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Old 08-12-2006, 03:45 PM   #1
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A blast from the past

.................................................. .................................................. ........
The WBCCI is a pacesetter,an up-and-coming organization concerned with progress and always ready to support change.The club moves with confidence into a new year with new leaders.It is secure in the realization that ties of loyalty,mutual interests and concern for others,so prevalent among WBCCI members,secures its ongoing success.
.................................................. .................................................. ......

The above passage was written by Helen Byam Schwamborn and was written around 1976 during WBCCI's heyday when the club consisted of well over 25,000 members.It appears in the 1976 19th International Rally hardcover rallybook and was a piece Helen wrote explaining the club to the uninitiated.Some feel that Helen was the driving force behind the formation of the club.


I thought some of you(especially WBCCIers) may find this piece of interest.I've read it over and over and I can't help but think about the recent history of the club.
The line that makes an impression on me is "The WBCCI is a pacesetter,an up-and-coming organization concerned with progress and always ready to support change".
It seems when Helen became less involved in the club in 1979,the membership number started the current trend that to this day some are trying to change.
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Old 08-12-2006, 08:19 PM   #2
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Going back even further

Quote:
Originally Posted by streamer23
.................................................. .................................................. ........
The WBCCI is a pacesetter,an up-and-coming organization concerned with progress and always ready to support change.The club moves with confidence into a new year with new leaders.It is secure in the realization that ties of loyalty,mutual interests and concern for others,so prevalent among WBCCI members,secures its ongoing success.
.................................................. .................................................. ......

The above passage was written by Helen Byam Schwamborn and was written around 1976 during WBCCI's heyday when the club consisted of well over 25,000 members.. . . . . .The line that makes an impression on me is "The WBCCI is a pacesetter,an up-and-coming organization concerned with progress and always ready to support change".
It seems when Helen became less involved in the club in 1979,the membership number started the current trend that to this day some are trying to change.
The people of the Wally Byam Caravans believe the trailer is the best way to reap all the benefits of travel. Only the trailer permits them to live with their neighbors and in so doing become more a part of the place where they stay. In this environment the most meaningful purpose of travel is served because it encourages to mutual exchange of ideas, feelings, and experiences for the enlightenment of all.

This excerpt is the conclusion paragraph of a flyer entitled "What is a Wally Byam Caravan? ~ Who are the Wally Byam Caravanners?" It was in a stack of papers that came with my 1960 Tradewind and appears to be a brochure targeted to non-caravanners in answer to general questions about the caravans. It was distributed sometime after Wally's death in 1962, but before the end of 1963.
I'm not a member, and I don't know much about the WBCCI, but I gather from the forums that opinions swing widely about the club's current direction. Even though the above statements were written nearly 15 years apart, they both give me the sense that Wally's caravans and the club's mission was grounded in the desire to benefit and support members. I would expect this would include accommodating the changes that come with growth. Without change, things become stagnant and stop growing. At least that's what happens if I leave a plant in the same pot too long!
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Old 08-13-2006, 07:20 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sugarfoot
The people of the Wally Byam Caravans believe the trailer is the best way to reap all the benefits of travel. Only the trailer permits them to live with their neighbors and in so doing become more a part of the place where they stay. In this environment the most meaningful purpose of travel is served because it encourages to mutual exchange of ideas, feelings, and experiences for the enlightenment of all.

This excerpt is the conclusion paragraph of a flyer entitled "What is a Wally Byam Caravan? ~ Who are the Wally Byam Caravanners?" It was in a stack of papers that came with my 1960 Tradewind and appears to be a brochure targeted to non-caravanners in answer to general questions about the caravans. It was distributed sometime after Wally's death in 1962, but before the end of 1963.
I'm not a member, and I don't know much about the WBCCI, but I gather from the forums that opinions swing widely about the club's current direction. Even though the above statements were written nearly 15 years apart, they both give me the sense that Wally's caravans and the club's mission was grounded in the desire to benefit and support members. I would expect this would include accommodating the changes that come with growth. Without change, things become stagnant and stop growing. At least that's what happens if I leave a plant in the same pot too long!

