Events, News & More


Key West Gouge update (20191104)

Posted: 11/4/2019

Gouge for those attending Key West come-arounds

(Key West new and old salts are to read)

Key West Come Around overview
The Key West Come Around has unique issues for newcomers. Prior planning is essential. The campground is on Naval Air Station Key West (NASKW) property within Truman Annex. Truman Annex is now a neighborhood of residential units, National Park site, Coast Guard facility, Municipal Amphitheater and Park as well as the Naval facility.  The campground is part of a NASKW MWR (Morale Welfare and Recreation) beach recreation area. This is a secure Navy facility requiring privilege to access. RV camping at this facility is ‘dry camping’, i.e. no hook ups. Campers may use the potable water and dump station facilities at both the Sigsbee and Trumbo campgrounds.  These facilities provide a convenient opportunity if you need to dump tanks and/or take on/top off potable water before arriving at the Truman Annex campsite.  Directions to each are provided later in this gouge sheet. See “Camping” section below for details.  Several meals, Happy Hours and activities will be at the Come Around site under a large tent rented by the Chapter from MWR.  Several organized meals and/or activities will be off-site.  A schedule for the entire week is published in a separate document created by the volunteer Firsties in charge of the Come Around.  You can participate in as many or as few activities as you desire but there are activities that will require your RSVP for accurate planning.

Expected Expenses:
Chapter Come Around fee – assessed to cover expenses incurred to conduct the events, e.g. tent, table and chair rental; meals or entertainment if provided, other rentals and purchases necessary; etc. The fee is usually in the range of $75-$100 per person. Cash or Personal checks are accepted; no credit cards. MWR daily camping fees – see “Campsite fees” sub-bullet in the Camping section. Fees associated with certain optional activities, e.g. golf fees, group lunch, etc. Personal expenses associated with activities designated “on your own”. The Key West Come Around usually has about 20 – 25 RVs. Sometimes we have non-RVers who stay off-site and join us for activities.

Weather:
Less than paradise-like weather conditions, i.e. cold and/or rainy, are possible.  Packing appropriate inclement weather attire strongly recommended.

Pre-trip preparations:
Register for event with the Firsties (Everyone) Make reservations with Navy Getaways Campground if planning to stay at either NASKW Trumbo or Sigsbee campgrounds in conjunction with come-around (applicable only to members with DOD-issued ID cards) Plan the route to Key West, check maps and satellite images of Key West. Print these guidelines and share with fellow campers and guests. Pack your chapter or class reunion name tags. We may have stickers for guests and forgetful grads. Load aboard as recommended for food, clothes and activities – see What to bring section for details.

Driving to Key West:
The night before departing the mainland, campers often use the Miccosukee Resort & Casino, a reasonably easy drive the next day. *RV friendly overnight lodging facility enroute to Key West. *Convenient and affordable, excellent jumping off site for final approximately 3-hour leg of the driving! *Located along SR 997 just north of intersection with US 41. *Dry camping in designated area – no charge. *Must obtain parking pass from inside the Casino at the security counter to visibly display. *Key West “newbies” are encouraged to place something USNA related in their rig’s front window so they may be easily recognized by other chapter members who are heading to the Come Around. This provides opportunity for early welcome and any additional late-breaking and/or miscellaneous “gouge” before they proceed down the overseas highway to Key West. *It is wise to arrive no later than 1630, after which designated parking area is known to sometimes fill quickly.

The day of travel to Key West:
It is recommended that you refuel or top off on the mainland. Fuel is expensive in the Keys. Allow a travel time of 3 hours on the mostly 2 lane highway through the Keys and pay attention to the speed limits. All campers may proceed directly to the Truman Annex campsite during the approved dates.. Many will want to stop at MWR Sigsbee campground to prepare on-board tanks for extended dry camping.

Arriving in Key West and In-town Driving Directions:
Notes: In Key West street names are often painted on street level sign or light posts.
There always seems to be street construction somewhere in Key West. While the directions below are accurate, they will be verified via on-scene route reconnaissance several days prior to Come-Around starting date. Changes, if any, will be broadcast to attendees. Southbound on US 1 – monitor your speed as you come off the bridge approaching mile marker 35, someone is often “taking pictures” as you exit the bridge.

Traveling directly to Truman Annex, not requiring dry camping tank preparations:

Large rigs and rigs towing (see Figure 1 below, red dots on yellow line)
Turn left onto South Roosevelt Blvd at the stop light as you enter Key West,
Take South Roosevelt to Flagler Ave (stop light),
Turn right onto Flagler and follow it to White St (stop light),
Turn right onto White and follow it to Southard St (stoplight),
Turn left onto Southard and follow guidance in All rigs (Truman Annex) bullet below.

Cars and smaller rigs without tow (see Figure 1 below, solid red line)
Turn right onto North Roosevelt Blvd at the stop light as you enter Key West,
Continue on North Roosevelt to Palm Ave (stoplight, by municipal marina),
Turn right onto Palm and follow it to intersection with Eaton St,
Turn left (~45 degree turn) onto Eaton and follow it for very short distance to White St (stoplight),
Turn left onto White and follow it to Southard St (stoplight),
Turn right onto Southard (note: a very tight turn for larger units) and follow guidance in All rigs to Truman Annex) bullet below.

NOTE – you can also use route recommended for larger rigs above, there may be less traffic congestion than via North Roosevelt Blvd.

All rigs to Truman Annex (see Figure 1 below, solid red and yellow line) Continue on Southard St through town to the gate at Truman Annex Condominiums. Proceed through the normally unattended gate and continue through to the roundabout.
Take the Angela St exit toward the entrance to Ft Zachary Taylor.
Turn left onto Covington St at the next intersection and proceed to the guard gate at the NASKW Truman Annex.
Present your IDs to the guard and inform him/her that you are with the USNA RV Chapter gathering.
Turn right after entering the Annex and drive thru the barracks looking complex to the pink building, then make another right toward the beach. You will see us on the big field to your left front as you approach the beach parking area. Someone should meet you at the tent to direct you to where to park.

Figure 1. Driving directions (in town) directly to Truman Annex

Traveling to NAS Key West Campground Office and dump station/ potable water facilities at Sigsbee from US 1 (do NOT follow GPS if driving a large rig or towing) Google Maps, GPS, etc. will likely show a more direct route to the NASKW MWR Campground Office at Sigsbee as you enter Key West. This route would be via N. Roosevelt from US 1 (right turn onto N. Roosevelt at the stop light as you enter Key West). While the directions are accurate, the right turn into Sigsbee from N. Roosevelt Blvd is extremely tight for larger rigs or rigs towing.

Large rigs and rigs towing (better route)
Turn left onto South Roosevelt Blvd at the stop light as you enter Key West. Take South Roosevelt to Flagler Ave (stop light).
Turn right onto Flagler and follow it to Kennedy Dr (stop light)
Turn right onto Kennedy and follow it straight into Sigsbee and NAS gate.
Follow guidance in All rigs (Sigsbee) bullet below.

Cars and smaller rigs without tow
Turn right onto North Roosevelt Blvd at the stop light as you enter Key West. Continue on North Roosevelt to Kennedy Dr (stoplight, Ibis Resort on your right) Turn right at stoplight and proceed to NAS gate.
Follow guidance in All rigs (Sigsbee) bullet below.

All rigs (Sigsbee)
After entering Sigsbee bear right where the road splits. There should be signs pointing toward the Commissary and Navy Exchange.
Follow the signs, pass the NEX gas station to the MWR Campground office on the left (Building V-4113, across street from Commissary).

Additional notes:
The speed limit on base is strictly enforced.
While on Sigsbee, topping off fuel, emptying grey and black tanks, topping off fresh water is highly recommended for this extended dry camping experience. Continue past the MWR Campground office and NEX to the campground at the end of the road. In the center of the campground is the bath house. There are two-way dump stations aside of the bath house and fresh water facility diagonally across the intersection. See Figure 2 below.


