by Barb Turner, Publicity Chair
The 2017 Family Campers & RVers Campvention in Lima, Ohio, hosted by the Great Lakes Region, July 9 – 16, will offer new areas for our members to explore either before, after, or during Campvention. With this in mind, we’ll explore areas that might interest attendees in the next few months leading up to Campvention..
The Miami and Erie Canal provides interesting sites within easy driving distance of the Allen County Fairgrounds, site of Campvention.
The Miami and Erie Canal was constructed on the western side of the state of Ohio to create a water route from Toledo (on Lake Erie) in the north to Cincinnati (on the Ohio River) in the south. Why? Commerce! The canal provided an easy mode of transportation for goods to travel from the northern part of Ohio to the Ohio River. From there the products/goods could be transferred to river transportation to go on down the Ohio to the Mississippi River and New Orleans where they were sold..
What an undertaking! Construction began in 1825, 22 years after Ohio became a state. It was completed in 1845! That’s 20 years, at state expense of $8,062,680.07. ‘At its peak, it included 19 aqueducts, three guard locks, 105 canal locks, multiple feeder canals, and a few man-made water reservoirs. The canal climbed 395 feet above Lake Erie and 513 feet above the Ohio River to reach a topographical peak called the Loramie Summit which extended 19 miles between New Bremen (Lock 1 North) to Lock 1 South in Lockington, north of Piqua. Boats up to 80 feet long were towed along the canal by mules, horses, and oxen walking on a prepared towpath along the bank at a rate of 5 miles per hour.’ ‘Locking Through’ was the process to raise and lower the canal boats as they traversed the topographical changes along the canal.
Construction of such a canal in 1825 was far different from what it would be today; thus, the 20 years. Construction requirements: water depth – 4 feet; width at water level – 40 feet; towpath width in addition to mandated outer slopes – 10 feet; all slopes were to be 4 ½ feet horizontal to 4 feet perpendicular; and the canal must accommodate boats up to 90 feet in length and 14 feet in width. How were these requirements met? Manual labor! ‘Irish immigrants, convicts, and local farmers used picks, shovels and wheelbarrows to relocate the dirt and clay. This dawn to dusk labor brought in a wage of 30 cents a day.’ Disease was a problem for the workers. Drunken violence was also a problem along the construction route.
A canal, of course, needs water. Man-made reservoirs such as Grand Lake St. Marys and Lake Loramie were constructed. Several feeder canals were built. Indian Lake was greatly enlarged to provide a steady supply of water via feeder canals. (Today, you might want to enjoy the state parks at Grand Lake St. Marys, Lake Loramie, and Indian Lake, all of which are within easy driving distance of the Campvention site. They have excellent campgrounds.)
As the canal was completed in 1845, railroads were being built in Ohio. Railroads were the canal’s major competitor for the remainder of its operation. Problems for the canal versus rail transportation? The canal froze over in the winter. Moving goods by canal boat was slow, especially for perishable goods as well as passenger traffic compared to the train. Even though canal services were cheaper, particularly for bulk cargoes, overall they couldn’t compete with the railroad. By 1906 the canal essentially ceased operation. The Great Dayton Flood of 1913 and the dams subsequently built to prevent a similar event destroyed much of the southern infrastructure. The canal was abandoned.
What can you see today within easy driving distance of Campvention?
About 40 miles south of Lima is the historical site of Johnston Farm & Indian Agency (9845 N Hardin Rd., Piqua, Ohio) where you can travel a small section of the Miami and Erie Canal aboard the General Harrison canal boat. It is a 70-foot replica canal boat like those used to transport passengers and goods in the 19th century. The boat is pulled by mules along the towpath. Costumed guides will take you back to that quiet time along the Miami and Erie Canal.
In addition to the canal, tour the site which tells the story of early Ohio and the Upper Miami Valley. The site was the home and farm of Col. John Johnston who served as a Federal Indian Agent in Ft. Wayne, Indiana and Piqua, Ohio. Again, costumed guides will take you back to that early period of 200+ years ago. The farm is open to the public Thursday – Sunday in June, July, and August. To learn more, visit the website at http://johnstonfarmohio.com.
North of Johnston Farm & Indian Agency, about 20 miles south of the campvention site, is Lock 1 North at New Bremen which was founded in 1832 by a group of German immigrants near the mid-point of the canal. Lock 1 North in the center of town was built at the north end of the Loramie Summit. The canal brought great prosperity to the village with grist mills, woolen mills, sawmills, and several pork-packing plants and grain warehouses along the canal. Visit the lock and the lockmaster’s house beside it. While in the village, visit the Bicycle Museum of America (7 W. Monroe Street, near the lock). Over 300 bicycles are on display.
Visit http://parks.ohiodnr.gov/Portals/parks/PDFs/canals/ME_canal_booklet.pdf for much more information on the Miami and Erie Canal and other sites along the old Miami and Erie Canal in planning your trip to Campvention 2017 in Lima, Ohio next July.
