Jump to content


Icon Welcome to the FMCA Motorhome Forums!

Register now to gain access to all of our features. Once registered and signed in, you will be able to create topics; post replies to existing topics; upload pictures; manage your profile; get your own private messenger; create blogs; and more. Sign up now! Already have an account? Sign in. This message will be removed once you are signed in.


Photo

Open Letter to FMCA


  • Please log in to reply
54 replies to this topic

#1 pattie1tom

pattie1tom

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 17 posts
  • Location:Florida
  • I travel:With children, With Pets

Posted 31 March 2011 - 12:21 PM

Hello.

My wife and I recently joined FMCA after a lengthy discussion with the FMCA booth at the FL RV Show in Tampa, FL. We were told the FMCA is about family and friends and all the stuff that goes with RVing. We were told the the group does support families with children and has activities relating to this fact. However, after reviewing the website, reviewing chapters here in Florida as well as reading the magazine, I feel that I purchased into a membership that is more focused on the retired or close to retirement age people.

After two years of owning a Class B-Plus and putting over 25,000 miles on it in those two years, my wife and I as well as our two young daughters have recently purchased our second motorhome, yes our second one. We purchased a 2011 Hurricane 31G with bunk beds and we love it.

We live in Florida and as many know, Florida is a winter snow bird destination. This is great for the economy but presents issues to locals who find campgrounds full all winter long. We simply can not just hop in the RV on Friday and head off to go camping somewhere in the winter as we can do in the summer.

I have looked through the chapters here in Florida and found that all are focused toward the snow birds. Activities and gatherings are planned from November to April and not during the summer. Most activities start on Thursdays and go to Sundays, which is fine unless you have to work. So how does FMCA work when summertime comes and is really the only time Floridians can get reservations and openings at state parks or campgrounds and the kids are out of school?

I contacted a local chapter and asked about it. I was not happy when I received the reply. Though the reply was very polite and understanding, it just made me more aware of the group that I belong to. My email to the chapter, and the chapter's reply, are below:

"Greetings.

My family and I recently joined FMCA with the impression that this was a family-orientated group. My family consists of myself, wife and two young children. After joining, I looked at the website and chapters and it appears to us that this group is focused more on the older generation and not the younger generation. I recently bought our second motorhome and am looking forward to enjoying it. We purchased a 2011 Hurricane 31G (bunk beds)! It is hard to enjoy the motorhome in Florida in the winter as we feel that the older generation does not like the younger generation with kids to be around. In buying a motorhome, it is a family experience, despite the age group. So when I looked into the Florida chapters, I could not find one that is family friendly.

So this is where we stand on this organization. If we are wrong, please let us know.

Cheers,

Tom Forcier"

The chapter's reply:

"Dear Tom,

As far as our group, my husband & I are the youngest in the group. We joined before we were 55 and the places they were going had an age restriction of 55. Guess we were grandfathered in. We're 58 now and our group ranges to above 80 yrs old.

I tend to agree about camping in Florida in the winter. The snowbirds are here. You have to make your reservations very early for the state parks and county parks.

I'm going to send your response on to the Southeast area President as I feel it is very appropriate. This organization needs to make way for the younger generation if it wants to survive.

Again, thank you for your honest response, and happy motoring!"


So I ask you, FMCA, is this group really focused on family in the traditional term of parents and children and doing activities with a family, or on the idea of family being a group of people who as a whole act and participate as a family-style unit? Interesting to note that the chapter's response to us indicates that most events are held at age-restricted areas! Does not sound like family to me.

Rv'ing is not about your age, it is about spending quality time with your family and getting kids out of the house and away from the TV and games and computers.

I am just really disappointed that I spent money joining an organization that I now feel is not really "family" in the traditional term of family, meaning parents and children.

So if I am wrong, I would love to know that. But if I am right, the group really needs to think about this.

