cockrell, Dyke, Eastwood, Gilbert, Greenwood, Hall, Hutson, Johnston, Jones, Reid, Schoolar, Sohles, Tilman, Vreelander, Sharon Fischer and Martha Talent (guests of Cockrells and Gruels), 2 guests.

Reservation Process

1.  If you have not already paid your campsite deposit, please mail a check for $36 to Richard.  

2,  Email or phone Richard and let him know:
  • Your arrival and departure dates.  He is assuming most attendees will arrive on Thursday and depart on Sunday, 
  • If you plan to go on the boat cruise (approximately $15 per person)
If you have any questions, contact Richard at or 301-481-6003.

Fort Monroe Rally

The Fort Monroe rally will be held on September 5-7, 2014.  If you would like to come early or stay later, that is fine. There are only 13 full service sites and 8 partial service sites at the campground.  Beyond that, it will be dry camping, which they have plenty of room for, and they do have a shower facility.

Members are responsible for making their own campground reservations. Info is as follows;
The Colonies RV and Travel Park
501 Fenwick Road
Fort Monroe, VA 23651
757 722-2200    
Pat and Patricia OConnell

When you contact the campground, let them know you are with the Dogwood rally.

Rally fees, schedules, etc will be provided at a later date.

Due to the fact that this is a small campground and the owners are giving us the entire place, we want to be as courteous as possible to the owners as far as booking of campsites is concerned. Therefore, there will be a cut off date of 3 weeks prior to the rally to make your reservations.

The Buelows and the Sohles will be your hosts for this rally.

This is a beautiful area with a lot of history and things to do, and a good time will be had. Please join us.

Attendees (as of 5/8):  9 coaches have registered

Highlights from the Tangier Rally

Even Mother Nature couldn't damper that Dogwood spirit.  After days of torrential rains, the weather cleared and the motorhomes began to arrive at the Cockrells around noon on Friday with 7 coaches in attendance.  Click here for photos from the rally.  

On Friday evening we enjoyed a potluck dinner, as usual all the food was wonderful. We served 17 for dinner, which included 2 guests.

Saturday began with breakfast at 8 am then off to the marina to board the Chesapeake Breeze for a ride across the Chesapeake bay to Tangier Island which took 1 hour and 40 min. After a 2 1/2 hour visit and good food we arrived back at port about 4 pm.

We were very pleased that Pat and Clint Allen joined us for dinner and karaoke. It was good to see Clint doing much better.

Sunday morning, we concluded the weekend with breakfast and our farewells. 

The Cockrells place is on the the Wicomico River and they had tables and chairs set up in their 3 car garage so the group had a place to get together inside.

Thank you to Marion & Bill for their hospitality.

Attendees:  Bill & Marion Cockrell, Ed & Connie Tilman, Fairleigh & Cil Schoolar, Wilt & Barbara Greenwood, Jim & Susan Buelow, Ed Fisher, Fred & Maxine Luxton, Butch & Liz Jones, Clint & Pat Allen (Saturday evening), Guest: Sharon Fisher, Martha Tallent

Fire Safety - Electric Blankets

by Butch Jones

It is well known that I have an interest in fire safety and this next item is of upmost importance to all of us. A couple of weeks ago there was a potentially tragic occurrence at The Great Outdoors Golf and RV Resort in Titusville, Florida. A gentleman experienced a fire in his fifth wheel trailer caused by an electric blanket. The trailer burned to the frame. He lost everything as this was his home although he escaped unharmed.

Now if this is not bad enough, he almost lost his vehicle as it was parked in front of the trailer and you will never guess what he could not find as he exited the burning trailer. That’s right, his keys.  Does this sound familiar? Always keep the things you need close at hand (keys, wallet/purse, hearing aids, glasses, spouse, pets etc.).

As I was working on this article, I did some research on electric blankets and came up with some interesting information. According to the Electric Blanket Institute (yes, there is such a place), electric blankets are not for everyone. If you have a pacemaker you should consult your doctor before using them, if you are diabetic it is best to use the blanket to pre-warm the bedding and turn it off when getting into bed. This is due to potential insensitivity to heat which could result in burns if the blanket becomes too warm. If you are pregnant it is best to avoid using an electric blanket, although they said it could still be used to pre-warm the bedding (again your doctor can provide advice).

The Electric Blanket Institute website has a list of safety practices as well as a Buyer’s Guide which provide some very good information. You can find them at

Member Updates

Paul and Nancy Cummings wrote:  We are new members to Outdoor World and our first trip was to Lake Gaston. As you can see the sunsets are awesome and the night sky makes you want to stay up late.

My shoulder is mending and we hope all are well or on the way to good health. I think being able to travel is the best medicine for what ails you.  

Our travel plans are to travel west in late June to see our daughter, Amy in Casper, Wy.  Along the way we plan to visit more of those National Parks we love so much.  Checking them off.  Plan to be back home sometime in October or November.

Just a reminder to all, Yellowstone’s Fishing Bridge campground reservations open May 1, for 2015.  Make plans now if you want to go.  The park opens in May and closes late September.

Mike And Suzanne Greenfield wrote:  On April 19th we took delivery of our new 2014 Winnebago Adventurer 38Q coach from Lazy Days down in Tampa, FL.  We odered it fresh from the factory during the Tampa RV Super Show this past January.  When we went down to Tampa, Lazy Days put us up in the campground while the coach was getting its final inspections and adjustments.  It was delivered in tip top condition and all went very well.  Kudos to Lazy Days.  .

Jim Buelow wrote:  Susan and I went to the Tangier rally and really enjoyed it. We are headed to Camp Lejeune campground in NC Monday for a week to visit our grand daughter and new great grandson.