Sharlene Miller, Project Sales Chair
Does your chapter have items to sell as a money-making project at Campvention 2016? Or do you as an individual have crafts, camping supplies, hobby items or other merchandise to sell?
We are offering the opportunity for either FCRV chapters or individual attendees to market items at the “Route 66 Marketplace” to be held at Campvention 2016 in Shawnee, Oklahoma.
There is no charge for Chapters, but there will be a $15 charge to individuals for each table you need for your merchandise. If you or your chapter plans to sell items, please register no later than June 24, 2016.
Sharlene Miller, Project Sales Chair, E-mail – firstname.lastname@example.org,Phone: 816-273-7222 (cell) or 816-233-7241(home)
To register,print and complete the 2016 FCRV Marketplace form.
Come join us for the first-ever FCRV display parade. This year we are trying something new as we are so fortunate to have an air-conditioned building large enough to have our display parade in. Each entry will have an area approximately 20’x24′ to decorate. This is large enough that you can even put a vehicle in your display area to go along with our “Cruisin’ Route 66” theme, a theme with a lot of possibilities so please put your thinking caps on and your design talents to work. There are different categories for display and/or walking units that will be judged and eligible to receive awards.
The categories consist of either a display and/or walking unit for the following: chapter, teen chapter, state/provincial, individual member family, national entry (conservation, national retirees, wildlife, field directors, and all entries dealing with the National programs) and the all teen royalty. All the aforementioned categories are eligible to win the display stealer and president’s award. All walking units will have room to walk around inside the building to be judged while doing their routine. It will be so great to be able to wear costumes this year in the air-conditioned building.
Everyone that participates in a display or walking unit will be awarded a participation certificate. Remember, this is your chance to show off your royalty and pride in being a Family Campers and RVers member. If you are not in a display or walking unit, please come and admire all the work that has gone into the displays and walking routines. Once again, remember it is air-conditioned for your comfort. It is a great time to join together one last time before heading home for visiting with your FCRV family and admiring all the hard work that went into developing their display or routine.
The deadline for registration is May 1, 2016.
Faye Tennyson, Parade Chair
Two crafts will be offered at Campvention 2016
Make a necklace or infinity scarf from a t-shirt. Bring a plain t-shirt (one you don’t mind cutting up) any color, 100% cotton, size L or XL works best. Also, bring a sharp pair of scissors. Price not yet determined.
Make a chalkboard from a picture frame. Bring a 5×7 or 8×10 picture frame with glass and a sharp pair of scissors. Decorate your frame with beads, buttons, and assorted items which will be provided. Cost $5.00.
Pat Crow, Chair
The Campvention 2016 entertainment chairs Weldon & Joanne Segars are announcing the entertainment schedule for Campvention 2016 in Shawnee, Oklahoma July 24-29.
Bill White from Texas will be performing a tribute to Jim Reeves Monday evening, July 25th. Over 50 years ago (July 31, 1964) Jim Reeves died tragically in a plane crash. For you Jim Reeves fans, his music lives on in his nephew Bill White. You will hear the same baritone from his nephew as he sings a few of Reeves’ classics. From The Indian Express newspaper when he was interviewed in 2013, “Bill says, ‘For me it was always Uncle Jim and Aunty Mary,’ with his Texas drawl. In fact, he recalls, ‘I was with him (Reeves) on the last Christmas that he was alive.’ However despite all this time, one has to marvel at the nearly identical baritone White shares with his uncle – as he strums his guitar and sings us a song. Ironically, he went into recording albums post a 40-year career in church ministry.’ “I have four country and two gospel albums out,’ he says proudly. But wherever he preaches and sings, of course there always room for an old Jim Reeves favorite…like Four Walls…which he gives us instrumentally on the piano.” Attendees at the Campvention 2016 will enjoy Bill White as he sings Jim Reeves.
Greg Claassen from Kansas will entertain on Tuesday night, July 26th. “He is an outstanding entertainer and will have everyone laughing,” says Segars. Greg has the background to prove he can entertain just about any group. He has been an active performer since 1980 and a full-time professional since 1998. He was a National Winner in the ‘Bob Hope Search for the Top’ talent competition, a featured performer at popular family theme parks Silver Dollar City in Branson, Missouri and Disney World in Florida. He has performed more than 3,000 shows over 40 states and Canada, setting new standards for quality entertainment at RV and business functions. Don’t miss Greg Claassen in Shawnee.
The Williamsons from Oklahoma will be singing Gospel/Country music on Thursday night, July 28th. They have been performing Gospel/Country for over forty years. They will have performed over sixty times in 2015, from Arizona to Florida and Kentucky to Indiana. They have also performed for several RV rallies along the way. The fast rising Southern Gospel group was a finalist for the Fan Favorite Artist of the Year in the 2015 Absolutely Gospel Music Awards. The quartet is led by Donnie Williamson, emcee, playing the piano and singing baritone with his wife Lisa. Lisa’s voice is flexible and smooth. Darin Hebert sings base with the quartet, and Karl Rice not only sings, but he is proficient on the guitar, piano, dobro, mandolin, and harmonica. “The Williams shows are well suited for our group, great comedy and great music,” says Segars.