Thanks for posting that Sugarfoot.Karma coming your way .Being a bit of a WBCCI history buff I found what you posted very interesting.It looks like this info was before the club achieved International status"Wally Byam Caravans".Not used to seeing the club referred to in that way.
Even though you are not a member,I believe your statements are bang on and reinforce my reasoning for beginning this thread.Change is not a bad thing and a little shot of Miracle-Gro is needed to help achieve the clubs original mission statement.
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Old 08-14-2006, 03:00 PM   #4
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more history

Mike
That book you have from the 1976 I rally sounds like a treasure trove. I see a similar theme about up and coming, change, getting to know the world through trailer (Airstream) travel throughout a lot of material written by and about WBCCI. I do think these ideas are what guided the development of WBCCI and helped make it the premier RV association. It did seem to begin a difficult period after Helen retired in 1979. I think if we can take a look at the past and see how both Wally and Helen incorporated these ideas into their decisions and the directions they led WBCCI we will have good idea of how to meet the challenges of the future. Getting there will take committement and effort on all levels of WBCCI from the members and MAL's to the IBT and staff.

Pee Wee (Wally's second cousin and Helen's son) has been sharing some WBCCI history with me lately. It has been fascinating and really helped me to understand the beginnings of WBCCI. His comments and materials augment some of the things I remember my grandparent's saying over the 15+ years they were active members of WBCCI. Pee Wee has also provided insight and information on some of the more publisized adventures such as the 1959 African Caravan. If you are interested in browsing through the materials Pee Wee has sent and what I have from my own family, here is the URL.

http://sierranevadaairstreams.org/me...tory/index.htm

This collection continues to evolve and grow so I'm not sure where it will end up. I'm learning a lot and just enjoying the ride.
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Old 08-15-2006, 11:58 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 65GT
Stop wondering. You own a unit, you join, and you just set the direction of the club TODAY. Instant gratification -- job well done!

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I’m not wondering, I’m observing. I was hesitant to even post to this thread because I’m not a member. I didn’t even know the WBCCI existed until one of the Aistreams I checked out when looking to purchase had the “big red numbers” everyone is talking about. I'd seen them when I was a kid but didn't know what they were. When I started researching, I found out about the WBCCI. My Tradewind doesn’t have big red numbers, never did. I do believe knowing the history behind Airstream, including the Caravanners and WBCCI adds to the pleasure of camping and traveling in one. Thanks to lots of online time (not necessarily this forum) I’m learning aout this rich history bit by bit.

I’ve jumped feet first without looking into way to many things in the past, and now I’ve learned to pick my battles carefully and watch where I step. Maybe I haven’t learned that lesson well enough. Eventually, I’ll probably join, especially for the VAC. Then I can have my own experience with the WBCCI and I’ll make it what I want it to be. But right now in this very moment, I’m just going to have fun, go camping, and revel in the fact that I finally have MY OWN AIRSTREAM!!!!. Call me a mugwump if you want to, but I’m a happy one!
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Old 08-15-2006, 03:18 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sugarfoot
But right now in this very moment, I’m just going to have fun, go camping, and revel in the fact that I finally have MY OWN AIRSTREAM!!!!. Call me a mugwump if you want to, but I’m a happy one!

And that folks is the bottom line.Whether you join WBCCI or not,the bottom line is to have fun ,go camping and use your Airstream.
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Old 08-15-2006, 08:05 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by streamer23
And that folks is the bottom line.Whether you join WBCCI or not,the bottom line is to have fun ,go camping and use your Airstream.
And karma is on its way back to you, streamer23! THAT's what I'm talking about, that's what its all about.
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Old 08-19-2006, 07:44 PM   #8
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Mike,

Thanks for posting this! What a wonderful spirit. Dale told me what a great spirit his mother was in the club. It is great to read the quote. It is up to us to continue to build and enjoy the interpersonal ties and spirit of adventure that are the greatest assets of WBCCI.



Quote:
Originally Posted by streamer23
.................................................. .................................................. ........
The WBCCI is a pacesetter,an up-and-coming organization concerned with progress and always ready to support change.The club moves with confidence into a new year with new leaders.It is secure in the realization that ties of loyalty,mutual interests and concern for others,so prevalent among WBCCI members,secures its ongoing success.
.................................................. .................................................. ......

