Sunday, October 23, 2016

Christmas Rally 2016

by Donna Hill
The annual Christmas Rally will be held December 2 - 4, 2016 at the Americamps RV Resort in Ashland – 11322 Air Park Road, Ashland, VA 23005. Your hosts are Maureen & Doug Dodge and Donna & Rob Hill.

Campground Reservations:
 Make your reservations directly with the Americamps RV Resort at 1-804-798-5298. Tell them you are with the Dogwood Chapter FMCA to get the special rally rate of $35 per night for 50 amp full hookup sites (applies to Wednesday and Thursday nights also, if you want to come early). A block of 25 contiguous sites has been reserved for us.

Directions: Take Exit 89 (Route 802 – Lewistown Road) off I-95. From the south, turn right at the end of the ramp and then take the next right onto Air Park Road (Route 809). From the north, turn left at the end of the ramp, cross over the Interstate, and turn right onto Air Park Road. Follow Air Park Road to the Americamps on your left.  The address is 11322 Air Park Road, Ashland, VA 23005.

Rally fees for the weekend are $18 per person and cover dinners for Friday and Saturday and
breakfasts for Saturday and Sunday. In addition, each coach/couple are asked to provide one
dozen Christmas cookies. Please bring your own beverages, plates, and utensils to all meals.

Please register with Donna Hill as early as possible, but no later than November 15th.
Free waffle breakfasts, including juice and coffee, are available courtesy of the campground at
9:00 each morning except Thursday when a free chili meal will be available for dinner.
Friday afternoon, 1:00 – 3:00: Optional craft class (Christmas Wreath) at Colesville Nursery. This
is a repeat of the wonderful wreaths created last year. Steve Greenwood’s friend Gene Lentz
works for Colesville, and he will again set us up for this class. Cost is the same as last year too,
$30 per person, payable with your rally fee, which includes all materials and instruction. We’re
asking for money in advance so we can get an accurate true count – the class is limited to 25
and fills up early, so Colesville is giving us first shot before they open it to the public.
Friday afternoon, 4:00: Optional trip to James River Cellars Winery (6 mile round trip drive,
$8/person) for a tasting and to maybe pickup some wine for dinner. Also an option is to visit the
nearby Center Of The Universe Brewing Company for a Craft Beer Tasting. The brewery is across
the street from the campground, easy walking distance. (Or maybe some will do both?) These
options take the place of happy hour if you’re so inclined. However if you prefer something
else, the Rally Room at the campground will be available for Happy Hour during the same time

Friday evening, 6:00: Dinner in the Rally Room - Meatball subs, salad, chips and peach cobbler,
provided by hosts. Following dinner we will have a game (with a prize).

Saturday morning, 7:30-9:00: Breakfast provided by hosts (including the campground’s free
juice, coffee, and optional waffles), followed by a business meeting at 10:00. We plan to discuss
future rallies, please bring your ideas. It would be great if each could bring an idea for a rally.
Maybe there is something in the area you live or some great place you have been that we all
would enjoy. Let’s try to fill our two year calendar.

Saturday afternoon, 1:30 – Optional visit to Patrick Henry’s home, Scotchtown. This will be a
guided tour, $5/person payable with your rally fee.

Saturday evening: 5:30 happy hour followed by 6:30 dinner in the Rally Room. Your hosts will
provide salad, ham, green beans, yams, rolls and dessert (your Christmas cookies and ice

Saturday evening, 7:30 – Traditional Yankee Swap gift exchange. Bring one unsigned gift per
coach (maximum value $25) and be prepared to be victimized by people you thought were your

Sunday morning, 9:00: Hitch-up Continental breakfast plus any leftover breakfast items,
provided by the hosts, with the usual free waffles, coffee and juice from the campground.
Attendees as of 10/12: Alexander, Cockrell, Schoolar, Hunter, Buchanan, Dodge, Hill.

Dogwood Christmas Rally at Americamps in Ashland, VA
December 2 - December 4, 2016
Names: ____________________________________________
____ Number of people at $18 each = $_________
____ Number of people attending Wreath Class at $30 each = $_________
____ Number of people attending Scotchtown at $5 each = $_________
Total Amount Enclosed = $_________

Make check payable to Donna Hill, and mail to: Donna Hill, 900 Barton St. #305,
Fredericksburg, VA 22401. Cutoff date is 11/15, but please confirm as soon as you can so we
can get an accurate count for the campground, the Christmas Wreath Craft Class and

Myrtle Beach Rally 2016

Myrtle Beach Rally 2016

On September 17th through the 25th, Dogwood held a rally at the Pirateland Campground in Myrtle Beach, SC.  Although many members stayed the entire week, the rally was officially Friday & Saturday departing on Sunday.

The good thing about picking this week was, that we missed hurricane Matthew.  The bad part was that we had monsoonal rains for most of the week.   However, the resilient crowd made the best of it.  With the communal space provided by Pirateland and canopies provided by members, we were able to make the best of a bad situation.

The majority of the meals were potluck and dining out with the following  exceptions.  A special thanks goes out to the Buelows and Cummings for creating a competitive atmosphere with a special “Bratfest.”  The Schoolars for providing sausage and biscuits and the Reids for a hamburger cook out.  Also, a special thanks to all of the members who provided potluck dishes and appetizers.

The attendees were, Buckannan, Cockrell, Bonewitz, Cummings, Alexander, Reid, Gilbert, Schoolar, Buelow, Allen, Johnston, Fisher & Warthan.

