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; “M“other’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% 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.
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.