View Poll Results: Are the WBCCI traditional rituals needed?
Absolutely needed 17 7.56%
They could be scaled back a bit 29 12.89%
Indifferent 46 20.44%
They should be scaled back quite a bit 80 35.56%
Not needed 53 23.56%
Voters: 225. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 08-26-2003, 05:05 PM   #1
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Why Tradition? poll

I recently purchased a vintage Airstream (1962 Bambi), joined WBCCI, and attended my first International Rally all in the short span of two months. I was a bit overwhelmed by all the pomp and circumstance I encountered at the rally and wanted to find out how the WBCCI general membership feels about this topic. I later saw Jim Franklin’s point of view on the same topic in the August, 2003 edition of the “Blue Beret”. What does everyone else think about this? Are these rituals needed?

For those who haven’t read Jim’s article, I have posted it here:

Why Tradition?
By Jim Franklin, International 2nd Vice President

I have just recently returned form the 46th International Rally at Burlington, Vermont, where I had the privilege of seeing and participating in the Opening Ceremonies, viewing the Parade of Flags and witnessing all the Pomp and Pageantry that is part of our wonderful Club – The Wally Byam caravan Club International. It was a wonderful and thrilling experience to be a part of the program and witness the Regions and Units march in with their flags. There is no other Recreational Vehicle Club, I am aware of, that comes close to having the wonderful traditions that our Club has. Wally Byam and the Club’s early leaders developed guidelines and rituals that have added stature prestige to the ceremonies we follow today.

The Blue Beret, the Blue Business Uniform of the International Board of Trustees, the Red Coats of the Region Officers, the Uniforms of the Unit Officers, Canada Day, the 4th of July and the singing of the National Anthems of Mexico, Canada and the United States have all become recognized symbols and traditions of our Club. Some people might think the Club’s traditions and ceremonies are old fashioned and out of date. I offer the following response of excerpts from an unknown author for their consideration.

Someone asked the other day, “Why do we have to have rituals or traditions? Why don’t we have just an organization with officers and bylaws governing our business meetings and let it go at that?

The answer can be found somewhere in the innate nature of man. Ever since the beginning of society in its simplest form, we have had rites, ceremonies and symbolic forms of expressions. The simplest tribes in the earliest history of mankind had rites and ceremonies, which drew them closer together as a tribal unit and added some semblance of beauty and order to their everyday tasks.

The Greeks, who developed one of the highest intellectual civilizations ever produced, were steeped in ceremonies and symbolic expressions. Jesus of Nazareth did most of his teachings in parables rather than the mere stating of facts.

We have our National Flag, a symbol of our Government, with its starts and stripes, and the field of blue, each signifying a special meaning. Why don’t we just carry a banner with the words “United States of America” across it? The Eagle, the Statue of Liberty, Columbus, Uncle Sam and many more symbols add something to the way we feel about our patriotic symbols for their citizens.

Why then Traditions? Members of the Club identify with the name “AIRSTREAM” and enjoy the fellowship and camaraderie of over 8,000 fellow owners and over 16,000 total members. Caravans and Rallies have come to signify what our Club is all about and the traditions of the Club are enhanced by our uniforms and ceremonies. These symbols were adopted by the members to separate the Club from the mere mundane, casual business or travel organization. There is NO other RV Club like WBCCI. Other clubs have tried to imitate our Airstream Organization with their rallies and caravans, but they have not succeeded. Let’s keep our Club and its traditions strong and vibrant.

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Old 08-26-2003, 09:43 PM   #2
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"The simplest tribes in the earliest history of mankind had rites and ceremonies, which drew them closer together as a tribal unit and added some semblance of beauty and order to their everyday tasks."

Well whatever floats your boat....or your tribal canoe. I'll pass on the pomp and circumstance and them funny looking hats...


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Old 08-26-2003, 09:44 PM   #3
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I'm with Fred!
The rituals and traditions to some, pomp and circumstance to others, are obviously enjoyable and useful to those who participant in them and those who watch them. Some people love the Olympic Games opening and closing ceremonies; I'd rather wax my kitchen floor than be forced to sit though them, so my kitchen floor gets waxed every 4 years. As long as attendance at such functions is not mandatory, what's the harm in letting other people enjoy themselves in ways you would not choose? Why take a poll to control other's behavior when you can simply live and let live? There is no reason to spoil their fun simply because it doesn't appeal to you. If you "feel" their rituals are boring or of little interest, don't attend. Do something else instead. I am sure you will be able to find many others who also skip the rituals and traditional ceremonies. Join them so two groups with different views can each have fun without stepping on each others feelings. As for me, nearby ritual and tradition sparks an uncontrollable urge to polish my trailer.
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Old 08-27-2003, 07:47 AM   #4
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So the greeks had traditions....and we should, too? Pardon me for noticing, but that civilization (and others) became extinct, because they would not change and adapt to the times.

I suspect that the reason membership in the WBCCI is dwindling is because (in part) of these old-fashioned traditions. Younger folks just aren't interested in that stuff, and many are actually "turned off" by it to the point of not wanting to be involved at all. that point has been made numerous times in other threads.

