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2017 Convention General Information
Tours
Volunteer Vendors Seminars
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When can we come to convention? Attendees may come to the fairgrounds as early as Thursday, October 12 and stay through Sunday night, departing on Monday, October 23. The fairgrounds will close for the season on ­Monday, so stays beyond Sunday night cannot be accommodated. If you wish to stay in the area beyond that date, you will need to make those arrangements with another area campground.

If you wish to come earlier than October 12, you will need to make separate arrangements directly with the fairgrounds. There is another RV rally prior to ours, and camping fees may be higher for earlier arrivals. Since our parking crew will not be available until October 12, earlier arrivals may also have to move to their RVW sites on that day.

Parking Committee volunteers will be available from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. beginning Thursday, October 12, through Tuesday, October 17 to check you and show you to your site.

 

Our host chapters, the Great Lakers ­Chapter and Ohio River ­Valley Chapter, are planning a schedule packed with activities that will help you connect with friends old and new, add to your storehouse of RV knowledge and learn about products designed especially for RVers.

Goshen is in the heart of Amish Country and is famous for its pastoral landscapes, scenic Heritage Trail and 22 hand-painted quilt murals. This area also is known as the “RV Capital of the World.” It is home to the RV/Motorhome Hall of Fame and is headquarters to some of the most recognized names in the RV industry.

Convention 2017 will officially begin with our opening ceremony on Tuesday evening, October 17, but the fun starts way before that. Come early to explore this unique part of our country where old-world practices and state-of-the-art technologies co-exist in harmony.


Pre-convention activities

A great way to get started is to join us for a full-day tour on Friday, October 13, that will include visits to the Phoenix Cruiser manufacturing facility, the RV/Motorhome Hall of Fame, Linton’s Enchanted Gardens, Goshen’s famous Quilt Gardens, and the Wellfield Botanic Gardens. Weekend activities will include a Saturday Amish Country shopping tour with a stop for lunch at Das Dutchman Essenhaus and a Sunday visit to Amish Acres, the only old order Amish farmstead listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  At Amish Acres, we will enjoy a thresher meal and take in a matinee performance of “Sister Act” in the beautifully restored 1911 Round Barn Theatre.

Please call the RVW Office to get on a waiting list for tours that are full.  (480) 671-6226


Our pre-convention programs also include a Monday morning ladies golf scramble. Come expecting to have lots of fun, and don’t be shy—all skill levels will be represented.

Be sure to also check out the all-day workshops we will be offering on Monday and Tuesday. The Basic RV Maintenance Workshop on Monday will focus on typical RV issues and will provide participants with the information they can use to do basic preventive maintenance. The Advanced RV Maintenance Workshop on Tuesday will equip attendees with essential troubleshooting and diagnostic techniques. Both workshops will be presented by RVW member Pat ­Setser. Pat is a certified RV technician and owner of Rec-Serve.

The hours before our opening ceremony Tuesday evening will be filled with more fun activities, including a half-day Amish Country back roads tour followed by a haystack lunch at a local Amish homestead.

Our Tuesday afternoon First Timers Reception, hosted by  the Ohio River Vally Chapter, will give all first-time convention attendees a special opportunity to meet chapter leaders and members of the RVW Board of Directors. This event will follow the Advanced RV Maintenance Workshop.

 

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Seminars and Exhibits
Seminars and exhibits will open on Wednesday morning. You will have opportunities to learn about RV products and services that can enhance your RV travel experiences and hear from other members about on-the-road tips, work and volunteer opportunities, and hobbies and activities of special interest to RVers. In the exhibit hall, you will see some long-time supporters of RVing Women as well as some new vendors coming for the first time to an RVW convention.

Seminar Presenters
We are looking for member presenters to share information about hobbies, crafts, areas of special interest and volunteer or on-the-road work experiences. A sampling of the member presentations already planned for this year's convention includes how to play Mah Jongg, birding, outdoor cooking, Zentangling, and hands-on instructions for a holiday craft project.

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Entertainment and Meals

Our parade of flags and opening ceremony will set the stage for a full schedule of fun events. A catered welcome party Wednesday evening will finish off our first day of exhibits and seminars.

Watch announcements for other informal events, including our traditional ice cream social hosted this year by the Mid-Atlantic Chapter. Watch also for music en plein air announcements. Weather permitting, we will schedule specific times for members to share. Bring your musical instruments, your voices, and your enthusiasm. Amenities at the Elkhart County 4H Fairgrounds include an outdoor stage that provides a perfect venue for our members to show off their talents. There is plenty of room for listeners, too.
We will come together on Thursday evening for bingo games and some deejay dancing.