The above passage was written by Helen Byam Schwamborn and was written around 1976 during WBCCI's heyday when the club consisted of well over 25,000 members.It appears in the 1976 19th International Rally hardcover rallybook and was a piece Helen wrote explaining the club to the uninitiated.Some feel that Helen was the driving force behind the formation of the club.


I thought some of you(especially WBCCIers) may find this piece of interest.I've read it over and over and I can't help but think about the recent history of the club.
The line that makes an impression on me is "The WBCCI is a pacesetter,an up-and-coming organization concerned with progress and always ready to support change".
It seems when Helen became less involved in the club in 1979,the membership number started the current trend that to this day some are trying to change.
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Old 08-20-2006, 06:36 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Communicator
Mike,

Thanks for posting this! What a wonderful spirit. Dale told me what a great spirit his mother was in the club. It is great to read the quote. It is up to us to continue to build and enjoy the interpersonal ties and spirit of adventure that are the greatest assets of WBCCI.

Thanks for the support Renee. I know there is more out there but getting people invoved in change is another matter.
One thing experience has shown me on these forums is that threads like this that are positive towards WBCCI are few and far between and have few responses.
It seems to be much easier to 'throw the baby out with the bath water' and start anew instead of embracing the rich history and the framework that is already in place.
I believe that it is a testiment of today's busy world that its preferred to quit or not become involved in group that needs to reinvent itself to survive.In some areas it may seem that its impossible for this to happen today but I think in time this will also change.
It's also important to keep in mind that a growing number of WBCCI members are stepping up to promote this metamorphasis.I find it somewhat ironic that we are striving for the very same thing that so many forum members are looking for.Less formality and regimentation and outdated rules,more emphasis on involving younger members and getting back to camping with friends and fellow Airstream and Argosy owners.
I'm thinking some of you reading this will think my statements are a dream and I'm trying to hold on to the past.Not so.It's the future we are striving for.I will do my best to help in this transformation and to bring the club into the 21st century where I feel there is still a place for it to belong.


Soapbox off.We now return you to your regularly scheduled Forums programming.
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Old 08-20-2006, 10:11 AM   #10
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Not so impossible

Quote:
Originally Posted by streamer23
Thanks for the support Renee. I know there is more out there but getting people invoved in change is another matter.
One thing experience has shown me on these forums is that threads like this that are positive towards WBCCI are few and far between and have few responses.
It seems to be much easier to 'throw the baby out with the bath water' and start anew instead of embracing the rich history and the framework that is already in place.
I believe that it is a testiment of today's busy world that its preferred to quit or not become involved in group that needs to reinvent itself to survive.In some areas it may seem that its impossible for this to happen today but I think in time this will also change.
It's also important to keep in mind that a growing number of WBCCI members are stepping up to promote this metamorphasis.I find it somewhat ironic that we are striving for the very same thing that so many forum members are looking for.Less formality and regimentation and outdated rules,more emphasis on involving younger members and getting back to camping with friends and fellow Airstream and Argosy owners.
I'm thinking some of you reading this will think my statements are a dream and I'm trying to hold on to the past.Not so.It's the future we are striving for.I will do my best to help in this transformation and to bring the club into the 21st century where I feel there is still a place for it to belong.

Soapbox off.We now return you to your regularly scheduled Forums programming.
Streamer 23, as a potential WBCCI member, I also thank you for starting this thread. I’m going to borrow your soapbox for a minute. Going back to our roots gives cause to reflect on what we are here for in the first place. As one watching from the sidelines, even I can see that scrapping the WBCCI would be a big mistake. What’s so refreshing about your thread is to find that there are some current members that haven’t been distracted by all the negativity and are willing to see this through. This is very encouraging to prospective members like me.

Change in the WBCCI will not be accepted if it is initiated by some “young upstart newbie” who comes in like gangbusters saying they have a better way. Real lasting change has to come from the heart, and that heart lies within the existing membership. No, it’s not an impossible dream. You and others are proof that the fire hasn’t gone out. Yes, it starts subtly with glowing (m)embers here and there. As the fire grows, more and more will be attracted. Eventually, both old and new faces will be right along side helping to fuel the fire and change WILL occur.

