President’s Report: Bob Beers State of the NWTFC Chapter Letter
December 31, 2005
I feel it is appropriate at the end of my term of office as President of the North West Trek Fun Club to share some history, observations and feelings of the future for the Club.
First of all, I want to share with you that this has been a very wonderful and rewarding experience for us, as Peggy and I have met super people through the NWTFC, SAFARI International and FMCA.
When Peggy and I launched the idea of a NWTFC in 2003, we had no idea where to start or how to proceed. After many phone calls and emails with Al & Judy Yeast our National Leaders, Liana & Wayne Kenny the SWTFC president and Grace Henderson from the NETFC, we put a plan together.
We secured a list of Trek owners from SAFARI and sent them invitations to join us, Al & Judy put an article about the new NWTFC in the Trek Talk publication, Dick & Lois Piispanen had a list of Trek owners that we contacted, we put a note on Trek Tracks WEB site and everyone who signed up went looking for other Trek owners.
By March 14, 2004, we had 34 members and 17 had signed up for the Pueblo, CO. National Rally. Our very first NWTFC meeting was held at the Pueblo National Trek Rally and two new Trekkers signed up there.
Our very first Rally was held on June 28-30, 2004 in Toppenish WA. Mr. and Mrs. Gary Smith from the SETFC joined us and were a big help in getting us organized. We decided on a formal structure and officers were elected. We also chose to become an FMCA chapter, as this was the only way we saw that would provide liability insurance for our club activities.
The officers voted in at this meeting have done an outstanding job working as a team to move the NWTFC to the respected position it now holds with SAFARI International, FMCA and with other Trek clubs. These officers are Bob Beers- President, Peggy Beers-Vice President/Rally Master, Penny Braden- Secretary, Pat Bohn treasurer, Judy Schindler-FMCA National Director, Bob Beers-FMCA Alt. National Director. Committees are: Greg Hollister- Web Site, and The Van den Broeks- International Contingent.
The NWTFC has now sponsored three very successful rallies. I recommend more rallies are planned and think about some during the summer. There was some good rally input at the last rally and I am sure you will all want to be involved in chairing future rallies.
Our club has been very well attended at many Safari and FMCA Rallies around the country. We also chaired the Door Prize committee at the NW FMCA Rally in Albany, OR. I was the listed chair for this but Gene and Carole Nemish did most of the work. They are also chairing that committee in 2006, so hope a bunch of you will be there to help. At the non-NWTFC Rallies, if we had a quorum of members, we had a club meeting also.
At the Albany rally your club was recognized several times by the NW FMCA Vice President: how fast we grew, how active we have been, newest NW FMCA club, stepping up to the Door Prize Chair at the last minute and had more quality prizes then they had ever experienced, 2nd place in the Chapter Fair (chaired by Jeanette Block). We also made a great showing in the Chapter Parade. This is pretty exciting when we are recognized in front of about 1300 FMCA members and National officers.
Jeanette Block designed pins and patches for our club and the board agreed to purchase some of each. Wearing these items is a very nice way to advertise your club. Peggy and I have also presented pins to FMCA, SAFARI and other Trek Fun Club Leaders. Jeanette has a few pins remaining from the first order and patches can be special ordered. The club treasure has been repaid for the initial purchase. At the last Board Meeting it was voted that remaining pins will be advertised and sold at only $3.00 each so now is the time to get a bunch. We purchased 12 more to use for PR purposes.
Greg Hollister has done an outstanding job in putting together our nationally recognized WEB site. About half of you have sent your pictures to Greg. I encourage the rest of you to submit pictures as this is a big help in tying names to faces. The WEB site provides info about club happenings, listing of members, links to related WEBs etc.
From my perspective, we have too much money in our treasury and we should look for ways of using it wisely, keeping in mind that it should go for things that benefit the entire membership.
Peggy and I have moved up to a 2004, 28RB Trek and a 2006 Forester toad and we plan to make very good use of them. We will be attending the Safari Pre Rally in Victorville, CA, The FMCA Natl. Rally in Pomona, CA. We will chair a NWTFC Pre Rally in Independence, MO, and then attend the National Trek Rally in Sedalia, MO. And who knows from there.
Our involvement with the NWTFC has been a super great experience and we look forward to many more years of Trekking with all of you.
Year-end Report from Vice-President and Rally Master
Three Northwest Fun Club Rallies were held during the first year of our new Clubs life:
Our first Rally, was held June 28, 29, 30 of 2004, in Toppenish, WA, at the Yakima Nation RV Park. Hosts were Pat and Arne Bohn and Peggy and Bob Beers. We had 29 coaches attending, including visitors from Florida, Gary and Karen Smith. Gary was very helpful, giving us good advice on club structure. Gary is an active member of the SE Trek Fun Club. The Clubs first officers were elected at this Rally and guidelines for the Club established. A wagon tour of the Toppenish Murals was offered, museums, and lots of food, fun and fellowship was enjoyed by all.