Sincerely,

Tom Forcier
pattie1tom@aol.com
  • 0

#2 aztec7fan

aztec7fan

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 122 posts
  • Location:Westminster, CO
  • I travel:With children, With Pets

Posted 31 March 2011 - 01:39 PM

Tom, welcome to FMCA and I do hope you decide to stay with us. I too have kids (two boys ages 14 and 10) and I enjoy my membership with FMCA, but also realize it's limitations. I do understand that the majority of FMCA members are at or above retirment age and are not traveling with children, except for the occasional trip with the grandkids. I still find FMCA benificial in several ways:

1) The FMC magazine is the best resource for motorhome owners around for information on maintenance, repairs, and just enjoying your coach to the fullest.
2) This website also provides a lot of valuable information for the motorhome owner. I've asked many questions here and gotten very useful information back very quickly.
3) The local rallies can be enjoyable for members of all ages (at least in my area). Sure, some of the activities may be geared to the older members, but pick and choose what you and your family would be interested in. I remember a local rally a few years ago put on by the Rocky Mountain Chapter where they had a demonstration of trained police dogs that my 6-year-old really enjoyed.
4) I know you might be hard-pressed to find time to visit a national convention, but try to. Your kids will really enjoy the activities put on with the various age-related groups (PRE-TEENS, TWEENS, TATS, TOTS), and you will learn something from the presentations.

I hope this information helps your decision to stay with FMCA (or not). I know you have a separate issue in your area where the general population and the FMCA population is mostly retired, and you are having a hard time finding camping locations. It sounds difficult, but you may have to just make plans farther ahead during the busy months.

If you ever get the time to come to Colorado, please look me up and I would be happy to point you in the direction of kid-friendly activities.
  • 1

Chris Guenther
F3508-S
Westminster, CO
1989 33' Southwind (Gas 454 Chevy)

 

"Life is just a collection of memories

and memories are like starlight, they go on forever"

-C.W. McCall


#3 pattie1tom

pattie1tom

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 17 posts
  • Location:Florida
  • I travel:With children, With Pets

Posted 31 March 2011 - 02:30 PM

Chris:

I appreciate your reply. And understand that there may be a wealth of info on the website and the magazine. However, this info can be readily found online as well. Colorado is not the same state as Florida. I love Colorado, mountains, clean air, not highly populated. But Florida is different. I live in south Florida and Georgia is a 6 hour drive. Most campgrounds in southwest Florida are booked solid through April and they tend to start filling up on reservations back in Oct. - Nov. So I do not know about you, but, it is hard making plans for camping even a month out let alone several months out. RV'ing is about getting up and going. Most campgrounds here are filled with snow birds who drive down here and park in one spot the whole winter. That may be great and all, but I tend to like to see other places. So even planning a week out is hard to do at times especially when you are a contractor to the government and your job revolves around spontaneous travel. Also, campgrounds here in Florida tend to "stick it" to you in the winter..rates can be as high as $60-$70 per night in the winter where the same campground drops to $20-$30 in the summer. And if you can get into a campground, you always here comments about "the kids shouldn't do that," "the kids are too loud," "you kids should be with your parents," etc. The same thing happens here at restaurants where the snow birds complain about kids at dinner time. They forget they were kids too. So, yes it is hard to find places to camp in the winter here in Florida when it is the best time to camp as summers are brutally hot sometimes. For $60-$70 a night, I can go to Disney World as Florida resident and stay at a hotel or in the campground. But that gets old, too.

So this is where I am. I have talked to 4 different chapters and was told the same thing as stated above. This is where the frustration lies as this was not truly communicated to me at the trade show booth.

Cheers

Tom
  • 0

#4 hermanmullins

hermanmullins

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,466 posts
  • Location:Whitewright, TEXAS

Posted 31 March 2011 - 04:52 PM

Chris

I appreciate your reply. And understand that there may be a wealth of info on the website and the magazine. However, this info can be readily found online as well. Colorado is not the same state as Florida. I love Colorado, mountains, clean air, not highly populated. But Florida is different. I live in south Florida and Georgia is a 6 hour drive. Most campgrounds in southwest Florida are booked solid through April and they tend to start filling up on reservations back in Oct. - Nov. So I do not know about you, but, it is hard making plans for camping even a month out let alone several months out. RV'ing is about getting up and going. Most campgrounds here are filled with snow birds who drive down here and park in one spot the whole winter. That may be great and all, but I tend to like to see other places. So even planning a week out is hard to do at times especially when you are a contractor to the government and your job revolves around spontaneous travel. Also, campgrounds here in Florida tend to "stick it" to you in the winter..rates can be as high as $60-$70 per night in the winter where the same campground drops to $20-$30 in the summer. And if you can get into a campground, you always here comments about "the kids shouldn't do that," "the kids are too loud," "you kids should be with your parents," etc. The same thing happens here at restaurants where the snow birds complain about kids at dinner time. They forget they were kids too. So, yes it is hard to find places to camp in the winter here in Florida when it is the best time to camp as summers are brutally hot sometimes. For $60-$70 a night, I can go to Disney World as Florida resident and stay at a hotel or in the campground. But that gets old, too.