 

Our Thursday evening dance will get us warmed up for the party waiting to happen Friday night when we will bring the Deluxe Edition Band to center stage. Lucy and Billy Croft, the lead vocalists, will be backed up by a band that has been referred to as "the best collection of musicians in the Chicagoland area." This energetic group will get us moving to long-time favorites, some going back to the 1960s. Country, jazz, show tunes, big band sounds, classic rock—this evening will include a nice representation of all the music we love to hear.

Our annual RVW banquet will bring Saturday to a close. This is a time for sharing good food and conversation and for offering our wishes for fun times and safe travel to friends old and new. Food choices include grilled steak, chicken, or a vegetarian and gluten-free stir-fry. Be sure to indicate your banquet choice when you register for convention.

Concessions will be available daily for those who wish to purchase breakfast and/or lunch.

 

Indiana's Pumpkin Vine Nature Trail

At the RVW convenation in Goshen, Indiana, you might want to make time to hike or bike a portion of the Pumpkin Vine Nature Trail. This trail travels a curvey 17-plus miles between Goshen, Middlebury and Shipshewana.

The trail runs along the trajectory of rail line that was a popular passenger route at the turn of the 20th century. It now follows the new Wilden Avenue Trail from downtown Goshen to Elkhart, picks up there at the Maple Heart Trail, rolls past Abshire Park, and then follows along hard-packed crushed limstone for 1.75 miles to County Road 28. Before reaching Shipshewana, it goes through a tunnel and over a wood trestle that spans the Little Elkhart River.

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 Convention Shirts and Hats

  You may purchase convention shirts and hats from the RVW online store NOW. Clothing with the new RVW logo also is available online. Convention shirts and RVW clothing will not be available at the convention.

To start your shopping adventure, you will first need to sign in to the RVW website with your member ID and password. From the RVW online store, click on Clothing and Accessories. On the next page, click on View Product. That will take you to the instructions. Click on the rvingwomen.qbstores.com link and start shopping. You will be able to have every item you select delivered to your door or mail forwarding address, and you will be charged only one shipping charge for each order, regardless of the number of items ordered. Please allow at least 30 days for your order to be shipped.
 


Click on the category you want to look at (see the Shop by Product listing on the left-hand side of the page). Next you will see a page with the RVW logo.

Click on the logo. That will open up the clothing items you want to see. If you want a closer look, click on the picture. You can move your pointer over the picture to see more detail. To see how the RVW logo will look with a certain color, move your pointer over the colored boxes on the order form.

Once you have decided on a color and size, just add it to your shopping cart. If you want to continue shopping and want to look at other items, click on the RVW logo at the upper right corner of the page to go back to the landing page and repeat the above steps for a different category.

When you are done shopping, go to checkout and follow the instructions.

 

 


Fairgrounds and camping
The Elkhart County 4H Fairgrounds will be our home during the convention. This is a spacious event center with inviting landscaping, a picnic area, restrooms and showers. All campsites have full hookups, some with 50-amp service and others with 30-amp service.

   

Location and mailing address
Mail should be addressed to Your Name, c/o Elkhart County 4H Fairgrounds, 17746-D County Road 34, Goshen, IN 46528, Attn: RVW Rally. Daily mail will be collected and distributed at the help desk.

Most GPS devices do not recognize this address. County Road 34 is also known as Monroe Street.

Directions: From Hwy 33, turn east on Monroe Street (right if northbound and left if southbound). The Elkhart County 4H Fairgrounds will be a short distance ahead. Turn into Gate 2, the main entrance. If you are traveling into Goshen on Hwy 15, turn onto Hwy 33 going south and follow the above directions.

 

Parking
Parking Committee volunteers will check you in and assign your site. After parking your rig, you will be directed to the registration area to receive your convention materials, including your program book, name tags, tickets, local area information and vendor hand-outs.
RV sites will be assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. Those who want to park together should arrive together.

Parking volunteers will be available from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. beginning Thursday, October 12, through Tuesday, October 17. Please plan to arrive during these scheduled parking hours when volunteers will be available to show you to your site. 

Alternate lodging
Because Notre Dame’s homecoming celebration coincides with the week of our convention, we have been unable to reserve a block of rooms for RVW members or negotiate reduced prices for motel rooms. If you need alternate lodging, make reservations on your own as soon as possible. Prices quoted for Comfort Inn (2309 Lincolnway East, 574-533-0200) are $108/night with senior discount (king bed); Hampton Inn (1968 Lincolnway East, 574-533-8800), $124/night; and Holiday Inn Express (1415 Lincolnway East, 574-535-9200), $159.99/night (queen bed) or $169.99/night (king bed).

For those wanting to fly in, there is a municipal airport in Goshen, or you can fly into South Bend. To ensure availability, we urge you to book your flight as soon as possible.

