2024 Membership Renewal Processing Session 3, November 27

(posted November 30, 2023)

Each year dues renewal invoices are sent via USPS mailing to members using the postal addresses on record.  A query is sent in July to make sure all addresses are current.  Despite the effort, some members do not update their addresses and therefore suffer a risk that the invoice is sent to a superseded address.  And, in spite of this, when members realize their error, they send a request to determine how to proceed and instructions are provided.  So far this year, we have had only 4 such problems and each were quickly rectified.  The process adds inefficiency but as long as members realize how to proceed, no problem has remained unrectified.  We take their new addresses and update the databases accordingly so the problem does not repeat. 

The dues invoices were mailed to all members on record in mid October.  That was about 6 weeks ago.  All members of record should have received an invoice.  As of November 27 at our third envelope opening session, we have had responses from 53% of the membership body.  Thank you for responding but that means we have only just passed the half way mark and must still receive and process 47%. 

Please submit your renewals if you have not already done so..  We have approximately 4 weeks remaining in the normal renewal cycle.  If those that have not responded do not respond by December 31, they will be identified as delinquent and will owe a $20 late fee when they finally submit their dues payment.  In the meantime, the gate access card is suspended until payment is received and processed.  When January 31 rolls by and we still have not received your renewal fees, your membership lapses and to gain membership status again you will need to re-apply as a new member to include the initiation fee and work hour commitments.  Please avoid this situation as it pleases no one to have a membership lapse.  It is inconvenient and expensive, so do not let your membership status lapse.

So far this year we have completed three full sessions of renewal envelope openings. The last was on November 27.  Sessions are alternated from weekday mornings to weekend mornings to allow people needing work hours to participate.  At each session we try to staff 3 processing tables to share the workload.  It is a labor intensive activity but allows members to mix laughter, incredulity and toil together.  For the most part we have developed a group of "regulars" in addition to new members needing work hours.  The job gets done!  We process 50 or so renewals in 3 hours or less.  As payments are gathered, your gate entry (All-in-One cards) are updated for another year and will continue to open the gates until 1/1/2025.  No other acknowledgement will you receive other than a check that will be processed and a functioning All-in-One gate card on January 1, 2024 (which is your permanent membership card as well as photo ID).

Here are a couple of photos of the group that gathered on November 27 to process renewals.  Without the sacrifice of these member volunteers, membership renewal would be more arduous for fewer people than it already is.  Thank you volunteers!


Membership information (Updated: December 9, 2023)

The Fredericksburg-Rappahannock Chapter of the Izaak Walton League of America (IWLA) is currently accepting new members. The membership year for the Chapter starts on October 1st and ends on September 30th of the following year, and is the same as the membership year for the National level organization.  The Chapter offers both Individual and Family memberships and has instituted a simple process for inducting new members.

Ideals of the Izaak Walton League and its Fredericksburg-Rappahannock Chapter:
  The Chapter is formed as a 501C(3) tax-exempt, charitable and non-profit organization that is devoted to the conservation of natural resources in the servicing area of Virginia.  Its service ideals are embodied in the Member Pledge:  

To strive for the purity of water, the clarity of air, and the wise stewardship of the land and its resources; to know the beauty and understanding of nature and the value of wildlife, woodlands, and open space; to the preservation of this heritage and to man's sharing in it.

Accordingly, the Chapter is seeking members that are interested in pledging themselves to the furtherance of the ideals.  A desired member will join the organization in order to serve along with like minded individuals in the advancement of conservation, and the betterment of the Chapter to serve its ideals.  Although the Chapter has other features deemed valuable (firearms and archery ranges, fishing ponds, hiking trails, etc.), which are perquisites intended for recreational use by the members, these are not the reason for being of the Chapter.  In short, the Chapter is not a "rod and gun club," and anyone seeking only the benefits of a rod and gun club will not be considered a desirable member, and should seek to join another organization that aligns with their interests.

Prospective Member:
 A prospective member (or 2 members if a Family application) must first have a Chapter member in good standing for at least a year serve as a Sponsor.  The prospective member(s) must be of sound character and must meet with a Membership Review Panel comprised of three Chapter members as defined in the Operational Policies. The prospective member(s) should complete a provisional application and bring it for review at the meeting with the panel.  