So this is where I am. I have talked to 4 different chapters and was told the same thing as stated above. This is where the frustration lies as this was not truly communicated to me at the trade show booth.

Cheers

Tom

Tom,
Like everyone has said before, Welcome to FMCA and the FORUM :)
You and your wife are just the folks that FMCA needs. Thank you for joining and pointing out a great problem with FMCA. Back in 1963 (I believe), several families got together to camp out, look at the stars and have a time with family and friends. It was started by families for families. But sadly it has moved to older empty nesters. You will see it mentioned many times the need to recruit new members, in the magazine. We don't need new members; we need new families.

Here is a suggestion. Each month look in the magazine for Rallies in your area. Go visit. You will have a great time and your children will acquire many new grandparents. Every time someone brings children and or grandchildren, the other members go Ga Ga over them. My point of making several rallies is to see how it's done. Then look around your area of FL and try to find families just like yourselves and get together and form a chapter for people with children still at home.

You could start a new trend for FMCA and get it back to what it started for: Families.

If I may be of any help don't hesitate to message me and I will be glad to help in any way I can. Thanks, again, for joining and making us older folks remember what is really important: Family.
  • 0

"Fair winds and Following Seas"

Herman & Bobbie Mullins
Whitewright, TEXAS
F302225
'02 Monaco Dynasty
40 ft 400 HP ISL
Chevrolet Silverado (M & G air brakes)
US Navy PR-3 1956 to 1964

Southern Region Vice President for Six-State Rally Association
Lone Star Chapter FMCA Past President
South Central Lucky Rollers
Rally in The Pasture


#5 desertdeals69

desertdeals69

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,157 posts

Posted 31 March 2011 - 04:57 PM

Back in the late '70s when we joined FMCA we experienced the same situation as you are in. Our solution was to form a chapter made up of working-class people with kids. We had rallies once a month on a Friday thru Sunday within a 125-mile limit so those of us who still worked could still attend. Our chapter was made up of about half with kids. Of course we had the full support of FMCA. We had activities that included kids, and everyone had a good time. I would hold seminars on motorhome maintenance and other topics relating to the motorhome lifestyle.
  • 0

#6 dkhender

dkhender

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 1 posts

Posted 31 March 2011 - 09:19 PM

Tom -

I couldn't agree with you more - very frustrating - and responses like the one above are a big part of the problem.

We are on our 3rd RV, this time a Class A - and I'll be the first to say I joined FMCA mainly for the magazine and website access - chapters generally do not welcome families. I checked into all the ones in my local area - sent quite a few emails and only had 1 chapter even bother to respond - so that tells me the chapters aren't even interested in new blood. I even sent an email to the then National President - he quickly responded, forwarded my note to the Regions - and then I had only 1 more chapter bother to respond. I went to one gathering and was the youngest by at least 20 years - and received several dirty stares when our 6-year olds "were making too much noise". And unfortunately I found that a lot of chapters had many of their gatherings Mon-Thurs - which is definitely not family friendly.

And I would disagree that it's just generally retired folks that can afford to own a MH. I know several families that own MHs - but I'm the only FMCA member - one of them even joked it should be called the "RMCA" (Retired MCA).

With the general lack of disinterest I've experienced from the chapters thus far, we'll just keep finding places to explore on our own. Our 6-year old twins love going out in the MH, so we'll keep exploring. We let them have fun - but we do keep them in check - however when we go out for a weekend of fun, it will involve some noise - schools keep removing physical activity and recess so there is more time for academics, so the kids have to burn off energy somehow. And when mine get a bit out of control, they'll spend some time sitting on a bench until they have it under control and are ready to continue.

Personally, anymore, I see it's inconsiderate adults that are a bigger problem than out-of-control kids at many campgrounds.

I'll keep FMCA, again mainly for the magazine, and because I found that I like the website info both here and on RV.Net.

