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I think the problem with the youtubers promoting FMCA is that most of those folks would want FMCA to give them $$$$ to mention them.  You have a problem with FMCA membership being older and not attracting younger people.  It's the younger people that watch the YouTube videos and they would learn about FMCA though the video but then checking it out they'd find the average member is 70 something years old so why should they join.  I think before you get YouTubers to promote FMCA you need to work on FMCA providing something to attract those younger families and individuals to FMCA.  So.  What does FMCA need to provide to attract the younger people?  In this day and age there are so many apps and social sites that make it easy for people to connect in many ways to do many things.  So...what is it that FMCA is missing that it needs?  

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So....what is FMCA missing that it needs to provide?  I don't see a lot of socialization among FMCA members.  The majority of members don't belong to chapters.  So if you were rebuilding FMCA for the future, what would you want to see?  Maybe instead of complaining about what doesn't work, we can generate some ideas to share to help FMCA grow and change for the future.  

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To me you've pointed out two things that could be something to build on...

1) Chapters - I'd love to see a way for members to have more direct input without having to join a chapter. It seems to me that people nowadays aren't 'joiners' like they once were, and if we can get people to join FMCA it's a good thing on its own. Pushing to get them to also join a chapter is asking more of members than many are willing/able to do.

2) Socialization - I think that there are lots of FMCA members near me here in Wisconsin, most of who I've never met. I'm sure that's the same for everyone around the country. While attending events with our coach is the ideal way to participate and socialize, I'd also support having events without the coach. Perhaps just a meetup at a local restaurant or something, even if it's just going out for a fish fry or meeting up at for frozen custard. I'd be a lot more inclined to attend rallies if I knew more FMCA members, and having local events would be a great way to meet them.

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Chapters, was a way to meet like minded Coach owners!  They all specialized in a topic, golfing, fishing, geo catching, Nascar, etc.  I remember, not long ago, we had over 400 chapters and they came to the National Rally & Winter INTO Rally!  

I do agree that today, there is less interest in joining a Chapter.  Probably has to do with more full timers and they tend to associate and travel with their own group of friends....most are members of Escapees, FMCA and GS.  These days it's more for Discounts, that each club offers!  I might add that more and more Coach owners are joining AIM (All inclusive Motorhome).  They are all about fun and good times, seminars on engines, chassis, transmissions and suspension systems, great food and entertainment.  

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Seminars...

That's another area where I think that FMCA could branch out and reach more people. We attend the two RV shows here in Milwaukee each year (at least till Covid) and there are always lots of things to do and learn.

What if FMCA had a traveling RV seminar series, just like at the rallies, that followed some of the larger RV shows around the country?

Or, in areas where the RV shows are put on by competing organizations, what about just hosting RV seminars at larger RV dealers around the country?

It wouldn't be difficult to get mailing lists of new RV owners in these areas, and I'm sure that dealers would welcome the extra foot traffic through their doors as people attended the seminars.

I guess my biggest point here is that having smaller and more local events throughout the year would give members and potential members lots more opportunities to get value from FMCA.

Edited by richard5933

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Was stated ...."I guess my biggest point here is that having smaller and more local events throughout the year would give members and potential members lots more opportunities to get value from FMCA."

Kind of like what Chapters do.....we have monthly rallies during the sumers, friendship luncheon's for members during snowbird season for members in FL, AZ, AL....and "rolling rallies" for sightseeing to and/from the Internationals rallies.

 

 

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1 hour ago, whiteeagle said:

Was stated ...."I guess my biggest point here is that having smaller and more local events throughout the year would give members and potential members lots more opportunities to get value from FMCA."

Kind of like what Chapters do.....we have monthly rallies during the sumers, friendship luncheon's for members during snowbird season for members in FL, AZ, AL....and "rolling rallies" for sightseeing to and/from the Internationals rallies.

Not trying to diminish what chapter do at all or to say that they aren't doing some of this. It does seem though that many members of FMCA do not ever join a Chapter. I've explored it myself, and quickly became frustrated. The ones I would have interest in joining are not near me, and there is no way I can commit to attending rallies or events in my coach at times of the year when it's still winterized and parked.

I'd love to just be able to gather together with other FMCA members in the area, regardless of chapter affiliation. I understand that there are chapters in which members develop close friendships, but not everyone has a chapter near them or that works with their planned travel schedule. For those of us in the north, I think that it's a wasted opportunity to only have events which involve our coaches or RVs, as that puts FMCA off the calendar for half the year. Lots of FMCA related activities which could take place, even up north, in the off season.

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I believe there are at least 5 active FMCA Chapters with members operating in the SE WI area plus several others more regional or with specific interests. You may have explored all - and possibly discussed your interests and what you would like to see done locally with officers of those  chapters? If not, maybe start with Regional VP?  Granted that with the current pandemic situation, difficult for organizations to hold more sanctioned events.

As a couple not full timing but relatively active in FMCA National, FMCA Regional, 2 FMCA Chapters summer month events, rolling rallies to and from events with friends (not only from our chapters) plus winter snowbird luncheons, and short trips with others, we stay about as active as possible to fit in. Also participate with 3 non - FMCA motor home organizations.

