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.