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Old 07-15-2007, 11:03 AM   #1
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Airstream/WBCCI "TO HAVE FUN"

Why was the WBCCI established?

Three very simple words, ‘TO HAVE FUN.”

Airstream like any other manufacturing company was created to make a product. For the owner and entrepreneur, Wally Byam to fulfill his goals in life and to make a living.

The first Caravan in 1951 was conceived to assist Airstream owners, and others (the first few Caravans were open to all manufactured RV’s), to travel as an American Community. Airstream’s reward was publicity to sell Airstreams.

The Club was a natural occurrence. This American Community of Airstream owners wanted to get together on a local basis and chew the fat, remember the good times, and take their Airstreams out on a more frequent basis, but for a shorter period of time. The Club Members wanted the club to be exclusive for Airstream Owners only.

Let’s go back to Caravans. The Caravans could never have gone ten miles with out a sub-structure and delegation of duties. Wally Byam was a master of organization.

The Club core was the volunteers; the go-to-people that assisted in making the Caravans go. This spirit, this dedication, this form of personal involvement was the core of the WBCCI in 1955.

Check out the Jack Rabbits; thank them for your club today. They “hounded” Wally to form a club.

http://sierranevadaairstreams.org/memories/history/peewee/early-wbcci/jack-rabbits.html

My Mother, Helen Byam Schwamborn, was given the task, by Wally, to start a headquarters to be the home of the Club, and the action center for Caravans. Three major Caravans came from the Headquarters in the early days. (Europe 1956, Africa 1959, Around-the-World 1963.)

Because of the dedication of the members and the organizational and interpersonal skills of Helen, the Club grew, and grew, and grew…what a growth!

Yes, Airstream funded the Headquarters. Yes, it was a marketing tool. However both entities this symbiotic relationship endorsed the purpose, ‘TO HAVE FUN.”

My pride swells every time I pass an Airstream on the highway, or see one on TV.

Remember, have fun, that’s what this is all about.

That’s all Wally wanted for you, and that is all my Mother wanted for you.

“TO HAVE FUN!”

See you on the road.

Dale “Pee Wee” Schwamborn

Footnote:

I was a family member before there was Caravan.

I traveled on the !st Caravan.

I went on a total of five Caravans. (1951 Mexico, Central America; 1955 Eastern Canada, 1956 Europe, 1957 Eastern Canada, and 1959 Africa, the Holy Land, and Europe)

I scouted two Cavavans 1959 Africa, and 1961 Eastern Canadian Caravan.

I worked at the California Airstream Plant from 1964 to 1969.

I have been to five International Rally’s.

I am former owner of Wally’s gold trailer.

I am a Charter Member of the WBCCI.

This is being told to you not that I am extraordinary, I’m just a fortunate person to have been part of this history.

When I say “TO HAVE FUN”, I mean it and I know that’s what it is all about.
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Old 07-15-2007, 11:05 AM   #2
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Thank You PeeWee. You would know best on this topic.
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Old 07-15-2007, 11:52 AM   #3
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Thanks PeeWee, can't tell you what a thrill it is to have you post to us as you have. I hope it is only the beginning of many more to come. Enthusiasm and energy and experience like yours is something I think many have been parched for. Take time and the AS and go have fun, such a pleasant reminder.

Please do tell us more about your Airstreaming and family...
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Old 07-15-2007, 11:53 AM   #4
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PeeWee, thank you and welcome!

So, what, in your humble oppinion, would put the FUN back in the WBCCI?

Michael
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Old 07-15-2007, 12:24 PM   #5
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Airstream/WBCCI "TO HAVE FUN"

Thanks for such a "refreshing" post! In this day and age of so many "naysayers" and self centered individuals it's nice to have the simple wish of "have fun". Isn't that why most of us bought our Airstreams and why most of us enjoy getting out in them?

Thanks again.....onward and upward
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Old 07-15-2007, 12:38 PM   #6
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Thanks!

Thanks for sharing that with us Dale. That's a wonderful story. Please, tell us more should you have the chance or desire to do so.
Happy Trails
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Old 08-05-2007, 06:24 PM   #7
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Fun

We younger members in the Northern Illinois Unit want to make the unit very dynamic by having the focus of our activites being FUN.

