Beginning in 1967 Francis Smith (TPFC #1), then Hobby Chairman
of the Kansas City Council of the Charles S. Gleed Chapter NO. 38
of the Telephone Pioneers of America, organized two local campouts
each year. These campouts became very successful with 50 to 60 persons
attending from the Kansas City, Kansas Area, Sedalia, St. Louis
In 1971 a National Rally was held at Buena Vista, Colorado near
Ruby Mountain. One hundred thirteen RV units from Missouri, Kansas
and a few other locations around the Midwest area attended. Members
distributed applications wherever they traveled and the word spread.
By 1972, over 1500 members had joined. In that year Leo Daniels
(TPFC #4) was looking for a place to hold another campout, near
Niagara Falls. He contacted, Pete and Mimi Smith and Archie Fleming,
Canadians, who had recently joined, to check camping locations.
They volunteered to have the campout in Canada.
In July, 1972 an organized rally, billed as the "Honeymoon Campout"
was held in Kitchener, Ontario where 194 people in various types
of camping rigs (homemade, tents, back of the old station wagons..,
not 5th wheelers, travel trailers or coaches) gathered from 10 states
and also 3 Provinces of Canada. It was here in Kitchener that the
International Telephone Pioneer Family Campers became a reality.
With the success of this rally, plans were formed to hold International
rallies each year. The third week of July was picked so that the
employees of Western Electric Manufacturing Plants, who were off
for plant vacations could attend.
In 1972, by the time of the first TPFC International Rally the
membership neared the 2,000 mark. In our 33rd year, we have registered
more than 8,100 families with an active membership today of about
400 families representing 48 states and seven provinces of Canada,
and, we're still being discovered almost every day!