Winnie Bs Headwaters Happenings Rally Recap
Plus, learn more about this Winnebago campervan owner group.

By: Shirley Best

The Winnie Bs Headwaters Happenings Rally was held at Itasca State Park, Minnesota, on September 7-10, 2023. This nationwide group is made up of Winnebago Class B campervan owners and plans multiple events every year. At this most recent rally, we had 38 Class B vans with 60 attendees along with a Winnebago Product Planner, Community Engagement Manager, and Ambassadors. 

After arrival at the park, there were many activities to fill our days: bike riding, hiking, touring exhibits, taking a boat cruise on Lake Itasca, enjoying a potluck, viewing the Headwaters of the Mississippi River, learning from Itasca Park Naturalist programs, playing Five Crowns in the evening, listening to music, shopping in Park Rapids and/or Bemidji, and (of course!) connecting with old friends as well as meeting new friends.

Are you considering joining the Winnie Bs? Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at this rally …

Getting to Lake Itasca & Kicking Off the Winnie Bs Rally!

The event planning team members for this event were Christine and John, Tim and Jane, Rob, Del and Leann, and Steve Pumilla. The team was assisted by Terry Sue, Winnie Bs VP of Rallies and Meetups. 

Talk about planning, Christine posted often in the Winnie Bs Facebook group on the event page to entice prospective attendees on the many tourist attractions in Minnesota to find/visit on our way to the Rally. She even put together a scavenger hunt for our trip there. If we found one of the items on the list, we were to take a picture and post it in our Facebook Group. Some of the items included the Mary Tyler Moore Statue, Snoopy Statue, The Spam Museum, and the World’s Largest Snowman.

As we entered Itasca State Park and drove through to the campgrounds, we were greeted by stately pines; and the breaks in the trees on the side of the road gave us a glimpse of Lake Itasca. The park was established in 1891 and is the oldest state park in Minnesota. 

During my drive to the campground, the sun finally broke through the clouds and the haze that had accompanied me on my drive north disappeared. Nice weather stayed with us for the event. 

Headwaters Happening Rally Recap

Some attendees like to arrive early to explore the location and have more time with friends. Wednesday afternoon, the early bird attendees assisted in constructing and raising the tent. Thursday, September 7th was the official start of the Rally with a meet and greet happy hour and everyone brought their own dinner to the tent. Christine handed out gift bags with area information, treats, and coupons.

On Friday, we started the day in the Event Tent with donuts, then the group split up to tour the area. Later, Mark Dauplaise from Winnebago arrived with the Roam, a wheelchair accessible RV. He had the campervan open for us to check out the features and ask questions. 

In the evening, we had our Monthly Book Club Discussion via Zoom at the Event Tent. (The book was Fox Creek by Willliam Kent Krueger.) Then we ended the evening with a competitive game of Minnesota Trivia. Everything you never knew you wanted to know about Minnesota was included in the game. A little bit of neighboring state heckling might have happened … Did someone say that Iowa has been “holding up” Minnesota?!?

Saturday morning, we were surprised by the arrival of Winnebago Ambassadors Noel Fleming and Chris Miller. Ambassadors Greg and Donna Schultz were also in attendance for the Rally. 

Lindsey Quick, Winnebago Community Engagement Manager, spoke about the benefits of belonging. She also explained the change from WIT Club to the GoLife Community and the GoLife Perks membership. She made sure we knew there will still be support for meetups (dependent on the size of the gathering) and Winnebago personnel will continue to attend meetups. Learn more here.

The group met on the shores of Lake Itasca on Saturday afternoon for an almost two-hour tour. We had great fall weather and did not end up shipwrecked on an island. The lake is 1,000 acres and 40 feet deep with 17 miles of shoreline. The boat was built in 1948 in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Saturday evening, we gathered for a potluck. Winnebago supplied the hamburgers that were grilled along with mushrooms and black bean burgers by our grill crew. We celebrated two young ladies’ milestone birthdays, and the two Debbies were honored with cake and song.

About the Winnie Bs & How to Join the Fun!

The Winnie Bs is a nationwide group of Winnebago Class B Campervan owners. Our purpose is to promote fellowship, friendship, and fun; to foster and develop recreational, social, and travel opportunities; and to encourage gatherings and outings of particular interest of the owners of Winnebago Class B van campers. This can be experienced by attending any of the scheduled Rallies and the various casual Meetups hosted by other Winnie Bs members. 

The largest rally Winnies Bs members can attend is the annual Winnebago Rally held in Forest City, Iowa, in July each year. The Winnie Bs also holds a “B” National Rally annually. The location alternates between East/West of the Mississippi River. The 2024 BNR will be at Camp Hatteras in North Carolina in May. 

Each of these rallies includes seminars, workshops, and often vendor displays. And did I mention FUN? 

Upcoming Winnie Bs Events:

  • March 13-17, 2024 – Riverbend Campground, Franklinton, LA 
    • Private campground in a lovely rural area with a huge pavilion. Activities include visiting a wildlife area, dining at a local seafood restaurant, bus tour of New Orleans, BBQ, and other events.
  • May 6-10, 2024 – The Winnie Bs 2024 B National Rally (BNR), Camp Hatteras RV Resort located on Hatteras Island in the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

To keep informed of Winnie Bs activities, review the postings in the Winnie Bs Facebook group. It is also where member volunteers arrange activities, including virtual “Zoom” events like Happy Hour, Trivia night, and Book Club discussions. All Rally and casual Meetups are also listed and updated in the “Events” tab of the Facebook group. Members pay an annual membership fee of $10 per person. 

More information is also available on our website


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