2017-2019 Campouts

October 14 to 18, 2019 Franklin Locks, Alva, Florida
We stayed by the Locks to have a relaxing time and watching dolphins and tarpons playing in the water in front of us. Our Hosts were Paul and Kathy Rogaleski giving us a non-schedule time of events. Mornings were enjoyed by some of the members with coffee, conversation, and watching boats going through the locks, although the locks weren’t that busy. At this campout, we had 6 rigs…small but mighty!
The outside temperature was in the low 90’s and by the afternoon members were seeking cooler surroundings. The Riley’s invited everyone into their RV to host the meeting and game time. 
The men gathered together to play the card game Wizard with some quiet moments of intensity. The ladies always enjoy Chicken Foot dominoes and Play Nine. 
Pot Luck was on the 15th with lots of food (beef stew, macaroni/cheese, salads, veggies, and more). Happy Hour was on the 14th and 16th with lots of yummy finger foods and plenty of conversation accompanied with laughter and smiles! Thursday (17th) found 95{3fe0760d27ed43c3715e04d7459cd5359c67c9619d4988ff6990f1c6efe74bad} of us at the Alva Diner for dinner with 17 attending. We had two guests that filled out a form to become future members. 
Friday morning was our departure with lots of hugs and good wishes. Our next camp out will be the State Good Sam Rally in Eustis, FL, November 20-24 (early bird on the 19th). Some will stay at Lake Louisa prior to the Rally. 
September 10, 2019 Camp Out
Many of our members travel northward and westward to escape the heat of southwest Florida. With this said, the decision was made to cancel out the camp out at Tamiami Village and just meet up at Golden Coral in Ft. Myers for a meeting, lunch, and good fellowship. 
August 2019 Campout
July 15 to 19, 2019 Tamiami Village, Ft. Myers, FL
June 10 to 14, 2019 Tamiami Village, Ft. Myers, FL
April 30 to May 5, 2019 Good Sam State Rally, Okeechobee, FL
April 15 to 19, 2019 Myakka State Park
March 25 to 29, 2019 Hardee Lake County Park
February 18 to 22, 2019 Lake Kissimmee State Park
January 7 to 11, 2019 Highlands Hammock State Park, Sebring, FL
October 15 to 19th, 2018  Koreshan State Park, Estero, Florida
From October 15th to 19th, we camped at Koreshan State Park in Estero, Fl.  We were 5 rigs strong; Jerry/Terry, Becki/Carl, Donna/Helmut, Kathie/Paul, Mable/Bob.  Margaret/Sherman had RV trouble on their way to camp-out and had to have their rig towed to a repair facility. Although they did not camp – they came to the meeting and pot luck and also joined us another day for a meal out.
Our Hosts, Dan and Rita unexpectedly had to cancel last minute.  After checking all our sites, we determined Carl and Becki had the most shade and room so we used that as our gathering place.  The shade and several fans kept us cool enough.  We gathered every morning for lively conversation and either played games together or napped in the afternoons.  Several had their bikes and would ride together.  We went as a group to tour the 1880’s  village in the park learning about how and why it was settled.  I think today they might have called it a cult – but that is just this authors humble opinion. 
 We were joined on Wednesday by Wayne and Patti  – prospective members.  They camped with us the remainder of the stay.  On Thursday, almost all of us ventured out of the park to Ruby Tuesday for dinner.
Happy hours were kept simple, activities were spur of the moment and times together were for enjoying each others company.  We pooled resources to have our traditional coffee + on Friday and the we all headed home until we meet again.

