Executive Director’s Commentary
By Don Eversmann, F240000
FMCA is continually striving to encourage and entice its members to join a chapter. It is frequently said that the true enjoyment of FMCA is experienced through chapter membership.
I have often compared FMCA chapter membership with belonging to a family, and chapter rallies to family reunions. I know that the chapter events my wife, Sharon, and I have attended remind us of her family’s annual reunion, which, coincidentally, is always held at a Pennsylvania campground.
In March 2004 at FMCA’s 71st International Convention in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the Chapter Services Department tested a concept called a Chapter Fair. The huge success of this event inspired many of the areas of FMCA to incorporate a Chapter Fair into their annual area rallies. Governing Board business prevents us from holding Chapter Fairs at the summer conventions “” not enough time and space are available. So, FMCA’s 2nd Annual Chapter Fair will take place on March 21 during the association’s “America On The Move” convention in Perry, Georgia.
This month I have asked Loretta Buob, director of Chapter Services, to give you details about what you can expect at the fair if your chapter participates, or if you visit the fair as a convention attendee. A Chapter Fair offers a convenient way to learn about chapters and to discuss chapter membership. I encourage you to join us.
Come One, Come All To The Chapter Fair
By Loretta Buob
Director, Chapter Services Department
I can still remember how excited I felt when the circus came to town during my youth, and I imagine that you also have those fond memories. I would like to re-create that same exciting, youthful experience for FMCA members by announcing FMCA’s 2nd Annual Chapter Fair, which will be held at FMCA’s 73rd International Convention. The circus (fair) will come to town (Perry, Georgia) on Monday, March 21, and set up tents (displays, tables, etc.) in the Multipurpose Building on the grounds of the Georgia National Fairgrounds and Agricenter from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
A Chapter Fair … what is it? An experience you don’t want to miss! Whether you already belong to a chapter or have always wondered what the hoopla is all about, this is where you can experience a fun-filled two-hour activity. You will see various chapters gather to share their “chapter flavor,” shall we say, with FMCA members who have not yet enjoyed chapter membership. The fair lets all of us experience what chapter members already know “” that one of FMCA’s best benefits is belonging to a chapter.
The first Chapter Fair, held in March 2004 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, at FMCA’s 71st International Convention, was an overwhelming success. As you can see by the photos that accompany this article, chapter members came prepared to provide information and show what makes their group the “family” you may want to be a part of. The chapters also competed against each other for a wonderful box of prizes that their members were able to share.
For me, watching the chapters set up for the fair while sharing some friendly competition was the most rewarding of all. It is not often that people in chapters from the West Coast get to work together with folks from the East Coast (and all others in between) to promote this wonderful benefit to FMCA members. Their enthusiasm was certainly contagious, and I witnessed several members joining more than one chapter right on the spot.
FMCA has 482 chapters based all over the United States and Canada. Approximately 388 of those chapters were formed on the basis of geographical area, and their members usually meet regularly, as weather and time allow, to share the camaraderie of the motorhome lifestyle.
FMCA has approximately 94 chapters focused on a special interest (other than location). Members of these groups may own a particular motorhome brand, or participate in a common hobby such as crafts, golf, or amateur radio. They may meet less often than the geographically focused chapters, because their members are spread across the North American continent.
If you do not belong to a chapter, please know that many fellow FMCA members would love for you to become a part of their family. And what better way to meet so many potential friends than in a place where you can talk to so many of them one-on-one?
So, come on out to FMCA’s 73rd International Convention in Perry, Georgia, and make sure that you have the hours of 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Monday, March 21, reserved on your calendar. You have nothing to lose and certainly everything to gain by investigating the possibilities of chapter membership.
If you are a chapter president and would like your group to participate in the Chapter Fair, contact Dianna Mitts at firstname.lastname@example.org, or (800) 543-3622, ext. 210. If you are unable to attend the Perry convention and would like to know more about chapter membership, contact Christy Budai at email@example.com or (800) 543-3622, ext. 257.
We hope to see you or hear from you soon!