My own limited exposure to the Wally club has convinced me that there is more to the group than the funny hats and the flag ceremonies. However, if my only exposure had been my trip to VT, and I had not investigated further, that very well may have been my last encounter with the club. I took a drive up to Burlington because it isn't too far away from home, and mainly just to see the spectacle of 1800 airstreams parked in the same place. I also saw that this gathering was a mobile retirement villiage, the residents being involved primarily in activities in which I had no interest. Oh, well, "nice folks", I thought.....but it really didn't seem like anything we really wanted to pursue. But we were convinced to sign up for a local region rally, and while there was still a fair amount of the same, we also found that there is a younger contingent with interests more in line with ourselves. So....I guess the point of my rambling is that it all depends on the individuals in your local club.

I also tend to agree w/ Fred in the other thread...."whatever blows up your dress!".

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Old 05-03-2004, 01:11 PM   #5
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It's embarrassingly out of date. A few hours of a flag ceremony? Givmeabreak!
"It's the journey."

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Old 05-03-2004, 11:35 PM   #6
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Petunia and I attended our first RV rally last week in Lancaster, CA. It was the Escapees Spring Escapde.

During the opening ceremonies they had a very brief parade of flags representing all the chapters ... the flags were colorful ... and it was BRIEF!

We also had a Color Guard from Edwards AFB, and sang the National Anthems of the USA and Canada. Petunia asked me why I would not sing the Canadian Anthem ... so I told her I wasn't a Canadian.

Personally .. I find this a little odd. When I'm in Canada ... I wouldn't expect the locals to sing our Anthem. Also, Mexico was left out of the picture during all of this ... yet the club has a Mexico chapter ... go figure.

The key here is ... the opening ceremonies were brief ... not some long drawn out extravaganza. When I finally have the opportunity to attend the WBCCI International ... I will have something to compare it to.
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Old 07-25-2004, 07:40 PM   #7
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I just wish the food wasn't so.... vintage. If I never see another slide of ham in water it will be to soon.
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Old 12-22-2004, 11:57 AM   #8
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Correct me if I'm wrong but I am pretty certain that there are no longer any WBCCI Units in Mexico.
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Old 12-22-2004, 01:04 PM   #9
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Wink tradition

Tradition always makes me nervous. It seems if people want to do something they should, and not be governed by unnecessary laws and norms established by others for others. It seems to be the precursor to division and adversity and contrary to diversity and what some of us might feel like freedoms. I think an alumni club and a new not your father's (grandfather's)Airstream club would be widely received. I think if people were truly challenged and had plenty to do there would be less time and energy devoted to offices to appease their sense of belonging.

I'm not a communist and I'm not an atheist but I don't see the relation to these things in a travel club. I also have trouble relating to the entertainment, activities and food. I feel the club stirs up to a religious fervor with agressive recruitment and conformity. The majority of the club are not ambassadors representing America.

Anyone out there want to see a popular music group or comedian, drink fine wine and have garnished appetizers, and not eat steam table food from a paper plate or box? My idea of a dance would be quite different than a casual sock hop with ballroom dancing? Shake a tail feather, people.

Originally Posted by Tarheel
Correct me if I'm wrong but I am pretty certain that there are no longer any WBCCI Units in Mexico.

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Old 05-14-2008, 01:23 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Over59
I just wish the food wasn't so.... vintage. If I never see another slide of ham in water it will be to soon.
Well I am happy to report that I have not seen cold ham in hot water since I first expressed my displeasure. Could it be that this is the magic wishing it ain't so well.

Try your own WBCCI wish and see what happens...
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Old 05-14-2008, 01:50 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Over59
Well I am happy to report that I have not seen cold ham in hot water since I first expressed my displeasure. Could it be that this is the magic wishing it ain't so well.

Try your own WBCCI wish and see what happens...
The club increases membership by over a 2 thousand members in 2009.If only...

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Old 05-14-2008, 02:03 PM   #12
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Wow, this has to be a record for pulling up an old thread! Thanks for the update Over59 - I hope it didn't take them the whole 4 years to eliminate the hot water hams

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Old 05-14-2008, 02:14 PM   #13
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Have never seen an WBCCI ritual. But I know ritual is most important to some folks, just let those that don't need it be in the ante room having a ball while the others are doing their ritual. I suspect organizations with the strict opening and closing rituals are slowly going away with the horse drawn mowing machine and the folks that rode them. The meeting was the entertainment for them, as there were contests between chapters in doing the ritual the best and reciting the words the most eloquently. (Been there, born into it, done that, not looking for any more any time before I turn 80).
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Old 05-14-2008, 04:31 PM   #14
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The traditions ARE the organization. Members come and go, but the traditions define the group through time. This is not to imply that nothing can or should change over time. Traditions are the balance struck between being "hide-bound" and being a weathervane organization. Traditions give an organization a little inertia so that it becomes generally know what it "stands for" and impede the tendancy of the organization to change its nature with each new set of officers. Well thought out and well maintained traditions serve as a guiding star, conversly, outmoded traditions and haphazardly observed traditions become an anchor. The best ones also serve to remind the members of organization's history and especially it's trriumphs. That is why "traditions" and "cherished" seem to share company so often. The members and the bylaws are the body,the traditions are the soul.

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