|February 28, 2013 Winter Samboree
State Committee Special Meeting
Rodeheavers Boys Ranch, Palatka, Florida
Joe Weston, Florida State Director, called the meeting to order at 3:02 p.m. He asked if all Chapter
presidents or representatives with written authorization had checked in with Mike Abrams and Liz
Sharon Bundy gave the invocation, and Bill Hammel, wagonmaster led the United States Pledge of
Sharon Bundy read the newly revised Good Sam Pledge.
The Good Sam Club Pledge
" As a member of the Good Sam Club I pledge to give aid to others in need, respect nature and the
environment, give back to the community and those less fortunate, treat others with dignity and respect,
and to wear a smile (like Good Sam and Good Samantha’s) and promote the pledge of the Good Sam
Club to others."
Mike Abrams, parliamentarian, said that effective January 1, 2013, the Good Sam Club instituted a new
Constitution and By-Laws which will affect how we conduct our meetings. Until such time as this State
Committee can put in place a new standard operating procedure, we will conduct our meetings using the
procedures we have in place now. Mike explained that the cards he handed out to each president or
authorized representative are to be used for recognition by the State Director before speaking to the
committee. You will be handed a microphone to give your name and Chapter. These cards are also
used to communicate your vote upon motions made by committee members.
Liz Abrams, secretary, gave roll call. A quorum with 34 Chapter presidents or appointed delegates in
attendance was reached.
Mr. Weston called for a reading of the minutes of the State Committee Meeting held in November 2012
in Eustis, Florida. Bill Amos of North Florida Lifetime Sams, made a motion to waive reading the minutes
and to accept them as is published on the State’s website. Bob Brown, Florida Eagle Sams, seconded
the motion. The motion passed.
Joe Weston said there would be no committee reports at this meeting as this is a specially called
meeting to discuss the new Constitution and By-Laws of the Good Sam Club. In January, Joe and
Debbie Weston attended the State Directors meeting at which the Good Sam Club’s new Constitution
and By-Laws were presented. They have been completely rewritten. It states that these Constitution
and By-Laws are in place for the Good Sam Club, the State, and the local Chapters. There can be no
changes to this Constitution and By-Laws except by the Good Sam Club. No State or Chapter can
change it or implement another one. This document was written by attorneys and is defendable in court.
If we were to make any changes, we would assume liability. The State and local Chapters can
implement their own standard operating procedures.
Georgia Good Sam rewrote their operating procedure that consists of five items, all of which have to do
with running the State Committee Meeting. Joe does not imply that we will have the same procedure as
Georgia, but wanted to show that is does not have to be complex.
The Good Sam Club wants Chapters to return to the simple and fun way by doing away with the strict
regimentation and long meetings. In the new Constitution, Roberts Rules of Order is not mentioned.
There is a need of procedures for meetings, but the objective is to keep it simple, so that everyone can
go camping and have a good time. The Club heard complaints from people that they didn’t want to be a
part of a Chapter because of the long and lengthy meetings.
Your individual Chapter By-Laws are no longer valid. Each of you must write new Standard Operating
procedures subject to approval by Joe Weston. After Joe approves the procedures they will be sent to
the Southeastern Regional Director for final approval.
The Good Sam Club now has nine Regions instead of six. Florida is in the southeastern region
consisting of seven States; Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, South Carolina, North Carolina, and
Tennessee. The Regional Directors for the SE region are Ed James and Peggy Smith. They are
available to you if you would like to speak with them concerning any of the changes. Please copy Joe
on any correspondence.
Ed and Laura Thor are the Executive Directors of the Good Sam Club. Marcus Lemonis the Chairman
and CEO of Camping World and Good Sam Enterprises, LLC, hired them to run the Good Sam Club.
They will be at this Samboree on Friday. They want to check out a Samboree and would like to meet
and talk to as many of you as possible, just on an informal basis. They typically wear a black shirt with
Good Sam and Camping World logos and will probably be with Debbie and Joe. They are experienced
RV’ers and for a number of years were the Directors of Coach-Net. They are here to help us with the
transition to the new Good Sam Club/Camping World family.
Camping World is here as one of the RV dealers. Now, when you shop at Camping World as a Good
Sam member with Florida address, Good Sam of Florida will receive a percentage of the sale, but we
don’t know yet the amount. This will help us run our events. At this Samboree, they paid for two nights
of entertainment for us.
You may have noticed, Good Sam Club has added a new membership status. Besides the Annual and
Lifetime memberships, there is an Elite membership. The Elite membership is earned when you
purchase an RV from Camping World. Some perks of the Elite membership include $2,000/year of
camping for a limited time.
Marcus is a believer in giving back to the community. All of his employees, as a condition of
employment, donate eight hours per quarter to a charity of their choice. This is done during work hours
at Camping World. His goal is for Good Sam Club/Camping World to become the largest charitable
organization in the country.
