This group of friends carries on a 40-year tradition of camaraderie.
By Peggy Jordan, Associate Editor
“Life is too short not to enjoy yourself.” New York Centrals’ chapter president Dan McCoy said that, and it might as well be the chapter’s motto.
New members are welcomed into this friendly group of FMCA members. Most of their rallies are in central New York, but they’ve also visited neighboring states.
Wherever the rally is, it’s likely to have a theme everybody remembers. Such as a pirate rally, with members dressing as swashbucklers and engaging in a treasure (scavenger) hunt, sword fights, walking the plank, and a delicious “barrr”becue. Or a Hawaiian luau with related food and beverages; a graduation rally with decades-old photos of today’s members; a country fair theme with its “wild animal” parade (members’ dogs and cats); and a rally focused on members’ hobbies, collections, and collectibles.
Then there was the 40th anniversary rally this past June. It featured a commemorative program filled with members’ recollections, as well as the traditional cake and food. A good number of coaches — 28 — were at that rally; not bad, because June graduations and weddings can fill one’s calendar.
The New York Centrals chapter began in 1977 with 26 families and currently has 72. They set up rallies every month from May through September. In October they end the season with dinner at a restaurant. But they still see each other in winter. “The snowbirds that go to Florida normally get together a couple times,” Dan said. “Those unfortunate people who can’t go south always have a midwinter luncheon in February in Syracuse.”
Interested in joining? Check out the chapter’s next rally, September 15-17 in Cold Brook, New York, at Adirondack Gateway Campground. Regardless of its theme, it likely will include time for other fun such as golf and card games. The ladies like to make crafts, too, and some of the guys enjoy hunting for prizes at local yard sales and flea markets. On top of that, of course, good food brings everyone together.
Another important aspect of the New York Centrals is its can-do attitude toward volunteering. The Northeast Area Rally, FMCA conventions in the region, and the Eastern Area Rally all have benefitted from their past efforts. “We love to volunteer and we love to support. We don’t just sit around and watch,” Dan said.