We are being transferred from Omaha to Colorado Springs next month, so we'll see what the Colorado area has to offer us.
  • 0

#7 pattie1tom

pattie1tom

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 17 posts
  • Location:Florida
  • I travel:With children, With Pets

Posted 01 April 2011 - 09:54 AM

Greetings all,

I thank you for those who have replied and have verified my thoughts about this organization. It is interesting to note that NOT a single member of the executive board has replied to this discussion or sent me a personal email yet.

I wonder if they care since the membership of this organization is pretty strong with the older population who continue to send in their dues. By continuing to send their dues, the executive board can stay happy that the majority of the group is happy. A small percentage, like me, who joined on false pretenses, can just be ignored by this board and by what the FMCA is or stands for.

It stands for FAMILY. It is the first part of the group FAMILY motor coach association. Well, out of over the 200 plus views on this topic, I thank you to the 5 of you who have had the courage to reply to me and not hide in the background.

If FMCA DOES NOT want families, then make it an age-restricted group and change the name. Otherwise, members out here, remember you were young families, too, with kids and just trying to make your way in the world and spend quality family time with your children.

It would also help to get some young blood into the executive board.

And yes, my children do love to run and play and have fun and make noise. That is what being a child is about. But they also respect and listen and we are always in bed and quiet by quiet hours. I cant say the same thing for others out there who are out and about and making noise after quiet hours, and some of those people have FMCA tags on their RVs.

Cheers

Tom
  • 0

#8 pattie1tom

pattie1tom

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 17 posts
  • Location:Florida
  • I travel:With children, With Pets

Posted 01 April 2011 - 10:37 AM

I looked up the definition of family. However, when I discussed this with the booth at the trade show, the definition of family they gave me was in terms of:

Family:
–noun
1.a. a basic social unit consisting of parents and their children, considered as a group, whether dwelling together or not: the traditional family.
b. a social unit consisting of one or more adults together with the children they care for: a single-parent family.

We can discuss this at length about definitions, but the fact remains that this organization is orientated more towards the retired and empty-nesters than young parents with children. Yes they may have activities at National Conventions, but that is once a year, and no offense, I really do not want spend one of my vacation weeks driving all the way to Wisconsin from Florida with gas prices near $4 gallon to do family activities. Also, here in Florida, school is about ready to get back in session and it is already open for teachers, which my wife is.

I agree that, yes this group might have a wealth of information and knowledge about all aspects of RVs and the RV lifestyle, but, how do you access it if the local chapters are not "interested" in parents with children. Postings to forums and reading things online or in magazines is great, but sometimes you just want to sit down with someone around the campfire at night and listen to stories of travels and adventure that others have experienced which you can not get through the Internet or magazine.

From The FMCA Chapter Directory: "The Family Motor Coach Association was founded to promote motor coaching as a way of life, a FUN activity for family recreation. FMCA chapters are the FUN groups of the association and provide members with the opportunity to use their coaches on weekends and enjoy the fellowship of friends with a common interest without driving great distances."

The intent of this discussion is to address that the local chapters here in Florida do not provide activities geared to people with children, which is what I was lead to believe.

Finally, referencing your definition of family, a group of people united by certain convictions, well I think owning a brand-new 2011 Hurricane might say something to my convictions about being in a motorhome. The problem still remains that this group, based on my observations and other emails and responses I have had, still is geared more toward the older population. Therefore, the question is, how do I get into your "family" when the focus of the "family" is the older generation?

I thank you for your reply and the information you provide. And yes, I love the area of the country you live in. It is beautiful, spacious, and has terrific weather. But as you know from living in Florida at some point, you can understand the situation I am talking about.

Cheers

Tom
  • 0

#9 aztec7fan

aztec7fan

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 122 posts
  • Location:Westminster, CO
  • I travel:With children, With Pets

Posted 01 April 2011 - 02:09 PM

Everyone, I don’t know if you saw it, but I wrote to FMCA about getting more younger members with kids back in January 2010, and they published it:
http://www.fmcmagazi...um-january-2010

Dkhender:
After you get settled in Colorado Springs, look me up. I know of a place in the mountains about 2 hours from you that has great fishing, large open areas for your kids to ride bikes or shoot BB guns at cans, it’s right next to the Colorado Trail which is great for hiking, and the best part, it’s FREE. Maybe we can have an old-fashioned FMCA rally with a large fire to roast marshmallows and sing stupid songs and have our kids run around and make some noise.

