By Peggy Jordan, Associate Editor
This Country Coach owners chapter caters to “snowbirds” of the southeastern United States.
FMCA has plenty of chapters made up of people who all own the same brand of motorhome. Often, the motorhome manufacturer sets up the FMCA chapter for customers, which is the case with Country Coach Inc.’s Country Coach International chapter. Smaller owners groups for Country Coach folks focus on certain geographical areas: Florida Coast Alongs, Country Coach Texans, Southwest Country Coachers, Delta Sierra Country Coachers, Country Coach Nor’easters, and Country Coach Heartlanders are among them.
The Country Cousins chapter also has a geographical bent, but it’s a bit different. Chapter president Gene Clendenin makes his home in Virginia, but the group roster also includes folks with addresses ranging from Alabama to Maryland, and Tennessee to Iowa. It’s pretty difficult to figure out what members have in common simply by looking at their hometowns.
“The common thread is you have to have an address in the southeastern United States,” Gene explained. “The bulk of those people from various areas all have an RV lot or a home in Florida. There are obviously some exceptions to that; our treasurer lives in Maryland and doesn’t have a place down there. On the other hand, there is one park in Polk City, Florida, that, up until last year, there were probably around 15 or 16 of us in the same place.”
Most Country Cousins follow the basic snowbird pattern: drive your motorhome to the warm Southeast each fall; return home each spring.
So, the chapter’s rally schedule follows the flight pattern. These FMCA members gather only in the spring and fall, because, as Gene said, “Once they go down there (to Florida in winter), they don’t want to leave.” The chapter once even held a rally at that Florida park where so many of them lived.
Other rally locations have included Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; Savannah, Georgia; Richmond, Virginia; and Ocala, Florida. And this month’s gathering will be in Williamsburg, Virginia, October 9 through 13.
As is typical at Country Cousins rallies, members get together for catered meals. Plans usually include a group outing “” this time, to a dinner theater. On top of that, Gene said it’s a chapter tradition for the men to make breakfast one of the mornings at most rallies. Additional activities include a business meeting, and, of course, games.
Currently 55 member families belong to the chapter. Dues are $50 for the first year, which includes a $25 initiation fee; they are reduced to $25 per year thereafter. A chapter newsletter is included. If you own a Country Coach and are a Southeast snowbird, too, contact Gene Clendenin, 1722 Fox Run Court, Vienna, VA 22182; (703) 938-5389; e-mail: email@example.com. For general information about FMCA chapters, contact the Chapter Services Department at the national office: (800) 543-3622; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you would like your chapter to be featured in “Chapter Spotlight,” contact FMC associate editor Peggy Jordan at email@example.com or (800) 543-3622, ext. 212.