Figure 2. MWR Campground office and dump station and potable water facilities (Sigsbee)

Traveling from Sigsbee to Truman Annex
Large rigs and rigs towing
Exit Sigsbee and proceed straight through the stoplight at N. Roosevelt Blvd onto Kennedy Dr to the intersection with Flagler Ave. (stoplight)
Turn right onto Flagler and follow the In Town (Traveling directly to Truman Annex) directions described above for large rigs and rigs towing.

Cars and smaller rigs without tow
Exit Sigsbee and turn right at stoplight onto Roosevelt Blvd. (Note: This turn can be tight for larger units if there are cars in the left turn lane northbound on N. Roosevelt).
Follow the In Town (Traveling directly to Truman Annex) directions to Palm Ave described above cars and smaller rigs without tow.

Access to NAS Truman Annex and beach camping facility

Participants who have DOD Issued ID card – your ID card is sufficient for access to the camping site.
Participants who do NOT possess DOD issued ID card(s):
Background check will be required for all event participants NOT having a DOD-issued ID card. This includes any guest(s) of a person having a DOD-issued ID card.
Upon satisfactory completion of background check, participant’s name will be added to the list of event participants approved for access to designated areas of NAS Key West (NASKW), e.g. Truman Annex and Sigsbee and Trumbo campground facilities.
Participants not holding a DOD-issued ID card will be required to present driver’s license to the sentry at the gate, sentry will check name on driver’s license against list of participants not having DOD-issued ID card who are approved for base access to designated areas.
Key West Come-Around Firstie will collect required personal data for those impacted participants and coordinate completion of required background check with MWR/NASKW Security.

Other-than-camping Guest(s)
If you do invite guests to a happy hour or to stop by, please advise the Firsties or a Board member in advance of their arrival.
If guest(s) do not have DOD-issued ID card, a sponsor for the guest(s) is required for the guest(s) to be granted access to the NASKW facility at Truman Annex. If you do not have a DOD-issued ID card yourself, you will need to get a sponsor for your guest(s) who has a DOD-issued ID card.
Please introduce your guest(s) to the group.


Camping
Location –
Vacant field at the Truman Annex Beach as shown in red shaded area in Figure 3 below). Being able to camp at Truman Annex is both a real treat and a huge privilege. The USNA Alumni Association RV Chapter is the ONLY group allowed to camp there overnight.
You can watch cruise ships arrive and depart and enjoy the small beach. (In the past Cuban refugees have been known to come ashore at night!)
Campsite is within easy walking distance of downtown Key West.


Figure 3. Campsite at Truman Annex beach

Dry camping – no hookup facilities.
Clean restroom and shower facilities and a nice gym are available at the Truman Annex Fitness Center.
Fitness Center is located ~75 yards from the campsite.
The restroom and shower facilities are available 24×7 for our group.
Generators: Can be run except during “Quiet Hours” (10pm – 07am). There are no quiet hours police, just common sense and consideration for fellow campers. Vertical exhaust pipes (often referred to as Gen-turi) are highly recommended in the interest of both common sense and consideration for fellow campers.
Let’s all ensure that we have the ability to direct the exhaust from our on-board generators away from our next-door neighbors’ entry door and immediate surroundings.
Strongly recommend arriving with your fresh water tank full and your gray and black tanks empty. Potable water and dump facilities are available at both the Sigsbee (Figure 2) and Trumbo (Figure 4) campgrounds if a middle of Come Around servicing is needed.

Figure 4. Trumbo campground dump station and potable water facilities


Campsite/vehicle registration and fees
All event participants, except as stated in “Exception” bullet below, must pre-register with NASKW MWR for this event. This is a change from NASKW MWR policy in prior years.
Pre- registration and payment of campsite fees to be accomplished via the following process:
Chapter to provide NASKW MWR POC (hereafter referred to as MWR POC) with roster of all event participants who will be camping at the Truman Annex campsite. Event Firsties are responsible for this action item.
The MWR POC will prepare pre-registration documentation for each camping unit occupying a site, as required, to include method of payment as Follows:
If camper’s data already exists in MWR data base, the MWR POC will use that data to pre-register the participant.
If camper’s data does NOT exist in MWR data base, the MWR POC will contact camper to obtain required data. Mode of contact may be via either email or telephone, or both.
The MWR POC will bring all pre-registration documentation to the Truman Annex campsite for camper’s to sign. Date/time/specific location for this activity to be coordinated by Firsties.
Campers are permitted to drive directly to the campsite at the Truman Annex. There is no requirement for campers to visit the Campground Office at Sigsbee for the purpose of registering for their campsite unless they should arrive AFTER the MWR POC has completed the pre-registration document signing exercise at the Truman Annex campsite as cited above.
Those who arrive after the MWR POC has completed the pre-registration document signing activity as cited above will be required to visit the MWR Campground office at Sigsbee at their earliest opportunity to complete their registration.

Exception to pre-registration process cited above – pertains to campers having previously registered to camp at either the Sigsbee or Trumbo campgrounds either before or after the Come-Around and for whom registration at respective campground overlaps with the Come-Around dates.
If relocating to the Truman Annex campsite during the Come-Around, duplicate registration is not required.
To maintain reservation in either Sigsbee or Trumbo respective queues while relocating to the Truman Annex campsite during this Come Around event, camper is responsible for informing the Campground Office at time of registration of planned transfer to the Truman Annex site.
All vehicles are required to register in order to access the facility.
Vehicle registration will be included in the pre-registration process.
“All vehicles” means just that – all vehicles, e.g. RVs, towed vehicle, motorcycles, etc.
The usual vehicle information, e.g. vehicle’s VIN, license plate number, proof of valid registration and proof of insurance is required to register the vehicle for access to the facility.

MWR Campsite fees as of 2020:
DOD ID card holder – $17/night
Non-DOD ID card holder – $21/night
Payment can be made via either a valid credit card or cash. Personal checks are NOT accepted by MWR.
Payment via credit card can be accomplished via the pre-registration process cited above.
Event participants who prefer to pay with cash or who do not wish to provide credit card information concurrent with the pre-registration process cited above will be required to visit the Campground Office at Sigsbee (Building V-4113, across from Commissary) to make payment. The Campground Office hours are 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM (M – F).

What to bring:
Name tags, either USNA RV Alumni Chapter or USNA Class Reunion.
Food items to share as assigned by Firsties in advance.
RV items and non-RV things for the white elephant auction that you know your shipmates are just dying to own. Proceeds from the auction benefit the chapter. Remember – one person’s “junk” is another person’s treasure. $$$$ (checks accepted), REMINDER – you can’t win at the auction if you don’t bid!!!
Books for free book exchange (not part of the white elephant auction)
Bring your own beverages as well as plates, flatware, cups or glasses, etc. for all Happy Hours and meals.
REMEMBER to provide for any guests you may have in attendance Happy Hour liquid refreshment is BYOB unless stated otherwise in the Plan of the Week.
Food: ALL participants are asked to provide some appetizers, desserts and a potluck dish(s) when so assigned in the Plan of the Week.
Specific details to be published in the final event Plan of the Week distributed at the Welcome/Check-In.
Bring your personal recreation equipment as desired, e.g., golf gear, diving gear, etc. as there are lots of opportunities to “play” in Key West.
See “Miscellany” section re motorcycles on base.
Navy paraphernalia (if you have any) for individual campsite and/or table decorations.
And last, but definitely not least…proper attitude for experiencing Key West!

