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Old 01-20-2007, 03:24 PM   #57
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Enter the dream.....

Kimber here... So, I find this all fascinating. (brace yourself, I'm on my soapbox.This could get long...)

We, as the membership, PAYED for the IBT to travel to the mid-winter meeting, where they focused on 2 main issues. Their own self-preservation of a dwindling moho membership and the delay of the new FORWARD-THINKING, membership-growing unit.

Does that make sense?

For the past 3 years we've seen the membership drop. Yada, yada, said about how 'change' is imminent and 'change' is good. Thanks president for those REAL words of wisdom in every issue of the Blue Beret. What is the real message?

Is this the change that you were talking about? Focusing membership efforts on the smallest group of 'A/S' owners? Focusing a membership drive for the least-progressive members of the club? Boy, I'm confused.

Improving communication was also discussed at this membership-paid-for meeting. The need to improve the internet based infrastructure was the focus. How long has this been worked on? 9 mos.? How long should this take? All I can say is WHAT TAKES SOOOOOO LONG? Look at these forums and look at Save Wally. It doesn't take long to get people of like minds and interests together.

I'd really like to know what is being done to improve the membership and moral in the club. Why aren't they focusing on the REAL important issues at hand?

The whole WBCCI process is mired in RED TAPE and pomp and circumstance. Worse than the government. Maybe it's because "most of the members are past military." (Quote, from Chicago Tribune story, of Daryl Ewles, July, 2004.) They're in control and we all just have to sit back over here and do what they say. 'STAND DOWN, PLEASE." ...WHAT? I payed for this?

Motion form from the Region 12 BofD meeting authorizing travel expenses for the region 12 First V.P., October 2006... "All reimbursable expenses shall conform to the WBCCI Blue Book Bylaws and Policy, Appendix #3, Page 1, with an amount not to exceed a limit of $1,500. This allowance, if passed, would apply to either ground or air transportation." (this is for just 1 meeting in the year...)

And the prize quote from just 2 days ago at the IBT meeting by past Int'l president, Jim Franklin, "if you don't like it go get a Winnebago and join another club." Now, that's priceless!

Conversely, another quote by Dicky Riegel from the same 2004 article mentioned above states, "Our newer customers are well-educated, fun-loving, roving spirits with an interest in design." These people that he speaks of, along with the new and existing vintage owners, are the biggest prospective member to the club.

This is MY club too!!!!! And I say let's change it!

I joined this club to feel and live the vision of adventure that WALLY believed in. Yes, he was a salesman, but he really did believe. If he didn't he wouldn't have spent all the time he did ADVENTURING! So, this is not the club that Wally built. If the IBT is trying to make more out of it than that, they're on the wrong track.

The following ideas are what I'd like to hear come out of an IBT meeting. (enter dream state – you are now in deep R.E.M. sleep)

Begin with the “Pledge of Allegiance”, RAP STYLE (O.K. It’s a dream and not everything makes sense) I Pledge allegiance to Wally’s vision of what the WBCCI stands for…

Now on to the meeting.

Agenda items for a 'NEW' forward-thinking IBT annual meeting (this is the way the meeting should have gone):

A) Marketing campaign update. The new marketing committee will give an overview of their current and future marketing ideas and implementations. Included will be recent press coverage of events, including one by CNN's Jenny Moos at the International in Perry, where new and vintage trailers were represented. Editorial coverage is working too! America is still in love with our silver gem.

Remember, press coverage gets new members.

How about developing programs that meet the needs of today's younger demographic? How about a MARKETING plan that targets new and vintage membership (both young and old). A/S sales of new trailers are smokin' and so are sales and renovations of vintage and older trailers. How about more community-minded projects that come from the hearts of WBCCI membership as well as being press-worthy events. The WBCCI is a 501(c)(3), NOT a self-fulfilling prophecy. Seems to me that there's a lot of profit in the coffers. Non-profit. (Profit.) Non-profit, (Profit.)

Why doesn't the Profit pay for the gas? Why did the membership cost go up 2 years ago?

B) Cost saving measures implemented this year. The WBCCI has saved a total of 22k this past year. In celebration the WBCCI will re-invest this by having all of the Unit flags refurbished. Bright-spanking new flags will be shown next year at the International. Update of new membership materials.