Our second Rally was held at the Marina in Cathlamet, WA, on March 17, 18, 19, 20 of 2005. Hosts were Ron and Ginny Rawson. 21 coaches attended. A wonderful time was had by all, with lots of fellowship at happy hour/potlucks, a wonderful barbeque salmon dinner, door prizes, and lots to see and do in the historic town of Cathlamet.
Our third Rally was hosted by Phyllis and Roger Knight at the Ocean Park Resort, Ocean Park, WA, October 7, 8, 9 of 2005. More than 20 coaches attended, including several who became new members. A wonderful time was had by all with lots of fellowship and good food. There many fun things to do, with the Cranberrian Festival in nearby Ilwaco, State Park, historic homes, beaches to drive, and lots of shops and galleries to visit.
Kathy Isom provided a lot of very helpful information on the structure and record-keeping aspects of Rallies, to give us some guidelines. The following guidelines were agreed upon for our Rallies:
1.All costs must be covered by the Rally fees collected from participants.
2.The total costs (meals and supplies) should not exceed $20.00 per person, excluding the campground fees, unless approved by the executive board. Campground fees usually will be paid directly to the campground.
3.If a member signs up for a Rally, but finds they cannot attend, part or all of the Rally fee may be refunded to the member at the discretion of the Rally Leader.
4.The location chosen must accommodate a minimum of 20 coaches and have covered facilities for group gatherings in case of inclement weather.
5.Happy hours and/or evening meals and the last days breakfast should be planned as group activities.
6.Each Rally will have a minimum of 90 minutes for a business meeting.
7.Each Rally will have a minimum of 60 minutes for a technical meeting.
8.Rallies will be a minimum of three nights.
Many of us also attended (as a group) the National Trek Rally in Pueblo, Co, April 2004, Safari Pre-Homecoming Rally at Mount Hood Village, OR, August 10-13, 2004, FMCA NW Rally at Albany, OR May 2005, and the NW Safari Rally at Newport, OR, June, 2005.
Secretarys Report 2004-2005
When I volunteered for the position of Secretary for the NWTFC at its charter organization, I had no idea what I was in for! I didnt raise my hand because I was a glutton for punishment, but because I felt that if someone didnt start the ball rolling, all of Bobs good work in getting us together to start a fun club would be for naught. What a full 18 months this has been!
The first thing I had to do was establish a data base for the club, consisting of a spread sheet of all our charter members. Then I had to disseminate this info to those same members. I wrote form letters to be sent to prospective members, with info about our club. I wrote form letters to be sent to those who actually joined the club. I composed periodic progress letters to keep our members informed of club activities, events, offers, and requirements. I took notes and wrote up minutes of club general and executive meetings. I was the focal point for new members, from receiving their applications and checks, adding them to our club roster, and sending the checks to our treasurer and member info to our webmaster to be added to the website. I regularly perused Trek Tracks for new prospects and sent them info on our club. At each rally I attended, I visited as many Treks as I could to inform them of our club and invite them to check us out.
I spent a lot of time with Jim Phillips, our FMCA regional officer, to glean as much understanding of the FMCA club benefits and insurance coverage as I could and then passed it on to the other officers. I spent the equivalent of one whole day at the 2004 FMCA rally in Redmond, OR attending various FMCA educational, instructional & organizational seminars on behalf of our other officers (who were not able to attend) & passed on all I was able to learn to those officers. After the vote in August 2004 to become a chapter of FMCA, I had a lot of additional paperwork to complete and forward to FMCA.
As an available officer, I helped out where I could at all the functions the Cathlamet rally (where I organized & bought the food for the Sunday breakfast which I had to miss because of a broken foot!), the Albany rally (where I helped Jeanette with the chapter table and marched in the parade), the Safari International rallies in 2004 & 2005 (where I was a liaison with Brian Wigzell in setting up time for our meetings), and the Ocean Park rally (where I made the name tags for every attendee and helped Phyllis wherever I could).
I composed information notices and sent them periodically to the publications Trek Talk, Safari Adventures, Safari Trails, etc. I tried to keep our officers and members informed of any pertinent information I was privy to.
Our membership has gone from 25 to 58 during my tenure; our members are becoming more excited to be involved, and Im proud to have been part of it.
NWTFC 2005 Treasurer Report
Treasure Report: Set up and a brief operation guideline. The checking account was opened under Pat Bohn, tres. and Bob Beers, pres..(EIN).S.S. #. No club name. The account was opened with $240.00 (one time fee from the new members). That was July, 2005.
Deposits were made from new members. No checks or debits were withdrawn in the year 2004.
Year 2005: Balance of $340.00. Account balance, Date 10-28-05 $522.49. Date 11-28-05 $711.49. All deposits and withdrawals are documented. Will close account and send a check to Jim Isom when he is ready. Also, need to make an arrangement with Jim, so I can get these account records to him. Document records: U.S. Mail, E-Mail, Receipts. Bob if you need more information please let me know. Suggestions The club has grown since we opened this account, so I suggest a EIN # and using the clubs name. NWTFC.
