We don’t go to Boomerville every January to kick back and relax. As a matter of fact, finding time to relax is down right impossible.
As explained previously, the Boomers who occupy Boomerville are a group of RVers who gather on BLM land for 2 weeks every January. Since the club has no officers and no rules, everything that gets scheduled is individually generated. Previously, you saw we gather for Gretchen and Bob’s Pancake Breakfast about every three days. (Pancake donations to CARE, our group’s charity, exceed more than $170 with one more breakfast this Saturday on the schedule.)
At the check in table, hosted by Nancy Kurlovich and others, new arrivals sign-in, locate the information tables, grab some fresh fruit someone has left for sharing, peruse the “free” table of books, clothing, and what-nots, and then check the schedule board. As of Wednesday more than 110 rigs had check-in. During the week some folks will leave and move on to other areas of the desert to meet friends in other groups or club chapters. We have seen as many of 175 Boomer rigs checked-in by the end of the Boomerang, the Boomer’s nickname for a large club get-together. (BTW, smaller gatherings are called “mini-rangs” which can be just a few people gathering at a restaurant or rig for shared meals, games, and socializing.)
If it is 4:00 pm in Boomerville it is time to bring your chairs, beverages, and snacks to the fire pit area for announcements, introductions of new arrivals, and more socializing. During the first week, Pam and Steve Ritchie did the microphone duties while Joyce and Larry Space have taken on the second week. Special attention is given to first-timers so they feel welcomed. This year, instead of a ribbon to wear, they are given a very colorful fuzzy pipe cleaner so they can be identified and mentored. Many come as guests of Boomers and end up joining the Escapees AND the Boomers before they leave. During this Boomerville we have already had about 25 new members join the Boomers.
Boomerville has a variety of activities on the daily schedule. At 9 a.m. there is usually a group walk or hike. On Sundays and Wednesdays, volunteers with trucks make a dump run. On Fridays, the Men’s Donut Run finds the guys heading for the Quartzsite Bakery. Around 10 a.m. or 2 p.m. there are discussion groups (i.e., Smartphone Apps, Batteries & Solar, Workamping, Laughter Yoga, etc.) around the fire pit. And, of course, Boomers have had a variety of meal events – potlucks, chili-cook-offs, bread baking competitions, and wine tasting throughout the gathering. At dusk, we have had outdoor slide presentations (using white-walled RVs). Members have shared their RVing trips to Scandinavia, Africa, Europe, Mexico, and South America.
Scenes from various food events…
This is a photo of my tray full of rice, beans, fruits, salads, and that one piece of sour dough bread that begged for a hunk of butter.
This year I invited those interested to talk about “Plant-Based Nutrition” during Tuesday’s fire pit discussion. I had 15 people talking about their changes in eating lifestyles and health improvements. The program I am working on is based on the “Forks Over Knives” video and books plus other publications based on "The China Study”. I think we all came away informed and, in my case, motivated to keep embracing the Plant Based Nutrition principles.
RV FIRE SAFETY
One of the largest gatherings this year was for “Mac the Fire Guy’s Fire Safety Seminar”. We have attended Mac’s “live fire” lectures and demonstrations five or six times and it has paid off.
In 2011, Luke and I had an opportunity to use what we had learned in Mac’s classes when this classic RV had an engine compartment fire in a space across from us at the Indio Elks Lodge. Our multiple foam based extinguishers were able to halt the fire from spreading before the fire department arrived. We also got the elderly man (with his oxygen tank) away, got the wife out of the rig as she was looking for her cat, got the propane turned off, and the couple’s car moved to allow access space for the fire trucks.
Mac focused on the causes of RV fires, how to react to fires, and then he also did his latest demonstration on how to literally escape out an emergency window if you were caught in an RV fire. Click here to see a video Mac produced on how to escapee.) Unfortunately, RVers know all to well that our traveling homes can burn to the ground in less than a minute so preparation and training are essential.
Mac the Fire Guy and Katy Smith demonstrate how to use a fire extinguisher. Below, Diana Ruelens exit the tiny bedroom escape window in her RV as hubby George and others assist her down to the ground.
Boomers are very, very generous with their time and their wallets – especially when it comes to support of the Escapees CARE Center in Livingston, Texas. This year’s Boomerville CARE Auction collected more than $3,000. The Escapee Club issues a “patch” to clubs denoting donations for each $1,000 given to CARE. This deposit will bring the total contribution made by the Boomers in recent years to well over $30,000.
During the week, donated items were collected near the check-in table. On Auction Day, the items were placed on tables for pre-bidding, wine sales opened, and then the team of auctioneers and “Vannas” kept the bidding going for more than three hours.
Can’t leave the blog without another fantastic Arizona sunset.
NEXT: WHY RVers MIGRATE TO QUARTZSITE