Motorhome Chapter Spotlight | FMCA
This chapter cruises through central Florida — and sometimes across the sea as well.
By Peggy Jordan, Associate Editor
Cape Canaveral attracted Florida Space Orbiters chapter members in 1984, when the Space Shuttle was launched regularly and their group was created. Thirty years later, Port Canaveral is getting more of their attention.
Alda Butler, F151071, chapter president, said an RV park near Port Canaveral is their rally spot every May. They enjoy watching as Carnival, Royal Caribbean, and Disney cruise lines depart from there. “The Disney ships blow their little horn to the tune of ‘When You Wish Upon A Star,’” Alda noted. “Plus there are lots of restaurants there, and you can walk out on the boardwalk.”
As you may guess, watching all those departing cruises at Port Canaveral has made “cruisers” out of some chapter members. They went on a seven-day ocean voyage out of Miami, Florida, to St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, and a group now plans to take a cruise departing from Port Canaveral in November that will go to the Caribbean.
Regular Florida Space Orbiters rallies are held on land from September through May. In addition to Port Canaveral, RV rally locations have included Lakeland, Clermont, Hobe Sound, and other spots — generally within a 100-mile drive of Florida’s Space Coast. Alda said most members live in Melbourne or nearby towns.
Residents and snowbirds who spend the winter in Florida are welcome to join the chapter. Currently the group has 17 member families. Most members are retired, but a few couples are still working.
The combination Thanksgiving/Christmas rally each December is held at the Lazy Days facility in Seffner, Florida. “They have a lighting of trees, good entertainment, and they feed us! Makes for kind of an easy rally,” Alda said. Chapter members give to the U.S. Marines’ Toys For Tots charity each year.
For other rallies, “We usually try to pick an area or site that has something unusual happening, like a wine festival,” Alda said. The chapter has visited Lakeland area attractions such as Bok Tower Gardens, airplane museums, and the Frank Lloyd Wright architecture at Florida Southern College. They enjoy a Fort Lauderdale wild animal park and also are looking forward to seeing Sarasota sights, since the next Southeast Area (SEA) rally will take place in that city and chapter members volunteer at the annual event.
Whether it’s by land or by sea, you’ll enjoy the company of these intrepid travelers. Chapter dues are $10 per year and include a newsletter, which can be viewed on the chapter’s Web site, www.orbiters.org.
For more information about the Florida Space Orbiters or other FMCA chapters, contact the Chapter Services Department at (513) 474-3622 or (800) 543-3622; firstname.lastname@example.org.
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