You don't have to own an Airstream motorhome to join this lively group of volunteers.
By Maxine Jennings, F160000
January 2008 FMC magazine
The name Airstream once referred only to a "silver bullet" trailer. But in the 1970s, Airstream started making motorhomes. Charlie Bye, a man who was very active in Wally Byam Caravan Club International (a group for all Airstream owners), decided a separate club was needed for FMCA motorhome owners. He helped to form Airstream Southeast, which was chartered in 1989.
Today the chapter welcomes owners of all brands of motorhomes, and you don't have to own an Airstream to join. However, it sure does help if you live in Florida or are a snowbird who goes there in winter.
The chapter is filled with members who like to volunteer. Many of us help at chapter rallies, which is a great way to meet new people and get to know them. We also take time each year to work at the Southeast Area Rally in Brooksville, Florida, driving the trams. It's a tradition that's gone on for about 10 years now. We transport FMCA members from their coaches to seminars, vendor tents, the entertainment tent, and other locations.
The chapter also has caravanned to FMCA international conventions in Perry, Georgia, where we were tram operators in 2005. In March 2007 we worked morning coffee hour.
Our chapter rally year begins in October, when our snowbird friends return to Florida to join those of us who live there full-time. We get together from October through March, and sometimes in April, before our friends return to their homes in the northern part of the country.
Rallies usually run from Monday through Thursday morning, to avoid the traffic on the weekends. The volunteer hosts plan meals, tours, and entertainment. We usually go out to eat at least once. Rally attendees also play games such as horse races, nickel bingo, joker, and other card games. We like to go to areas where we can tour facilities and enjoy different types of entertainment and food.
We travel from 70 to 170 miles on average for a rally. Three of our sites are on the west coast of Florida: Ruskin, Sarasota, and Brooksville. Others are in the middle of the state: Kissimmee, Arcadia, and Umatilla. This past November we held a rally in Kissimmee, where we were glad to be joined by two new members.
We have a lot of fun together, and we get to see the sights with our friends. We welcome all of you who are interested in our group, whether you have an Airstream motorhome or not.
Chapter dues are $10 per year and they include a newsletter. For more information about Airstream Southeast, contact chapter president John Beck, 3557 Oak Lake Drive, Palm Harbor, FL 34684, (727) 772-5919,
; or secretary Maxine Jennings at
. For general information about FMCA chapters, contact the Chapter Services Department at (800) 543-3622.
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