F ellowship with Airstreamers
U limited adventures
N ew experiences
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Old 08-05-2007, 06:27 PM   #8
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Thank you for the insight.
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Old 08-05-2007, 06:49 PM   #9
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We are new members to WBCCI, and, look forward to our first rally. We are considerate neighbors.
But, we have heard that there are lots of rules. Specifically, I like to spread my gear out a bit, hang patio lights, fly colorful flags, and run some quiet generators if no 30 amp service. And, what if I forget to slide my tow mirrors in? Also, we don't conserve well. I need to dump my tanks at least every other day. Should we give it a try or stay away?

Tom
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Old 08-05-2007, 06:50 PM   #10
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New horizons - WBCCI New England Unit

Well, I'm sure I'll regret this post tomorrow morning.

*Some* units are fun and are growing (fun from my point of view). Region / International events are not (from my point of view).

Times have changed. We are not the club (people) featured in the movie / DVD "Silver Palace". That is part of WBCCI history (though well loved). My WBCCI unit is about family fun and adventure. Yep, this means kids, dogs, cats, birds and lots of them. It's all about travel via caravans (yep, we have fantastic unit caravans) and fun filled rallies for our members (yep, every month from March to November in New England!). From what I see many WBCCI units have not kept pace and even resist change. Too bad, change is hard but change *is*good.

Pee Wee is right, the club is all about having FUN. Every unit should be looking to increase "Fun, Fellowship and Adventure". Accept change, change is GOOD.

I believe positive, forward thinking leadership will save our club. This means embracing all members, old and new. No more name calling, or casting off of other folks opinions just because they differ from yours. This is a club of diverse souls, and I am better because of it and just want it to continue.
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Old 08-07-2007, 01:51 AM   #11
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Airstream and be Happy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Artstream
PeeWee, thank you and welcome!

So, what, in your humble oppinion, would put the FUN back in the WBCCI?

Michael


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Mike,
Here are a few thoughts.
Dale

Mike,


To have fun one must travel down the Airstream heritage.

Wally Byam as a youngster herded sheep. From this task he grew fond of the outdoors. After leaving the publishing business in the late 20’s and very early 30’s, Wally combined his enthusiasm of the outdoors with a new industry the trailer.

The evolution began.

Wally had his problems. The doors of Airstream were closed several times. The war came along. Tough times weren't over. But an innovative form of travel gave Airstream a shot in the arm, and was the incubator for the WBCCI and that was the 1951 Caravan to Mexico and Central America.

Wally always believed in his product. IT was made for the open road. To go where you wanted to go, to camp in your own home, away from home.

The Caravans through early 1955 were open to all makes. The January 1955 Caravan was the largest peace time evasion of a foreign country. 500 trailers, 500 families a truly major undertaking.

Wally not only had a following of Airstream owners from the Caravans, but he was a favorite of all Airstream owners.

Caravans took several months. They were fun. But how many Caravans can a person take a year? How do you see your friends? Just what to do?

The Airstream owners took over. They told Wally, “Let’s form a club.”

And they did, in 1955, when Helen Byam Schwamborn joined the Airstream family and a club was formed in Nova Scotia.

That the history. A rather wordy introduction to have fun. We're getting there.

At this point we know that Airstream is the prime mover for fun. The second part of this is friendships.

The power of the Caravans and the Clubs is companionship and participation. When you belong to the WBCCI each member has or should have a part in the Club. It is a fact those that keep busy, stay happy. That’s why the volunteer and delegations of Club responsibilities is so central for the success of your Club. Guess what? When you do things for others and yourself you have the satisfaction of making others happy, and the pride of knowing that you were a part of this participation.

To have fun. Own an Airstream. Belong to a Club. Be a friend. Participate. Take pride.

I just returned from a speaking engagement with the VAC group in Breckenridge, CO. Let me tell you they have fun. They are friends. They have bonds. They are organized. And they know the spirit of the Club…”to have fun!”

This may not be the answer you were anticipating. But “to have fun” is a logical progression from the first time Wally camped out and it goes right on through to today. People make and share fun as a community. Go for it!

See you on the road.

Dale "Pee Wee" Schwamborn
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Old 08-07-2007, 02:05 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeeWee
<snip>I just returned from a speaking engagement with the VAC group in Breckenridge, CO. Let me tell you they have fun. They are friends. They have bonds. They are organized. And they know the spirit of the Club…”to have fun!”

