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Are You an Honorary Cajun?

Highlights of the 2012 Spring Rally

Breaux Bridge, Louisiana

March 26-29, 2012


Poche’s RV Park and Fish ‘n’ Camp in rural Breaux Bridge, LA was the site of the ARC Spring Rally for 2012.  41 Chapter Members gathered together for 4-days of celebration as our Chapter begins it’s 32nd year recognized by FMCA.  Several Coaches arrived a day or two early.  By Monday, March 26th, things were in full-swing.

The Clubhouse at Poche’s sits overlooking Cypress Lake, one of five 10-acre lakes in the property.  With a full-kitchen facility, large main room, wrap-around covered deck with rocking chairs, this was the gathering site for all our activities.

The Happy Hour and Welcome Dinner were kicked-off with a brief and colorful video from the Lafayette Visitor’s Bureau depicting the culture and music of the area.   Members were proclaimed Honorary Cajuns and received their personalized Certificates granting them the Rights, Privileges, and Joie de Vivre of Lafayette, the Heart of Louisiana’s Cajun Country. Our Welcome dinner featured “Walkin Tacos” served with Creole-seasoned Red Beans, Taquitos, a Veggie Platter, Cookies AND a large contribution of wonderful appetizers and desserts from our members.

Speaking of desserts…Monday night, I was surprised with a cake with my call sign to celebrate passing my Technician test on March 17th!    That was a “Wow” moment!   Thank you for such a great memory.  I should have suspected something was up when the Rathke’s and Blackstock’s announced they were heading out on a special mission.  I could not imagine what we would be needing, we had everything for dinner all planned…you totally caught me off guard!

Lana and I decorated an area for member photos with a colorful Mardi Gras-theme.  We appreciate the members getting their photos early in the Rally to allow time for development.  Thanks again, Lana, for being our photographer and printing out a set of photos for each Coach to have as a keepsake.  It’s a lot of work and we do so appreciate your efforts.

Morning Coffee and breakfast were served each morning in the Clubhouse.  On Tuesday morning, as members entered the clubhouse, they were greeted with a personalized coffee mug, designed and etched by Les and Carole Wright to commemorate the Rally.  Thanks to Les and Carole for locating the mugs, creating and ordering the stencil, and etching the mugs.  And a special thanks to Chuck Myers, an early riser who put the coffee on for us each morning of the Rally, even Friday morning before departing.

The Board met on Tuesday morning to outline the agenda for Thursday’s General Meeting and Election.  All members were invited to attend, but not surprisingly, most members opted out to enjoy the Resort and explore the area.

A new User’s Management System Database was introduced by Larry (N7LWD) on Tuesday afternoon.  All members were encouraged to attend this informative meeting on the Member’s User Management System, a new tool designed by Larry to help us better track our membership and provide easy access to Chapter Rosters.  This new, more secure database for our Chapter will allow our Members to create their own ID and password and have access to their profile.   More information on the UMS is also on our Chapter web site.

Following the UMS discussions, roundtable technical sessions filled the rest of the afternoon as Bob (WB5MRG) Blackstock shared information on Motor Coach Charging Systems and Chuck (KW5I) shared information on Solar Panels.

Our potluck was Tuesday night, with the Rally providing the main course, Ham. (Sounds appropriate for this gathering, doesn’t it?)   Ham may have been the main course, but we had a delicious assortment of appetizers, salads, side-dishes, and desserts.   And I have to make a special mention of Joyce Wallace’s Clam Chowder.  It’s always a big hit at our Rallies!   Many thanks to all our Members who made the Potluck Dinner such a success!

Chuck and Anne Myers prepared a terrific Pancake and Sausage Breakfast on Wednesday morning.  A surprise entrée was delivered by Beth Rathke…Bacon Rosebuds!  Very creative, Beth!   I want to thank you all for making the Wednesday breakfast a special occasion and for all the other morale support and pitching in whenever needed.

Wednesday was designated as free time.    For the members that stayed back at the Resort, Wally and Sandy Davidson suggested a sign-up sheet to have Pizza delivered. They helped coordinate the event for 25 members.  Good suggestion and everyone had a great time.

French toast, ham & juice were on the menu for Thursday morning, served by Karla and Larry.  The Rathke’s contributed a lovely bowl of fresh fruit to accompany the breakfast.  Thanks Beth and Dave!  You always have such neat surprises for us!  Beth also assisted in the kitchen on many occasions, especially cracking those eggs for the next batch of French toast.

Thursday afternoon’s General Meeting was held at 2:30 p.m.  It was a full house as the Board outlined some recent decisions for promoting current member interest and the recruitment of new members.  The Minutes of the General Meeting and Election are on our web site and included in this issue of the Transmitter. 

Our final Dinner was catered by Poches’ Meat Market.  They delivered roasted, smoke chicken, rice dressing dishes with crawfish and shrimp, seasoned red beans, rice, coleslaw, and bread pudding with praline sauce.  We also ordered a 30th Anniversary celebration cake to top off the Rally events.  Attendees received 30th Anniversary commemorative patches in their Welcome Bag.  Don’t despair if you weren’t there…Patches have been mailed out to all Members.

And, of course, there were door prizes!  Each person received a door prize relating to Ham Radio equipment or RVing.  The Grand Prize, a dual-band Radio, went to a very surprised Sandy Davidson.  Congratulations, Sandy!  

The group wanted to play 50/50.  Dave Rathke and Bob Blackstock made the rounds with the tickets.  Sheila de Laneuville won the pot…beginner’s luck!  Sheila had never played 50/50 before!

I received a lot of appreciative thanks before, during and after the Rally, but certainly know the success of this Rally is not just because of the combined efforts of the Host-Couples, but because so many others offered to helped out and pitched right in.  From early morning coffee, washing and drying dishes, making special foods, sweeping floors, auditing the Treasurer Reports, designing special gifts and “business” cards, taking out the trash, setting up tables and chairs, photography---you can see that this is not a 1- or 2- team process.  Larry and I feel fortunate to have co-hosted this Rally with Les and Carole; the balance of ideas and work ethics was a key element.  As with any ‘acceptance speech’ the fear of forgetting someone weighs heavily on my mind; but were it not for the individual efforts of so many of our attendees, this Rally would not have been as successful.  Thank you ALL very much!

By Karla Dayhuff, K4KLD, FMCA ARC Secretary