Miscellany
Fuel Management in Key West:
It is recommended that you leave the mainland with full fuel tanks. Fuel is more expensive in the Keys (even at the NEX gas station) and there are good prices just before you enter the Overseas Highway.
Extended dry camping means running the generator to manage your battery charging and electrical needs. This too consumes fuel.
Grey tank management in Key West:
It is recommended that you arrive at the campground with empty waste tanks and a full fresh water tank. There are convenient facilities off-site at the Sigsbee campground to do this as you enter Key West on your way to the Truman Annex campsite. See “Traveling to NAS Key West Campground Office and dump station/ potable water facilities at Sigsbee”
The grey water tank can be problematic.
If you are using the bath house for showers and toilet, the extended stay is manageable as many have proven over the Chapter’s many years in Key West.
One tip that has come in quite handy is to use a plastic basin in your sinks to catch the grey water. Then empty the basin in your black water tank which will have extra capacity if you have minimized the toilet use. Every little bit helps.

Fire ants:
There is risk of the presence of fire ants at our camping location.
Some years are “riskier” than others.
Firsties MAY have fire ant repellant available for event participants.

Motorcycles on base:
Must be registered per vehicle registration instructions cited in the “Campsite/vehicle registration and fees” section above.
Must comply with following safety considerations:
Motorcycle’s safety and signaling equipment fully operable.
Required PPE (personal protection equipment) for rider and passenger
DOT approved helmet
Appropriate eye protection
Gloves
Long sleeve shirt or jacket, i.e., arms fully covered
Long leg wear, i.e., legs fully covered
Closed toe shoes
Reflective vest (clothing) if riding on base at night

Bicycles on base:
Persons riding bicycles, scooters, skateboards, etc. on base must be wearing following PPE: *Helmet on head and fastened.
*Shoes, shirt and shorts or long pants.

Welcome to Key West!


2020 Navy-AFA Caravan (20191026)

Posted: 10/26/2019

Navy-AFA Caravan_2020

Join Tom (’70) and Rose Wolfe for an exciting and fun-filled caravan to the 2020 Navy-Air Force football game in Colorado Springs, CO on 3 Oct 2020. This multi-event itinerary will include the following come-arounds:

Hannibal, MO (3 days/4 nights)

o Dates: Arrive Fri,18 SEP; activities 19-21 SEP; Depart Tue, 22 SEP (allotting 2 travel days to Mason City, IA)
o Firsties: John (’77) and Eileen Madaio
o Campground: Mark Twain Cave campground
o Note – Hannibal is planned rendezvous/jumping off point for caravan itinerary.

Mason City, IA (3 days/4 nights)

o Dates: Arrive Wed, 23 SEP; activities 24-26 SEP; Depart Sun, 27 SEP (allotting 4 travel days to Colorado Springs, CO)
o Firsties: Tim and Joan (’81) Platz
o Campground: MacNider Campgrounds

Colorado Springs, CO (5 days/6 nights)

o Dates: Arrive Wed, 30 SEP; activities 1-5 OCT; Depart Tue, 6 OCT (caravan concluded; independent steaming to participant’s next destination)
o Firsties: Tom (’70) and Rose Wolfe (unless someone else wants to volunteer to assume firstie responsibilities for this event)
o Campground: TBD by firsties

Caravan notes:
1. Hannibal, MO is the planned caravan rendezvous/jumping off point.
2. Travel between each come-around will be via independent steaming.
3. Caravan participants will be able to join or depart the caravan at their leisure throughout the
itinerary.
4. Tom and Rose requesting chapter members planning to participate in either the entire caravan
itinerary or any part thereof to advise their intent via either
a. Email at tsrjw71@gmail.com, or
b. phone
i. 703-424-0739 (Tom’s mobile)
ii. 703-424-0740 (Rose’s mobile)


Key West Newbie Gouge (20191023)

Posted: 10/23/2019

Gouge for those attending their first Key West come-around

(Key West old salts are also welcome to read in case they want to refresh or are experiencing “senior moments”)

Lots of detail to consume, with our apologies!

Key West Come Around overview

  • Theme for Key West 2019 is Fun, Fellowship, Memories.
  • The Key West Come Around has unique issues for newcomers. Prior planning is essential.
  • The campground is on Naval Air Station Key West (NASKW) property within Truman Annex. Truman Annex is now a neighborhood of residential units, National Park site, Coast Guard facility, Municipal Amphitheater and Park as well as the Naval facility.
    • The campground is part of an NASKW MWR (Morale Welfare and Recreation) beach recreation area. This is a secure Navy facility requiring privilege to access.
    • RV camping at this facility is ‘dry camping’, i.e. no hook ups.
      • Campers may use the potable water and dump station facilities at both the Sigsbee and Trumbo campgrounds.
        • These facilities provide a convenient opportunity if you need to dump tanks and/or take on/top off potable water before arriving at the Truman Annex campsite
        • Directions to each are provided later in this gouge sheet.
      • See “Camping” section below for details.
    • Several meals, Happy Hours and activities will be at the Come Around site under a large tent.
    • Several organized meals and/or activities will be off-site.
    • A schedule for the entire week is published in a separate document.
    • You can participate in as many or as few activities as you desire.
    • Expected Expenses
      • Chapter Come Around fee – assessed to cover expenses incurred to conduct the events, e.g. tent, table and chair rental; meals or entertainment if provided, other rentals and purchases necessary; etc. The fee is usually in the range of $75-$100 per person. Personal checks are accepted.
      • MWR daily camping fees – see “Campsite fees” sub-bullet in the Camping section.
      • Fees associated with certain optional activities, e.g. golf fees, Sunset Cruise, group lunch, etc.
      • Personal expenses associated with activities designated “own your own”.
    • The Key West Come Around usually has about 20 – 25 RVs. Sometimes we have non-RVers who stay off-site and join us for activities.
    • Weather
      • Less than paradise-like weather conditions, i.e. cold and/or rainy, are possible.
      • Packing appropriate inclement weather attire strongly recommended.

 Pre-trip preparations

  • Register for event with the Firsties (Everyone)
  • Make reservations with Navy Getaways Campground if planning to stay at either NASKW Trumbo or Sigsbee campgrounds in conjunction with come-around (applicable only to members with DOD-issued ID cards)
  • Plan the route to Key West, check maps and satellite images of Key West
  • Print these guidelines and share with fellow campers
  • Pack your chapter or class reunion name tags. We do have stickers for guests and forgetful grads.
  • Load aboard as recommended for food, clothes and activities – see What to bring section for details.

Driving to Key West

  • The night before departing the mainland campers often use the Miccosukee Resort & Casino
    • RV friendly overnight lodging facility enroute to Key West.
    • Convenient and affordable, excellent jumping off site for final leg of journey!
      • Located along SR 997 just north of intersection with US 41.
      • Dry camping in designated area – no charge.
      • Must obtain parking pass from inside the Casino at the security counter to visibly display.
    • Key West “newbies” are encouraged to place something USNA related in their rig’s front window so they may be easily recognized by other chapter members who are heading to the come-around. This provides opportunity for early welcome and any additional late-breaking and/or miscellaneous “gouge” before they proceed down the overseas highway to Key West.
    • Scuttlebutt says it wise to arrive no later than 1630, after which designated parking area is known to sometimes fill quickly.
  • The day of travel to Key West
    • It is recommended that you refuel or top off on the mainland.
    • Allow a travel time of 3 hours on the mostly 2 lane highway through the Keys and pay attention to the speed limits.
    • All campers may proceed directly to the Truman Annex campsite.
    • Many will want to stop at MWR Sigsbee campground to prepare on-board tanks for extended dry camping.