Dale "Pee Wee" Schwamborn
Aw shucks, thanks PeeWee! We sure enjoyed having you show us how it was done!

I'm looking forward to the next time our paths cross ~

Shari
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Old 08-07-2007, 08:56 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeeWee

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Mike,
Here are a few thoughts.
Dale

Mike,


To have fun one must travel down the Airstream heritage.

Wally Byam as a youngster herded sheep. From this task he grew fond of the outdoors. After leaving the publishing business in the late 20’s and very early 30’s, Wally combined his enthusiasm of the outdoors with a new industry the trailer.

The evolution began.

Wally had his problems. The doors of Airstream were closed several times. The war came along. Tough times weren't over. But an innovative form of travel gave Airstream a shot in the arm, and was the incubator for the WBCCI and that was the 1951 Caravan to Mexico and Central America.

Wally always believed in his product. IT was made for the open road. To go where you wanted to go, to camp in your own home, away from home.

The Caravans through early 1955 were open to all makes. The January 1955 Caravan was the largest peace time evasion of a foreign country. 500 trailers, 500 families a truly major undertaking.

Wally not only had a following of Airstream owners from the Caravans, but he was a favorite of all Airstream owners.

Caravans took several months. They were fun. But how many Caravans can a person take a year? How do you see your friends? Just what to do?

The Airstream owners took over. They told Wally, “Let’s form a club.”

And they did, in 1955, when Helen Byam Schwamborn joined the Airstream family and a club was formed in Nova Scotia.

That the history. A rather wordy introduction to have fun. We're getting there.

At this point we know that Airstream is the prime mover for fun. The second part of this is friendships.

The power of the Caravans and the Clubs is companionship and participation. When you belong to the WBCCI each member has or should have a part in the Club. It is a fact those that keep busy, stay happy. That’s why the volunteer and delegations of Club responsibilities is so central for the success of your Club. Guess what? When you do things for others and yourself you have the satisfaction of making others happy, and the pride of knowing that you were a part of this participation.

To have fun. Own an Airstream. Belong to a Club. Be a friend. Participate. Take pride.

I just returned from a speaking engagement with the VAC group in Breckenridge, CO. Let me tell you they have fun. They are friends. They have bonds. They are organized. And they know the spirit of the Club…”to have fun!”

This may not be the answer you were anticipating. But “to have fun” is a logical progression from the first time Wally camped out and it goes right on through to today. People make and share fun as a community. Go for it!

See you on the road.

Dale "Pee Wee" Schwamborn
PeeWee,

That's about the most refreshing and sensible thing I've heard in a long time - thank you.

We always have fun - either when we are camping, or just as much when we are "on the road". We love to camp alone. And every bit as much we love to share with others, and have developed friendships and comraderie in the process.

I think you have captured a spirit that will resonate well within this forum. Thank you again!
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Old 09-24-2007, 10:16 AM   #14
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-I just received my WBCCI membership package in the mail. I was a member at large, but have since joined the New Hampshire group, I may get there this spring...

I would like to write why I joined. I am a nut case, I can't comform, I am lazy and innovative, not at all dumb, but if you look at me, you would think so. I joined to have fun, and participate in a piece of American history. Yes, this is a Silver Palace, a W. Virginia hillbilly shack, a ranchette, a dog kennel, a gun range, a photo base, a camp lodge. This is what I make out of it, so is my life. And besides, I can't wait for the old stodgy people I hear complained about meet my Brasilian wife that is 20 (yep, countem, twenty) years younger then me! (I am 50, she is about to turn 30.)

I am carrying with me an el cheapo .243, a 60 year old Contax rangefinder, a 4x5 inch camera, I am starting a new hobby of training a Malinois, I would love to collaborate with anyone and build a web site, I have the domain, Expressions Web, Office/XP, all of the tools. My past hobbies included raising parrots, wolves and children. I want to go to Mexico in 2008 with WBCCI but first I want a sit on fishing kayak. I haven't square danced since grade school, I would love to do that again.

I want to enjoy life and worry about it less, there is no checkered flag in my book for arriving at the stop light first.

If possible, my epitaph will read "The only appointment he ever made; (fill in date here)".

THE ONLY DOUBT I HAVE about the WBCCI is putting those big red numbers on my Safari...yikes, they are funny, I may do it just for a laugh.
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