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jeff753

FMCA ENERGIZED Indianapolis KIDZ Meet n Greet

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For the upcoming Indianapolis Rally July 11-17 we need some input from  those that have been inFMCA for awhile and those that have not.  

What did kids enjoy at past rallies?  

What are your favorite memories of FMCA?  

What do you remember doing as a youth in FMCA?

What would your kids like to see at the Indianapolis Rally?

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Did the kids used to go offsite three days or was the kids stuff on the rally grounds. 

I know generally for our ENERGIZED Families with kids they are not going to pay extra to take the kids to the zoo or the Children's museum.  Most have free passes and can do that before or after the rally if they want.  They want to enjoy the rally with their kids. They want to hit some seminars and support our vendors. 

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Why does it cost $20 to sign up a child for the zoo on the FMCA registration when the zoo only charges $15.20 admission for a child 2-12?

Its the same with the museum $30 through FMCA, $17 from the museum. 

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Asking us, what we remember?  Is not going to do much good for anybody that was born within the last 17 years!   Most off us, had different upbringing, culture and values.  I think the best way, would be to ask the kids themselves...different age groups, have different wants!

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$13 for a bus ride to the museum is ridiculous.  I've been to area rallies with bus trips to factory tours that didn't cost us any extra.  With the cost of the rally itself being high,  plus all of these bloated prices it's no wonder younger families don't join FMCA.

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I would agree that $13 seems high if they were taking a city bus but if this is a chartered bus then I would have to strongly disagree as $13 seems pretty inexpensive to me!

I applaud the efforts of FMCA ENERGIZED!  At least they are out there trying to make a difference to attract a younger crowd.

Keep up the good work!  Ignore the critics!

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 You can call me a critic all you want,  I'm simply asking why is there a premium on the price.  Maybe there is something planned  that justifies the cost, but I can find no information about these trips.  The transportation should be rolled into the rally itself.  I know not all people have kids,  but not all people attend the seminars,  or enjoy all of the entertainment, or even want a donut in the morning,  but all attendees pay anyway.  

All I hear is why are no younger people joining FMCA?  I'm asking why would they?  

The cost for the rally is not cheap. The add on costs are inflated. There is no information about these trips online. There doesn't seem to be a way to find out what's gong on with them.  We (I'm considered one of the younger members) need information early to make plans.  We still work and need to plan our limited vacation time way in advance. There needs to be information about these planned activities made available from FMCA for us to male these plans.  

If FMCA wants younger families, they are going to have to make kids activities more affordable,  not less. And if there is a good reason for the prices an explanation needs to be easy to find. 

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OK, time to chime in.

If there is a 'factory tour' particularly of a MH factory then the cost of the transport was very likely borne by the factory.

If there is to be a off-site Kids tour, be it a Zoo or Museum or whatever rolling the cost into the Rally is really not fair to those that either don't have kids or whose kids don't go. Same as if there is a tour or three for adults, winery, shops, museums, etc, the costs of the EXTRAs should be borne by those attendees. I don't know if the add-on costs are inflated or not. Let's assume that the bus to and from has a cost and the venue has a cost and the guide charges us. Someone has to arrange the trips, OK that is HQ staff before the rally, but then there is the onsite management, someone has to sell the tickets collect the money, herd cats to get everyone on-board, finalize the details and pay the bills. If that is volunteer, fine, likely there is a Rally Management company that has charges to cover. You want to go on your own? you are certainly free to do so.

As for info in advance, There I am in agreement with the previous posts. A lot of us need to know when we should be arriving months in advance so we can make prior to Rally plans. Not knowing what day to arrive or not knowing what tours and the like will be offered can make the decision to attend or not much more difficult for many. It can be a question of Time, or Money, or of do we bring or not bring little Tommy and Becky, maybe they get to visit Gramdma and GrandPa for a week, who knows.

Suffice to say that knowing earlier makes the decisions much less stressful for many.

 

As and example last year for Springfield we saw the Rally started on Wednesday, we planned to arrive on Wednesday, we made plans and paid for a CG to stay at and visit other attractions prior to the rally, then we got our rally package in the mail and found out we were scheduled to arrive on Tuesday, it did work out, but it also caused some stress. I understand that a rally with 1500 or more coaches and all teh vendors is a big undertaking, but this is NOT the first Rodeo! There should be a wealth of experience out there and there should be enough prior plans that we can blow the dust off of for all the big things that the stress and work levels should be lowered. We should have a pretty darned solid framework for running a succesfull rally by now. If we don't, the we do need a change!

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ENERGIZED does the KIDZ meet n greet on the grounds but these off site tours are done by the youth committee not the Energized Group.  There should be details on each tour so people can make plans accordingly. 

The deal about advertising a start date for the rally and not telling people what day they an plan on arriving has driven me crazy though.  People that have been to a few rallys may know which days people come in but at chandler 1 out of 3 were first time rally attendees.  We must do a better job of information flow. 

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Jeff.  One thing that will help a Newbie, avoid "Will Call", unless it's absolutely necessary!  By having the packet sent to you, you have all the information at hand and time to study it, so there will be minimal stress!

