By Peggy Jordan
FMC Associate Editor
Iowa is the home state and scope of the Midwest Trailroaders chapter. And just like the state’s peaceful farmland atmosphere, its members enjoy relaxing activities.
Chapter secretary-treasurer and newsletter editor Bob Burgstrum, F141465, said the chapter holds rallies each month between May and October. “We go out to dinner one evening, then have a potluck on one, sometimes do sight-seeing or touring, and sometimes just sit around the campfire,” he said.
Rallies are held at different parks around the state. “We try to go to different parks each year,” he said. “We do have some favorites, but we vary our parks. Since we have people from all over the state of Iowa, we try to select different parts of the state so people don’t have to travel too far.”
The chapter has held rallies that included a dinner cruise on a riverboat, and sometimes, depending on where they are, they take a local tour. There are no rally fees; Bob said attendees pay their way.
The chapter has been in existence since 1975 and celebrated its 30-year milestone anniversary at a rally in Kieler, Wisconsin, just across the Iowa border, this summer.
“The MAC [Midwest Area Cooperative] vice president Carol Matson, F10696, was there, and had a certificate and check for us, and then we had cake and ice cream,” Bob said. “There was a lot of reminiscing; lots of pictures from years gone by. Some people got up and told how they got acquainted with the chapter.”
Currently 26 member families belong to the Midwest Trailroaders. Bob said most are retired, with two or three couples still working.
Attrition has affected the chapter as some members have had to give up motorhoming. But Bob said, “We have a fair number of new members right now. By new I mean they joined in the last three or four years. The oldest member in terms of belonging [joined in] about 1989.”
Bob said that the best recruitment tool is member-to-member contact. But he noted that the chapter also uses a listing of new FMCA members that FMCA’s Chapter Services Department provides each month. The chapter contacts fellow Iowans who have recently joined FMCA. Bob said two or three new families have joined the chapter that way.
“If people like a friendly group, a relatively quiet group, this chapter is for them,” he said. “If they want a lot of high activity, this is not the place.” He believes that the chapter members “get away to relax” with each other.
“We usually go to fairly quiet campgrounds, too,” he said. “It’s family type stuff.”
Annual chapter dues are $10. A chapter newsletter is published seven months each year. For more information, contact FMCA’s Chapter Services Department, (800) 543-3622.