Finally, I too find it interesting that no one from the FMCA board has responded to any of these posts.
  • 0

Chris Guenther
F3508-S
Westminster, CO
1989 33' Southwind (Gas 454 Chevy)

 

"Life is just a collection of memories

and memories are like starlight, they go on forever"

-C.W. McCall


#10 Butch39

Butch39

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 47 posts
  • Location:Saratoga Springs area, New York State

Posted 01 April 2011 - 02:32 PM

Tom,

If you want a response from a board member(s), did you forward a copy to the board, or e-mail the board directly ? If you feel you were misinformed during the time of becoming a member, what are you looking for ??? Refund of membership fees, recourse, etc.

We belonged to Holiday Ramber for a number of years, about 7, and after numerous problems with the National HQs personell and chapter(s) issues, which at this time will not get into, we pulled the plug on HRRVC, and we do not miss it one bit. We mainly go out on our own, but will go to our first FMCA outing in July 2011, will be interesting to see if FMCA, and their chapters, handle their outings any differently than HRRVC.

If you have a problem with the Cgs in Florida renting to snowbirds, during the winter months, and taking up all the sites, your complaint is with campgrounds...not FMCA. But you have to remember it's all about money, profits,etc. If those snowbirds went elsewhere, outside of Florida, someone would be required to make up those lost monies, the everyday residents through taxes and fees. We live in New York State, the "land of taxes and fees", you do not want to go there.

Just my two cents, and it may not be worth that, but just my opinion.

thanks for this opportunity to express my thoughts,

Butch
  • 0
Butch & Kathy
"Greta" says me too!!!
2007 Monaco
39' Diplomat PDQ
2009 Ford Escape XLT
AWD...(toad)

#11 tmoning

tmoning

    Advanced Member

  • Root Admin
  • PipPipPip
  • 334 posts
  • Location:Cincinnati, Ohio

Posted 01 April 2011 - 02:56 PM

Everyone, I don't know if you saw it, but I wrote to FMCA about getting more younger members with kids back in January 2010, and they published it:
http://www.fmcmagazi...um-january-2010

Here is the text of aztec7fan's letter that appeared in Readers' Forum:

Attracting Younger Families To FMCA

Dear Editor:

I am glad to be back within the ranks of FMCA after being gone for a while because I did not own a motorhome. I joined several months ago, and have enjoyed my first two FMC magazines greatly.

My letter is in regard to Charlie Schrenkel's "President's Message" column about gaining new members ("It's Our Family: Help It Grow," October 2009, page 8).

My parents joined FMCA around 1968 and quickly relished the fellowship of other "bus nuts" they met at rallies, or when they found another "goose egg" in a campground or rest area. Some of my fondest memories are of rallies where, after the day's activities, a community campfire was started and someone would usually bring a guitar and play songs.

Even as a teenager in the 1980s, I still liked looking through FMC magazine's how-to articles and seeing the latest, fanciest coach. But around that time, I also noticed a change in the membership of FMCA. There appeared to be more members who were at or near retirement age. Now, please understand, I have nothing against that demographic of the population. I realize that the typical motorhome owner is someone who has the money to purchase something larger than a trailer or pop-up and the time to enjoy it. Generally, this means people who are retired. But I believe that for FMCA to grow more quickly, it needs to appeal to the younger motohome owners. There are owners out there with kids and full-time jobs (like me), and we only have two weeks of vacation to take each year (plus an occasional long weekend). We probably would not be able to take time out to go to any of the international conventions, but local rallies could still appeal to us.

I am not asking for a big change in FMCA, because it is still the best RV membership club. All I would ask is that the local chapters consider having one rally that might appeal to younger members, especially ones with kids. Have a visit to an amusement park once in a great while (I remember a rally in 1972 at Rocky Point, Rhode Island, which was one of the highlights of my membership as a child). Keep putting kids' activity pages in FMC magazine.

Remember, younger members can belong to FMCA for a longer period of time and pass their love for FMCA on to their children.
  • 0
FMCA Admin
FMCA.com

#12 NavyDad89

NavyDad89

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 76 posts
  • Location:Central Florida, except for excursions

Posted 01 April 2011 - 09:19 PM

It seems to me, based upon personal experience, that the RV club situation regarding the ability for a young family to find a group or chapter that has at the very least some focus on activities for children is the result of two problems.

