FMCA’s 105th International Convention & RV Expo Presented By Blue Ox, set in America’s heartland, promises to “bee” a sweet event for RVers who swarm the Lancaster Event Center this August.
By Doug Uhlenbrock, Director Of Events
Have you heard the buzz? FMCA’s “Golden Getaway” Convention Presented By Blue Ox — scheduled for August 24 through 27, 2022, at the Lancaster Event Center in Lincoln, Nebraska — is shaping up to be an exceptional gathering filled with activities and fun for all. And for those who enjoy visiting new locations, this summer show will take you to a place FMCA has never been.
You Should Be Thinkin’ Lincoln
The city of Lincoln combines the best of small-town middle America with big-city attractions and fun. It’s the state capital and home to the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. It’s agriculture and industry working side by side. Old has become new again in the Historic Haymarket District, the jewel of Lincoln’s rebirth as a special place to work and play. You’ll find quiet spots to relax and enjoy the outdoors, with world-class museums right around the corner. Lincoln is a great place to live and a fabulous destination for RVers, like you, to visit. Check out an article about the town in the June 2022 issue of Family RVing (“Lincoln: The Heartland’s ‘Star City,’” page 36).
Our home for the “Golden Getaway” convention will be the Lancaster Event Center (LEC). This fantastic facility on the northeast side of town is easily accessible for attendees traveling east and west on Interstate 80 and for those coming from the south via Nebraska Highway 2 and 84th Street. For most attendees, parking will be in established campground areas that include electric and water hookups. The activity areas will span several buildings with exhibits, seminar rooms, and gathering spaces within easy walking distance of one another.
Busy As Bees
There will be no shortage of activities to keep you occupied during your stay in Lincoln. Beginning on Monday, August 22, first-time attendees and others are invited to visit Sheldon’s Social Hall in the Info Central building to play all sorts of games, visit with other first-timers, and have their convention questions answered by members of FMCA’s Mentors Program. That night, enjoy more social activities to get your convention experience off on the right foot.
On Tuesday, while members of FMCA’s leadership are prepping for Wednesday’s Governing Board meeting, FMCA’s Mentors will escort attendees on guided tours — we call them Walkabouts — to point out where activities and seminars will take place around the grounds. That afternoon, senior vice president Gary Milner will dish out good advice during the First-Timer’s Orientation, followed immediately by the Chapter Fair, where FMCA members can connect with chapters that might appeal to them. Becoming a chapter member is the best way to meet new friends and fully engage in FMCA.
That evening, Blue Ox and FMCA invite attendees to visit the Historic Haymarket District for “Welcome To Lincoln Night.” With dozens of shops in the eight-block area, you’ll have plenty to see and do, and you certainly won’t go hungry with a huge variety of food options in the vicinity. While in town, make sure to stop by the Blue Ox Bash at the Lincoln Station Great Hall for entertainment and refreshments throughout the evening. Visit the party before setting out to see the area, or pop in after you’ve had your fill and then dance the night away to the sounds of High Heel, a dynamic rock and pop band from Omaha.
Get Smart. RV Smart.
Education is a huge part of FMCA’s mission, and the FMCA Academy presents a pair of preconvention learning opportunities for members who want to elevate their RVing experience. RV Basics is a 2½-day program designed primarily for those new to RVing to help them understand the major systems in their home on wheels. The RV Driving School program consists of classroom and hands-on driving and backing classes to give new or inexperienced drivers the knowledge and experience to get behind the wheel with confidence. For more information about these programs, check out the “Back To School” article on page 45 of Family RVing’s June 2022 issue. If you are interested in participating in either or both of these programs, contact the Events Department to register (800-543-3622; [email protected]).
The “Golden Getaway” event officially kicks off on Wednesday, August 24, with seminars beginning at 9:00 a.m. Nowhere will you find in-person RV-centric educational opportunities like those offered at an FMCA convention. And the list of seminars at the event in Lincoln will live up to those lofty expectations. From engine-related discussions to weight and tire pressure training, attendees curious about the technical aspects of RVing will find plenty of expert-led classes from which to choose. Would you rather hear about delightful destinations, luminous LEDs, coach cooking, or awesome apps? The learning lineup also will be loaded with topics for RVers who are interested in improving their on-the-move lifestyle. Crafts classes provide attendees a creative outlet, while sessions with a local flair offer interesting insights about the area. For a list of seminars scheduled during the convention, check out the Event Information links at FMCA.com.
