Friday, September 30, 2022

Dogwood Rally at The Refuge on Roanoke Island in the Outer Banks, NC

The Refuge on Roanoke Island

Final Update


The Rally Dates are

10/14 – 10/16/2022 

Your Hosts:

           Jim & Susan Buelow

           Dave & Nanette Meyer

           Pace & JoAnn Mimms


Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Dogwood Rally at The Refuge on Roanoke Island in the Outer Banks, NC

The Refuge on Roanoke Island

Sep Update


Hello Dogwood Family, 


The Dogwood Rally at Refuge on Roanoke Island in the Outer Banks, NC is next month and the cutoff for reservations is this Sunday, so we wanted to send you the latest information on the rally.  


The Rally Dates are: 10/14 – 10/16/2022


Cutoff  date for reservations is Sept 11th.


Rally Fees:   Rally fees will be $15.00 per adult and $10.00 per child under 12.


Your Hosts:

           Jim & Susan Buelow

           Dave & Nanette Meyer

           Pace & JoAnn Mimms

Saturday, September 3, 2022

A Note from Susan Buelow

Susan & Jim Buelow

 Hello Dogwood Family,

I just wanted to sincerely thank everyone for the cards, calls, meals, emails, texts, good wishes and Prayers.  It really means a lot to me to hear from so many friends.  I am doing much better both physically and emotionally and slowly getting my strength back.  We are taking things one day at a time.


Next Friday is our 50th Wedding Anniversary and Jim and I are spending 9 days at Camp Hatteras on an oceanfront site.  We are really looking forward to the break and some relaxation.


I hope to see all of you soon and thank you again so much.


Regards and Love,


Dogwood Rally - Oyster Fest in Urbanna


 Registration form for Oyster Fest in Urbanna, VA

Only have room for ten (10) coaches

Dates November 3 – 6, 2022

Fee for camping will be the cost of oysters.

This is dry camping with 15 amps to keep batteries charge.

Meals will be potluck and a restaurant outing on Thursday Nov. 3rd.

Send text or email even though you may have told Karen or me.

Name         ________________________________

Phone number      __________________________

Email address      ___________________________

Number coming             ______________________

Your Hosts:  Berkley & Karen


Ed Fisher’s Place

147 Urbanna Rd

Saluda, VA 23149

Click here for pdf version of Registration Form

Click here to see all the details for the Oyster Fest Rally  

Sunday, August 28, 2022

President’s Message – Jul/Aug 2022


Hello Dogwood! I trust all are well, or close to it, and enjoying this blazing hot summer. First up this month, please check out our Blogsite for the latest news about our upcoming rallies – we have a bunch scheduled and they are always great fun. We also have some very good writers in this club, and their write-ups on the rallies make for great reading. I encourage all of you to contribute your travel stories and photographs for our enjoyment – I love reading about everyone’s travels! Makes me want to ignore the price of diesel fuel and go camp somewhere!  


We have gained several new members this summer, including John & Gail Taylor, Tom & Joan Evans, Cara & Roy Brinkley, Darrel & Terry Tenny, and Tom & Carolyn Spiezio. Welcome aboard and I hope to meet each of you very soon.  


Coming back from GEAR, several of us came down with Covid; Jean got hit hard but the Paxlovid worked its magic, and we are laying plans for the next trip.  This month I’m working at the Motorcycle Races and Jean is going to Granddaughter’s first birthday, and we are attending a Bluegrass Festival in early September in Buena Vista, VA.  Plus, we are registered for the Outer Banks Rally in October. BTW – Mr. B’s is having another bluegrass festival on September 15-17 at his place in Woodford, Virginia.  Jean and I are checking our calendars for this; if you are interested, drop me a line.  We also have several club members traveling out to the FMCA Convention in Lincoln, Nebraska this month and I look forward to hearing from them in the next newsletter. 


Please be thinking about rallies for next year; at our December Christmas meeting we will lay out plans for 2023 but we need your inputs! I have been to several great campgrounds and festivals this year, and I know you have too. So bring your ideas and let’s get them on the club calendar. 


Finally, this blogsite is all about information; at GEAR back in July I learned that we are one of the few chapters with an electronic system for getting info out to the club. Many of the clubs still rely on US Mail; now I'm not “dinging” that, but I believe our system/blogsite and management are way ahead of those in our other chapters.  And club information keeps us all going – places, people, activities and national “stuff” from FMCA. I feel this part of Dogwood is very, very important and you should be able to tell that as you read. If you like what you see on our site, please contribute – stories, advice, photos, etc. We love it all. 


