Members of this Northwest Area chapter volunteer at FMCA conventions and rallies, and explore different parts of their region when they get together.
By Peggy Jordan, Associate Editor
FMC magazine, August 2007
The Snake River is a very long body of water that flows west from Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming to join the Columbia River on its quest to the Pacific Ocean. Along the way it cuts through a good portion of southern Idaho, and winds northward to form part of the boundary between Idaho and Oregon.
The Idaho portion is most familiar to members of the Snake River Valley chapter of FMCA. According to chapter president Frank Marvin, most of the people in this group live in Idaho or eastern Oregon.
This is a beautiful part of the United States, and chapter members frequently get out to explore it during their rallies. They’re also a service-oriented group, volunteering regularly at the Northwest Area Rally and at FMCA international conventions that are within the proximity. You may meet a few Snake River Valley members at the “Rediscovering Redmond” convention this month, as they will join folks from other chapters to work on the trams. They have served as greeters at past Minot, North Dakota, and Redmond conventions.
But it’s not all work and no play for the chapter. “We have four rallies a year, because we have the national and area rallies also,” Frank explained. They plan their own gatherings for May, June, July, and September.
Rallies are in various locations. The July rally last month was scheduled in Cascade, Idaho, north of Boise. “We used to have our final rally in September in Jackpot, Nevada, but that changed last year,” Frank said. “This year we’ll be meeting at a vineyard about 80 miles south of Boise.”
The rallies usually start with a late-afternoon “attitude adjustment,” and include dinners and potlucks. “We have had some original thinkers in their food preparation and presentation . . . mystery dinners, and ‘breakfast on a stick,'” Frank recalled. Rallies also have included speakers and demonstrations, and chapter members play games and swap books. “I set up a traveling trade library, which I’m responsible for,” he added.
One of Frank’s favorite rallies took place last year as the group stayed in Challis, Idaho. From there chapter members took a jaunt to Custer, an old gold-mining ghost town, for an event called Custer Day. “They performed several melodramas in the street,” he recalled, which included staged shootouts between lawmen and robbers. He jokingly added that the event’s chili cookoff was “more dangerous than the shootouts.”
The Snake River Valley chapter was chartered in 1975 and has 40 member families. You don’t have to live in the area to join, but it helps, since rallies take place mostly in the region. Dues are $15 per year. For more information, contact Frank or Alma Marvin, 772 N. Edgewood Lane, Eagle, ID 83616; (208) 939-6400; e-mail: [email protected]. For general information about FMCA chapters, contact the Chapter Services Department at the national office: (800) 543-3622, e-mail: [email protected].