By Karen Joseph, F357345
Members of FMCA’s Northern Lights chapter enjoyed a great rally September 4-7, 2014, at Frankfort Crystal Lake RV Resort in Michigan. The campground owner and crew did a fantastic job of welcoming us to the new resort on Lake Michigan. We also were very happy to welcome seven new members. We hope they enjoy our club as much as we do.
Our rally masters, Ed and Anne Bearse and Sam and Karen Joseph, greeted 31 coaches Thursday afternoon in the midst of a downpour. The weather let up just in time for happy hour. Our first dinner of pulled pork sandwiches, corn on the cob, and baked beans was topped off with Barb Vanderberg’s homemade cakes for members with September birthdays.
After breakfast on Friday, we proceeded to the Benzie Area Historical Museum and learned much about the area’s interesting history. Lunch back at the park was provided free by Koegel’s famous hot dogs and chili.
In the afternoon, we were off to downtown Frankfort to enjoy the 1953 movie The Long, Long Trailer with Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz in living color at the restored art-deco Garden Theater. Great show and lots of belly laughs!
Happy hour was followed by our potluck dinner and card bingo into the evening.
Saturday morning started with a tasty breakfast spread, then continued with our annual business meeting, election of officers, and our annual charity fund donation, which we make at the last rally of every season. Our charity committee chooses an organization in the community where the rally is held. This year we raised $850 in cash and $50 in food for Benzie Area Christian Neighbors.
The afternoon and evening were spent on our own. Many attended the Taste of Benzie, sampling local food and wine and listening to music in the Mineral Springs Park in downtown Frankfort. Others shopped in quaint shops, explored the area, and finished off the day with ice cream cones.
Sunday morning arrived all too soon, and we scampered off in all directions. Such is the benefit of the nomadic lifestyle provided by our rolling condos.
The Northern Lights chapter traces its roots to the summer of 1991 when Don McMillan and Bob Korb were having coffee in a Traverse City, Michigan, restaurant. Bob looked out the window and saw Don’s parked Jeep with a tow bar. Their conversation quickly changed to discuss the fact that both were members of FMCA and that neither knew of an FMCA chapter in the northern part of Michigan. They discussed the idea of starting a chapter with a few friends and then contacted Charlie Atkinson, who was FMCA national vice president, Great Lakes Area, at the time. The chapter was chartered on May 9, 1992.
The largest rally we are involved with is the Great Lakes Area Rally, held once each year, which attracts about 500 coaches. Our chapter helps out by monitoring seminars — making sure seminar rooms are clean and that the proper items are available for those presenting and attending. The monitors complete an evaluation of the speakers and the content of seminars.
Northern Lights members gather regularly to enjoy each other’s company, explore new places, and discuss life on the road in campgrounds and parks all over Michigan and North America.