Arriving in Key West and In-town Driving Directions

  • Notes:
    • In Key West street names are often painted on sign or light posts.
    • There always seems to be street construction somewhere in Key West. While the directions below are accurate, they will be verified via on-scene route reconnaissance several days prior to come-around starting date. Changes, if any, will be broadcast to attendees.
    • Southbound on US 1 – monitor your speed as you come off the bridge approaching mile marker 35, someone is often “taking pictures” as you exit the bridge.
  • Traveling directly to Truman Annex
    • Large rigs and rigs towing (see Figure 1 below, red dots on yellow line)
      • Turn left onto South Roosevelt Blvd at the stop light as you enter Key West,
      • Take South Roosevelt to Flagler Ave (stop light),
      • Turn right onto Flagler and follow it to White St (stop light),
      • Turn right onto White and follow it to Southard St (stoplight),
      • Turn left onto Southard and follow guidance in All rigs (Truman Annex) bullet below.
    • Cars and smaller rigs without tow (see Figure 1 below, solid red line)
      • Turn right onto North Roosevelt Blvd at the stop light as you enter Key West,
      • Continue on North Roosevelt to Palm Ave (stoplight, by municipal marina),
      • Turn right onto Palm and follow it to intersection with Eaton St,
      • Turn left (~45 degree turn) onto Eaton and follow it for very short distance to White St (stoplight),
      • Turn left onto White and follow it to Southard St (stoplight),
      • Turn right onto Southard (note: a very tight turn for larger units) and follow guidance in All rigs (Truman Annex) bullet below.
      • Note – you can also use route recommended for larger rigs above, there may be less traffic congestion than via North Roosevelt Blvd.
    • All rigs (Truman Annex) (see Figure 1 below, solid red and yellow line)
      • Continue on Southard St through town to the gate at Truman Annex Condominiums.
      • Proceed through the normally unattended gate and continue through to the roundabout. Take the Angela St exit toward the entrance to Ft Zachary Taylor.
      • Turn left onto Covington St at the next intersection and proceed to the guard gate at the NASKW Truman Annex.
      • Present your IDs to the guard and inform him/her that you are with the USNA RV Chapter gathering.
      • Turn right after entering the Annex and drive thru the barracks looking complex to the pink building, then make another right toward the beach. You will see us on the big field to your left front as you approach the beach parking area. Someone should meet you at the tent to direct you to where to park.

    Figure 1. Driving directions (in town) directly to Truman Annex

    • Traveling to NAS Key West Campground Office and dump station/ potable water facilities at Sigsbee from US 1 (do not follow GPS if driving a large rig or towing)
      • Google Maps, GPS, etc. will likely show a more direct route to the NASKW MWR Campground Office at Sigsbee as you enter Key West. This route would be via N. Roosevelt from US 1 (right turn onto N. Roosevelt at the stop light as you enter Key West).  While the directions are accurate the right turn into Sigsbee from N. Roosevelt Blvd is extremely tight for larger rigs or rigs towing.
    • Large rigs and rigs towing (better route)
      • Turn left onto South Roosevelt Blvd at the stop light as you enter Key West.
      • Take South Roosevelt to Flagler Ave (stop light).
      • Turn right onto Flagler and follow it to Kennedy Dr (stop light)
      • Turn right onto Kennedy and follow it straight into Sigsbee and NAS gate.
      • Follow guidance in All rigs (Sigsbee) bullet below.
    • Cars and smaller rigs without tow
      • Turn right onto North Roosevelt Blvd at the stop light as you enter Key West.
      • Continue on North Roosevelt to Kennedy Dr (stoplight, Ibis Resort on your right)
      • Turn right at stoplight and proceed to NAS gate.
      • Follow guidance in All rigs (Sigsbee) bullet below.
    • All rigs (Sigsbee)
      • After entering Sigsbee bear right where the road splits. There should be signs pointing toward the Commissary and Navy Exchange.
      • Follow the signs, pass the NEX gas station to the MWR Campground office on the left (Building V-4113, across street from Commissary).
    • Additional notes:
      • The speed limit on base is strictly enforced.
      • While on Sigsbee, topping off fuel, emptying grey and black tanks, topping off fresh water is highly recommended for the extended dry camping experience. Continue past the MWR Campground office and NEX to the campground at the end of the road. In the center of the campground is the bath house. There are two-way dump stations aside of the bath hose and fresh water facility diagonally across the intersection. See Figure 2 below.

    Figure 2.  MWR Campground office and dump station and potable water facilities (Sigsbee)

    • Traveling from Sigsbee to Truman Annex
    • Large rigs and rigs towing
      • Exit Sigsbee and proceed straight through the stoplight at N. Roosevelt Blvd onto Kennedy Dr to the intersection with Flagler Ave. (stoplight)
      • Turn right onto Flagler and follow the In Town (Traveling directly to Truman Annex) directions described above for large rigs and rigs towing.
    • Cars and smaller rigs without tow
      • Exit Sigsbee and turn right at stoplight onto Roosevelt Blvd. (Note: This turn can be tight for larger units if there are cars in the left turn lane northbound on N. Roosevelt).
    • Follow the In Town (Traveling directly to Truman Annex) directions to Palm Ave described above cars and smaller rigs without tow.

    Access to NAS Truman Annex and beach camping facility

    • Participants who have DOD Issued ID card – your ID card is sufficient for access to the camping site.
    • Participants who do not have DOD issued ID card
      • Background check will be required for all event participants not having a DOD-issued ID card. This includes any guest(s) of a person having a DOD-issued ID card.
      • Upon satisfactory completion of background check, participant’s name will be added to the list of event participants approved for access to designated areas of NAS Key West (NASKW), e.g. Truman Annex and Sigsbee and Trumbo campground facilities.
      • Participants not holding a DOD-issued ID card will be required to present driver’s license to the sentry at the gate, sentry will check name on driver’s license against list of participants not having DOD-issued ID card who are approved for base access to designated areas.
      • Key West Come Around Firstie, Tom Wolfe ’70 (co-firstie), will collect required personal data for those impacted participants and coordinate completion of required background check with MWR/NASKW Security.
    • Other-than-camping Guest(s)
      • If you do invite guests to a happy hour or to stop by, please advise the Firsties or a Board member in advance of their arrival.
      • If guest(s) do not have DOD-issued ID card, a sponsor for the guest(s) is required for the guest(s) to be granted access to the NASKW facility at Truman Annex. If you do not have a DOD-issued ID card yourself, you will need to get a sponsor for your guest(s) who has a DOD-issued ID card.
      • Please introduce your guest(s) to the group.

    Camping

    • Location –
      • vacant field at the Truman Annex Beach (see red shaded area in Figure 3 below).
      • Being able to camp at Truman Annex is both a treat and privilege. The USNA Alumni Association RV Chapter is one of only a small number of groups allowed to camp there overnight.
      • You can watch cruise ships arrive and depart and enjoy the small beach. (In the past Cuban refugees have been known to come ashore at night!)
      • Campsite is within easy walking distance of downtown Key West.

     

    Figure 3.  Campsite at Truman Annex beach

    • Dry camping – no hookup facilities
      • Clean restroom and shower facilities and a nice gym are available at the Truman Annex Fitness Center.
        • Fitness Center is located ~75 yards from the campsite.
        • The restroom and shower facilities are available 24×7 for our group.
      • Generators
        • Can be run except during “Quiet Hours” (10pm – 07am). There are no quiet hours police, just common sense and consideration for fellow campers.
        • Vertical exhaust pipes (often referred to as Gen-turi) – in the interest of both common sense and consideration for fellow campers, let’s all ensure that we have the ability to direct the exhaust from our on-board generators away from our next-door neighbors’ entry door and immediate surroundings.
      • Strongly recommend arriving with your fresh water tank full and your gray and black tanks empty.
      • Potable water and dump facilities are available at both the Sigsbee (Figure 2) and Trumbo (Figure 4) campgrounds if a middle of Come Around servicing is needed.