As for time frame...I have no answer!

Carl

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Registering early is one thing that will make attending a much more enjoyable time. The people in Cincinnati do a wonderful job of making a Rally a success. As in most things in life, it is ourselves that makes things difficult. First timers need special attention. They need to know that they didn't do anything wrong and what ever optical,s they encountered are not anything but learning experiences and that we are there to help smooth the way. The first time in much of life is always difficult, a new job, going to a new church, or meeting new people, however that warm welcome from a stranger makes it a nice experience. It is duty for those of us that have been there before to help those new folks feel welcomed and want to come back.

Herman  

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Your quite right  and it was very helpful to have the yellow ribbon on the name badge of a first timer!  Linda had hers, she was very pleased with all who made her feel welcomed.  Unless,  the newbies took off the ribbons, I did not see as many as I was told was there!

Chandler, AZ,. was a smooth, well run rally and with 2,600+ private coaches, plus all the Vendors and day trippers, that was no easy feat !  Big Thank You to all ! :)

Carl

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I thought Chandler, AZ went verry smooth. Yes 2600 coaches came in and were parked really pretty quickly. I didn't hear of one parking incident. :o I though I did see a lot of yellow ribbons and some of the seminars were overflowing. It might be nice if there was enough flexibility to add /repeat seminars that are so popular so every one who wants can attend. Not being able to go to a seminar they came to see was one complaint I heard.

Bill 

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The Kidz Meet N Greet is a good idea, but it really needs, in my opinion, to be either expanded or duplicated for teens.   Kids are up to 10? maybe 12? What about the teens that travel with their families? The Rally doesn't have much if anything for them. Thankfully my daughter had a fairly major project at school that she was working on that kept her pretty busy. If not she'd have been bored senseless. If we want FMCA to grow, I feel it is important that FAMILY be emphasized more. The seminars are good, I can attend almost back to back still go back for more. The entertainment is a hit or miss. But that is across the board in age groups no matter what we have there will be a group that would rater something else.

 

Not sure what we need specifically, maybe a survey of members that asks: Are you or have you attended in the last 24 or next 12 months? Do you have children? Did you or will you bring them? Are they 4-12? 12-16? 16-20? 20+? Give us two ideas of what your kids might want to see do? How much are you willing to spend for an activity assuming there is a charge? Something along these lines. Then we have information. It could be compared with actual attendance from the past three or four rallies to see if the numbers appear realistic.

 

No, I am not volunteering to do this. I am still pretty much employed full time and far too new to FMCA functions to do this. I might be willing to assist at some minor level.

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A lot of good points and thoughts, but I do believe after 18, they are no longer Kids!  I have heard, that there are more and more home schooling now, so some class activity might be a possibility to look into.

Carl

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To answer the OP, we started FMCA after our daughter graduated college so we have no idea.

Costs to the different functions are are a "pass through" where FMCA doesn't make any money on it. Take the cost of the event and then add the cost of transportation and you have it. As far as rolling the prices into the fees, sorry but I don't want to pay for your kid to go to the zoo. 

As far as advanced info, there is always the telephone. You can always call Cincinnati and ask the questions rather that look to a forum for answers.

When you register for a convention, you will be given a arrival date. It will be before the convention activities actually begin. Plan it that way.

If you want to learn how conventions are arranged, become a volunteer. It will be an eye opening experience. Hint: Volunteers usually arrive a day early! That doesn't guarantee you a better/close in parking spot but at least you are there early

Seminars that are very popular are hard to schedule. One time a seminar will be very popular and should have another scheduled. The next time it is a dud. The scheduling of seminars is hard in that you have to try and not have two popular seminars at the same time. A trip to Cincinnati and a tour will enlighten you to the difficulties.

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The Youth Program is much different today than is was five years ago. At that time, we had Youth Centers, where kids would go to meet other youngsters, have a good time together, and participate in on-site activities. There would usually be one or two off-site outings, but those were extra. The problem became, we had fewer and fewer children attending the shows, and keeping a large Youth volunteer staff together for these events was difficult. (Many of the volunteers were parents who had kids in the program.) So the Youth Program, as it was, ceased. David and Loretta Marlowe, volunteers, stepped up and said they would do whatever they could to provide activities for youngsters at the summer events. Their direction, given to them by FMCA, was to do off-site outings. The Marlowes don't make a dime off of this, nor does FMCA. And They've done a terrific job doing what they've been asked. In the case of Indy, they came up with three great outings for kids. 

For FMCA to provide a full-fledged Youth Program requires not just a little help from volunteers, but a lot. To staff a Youth Center from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., with kids of different ages and interests, requires quite a few volunteers through the duration of the event. I would be happy if we could reinstate some of the "old" Youth Program activities (we still have the tug-of-war rope, some may remember), but unless we have the necessary supervision, we cannot do it. And also, we do require vetting and background checks of our Youth Program volunteers, so assembling the volunteer pool for this group is different than say, someone working Coffee Hour. 

