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Old 08-12-2012, 11:45 PM   #261
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It's 11:30 and all is quite here in Goshen, portable camp fire out and the day before the rally starts finds us tired and ready for the official start day tomorrow. We volunteer parking guys parked around 180 units today and got to meet a whole bunch of new FROG friends. The registration girls got them all registered by dinner time, except for one couple who got in about dinner time, They joined us all for dinner and was taken care of after. It was a busy day but I think it was a good day for all.
Bobfidy (Bob) had his camera clicking away at the dinner so I'm sure he'll be posting some pictures soon.
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Old 08-13-2012, 12:06 AM   #262
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And so it begins…

For the past few days we’ve been in Goshen, preparing for the impending FROG stampede. We’ve been out in the blowing rain setting up a display of beautiful new Forest River RVs, pontoon boats, and utility trailers. We’ve met with vendors and made sure that they have what they need. We’ve spoken with caterers and “tweaked” the numbers, and have worked with sound and display artists to ensure a beautiful stage setting. We’ve been making a list and checking it twice … no, wait, that’s something else.

And then, we thought, we’ll sit back a little and wait. Remember what they say about the best laid plans?

Our first arrival (other than the couple who arrived a week early) came on Friday. They were scheduled for Monday, but got away from Canada a little early. Welcome to our new Canadian friends. The small trickle that we thought might come in on Saturday, mostly in the form of volunteers (God love ‘em, more on that later). By the end of the day there were about forty units on hand. We set up shop, picked up registration and door prize, and goody-bag and other materials from Middlebury and got them delivered. (Bob, Ron, Michel, I’m really sorry about that trailer key thing!)

Saturday was a dinner with some of the volunteers. More have stepped forward, and many thanks are due them as well.

Saturday night was another work night, including volunteers who have already done much more that we can thank them for. In assembly line fashion, a hard-working crew filled the FROG canvas bags with an array of gifts, prizes, and welcome items. In the meantime, the parking crew scouted out the parking areas, cussed and discussed some of the smaller spaces, and agreed on a plan of attack.

And then, we waited, but not for long ……
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Old 08-13-2012, 12:22 AM   #263
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park in the gander mountain parking lot
I agree! We were there last summer and in no time at all the CW lot is so jammed you're stuck!
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Old 08-13-2012, 01:36 AM   #264
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This morning dawned cool and mostly sunny -- what my Dad used to say was "a great day to be starting on a trip somewhere." It seems though, that many FROGs had started on a trip a day or two earlier, making this a great day to arrive somewhere. And arrive they did.

It was a trickle at first, a few here and there. The parking crew started in on a routine (which was occasionally not quite routine) of greeting them on arrival, having someone check for the assigned parking spot, and having a guide lead them via golf cart to there site. It was a good plan and it generally worked well.

And it's good that it did. Throughout the day FROGs arrived from all corners of North America, both Canada and the United States. They arrived with miles under them and genuine smiles on their faces. The few issues that arose -- most involving large RVs and smaller sites -- were quickly resolved.

Arriving at registration, new arrivals were greeted with friendly smiles and warm welcomes. Registration kits, name badges (on FROG lanyards, of course), "goody bags" quickly materialized, as another intrepid band of volunteers made things go smoothly.

New friendships were being forged all over the fairground by the time we assembled for dinner. A background slide show reflected some of the origins of the organization, which pretty much bubbled up from someone of the forum simply tossing out an idea -- anyone ever thought about getting together as a group of Forest River owners? The resulting Branson Rally -- OK, it's time to admit that there was a Canadian there, truly making it the first FROG International Rally -- got the ball rolling. Also included were the entries in the first Forest River photo contest. (First?)

Dinner included roast beef, mashed potatoes and gravy, baby glazed carrots, tossed salad, rolls, cookies, iced tea, and lemonade. Some folks were moving a little more slowly going out than coming in.

Into the evening, groups could be found all over the fairgrounds, some renewing friendships, some creating them. Walkers and bikers roamed the fairgrounds, especially admiring the landscaping of Heritage Park, the central focus of the facility. Into the evening one could find the glow of campfires, hear laughter, and generally enjoy the atmosphere.

It was a very good day all around.

Tomorrow we'll be gearing up for more arrivals -- still about 40 or so to go. Seminars will be underway, and the vendors will be open for business. Beautiful RVs will be open for inspection -- in fact, we learned that, if you ask, you can actually buy one -- really!

Dinner tomorrow will be a special event, as Forest River President Pete Liegl hosts what promises to be a "WOW" event.

But for now, "today" has already faded into early tomorrow, and it's time to forge ahead. More to come......
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Old 08-13-2012, 09:40 AM   #265
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We left Imperial, Missouri Saturday morning and stopped for the evening at the Hollywood Casino Campground in Joliet, Illinois. The campground is good for an overnight stop but I was surprised how short each site was, it worked for us though. Fortunately when we departed for Goshen on Sunday morning we hadn’t left too much money behind at the casino.

We arrived at the Elkhart County Fairgrounds and were escorted to our site by one of the FROG volunteers. Our site is at the back of the fairgrounds and we have a beautiful view from our back window of a small creek and YIKES, railroad tracks…very active railroad tracks.

Many thanks to those FROGs that volunteered to work the rally registering the attendees as they arrived and those who helped to guide everyone to their sites. They worked their tails off as so many rigs have come in a day early. Kudos to Bob and Cindy for their hard work in setting up this rally.

It was great to meet up again some of the FROGs from the original International FROG Rally in Branson last year. Iggy if you’re reading this, we’ve already been talking about you and wishing you could have attended this year. Many thanks to Itsthetwoofus (George) for providing us with a campfire last night and the S‘mores.

The catered Roast Beef dinner last night was excellent. It is amazing how many FROGs are already here since today is the first official day of the rally.

FROGS going through the food line.


Many seminars are scheduled for today and Forest River has an RV and boat display here with some very interesting rigs. We will get over to the vendors area today and I’m sure my DW Petunia (Joyce) will spread some of our money around.
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Old 08-13-2012, 09:47 PM   #266
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WOW! It has been so nice to meet folks and have a face to go with handles. We are having a fabulous time! Great food! Great folks! Lots of rigs... so fun and exciting! Sure hope that there is ANOTHER rally next year!
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Old 08-13-2012, 11:03 PM   #267
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And yes Virginia.....THERE IS A BOB BYRNE.....and CINDY too.

Pictures to follow as soon as we can find a fast enough connectionn.
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Old 08-13-2012, 11:42 PM   #268
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Originally Posted by BOBFIDY View Post
And yes Virginia.....THERE IS A BOB BYRNE.....and CINDY too.

Pictures to follow as soon as we can find a fast enough connectionn.

Bob, come see me..We can get you on. Oh one more thing, we have enough rain, shut it off!!
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Old 08-13-2012, 11:48 PM   #269
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Bob, come see me..We can get you on. Oh one more thing, we have enough rain, shut it off!!
In the morning sir.....I might melt coming next door as hard as it is raining right now.....lol
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Old 08-14-2012, 12:03 AM   #270
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Yes Virginia there is a BOB and CINDY BYRNE

Bob and Cindy Byrne at FROG RALLY Goshen, IN. 2012
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