August 6-19,2018   HarborLakes RV Resort,  Port Charlotte, FL

Harbor Lakes is one of our favorite “summer” spots to go. It has a beautiful meeting room that is airconditioned. Need I say more? The hospitality is always superior. Fresh coffee for the campers each morning. Carl & Becki were our Host-couple for this campout and furnished cookies or snack-roll each morning.  We played table games: Golf, Chicken Foot, Mexican Train, Wizzard, and  I bet I’ve forgotten one. Men vs women in an inside version of bean bag baseball was played several times. We need all the practice we can get since our rally competition is in November. The women were treated to a craft time. Thank you, Margaret & Becki. A plain black box with a lid turned into a lovely container for Christmas cards. Streaks of several different colors of green paint on the lid dabbed right and left “created” a Christmas tree. Tiny round “ornaments”, a star for the top, a stocking, a tree, and a bird were also painted with the color of our choice. Glue and a bit of sparkle and the top of the boxes were finished. The sides were dabbed and snowflakes or snowballs were created. A Christmas ribbon was glued around the perimeter of the box. We dabbed white on the lower front of the box and glued a tiny evergreen tree in the center.  Meanwhile, the men were hard at work playing the card game of Wizard. About the FOOD. Sausage & hot dogs and rings of onions were grilled and served to us by our Hosts. YUM!! With a potluck another evening, we ate very well (as usual). Several enjoyed the large pool and some just sat and chatted. A GREAT campout again. Thank you, Carl & Becki.


July 16-20, 2018.   Alligator RV Park,  Punta Gorda, FL

Members Wayne & Joan who are Assitance State Directors for the Good Sam Club of Florida were the hosts for this campout. They went far and beyond any “hosting” our chapter has ever experienced. Alligator RV Park offered the use of the big kitchen in their “blue roof” activities building.  So nice of them since Wayne & Joan prepared many meals for us. They fixed breakfast each morning: Hash & eggs to order, Sausage gravy on biscuits, Pancakes, sausage & bacon, and Danish rolls on Friday morning.  Each morning we had the choice of coffees from their Keurig machine. They spoiled us in royal fashion. Sloppy Joes were the order for Monday evening, They fixed hamburgers and hot dogs for us for another evening meal. We had our traditional potluck and several went out to eat for another evening. Some enjoyed the large pool. We all were happy to be inside in the cool air playing card games, working on a 1000 piece Thomas Kincade jigsaw puzzle and sitting and chatting. A grand summer campout. Thank you, Wayne & Joan, for all you did for us.____________________________________________________

June 11-15, 2018. Tamiami Village RV Park, North Ft Myers, FL

Our Hosts, Bob & Mabel planned a busy, fun campout. We played Jarts, and Corn-hole in the mornings and played table games in the afternoon. Tuesday we went across the highway to the Shell Factory / “Cap’t Fishbones” for our evening meal of their “all you can eat” fish fry. We all wore our green Everglades teeshirts. Wednesday we ordered Pizza and Mabel had a salad for all 19 of us, 14 adults and 5 kids. Our potluck was on Thursday evening. Wayne & Joan’s granddaughter Mikayla had an accident on her bike and broke her wrist and Bob & Mabel’s canopy was torn off in an unexpected whirl-wind. Other than those two accidents, we had a great time. Thank you, Bob & Mabel. We always look forward to the Tamiami campout.________________________________________________

May 14-18, 2018  W.P. Franklin Locks near Alva, FL.

What a wet campout! But, we are CAMPERS and a little rain will not discourage us.  Hosts Paul & Kathie used the letter “M” as the letter of the week. (Sesame Street influence = 3 young grandkids.) “M”ay baskets, = small baskets were given out that had goodies to snack on; “Mother’s Day, = match the photo we each brought of our mother with each member. VERY challenging;  “M”emorial Day = Kathie read the history and the reason we observe this day each year. Between rain showers and thunderstorms we chatted, played several games of Corn Hole (Helmut & Donna’s new boards) & Horse Shoes and ate! Craft time with Margaret had us painting terracotta flower pots of graduated sizes to resemble watermelons.= Wind chimes! The potluck was rescheduled and even then we had to eat fast. Paul did a fantastic job of cooking the hamburgers and the next day we ate “left-overs” and more of Paul’s burgers and hot dogs.  From the hosts’ campsite, we watched mullets jumping high out of the water, an occasional tarpon, and a turtle head was seen once-in-a-while. We watched an eagle swoop down and grab his breakfast one morning. Dolphins and manatees were also seen. And of course, there were the boats of all shapes and sizes (even a pirate ship) and then there were the “$$$” yachts going through the locks. It was another great campout. Thank you, Paul & Kathie.   ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