Safe travels and I’ll see you on the road. 



Ed Herbert
Dogwood President

VP Rallies Update – Jul/Aug 2022

Hi All,


Looks like we only have three rallies to go to complete this year.  The Refuge on Roanoke Island NC Oct14-16 hosted by the Buelows, Meyers and Mimms.  Patty and I have already signed up for this one.  Looks like a fun one, get the information of the blog and get signed up, we would love to see you there.  


Then we have the Urbanna Oyster Festival Nov 4-7 hosted by the Alexanders, with more info coming on that one.  


Last but not least, we have our annual Christmas rally on Dec 2-5 hosted by the Herberts and the Kuikens.  This is always the highlight of the annual rallies, hope to see everyone there.

Please see all the Rallies and updated information planned for this year.

Safe and Happy travels,

Henry Kuiken, Rally Master 

VP Communications Update – Jul/Aug 2022

Hello Dogwood.  I wanted to share a few tips on the Blog that I hope will be helpful to you.


We added a new shortcut for you on the Blog's menu bar.  Along with the shortcuts to the Rally Schedule and Details,  we added one for our Member’s Stories.   Clicking on it will take you to a list of stories and articles submitted by you – our Dogwood Members.  Now, you will notice there is only 1 story listed right now, but it is a good one, submitted by Robi Robison.  Thank you, Robi.  Over the coming weeks, I will add additional past stories to the list.   AND I look forward to adding new stories from all of you, so don’t be shy.  We are looking for your stories, travel adventures, RV modifications and fixes.  Send them in for all to enjoy 😊   


Here is a picture of the shortcut menu bar on the Blog.


Now, you may be wondering why I circled the Dogwood Chapter…  Well, because clicking on it (actually anywhere on the logo) will bring you back “home” to the top of the main Blog page.  


I also added a link to the Member’s Stories on the right-hand side, under “Get the Whole Story”.  So, you have more than 1 way of getting to the list and I will let you decide which one is easier for you.  


One other thing I will mention here.  At the end of each Blog Post, you have the ability to post and share Comments.... check it out!

I hope this is helpful and welcome your feedback and suggestions.   As always, let me know if you have any issues or questions.   Our Dogwood email address ( comes straight to me.  I try to check it daily and do my best to respond as quickly as I can.  


Hope you are all well!  Safe travels!

Dave Meyer, VP Communications 

Care Person Update – Jul/Aug 2022

There has been a lot going on with our members.  I hope you join me as we continue to lift them up in prayer.  Both Susan Buelow and Farleigh Schoolar had surgery on Monday, August 8th, and Tuesday, August 9th, respectively.

These are the cards that have been sent this summer on your behalf.
  • June 8, 2022  Farleigh Schoolar, sent a card, needs stint in heart
  • July 19, 2022,  Susan Buelow, cancer, sent a card
  • July 19, 2022,  Ed Fisher, bleeding ulcer, sent card
  •  July 19, 2022,  Butch Jones, baker’s cyst, sent card
  •  July 21, 2022,  Susan Buelow, cancer, sent a card of encouragement
  •  August 5, 2022, Susan Buelow, cancer sent a card, surgery on the  8th
  •  August 6, 2022, Farleigh Schoolar, heart by-pass surgery, sent a card

Quite a few of our members came down with Covid, but unfortunately by the time I bought more cards they were doing well.  Thank God.

Patty Kuiken, Care Person

Safety Article – Jul/Aug 2022


Recreational Vehicle Inspections

By Butch Jones

As our Recreational Vehicles (RV) get older, so do we. There was a time when most RVers would not even consider taking their RV to a dealer or independent shop for repairs or service. They would simply do the repairs and maintenance themselves. Something that I have discovered as that as I get older, there are some things that I just don’t want to do myself. Add to that the proliferation of electronics and computers in today’s RVs and more of us are choosing to let someone else (someone with the skills, knowledge and tools to do the job better and potentially cheaper than many of us can) perform some of these tasks.