The first is that people like my DW and I either joined groups or started new groups with like minded parents of young children. As we have aged and our children grew and moved on in their own lives, we have gravitated to either joining with different groups of like interests or the groups we were members of have had a gradual change in the group's interests. Whether it be an FMCA, SKP, or any brand specific camping club of chapter has not had a regular influx of young couples with children, the activities presently enjoyed by that group will probably not be what is desired today for a young family. Theorganized, read that as chapter, campouts we have attended in the last 7 or 8 years have had the occasional children or grandchildren visiting with members and have provided a great deal of the entertainment for the whole group. That most chapters, regardless of the sponsoring organization, have a membership most likely retired may not be what is desired by all, but it is a fact of life. Secondly, it appears that some (I am not saying ALL) newcommers to RV clubs or groups seem to think that it is someone else's duty to make a group that provides the activities they desire and one that they can be comfortable with. If I wanted to join a group that only goes camping on long weekends and only plays children's games for activites on Saturday and Sunday or schedules all campouts in places like Disney or Sea World, of 6 Flags, I suppose I would need to find a few people who had those same desires and start a new club or chapter. We might even find ourselves interested in joining with that group as old fogeys (if they made us feel welcome)

I have a hard time understanding what is so difficult in forming a group in a local area of people of like minds that wish to go camping as a group with at least some regularity. Should that club choose to be affiliated with a major organization or not is unimportant. We did it twice in about 5 years back when we were in our late twenties. It is not important to us today to belong to a club, chapter or group. Now that we no longer live full time in our RV we choose to partake of very few FMCA, brand specitic clubs, or SKP functions but do regularly make trips for up to a week with friends we have met over the years. We have a good time, we go places we want to go, we do things that interest us. We don't ask anyone to figure out what we would like to do and then plan it for us.

Donning Asbestos Suit (yes I know the alleged hazards, I wore one IRL for 4 years back when I was young and stupid)
  • 0
Ed and Bev

2011 Coachmen Mirada 29DSF

Central Florida (except for excursions)

#13 GerryJo

GerryJo

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 12 posts

Posted 02 April 2011 - 02:59 PM

We just joined FMCA, have yet to attend a monthly outing held in our state of Indiana and looking forward to meeting new friends and getting out more in the RV rather than leave it sitting in the barn. We have belonged only to one other camping group, good people with kids, of course we were still working then and week ends were the only times we had to get out, but no issues.

The local chapter we joined last month probably are mostly retired folks who normally travel with-in our state each month, learning more about the state and visiting anything interesting in the area picked to camp for 3 to 4 days, usually Thursdays thru Sunday, then head home. Right now we're excited and the first few camp outs will tell us if we made a good choice.

It seems from reading the post's here that the younger couples with families are sorta left out of the FMCA's majority of Chapters which seem to cater to older, retired folks for member ship and income.

I think all people regardless of age should be welcome in any Chapter of the FMCA, and the differences in age or having the kids around should not defeat the purpose of having a FMCA, and if that's a issue then the FMCA needs to change their name to ,ROMCA, or Retired Only Motor Coach Owner's Association.

Like I said we just joined, and the Chapter members all seem like nice folks, I guess time will tell, and if down the road I want to take my Grand kids along for a weekend camp-out and some one complains about it, one thing for sure there won't be a second year membership for us in either the FMCA or the local Chapter.

In closing I hope a FMCA board member reads these posts, because down the road I think your money cow may dry up, if younger families aren't welcome.
  • 0

#14 pattie1tom

pattie1tom

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 17 posts
  • Location:Florida
  • I travel:With children, With Pets

Posted 02 April 2011 - 03:05 PM

Ed and Beverly

Thank you for your reply. However, with the amount of chapters in Florida and I have contacted several, the opinion or feeling of these chapters is that younger people with children are simply not welcome. I live in Sarasota and contacted chapters from Tampa to Naples and received the same info. We just joined. And we do not know how to form a chapter or what a chapter even does, or what it is about. So, if you would like me to form my own chapter so young people with children do not interfere with the older generation, I will. But it would have been nice to at least have the ability to join to a chapter gathering and see what it is about.