     

    Figure 4. Trumbo campground dump station and potable water facilities

     

    • Campsite/vehicle registration and fees
      • All event participants, except as stated in “Exception” bullet below, must pre-register with NASKW MWR for this event. This is a change from NASKW MWR policy in prior years.
      • Pre- registration and payment of campsite fees to be accomplished via the following process:
        • Chapter to provide NASKW MWR POC (hereafter referred to as MWR POC) with roster of all event participants who will be camping at the Truman Annex campsite. Event firsties to take ownership of this action item.
        • The MWR POC will prepare pre-registration documentation for each camping unit occupying a site, as required, to include method of payment as Follows:
          • If camper’s data already exists in MWR data base, the MWR POC will use that data to pre-register the participant.
          • If camper’s data does not exist in MWR data base, the MWR POC will contact camper to obtain required data. Mode of contact may be via either email or telephone, or both.
        • The MWR POC will bring all pre-registration documentation to the Truman Annex campsite for camper’s to sign. Date/time/specific location for this activity to be coordinated by firsties (likely 1500, Mon, 4 Feb, at the tent).
      • Campers are permitted to drive directly to the campsite at the Truman Annex.
        • There is no requirement for campers to visit the Campground Office at Sigsbee for the purpose of registering for their campsite unless they should arrive after the MWR POC has completed the pre-registration document signing exercise at the Truman Annex campsite as cited above.
        • Those who arrive after the MWR POC has completed the pre-registration document signing activity as cited above will need to visit the MWR Campground office at Sigsbee at their earliest opportunity to complete their registration.
      • Exception to pre-registration process cited above pertains to campers having previously registered to camp at either the Sigsbee or Trumbo campgrounds either before or after the come-around and for whom registration at respective campground overlaps with the come-around dates.
        • If relocating to the Truman Annex campsite during the come-around, duplicate registration is not required.
        • To maintain reservation in either Sigsbee or Trumbo respective queues while relocating to the Truman Annex campsite during the event, camper is responsible for informing the Campground Office at time of registration of planned transfer to the Truman Annex site.
      • All vehicles are required to register in order to access the facility.
        • Vehicle registration will be included in the pre-registration process.
        • “All vehicles” means just that – all vehicles, e.g. RVs, towed vehicle, motorcycles, etc.
        • The usual vehicle information, e.g. vehicle’s VIN, license plate number, proof of valid registration and proof of insurance is required to register the vehicle for access to the facility.
      • Campsite fees as of 2019:
        • DOD ID card holder – $17/night
        • Non-DOD ID card holder – $21/night
        • Payment can be made via either a valid credit card or cash. Personal checks are not accepted.
          • Payment via credit card can be accomplished via the pre-registration process cited above.
          • Event participants who prefer to pay with cash or who do not wish to provide credit card information concurrent with the pre-registration process cited above will be required to visit the Campground Office at Sigsbee (Building V-4113, across from Commissary) to make payment. The Campground Office hours are 09am – 3pm (M – F)

    What to bring:

    • name tags
    • Food items to share
      • 1 light snack for the Sunset Cruise (cruise participants only).
      • 2 appetizers for Happy Hour – see FINAL Plan of the Week for assignments.
      • 1 light lunch fare for pot luck lunch (date TBD but likely Friday (Suggestions: various salads, mac and cheese, salmon croquettes, quiche, stuffed mushrooms, etc.)
      • 1 side or dessert for the fish fry (date TBD but most likely Saturday), BYO meat if you don’t eat fish.
      • Favorite tailgate dish(s) for the potluck dinner (date TBD but most likely Tuesday).
      • 1 Sunday brunch dish (Suggestions: egg casserole, quiche, scrambled eggs, pancakes, bacon, sausage, hashbrowns, toast, sweet rolls, donuts, muffins, fruit, Mimosas, Bloody Marys, etc.).
    • RV items and non-RV things for the white elephant auction that you know your shipmates are just dying to own. Proceeds from the auction benefit the chapter.  Remember – one person’s “junk” is another person’s treasure. $$$$ (checks accepted), reminder – you can’t win at the auction if you don’t bid!!!
    • Books for free book exchange (not part of the white elephant auction)
    • BYOB inventory, wine glasses, etc. for Happy Hour and any guests you may have in attendance
    • Plates, cups, knives, forks and spoons
      • Firsties to provide for firstie dinner and morning refreshments on last day of come-around. Firsties also to provide small tasting cups for the blind wine tasting event.
      • Participants to provide for own use for all other on-scene eating activities, e.g. happy hours, pot lucks and fish fry. Participants to provide same for any guests you may have.
      • A limited supply of plastic cutlery and paper plates MAY be available.
    • Camera/smartphone/tablet – remember…memories!!!

    Happy Hour liquid refreshment is BYOB unless stated otherwise in the Plan of the Week.

    • Food – all participants are asked to provide some appetizers, desserts and a potluck dish(s)
      • Specific details to be published in the event Plan of the Week.
      • See the What to bring section for additional information pertaining to food planning.
    • Personal recreation equipment as desired, e.g., golf gear, diving gear, etc. – lots of opportunity to “play” in Key West – see “Miscellany” section re motorcycles on base.
    • Navy paraphernalia (if you have any) for individual campsite and/or table decorations.
    • Any USNA memorabilia you may wish to share with fellow participants.
    • And last, but definitely not least…proper attitude for experiencing a week of FUN, FELLOWSHIP AND MEMORIES!

    Miscellany

    • Fuel Management in Key West
      • It is recommended that you leave the mainland with full fuel
        • Fuel is more expensive in the Keys (even at the NEX gas station) and there are good prices just before you enter the Overseas Highway.
        • Extended dry camping means running the generator to manage your battery charging and electrical needs. This will consume fuel.
      • Grey tank management in Key West
        • It is recommended that you arrive at the campground with empty waste tanks and a full fresh water tank. There are convenient facilities at the Sigsbee campground to do this as you enter Key West enroute to the Truman Annex campsite. See “Traveling to NAS Key West Campground Office and dump station/ potable water facilities at Sigsbee” in
        • The grey water tank can be problematic.
          • If you are using the bath house for showers and toilet, the extended stay is quite manageable.
          • One tip that has come in quite handy is to use a plastic basin in your sinks to catch the grey water. Then empty the basin in your black water tank which will have extra capacity if you have minimized the toilet use. Every little bit helps.
        • Fire ants
          • There is risk of the presence of fire ants at our camping location.
          • Some years are “riskier” than others.
          • Firsties will have fire ant repellant available for event participants as may be needed.
        • Motorcycles on base
          • Must be registered per vehicle registration instructions cited in the “Campsite/vehicle registration and fees” section above.
          • Must comply with following safety considerations:
            • Motorcycle’s safety and signaling equipment fully operable.
            • Required PPE (personal protection equipment) for rider and passenger
              • DOT approved helmet
              • Appropriate eye protection
              • Gloves
              • Long sleeve shirt or jacket, i.e., arms fully covered
              • Long leg wear, i.e., legs fully covered
              • Closed toe shoes
              • Reflective vest (clothing) if riding on base at night
            • Bicycles on base – persons riding bicycles, scooters, skateboards, etc. on base must be wearing following PPE:
              • Helmet on head and fastened.
              • Shoes, shirt and shorts or long pants.

     


2020 Key West Come Around Heads Up (20191015)

Posted: 10/15/2019

Details to follow. Plan ahead to come to the 20th Key West Come Around. Sunday through Sunday, Feb 2 – 9. Early arrivals and late departures may be allowed. Limited number of sites expected. Contact Jack and ‘Nita Parry (eeusna67@aol.com) with your intentions. Special events being planned to close out the Chapter’s 20th Anniversary year.