As far as the information about the activities planned for Indy, it should be online very soon (possibly today) and it will be included in the May issue of Family Motor Coaching magazine. If, after reading the information, folks would like to register their children/grandchildren for an event, they can do so online while registering for the event, or give us a call (800) 543-3622 if they would like to add this to their registration. 

I am all for providing fun activities for kids attending the events with their parents/grandparents, and I'm excited to see that the interest is growing again. If folks have suggestions or are interested in being part of the Youth Committee, let me know (duhlenbrock@fmca.com). 

Doug Uhlenbrock
Director of Events

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On April 7, 2017 at 9:55 AM, scotttami said:

 You can call me a critic all you want,  I'm simply asking why is there a premium on the price.  Maybe there is something planned  that justifies the cost, but I can find no information about these trips.  The transportation should be rolled into the rally itself.  I know not all people have kids,  but not all people attend the seminars,  or enjoy all of the entertainment, or even want a donut in the morning,  but all attendees pay anyway.  

All I hear is why are no younger people joining FMCA?  I'm asking why would they?  

The cost for the rally is not cheap. The add on costs are inflated. There is no information about these trips online. There doesn't seem to be a way to find out what's gong on with them.  We (I'm considered one of the younger members) need information early to make plans.  We still work and need to plan our limited vacation time way in advance. There needs to be information about these planned activities made available from FMCA for us to male these plans.  

If FMCA wants younger families, they are going to have to make kids activities more affordable,  not less. And if there is a good reason for the prices an explanation needs to be easy to find. 

 

15 hours ago, jimnorman said:

The Kidz Meet N Greet is a good idea, but it really needs, in my opinion, to be either expanded or duplicated for teens.   Kids are up to 10? maybe 12? What about the teens that travel with their families? The Rally doesn't have much if anything for them. Thankfully my daughter had a fairly major project at school that she was working on that kept her pretty busy. If not she'd have been bored senseless. If we want FMCA to grow, I feel it is important that FAMILY be emphasized more. The seminars are good, I can attend almost back to back still go back for more. The entertainment is a hit or miss. But that is across the board in age groups no matter what we have there will be a group that would rater something else.

 

Not sure what we need specifically, maybe a survey of members that asks: Are you or have you attended in the last 24 or next 12 months? Do you have children? Did you or will you bring them? Are they 4-12? 12-16? 16-20? 20+? Give us two ideas of what your kids might want to see do? How much are you willing to spend for an activity assuming there is a charge? Something along these lines. Then we have information. It could be compared with actual attendance from the past three or four rallies to see if the numbers appear realistic.

 

No, I am not volunteering to do this. I am still pretty much employed full time and far too new to FMCA functions to do this. I might be willing to assist at some minor level.

Along with our other adult activities (DOGZ on Tour, Pubcycle, etc) For Indy we are trying to expand the KIDZ meet n greet.  We do get ages of kids that are registered so we try to organize activities for the different age groups.  A few ENERGIZED Steering Committee members also have kids or road school their kids so they know what the obstacles are and the challenges of entertaining teens.  Some Steering Committee members were FMCA kids years ago and remember their experiences.  We need to see how many kids we will get at Indy to see how much expanding we can do. 

Ideally we would have a KIDZ Zone where kids can play or just have picnic tables in a wifi area with a bounce house.  This area would require kids be supervised by their parent or guardian.  

From what I understand the old youth committee had baby sitting rooms split by ages with volunteer baby sitters who passed background checks.  This is not what ENERGIZED is interested in.  We are interested in fun.  Most of it outdoors!   Families are on vacation and want their kids to have fun too.   

Springfield was interesting...the kids found an unused building and occupied it for the rally   They'd sit and play on their phone or skateboard across the floor. 

 

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On April 8, 2017 at 6:15 AM, manholt said:

Jeff.  One thing that will help a Newbie, avoid "Will Call", unless it's absolutely necessary!  By having the packet sent to you, you have all the information at hand and time to study it, so there will be minimal stress!

As for time frame...I have no answer!

Carl

That is very true.  Making arrangements to receive your package in advance gives you more information to preview AND avoids a stop at the Will Call tent.   Asking for your package to be held at Will Call should be your last choice. 

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2 hours ago, manholt said:

Jeff, if your using Springfield as an example, the re read what you wrote just above it...confused.:wacko::blink:

Just making a point that kids at the rally will find a place to hangout together. 

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On April 6, 2017 at 5:28 PM, scotttami said:

Why does it cost $20 to sign up a child for the zoo on the FMCA registration when the zoo only charges $15.20 admission for a child 2-12?

Its the same with the museum $30 through FMCA, $17 from the museum. 

Just FYI ---From what I've heard for the zoo I think it's just the bus ride ($5?). I think the museum also includes a lunch voucher and the bus ride. 

 

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Jeff, do yourself a favor, tell the penny pinchers to read Dons2346 post...it is crystal clear, no other explanation needed.  Don't over work this, you have way to much on your plate already and the phone to FMCA really works and it's a free call.

If you get anymore of those questions, tell them it's not your department...don't give any $ amount, because they will quote you and your their escape goat...think you have a problem now>  Wait until you get trailers! :lol:

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