MID-AMERICA BOUNDERS HISTORY

   By 1996, Kyle Davis, the BOA Central Region Vice-President realized a need for additional
BOA chapters, taking in members in the states of  Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin and Michigan.  
Several members of Ohio’s Pioneer Chapter residing in Illinois and Indiana  took up his
challenge.  During that winter, Phyllis Jones sent invitations to BOA members in Illinois, Indiana
and Iowa, inviting them to an organizational camp-out at Kentuckiana  Kampground in
Hopedale, Illinois on May 17, 1997.

   15 coaches (with 14 ½ couples) showed up for that weekend, eager to form a new BOA
chapter.  The name Mid-America Bounders was chosen to reflect membership from the original
states, Illinois, Indiana and Iowa, and surrounding states. We now also include members from
Missouri, Minnesota and Wisconsin.  Other decisions that weekend included deciding on a dues
structure and establishing the third full weekend of the month for rallies.  The first officers were
elected: President, Les Jones; Vice President, Wayne Blind; Secretary/Treasurer, Phyllis Jones.
Hosts and locations for the June, July,  August and October rallies were determined and
attendance at the September BOA National Rally in Paxinos, Pennsylvania was planned.  

   By the end of 1997, the Mid-America Bounders had established a logo - an outline of the
United States with the Bounder Kangaroo in the central location.  St. Jude’s was chosen as the
charity to receive support from the chapter.  A Sheriff was appointed to collect a fine from
members not wearing their name-tags.  The “Boo-Ba-Roo”, a very skinny, ugly rubber kangaroo
made its first appearance.  This traveling “trophy” is given to the member who has made the
biggest “Boo-Boo” since the last meeting.  Each rally saw the chapter growing in numbers and
strengthening the bonds of friendship.  By the end of 1997 there were 29 MAB member coaches..

   1998 found the Mid-America Bounders busily preparing to host the BOA Spring 1999
International Rally at Cereland in Columbus, Indiana. The sheriff will hold a 50/50 drawing at each
rally, with half of the monies going to the winner of the drawing and half to our designated
charity.    Membership reached 40 coaches by the end of the year.   

   1999 opened with the very successful BOA Spring International Rally in May.  The rest of the
year found the chapter enjoying rallies at campgrounds from Fond du Lac, Wisconsin in the
north to Corydon, Indiana in the south,
and several in between.  

   Over the years, Mid America Bounders have enjoyed chapter rallies at many locations
throughout our member states.  This has afforded us the opportunity to get to know highlights
of many of these areas.  We have enjoyed attending many BOA International Rallies as a group.  
Our 10th Anniversary rally, in May, 2007, found 45 MABs gathered at Cereland in Columbus,
Indiana. Special recognition was given to the 14 present who were charter members.  It was a
special time for reminiscing of times past and looking to what the future holds for MAB.        A
typical MAB rally finds coaches arriving on a Thursday and having a get-together with light
snacks that evening.  Hosts usually prepare a breakfast on Friday and Saturday mornings.  
Attendees sample a local restaurant one evening, with a pot-luck dinner the alternate evening.
We may have a business meeting, planned tours of new areas, safety lessons, time to explore on
our own, or just relax and enjoy each other’s company.  Sometimes there are rousing games of
Dirty Uno or other card games.  We try for at least one, if not more, ice cream runs in the
evenings, a local Dairy Queen being almost a requirement.  Closing the evenings around a
campfire is a favorite activity.  The rally ends with a continental breakfast on Sunday morning
and good-byes ‘til next time.

   Missing out on seeing each other over the winter months, MABs try to schedule a noon get
together early in December.  This has recently been held at the Beef House on the Indiana/Illinois
border, and is usually well attended by members who have not yet headed to points south.

   The Boo-Ba-Roo has traveled back and forth among many of our coaches.  No names given,
but one couple has almost needed to make a permanent home for that little stinker since it has
spent a lot of time in their presence!  At one time the original Boo-Ba-Roo was “disappeared” by
someone with no sense of humor, but has since been replaced. The Sheriff has collected a nice
amount of fines for failure to wear our name-tags, but it is no longer fair to accost a member in
their shower and fine them for not wearing their name-tag!

   After having St. Jude’s as our designated charity for many years, it was decided by the
membership to expand to other non-profits and vote on a designated charity each year.  We
have since donated to Disabled American Veterans, The Lustgarten Foundation (researching
pancreatic cancer) and currently the Kawasaki Disease Foundation.

   The Mid-America Bounders have hosted two more BOA International Rallies: “Heartland
Hospitality” at Anderson, Indiana in May, 2005; and “Cruzin’ the Colonies” at Amana, Iowa in
May, 2011.  We also were responsible for parking at “Boundering in the Spring”, at the Buckeye
Bounder’s  Richmond, Indiana Rally in May, 2008.

   Mid-America Bounders has been well represented on the BOA Executive Board over the years,
currently with Tom Robinson as President, Jolly Ann Whitener as Secretary and Sue Feltner as
North Central Region Vice President.  Herb Feltner served as Editor of the Bounder Beacon for
many years and recently handed that over to Lynn Blair. Carol Anderson serves on the
Constitution and By Laws Committee.

   Members Kathy and Rick Groves have established a great web-site for MAB, sharing
information on up-coming rallies, history, many photos from past rallies, a collection of recipes
from members, as well as a password protected area with contact information for our members.

   We have seen members come and go, some moving away, giving up their Bounder for another
brand of RV, or retiring from the RV lifestyle.  Sadly, over the years, we also have quite a few
members who are no longer with us, but are remembered fondly.

   With our 20th anniversary coming up in 2017, we are looking ahead to the future of our Mid-
America Bounders.

                                                                                                             
Written by Paula Young, MAB Secretary
for Article for Bounder Beacon