The summer proved busy, but memorable, for members of the Tellico Village Roadrunners RV Club.
Since May, the club has traveled to Townsend, Maggie Valley, N.C., Washington, D.C., and, most recently, Nashville.
“We try to do a rally a month,” Doug Peterson, Roadrunners president, said. “We generally go from March to November. This year, I think we started in May ... six to eight rallies a year are what we’re attempting to accomplish, and those could be as short as going to Townsend or we’ve done rallies out to the balloon festival out in Albuquerque. We’re planning a long-term rally in 2021 to Alaska.”
The club originated in 1995 when a group from Tellico Village discussed a lack of RV use in the Village while on a skiing trip in Italy. Pat Scanlon decided to hold a meeting at the Chota Recreation Center upon his return, and with the support of 30 other Villagers, the club began that night.
Karen Sue Keith and her husband, Errol Keith, have been involved with the club for five years and have served as wagon masters for several rallies, including the last three to Townsend.
“When you’re in a camp, there’s a number of you there and we spend three or four days,” Karen Sue Keith said. “That’s when you really get to know somebody is when they’re there for a while. You go to a meeting for an hour, and you don’t really get to know them. We do an annual rally every year in Townsend at Big Meadow, and the last two years, Errol and I, with two other couples, have been wagon masters.
“It’s been a fun thing,” she added. “We plan the outing. We go to a restaurant one night, we have a pot luck one night and since that happens to be the same weekend as the Kentucky Derby, we’ve had hat contests, played games and it’s been a real fun experience, I think, for everyone involved.”
Rally destinations are always a hot topic among club members.
Two upcoming rallies include trips to Jekyll Island and Oktoberfest in Helen, Ga.
“We have a committee,” Peterson said. “What we do is partway through the year, we’ll survey the club to see interest in destinations, and then we’ll come up with the two members at large and the vice president. They’ll come up with a tentative rally destination schedule. We don’t put dates down, it’s just destinations. We then get rally masters to volunteer — two couples, generally.”
Peterson has noticed an influx of Villagers enter the RV scene since joining the club five years ago. The club has more than 100 members.
“I think we’re seeing a little more of an increase,” he said. “It’s a bit of a cyclic thing, I believe. I think we’re seeing a little more interest. We’ve seen quite a few this year ... new members sign up to the club. If you’re interested in doing an RV but you’re just trying to come and figure it out, we’re a good resource also. We’ve got people that have small vehicles all the way up to large ones.”
The Roadrunners welcome all campers or RV enthusiasts, but occasionally include non-campers.
“(Kim) and I have only been in the club for four to five years, and this is our first RV,” Peterson said. “We have people in the club whose parents took them RV-ing, and they took their children RV-ing and they’re still RV-ing. They have a real good knowledge of what the RV lifestyle is. We have a lot of people that have started small and gone large and done just the opposite.”
For the Keiths, the club has been an avenue for relaxation and creating long-lasting friendships.
“Ken Wood and Karen Wood are two of our better friends, and they were involved when we first came in,” Karen Sue Keith said. “Kim and Doug Peterson live just a couple of doors down from us, so we’ve gotten to know them quite well. Donna Barger and Jim (Barger) are our partners in crime for the Townsend rally, so I think it’s a really good group and really tight knit. You have a lot of experiences in common with traveling with your rigs.”
For more information about the Roadrunners, email email@example.com.