Why doesn't the club put out the membership roster and info on a CD and get RID of the printed copy. (If a few really need it that way, print it out on a laster printer and send it. Or, maybe another member who's close to the member without a computer could print it up for them.) Remember, 501(c)(3). Work together.

Okay, how about those 'advertising' materials the WBCCI currently uses.

Chuck em'. Start from scratch with a new and refreshing tangent. Most of the of BS that is in the Blue Beret could be put up on-line and the rest, the stuff we really want to see -- big beautiful pictures of scenic travels and fun silly, crazy pics of rallies, and, good picture-laden stories of maintenance and renovations -- could bring the Blue Beret into the 21 century. Am I wrong? That's what I want to see.

C) 1. Marketing and advertising is working. The Web Committee updates us. With the reduction of the Regional entity to 2 positions, the cost savings have been moved to the creation of informative Unit Web sites. Each Unit now has a Website with a easily recognizable names. Each site is filled with exciting photos and current information and contacts. The committee will also update us to the effectiveness of new memberships.

C) 2. Name recognition campaign. The IBT has recognized the need for a WBCCI name recognition campaign. We will be discussing and voting on the procedure to fulfill this need. Development of 2-line response to 'Who is Wally Byam?' and a procedure for Units to be easily identified with the Airstream brand. i.e. "Airstreams of Washington D.C. Unit," or, "Airstreams of Four Corners Unit."

Oh, and how about Unit Web sites? Where are they?

This is the number-one recruiting tool in today's world. And I don't need an expensive or 'friend-conducted' survey to tell me this.
In an effort to educate myself about the dynamics of the Units across the country as a whole I perused each region's Web site and from there unit sites that were listed or linked -- I was sorely dismayed. Roughly 30% of the membership is represented this way. The rest are only listed as a phone call or not at all. I can assure you that I was not going to call any of these to find out what the dynamic of their Unit was like. I wonder how many others have been curious about joining a 'local' unit and turned-off by the lack of information and pictures and didn't feel comfortable phoning for info.

We don't have to change the club's name to become the most recognized and coolest adventure club in the RVing community. Simple, cost-effective and no-cost tactics can be implemented to boost the WBCCI to the forefront.

Again, this is a lack of the leadership to recognize the way the world works these days.

D) New and fun traveling programs and incentives bring in new memberships. New members are joining in nicely and becoming adapted quickly to the adventurous Airstream lifestyle. New ideas and programs are popping up across the Units and brining smiles to member faces. The Programs Committee will update us on the proposed Host-A-Rally program. It is working well for several Units and there will be discussion on empowering this as a Unit standard.

Volunteers are people too!

Volunteers are the heart beating momentum of a Non-profit. Reach out to the membership for volunteers to promote the club. Seek out and use their expertise to propel your entity to the height of promotional bliss. Spread the work around.

The IBT as a whole is OUT-OF-TOUCH. When I think of them, and especially recently with all of this Four Winds/Mandalay BS, I only hear that giant sucking sound. The sound where everything as we know it is eaten alive and destroyed. We all get destroyed and the Langoliers* survive and flourish in their own right.

It is up to us as the membership as a whole to get this back up and running in a progressive manner. All of these crazy ideas are hurting the club, both in public relations and in prospective and current membership. If we start working TOGETHER, we can make great things happen and make the WBCCI trim and efficient and moving forward.

(*"The Langoliers" by Stephen King - a group of travelers on a red-eye flight from California to Maine wake up to discover that most of their fellow passengers have vanished mid-flight, along with one of the pilots and all of the flight attendants, when a plane passes through a mysterious time warp. The survivors manage to land, and discover that time seems to stand still--and the mysterious Langoliers are in hot pursuit. The Langoliers' job is to erase moments in time that have already passed into history. The survivors still exist because they were asleep when the plane passed through the warp, and they realize that if they can all be asleep once again when the plane returns back where it came from, they will survive. However, one passenger (the pilot) must remain awake--and doomed to die--to see the plane on its return through the warp... Do you see the parallels to WBCCI leadership and what is happening to us now) Crunch, crunch, CRUNCH! The Langoliers are coming for YOU!

Buttercup's Web Site. WBCCI #17330, 11281 & 7830. VAC Past President & Webmaster, TAC NV-2 & NV-3.
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Old 01-20-2007, 04:17 PM   #58
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All things come at a price!

