By Don Moore, F154921
Family Motor Coaching magazine is an important benefit for members and friends of the Family Motor Coach Association. The magazine’s first issue was printed in 1964, less than a year after the founding of FMCA in 1963. Ever since then it’s been a great avenue for motorhome owners to stay in touch and stay informed about the RV lifestyle.
The issue you’re holding in your hands looks different from previous ones; in fact, it’s the magazine’s first redesign in 11 years. The magazine staff has worked diligently over the past few months to accomplish this, and they are pleased and excited to finally be able to unveil this new look and share it with you, the readers. The Executive Board was given a preview of this new design during our meeting in Perry, Georgia, this past March at FMCA’s 77th International Convention. Members of the Magazine Panel (a group that provides ongoing feedback to the magazine staff) were given a look-see as well during their gathering at the convention. I personally believe it’s a good update, and I hope you’ll agree. For additional information about the new design, check out this month’s “Executive Director’s Commentary” starting on page 12.
Speaking of the 77th International Convention, that event, held March 19 through 22 at the Georgia National Fairgrounds & Agricenter in Perry, was one grand time. We enjoyed some of the best entertainment, exhibits, and activities. This was our fifth convention in Perry, and the first one there without rain. The great weather really helped make this a fantastic convention.
The staff at the fairgrounds, as well as local and state officials, had made a convincing argument for FMCA to return to this magnificent facility for a fifth time. Continued improvements to the drainage system in the parking areas, installation of roadways in the lots, construction of new facilities, and ongoing plans to make improvements to the existing buildings and structures make these fairgrounds attractive.
The recent improvements were beneficial. The new roads worked well for the parking crew while helping the family members to get situated. We also tried a new parking system for the caravans that went well. The tram routes followed the newly created roads, and the transfer station was centrally located near the clock tower. This worked well. Distribution of the welcome bags went smoothly, as members picked them up at designated locations.
We had lots of hardworking volunteers who helped make everything run smoothly. Without them, an FMCA convention could not take place. Everyone who attends a convention must realize how important volunteers are to FMCA. It takes around 800 volunteers to put on each convention. Hats off to all the many volunteers who helped in Perry!
Attendees enjoyed three nights of entertainment, especially Thursday night’s performance by The Oak Ridge Boys. Everyone was standing and line dancing when they sang their blockbuster hit “Elvira.” This performance by The Oak Ridge Boys was an encore of sorts in that the group also performed for us in Perry in 2005. It was great to have them back again, and the audience seemed to agree and to really enjoy the evening.
We held two open forums for members to share their thoughts about FMCA’s future direction “” ideas for the Long-Range and Development Committee to study. Ideas shared touched on membership recruitment and retention, chapter membership promotion and chapter governance, and FMCA conventions and rallies, among other topics. At our next convention, this August in Redmond, Oregon, two more open forums will be held. We invite you to take part in one or both of these sessions if you’ll be attending the convention this summer. If you won’t be able to join us in Redmond but would still like to share suggestions with the Long-Range and Development Committee, please feel free to send them in writing to the FMCA National Office, Attention “Long Range Suggestions,” 8291 Clough Pike, Cincinnati, OH 45244, or via e-mail email@example.com. If sending an e-mail, please be sure to include the words “Long Range Suggestions” in the subject line.
Overall, seminars and activities during the Perry convention were well attended, and everyone seemed to have a wonderful time. Pictorial and written coverage of the “Georgia Jubilee” convention appears in this issue of the magazine beginning on page 78.
Speaking of Redmond, be sure to mark your calendar, get out your maps and atlases, and plan your route to the beautiful state of Oregon. This is your chance to get away to a picturesque part of the United States for FMCA’s 78th International Convention. The dates are August 13 through 16, 2007, and the location is Redmond’s Deschutes County Fair & Expo Center. I hope you are making plans to attend. A registration form appears elsewhere in this magazine, or you can register online at FMCA.com.
Upcoming issues of Family Motor Coaching will have more information about Redmond seminars, activities, entertainment, and places you can see while you’re traveling to or from the area. And I’ll see you there this August.