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. 

Members on the Mend

Several Dogwood members are recovering from surgeries during the winter:  Dennis Reid had knee surgery, Richard Bonewitz also had knee surgery, and Paul Cummings had shoulder surgery.  We wish them all speedy recoveries.

Connie Tilman has had a rough time with her autoimmune blood disease and had to cancel her winter travel plans. We are glad that she is feeling better and able to attend the Tangier rally.

Clint Allen continues to improve; he has lost 50 lbs (the hard way) and is still weak.  He was scheduled to have gallbladder surgery.  Folks were glad to see him and Pat for Saturday dinner at the Tangier rally. 

Membership Update and Business Reports

Dogwood has 40 paid members.

Welcome to our newest members Fred and JoAnn Hutson.  They will be joining us for the Solomons Rally.

Click here for the Secretary's report from December 2013.

Click here for the latest Treasurer's report.