The first thing to keep in mind in organizing a chapter is to find a group of family members and friends who want to GO RVING AND HAVE FUN. We suggest that you start with at least 6-8 family members or friends and build your Chapter from there. Once you have accomplished that, you are 90% complete on organizing a chapter. The only requirement for someone to become a chapter member is that they be a member of the Good Sam Club in good standing. That basically means they are a member of the Good Sam Club and their dues are current. Do not get bogged down with rules and regulations. Remember you want to have fun!
Now that you have the basics behind you in your decision to form a chapter, all that remains is the paper work. A New Chapter Registration form must be filled out, and the Missouri State Director can assist you with filling out the form. The Missouri State Director will send the completed form to the Good Sam Club who will issue your Good Sam Charter. Your charter will be presented to you at the Missouri State RV Rally by the State Director.
Most chapters establish Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) that they go by. These SOPs include topics such as; chapter dues (if any), when they want to camp (which weekend), when they want to elect officers, etc. Remember, the basic reason to organize a Good Sam Chapter is to GO RVING and HAVE FUN with other RVers who feel the same.
Most chapters elect a President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer (or a Secretary/Treasurer), and Wagonmaster. The method you chose to elect officers is up to you. You can have a formal election or you can just have people agree to assume the positions. It does not matter as long as it is what your group wants to do.
You need to consider having business meetings. Some chapters have them monthly, some quarterly, and some as needed. Your chapter can decide what is best for them. Another item to discuss is chapter dues; some chapters collect dues at varying rates from $5 to $35 per year, it's up to you. Others have no dues and just take up a collection if the chapter needs some money. It will be your chapter, so it's your call.
As your chapter moves forward and interacts with other chapters, there will be other things that come up you may wish to do or get involved with. State RV Rallys may be something your chapter should get involved with. Rallys are a time when members from across the state and from other states get together and have fun. Rallys offer something for everyone. There are games, tours, seminars, entertainment and much more. It is a wonderful time to learn and grow as a Good Sam chapter.
While at the Rallys, you will notice chapters wearing vests, hats, shirts, etc. depicting their chapter logos. Chapter logos, or patches, may be designed and displayed as long as certain requirements are met, the Missouri State Director can assist you in this area.
Let’s hope you did not let yourself get too bogged down with the business end of forming a chapter. Remember, the reason you became a Good Sam Chapter was to GO RVING and HAVE FUN!
If you have any questions or need more information please contact Scott and Cindy Leven, Missouri State Directors at firstname.lastname@example.org