BY CHERIE ILG HAAS
This month, one of FMCA’s newest chapters is celebrating its first anniversary. The Western Slope Rovers formed in August 2003 and is the first FMCA chapter to encompass the western slope of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado. FMCA leaders from the Rocky Mountain Area saw the need for a chapter within this scope and invited local FMCA members to a chapter formation meeting. More than 30 coaches arrived.
“We were really excited about getting something started here,” said chapter president Nancy Friedman, F318945. “I think we’ve gotten off to a pretty good start.”
She credits Rocky Mountain Area national vice president Duane Pindell and his wife, Rosalie, F105443; Rocky Mountain Motorcoach Association Region One vice president Allen Rein and his wife, Glenda, F214273; and Rocky Mountain Motorcoach Association senior vice president Gary Smith and his wife, De Anna, F155557, as being instrumental in the chapter’s formation.
“They’ve just been a great help to get us going,” Nancy said. This group in particular gave chapter officials plenty of information about how to start a chapter, and, equally important, how to keep it going.
Chapter members Bruce and Jane Battey, F284722, also helped the group get started.
At the first Western Slope Rovers rally last December, the few members who aren’t snowbirds gathered and played some games to break the ice and get to know each other a little. But that comes naturally to this group. “We are very outgoing people,” Nancy said.
During FMCA’s 71st International Convention in Albuquerque, New Mexico, this past March, most of the Rovers met for the first time. Once at the convention, chapter members were able to park together. “We got out our chairs and we had a ball,” Nancy said. “That’s when we really got to sit down and talk.”
The chapter volunteered at coffee hour during the convention, which meant rising early to get the job done. One member said to Nancy, “I never knew I could have so much fun at 5:30 in the morning.”
“It’s things like this that bring people together,” Nancy said.
Convention-goers may have seen the Western Slope Rovers booth at the Chapter Fair, during which members from more than 100 chapters shared information about their respective groups and encouraged fellow FMCAers to join. Nancy said that the Rovers also acquired two or three new members during the convention from going out and talking to people who had Colorado license plates. “You have to get out and beat the bushes,” she said. “If you see people, go out there and talk to them.”
During their rally in April, Western Slope Rovers members went hiking in Moab, Utah. Montrose, Colorado, was home to the next rally, where a member shared his pontoon boat and provided leisurely rides on the lake. The chapter holds rallies monthly from April through October, and then celebrates the holidays during December.
With just one year under their belt, the Rovers seem to be making the most of their chapter.
Already 35 families belong to this fun-loving group.
If you are interested in joining the Western Slope Rovers, contact FMCA’s Chapter Services Department at (800) 543-3622.