2019 Watts Bar Come Around AAR (20191013)

Posted: 10/13/2019

Watts Bar 2019 After Action Report

Our campers were greeted with unseasonably hot weather for the start of our first ever September version of the annual Fall Watts Bar Come-around, meeting at Hornsby Hollow Campground on the shores of Watts Bar Lake from 9/16-9/22. Activities started with Happy Hour (no surprises there!) followed by a BBQ dinner with sides and ice cream provided by the firsties, Jim (74) and Lynne Connors. After dinner, the crew moved to the campfire to relax and share jokes and sea stories.

Tuesday morning our group convoyed up to the Cumberland Plateau for a buffet lunch at the Cumberland Mountain State Park, followed by the electrifying adaptation of Mel Brooks’ monstrously funny film “Young Frankenstein” at the Cumberland County Playhouse. The play left us all in stitches, and for the next few days you could hear attendees singing “Puttin’ on the Ritz.”

Wednesday morning, Eva and Andy Wehrle (72) with classmate Vanessa and Tim Halliahan (72) provided a hearty campsite breakfast for all of us. After breakfast,  a board meeting followed by a business meeting for all hands was conducted. In addition to getting updated on chapter activities, we were also provided with USNA and USNAAA updates from Rich Cataldi (69), the Central Region Trustee. Jack Parry (67) also awarded our firstie, Jim Connors (74), with a “S’More Fun” hat to commemorate the tons of s’mores that Jim has provided our chapter over the 16 years he has been a firstie.

Following all that business, we got down to real business as Jack Parry led us in another hilarious and fun chapter auction. These have turned into major fund raisers for our chapter, and they always produce laughs aplenty in addition to helping keep our chapter coffers full. That afternoon, the firsties led our group in a class on “No-Bake Freezer S’mores, with finished products displayed that night. After Happy hour, our campers were treated to a Pizza Dinner and more ice cream provided by the firsties. And after dinner, we again moved to the campfire for the 2nd Annual Flag Retirement Ceremony which was traditional, solemn and emotional as both family members and classmates/shipmates were remembered. We retired about 20 American flags in a dutiful manner with patriotic music as well as an introduction by John Madaio in which each section of the first flag to be retired was “sent off” with a famous quote from our military and Naval history.

Thursday morning, the chapter set off on hikes led by the firsties, with most of the crew electing to follow Lynne to climb Twin Rocks Trail, the more challenging hike. Jim took a smaller group on an easier hike on the Piney Falls Trail. Following the hikes, we broke into 2 groups and enjoyed boat rides on beautiful Watts Bar Lake. This event was canceled last year due to rain, and the previous year we were greeted by heavy seas, strong winds, and cold temperatures. So our boating this year was much more relaxing with calm seas, light winds, and much warmer temperatures. For Happy Hour, since there was no “Margaritaville Machine” available, the firsties provided a gallon of margarita, a gallon of Painkiller, and a gallon of Long Island Ice Tea. No one seemed to miss the Margaritaville Machine! Following drinks, we all enjoyed a fantastic culinary treat with another famous Pot Luck dinner in the pavilion. After feasting on that, we again moved to the campfire where we enjoyed another dose of camaraderie and s’mores.

Friday morning, a small group of campers took their bikes to the Eureka Rail Trail and enjoyed an 8 mile bike ride. The remainder of our group adventured out to various local attractions to enjoy the day. After Happy Hour, our campers went to Uncle Gus’s Smokey Mountain BBQ for an early dinner. After that we all settled back in to another evening in front of the campfire with more s’mores.

Saturday was a day to enjoy all the local sights, attractions, etc, or to just relax and enjoy time on the lake. That night, firsties provided a hot dog dinner with baked beans, cole slaw, and potato salad. After dinner, the show moved to the home of Jim and Lynne for the grand finale fireworks show. This year Jim put the entire $300 firstie stipend towards fireworks, and our members were treated to an hour long show. Scott Goodson (76) provided accompaniment with his cannon. And after the barrage was concluded, we had a giant bonfire to burn the carcasses of all the fireworks shot off that night. And that provided some last minute excitement as several ‘duds’ went off during the bonfire. After sufficient “oohs and aahhs” our crew returned to their RV’s and made plans to get underway the next morning. We said our farewells on Sunday morning with some chapter rigs moving on to the far western side of Tennessee for the Navy at Memphis football game and come-around.

Watts Bar attendees included:  Dee and Bill Bradford ‘63; Karen and Keith Waldrop ‘64; Stevie and Hank Giffin ‘67 + Pattie and Jay Williams ‘67 + ‘Nita and Jack Parry ‘67; Vanessa and Tim Hallihan ‘72 + Eva and Andy Wehrle ‘72; Pam and Lee Van Oss ‘73;  Susan and Don Baldwin ‘74 + Come-Around Firsties Lynne and Jim Connors ‘74; Sandy and Scott Goodson ‘76; Eileen and John Madaio ‘77; Catherine and Jim Hefferman ‘81 + Tim and Joan Platz ‘81; and Associate members Mari and Jerry McIlwain LSU ‘65; in addition Pat and Barbara Bisson (friends of firsties) and Nancy and David Sallee (friends of Wehrles).  Sharon and Larry Weaver ‘59 joined the luncheon and theater performance from their home nearby.  USNAAA Central Regional Trustee Rich Catalina ‘69 joined the Board and General membership meetings.

 


Navy Memphis Football Come Around AAR (20191003)

Posted: 10/3/2019

After-Action Report
Memphis ComeAround
September 24-29, 2019
AgriCenter, Cordova, Tennessee

‘Nita and Jack Parry ‘67, Firsties
Eva and Andy Wehrle ‘72, Co-Firsties

Attendees:
Dee and Bill Bradford ‘63
Patti and Jay Williams ‘67
Susan and Don Baldwin ‘74
Beth and John Vuolo ‘77
Catherine and Jim Heffernan ‘81

All but Beth and John Vuolo attended the Watts Bar ComeAround and thereafter traveled independently to Memphis. Folks arrived at the AgriCenter on Monday with most arriving on Tuesday. That evening carpool outing to Soul Fish restaurant so that ‘Nita could have some catfish was joined in by most of the attendees creating a great start to a fun filled few days.

Wednesday, Sept 25
Morning Coffee with donuts from Gibson’s got the juices flowing before folks ventured out to see Memphis on their own. The Vuolo’s joined the group on Wednesday for their first experience with the chapter and a ComeAround. That evening, we went to the famous Charlie Vergos’ Rendezvous for a welcome reception for Naval Academy alumni, parents and friends including world famous BBQ along with beer, wine, soda and sweet tea. We were addressed by Craig Washington, EVP of the Alumni Association, Chet Gladchuck, Athletic Director, and the new Commandant, Captain TR Buchanan.

Thursday, Sept 26
Again, after morning coffee, we all explored Memphis on our own until the Navy v Memphis tailgate at the Liberty Bowl Stadium. We were seated together in the visitor’s section given to USNA ticket office. The game looked like it was going our way in the first half. After halftime was a different story. The stadium played Navy Blue and Gold over the loud speakers which gave the loyal fans and team a raucous rendition of the alma mater.

Friday, Sept 27
A special day that everyone will remember fondly was a full day spent at the Peabody Memphis Hotel where we gathered in the lobby for the daily parade of the ducks down from their rooftop quarters to the lobby fountain. The event was made special by the comments of the Duckmaster. Our group bought out the 2-hour history tour of the hotel. The tour was guided by none other than the Duckmaster himself. A great tour guide and musical history buff, Doug made the stories come alive with all the different people and music which makes Memphis and the Peabody famous. A group photo was taken on the rooftop in front of the Duck Palace.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saturday, Sept 28
Saturday morning we were provided a special treat by Eva Wehrle serving biscuits and gravy for breakfast before we all spent one last day visiting the sites of Memphis on our own. Three of our attendee campers departed early, eager for home after the two consecutive ComeArounds.

Sunday, Sept 29
This was the departure day for the remainder of campers. By mid-morning the line of our 7 sites were empty.