To comply with the new Constitution, Florida Good Sam must rewrite our Standard Operating
Procedures. Joe would like the previous members of the By-Laws committee to present to the State
Committee in April a new Florida States Standard Operating Procedures.
Charlotte Smith, chairman of By-Laws committee, said they had already started. The committee will
meet after this meeting, and then will communicate via email to complete the task. Once they have a
proposed SOP, she will distribute to everyone to review with the intent to discuss and approve at the
April 2013 State Committee meeting in Okeechobee. Joe requested that Charlotte send him a copy
Charlotte raised question regarding the By-Laws, Article II, and Section 1 where it states “ Sponsor may
withdraw or cancel any and all Chapters at its sole and absolute discretion for any reason and no
reason.” And Article VI, Section 2 where it states “A member may be expelled from his/her membership
within the Club for his/her opposition to the Good Sam Pledge, Preamble, Constitution, By-Laws or other
policies of the Club.” How strict will they be? Could a member be removed by an innocent comment or
discussion of the Club?
Joe Weston stressed that this document is your Constitution and By-Laws. You can have nothing that
contradicts it. Anybody who is a member of the Good Sam Club, from here forward accepts this
Constitution as the rule, as the law, that’s it. Joe says the language is not to scare anybody, but to
protect the Good Sam Club rights and the Good Sam/Camping World trademark. The Good Sam Club
has such a good name and reputation in the industry. He wants to maintain that.
John Weaver, Skyway Sam, expressed concern that the Chapters may not have the chance to get
together between the time Charlotte sends the SOP for review by Chapters and the State Meeting in
April where it is to be approved.
Joe agrees it is an aggressive schedule, but believes using email between all the parties can facilitate it.
If we find we cannot finish in time, we may have to delay the approval.
Charlotte clarified the State Committee will be approving the State Operating Procedures, not the
Bill Piper, Rolling Sams, asked for a date when the Chapters must have their SOP ready for approval.
Joe said this committee would approve the State SOP in Okeechobee, then Chapters can write their
SOP, but make sure they align with the State SOP. We need you to turn it around quickly, please.
Joe asked Bill and Millie Hammel to send an email again to all Chapter presidents, asking them to
provide an estimated total of their monetary and time donations in 2012. When we asked you to send
this to us by the end of February, we only received from 10% of the Chapters. We need as soon as
possible to give to Marcus.
Linda Voyton, State Treasurer, is not here as she is spending the day with Charlie in the hospital.
Therefore we do not have a treasurer’s report to give. She’ll get that out to you. We had 374 rigs in
This is your committee. If there is anything that we can do to make things better, please let us know.
We welcome your comments and suggestions. Please support our Florida Chapter of the Year, Golden
Triangle, to win International Chapter of the Year.
Bob Ward, Citrus County Sam, asked when the new Century Patch would be available. Joe explained to
the committee that there would be new Century Patch for the new SE Region. They are being made
currently and we hope they will be ready by Okeechobee. We’ll have 50 patches to start with, as we
joined the order with the other States so that we could all provide the patches at lower cost to you. Bob
asked if Good Sam/Camping World would be giving a discount to those who already have Century
Patches. Bob estimates 80% of us have the old patches and assumes we will all need the new patch.
Joe said the previous patch is still good, it’s the newly eligible who will receive the new patch. Joe said it
is an honor to have the old patch, as it shows your longstanding dedication to Good Sam Samborees in
Region 6. We have tried to keep the cost of patches as low as possible by working closely with all
directors within the SE region.
We are now going to have Regional rallies. The first rally will be at the Atlanta Motor Speedway. In
2014 there will be 4 rallies, and in 2015 five rallies across the country. Marcus said the Southeastern
Region will always have a rally every year. Probably most rallies in the SE Region will be held in
Daytona or Atlanta due to the large facility available there. They will call on each of the seven States to
help put on the rallies.
Unfortunately, St. John Palataka requested to de-charter and has completed all the necessary
paperwork to do so. Joe requested a motion to de-charter. John Weaver, Skyway Sams, made a
motion to accept the de-charter. Charlotte Smith, Lake Monroe Sam, seconded the motion. The motion
passed. Joe explained the State Committee has the authority to de-charter a Chapter who requests it.
Charlotte believes the next Committee Meeting may take longer than usual because the agenda
includes going through the proposed Standard Operating Procedures. For this reason the next
Committee Meeting in Okeechobee, will begin at 1:00 April 18. Because of this, the indoor games will
have to be moved from Thursday to Friday.
At this Samboree, we had 262 reservations with approximately 5 cancellations for a total of 257 rigs.
George Olson, Osceola Sams, made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Jim Davis, Space Coast Sams,
seconded it. The motion passed.
Meeting adjourned at 3:48 p.m.
Liz Abrams, Secretary
Good Sam of Florida, Inc.