Being that I'm a unit "Prez" I not sure if it's right for me to try and convince our members one way or the other on this issue, but I will make a "suggestion" on what it may take to win and put this thing to bed. As many of you know, the unit "Prez" got a letter from the WBCCI last month about the MH issue and wanting the numbers. I would like to suggest a "mail campaign" to the members of the WBCCI on the "MH" and "name" issue. I understand this can and will take some time and money. I'd suggest a "one page" letter go out with a straight and to the point reason why this is not good for the club. Very simply say, Airstream in the name then "Thor" owns us, another MH in the club then we're no long an Airstream club. Again, no more than a page. I'd do this every month up to the voting at IBT. Again, money and time, but what are these issues worth to you. If "leo" will do a "PayPal" thing on his website, I will start out with a matching pledge of up to $250 bucks to start the thing rolling. Again, All things come at a price! It's worth $250.00 for me to help put this to bed! YOu can get the names and address from the new membership guide and even some email address. You could even call HQ and ask them for a copy on disk, they may give it to you. I would also give the "grandfather" thing a chance for the current members of MH, this will allow you some wiggle room.

Paul Waddell
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Old 01-20-2007, 05:52 PM   #59
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For guidance in how to approach this issue I suggest first finding and reading the WBCCI Code of Ethics and then the Constitution Article III which is the mission and purpose of the organization. Those make a good guide for appropriate behavior and where to focus efforts, I think.

Then keep in mind that any private association's board meeting is not public. Even the minutes belong to only those who were voting members at that meeting and in a board meeting that means the directors or trustees. Even a consideration for basic courtesy would get explicit permission before taking the meeting public outside of normally followed policy for the organization.

While I can hear the altruistic screaming and wailing and so on, I suggest first starting with a good grounding in the legal and ethical issues, current rules and practices, and all those things that many have said they'd rather do without. There are times when these things have value and are necessary. Without ethics and standards value is dimished and those policies and practices are indeed a definition of standands.

The membership decline is more than a three year thing. It started in the mid eighties (look at I'Rally attendance in the Directory as those numbers represent about 20% of the membership on a consistent basis, which is really rather remarkable). For the conspiracy theorists here, that is about the time the whole motorhome issue first arose. The growth of the VAC and the Classic intra-clubs in this pattern is also interesting.

And for those in high dudgeon, please step back, consider the Rotarians' four way test, and make very sure you have a good handle on all of the pertinent facts and even then, restrain yourself. There are proper ways to make change and those usually show a reasonable respect and tolerance for others. Change is an educational thing and you don't educate people to the value of your point of view by screaming and yelling and carrying on and telling them they are stupid or whatever (or that they are a "them" instead of an "us"). Don't count chickens before they hatch - avoid jumping to conclusions that assume that what might be has already happened.

Express your views the Wally way - politely, clearly, in a friendly manner, and with due tolerance for the views and needs of others. A lot of the rhetoric such as I am seeing here - the 'us vs them' stuff and the 'in your face' approach and the confrontational win/lose thing - these are destructive. From what I am seeing, they are causing a lot of damage to efforts that have been made and are being made for constructive change and that troubles me. Find solutions and not problems.

As for the 'Thor' thing. If I understand it right, it has been turned over to the delegates which means that the process is in motion for the membership to speak. You don't need a lot of money for this. You need to show up at rallies and events and talk to fellow members. Get them interested in the issue. Help them understand what is at stake. Listen to them to understand their views so you can better educate them as to the values involved and learn what is really important and why. Your biggest impact is going to be one on one.

Cultivate WBCCI leaders who share your values. Right now, it seems that the effort is to make leadership as distasteful a role as possible. That may be why we have so few stepping forward. Help build leadership by showing leadership. Help propagate your views by creating a culture that makes future leaders more willing to step forward. Your leaders should represent an opportunity and not a target. They are listening and I can guarantee you that they will hear friends, even friends with a difficult message, much more clearly than someone who seems out for his hide.

Se go find the WBCCI Code of Ethics and let it guide what you do. Keep in mind the mission and purpose of the organization and use them to put focus on your efforts. Build friendships. Include others. Tolerate and learn from views that you may not like. Keep a smile on your face and a friendly 'tude in your demeanor. And get out camping with friends in your Airstream RV.
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Old 01-20-2007, 06:34 PM   #60
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Originally Posted by azflycaster
New England was created long before the requirement to have a state in the name was made. That being said, the assignment of a name is done by the IBT, at least that's how I read the constitution.