Respectfully submitted,

‘Nita and Jack Parry ‘67


Navy Memphis Football ComeAround POD 20190827

Posted: 8/27/2019

Navy Memphis Football

Preliminary ComeAround POD

Monday, Sept 23:

Caravan by independent steaming from Watts Bar towards AgriCenter Memphis
Tuesday, Sept 24
Arrive/Set up/ Memphis on your own:
Wednesday, Sept 25
Morning Coffee with Calisthenics
Memphis on your own until BBQ at:
We will go to the famous Charlie Vergos’ Rendezvous for a welcome reception for all our Naval Academy alumni, parents and friends. World famous BBQ along with beer, wine, soda and sweet tea included. Come out on Wednesday evening to meet the new leadership of the U.S. Naval Academy!
5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Charlie Vergos’ Rendezvous
52 S. 2nd Street, Memphis, TN 38103
Buffet includes ribs, chopped chicken, pork shoulder, beans, slaw and bread. Unlimited soft drinks, tea and draft beer. Wine available as well.
Price per person is $35.00 all inclusive

Thursday, Sept 26
Memphis on your own until Navy v Memphis tailgate:
Join us in Memphis for a pre-game Tailgate hosted by the Alumni Association and the Naval Academy Parent Club of the Mid South.
5:00 to 7:00 p.m.
Binswanger Glass, Parking lot at 340 S. Hollywood Street, Memphis TN 38104, directly behind Liberty Bowl Stadium.
Catering provided by One and Only BBQ, includes pulled pork sandwich, chicken, assorted side dishes and dessert, as well as lemonade and sweet tea.  High Cotton Brewery has donated beer for this event for all guests over the age of 21, and donations for the beer are appreciated.
Price:      Adults – $25.00
Friday, Sept 27
Recover after an amazing upset victory
Reservations made for 14. please advise at CA check in….
Arrive at Peabody at 10:15 to beat the crowd assembling for
Parade of Ducks at 11:00;
Historic Peabody Hotel tour by Duckmaster at 11:30 – 13:30
(150th birthday of the hotel)
Price: $10pp
Lunch in the Capriccio Cafe at 14:00, choose from menu, pay individually
Saturday, Sept 28
Memphis on your own
Sunday, Sept 29
Departures

Come Around “How To” (20190824)

Posted: 8/24/2019

USNA RV CHAPTER

HOW TO PUT ON A “COMEAROUND”

Come Arounds are the Heart and Soul of the RV Chapter.  Any member is welcomed and encouraged to volunteer to put on a Come Around and become a “Firstie”.

These guidelines are developed to help put on a Come Around.  Ideally the first work will be about a year in advance.  It could be done with 3-4 months notice, although that will compress the work you must do into a shorter timeframe, and may limit attendance due to people having scheduling conflicts.  Giving 9-12 months notice should increase attendance as it allows people to get things onto their travel calendar sooner.

Starting the thought process

The first decision is where.  Choose a place that you have been to before or holds an interest.  This could be a park, a city, or a nearby attraction type of place.  Unless you are extremely familiar with the location, choose one reasonable near you as you will probably have to visit it once or twice to complete preparations.

Once you have a tentative general location we would recommend choosing the RV park or campground as the next activity   Somewhere that can accommodate 15-25 RV’s is best.  It is highly preferred to have the RV’ sites arranged together.

General campground desirable attributes:

  • Water and electric hookups. (Sewers are a plus but required)
  • Big Rig sites. We have a number of 40-foot units.
  • A building for inclement weather especially in early spring, late fall or winter. (this may be as simple as a covered shelter or in some cases a large tent)
  • Sites close to each other.
  • Easy reservation system.
  • Allow pets.
  • If a military facility is chosen it must be willing to accept non-military personnel/retirees, as many of our membership did not retire from the military.

Then look at the RV chapter website for forthcoming events and choose a date.  Traditionally Key West is in February, and Watts Bar is in October.  Those events have been the backbone for many years and also prove that good locations and good Firsties can make a lasting event.  Don’t worry if you find someone has previously done a Come Around nearby.  Just go for it and make it your style.

Contact the board through the RV Chapter website and let them know you would like to have an event at a location on a planned date.   Once approval is obtained you are good to move forward.

Getting the first info out about the event

Once you have the event approved, get something to both the RV Chapter facebook page as well as to the webmaster for the RV Alumni Chapter website.  A full plan is not needed at that time, just the dates/location/and tentative highlights, along with instructions on how to contact you to confirm tentative attendance.    The Shipmate responsible person, currently Nita Perry, will also probably contact you with deadlines for articles to the Shipmate so that you can get information into that for your event.

Planning the event

This is when you are doing more detailed planning on the things you think appropriate for your Come Around.  The Chapter is open to a wide variety of events – like dinners, museums, local sights and attractions, hikes, bike rides, and much more.  Please use your imagination here.  We have a wide variety of attendees of various ages and interests.  People can either attend or not attend individual events, based upon their specific likes and dislikes.

The following activities should be considered for inclusion in the Come Around.

  • Social (Happy) Hour each day.
  • Pot Luck Dinner(s)
  • Dinner Out.
  • Breakfast or Coffee and sweets of some kind.
  • Camp Fire.
  • Camp Fire activities: marshmallows; Sing Along; Joke time.
  • Tours, excursions or trips to areas of interest.
  • Biking and Hiking.

The first POD

This is usually sent via email to each person who has responded as attending or interested.

This should include:  Campground Name and phone number for reservations, (other reservation info if needed such as, “say you are a member of USNA group”:, make sure you get special rate, or ask for someone in particular when making a reservation).   Included will be,  Dates for Check-in and Check-out; a rough outline of activities, list of other attendees, and information on anything you need volunteer assistance for.  Also there will be questions you may need participants to answer, such as are you interested in a particular tour or dinner.

Firming up the POD

This is where you flesh out the POD with more detailed times on events as well as any pertinent comments on specific events, and are gathering information on who plans to attend what activities.   It is best to have personally driven to each activity and know a route, rough time it takes to get there, and where best to park. You should be visiting each restaurant and learning what is needed to host the group.  By now you should be able to provide the restaurant with a good count of diners.  Deciding how to handle the dinner costs is often an issue.  It is suggested to have the restaurant bill each couple separately.  This might not always work, but it makes it the simplest for the Firstie.  Some restaurants require a deposit and some may not.  If possible handle this from the Firstie stipend, or if time permits you may contact the Chapter to fund deposits.  You might also get a restaurant to process a deposit on a credit card and return that deposit when the group fulfills the dinner commitment.

Publish a revised/updated POD

This should happen 2-4 weeks out and should be a pretty comprehensive list of Events by time and date, assistance planned or needed, and the complete list of attendees. You should have email confirmation from each attendee now and a firm handle of counts for events and dinners.

Make a deposit at a restaurant if needed.

Including the dinner menu with the final POD is also suggested.

Since plans should be firm by now, it is suggested to re-contact all places you will attend, such as a tour or restaurant one week before the event – they tend to forget and do not plan extra people, etc.

Get to event a day or two early to make sure campground is ready and any set up is done.

Make sure the campground is ready for the group. Set up banners, and tables as needed.

The actual Come Around

The first event is usually a welcome/happy hour.  The first dinner and departing breakfast have traditionally been handed by the Firsties.

At the Welcome go over,

  • Introductions; new attendees, who they are/how far they traveled etc.
  • Check on Nametags. Tell everyone to wear them to every event as practical.
  • Hand out a final POD. Roughly go over events for week.
  • Specifically go over anything needing attention by attendees such as dinner selections and/or tour specifics?
  • Go over the Come Around fee, roughly what that is paying for, and collect from attendees who have not already paid.
  • Either get a volunteer or have a person previously designated to take pictures of the event activities.
  • Answer questions.
  • Conclude by going over specific things for the next day. Anything requiring travel should have either a map or address suitable for a GPS.)  Some may want to carpool / travel together – establish a meeting/departure place for the week.

