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Chapters: First Impressions Count

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When someone visits your chapter for the first time, do they get a warm welcome? When a prospective member visits your chapter for the first time, you are not only representing your chapter, but also Family Motor Coach Association. It has been said that when someone visits a place for the first time, they make up their mind in the first 10 minutes whether they will return. Make sure everyone visiting your chapter for the first time receives a warm welcome. Who knows how many friends you'll make when others feel welcome and eager to return.

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We just returned from our first Wes Tex Chapter rally and we made many new friends. We are so impressed with this group we have already registered for the next rally.

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I'm new to FMCA and am starting to receive several offers to join a particular chapter.

My plan is to be at the GLASS Rally in Berrien Springs the end of May.

Is it necessary I pick a chapter before I can attend the rally?

Do some belong to more than 1 chapter and if so is it advantages to do so?

I hope I've posted this in the proper forum.

George

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Guest BillAdams

I'm new to FMCA and am starting to receive several offers to join a particular chapter.

My plan is to be at the GLASS Rally in Berrien Springs the end of May.

Is it necessary I pick a chapter before I can attend the rally?

Do some belong to more than 1 chapter and if so is it advantages to do so?

I hope I've posted this in the proper forum.

George

To your first question, no you don't have to join a chapter before coming to the GLASS rally. You don't EVER have to join a chapter if you don't want to!

To your second question, yes, some people join more than one chapter. In most cases if (IF) you join a chapter it is to meet folks with similar interests. If you think you want to meet other RVers in your area and get together with them for some fellowship a few times per year, then you should join a local chapter that seems to fit your way of life. If not, don't. No harm, no foul.

You might also (or instead of) find a chapter that is specific to one of your hobbies. This could be birding, music, cars, basket-weaving, antiques, motorcycles, quilting -- you name it, there is likely a chapter with folks who have similar interests. If you would rather just meet up with the folks that you run into at the campgrounds where you stop, then there is no need to join anything! You are already in "the club" just by owning an RV.

See you in Berrien Springs!

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Thanks. Your reply was informative and eases my apprehension. I am making plans for Berrien Springs.

Oil has been changed, tires checked,clothes packed,anticipation level is growing.

My Mom and sister's family live not 20 miles from there..2 birds w/1 stone..learning this way of life..spent the winter in San Antonio and plan to winter over there again..

Hope to see you there.

George

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Hello George:

The G.L.A.S.S. is a great FMCA Area Rally.

There will be a Chapter Fair during the event. Please visit the chapters during the fair.

Also, I suggest that you contact Jon Walker, FMCA National Vice President Great Lakes Area, jwalker@fmca.com.

He will be able to assist you with additional information and will be attending G.L.A.S.S.

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Hello George.

As others have stated, you will have a great time at the GLASS rally. Be sure to go to the chapter fair. I will also offer one piece of advice that people aren't aware of. You can take your chair and reserve your spot on the floor of the entertainment venue. If you want to do this, be sure to do it as soon as you get settled, as the space fills up in a hurry and then you will have to sit in the bleacher seats. There is also a place reserved for the handicapped to put their chairs which is off the floor but a great viewing place.

I hope to see you there. Stop by and say hi. You can tell my coach by the orange tiger paw covers.

Judy Czarsty F79148

National Senior Vice President/

Acting National President

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I am a member of FMCA but since I was a B+ owner I was rejected by a couple of chapters since they were chartered as "A" owners. A couple have since mentioned that they are going to have members vote and change rules since national allows B+ and C's and hope to let me know soon. I was always welcomed at GEAR rally and felt like a mascot in the field of big "A's".

Paul

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We always have a warm welcome for guest and new members in our chapter. April is correct until you get to know someone a email is very unpersonal. Each time we get notification sent out to the membership of a new member, I personaly send them a letter by snail mail to welcome them to our Chapter.

Another thing I do is every time I see someone that is from Texas on the Forum, I send them a P/M. We had two new members at our last Rally and they both came from contacts I made through the Forum. Ask, Invite, respond asap and then welcome them if they come.

Herman Mullins

Vice President

Lone Star Chapter of FMCA

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Thanks Herman, but I think email is just fine. I prefer email over snail mail, it sometimes takes weeks for my snail mail to catch up.

The incident I have in mind happened to me. Hubby and I recently joined FMCA and I sent out requests for more info to a few chapters. One chapter replied saying basically, why do you want info from us? I got the impression that they already have all the members they want. No problem if that is the case, but if it is a chapter that welcomes new members, someone may want to reword the information reply email.

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Just requested information on two chapters. Penn Coachmen and Jersey Gems, not sure what to expect from them or what they are about. Sit back and wait and see I guess.