Typically, the meeting with the Membership Review Panel will be on a Saturday work day before the following monthly membership meeting (for example, the prospective member will need to appear at the Chapter house on December 3, 2022 (a scheduled work day) to meet with the Panel in order to be able to join the Chapter at the next membership meeting on January 5, 2023).  The meeting is an opportunity for the candidate and the Panel members to have a dialogue concerning the ideals of the organization, its bylaws and policies, and the organization's expectations of any new member, as well as to answer any questions by the prospective member before the prospect makes a final decision to proceed with an application.  The prospective member(s) will be asked if they have read the Chapter's bylaws, operational policies and, if intending to use the ranges, being familiar with the governing range rules.  A working awareness of the importance of the Chapter's web site will also be expected.  

After this meeting, and if the prospect is interested in proceeding, the prospective member(s) will be required to attend the next monthly membership meeting at the chapterhouse, along with their sponsor, and be presented for a vote of acceptance by the membership body.  The Sponsor for any prospective new member(s) must be present when the prospective member appears at the monthly membership meeting to join the Chapter.  If the Sponsor cannot be there to vouch for the candidate, the candidate will be asked to return at a future meeting. 

At the voting meeting the prospective member should bring a check made out to IWLA for the appropriate fees (Initiation, dues, and shooter’s fees); see Membership Fees below.  It should be noted that Membership meetings are held usually the first Thursday of each month at 7 PM at the chapterhouse, and the Membership Review Panel for prospective members to be inducted the following month will be held on the Saturday (2 days later) in the chapterhouse.  Check the Chapter calendar to pinpoint the exact dates.

The Sponsor:
 The sponsor will be accountable for properly preparing the prospective member with the ideals of the IWLA organization as well as its foundational bylaws, policies and safety rules governing the Fredericksburg-Rappahannock Chapter! This foundation of understanding will be key for the success of the initial meeting of the prospective member with the Membership Review Panel.  Also, the sponsor must be present to enable a new person to join at the membership meeting as the Sponsor is required to present the prospective member(s) for the approval vote by the membership.

Membership Application:
 After completion of the meeting with the Membership Review Panel, a prospective member(s) must appear at the next membership meeting on the following month in order to be introduced by the sponsor and voted on for admission by the assembled membership.  It would be good form to show up no later than 6:15 PM.  Other members arrive at around that same time, and voting on new members is one of the first agenda items at the meeting, which will start promptly at 7 PM.  Your check will not be cashed until you have been formally admitted for membership, and will be returned to you if for any reason you do not join at the membership meeting.

here to download a copy of the Membership Application.
  1. Please complete your membership application by printing clearly and signing the application prior to attending the meeting with the Membership Review Panel.
  2. Be sure to print your current email address in the place provided.
  3. Provide your spouse's name and email address if you are applying for a family membership.
  4. New members must submit the fully completed application and payment in full at least 30 minutes prior to the regular monthly meeting time as applications will not be accepted once the meeting has started.
New Member Orientation:  It is mandatory that all new members attend a "Park Safety and Rules" class, held on the Saturday morning following the Thursday evening initiation session in order to receive an All-in-One  membership card and photo ID "Shooter's Badge" if there is an intent to use the firearms ranges.  You must attend this safety and rules class prior to having unescorted access to the IWLA Park and before receiving an entry gate (All-in-One) card (either temporary or permanent).  Sponsors should read/download a copy of the new member orientation presentation charts to help stress membership points with the prospective member.  This is the same presentation provided on the Saturday after the member has been initiated and accepted for membership.  Note: This is a relatively large file and will take a minute or so to download if you have a slow internet connection... be patient.

Temporary Badge

Because the new member might not have a membership number assigned at the time of the orientation meeting, a photo ID cannot be issued at orientation.  Instead, a temporary badge (orange color) will be issued.  This will identify the member for the first month of membership and will allow the new member un-escorted access to the Chapter grounds.  It will expire on the following Saturday work day so the new member and any family member will be expected to come in that next Saturday work day to surrender their temporary badge, to have a photo taken and be issued the All-in-one card.  If this is not done on the next scheduled Saturday work day after orientation, the temporary badge will be rendered non-functional and the gate will not open with the temporary badge  From start to finish, becoming a credentialed new member takes a commitment of three consecutive Saturday work days. It is suggested that a prospective member consult the Chapter calendar when planning to start the membership admission process.