Go to this link to see photos of the rally, http://fmcadogwoodphotos.blogspot.com

Dogwood Director's FMCA Report October 2016

Dogwood Director's Report 2016

The annual business meeting of the Governing Board was held at the Summer convention as usual. It was the shortest National meeting I have ever attended. This was due to several factors, including no election, no really contentious business items, and it was very hot in the hall which was not air conditioned. We worked through the normal lunch period, and most National Directors took their boxed lunches back to their comfortable coaches.

All of the following business items were approved by wide margins with very little discussion:
-A dues increase of $10.00 per year, bringing the total to $50.00. This was the first increase since 2010, and the adopted budget including the dues increase was much more workable. The increase took affect as of October, to coincide with the associations fiscal year.
-The budget, which was balanced. There were two budgets submitted, one with and one without dues increase.
-To authorize the Executive Board to proceed with amended Articles of Incorporation which were adopted in 1971. Council has advised that existing articles are archaic and very restrictive, preventing the Governing Board from making almost any change to FMCA's operations. Should such a need arise to make a change, it would first require amended Articles of Incorporation, so the whole process could take up to two years. This is a proactive measure, which makes future operational changes possible. It in no way changes FMCA as it exists, and no such changes could me made without approval of the Governing Board.
-The extension of the FMCAssist program, which assists members with emergencies while traveling, to be funded  with PROFITS from the investment account. This will cover a one year period in the 2016/2017 time frame. Membership is reminded to be eligible for any reimbursement, they must file a claim before any expense is incurred, or it will not be paid. FMCA has had a very good experience with the carrier and the plan administrator. 
-Holding the Winter 2019 convention in Chandler Arizona, the Summer 2019 in St Paul Minnesota, and the Winter 2020 in Perry Georgia, all subject to final negotiations. As previously announced, the Winter 2017 convention will be held March 7-10 in Chandler Arizona, and the Summer 2017 convention will be held July 12-15 in Indianapolis Indiana. 
-The Treasurer reported that FMCA remains in a strong financial position with investments doing well.
-The official count for this Summer convention was 1059 family coaches and 246 commercial coaches. Membership as of July 1, 2016 was 70,539 family 
units, and has finally bottomed out and shows a slight upturn.

     Ed Fisher
      National Director

Member Updates October 2016

Dennis Reid,
I had a Proximal Row Carpectomy (PRC) on my right wrist this past Tuesday the 11th.  It was an outpatient surgery which I'm not going to explain.  Just Google it.  Other than Joyce carrying a butcher knife with her, the surgery has gone very well for "me", as long as the meds hold out.

By Susan Buelow
A note concerning our Dogwood members and friends. Several weeks ago, Steve Czarsty fell off of a ladder. Injuries included 4 broken ribs, a sprain, and some lacerations. As of October 18, he is mending well but slowly.  If all goes well, they will head back to FL. in the near future. They will be in the VA area in December, and will try to stop by the Christmas rally if things work out.
Dick Wolf was hospitalized at the GEAR rally for heart and lung issues. He was treated in Roanoke hospital for about a week, then released, and stayed in a Roanoke campground until today. They will drive their car back to FL, and FMCA assist will take their coach back to FL. Dick and wife Nancy are not Dogwood members, but are friends of many Dogwooders.
Please keep the Czarsty’s and Wolf’s in your thoughts and prayers.

For Sale;
Wilt Greenwood has two like-new Mor/Stor coach bay slide-out trays, bi-directional, 47”X90”, for sale.  Cost over $1000 each new, will sell for $300 each or both for $500 – but you have to pick them up.  Call or text to (804) 337-7733.

Lewisburg GEAR Rally 2016

Jim Buelow

The 25th annual Greater Eastern Area Rally (GEAR) was held Oct. 5-9 in the beautiful mountains of Lewisburg, WV. A total of 301 coaches and about 600 FMCA members attended the rally, along with show coaches and vendors. There was much to do at the rally and in the local area including a wide variety of seminars, vendors, free coffee and donuts, ice cream social and 3 nights of good entertainment. Also some good restaurants and local history to see and enjoy.  
Dogwood attendees included the Alexander’s, Buelow’s, Chuilli’s, Greenwood’s, Hill’s, Hunter’s, and Tillman’s.  All Dogwood members were volunteers at the rally which gave our chapter 100 % participation in assisting to make this rally a success.
On Wednesday afternoon we attended the Chapter Fair. Dogwood was not represented at the fair as we did not have our banner or Dogwood info. It is something we should definitelyprepare for and do next year as it can be a good source for new members. We talked with several different chapter members, and got some good ideas and contacts. The Greenwood’s had a booth for the Eastern Gourmands.
On Friday evening, all Dogwood members, along with invited guests got together for social hour and heavy snacks. It was nice to see old and make new friends. 
Buck had authorized me to act on Dogwood’s behalf in his absence, so we attended the annual EAMA meeting on Saturday morning. New EAMA officers were elected for the coming year. Of note are Bill Mallory, president, Jerry Cohen continues as our Area VP, and our own Berkley Alexander was re elected as Treasurer.
We met and signed up a new couple to the Dogwood chapter. Their names are Ron and Nancy Bristol from the Bowling Greenarea of VA. They are friends of the Alexander’s. Welcome Ron and Nancy. They plan to attend Urbanna and Christmas rallies.
Next year’s GEAR will be held at the same location during the same time frame. Meeting facilities and camp sites were good. Close to shopping and good food along with some fun things to do in the area. The famous Greenbrier Hotel and Golf Course is only a few miles away. We look forward to attending next year and hope more of our Dogwood members will do the same.