By Charlie Schrenkel, L140050
Sitting here in Essex Junction, Vermont, writing this column and watching FMCA members enjoying another great Northeast Area Rally brings to mind what we are all about. We are about each other. We travel, and meet at a moment’s notice. Once at our destinations, we renew old friendships and make new ones. We exchange many months of happenings and memories in a few days, and then we depart and travel our own road through this exciting life. Deep? Probably is, but think about who we are.
We are an association of like-minded folks who love this type of lifestyle. We cling to it and get upset when someone suggests we change FMCA’s logo, or take away a pin that means pride, pride in how many conventions we have attended. We wear these pins to display that pride. We are also proud of the fact that we have made it far enough in our lives to be able to enjoy this lifestyle. We are proud of our association, evidenced recently by the fact that at the July Governing Board meeting in Bowling Green, Ohio, we had an 84 percent quorum, with 487 of the 502 chapters in the United States and Canada represented, plus the 14 Executive Board members.
We are faced with the rebuilding of our membership rolls for the success of our association in the years to come. No one is going to help us but ourselves. We consistently bring in an average of 700 new members each month; the majority of these members are brought in by other family members. However, we are still losing about 600 members above those recruited. Quite a few of the members who are leaving our association are doing so because of age, illness, or a change in their lifestyle that dictates that they do so.
The strength of any association or organization is, of course, the membership. Strong numbers and strong participation in any organization ensure a healthy, progressive, and strong association. I know we can meet this challenge, as we have, as an association, in the past. This is not the first time Family Motor Coach Association has experienced a loss of members as a result of various outside influences.
It is time to talk with any motorhomer you meet, one-on-one, and tell them about your great association, about the knowledge gained by sitting with other like-minded members at a rally or convention and learning more about your own motorhome and the lifestyle we have chosen for our enjoyment.
It is estimated that there are more than a million motorhome owners in the United States and Canada who do not belong to Family Motor Coach Association. Our founding members started and developed Family Motor Coach Association without computers, personal digital assistants (PDAs), or cell phones. They built it through one-on-one communication “” by talking with one another.
I’m asking you, each and every member of Family Motor Coach Association, whether you belong to a chapter or not, whether you live in the United States or in the beautiful country of Canada or even beyond, to engage in conversation any motorhome owner you meet in your travels who does not belong to FMCA. Tell them about our great association; give them a copy of Family Motor Coaching magazine that has an application in it; invite them to sit with you or join your group and enjoy your company and that of your friends so they may learn about Family Motor Coach Association. Each chapter president has been given five free memberships for just such an occasion. If your chapter president has not received these complimentary memberships, please have him or her contact FMCA’s Chapter Services Department at (513) 474-3622 or (800) 543-3622.
Just think; if each member recruited one new member in the next year, the result would be astounding. Of course, I, for one, would be overwhelmed! But the possibilities are there. The future of our association is in our hands. What you and I do NOW will reflect directly on our association for years to come.
Until next time, stay healthy and be safe.