9th Biennial National Rally Recap
September 19 - 23, 2021

Dates: September 19 - 23, 2021
Location: Hart Ranch Camp
23756 Arena Drive
Rapid City, SD 57702
Hosts: Dee Dee (Historian) and Nick McClain (Rally/Caravan Coordinator)
Mary and Jerry Breu (President)
Bill Meier (VP-NC Region)

As suggested by Bill Meier 2 years ago, the Rally was held at Hart Ranch Camping Resort, Rapid City, South Dakota. Eighty-four people in 46 coaches from 27 states, several from as far away as Texas and Florida, many for their first rally, took advantage of the scenic location nestled in the Black Hills.

The official Welcome included catered wine and heavy appetizers, introduction of the Club's officers, and an excellent presentation by Dr. David Wolff, an award-winning author and associate professor of history at Black Hills State University, Spearfish, South Dakota.

Boarding a tour bus at Hart Ranch

Bright and early Monday morning, rally attendees boarded two buses for a guided tour of the area. To get started, a Western-style breakfast was served at the Ft. Hays Chuckwagon. It is located in Old West Town Square, site of the film set for "Dances with Wolves," as well as shops where craftsmen handmake ropes, bricks, tin plates - all the necessities needed in the Old West. The next stop was Mt. Rushmore, followed by a ride through the Black Hills. The drivers of the 2 buses were very knowledgeable and shared the region's history. Lunch was at the State Game Lodge in Custer State Park. This stately building was constructed in 1920 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It served as the Summer White House for President Calvin Coolidge and his wife in 1927 and was visited by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1953. After lunch, more roads through the Black Hills were explored, then a stop at the Crazy Horse Mountain Memorial. Back at the Ft. Hays Chuckwagon, a delicious Old West dinner was served, followed by an excellent Music Variety Show.

The group at Mt. Rushmore

Tuesday's activities included the Biennial Business Meeting, Technical Seminar, Ladies' Tea, and Silent Auction of Born Free and RV items, and, in the evening, attendees enjoyed a catered pizza party. Tickets for admission to the party, as well as proceeds from the Silent Auction, were donations to the Rapid City Salvation Army Food Bank. The amount, in food and dollars, totaled $2,962.

Wednesday was a free day, at the end of which a buffet was served. Bill Meier, VP of the North Central Region, was recognized for his 10 years of service to the Leap'n Lions RV Club. The entertainment, appropriately enough, was a showing of "Dances with Wolves."

Group picture

For the first time in many years, all officer positions in the Leap'n Lions RV Club are filled, and members are so excited:

PresidentJerry Breu
Secretary/TreasurerSandy Perley
Website AdministratorDave Moffat
Rally/Caravan CoordinatorNick McClain
Newsletter EditorBarbara Chappel
VP - NE RegionMarilyn and Bob Gray
VP - SE RegionEric Sandstrom
VP - NC RegionCarolyn and Anton Hol
VP - SC RegionPam Clark
VP - NW RegionNancy Wolf and Mike Gillespie
VP - SW RegionPhyllis Howard

The new Club officers. L-R: Sandy Perley, Secretary/Treasurer;
Anton and Carolyn Hol, VP - NC Region;
Mike Gillespie and Nancy Wolf, VP - NW Region;
Dave Moffat, Website Administrator

Thursday offered a catered breakfast, and friends, new and old, had to say Good-bye and start the trip home. It was a wonderful rally, enjoyed by all, but it wasn't truly over, it was a new beginning. Jim Schrankel, a member of Born Free RV Happy Campers USA/on Facebook as well as the Leap'n Lions, did a great presentation about the positive growth of both organizations.

By Mary Breu