I don’t know about you, but I love the fall season. The crisp, cool nights are great for sleeping. The sound of leaves crunching beneath my feet as I walk down wooded paths, the smell of an evening campfire, and the taste of mulled apple cider liven my senses. Yes, it’s one of the four best seasons!
Every season boasts a unique quality. With spring, the smell of freshly mowed grass, the beauty of blooming dogwoods and redbuds, and the sounds of parents and children cheering on soccer teams bring about a sense of newness and playfulness. I love hearing the sounds of the cicadas and crickets on a summer night. Food seems to taste better as we place it on the grill and then enjoy it in the company of family and friends under the RV awning. And winter? For those of us unable to escape to warmer climes, winter is a time to dream; a time to regroup and refocus. Although the trees lose their leaves and a blanket of snow sometimes covers the ground, deep down a bit of life is preparing to burst into the beauty and wonder of the next season.
So, what is on my agenda for the month of October? I’m going to start out by joining FMCA members at the Great Eastern Area Rally (GEAR), October 9-13, at the York Expo Center in York, Pennsylvania. Dubbed “Harvest Time In The Keystone State,” the rally is sure to entertain and educate attendees with coach displays, evening entertainment, a motorhome rodeo, games, and a whole bunch of other fun.
The following weekend takes my wife and me to Gatlinburg, Tennessee, and Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This should be the peak weekend in the Smokies for seeing the fall foliage. And it will be a time for us to gather with some longtime friends for a weekend of hiking, playing cards, and just having a great fall experience. During the last weekend in October, we hope to travel to a local state park to enjoy one more fall outing before winterizing the motorhome.
Attending GEAR and traveling south to the Smoky Mountains will take my wife and me away from two great fall events we like to attend — Homecoming at Ohio University in Athens, October 11-13, and the Circleville (Ohio) Pumpkin Show, the oldest festival in the state, October 16-19. Another fun event in this area is the Ohio Sauerkraut Festival, October 12-13, in Waynesville, as well as the Ohio Renaissance Festival, in Harveysburg, which takes place on Saturdays and Sundays through October 20.
When you are traveling to your favorite spot this fall, whether it be tailgating at a college or professional football game; attending a fall festival; or just enjoying the sights, sounds, and smells of the season at a state park or campground, make some new and lasting friends and memories. And, if your new friends have a motorhome, talk with them about Family Motor Coach Association. In celebration of FMCA’s 50th anniversary, new members can “try out” a membership with the BOGO50 (buy one year, get one year) promotion. In order to receive this special offer, your friends need to use the code BOGO50 when signing up. New members pay for the first year ($40 annual dues, plus $10 initiation fee for membership plates), and they get the second year free. What a wonderful way to help your motorhome friends enjoy this lifestyle in a greater way.
So, it is time to jump in your motorhome, meet some new friends, enjoy the season, and, more importantly, have fun!
The FMCA national office would like to welcome Chris Smith, director of administrative services/controller, and Brian Short, area rally coordinator, to the FMCA family. Chris and Brian both are graduates of University of Cincinnati. Chris’ most recent work experience was as assistant controller at ProFill Holdings LLC, a company engaged in the supply of imprinted sportswear and related products/services to the licensed apparel, corporate promotional products, and uniform industries. Brian’s most recent work experience was as event coordinator for Conference & Event Services at University of Cincinnati.
FMCA also recently welcomed Andrew James (A.J.) Ludwig, the son of Alexis and Mike Ludwig. Alexis is production coordinator for Family Motor Coaching magazine. A.J. arrived on the scene in August, weighing 8 pounds 10 ounces, and measuring 22 inches long. Mother, father, big sister Eva, and son are all doing well.
Computer Conversion And Holiday Office Closing
The long-anticipated transition to a new membership management and customer relations software system for FMCA is about to reach the final stages, and the current timeline is such that it should be operational at the beginning of December. With the support of FMCA’s Executive Board and the guidance of John Ferrari, F369332, husband of national secretary Vicky Ferrari, steady progress has been made during the past six months in terms of evaluating data and converting more than 1 million member files, among other records.
Although the schedule could change as the project progresses, the current plan is to take FMCA’s existing computer system offline during the week of November 25 as we prepare to “go live” with the new system. Members who contact the national office during the week that this takes place or who try to use certain services on the FMCA Web site will experience some disruption in service. We will do our best to work around these issues, and we hope to be up and running again on Monday, December 2. Your patience as we transition to this new system will be greatly appreciated.
Also, please note that the FMCA national office will be closed for the Thanksgiving holiday, Thursday and Friday, November 28 and 29, reopening on Monday, December 2.
Dues Renewals Arrive With Magazine
Just a reminder that FMCA dues renewal statements and membership cards now are being sent to members along with their copy of Family Motor Coaching magazine. The dues renewal notice will be inside the plastic wrapper that encases the magazine, much like traditional magazine publishers do for your subscription renewal notification. New member cards are being sent this way as well now. This process is intended to improve efficiency and also to save FMCA money, especially for postage expenses. The exception would be those of you who have opted to read the digital edition of the magazine rather than receive a print copy. In that case, renewal notices will be delivered to you solo via postal mail.