Later on Wednesday, starting at 1:00 p.m., the exhibit hall doors will swing open, and RV tires will become available for kicking in the outdoor display area, as the Expo portion of the convention commences. Attendees can find those hard-to-get items for their homes on wheels, speak with commercial reps about products and services, and discover what’s new and exciting in the RV universe. As always, association reps and partners will be available in the FMCA Connections Area to talk about their offerings, benefits, and discounts available to members.
RVers who swarm the LEC in late August will be looking to mix in good times with their learning and shopping opportunities. They won’t be disappointed with the entertainment and activities planned for the “Golden Getaway” gathering.
Starting Tuesday and continuing throughout the event, a full schedule will keep attendees grinning. Featured entertainment for this event will include the Out Loud band, a local rock and pop cover group; country favorite Rusty Rierson and his band; and The Whitesidewalls, reprising songs from the 1950s and ’60s that we all know and love.
During the daytime and evening hours, musical performances from Kenny Ray Horton, Dane Bailey, Acoustic Crossroads, and FMCA’s own Frustrated Maestros on the Cummins Town Center Stage will have the place hopping with a variety of terrific entertainment.
FMCA’s Fun & Games by Demco lineup will include Card Bingo, Beanbag Toss, Trivia Challenge, Whisker Games, and Try To Stay Dry Water Balloon Toss to bring folks together in friendly competition. The popular Ladies’ Luncheon will be back, along with the Supersized Book Club, Roadmaster Coffee Hour, and Miller Insurance Ice Cream Social. The featured film on Movie Night will be The Sting, the Academy Award-winning blockbuster starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford.
As mentioned earlier, Lincoln is home to several incredible museums, and we’ve partnered with the International Quilt Museum and the Speedway Motors Museum of American Speed to organize exciting tours to these world-renowned facilities. Both museums have incredible collections that will have you oohing and aahing as you view the one-of-a-kind artifacts and displays.
Finally, attendees who aren’t ready to call it a night yet can close out each day in song during Karaoke With A Keck. Our late-night host Lamar Keck will have his singalong machine revved up and running hot starting at 9:00 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday in the Lincoln Receptions Area.
Don’t Miss It!
With all that’s planned for the “Golden Getaway” convention, and the exciting and interesting attractions Lincoln has for visitors, this is one convention you won’t want to miss. To register, give us a call at (800) 543-3622 or go online at FMCA.com to get your ticket for what promises to be a fabulous show.
The Future Of FMCA
FMCA’s Youth Committee is back!
By Charlsanne Miskell, F482650
During FMCA’s 2021 Gillette, Wyoming, convention, national president Rett Porter gathered with several FMCA members to talk about resurrecting the Youth Program. Knowing that family presence is vital to the future of FMCA, Rett has said that he believes RVers with children should be encouraged to attend FMCA events.
As an RVing mother of two daughters, I share Rett’s belief. After our informal meeting, he asked if I would serve as chairperson of the new FMCA Youth Committee, which also includes Southeast Area vice president Patricia Voyna; FMCA chaplain Jim Hollis; Lori Prange; and Carol Preimesberger. With my husband, Chris, and daughters, Maddy (15) and Maci (12), we have traveled to many FMCA events over the years, so it was natural that I became involved when asked.
The primary mission of the FMCA Youth Committee is to include all generations. For this reason, it’s considered a Family and Youth Committee, as family involvement is key to the program’s success.
This past March, we had our first program during the “Sunsets + Saguaros” convention in Tucson. Activities began with a hot-dog party that brought the kids and their parents, grandparents, guardians, etc. together to meet before the first full day of the convention.
During the next four days, kids — and their guardians — enjoyed crafts led by Katie Taddeo, a weeklong scavenger hunt, a beanbag toss, a water balloon toss, and card bingo. Participants had a fantastic week, and the families were happy that the activities were geared toward all generations, not just the kids.
The Youth Committee will continue to evolve. The program is not a drop-off babysitting service. Instead, it’s a way to involve the entire family. We plan to offer activities at the upcoming Eastern Area Rally in July in Lewisburg, West Virginia, as well as at FMCA’s 105th International Convention & RV Expo in Lincoln, Nebraska, in August. We look forward to seeing you and your children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, etc., at a future event.
If you are interested in more information about the FMCA Youth Program, as either a participant or volunteer helper, contact me at [email protected].