The funny thing is though, that you all were parents once and took your kids camping. It's funny that you are willing to now take your grandchildren camping but yet when some young couple with kids wants to tag along or be parked in the next camping spot to you, you do not invite us over to chat or hear stories of old and adventure or give a newbie motorhome owner, 2011 Hurricane 31 G Class A, some pointers. You do not make us feel welcome.

Remember, RVing is not about your age, it is about spending time with family and friends and exploring the world we live in and not in front of the tv or computers.

Cheers

Tom
  • 0

#15 pattie1tom

pattie1tom

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 17 posts
  • Location:Florida
  • I travel:With children, With Pets

Posted 02 April 2011 - 03:18 PM

Greeting All

Thank you to all how have replied. I have spoken personally to Ms. Czarsty, FMCA Acting President, for over an hour. She was in agreement with my forum posting that FMCA has lost its focus. She was very polite and wonderful to speak to. She agrees that FMCA needs to return to its roots when it was first founded and be about families. We discussed several issues and ideas and concepts to attract more families to this organization. The topic of families and the ability to draw in more younger RV owners will be a topic at the executive meeting in the next few weeks. She agrees that Florida's chapters are designed more with the snow bird population in mind, which is evident in that there are no chapter activities or rallies in Florida between May and Sept-Oct. From this conversation, our family will continue to work with Ms. Czarsty and FMCA to try to bring more family friendly activities to the organization.

She then forwarded our information onto the editors of the magazine. We spoke with the editors for an hour to discuss magazine articles and concepts to make the magazine have some percentage dedicated to family activities.

With this being said, it is time for all of the younger FMCA members with children to voice their opinions about what we want to see from FMCA. This also goes out to you Grandparents out there who are looking for activities that you can take your grandchildren, too. So, if anyone has ideas, or thoughts or knows of great family campgrounds or activities, the time is now to speak up.

Also, if there are any folks out there with children who RV in Florida and would like to form a kid-friendly chapter in Florida, let us get together and form one.

Thanks. And let us speak up and be heard!!!

Cheers

Tom
  • 0

#16 dalltop

dalltop

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 83 posts
  • Location:Easton, Maryland

Posted 02 April 2011 - 04:53 PM

Talk about a black sheep outcast. My wife and I are under 50 with a 10 year old daughter, and a dog (I scoop the poop thank you) and my motor home is a 1995. It is sad that I even need to worry about this but as we travel and schedule space in private campgrounds, when they ask how many slides and I say none, I worry they will ask the "what year is your unit".

No one has ever said we can not stay but I have never tried to stay at an all class A park either. I am happy camping at the state parks with a mix of both units and people from all walks of life. I have learned a long time ago that no mater how fast my car or motorcycle is some one with have one faster better.

I do gain benifit from being a member, but I would help you if you are Good Sam or no membership at all.

Maryland campgrounds have opened this weekend. The season begins for us working folks. Hope to be camping soon.
  • 0

#17 jlsnyder

jlsnyder

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 21 posts
  • Location:Oceanside, California
  • I travel:With Pets

Posted 02 April 2011 - 06:41 PM

We are new members to FMCA but here is my take on this post. I'll start by saying we are recent Southern California retirees and on our third motorhome. We used to travel with our daughters but on our own, not with groups, nor did we belong to an organization at the time and we always had such wonderful trips. Our daughters always got to take a friend along - the more the merrier! I think camping is one of the best activities a family can do together and I would think that would especially be true today with all the technology getting in the way of getting outdoors.

We have not yet joined a local chapter but have inquired about a couple of them. One chapter that we contacted and heard back from sounds like they have a blast, but it's not for us. Most of them tow jeeps and they like to get out in the desert and ride around. Their ages are from little kids on up to 80 years old, and most of their get-togethers are on the weekends. It is not the ages that don't work for us - it is us not having a jeep to ride around in! Also, now that we are retired we would rather travel during the week when there is less traffic and it is easier to get into a campground. So we will continue looking for a chapter that suits our interests...or not. We really like to travel on our own but would welcome having a few friends to travel with.

