Tours, fishing, rig decorating
GOOD FELLOWSHIP, FUN activities and a chance to enjoy the outdoors is what the Arkansas River RV Club is all about.
Originally part of a larger national organization, the group was formed in 1971 and hundreds of member families have cycled in and out throughout the years.
Early in 2013, current members agreed to become an independent organization, choosing the Arkansas River RV Club as its name.
“It’s fun,” said President Jon Fredricks simply.
“Maybe we just pull up a chair and visit. Enjoy things.”
Members of the group – currently close to 30 people — get together once a month. During the months of April through October, the group has a two-night campout, with ever-changing locations in the Southern Colorado area.
“We’ll go on a Friday and maybe play games — cards and things — on Friday night,” Fredricks said.
“On Saturday there are outdoor games and a potluck lunch and then our group meeting. We have a non-denominational devotional on Sunday morning.
And there is lots of time for fun and visiting.”
The campouts are in locations like La Veta, Howard, La Junta and more.
On average, 10 or so rigs come to each get together.
During the colder months (November through March), the members still meet once a month, on the third Saturday, for a potluck meal or at a restaurant and to hold a brief organizational meeting.
Over the years, the group has fostered many relationships.
Vice President Bill Easton and his wife, Orabelle, have been members since 1973 and have been on many, many campouts.
“We like to get together with our friends and enjoy the fellowship,” he said.
For each campout, different people take turns acting as host wagonmasters.
They plan the schedule for the weekend and special activities.
There are also Club Wagonmasters who research and arrange the schedule of campouts for the season.
Many accommodations must be secured much in advance, as they tend to book up.
“Campout activities are filled with lots of laughter and friendly competition,” said Ledema Renfrow, the club’s secretary.
“Tours, scavenger hunts, fishing, rig decorating or Olympic games may be on the agenda. Dominos and card games are among the favorite evening activities.”
Although the members of the group are largely comprised of retired people, there are not specific requirements to join – only the desire for good friends and fun and some sort of camping equipment, whether it be a tent, RV, pop-up or more.
Some members of the group have become unable to go on overnight trips anymore due to age or health reasons, but can still be associate members.
The associate members participate in winter meetings, and are encouraged to make a day trip for the Saturday potluck and meeting on locations during the summer months.
Fredricks said they would love to get more members in the group and expand the friendship circle.
“Living in Pueblo West, I see campers all over!” he said.
“Why don’t you take it out of your yard and do something with it? Come once a month and have good fellowship.”
Pets are welcome on campouts, as are kids, whether they are children of members or grandchildren.
Membership dues are $12 per person, per year.
The group also gives money each year to charitable organizations, including the Child Advocacy Center, Sangre de Cristo Hospice, the YWCA, Habitat for Humanity and Care and Share.
Anyone interested in learning more about the Arkansas River RV Club can contact Fredrick at 547-7537.
People are welcome to attend a meeting or visit a campout as a gust and get a feel whether they would like to consider membership.
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