By Lael Taft, F202844
The Anasazi chapter, founded in 1997, is made up of FMCA members from the Phoenix, Arizona, metro area and surrounding cities. Named after the Anasazi people who once inhabited Arizona, the chapter currently boasts 30 member families (coaches), the maximum allowed by the chapter.
This chapter prides itself in having active members. Its founders wanted the group to be small and intimate, with members who would participate in rallies and events. Every member has attended at least three rallies each year and has co-hosted at least one rally during the past year “” a chapter membership requirement. It is not uncommon for us to have 20 to 25 of the 30 member coaches at a monthly rally.
We gather for rallies each month from September through May. “This permits us to have nine rallies a year and still give those members who so desire the opportunity to get away to cooler climates during the heat of the Arizona summer,” said Jim Morton, F250143, chapter newsletter editor. Called the “Kokopelli Kronicle,” the chapter’s newsletter is published during the nine-month rally season. Kokopelli, the whimsical flute-playing figure commonly found in petroglyphs and pottery throughout the Southwest, is part of the chapter’s logo.
At a rally last November, 28 of the 30 active member coaches were in attendance. Having a large number of members attend each rally keeps the chapter active and makes for greater fellowship.
Most monthly rallies are held at one location, and we mix sites between those with hookups and some with dry camping only. However, at least one rally a year is a “rolling rally” that involves participants moving between three or four destinations during the course of the event. The rolling rally usually takes place in February, but nothing is “cast in stone.”
The most recent rally season saw chapter members at campgrounds mostly located within 100 miles or so of Phoenix, such as Payson, Tonopah, Black Canyon City, and Tucson. This coming fall the rally season will begin again, and sites such as the Mogollan Rim region (of central Arizona), Cave Creek Regional Park (north of Phoenix), and Canyon de Chelly National Monument (near Chinle) have been selected.
In 2006 the chapter will once again attend the Rocky Mountain Ramble, which will be held in Casa Grande, Arizona, October 11 to 14. Twenty chapter member families volunteered as a group at the Rocky Mountain Area Rally held in Farmington, New Mexico, in 2004, and we have volunteered at other Rocky Mountain Area rallies when possible.
Monthly weekend rallies usually start on Friday afternoon, but some members arrive on Thursday to get things started. Saturday has become the official “Anasazi Day,” at which time members wear their red outfits “” shirts, jackets, hats, etc. “” all with the chapter Kokopelli logo. The brightly colored ensembles make chapter members easy to spot at area rallies.
At one of the more recent rallies, in April 2006, the group toured the new Arizona Cardinals football stadium, scheduled to open in the fall of 2006. It’s considered one of the top 10 sporting venues in the United States. Other times, rallies have holiday themes (Halloween, Thanksgiving, etc.) and include a variety of activities planned by the hosts.
Because the chapter has a limited number of potential member families, it does have a waiting list, usually with one to four or five applicants. The waiting time can be from a few months to a year, depending on attrition within the chapter due to age or other factors. Rarely do members just drop out.
In other words, the people in this chapter like to get out, be active, and join in the fun!
Chapter dues are $10 per year per coach, with an additional $10 application fee for name badges, etc. For more information about the Anasazi chapter, contact FMCA’s Chapter Services Department at (800) 543-3622.