We visited the Florida Keys in January (not in our RV) and, of course, loved it. We checked out the RV parks & campgrounds for future reference and were shocked at how expensive they are. And yes, there were many, many snowbirds. It is obvious that very good planning is necessary to snag a reservation for the following winter. When we got home I checked on several of the state parks in the Keys for next winter but most sites are already reserved. But Southern California has the very same problem...but where we live near the coast is not just a "snowbird" problem, it is a year-long problem. We are less than 10 miles from two very popular state beach campgrounds and it is near to impossible to get in without an advance reservation - one where you get online at 8 a.m. seven months out to try to grab a site the day reservations go on sale. So my suggestion to Tom is to get in the game of making that reservation for next winter in Florida...and if it ends up you cannot go when the time comes, just cancel the reservation! We've certainly lost $$ over the years on cancellation fees, but I would rather do that than not have any chance of getting into that campground of my dreams if it turns out we can go!

In closing, I would like to say that we are happy with the benefits that FMCA has to offer but we did not join in the hopes of immediately finding a chapter to join. I can tell you that we are perfectly fine with having children around in our travel adventures and hope that you sincerely do not feel unwelcome anywhere. That would NOT be what the RVing community is supposed to be about.

Joyce
  • 0
Jeff & Joyce Snyder
Oceanside, CA
Retired!
2007 34' National Dolphin

#18 NavyDad89

NavyDad89

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 76 posts
  • Location:Central Florida, except for excursions

Posted 03 April 2011 - 08:32 AM

Ed and Beverly

Thank you for your reply. However, with the amount of chapters in Florida and I have contacted several, the opinion or feeling of these chapters is that younger people with children are simply not welcome. I live in Sarasota and contacted chapters from Tampa to Naples and received the same info. We just joined. And we do not know how to form a chapter or what a chapter even does, or what it is about. So, if you would like me to form my own chapter so young people with children do not interfere with the older generation, I will. But it would have been nice to at least have the ability to join to a chapter gathering and see what it is about.

There, it appears, we have in common the inability to find a chapter in the state of Florida that appears to match our interests. The only difference appears to be that we do not expect any of the existing chapters to change in order to "work" for us. We simply have decided that joining a chapter is not the best situation for us.

The funny thing is though, that you all were parents once and took your kids camping. Its funny that you are willing to now take your grandchildren camping but yet when some young couple with kids wants to tag along or be parked in the next camping spot to you, you do not invite us over to chat or hear stories of old and adventure or give a newbie motorhome owner, 2011 Hurricane 31 G Class A, some pointers. You do not make us feel welcome.

There, IMHO, you have taken my comments regarding what you initially expressed that FMCA chapters you have contacted should provide what you expect in an agenda and applied your opinions of those chapters and members to us. I have to assume that, up until now, we have not been in the same park as of yet or you just might have a different opinion. Why do you not attend a chapter function that fits into your agenda, even if that chapter may not seem to be the best fit for your family, and see what actually happens? We have gone to the SEA rally several times and completely enjoy the experience and have felt completely welcome even though we do not belong to any chapters. It is also possible that we will attend the Eastern Area Rally next October. As for pointers on new gasoline Class A RV's, I'm open to pointers myself since we just bought one a month ago (also a Four Winds product) to make going on short campouts in state and local parks easier. So perhaps we all will benefit when and if we do meet in a campground in the future.

Remember, RV'ing is not about your age, it is about spending time with family and friends and exploring the world we live in and not in front of the tv or computers.

AMEN

Cheers

Ed
  • 0
Ed and Bev

2011 Coachmen Mirada 29DSF

Central Florida (except for excursions)

#19 tmoning

tmoning

    Advanced Member

  • Root Admin
  • PipPipPip
  • 334 posts
  • Location:Cincinnati, Ohio

Posted 04 April 2011 - 10:15 AM

We have a new forum, under the Lifestyle category:

Motorhoming with Kids

Post your ideas and tips for RVing with children and grandchhildren. Connect with other families. Suggest family-friendly destinations, kid-friendly events and child-friendly campgrounds. Discuss homeschooling, best motorhomes for kids. Share advice or ask questions ...
  • 0
FMCA Admin
FMCA.com

#20 pattie1tom

pattie1tom

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 17 posts
  • Location:Florida
  • I travel:With children, With Pets

Posted 04 April 2011 - 01:56 PM

Thanks Tmoning!!! I look forward to this forum!

Cheers

Tom
  • 0




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users