As we age with our RVs, we can become accustomed to the smell, the feel and also the little blemishes and dings that happened long ago. There comes a time in most RVers lives when it is time to let the old unit find a new home or get sent to the auction yard. When trying to sell or trade your current RV, everyone wants to get top dollar. Over time we tend to forget about some of the things that need repair or replacement because we may not use or need them. However, a new owner might need or want those things in proper working order. It could be that we just want to keep our vehicle in good operating and functioning condition for our own use. Most of us think that we do a good job of keeping our RVs in good shape, but there are some systems that need professional help to keep in top shape. Some of these are the propane, water heating systems and air conditioning systems, to name a few. 


Some states require an annual or biannual vehicle inspection. At present there are 16 states that require such inspections (there are 32 states that require an emissions inspection/test, but 16 or those do not require a vehicle safety inspection) that means that 34 do not. These are good to help us keep at least the vehicle safety systems up to a state standard. But who inspects the rest of the RV and who checks these systems in those states with no state vehicle inspection? If you perform this yourself, do you use a checklist or do you perform from memory? If you perform from memory, what did you have for dinner Tuesday two weeks ago? Can’t remember? Well, how do remember everything to check on your RV without some sort of reminders? 


Consider that, unless you full time, your RV is usually operated for 6 months or less per year and all that time may be at one outing, meaning you leave home and return in 6 months or so. The RV sits for much of the rest of the year. Recreational vehicles travel an average of 4,000 to 5,000 miles per year. Those miles are usually a combination of flatland, hills and mountains and in warm or HOT weather, then we bring them home and basically put them in storage until we decide to use them again. When we add to that the fact that 56% of all RVs are overloaded, we can see that we may not pamper our vehicles as we might think. 


We can see that some sort of comprehensive maintenance program, beyond changing fluids and running the generator might be helpful in keeping our RVs in good and safe operating condition. Some RV dealers and independent shops offer an inspection program which provides inspections and operational checks of most if not all of the systems on most all RVs. Some RV dealers offer a lifetime warranty if the vehicle get an annual inspection, which cost around $400.00 to $450.00 per inspection.


This type of inspection can also be beneficial when purchasing a used vehicle or if getting ready to sell one. Knowing what a potential buyer might find and have the opportunity to address those issues before the buyer starts negotiating could net more than $450.00. 


To keep us and our RVs safe there is a need to have a maintenance program, have your RV weighed (this is sometimes available at FMCA rallies) and either perform the maintenance yourself or find a dealer or independent shop to perform it for you.

Wishing everyone safe travels.

Butch Jones, Safety Chairman 

Member's Story (Robison) - The new “non-FMCA” WiFi device for RVers?

The new “non-FMCA” WiFi device for RVers?

Recall when business and residential areas were being dug up and “fiber” (fiber optic cabling) was being placed in the ground?  Often, for residential services (and to save money), the carrier would install only Fiber To The Curb (FTTC) where the actual connection into the house employs the existing coaxial cable that was already in place (often called “the last mile” … even though it may only be a few yards).  In my home’s case, power and communication lines are above ground, so I the installer went with Fiber To The Home (FTTH) with a box mounted outside my house at which the photons are converted to electrons for both data and cable-TV signals (and phone service, if needed).  The amplifier makes the needed bi-directional conversion and requires DC power to do so, thus there is an associated AC transformer and power-supply.  Sometimes in such home installations there is a battery providing “battery backup” that can power the “outside box” for up to 4 hours…allowing, for example, home phone service (still being call a “land line”) to function when grid power is temporarily down.  

In the business world, .....    Click here for the Whole Story

...  Story conclusion: I have more bandwidth for less money. Yeehaw. 

C.B. “Robi” Robison

Celebrating Dogwood Birthdays and Anniversaries - Aug/Sep 2022

Member’s Story (Ham) - Wedding Bells

Gary & Barbara Ham

 We have some WONDERFUL news to share.

CONGRATULATIONS to Gary and Barbara Ham!


From Barbara.  We were at the Dogwood Rally [at Devil's Backbone]. We told everyone we were going to get married in June and they asked us to let someone know if we did. We got married June 27th and have by on one long cross country honeymoon since then.  


Sounds like a wonderful honeymoon!  Wishing them many, many years of happiness and safe travels!  


RV Slang - Word of the Day

Wanted to use this one - while it is still a thing!

Picture is courtesy of

Wallydocking - Walmart is one of the few big chains that allow overnight parking. RVers taking advantage of this are wallydocking.