April 17-22. 2018 at the Good Sam Spring Rally; Okeechobee KOA campground

Our chapter has 30 members and every member was present.  Fantastic Rally. For the Opening Ceremonies, our EVERGLADES banner was carried by our VicePresident Rita and our newest member Kitty. Rita is now our “official” spokeswoman!  Our members won MUCH money. Cookie won large 50/50 raffle.  Sambo (Bingo) on Tuesday evening and Thursday evening saw Jerry & Paul winning the big bucks in the “cover-all” plus 7 other of us won Bingo money.  We won at table games too. Terri & Pat won 1st & 2nd in Chicken Foot Domino’s, John won 2nd in Euchre, Kathie won 1st in Wizard and Mabel won the 2nd place in Cribbage. Our Bean Bag Baseball team #1 ( Dan, Bob S., Cookie, Gary, Bob W., Donna, Paul, & Jerry) came in 2nd by only a very lucky last toss by our opponent. Our “farm team”, our second Bean Bag Baseball team,  (Sherman, John, Rita, Phil, Kitty, Frank, Joan & Wayne) played with much zeal. Bob & Gary and Mabel & Donna tried their hand at Corn Hole on Wednesday noon. This was the first year this game was offered and 42 teams signed up. Friday morning for the first time our Everglades chapter hosted the Holey Board tournament. 16 of us volunteered for the task of Hosting. On Saturday morning we had our chapter represented in the Bocci Ball competition. Our 40 cup coffee urn was put up for sale at the Chapters’ Flea Market. Thanks to Dan & Rita, the coffee pot sold and the money went into our piggy bank. Donna had made a “tropical beach” hat for the Mad Hatters competition. This was the last time this hat event will be held at a Rally.  Our Golf Foursome came in 3rd (Becki, Cookie, Bob W., & Paul). Paul got “Closest to pin”. The 3 nights of entertainment were all great. Saturday’s entertainment was by “The Sweeney Family Band”. They keep us laughing the entire time. 3 guys with “hill-billy clothes” and VERY talented on their stringed instruments. After the Saturday eve entertainment, the “big” door prizes were handed out. Mabel & Bob won the grand-daddy of all prizes I believe, a folding wagon LOADED with camping items including 2 monogrammed camping chairs, 3 bottles of wine, 2 hand-painted wine glasses, a BBQ tool set, a surge guard, a food chopper, a string of lights plus a $50.00 gift certificate. Before the Saturday evening program, ALL of our 30 members gathered for a group photo taken by the official Rally photographer. We looked so good with our red vest and golden-yellow polo outfits. You can see us and the other photos taken at the rally if you go to goodsams-florida.org   Click “Photos” and then click “2018 Spring Rally”.                                                 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

March 26 – 30, 2018:  Little Manatee River St Park

This month we had 9 rigs,18 members camp together. Neat smaller state park. The campsites have been cleared of the tall native vegetation.  Even the larger RVs have access to this campground. Each site has a firepit and a picnic table. How fortunate we were that we were camped together, since each reserve their own site.  Bean Bag Baseball was set up behind our host’s RV since that was the shady area. Several games were played. Our Hosts, Kitty & Frank had never played this game but were just as good as the rest of us. Bicycling down the trails was always an early morning choice.  Our resident artist, Margaret, gave the ladies a lesson on how to make Sharpie Marker flowers on the white tee shirts we had brought for the lesson. The results on some teeshirts showed very creative ideas.  Phil & Pat brought their new compact scooter. Many took turns “test driving” it around the camping loop.  5 of our bold adventures, (Becki, Phil, Dan & Rita & Gary) rented a canoe and 3 kayaks ($15.00 for half a day, I believe). The river was smooth and calm.  In a blink of an eye, one kayak rolled over in about 5 feet of water. It was a CHALLENGE for him to bail out the water that had filled his kayak. He made a make-shift bailer by using his tiny pocket knife to cut off the top of his bottle of water. Then the next challenge was to get his one foot with shoe intact, unstuck from the bottoms thick muck & mire. Next trick was to re-enter the kayak. The other river adventures floated near, watching for any approaching alligator! It will be an everlasting memory for him. Hosts Kitty & Frank out-did themselves providing us with a delicious ham for our pot-luck dinner. (Our Easter ham, Kitty said.) We gathered together the next evening to eat a “left-overs pot-luck”. We noticed that we had eaten 99{3fe0760d27ed43c3715e04d7459cd5359c67c9619d4988ff6990f1c6efe74bad} of that sweet & tender ham, but as usual, we had more food than we could eat and again we had “new” left-overs to take home.   Our Host, Frank had evening campfires for us to enjoy but the mosquitoes were hungry and chased us back to our RVs. “The Hostess with the Mostest” is our Kitty. Thank you both for Hosting. We had another fun campout. 


