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Anyone interested in joining the Sons of Confederate Veterans can learn a great deal about this organization by carefully reading all the information at: http://www.scv.org. This is the home-page of the International SCV Headquarters (IHQ) in Columbia, Tennessee. Please pay particular attention to their pages, (under the tab, "ABOUT") "What is the Sons of Confederate Veterans?" as well as "Eligibility".
Application & Eligibility:
The first step in joining is to fill out a membership application. The fastest and easiest way to get an application would be to send an e-mail request to the Tom Smith Camp Adjutant, currently Bill Schumate. Be sure to include your mailing address. He will be glad to call you and answer all of your questions if you also include your telephone number and the best time for him to call. You may also type your own application and download it at the National website: http://www.scv.org.
Membership in the Sons of Confederate Veterans is open to all male descendants of any veteran who served honorably in the Confederate armed forces. Membership can be obtained through either direct or collateral family lines, and kinship to a veteran must be documented genealogically. The minimum age for membership is 12, however those under 12 can join as a cadet. There are many acceptable forms of documentation that you can use to prove your ancestry from a Confederate veteran. Most members supply birth, death, and/or marriage certificates. Other sources of proof may include old family Bibles, census records, and published books or magazines such as the Confederate Veteran. Family genealogy books should be documented with proven primary sources. Still other sources of genealogy documentation would include Wills, deeds, estate records, military, and pension records. There are countless other sources that may be used, and every source will be examined on its own merit. The Adjutant can assist you in filling out the application, and as time permits, will try to do a little research for you too. Proof of your genealogy is required because as a Compatriot once said, "Not everyone can be related to General Robert E. Lee"!
Meeting Dates & Location:
We invite all interested people to visit our Camp meetings. They are usually held on the 4th Monday of every month at the Bethlehem Christian Church 1549 Holland Rd, Suffolk, VA 23434 This link will provide all directions, etc. Keep in mind that the holidays in November and December usually force a temporary change of the meeting date.
3 Levels of the SCV:
Membership in the SCV is actually membership on 3 levels: The International SCV, the Virginia Division, and the local Camp. This structure is similar to other national organizations such as the Sons of the American Revolution. Hopefully, you will decide to join the Tom Smith Camp in Suffolk, Virginia.
The Tom Smith Camp has a constitutional requirement that prospective members be voted into the Camp before they can be inducted. The Camp also requires that prospective members attend an Orientation Meeting prior to their induction so that they may learn more about the history and future goals of the SCV, the Tom Smith Camp, and to give you a chance to ask any questions. We feel that a better informed member will be a more productive member.
Annual Dues & Benefits:
Each level of the SCV charges annual dues. At this time, the amounts are:
$30 to the International SCV (plus a one-time IHQ recording fee of $5 for new applicants)
$10 to the Virginia Division of the SCV
$15 to the Tom Smith Camp (pro-rated beginning in September @ $1.25 per month)
Therefore, when you submit your membership application, we will ask for a check in the amount of about $60 for your dues and the recording fee (depending upon the month in which you are joining). Dues for Annual members after the first year would be $55 (no recording fee).
In return, you will be given very nice looking membership certificates from both the IHQ and the Tom Smith Camp that are suitable for framing. At your induction ceremony, you will also be given a beautiful pin that you can proudly wear on your lapel, and a wallet ID card. A much larger "enhanced" SCV certificate can be ordered for an additional $10. Membership in the SCV includes a subscription to the Confederate Veteran magazine (6 issues per year). Members of the Tom Smith Camp also receive a monthly newsletter, The Heritage. As a member of the Virginia Division, you will also receive 4 issues per year of the Old Dominion Voice.
Life Membership in the International SCV:
The International SCV also offers a Life Membership. You will receive a special lapel pin, a special certificate, and a laminated SCV wallet ID card. Keep in mind that the $20 annual dues is bound to increase over time. A Life Membership can be very cost effective since you'll never have to pay annual dues to IHQ. If you apply for a Life Membership when you submit your membership application, you'll also save by
not having to pay the $5 recording fee. You can always upgrade your membership status to a Lifetime membership at any time, but it is usually cheaper to do so when you first join. The amount is based on your age. Effective August 1, 2004 the cost is:
Life Membership (ages 12 until your 65th birthday)......$750.00
Life Membership (ages 65 and over).............................$375.00
Conditional Membership in the International SCV:
A Conditional Life membership is available for those who wish to become a Life member in the International SCV, but would be more comfortable spreading out the payments. In short, you would pay the annual dues of $20 plus an extra $100. After your 5th $100 payment, you will become a full Life Member, and won't have to pay annual dues to the International SCV ever again!
The Conditional Life memberbership is not available to those who have reached their 65th birthday.
Life Membership in the Virginia Division of the SCV:
The Virginia Division offers a Life Membership for $200.
At age 65, the Life Membership is $100.
Even if you are a Life or Conditional Life member in the International SCV, or a Life Member in the VA Division, all members must still pay annual dues to the Camp. Annual dues must be paid to any level of the SCV in which you are not a Life Member.
All of us in the Tom Smith Camp thank you for your interest in the Sons of Confederate Veterans. We welcome you to visit us at any meeting, and to participate in our many activities and civic projects as soon as you become a fellow Compatriot.
For more information contact us at email@example.com