Okay, you can have your soapbox back . . .
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Old 08-20-2006, 11:02 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sugarfoot
Streamer 23, as a potential WBCCI member, I also thank you for starting this thread. I’m going to borrow your soapbox for a minute. Going back to our roots gives cause to reflect on what we are here for in the first place. As one watching from the sidelines, even I can see that scrapping the WBCCI would be a big mistake. What’s so refreshing about your thread is to find that there are some current members that haven’t been distracted by all the negativity and are willing to see this through. This is very encouraging to prospective members like me.

Change in the WBCCI will not be accepted if it is initiated by some “young upstart newbie” who comes in like gangbusters saying they have a better way. Real lasting change has to come from the heart, and that heart lies within the existing membership. No, it’s not an impossible dream. You and others are proof that the fire hasn’t gone out. Yes, it starts subtly with glowing (m)embers here and there. As the fire grows, more and more will be attracted. Eventually, both old and new faces will be right along side helping to fuel the fire and change WILL occur.

Okay, you can have your soapbox back . . .



Dacia,thanks for the kind and well thought out response.I love the fire analogy.It is very fitting and I really hope that it transpires the way you so aptly described.
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Old 08-25-2006, 03:24 PM   #12
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Some more 1950's WBCCI history

For those interested in some more WBCCI history from the late 1950's,this url may be of some interest.

http://sierranevadaairstreams.org/me...y/gallery.html

Our units website (Sierra Nevada Unit) is packed with WBCCI info and history and is a continuing work in progress.Questions or suggestions are welcome.
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Old 08-25-2006, 04:10 PM   #13
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I am in my mid-40's and have two young son's (6 & 9) and just joined the WBCCI two weeks ago...haven't even got my numbers yet. And I joined going into it knowing that we wouldn't be attending many rallies and there wouldn't be much in it for us at first, but I wanted to be a member from the start. I also wanted to check things out with the hopes that our Region 3, and Georgia unit in particular, would have something other than retirees as members. It appears that there probably are a few.

When we spent our first week end at the Top of Georgia Airstream Park this past week end, the host invited us to bring the boy's bikes next time so they could ride in the "circle". He told us of the trails that surround the park and about the unofficial trail guide that attends each rally and leads the children attending on a hike on the trails. He was very welcoming and inviting to our children so I don't feel so much like I will be a fish out of water.

I know it will be some time before our family becomes the average member--by then we will probably be the retirees! LOL but at least I see that there is room for us now and hopefully this is just a beginning of changes to come for all WBCCI units. However, I have to say this, the changes won't come from the establishment...that's why they're called the establishment. It will take new members becoming involved and making subtle suggestions not demands and not screaming them at the rallies. They will have to take opportunities to become involved and make changes gradual. Rome wasn't built in a day and 50 years of tradition won't change overnight.
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Old 08-26-2006, 02:05 PM   #14
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Observation from a new WBCCI and Unit member

I recently joined a Unit. In due course after the MAL to Unit paperwork went through we recieved the Units newsletter. The first thing I saw was a picture of the Pres. a pleasant looking elderly gentleman. I thought uh-oh I got into a traditional geezer group. Then I read his coloum. His points were.

* New younger members and their ideas are needed by the Unit and WBCCI.
* New younger members need to be welcomed.
* The Unit and WBCCI have to modernize to fit its new younger members.
* New ideas need to be embraced.

I read through the rally schedules and found that their were no what I would call pomp and circumstance events. Communal meals were Potlucks and limited to one dinner and one breakfast per outing. Most meals were "On your own" per the schedule. There seemed to be no peer pressure for the outings. Every night had a bring your own happy hour.

The members of this Unit have decided on their own to change and modernize to remain active and vibrant.

Sugarfoot, Your Unit and ultimately the WBCCI is what you and I make it to be. Go ahead and join because at the end of the day you will have gone camping. Learned things and met new people. While you are doing that you can change/modify what you don't like and promote what you do.

Don't make the mistake of assuming like I did.
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