Membership Fees:

  effective January 1, 2024
The one-time initiation fee for either an individual or a family is $350.00.  The annual dues for an individual member is $120 and family memberships are $193.00 and are payable at the time of membership acceptance. If one chooses to apply for membership on or after October 1 of the dues year, the prospective member will be paying the following year's fees and will pay a prorated fee for each month preceding January 1 of the membership year.  By the same token, anyone joining before October 1 will be paying the full current year's dues, and will receive a dues invoice for the following year soon after joining.  The local Chapter membership dues also provide membership to the National chapter of IWLA and the Virginia State chapter of the IWLA.

As indicated, there is an additional $20.00 Fee for each new member if they plan to shoot on any of the Chapter's firearms ranges. The initiation fee of $350.00, the full amount of the annual dues and, as indicated, twenty dollars ($20.00) for each prospective member that intends to use the firearms ranges, are payable at the time of joining in either cash or by personal check made payable to IWLA. The time of joining is the membership meeting on a Thursday evening when the established members vote on a prospective members acceptance to the organization.  The fees are paid at or before 6:30 pm before the formal start of the meeting at 7:00 pm.  A prospective member and their sponsor will be introduced early in the meeting.  After introductions, prospective members are excused from the meeting while members deliberate and vote for inclusion.

Membership Publications:
Included as a benefit of your annual membershipOutdoor America is a subscription to IWLA's Outdoor America magazine; the award-winning quarterly magazine of the Izaak Walton League of America.
Each quarterly issue is filled with articles about the conservation work of League members as well as an in-depth coverage of broader conservation issues. The only way to get this magazine is to become a member of the Izaak Walton League. It comes as a magazine in the mail but can also be downloaded from the IWLA web site if you are a registered member. In addition the National Organization has many publications relating to environmental stewardship.  View the extensive library of publications offered by the National organization.

Chapter Affinity Merchandise (Hats and Tees):

The Chapter sells shirts and hats of various colors, styles and sizes.  Usually the merchandise is available for sale at the Membership meetings on the first Thursday of each month.  It may also be available at other times (Saturday work days) if a sales person is at the Chapterhouse and the merchandise room is open.  The prices vary according to this price list.

Chapter Service Requirement for New Members: 
All new members must obtain 20 documented Chapter Service Hours (40 for Family Memberships). If this service requirement is not met in the first year period, the Chapter will levy a $150 fine for a single membership or a $300 fine for a family. Note well: The 12 month period begins at the month of membership induction and ends 12 months later at the Saturday anniversary of membership induction.  It does not have direct relationship with the dues membership year. Starting January 1, 2020, any service hours not completed in the first year will roll over to the next year.  This process would continue until the Service Hours are earned. If the fine is not paid, the member or family membership will be terminated at the end of the first year. In other words, the payment of the fine no longer forgives the balance of the service hours not worked in the first year. Sign-up sheets are provided for each qualified event, and serve as the official record for accruing the required service time.  Make sure you are signed up if you perform service, until you have accrued the required number of hours.  The Chapter Board of Directors may, at their discretion, waive or extend time due to unforeseen circumstances.  Each member or family may appeal any impending fine to the Chapter Board of Directors for adjudication.

By the way, the organization is made strong through the work of volunteers.  The Board is hopeful that after the initial requirement has been fulfilled a "volunteer ethic" and an affinity with fellow members will have been developed and each member will seek opportunities to continue to serve frequently and strengthen the organization.

Unanswered Questions: 
If your Sponsor is unable to answer all your questions about becoming a member of the Fredericksburg-Rappahannock Chapter of the Izaak Walton League you may consult with Sandy Stanford, Chapter Membership Chairman at

Annual Chapter Membership Dues Payment Policy:
 Because of members not paying Chapter Dues on time each year, and the additional cost and work-hours incurred by the Chapter because of these late payments, the Dues Policy instituted in the Operational Policies of the Chapter provides for a strict payment schedule. Here are some key points from the Chapter membership dues payment policy:
  • Annual membership dues are payable no later than December 31 of each year.
  • If the membership dues are not paid by December 31, a late payment fee of $20.00 will be added during a one month "grace period" that will end on January 31.
  • If the dues are not paid by February 1 of each year, the member will be expelled from active membership.
  • If either an expelled individual or family desires to be reinstated the expelled individual or family will have to reapply for membership and be required to pay both 1) the current initiation fee ($350) and 2) the current membership dues ($120 for an individual and $193 for family membership).