February 26-March 2, 2018:  Highlands Hammock St Pk

10 Rigs, 20 members attended this campout.  Wonderful state park to check out. There are 7-8 trails, 4 of which are above the ground. Thanks to Hurricane Irma, several boardwalks are still under repair. Hopefully the next time we camp at Highlands Hammock St Pk, we will see the replacement plaque our chapter voted to have recast since Irma took out a good portion of the boardwalk’s railing.  The railing plaque was in honor of the Good Sam Chapters’ past members who loved to camp. We took the 1 1/4 hour tram tour through the park.  Ladder golf was played after the morning coffee. We had our usual potluck for one evening meal and the next evening, we had hot dogs, potato salad, beans, chips, etc provided by our chapter’s piggy bank.  Many went to Homers for dinner one evening. We tried to have a campfire each night although the mosquitoes were very hungry. When they came out, we went in. Terri & Jerry were great hosts; Thanks Guys.


January 8 – 11, 2018:     Fisheating Creek, Palmdale, FL

[As you can see, there is a gap between the July 2017 report and this January report. I do apologize for the missing camping info. I was busy all summer creating / sewing 3 costumes for the November parade at the Good Sam Fall Rally in Eustis, FL.  Check out the photo page. We were awarded second place. The theme for the rally’s parade was “Sam & Samantha on Safari”. Well, we were nonconformists and to be more relevant we chose to have “Sam & Samantha on Safari in the Everglades”. Not exactly what the judges were looking for.  We had come up with innovative costumes portraying critters in the Everglades. We had “Sam” & “Samantha” carrying our logo banner at the front of our group. Then came our fan-driven airboat (on a golf cart frame), an Alligator, a Bear, a Great White Egret, a Panther, a Bald Eagle, a Turtle, a Ranger fighting a python snake, a Flamingo, and a Butterfly with a Butterfly Catcher right behind her. We also had a Ranger with his pet raccoon that squirted onlookers, and a Palm Tree to give us shade as we moved along the parade route.  We had a fun time even if we didn’t win first place. (We should have.)  ]

Our January campout at Fisheating Creek was most relaxing and totally enjoyable. We had 11 rigs at this campout. We displayed our new individual logo flags at each of our sites. The small site flags match our large chapter banner that is displayed at each campout. Our host provided coffee and sweet treats for us each morning. We played Ladder Golf and card games. We had a campfire each evening. We roasted marshmallows and chatted while we watched the dancing flames. In honor of the Super Bowl that will soon be played, we had our annual Soup-er Bowl PotLuck. There were 8 crockpots steaming with the most delicious homemade soups. We found that the sturdy cardboard “4-hole drink holders” were a perfect way to hold 4 styrofoam cups. That way, we could sample four soups with one visit to the food table.  And, we had the “left-over” soups for the evening meal the next day. Yummy!  After all that food, many took walks on several trails the next morning and some rode their bicycles around the campground. A big Thank You to our hosts, Helmut & Donna for a great campout.  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~July 10-14th, 2017: Alligator Park, Punta Gorda, FL