I was just wondering about WDCU. What state does it have in its name?

Doug & Jamie, AIR #650
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Old 01-20-2007, 06:42 PM   #61
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We are very new Airstreamers, with no previous trailering experience, and received a brochure inviting us to join the Wallys when we bought our new Safari last August. In essence, we are some of the newcomers who are making the decision whether or not to join.

After reading the brochure, my impression was that this was an older generation (even though I'm 62 and retired) and much like the Elks' Club. I saw the Wallys as much more organizational than I would ever want to be. I like to have more control over my own road trips and spontaneity is important.

With the internet providing so much information about traveling (maps, weather, places to stay, ratings of campgrounds, discounts...) everyone can take charge of their own plans; there is no need to pay thousands of dollars so you can march to someone else's rally drum.

In the end we did not join the Wally Club - I just didn't see the value, even though the cost was only about $75. We've been to two Forum rallies so far, enjoyed both and are looking forward to Malibu and Casini.
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Old 01-20-2007, 06:44 PM   #62
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While I think that the whole issue of SOBs being called Airstreams is ridiculous, I think you make a very good point.
The membership needs to pull together, network, be nice when disagreeing and vote this idea down. Karma for a reasoned post.
Having said that, I still say that you can call a Volkswagon a Porche all you want, it's still a VW.
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Old 01-20-2007, 07:35 PM   #63
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Bryan, thanks for your well thought out, reasoned post.
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Old 01-20-2007, 07:48 PM   #64
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Hmm....I'm 31 and a new owner, should I even be concerned about this?
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Old 01-20-2007, 07:50 PM   #65
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Originally Posted by asherkobin
Hmm....I'm 31 and a new owner, should I even be concerned about this?
Only if you are a WBCCI member or are thinking about joining.

Bill Kerfoot, WBCCI/VAC/CAC/El Camino Real Unit #5223
Just my personal opinion
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Old 01-20-2007, 07:56 PM   #66
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Originally Posted by dougjamie
I was just wondering about WDCU. What state does it have in its name?

I have thought about that as well. While DC is not a state, but a capitol district, IMO should be treated as a state in this matter, as would Canadian Provinces. The wording of the change that requires a state name also says the name will be the state that has the most members. I doubt that many of the WDCU members live in the District. I am a member and do not.

The good news is that WDCU exists today and is a very good unit. BTW, I read that the unit had it's new flag approved at the IBT, would someone like to post a picture of it?


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Old 01-20-2007, 08:08 PM   #67
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SOB owners are excited as ever!

All my friends with SOB pop - ups can't wait for this to pass - they are all SOOOOOO! excited. You should here them talkin - about getting one of these "Airstream" pumpkin stickers to put on their Coleman's so they can crash our rallies... I haven't seem such emotion / excitement in those Tarp Campers in years. Because that is what is next I tell ya (well, after the Hi-Lo trailers are let in.

Rob, Zoe', Stanton, Bryce, Braedon and Finn Baker
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Plymouth, NY 13832
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Old 01-20-2007, 08:13 PM   #68
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Folks this truly is as simple as pie -- really...Quote from 65GT

It is simple but every thing I've heard that's simple still isn't simple---lots of solutions from the one you propose to get in on the local level and help etc.
All envolve time that many of us don't have or refuse to get into the fray. The simplest way ,and fool proff ,if pulled off is to set a date in which everyone who is unhappy with the situation call WBCCI headquarters and tell them to cancel their membership, cancel their reservations to any 2007 rallys or caravans ,subscriptions to any airstrean publications and even orders for any new trailers. I can guarantee you if 2-3000 people responded in this manner there would be people stand up and listen. I've done my part--who will follow??---pieman
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Old 01-20-2007, 09:32 PM   #69
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Pieman, there is never any substitute for voting with your feet and your wallet.
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Old 01-20-2007, 09:54 PM   #70
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Yes but remember - Jim Franklin already asked us malcontents to get out. So your plan is actually what they want in the first place. It might be better to be a thorn in their side. That's what Jim doesn't want.

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