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There are a lot of clubs that are brand specific. I am at a Bounder rally now. There are also some good clubs that are open to anyone with a coach. Last month we were with the Red River Rovers. I don't know if there is that much benefit to belonging to a brand specific club. The people are more important.

Bill 

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Bill, thanks for the input. You are correct its all about the people, after all that's why we are FMCA members. I usually get a wave when they see the goose egg on the front, that's comradery! I would prefer a local one, since I am still working full time closer to home rallies would be real benefit.

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One thing you will find is some clubs are more social clubs where the members like to get together to play games and talk/socialize. There are other clubs that schedule more activities. Things like visiting local attractions, plays, museums and other points of interest. Some you might not visit on your own.

We are in Fredericksburg Texas If you ever get a chance this is a great destination. One must see is the National Museum of the Pacific War and the home/ museum of Admiral Nimitz.

http://www.pacificwarmuseum.org/   

One other interesting place is the LBJ ranch and boyhood home.

https://www.nps.gov/lyjo/  

Bill

 

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Bill, thanks for the links, will add those to the list. too bad I didn't know you in 2013, we went right past you that December, could have met up.

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A brand specific club can provide information and benefits that are tailored to the specific brand.  One of the clubs that we enjoy is Monaco International.  It encompasses all of the Monaco produced brands, Holiday Rambler, Safari and Beaver.  The national rallies usually have technical personnel from the factory on site, a parts trailer and factory service available.  In the good old days, that included two free repair items.  As the industry came under increased economic pressure, the free aspect is gone but the support personnel and parts are still there.  We've also had executives attend the meetings and address the group which has been especially helpful as the industry and Monaco specifically underwent considerable change in ownership and management.  Another benefit is that the company used these meetings to conduct user surveys.  There are seminars soliciting user input on the design and functions of coaches that are working and what needs to be improved or changed.  The seminars are conducted by the people making decisions.  They schedule one for men and another for women.

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Tom, so you are no longer hibernating in the valley:P. We are in Fredericksburg this week.

I just haven't seen that much input or participation from vendors like Fleetwood even in bigger venues like the last FMCA 6 State in Conroe. I didn't go to Perry this time so I can't say who was there. My observation/opinion is that the brand specific clubs may not be the advantage they use to be. 

Bill  

 

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Bill,

Yes, we've left the Valley!  We're a little early this year.  Since Lone Star was meeting in Rusk and that is more or less on our way north toward St. Louis, MO, we decided to get to the rally in Rusk.  We had a great train ride yesterday on the Texas State Railroad. 

I'll agree that the vendor support may be lagging, I think that is a sign of the impact of the economy on the RV community in general.  Monaco International has rallies linked to the major FMCA conventions.  Those are the rallies that we usually attend.  Since the vendors are coming to FMCA already, perhaps we get them to come as they are already in the area.  We've been to a few of the rallies not associated with FMCA conventions and those draw a significantly smaller number of vendors.  Now, I'm using the term vendors to describe those who sell RV related supplies and services, Roadmaster, Blue Ox, Dometic, Camping World, etc.  The manufacturers are a whole different category in my book.  We're seeing a few key dealers supporting the MI rallies. 

By the way, if you are reading this and your motor home hasn't had a good trip lately, now is the time!  I stopped for fuel on the way to Rusk and was able to put 2/3 tank of fuel in the coach before the $150 credit card cut off shut off the pump!  What a change from a few years ago.

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As for first impressions:

I requested information for a chapter in my area and received a printed response by mail. I won't name the chapter.

I was immediately turned off by the poor spelling, poor grammar, lack of capitalization, etc. It was as if it was written by someone illiterate.

I don't know why they would send out a letter like that.  Certainly not a good first impression.  I did not join.

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David,

I am very sorry for the poor response you received.:wub: If you will send me your information by a Personal Message I will get your information on a really great Chapter in Oklahoma. I was just at their 25th Anniversary Rally yesterday. They are a very friendly and out going group. The chapter is the "Happy OK Wanderers" (HOW).:D They have member from all over the state of which we are friend with most.

Give me a shout, I know you won't be disappointed.

Herman

 

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On ‎4‎/‎23‎/‎2016 at 4:15 PM, OkieDave said:

As for first impressions:

I requested information for a chapter in my area and received a printed response by mail. I won't name the chapter.

I was immediately turned off by the poor spelling, poor grammar, lack of capitalization, etc. It was as if it was written by someone illiterate.

I don't know why they would send out a letter like that.  Certainly not a good first impression.  I did not join.

Dave, I requested information a month ago............still waiting......... busy time of the year up in this part of the USA. My guess is they are all prepping their coaches for the season.

FMCA Admin, can you tell me if these two chapters are still active? When I looked up a few names they had not logged on in several years.

Penn Coachmen

Jersey Gems

Thank you

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