Michael Merrill from Texas will be Campvention’s final night of entertainment on Friday, July 29th. He will be singing old-time country favorites. Michael Merrill is retired from the U.S. Air Force and a veteran of Desert Shield. He is a product of the Air Force talent program, and during his career he performed all over Europe and most of the United States. He became the official voice for the National Anthem for every base at which he was stationed. One of his most noted accomplishment during his Air Force career was to perform the National Anthem for President Ronald Reagan and German Chancellor Helmut Kohl which stationed at Bitburg AFB in Germany. A key achievement on the ‘civilian’ side of life was to perform the National Anthem for the premiere season of the CBA Texans in Wichita Falls in 1988-89. Michael made his dream of entertaining a reality by establishing his track show company, Lone Wolf Entertainment, in 1997. While Michael performed at The Flame Club in Chicago with a trio, he was given the moniker of the ‘Velvet Voice.’ He not only uses his talents for his company, he also volunteers his time to various senior citizens’ homes and events in the Texoma area. He feels the important thing one can give to the elderly is one’s time. He is a regular performer on the Branson-style Texas Gold Show in Wichita Falls, which took their traveling show to surrounding Texoma communities. When the Dallas Cowboys brought their summer camp to Wichita Falls in 1998, Michael was the opening act for the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders when they performed at Sheppard Air Force Base. He has also made another dream come true; he is a recording artist. He has recorded a country/western CD, a compilation of jazz standards, a collection of inspirational songs, a Christmas Classics CD, a Fifties CD, as well as a CD of blues standards. His track show has brought him notoriety in North Texas and southern Oklahoma. Michael has entertained at all of the casinos in Texoma. He has performed at countless weddings, anniversaries, and other events. Michael is an entertainer who can sing many music genres. His passion for music is endless.
Join us in Shawnee the end of July, 2016 and be entertained! See you there!
At the 2016 Campvention in Shawnee, OK and to honor the “Route 66” theme, a decorating contest is being planned and sponsored by Geneseo Campground. The judged categories will be: Best Truck, Best Muscle Car, Best Classic Vintage, and Best In Show. The first three categories will be judged by “car buff” experts and the Best in show will be a “people’s choice” with each FCRV attendee getting the chance to vote for their favorite entry! That’s right! An entry could win in two categories!
But wait…there’s more! Each voter has the opportunity to vote more than once in the “Best In Show” category. Bring a few dollars, and you will be able to cast more “ballots” for your favorite or for several entries.
All entries will need to be decorated at the Campvention; so begin to create your remodeling plans now.
Great prizes for each winner! More details to follow!!!!
Marti Price – Chairman
Theme – Moonlight in Vermont
Best Chapter – Meandering Mohawks, Ontario
Best State/Province – Ohio
Best Walking Unit – Connecticut
Best National – FCRV Band
Best Teen Royalty – 1st New York, 2nd Michigan, 3rd Pennsylvania
Best Theme – Connecticut
Parade Stealer – New York
President’s Award – Connecticut
19 Units with 250 people participating.
Paul Parsley SC
Ken Greeley ONT
Rick Schnitzler CT
Tommy Garner GA
Robert Snodgrass OH
Jim Sampson ONT
Robert Wolf NY
Barb Turner FL
Dale Wagner PA
Sean Finnegan CT
Sean Finnegan CT
Closest to Pin
Paul Parsley SC
Total golfers: 30
WASHER TOSS ( 73 Players)
Mixed Doubles – 1st Debbie Yanke, CT, Gene Jennings, NY,
2nd Judy Drexler, PA, George Rothman, NY
Men’s Singles – 1st Mark Amell ,ONT, 2nd Gene Jennings, NY
Ladies Singles – 1st Judy Drexler, PA, 2nd Donna Powell ,IL
LADDER GOLF (58 players)
Mixed Doubles – 1st Tanya & George Rothman, NY
2nd Deanna & Frank Russee, NY
Men’s Singles – 1st Don Morrier, ONT 2nd Dan Boisvirt, ONT
Ladies Singles – 1st Dee Lemain, CT 2nd Sue LaBelle, ONT
HORSE SHOES (32 Players)
Mixed Doubles – 1st Patty & Joe Wittmeyer, NY
2nd Duane Keegan & Rhonda O’Neal, IL
Men’s Doubles – Gerry Finkbeiner, ONT & Eric Huett, ONT
Men’s Singles – Eric Huett, ONT 2nd Gerry Finkbeiner, ONT
Ladies Doubles – 1st Patty Wittmeyer, NY & Barb McHale, NY
2nd Donna Powell, Il & Rhonda O’Neal, IL
Ladies Singles – 1st Sue Labelle, ONT 2nd Patty Wittmeyer, NY
Special Award – Order of the Broken Shoe – Rhonda O’Neal