We had 8 rigs parked side by side in a row ,just down form the smaller meeting room used for smaller groups. We had tables & chairs and a large screen TV & DVD player as well as 2 pool tables.  We had a delicious pot-luck meal on Tuesday followed by a movie night complete with popcorn. “RV” staring Robin Williams was the feature film.   Our mornings were spent in the pool, playing bean bag baseball, biking or all of the above. We played Wizard, Up the River, Golf, and Chicken foot Dominoes.   Wednesday eve several of us had hoped to take a boat cruise but due to the weather we went out to eat. The others stayed and played games or explored the Peace River Nature Center and Fisherman’s Village.   Thursday night we had another movie and root beer floats! The movie was “Where The Red Fern Grows”.   Friday morning, Host Paul prepared pancakes & sausage for our group before we said “good-by“.  Another GREAT camp-out with good friends and good food!!  Thank you Hosts Paul & Kathie, you planned a fun time for all.


June 12 – 16, 2017:  Harbor Lakes was a great place for us to hold a summer camp-out  Large cool meeting room, smaller “jig-saw puzzle” room, clean bathhouse and showers, pool & hot tub, Plus every morning, they had a large pot of decaf coffee sitting on a serving cart. Our Hosts John & Jean brought over our chapter’s air-pot with regular coffee in it so everyone was happy. Several brought their bicycles and toured the large Park between rain storms. We had 10 rigs this month.

Monday we arrived and had our social Happy Hour from 4:00 until 6:00 and then cards were player until 10:20pm.Such a kind employee. Waiting for the guys to finish their game of Wizard to lock up. The building is locked at 9:45pm the sign on the door says. Oops!
Tuesday we had our business meeting . During our meeting, the members chose which character they would be playing in the parade at the Good Sam Fall Rally. We still have “opening” for other characters.
Our Salad Pot Luck was held at noon. Delicious / nutritious choices and even had several desserts too. And it RAINED.. Pegs & Jokers and 9-Up the card game were played and then we were off to our RVs by 6:30pm. in the RAIN…
Wednesday, 8:00 coffee. 2 games of Bean Bag Baseball, men vs women from 9 –10:00am. Pool time was refreshing. John and his 3 great granddaughters were enjoying the water, until the thunder, and it RAINED...
No rain at 4:00 for Happy Hour.  After which the guys played Wizard and the ladies played Kismet, a dice game, until 8:30pm.
Thursday we again had our coffee time at 8:00 and we sat and talked until noon. A informative resident who had lived at the Harbor Lakes resort for 12 years kept us entertained for quite awhile telling us about the changes in the area and the camp-ground. He was a good salesman.  😉
Some took advantage of “Swim time” and some played cards games.  4:00 = Happy Snack Time again. Played different games until “closing time”.
Friday we had our Goodbye Coffee. Hosts Jean & John provided quite an assortment of delicious rolls and breakfast cakes. Forecast was for RAIN later in the morning so we packed up and headed for home. Nice RELAXING camp-out.
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 May 15-19, 2017= 9 rigs gathered at Collier Seminole State Park and welcomed 1 guest rig. The local inhabitants, hungry mosquitoes gave us a huge and immediate greeting, swarming us every time we exited our rigs. Despite our prolific use of bug spray, these flying Phlebotomists attacked at every opportunity. Regardless we had a fun camp-out.
Pot Luck on Tuesday, hosted by Carl & Becki was a feast for us! Our hosts provided a Honey Baked Ham & breads. The rest of us contributed sides and desserts; veggies & salads to cakes & cobbler with ice cream.
The campground has a screened room with tables & chairs that we used for our get-togethers. We played Bean Bag Baseball each morning and card & board games each afternoon. Some took naps and some ventured out to see the sights in the area such as Marco Island and Everglades National Park.
We had booked 4 days of camping, leaving Friday morning but by Thursday morning we all admitted we had donated enough blood to the local mosquito population and headed home. Some may say we were “sissy-marys” but we stuck it out for 3 full days and had fun.
 APRIL 25-30, 2017 = Spring Rally at the KOA in Okeechobee was a FUN time
Each morning we wore our bright green “gator” tee shirts and had no problem finding one another for breakfast in the meeting hall. Our camp sites #401 & 402 had a wonderful shade tree where we gathered for our daily Happy Hour.  “Navi- Gator” (mascot) was in the opening ceremonies. Gary set up the Bean Bag Baseball board the first day for our members to practice their throwing skill. It paid off as you will see later in this report.
Donna was the big money winner in Bingo and won more than enough to pay for the cost of the Rally, PLUS money in her pocket. Way to go Lucky Donna!
Our Thursday Happy Hour was a surprise for our ASDs Wayne & Joan McGee. Joan had just retired and this was the perfect time to express our chapter’s appreciation for all the hours (years) Wayne & Joan have given to the Florida Good Sams Rallies to make sure we campers have a grand experience. Margaret decorated a sheet cake in their honor. They plan to take 3 grandkids on a cross country tour of the USA, then the two will fly to Hawaii, stay a few days and then take a 31 day cruise to Australia & New Zealand then back to Hawaii and then home. We had to give them something to add to their wardrobe.
 Wayne received a “Big Kahuna” tee shirt and Joan received flower leis, a coconut bra, and a grass skirt which she wore (over her clothes) for the remainder of their party. Our members had brought all sorts of items Wayne & Joan could use on their travels and we surprised them with a HUGE bag stuffed full of these “appreciation” gifts for them. 
 4 “First Timers” were invited to our Happy Hour to “check us out”. We hope they enjoyed our company and one of the couples will be joining us next month for our May camp-out.
here is a note from our “coach” Carl:
 How about them “Everglades”
Sherman – 2017 Okeechobee “Wizard” Champion, he has won back to back championships 
        Donna and Bob W. – 2017 Okeechobee Horseshoe Champions. (Donna has lost track of her back to back to back…….to back victories)
         Everglades B.B. Baseball Champions 2017 Okeechobee Rally – alphabetical order
                Bob, boB,Cookie, Dan, Donna, Gary, Jerry, John, Margaret   
         The B. B. Baseball team leads the 2017 G.S.B.L. (Good Sam b.b. Baseball League) with a record of 6-2 and a win streak @ 5 Wins
                 Eustis – 0-1     Tallahassee 1-1    Okeechobee 5-0
And one last thing, thank you Michael for the “traveling” BeanBag Baseball trophy you presented to the chapter. We will over-look the baseball bat the player is holding. It’s the thought that counts. Right?   ~gail/pres.