RV Parking at Walmart

The frequently asked question below is from the Walmart Corporate website regarding RV parking at Walmart stores.

Can I park my RV at a Walmart store?

While we do not offer electrical service or accommodations typically necessary for RV customers, Walmart values RV travelers and considers them among our best customers. Consequently, we do permit RV parking on our store lots as we are able. Permission to park is extended by individual store managers, based on availability of parking space and local laws. Please contact management in each store to ensure accommodations before parking your RV.


Walmart Map

An interactive map that shows the location of Walmart stores nationwide is available through the link below. The map also indicates the overnight parking status.

·       Link to Walmart map


Thursday, August 18, 2022

Care Person Update - Susan Buelow

Susan & Jim Buelow

Sending our Prayers and Good Thoughts to Susan and Jim Buelow.

We have GOOD News to share!

Hello Dogwood Family,


Just wanted to pass on some good news from the Buelow Family. But first, we want to again sincerely thank all of you who have sent cards, emails, texts, phone calls, and your Prayers and support. It is beyond special.


Today we met with the surgeon who provided us with the after surgery and pathology report. Susan was originally diagnosed with Ductal cancer in her left breast. After 2 unsuccessful Lumpectomies, the surgeon recommended a mastectomy of the left breast. Susan elected to have a double mastectomy to better her chances of no future cancer, and thank God, that was a wise decision. The after surgery pathology report indicates that all of the cancer was removed. It also indicated that there was not only Ductal cancer on her left side, but also invasive cancer. Her right side also showed a significant amount of Ductal cancer. None of this had previously shown up on imaging reports. Five lymph nodes were also removed and basically all were benign. All very good news.


During our visit, they also removed drain tubes and what a relief for Susan. Tonight we sleep in a bed for the first time in 9 days. Recovery and rehab are the next priorities for the next 4-6 weeks, along with a few more Oncology doctor appointments, but Susan is making good progress physically. She is still very emotional about what has taken place, but we hope that it too will pass. Please continue reach out to her if you like, as it really means a lot to her.


Take care, be safe, and thank you again for your support, friendship and Prayers.



Jim and Susan


(Posted 8/10/2022)

Hello Dogwood,  Wanted to share our update with everyone.   

Susan's surgery went well and she is now back home and resting.

We will continue to provide updates as they become available.

Jim and Susan would like to thank everyone for your good wishes, cards, and prayers.


(Posted 8/4/2022)

Hello Dogwood Family,

We hope that all is well with you and your families.


Many of you already know that Susan is going through early stages of breast cancer, and we just wanted to update you on her situation. Unfortunately, things have not gone as well as we expected and planned thus far.


First, we want to sincerely THANK all of those of you who have contacted us in person, phone, emails, and cards to send well wishes, kind thoughts and Prayers. We are really grateful, and it literally brings Susan to tears. 


Susan has what is called Ductal Carcinoma In SITO. (DCIS). It is a noninvasive cancer in the milk ducts, and in the very early stages.


On July 1st, she had a Lumpectomy to remove the cancer. On July 15th, she had another Lumpectomy because the first surgery did not get it all. Unfortunately, neither did the second surgery. Since that time, we have met with several different cancer specialists to get options and opinions on the best treatments. The surgeon and radiologist are now both recommending a single Mastectomy without radiation as it has risks and possibly major side effects. Hormone medication for 5 years would also be highly recommended. And it also could have major side effects.


Susan has tentatively decided to have a double Mastectomy. This should better her chances of not having  a problem in the future and significantly reduce the need for hormone treatment which she doesn't want.   


Surgery is scheduled for August 8th at Riverside Hospital in Newport News. Plan is to spend one night in the hospital and then home recovery which will take 4-6 weeks. Prognosis is very good. Susan is not in any pain now, but is really bummed emotionally as this is her second time around with cancer. She says hello and sends her best.


We will keep you posted on Susan's progress. And positive thoughts, words and Prayers for Susan and our family are welcome and sincerely appreciated. We will get through this.


Be safe, take care and best regards,



Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Message from the President - Officer Duties in Dogwood

What does an Officer in Dogwood do? What is he/she responsible for? When does he/she have to do “Dogwood things” or “FMCA things”? And why in the world would anyone sign up for this job? All good questions, and I have asked myself these several times in the past two years. So I am writing this article as a way to inform new (and veteran) club members of the offices available, the duties thereof, and as a way to encourage folks to sign up or volunteer – this is what keeps us going. 

