I’m not new to owning a Jeep, but I’ve never been part of a Jeep club. I first purchased a Jeep Wrangler in 2008. It was the first vehicle that I truly enjoyed. In December of 2013 I furthered my love by trading in my 2008 for a 2014 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon. It was during the installation of a new bumper that I learned about the Matanzas Jeep Club.
Their website billed the Matanzas Jeep Club as “Northeast Florida’s most versatile Jeep Club.” Thoughts of bearded tattooed men standing around their Jeeps bragging about how big their tires were filled my mind. I was sure I wouldn’t fit in being a “computer guy” with a wife and three kids. I also knew nothing about Jeeps other than how to drive one.
My desire to learn how to off-road pushed me to attend my first function, the Ride for the M.U.L.E event. I met up with fellow St. Augustine Jeepers riding as a group to event. It was nothing like I had expected, especially when a black Jeep Wrangler Unlimited sporting Wonder Woman decals rolled into the spot. I knew then that the Mantanzas Jeep Club was different.
I was greeted by smiling faces and saw various Jeeps ranging from stock to the mudslinging monster rigs. I struck up conversations and was able to ask questions about my Jeep and how to off-road without feeling like an outsider. Best of all, I went on my first trail ride through the Ocala National Forest.
This first interaction with the Mantanzas Jeep Club really encouraged me to learn more about such a wonderful organization. I found that the Mantanzas Jeep Club was composed of like-minded Jeep enthusiasts who enjoyed off-roarding, sharing their knowledge with others, and spending time with family and friends. I also discovered that the Mantanzas Jeep Club enjoyed giving back to those who have given so much for this great country.The Matanzas Jeep Club actively raises money for Veteran-focused organizations. In the last three years the Matanzas Jeep Club raised over $22,000 for such organizations as:
- Wheelers for the Wounded
- Fort Benning Wounded Warrior Association
- Veterans Farms
So now when I think about what the Matanzas Jeep Club is, I still think about bearded tattooed men standing around bragging about how big their tires are, but I also see their children running around their feet having a great time within an organization that stands tall to give to those that have given so much for us.
I encourage you to attend one of our functions and join our online forums. More importantly, I invite you to become part of our family.