While we have not used TEXT’s in the past, I suggest having a good phone number for each attendee in case sudden changes are needed – use that to TEXT a message.  Such as if it is raining it would be useful to send a quick text 30 minutes early saying the bike ride is on a 45 minute delay/hold.  Otherwise you may end up trying to knock on each RV door.

There is usually a Happy Hour each day except when there is a restaurant dinner planned.  Once all attendees are at the evening event go over the next days events.

Announce any needed changes as the week progresses.

Somewhere in the schedule there will be a Chapter Board meeting, followed by a General meeting, and a “White Elephant” auction of items brought be attendees (coordinate with RV chapter president.)  The general meeting will be handled by the President  If there is to be an Auction prearrange for a person as the auctioneer.  Auction proceeds go to Chapter.

On last evening have a sort of closing thank you for helpers/attendees.

Conclude with an early departure Firstie breakfast on last day.  This has been held about 7-8 AM to let people get underway early, and often as simple as donuts, juice and coffee.

Take down all banners, and disassemble rented loaned items.  Ensure things are OK with the campground before your departure.

Make plans for any RV Chapter equipment, (banners etc.), as well as excess materials; such as plates, utensils, cups, to be gathered and forwarded to the next Come Around (if possible) by an attendee of the current Come Around planning to attend the next Come Around

After the Come Around

An AFTER ACTION (to be send to the President) report should be compiled for both the RV Chapter Web page, and parts of that may be extracted for the Shipmate if appropriate.  Information about the event should also be posted on the RV Chapter Facebook page.

Finances;

There is a Firstie stipend to help defray the Firsties cost of putting on the Come Around.

This would include things like traveling to make arrangements, and other miscellaneous fees which occur in the preparation and execution of the Come Around.

There is also the actual Come Around fee.  This should include things to be shared by the attendees – cups/utensils/sodas/chips etc if you provide at happy hour or at a pot luck dinner.

At some Come Arounds this has included, food for the group breakfast or fixings for Margarita night, tour(s) ,Firstie dinner and Firstie breakfast.

Additional Items

When an event is scheduled there may be USNA graduates who live in the area who may be interested in attending the event.  This has always been encouraged.  We are also finding some chapter member who no longer RV but who may want to try to attend either by staying at a nearby hotel or renting a cabin if the campground has that.  We have usually tried to accommodate all these requests.

Contacting the local USNA Alumni Chapter may also bring additional interest.  This may be in the form of local alumni attending the event, or at a selected evening where local alumni are encouraged to attend a happy hour or pot luck dinner.  Charges have been in relation to the events attended.  This should be done early enough in the process to both allow the local chapter time to get the word out, and to allow you time to plan for additional attendees.

There are Firsties that have conducted prior events that are more than willing to provide assistance.  Contact the Chapter President for individual names.  There are also previous POD’s available as examples for additional guidance.

We always look forward to every event, and hope this helps you as you plan.


2020 Mt Dora Come Around (20190824)

Mt Dora – Spring 2020

Please join us for our second Mt Dora Florida Come Around.

This will be North of Orlando about 40 minutes at the Southern Palms RV Resort in Eustis FL. The arrival date is Monday afternoon April 27th with departure on Monday morning May 4th.

This campground will again have all the RV’s in one group area, which has full hookups. An indoor meeting building is available for our use near where we will park our RV’s. This is an air conditioned building with a full kitchen, and additional facilities. I am told it is being remodeled and will be even better than last time. It is great not to have to worry about it being too hot or rainy. Not that it ever does those things in south Florida

Activities under consideration are:

– Dinner(s) at a MT Dora Restaurant(s)
– Lunch at the local German Bakery
– Bicycle Rides, one an easy eight mile (ride anything) ride and a second 25-45 mile ride for more experienced (road bike) riders.
– Large Pontoon Boat Sunset Cruise (if sufficient interest)
– Visit to Horner Morse Museum to see Tiffany Glass Collecton in nearby Winter Park
– “Maggie’s Attic” Walking Wine Tour (evening event)
– Several Game Nights (Farkle- an easy dice game- and/or Pictionary)
– Free time to visit the local quaint towns and the Antique and Flea Market.
– Always fun “White Elephant Auction” and Book Exchange.

We will provide details of registering soon.
A block of sites and the dates have already been reserved.

Contact Dale Gange at dandsgange@comcast.net to be put on a list of attendees

We hope to see many of you at Mt Dora,

Firsties, Dale and Su Gange


2019 Watts Barr TN Come Around POD 20190821

Posted: 8/21/2019

WATTS BAR COME AROUND POD
SEPTEMBER 16-22

Mon 9/16/19 All Day Begin CA, arrivals set up at camp site
1600 Happy Hour, no planned appetizers but bring sides for the dinner
1700 Fish fry with sides brought by attendees
1900 Campfire and joke telling

Tues 9/17/19
1130 Depart campground for buffet lunch at Cumberland Mountain State Park
1230 Convoy over to Cumberland County Theater for 1300 matinee of Young Frankenstein.
After the show, dinner on your own in Crossvillle or Spring City on your way back from the show.
1900 Campfire and s’mores.

Wed 9/18/19
0900 Hearty Campsite Breakfast by the Wehrle’s at pavilion
1000 Board Meeting
1100 Business meeting, group photo
1200 White Elephant Auction
1500 No Bake Freezer S’more class with components provided by firsties.
1600 Happy Hour with appetizers by A thru G
1730 Pizza dinner provided by firsties.
1900 Campfire and solemn flag retirement ceremony
2000 Show off and enjoy your freezer s’mores after the flag retirement ceremony.

Thur 9/19/19
0900 Hike Piney Falls (shorter and easier) or Twin Rocks (moderate), convoy from our campsite
1200 Boat rides on Watts Bar Lake for those interested
1600 Happy Hour cocktail hour with 3 gallons of drinks provided, appetizers by H-N
1800 Pot Luck dinner at pavilion.
1900 Campfire and s’mores

Fri 9/20/19
0800 Convoy to Athens to bike the “Eureka Rail Trail” for those interested
Fri 1530 Happy Hour, very light appetizers by M-S
1730 Dinner at Carter’s Landing, Fooshee Marina, or Gus’s BBQ (TBD after we sample them again.)
1930 Campfire and s’mores

Sat 9/21/19 Your day to see the sights, take in the flea markets, cheese factory, Mayfield Dairy, firstie boat ride, etc
1500 Start Happy Hour early today, appetizers by S thru Z.
1700 Chili Cheese Hot Dogs and baked beans at the pavilion. BYO desserts
1900 Carpool to Jim and Lynne Connors home for grand finale fireworks show.
Sunset: Grand finale Fireworks extravaganza.

NOTES:
1. Those interested in a group hike on Piney Falls Trail please contact the firsties. Same location as Twin Rocks.
2. We’re planning on another big fireworks show this year. Fireworks will move to Friday night if bad weather is predicted Sat. We’ll serve chili cheese hot dogs and baked beans at the pavilion prior to the fireworks. Lots of parking in our driveway, tennis court lot, or neighbor’s driveway. Please avoid parking in the grass!
3. CA Fee should be approximately $25
4. We’ll set up boat rides on my neighbor’s large party boat for Thursday or Saturday, depending on weather. It is a beautiful lake for those interested. We’ll split up riders for two trips if enough people are interested.
5. Cocktail hour Thursday night will include a gallon each of pain killer, margarita, and Long Island Iced Tea. These are not made from a mix and will be strong, so please start out with small glasses.
6. We’ll have a table set aside for book swap, so bring your used books and trade with friends.
7. Bring your unwanted stuff for another fun auction, always one of the high points of the come-around.


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