Last point I would offer is that National FMCA members do not need to be a Chapter member to attend a Chapter rally of function... Providing space is available, our chapter as well as several others allow and actually invite non members to attend a function (one per calendar year), meet the members, participate in all events, contribute on round table discussions, and decide on membership later. Suspect many chapters (as we do) normally have round table discussion during the function on several topics including RV maintenance, recent mistakes shared, etc.

Will step off my Chapter box with best wishes you find what you are after... PM me if we can be of help.

Stay safe and healthy.

 

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Hello guys, i hope i am not speaking out of place here. I am about 4 years in on owning my motorhome and have been a member of FMCA for about the same length of time. My wife and I are in our mid 50's, so we still have jobs and are not able to travel full time at the moment. We had went on some chapter's sites in our area to try and join when we signed up with FMCA and the sites had not been updated in months. I think a lot of the chapters are just hanging on with the small groups they currently have and aren't creating any activities for the future. We would look at the calendar events for the chapters and there would be nothing listed in the calendar except FMCA rally's.

I personally think the way to get younger people involved with FMCA is going to have to go through the kids. I think FMCA should offer some kind of benefit for children and this would may get the attention of the younger group. If they could make this happen in some way, then you would have the young kids growing up and being familiar with FMCA also.

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I understand the possible benefit of chapters to those that choose to join one, whether it be a geographic based or interest based chapter, but isn't it really just making double work of getting new members to be involved and active? It seems like it's hard enough for us to recruit members to FMCA to begin with, but we have system that requires members to join a second time in order to become full members? If all members were automatically members of a chapter they could begin full involvement much easier. Or just skip the chapter requirement and allow at-large members.

I've been an FMCA member for a few years, and it's always surprised me that I have absolutely no voice in choosing the leadership of our membership-run organization because I don't belong to a chapter. The reason I haven't joined a chapter so far is I haven't found one with events that interested me which were held at a time and/or place I could get to.

We are not retired yet, and so our travel calendar is limited. Making our travel calendar more difficult is that we live in the north and our coach is parked from Nov thru May. Really hard to get to events when the coach is still winterized or there is still salt on the roads. With the time limitations we work around and the long list of places we want to go around the country, it's just really hard to fit in more than one or two rallies per year, and that's in a good year. Perhaps if we knew more FMCA members from non-rally events we'd be more inclined to spend our limited vacation time at rallies, but that's not the case yet.

I just don't understand why this double-layer involvement is still necessary for FMCA members to gain full membership and participation in the conduct of the organization.

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Once upon a time, a small group of Family's, with the same interests got together and formed, Family Motor Coach Association!  Family=Mother, Father and kids!  Motor Coach=Bus conversion!  As time went by, FMCA grew exponentially bigger and bigger and went from Coast to Coast as more and more Motor Homes was being built by WB, Fleetwood, etc.   To manage this influx FMCA came up with Areas and Chapters in each area!  One of the oldest Chapters was/is Yankee Travelers, followed by The Bus Nuts...self explanatory what their name stood for!  Like any organization, you need a President, VP, Secretary, Treasurer and Board of Directors and as the Club grew and most members belonged to one or more Chapters, we needed one voice to deliver to National, what the majority of the members of the Chapters wanted.  Today they are National Directors.

Somewhere along the line, FMCA Leaders have forgotten what Family and Motor Coach stand for!  My take on this, our leaders in the past 10 years only care for the bottom line!  Their Legacy!

Richard, you and all others, who are not with a Chapter, have a voice!  Send a letter to National, if they get enough of them, they got to do something!  Sadly, when National send out to all members, they get back less than 6%...🤬

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I  likely can't help Richard find folks he might like to associate with to explore possibilities of common interests or friendships. However... if his SE WI means in the area  between Milwaukee, Madison,Janesville,Kenosha, there are 27 member families living in that area in our chapter alone.... and I'm sure several from other chapters as well.

If others have similar dissatisfaction with FMCA but not wanting to meet or talk with other members in their area to explore possibilities of friendship or common interests, I fully support what Manholt recommends.  

Just don't understand why anyone would want  "a voice" in an organization but not want to meet or socialize with other members - either chapter members or non members - both locally available and from all across this great country. Doubt $15 annual dues is factor.

Maybe FMCA would allow one to organize a "Non Chapter" Chapter and then function fully as an equal to all? 

Stay safe and healthy.

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2 hours ago, whiteeagle said:

...Just don't understand why anyone would want  "a voice" in an organization but not want to meet or socialize with other members - either chapter members or non members - both locally available and from all across this great country. Doubt $15 annual dues is factor.

Maybe FMCA would allow one to organize a "Non Chapter" Chapter and then function fully as an equal to all? 

Stay safe and healthy.

Maybe because my limited time available for traveling puts me in various parts of the country when the local events are taking place. Maybe because my schedule hasn't worked out. Maybe I don't have the time necessary to investigate the chapters by visiting an event with each one before choosing which to join. Or, maybe I just don't see why I should have to join anything other than FMCA to have a vote in what goes in with leadership in FMCA.

