Well, the 2011 FMDAC Convention is in the history books after wrapping up this last weekend in Myrtle Beach, SC. Held at a great resort right on the beach, it was a time when old friends got reacquainted and new friendships were made which is really one of the best parts of any organized hunt or convention. I hate to date myself but I can remember the first FMDAC conventions in Atlantic City, NJ in the mid-1980’s . . . some 25+ years ago!
The size and attendance has fluctuated over the years and while the 2011 convention was
not one of the largest, it was well attended and I had the opportunity to talk with hunters from the New England and New York areas, Ohio, Michigan, Kansas, and California as well as most of the states in the Southeast. Tom Dankowski gave one of the seminars and was the keynote speaker at the banquet held Saturday night. His talk included an informative presentation on the preservation of history that he has performed for the town of Fort Meade, Florida and it showed how hobbyists and archeologists can work together to save history.
The hunt was held on the beach and the weather, while a tad chilly first thing in the morning, warmed up to a picture-perfect temperature at hunt time . . . . clear blue skies and the gentle crash of the waves created the ideal hunt environment. A kid’s hunt was held between the main hunts on Sunday and all of the participants had a super time . . . . most had never seen a detector before yet you could see the bug taking hold as they walked off the field holding detectors hunters attending the convention had loaned them and walked over to get their prizes that had been generously donated by the FMDAC and attendees.
Getting new people into the hobby is what will keep the hobby growing and hunts where kids get a chance to find coins including Wheat cents, Buffalo nickels, foreign coins and a few pieces of silver along with prize tokens, Matchbox cars and more will ignite a spark that might just blaze into a fire that remains a passion for life . . . . I started at age 6 and have never looked back!
One of the “hot topics” as people walked around the displays and dealer setups was the
introduction of the XP DEUS Metal Detector . . . . it generated a great deal of interest from all types of hunters from coin and beach to die-hard relic hunters. As the DEUS starts to get out in the field across the U.S., its unique features will garner more attention and if it performs as well as it does in the soils of Europe and the United Kingdom, one will start to see their popularity and usage grow.
The FMDAC is still going strong and the 2012 Convention is already in the planning stages . . . . this time it will move West and be held in Mesa, Arizona on the last weekend of September. It should be a great event as the FMDAC is looking at holding it in conjunction with the GPAA show to increase the number of attendees and grow membership. If you were not in Myrtle Beach this last weekend, you missed a great get together . . . . I hope to see you at a hunt or show in the future.
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