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News from your Eastern Area Reps: Stewart & Tammy Smith

September 13, 2018

News from your Eastern Area Reps: Stewart & Tammy Smith

WIT Club Eastern Area Reps WIT News Article – September 2018

Hello Everyone! Is it September already? We hope that you have had a fantastic summer. We love seeing photos and reading about your RV travels all over this beautiful country. The past couple months have been busy ones, here’s a recap of our WIT Club travels.

After the PA State Rally, our next stop was to Shaffer’s RV in Delta, Ohio for some service. As luck would have it, we arrived on the tail end of their Open House weekend. The Maumee Valley Winnies (MVW) had 12 rigs there for the event and enjoyed sharing the RV lifestyle with “open house” guests at Shaffer’s RV. It was nice to get to visit with some of the MVW as things were winding down. It sounded like they all had a great weekend. This “open house” is a Shaffer’s RV family tradition and it’s become an annual event for the MVW members as well. We were thankful to receive excellent service while at Shaffer’s RV, they did a great job!

From Ohio, we headed north to Marshall, Michigan to join the Lancing Area Winnies (LAW) at Camp Turkeyville. Over the weekend they had experienced the Civil War Re-enactment “Battle of Turkeyville” and saw “The Savannah Sipping Society” at a local dinner theater. The remainder of this campout consisted of relaxing campfires, a trip to the Battle Creek Zoo and some sampling at the Dark Horse Brewing Company. One couple had a new RV to show everyone, that’s always exciting!

To continue the Michigan adventure, we traveled to Hastings, for the Water Wonderland Winnies (WWW) Michigan State Rally, themed “Red, White & WWW.” We loved seeing the all the patriotic “red, white & blue” decorations everywhere. There was a “walking scrabble” game, that was truly a battle of the sexes (guys against the gals). The ladies were fast on their feet and could actually spell for the big WIN! It was awesome to have large group campfires in the evening. One night we were all taught how to make cinnamon twists (also referred to as “turds”) over the fire, the ingredients included canned biscuits, sugar, cinnamon and butter…yummy. There were several interesting seminars, a cornhole competition, an RV decorating contest, along with good food and loads of door prizes. We all wished the Cereal City Campers a happy 25th birthday…congratulations on this special milestone! The Michigan WWW Rally was filled with fun and laughter, as well as lots of healthy competition when it came to games and contest. 

In early July, we were thankful to be able to stop in and celebrate Independence Day with family in Charles City, Iowa. It was wonderful to relax and spend time with family. We took in a patriotic small-town parade, fireworks and a traditional 4th of July family cookout.

Then we rolled in to Forest City, IA to get ready for the biggest WIT Club party of the year. The 49th annual “Grand National Rally” (GNR) to celebrate Winnebago Industries 60th anniversary. It takes a lot of work, but it’s always cool to see the rally grounds transform during the preparation phase for guests to arrive. We watched the rally grounds grow from a handful of RVs, to hundreds of RVs, it’s always very exciting! We were thrilled to see so many of you in Forest City for GNR. There were lots of fun festivities, fantastic entertainment and favorable weather. It was awesome to have so many “first-timers” come out this year, those bright green ribbons were everywhere……we hope that y’all enjoyed your first GNR!

We’d like to make a “shout out” to the WIT Law Enforcement Officers (LEOs) on their 30th birthday as a special interest group and to the Quinebagos of Massachusetts on their 45th birthday…congratulations! We were honored to get present you all with birthday patches and letters during GNR. Another very special event during GNR was the WIT Charter Members Club tree planting ceremony. A beautiful royal red maple tree was planted in the amphitheater (near the flagpoles), in memory of and to honor Gerald Bowman and the WIT Charter Members.

A HUGE “Thank You” to all the GNR volunteers! It truly takes a village to coordinate a rally the size of GNR and we couldn’t do it without you. We sincerely appreciate all your hard work and dedication to making this year’s GNR a success. Many folks are already making plans to caravan out for the 2019 GNR, when we’ll all celebrate WIT Club’s 50th birthday together!                                                           

Save the date: 2019 Grand National Rally, July 22nd -27th (Forest City, IA)

Before we knew it, we were “on the road again” to meet up with the Buckeye Winnies (BW) in Geneva, OH. The Geneva area is known for covered bridges, barn quilts and wineries near the Lake Erie waterfront. Several folks ventured out to explore the area and the group enjoyed a dinner out to Joey’s Italian Grill. Evening campfires were relaxing, and one night there was live music at the campground. The BW had guests at this campout that they’d met at GNR, who became new members by the end of the weekend…Yay!  They were also busy finalizing plans for the upcoming Ohio State Rally themed “Woodstock the Sequel”, sounds like it’s going to be a blast!

We continued to travel through Ohio and joined the Motor Cities Winnies for their Ohio Amish Country outing. This is the land of beautiful farms with rolling hills, horse drawn buggies and everything Amish. The group explored several Amish communities, including restaurants and did lots of shopping. The weather was perfect for story telling around evening campfires (some of the stories were actually true). There was a farewell cookout/potluck where the men did all the cooking, they did a terrific job. Some fun quirks during this campout involved “mystery wine” and many jokes, ask them about the man in the seersucker suit… LOL!    

Our next stop was along the beautiful Mohawk River just north of Albany, NY, where we met up with the Windmill Winnies. The weather was wet, but no one let that dampen their spirits. This was a very relaxed campout, everyone really enjoyed spending time together.  There was much visiting and sharing of RV and other travel adventures. Group meals were wonderful and (in spite of the weather) we managed to have a nice campfire one evening. By the end of the campout, the new Windmill Winnie’s officers were installed and happy to serve. “Thank You” all for stepping up to support your chapter by volunteering to be officers.  

Then we were off to visit with our friends from the north, the Ontario Trillium Travellers (OTT). 18 RVs gathered for festivities to celebrate OTT’s 25th birthday in Blyth, Ontario. It all kicked off with a really cool tour of the Iceculture plant in Hensall, ON.  Iceculture is known worldwide for the amazing ice sculptures they create and have shipped to 27 different countries. Several took in a play “The New Canadian Curling Club” at a local theater, it was hilarious. Then everyone enjoyed a wonderful lunch and some sampling at the Cowbell Brewery. The host team did a fantastic job with planning, delicious food and decorations. A fun filled 25th birthday party topped off the celebration, with founding and charter members on hand to cut the cake. Congratulations OTT on your 25th birthday, a good time was had by all!

After that we joined up with the Cereal City Campers at Holiday Shores RV Resort in Durand, MI. This campout started off with live music by “The Music Doctor” at the clubhouse.  On Saturday we all toured Curwood Castle and Park, followed by a dinner outing to Lula’s Louisiana Cookhouse. Afternoon social hours and evenings campfires were fun gatherings filled with stories and sharing. Sunday the group explored Frankenmuth, which is Michigan’s “Little Bavaria.” That excursion included a visit to Bronner’s, the enormous Christmas store and lunch at the famous Bavarian Inn. Michigan is chock full of interesting places and wonderful people!  

Well it’s that time of year, the leaves will be turning soon, pumpkins and mums seem to be everywhere and college football is in full swing. We hope that you enjoy your fall travel adventures, wherever the road may lead you.

Take care and safe travels out there,                                                                                                         

Stewart & Tammy

Life’s a gift…Enjoy the journey