2017 January Camp-out at Brownville Park north of Arcadia

6 rigs enjoyed 4 nights. For the most part, we had the park to ourselves. Games of Bean Bag Baseball were held in the mornings for those who wished to play. In the afternoons the men sat around and talked while maintaining the campfire. The women played the card game Farkle and the domino game of Chickenfoot. The campfire was slowly started on the first night (wet wood) and was kept burning until we departed. Some of our members cooked their hot dogs, kielbasa, and hamburgers over the open flame. Potatoes were wrapped in foil and placed in hot coals at the edge of the fire. Helmut & Donna were most accommodating hosts. They had morning coffee waiting for us each day and surprised us one night with a feast of s’mores. Some hiked the trails and some went to town for lunch and shopping in the antique shops. All had a great time!

2016 December Camp-out  at Lake Kissimmee St Pk

Margaret & Sherman hosted a festive time with afternoon Christmas crafts for the ladies and games for the men.  An armadillo made an unwelcome visit to our get together but a well aimed empty water bottle sent him on his way.  We had a loaded baked potato bar and make your own sundaes instead of the traditional pot luck. Everyone brought toppings for both and the Riley’s provided the potatoes and ice cream. Some of us took advantage of the many trails in the campground and biked and hiked.  We played some holiday games and sang Christmas carols on our last evening there. The Riley’s sent us on our way home after a breakfast feast of egg casserole, fruit, pastries and cookies and of course coffee !  We truly missed all who could not be with us and hope to see you at the next campout.

Our business meeting minutes are e-mailed to our members.