FMCA Director’s Report 2005
Our First Year FMCA National Director Perspective
Being a member of this fabulous NW Trek Fun Club is a real treat. Our group is made up of wonderful people who enjoying making our club FUN. We are so thankful that we have made great new friends because of the Club as well as getting to enjoy the old friends more and more.
Whether or not to become an FMCA Chapter was one of the first important decisions for our members. After weighing the considerable advantages such as liability insurance, organization guidance, door-prizes, insurance, medical, publicity and other benefits vs. the disadvantages of additional membership fees and reporting to FMCA, there was little doubt that becoming an FMCA Chapter would be best. Since I was a strong proponent of becoming an FMCA Chapter and had done much of the research, I thought Id better agree to become the National Director!
My primary duty is to function as an information liaison for NWTFC and FMCA. I try to keep all of the Board members apprised of the helpful materials from FMCA. FMCA has written guidelines that we have used for the organization of our club such as Board member job descriptions, club by-laws, suggestions for rally guidelines, and for our by-laws. FMCA maintains a Chapter Office staffed with folks who help us with suggestions. I also send news of our Club to the Chapter Office. If they have questions about our Club, they contact me for answers. Most of this is done by email. FMCA request that our Secretary, this year it was Penny, keep the FMCA Chapter Office informed of new members, etc. I also arranged to receive the coffee pot, US & Canadian Flags, the parking signs, and the $150-worth door prizes from FMCA. RV parks send rally-site information to me that I forward to our Rallymaster, Dean.
The National Director must attend the NW Area Rally to represent our Club. It would be ideal that the National Director attend the International and National FMCA Rallies because the National Director and Alternate National Directors participate in and vote at the FMCA Governing Board meetings. The duties of the Governing Board are to adopt Bylaws and specific policies of the association; to adopt the annual budget; to enforce the Constitution, Bylaws, and FMCA’s Code of Ethics; to elect the four nationally elected officers president, senior vice president, secretary and treasurer. Since neither Bob nor I were able to attend the Governing Board meeting in Minot, ND, Bob asked Jan Van den Broek to be our representative. I made the arrangements with the Chapter Office to get the Rally materials to Jan when I notified them that Jan had been elected as our acting-representative.
The National Director or Assistant National Director should try to attend the FMCA Planning meetings. Bob was able to attend the meeting in April. Gene Nemish handled this duty for the meeting in September. Next year I hope I can go to both. Bob volunteered our club to handle the Door-Prize booth at the NW Area Rally in 2005. Gene volunteered for this duty for the NW Area Rally in 2006. Of course, Ill be at the NW Area Rally in 2006.
Our first year was great FUN and I know next year will be too! I really look forward to working with the 2006 crew. Thank you!
National FMCA Director
NWTFC Web Site Report
The first NWTFC function I attended was a business meeting at the 2004 Safari International Rally at Welches, Or. During that meeting it was suggested that a Web Site would be a good addition to the Club. My lovely wife, who is always looking for thing for me to do, suggested that I, the proverbial techno nerd, could build one. As things would have it there was no further discussion on the topic during the rally.
In January of 2005 Bob Beers put out a call for volunteers for several items, one of which was web site development. I responded to the request and for the next month and a half worked with Bob and the executive board to design and develop NWTFC.HR-RINGKINGS.COM. The site was launched March 3, 2005.
The Club Website is divided into two areas. The Main site which provides a face to the world and a Secure Members Only area. The Main site provides a view of the CLUB and its activities while the secure site provides members with information specific to the internal workings of the Club as well as proprietary information and member contact information.�
As of this writing we have had 4300 visits to the main site. There have been two outages this year for a total of 6 hours. Several new members have been attributed to the Online membership application form and the printable form provided through the site.
There are several major changes planned for 2006.
1.The name used to reach the site will change. In 2005 we piggybacked off an already existing web site. This was a temporary (free) alternative used to see if the site would be a success. It has been, so in 2006 the Club will finance their own site as approved at Ocean Park business meeting. At this time it looks like the new site will be www.nwtfc.com. Expect this change to occur in February 2006.
2.Login to secure Members area will change. The information in the Members Only area is for active members of NWTFC. We will have members joining and members leaving. To ensure only active members have access to the Members Only area a member specific user id and password will be initiated for 2006. More information will be provided as we close out 2006 member verification.
3.A Rally Attendance System is being reviewed. A suggestion was made that members who intend to participate in non NWTFC rallies may want to indicate they plan to attend. This would allow the club to organize events, parking, caravans, etc. This would not be registration for a rally just a way to indicate intention to attend and to see who else in the club is planning to attend.
4.A back up for the WebMaster will be sought. This year an unexpected event (business work stoppage) required the webmaster to be out of place for 11 weeks. While this is extremely rare it points out the need for someone to be able to pick up the site maintenance responsibilities in an emergency. Any member who is interested in acting as a back up may contact me.
Our entrance to the World Wide Web has been a success and we will, with your help, continue to have one of the best TREK related Website out there.
Webmaster – NWTFC