Will I eventually join a chapter? Likely. But until then it seems I'll be without a vote on leadership issues.

Is chapter membership a deal breaker for everyone? Of course not, but I suspect that not everyone is interested in doing all the parliamentary procedure steps which were so popular in organizations decades ago. I had enough of that belonging to civic organizations in the 70s and 80s, and really think that things could be more streamlined than how they are.

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Richard I agree. We do not belong to a chapter for a personal health reason, that is not a valid reason to not have a vote IMO. Invariably when someone attempts to talk to my DW they  begin questioning her about her health problem, which is very rude. Consequently we have not attended a group meeting in years; I doubt we will ever do so again, however I would like a voice in matters of an organization to which i pay dues.

Presently the only way I have to participate is trying to be helpful and share what modicum of knowledge I have with others as I see the issue on these forums.

minidmo makes an excellent point! I hope management is reading and taking notes.

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One avenue that can use is to email to your National VP for your area. Addresses are in FamRVing. State your opinion that is all a chapter member can do to their National Director. 
 

There was an attempt a few years ago to streamline the governance, but since it would have reduced the current delegates to Governing Board, it didn’t pass. Just like congress not been required to only receive the same benefits any other citizen receives. 

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miniedmo, nice looking Monaco coach! Create a signature so we know what it is. Upload some photos in the photo section. 

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The Lone Star Birds were started- like FMCA- for like minded owners of Bluebird Wanderlodge. This was a couple decades ago. 
Since then it has evolved into whatever- from towable to Prevost’s.

Harvey and Kathy Lawrence, Ron and Shirley Marabito,  Joe and Kay Losh, Mike and Barbara McMahan, and Ernie and Brenda Ekberg were the founding members.

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1 hour ago, erniee said:

The Lone Star Birds were started- like FMCA- for like minded owners of Bluebird Wanderlodge. This was a couple decades ago. 
Since then it has evolved into whatever- from towable to Prevost’s.

Harvey and Kathy Lawrence, Ron and Shirley Marabito,  Joe and Kay Losh, Mike and Barbara McMahan, and Ernie and Brenda Ekberg were the founding members.

This is one of the things about chapters that confuses me and makes it difficult to know which to choose, if any.

If a chapter is a "whatever" chapter, then how is it anything other than just a geographic subset of the FMCA membership? In that case, just assign all members to a generic state chapter so that everyone gets to vote. Nothing to stop members from being in an interest-focused chapter as well, but at least everyone who pays dues would be given an official voice in things like national elections.

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Suspect most "whatever" chapters are not state restricted..... believe most chapter folks would prefer to be in chapter  with members in their area which would overlap state borders to socialize with while at .. and outside of events rather than being assigned to one because of their mailing address.... Fortunately, chapter can have members from several states ..... the "whatever" chapter I belong to has members from 10 different states.... some are snow birds that belong to chapter or chapters  in each of their primary time areas .. and some are full-timers that move around but enjoy having social groups to associate with in different parts of the country. Understand that some chapters restrict membership to only their state or area. So be it... that's their thing.

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Richard, The Lone Star Birds, was owners of Blue Bird Motorhomes...period.  Blu Bird did not go out of business, they just decided to get out of the Motorhome side and go back to making Commercial Bus and school bus!  Some of the members wanted to carry on with the chapter, I would be surprised if Ernie is no longer a member.

Back in the day, every member of FMCA was proud of the coach they owned...so Chapters was formed on coach manufacturers...it still goes on today, one of the biggest Chapters today is Entegra.  Some Chapters are regional, like Crusin Cajuns of La. it's based on their heritage, culture, food & music!  We are members of CC.  

whiteeagle is correct...I was typing! 😁

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Yeah, and at the beginning of FMCA most of the coaches looked very much like my coach - not like modern RVs.

I get it. I understand the desire by some to have a chapter of like-minded people. Not trying for a second to take away from anyone's chapter, their love of their coach, or their desire to be in a sub-group of FMCA to organize activities. Nothing I've said or will say is aimed at denigrating any chapter or those who want to join one.

My point is simple. I believe that ALL members of FMCA should be given an opportunity to vote on things like our national leadership. Directly or indirectly, makes no difference to me. What does make a difference is the large number of members who do not belong to a chapter and as such are left without a vote. At all.

This thread is about the future of FMCA - it's not about what we've done in the past. I know that I'm not alone in thinking that the notion that FMCA members can only vote for national leadership through a chapter is outdated. There are many ways to accomplish voting without funneling the vote through chapters.

What about FMCA members who belong to multiple chapters? Do they get a louder voice in national elections since they have multiple points of input? Hard to say from where I sit.

Yes, there are tens of thousands of members. But, having a membership-wide election is not that difficult. I own a few shares of stock in some very large companies - every year I get to express my thoughts through the annual ballot. Not quite the same, but a good example of various ways to give ALL members a path to having a voice.

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