This new group of FMCA members is based in the Kansas City metro area.
By Peggy Jordan, Associate Editor, FMC magazine
Four major pioneer pathways once crossed Shawnee, Kansas, the designated "hometown" of the Covered Wagons chapter. The group held its first meeting there, indeed, but the official chapter territory includes the entire Kansas City metro area. Members live in towns such as Overland Park and Wichita, Kansas, as well as Kansas City and Independence, Missouri. As of May 2008, the chapter had 74 member families on its roster. Not bad, considering the chapter was chartered in February 2007.
FMCA members who attend the Six-State Rally September 24 through 28 in North Little Rock, Arkansas, are likely to see members of this friendly group directing them to their parking spot. Covered Wagons chapter president Virgil Paulson said the group is volunteering, and glad to do it. "We will be arriving early. Our job is to work the first four days prior to the rally, and the first day of the rally."
From April through October, the chapter gets together, usually on the fourth weekend of the month. "The rally hosts make arrangements for group activities (which usually involve food) and the business meeting. Everyone can do what they want, though," Virgil said. "People play board games or go around and visit local sights. It's been a very fun experience so far."
The group doesn't travel too far from its home area, except when FMCA is holding its summer convention (they meet at the convention instead), and for the Six-State Rally, which is typically in September.
Then again, special rallies that involve more travel are always fun. The Covered Wagons visited Mark Twain's hometown of Hannibal, Missouri, in June 2008, and this month the group is caravanning together to the FMCA summer convention in St. Paul, Minnesota, stopping along the way to see the bridges in Madison County, Iowa, and the SPAM Museum in Austin, Minnesota, among other places.
Virgil bought his first motorhome in 2006, and he originally served as the chapter's vice president. An unforeseen turn of events had him stepping into the role of chapter president sooner than he thought, in January 2008.
He's taken on the new job with great enthusiasm. "My job as president has been trying to keep everybody excited and interested in what we're doing and giving me feedback on what we can do as a chapter to meet everybody's needs," he said.
FMCA members interested in joining the chapter are asked to attend two rallies before they apply for membership. The group has a friendly Web site that is chock-full of helpful information, such as a list of upcoming rallies, a map of the chapter's territory, a membership application, and more. Visit www.coveredwagonsfmca.org, or contact the Chapter Services Department at FMCA: (800) 543-3622;
If you would like your chapter to be featured in Chapter Spotlight, send an e-mail to