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Registration

Registration for Convention 2017 will open June 1. You may register online at or register by mail or fax, use the registration form in our magazine or download the online form here. The mailing address is RVW, P.O. Box 1940, Apache Junction, AZ 85117-4074. The fax number for RVing Women is 480-671-6230. On your registration form, indicate your arrival and departure dates, the number of nights you will be staying, and the length of your RV. A separate registration is needed for each attendee.

Make your plans now and register before September 15. The registration fee is $185 per person for RVW members and $245 per person for non-members registering by September 15. Payment can be made by check (payable to RVW) or with a MasterCard or Visa credit card. (Discover and American Express cards are not accepted.) There will be a $25 late fee for registrations received after September 15, and we cannot guarantee a seat at the banquet or participation in paid activities such as tours, maintenance workshops and the golf scramble for late registration. Our providers have deadlines for RVW to submit all orders. We may not be able to accommodate those who register after September 15.

All cancellations must be requested in writing and sent to RVW, P.O. Box 1940, Apache Junction, AZ 85117-4074. A $50 processing fee will be deducted from each refund payment. No refunds will be made after September 4.

Day passes will be available for members and non-members who would like to come to the convention but are not able to attend for the entire time. The cost for a day pass is $45. These passes (limited to two per person) will be available on site only and cannot be reserved. A day pass provides admission to the exhibit hall and entitles attendees to participate in no-fee educational seminars. Day passes do not include admission to the ­Saturday night banquet or other evening programs.

  

Convention Opportunities
To all of you who have already volunteered as a convention committee chair or seminar presenter, our thanks for your commitment to making this year's RVW convention one of the best ever.

We have a full schedule of events planned, but we still need a Security Chair to oversee scheduling and recruit volunteers to cover the entrances for seminars, events and the exhibit hall.

A committee chair also is needed to arrange the display of photos submitted to this year's RVW Photo Contest. This person will also recruit the panel of judges that will select the winning photos in each contest category.

These committee chair positions could be filled by an individual or could be sponsored by an RVW chapter.

Another fun activity that could be sponsored by a chapter or group of volunteers is our music en plein air get-togethers. If you would like to be involved in scheduling these get-togethers, please contact Linda Elliott at elliottbear2@aol.com or 317-695-5451. Also contact Linda if you are a musician or singer and wish to participate. You may sign up when you arrive at convention, if spots are still available, but we do ask that you let us know ahead of time if at all possible.  

Sponsorships
We owe a big thank you to our convention host chapters, the Great Lakers Chapter and Ohio River Valley Chapter, and to the chapters that have already agreed this year to sponsor two of our convention activities. The Mid-Atlantic Chapter is sponsoring our always-popular ice cream social. The Ohio River Valley Chapter is sponsoring our Tuesday afternoon First Timers Reception.

Sponsorships and donations help defray the cost of convention expenses. Any individual or chapter can sponsor a specific portion of the convention or make an undesignated gift to the convention. All monetary contributions will be counted as Open Road donations. See page 7 for more information about the RVW Open Road program.

  Auction and Raffle Donations
New or gently used items are needed for the silent auction, package raffle, and door prizes. Please plan to bring those items to the convention and drop them off at the fundraising area. If you have a large-ticket item (trip, quilt, etc.) that we might want to raffle separately, please contact Linda Elliott at elliottbear2@aol.com or 317-695-5451 so that we can make arrangements in advance.


On-site Volunteer Opportunities
Volunteers will be needed to drive shuttles, help with security, introduce speakers for seminars, sell tickets, and staff the registration and help/volunteer desks. You can sign-up to help with these duties when you arrive at convention.


To chair a committee, sponsor an event, make a donation, present a seminar, or learn about other volunteer opportunities at this year's convention, contact Convention Coordinator Linda Elliott at elliottbear2@aol.com or call 317-695-5451.

 

Convention Q&A's ???????

Have a question? Call or email Linda at: elliottbear2@aol.com or call 317-695-5451.

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Q. Can I bring tents to convention.
A. NO.  Fairgrounds does not allow tent camping, but there are campgrounds nearby if people want to tent camp.

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Q. Are the tours handicapped accessible.?

A. The buses can accommodate handicapped individuals.  With advance notice, the tour company will reserve a bus capable of carrying a scooter for any of the tours.  Contact Linda Elliott if you have signed up for a tour and need to take your scooter.

Most of the tours are handicapped accessible - including the merchants, RV museum, and lunch stops. (Although some may require frequent getting on and off the bus). The Amish Acres tour is the least accessible, as there are 2 steps to get into the Amish home for the tour, and 3 to 4 steps to get into the wagon for that part of the tour. 

Please call the RVW Office to get on a waiting list for tours that are full.  (480) 671-6226


  Click Here to Register Now

Want to be a Seminar Presenter? Click Here

 

 

P.O. Box 1940 • Apache Junction AZ 85117-1940
Phone: (480) 671-6226 • Fax: (480) 671-6230
Email:
rvwoffice@rvingwomen.org