For starters, there is an FMCA book entitled Chapter Officer’s Handbook, and it is pretty detailed about all of the club offices and duties, so you don’t have to walk into this job blind. The book can be downloaded from the FMCA website in the Governance section and is an excellent reference for what you are about to get into.  All offices – president, VEEPs, secretary, treasurer, national director and alternates, chapter representatives at the FMCA business meetings, and the Area VPs are well detailed. Note that we have our own Standing Rules and Chapter Bylaws tailored to fit our club, and these are on the Dogwood Blogsite.  

The second best reference, or references I should say, are the previous office-holders (presidents, etc.) and we have a few of them in this club. I have made it a point to talk with them whenever possible – what they did, the issues they faced, and how they conducted the club business. All invaluable information, and through which I have learned we can tailor these rules to fit our club needs. 

As with any organization, record keeping, finances, and member participation are the top items – I rely on the club secretary for note taking at club meetings and keeping me appraised of issues coming from FMCA reps who coordinate directly with her. In Dogwood, we combine the Membership and the Treasurer responsibilities into one job. Our Membership/Treasurer keeps track of who is in the club, who joins the club and where our finances stand. We have an audit committee that reviews both annually and reports back to the club (and me). And we have a documented process for handling monies flowing in and out related to rallies, gifts, and other office items. 

We have a VP of Communications – an invention of our own I might add. And it works; he runs the Dogwood Blogsite and handles all of the reports, stories, adventures, photos, etc. that you see published. He and I work together to review every item prior to publication; I might be the Senior Editor, but he is the guy who puts it all together for you to read and enjoy. 

We also have a VP for Rallies, or Rally Master as he is known. He has a reference guide book as well and we, the club, have recently revised it to better fit our needs. The Rally Master coordinates the rallies; makes sense, right? The rally master doesn’t have to attend every rally, but does need to work with the rally hosts (who volunteer) to ensure they get the supplies needed for a successful event. We have several large plastic tubs filled with plateware, cleaning supplies, bags, coffee pots, warming pans, etc. And the rally master maintains the inventory and keeps them stocked for the club. 

Then, we have a couple of folks who directly interface with FMCA National Management on our behalf – our National Director and his Alternate.  They carry the news back and forth from FMCA to this chapter, and represent us at the National conventions. These conventions are a huge event – they have to be. FMCA has over 320 chapters, each sending reps (the National Directors) to these conventions annually to conduct the business of FMCA, work the budgets, vote on issues, and setting/amending operational rules of the organization.  It’s a big deal and it works – I've been there and seen it firsthand.  

These are all elected positions within the club, and each serves for a term of two years. 

We also have some volunteers, and I am really grateful for their assistance and input. We have a Care Person who keeps track of chapter members facing hardships and/or illnesses. We send cards and flowers, and have been known to provide gifts to specified charities. We have a Safety Officer – this is great; he provides safety tips and lessons about all things RVing that go into our newsletter. 

So given all that, what does the President do?  We are in FMCA’s Eastern Area (one of 10) and as such have an Area President and Area Vice President – those are my FMCA interfaces. National rule changes, policy changes, etc. that filter down from National to Area comes through them to me, and I bring it to the club. The Chapter Officer’s Handbook has a 2-page list of things I have to do, and I summarize them as follows: 
  • Preside over chapter meetings (at least one annually) 
  • Lead the chapter 
  • Assure chapter representation at the national meetings 
  • Handle/distribute national meeting materials 
  • Conduct rallies 
  • Grow new members 
  • Assign committees and members as needed 

At the club level, I focus on getting new members and ensuring that we follow the FMCA rules for clubs. About every other month, I get a list of 15- 20 new FMCA members living in the Eastern Area, and I write them an introductory letter, invitation if you like, about Dogwood and things we do. This year Dogwood has gained several new members as a result of this invitation. And I really enjoy working with my VPs – we stay in touch and get a lot of “behind the scenes” things done for the club. Communicating with new members and working with the Rally hosts are probably my favorite parts of this job. 

So, in summary, I hope this answers the question of “What does an Officer in Dogwood do?”. I offer this as a way to inform everyone of the offices available and the duties thereof, with the hope that it encourages folks to sign up or volunteer. This is what keeps us going. 


Ed Herbert

Dogwood President


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