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Old 01-25-2007, 12:43 PM   #113
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Call me delusional but I feel by being a little patient and working through the system, maintaining the standards and values that invigorated this organization for 50 years I think WBCCI will rebound and will have a strong future.

Diane- Well written and kind thoughtfull words. I will agree with 99% of what you expressed, but sometimes we need to look deep into the issue, listen to what is being said by our leaders and try best to understand their meaning. The current fire to the majority of the WBCCI membership as I see it, is allowing non-Airstream units into the club. "Maintaining the standards and values..." Our charter is very clear on this, If you own any trailer or motorhome manufactured by Airstream, Inc., WBCCI offers you fun and exciting opportunities to enjoy your Airstream and the RV Lifestyle. Whether you are traveling with your children or have retired to travel the world, you can do it best in the oldest and finest RV association, the Wally Byam Caravan Club International (WBCCI). Right from the home page of OUR website. Where have our values gone when a small group of high seated members decide to change the true fiber of our organization to suit their immediate needs? Soon our organization will be WBSOBCCI (Wally Byam Some Other Brand Caravan Club International). What I find most irronic is that some of the individuals who are promoting this current change to our organization are the same who opposed allowing Argosys into the camp, and not so long ago, 1992 - 94 opposed even Airstream Motor Homes. My how times change!
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Old 01-25-2007, 12:58 PM   #114
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Diane,

You say WBCCI is moving forward and that you don't feel it is on the brink of disaster. I'm sorry. I do not agree with you. I don't even think you agree with you. Two sentences after you say this, you yourself acknowledge membership is declining. You also correctly realize that "there are some serious issues." The most serious issue facing WBCCI, IMHO, is the IBT's proposed amendment to our Constitution. When you refer to "some of the proposed quick solutions [that] are just as threatening to increasing membership" I can only assume that you are referring to the IBT's rash, poorly thought out, proposed quick fix.

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Old 01-25-2007, 01:40 PM   #115
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I know I'm about to be flamed here, but I want to interject a couple of observances.

A lot of people have stated what Wally Byam would have said or done on this issue. First of all, Wally Byam had nothing to do with the WBCCI. He was dead when it was formally chartered and its constitution drafted. Yes, he lead caravans, we all know that. Yes, he wore a blue beret so people could pick him out in a sea of people. Yes, he wore a red blazer so people could pick him out in a crowd. He was a showman and he knew how to draw attention to himself...not a bad thing for a leader. The WBCCI adopted these fashions in honor of him. The club was named for him after he died to honor his memory.

Second, he had been dead more than 10 years when Airstream introduced the Argosy. He had been dead about 15 years when Airstream introduced its first motor home. How can we know how he would have felt or what he would have said about the current issue. True he took non-Airstreams on his early caravans. I'm sure he treated them no different than the owners of Airstreams on his caravans. But the point is that for the most part, he had nothing to do with the WBCCI. The fist meetings, rallies and Internationals were held after he died. So I don't think it is so important to try and figure out how he would have stood on the issue. I'm sure he would have been OK with a caravan club that was open to everyone. But that was because if it were his club it would have been one of only two RV clubs available to campers in the '50's. But it's not his club. It was formed for Airstreams by Airstreamers. And for nearly 50 years it has been run for Airstreams only. Now we are told that the top officers want to throw that out for the sole purpose of their own convenience.

I would compare this, similarly to another analogy offered by another forum member, to a club for Camaro owners. GM no longer makes Camaros, so the top officers of the Camaro Owners Club goes to GM and ask if GM would make a Camaro Edition of the Cadillac CTX so they could buy a new sports car and stay officers in the club. Doesn't that seem preposterous? Doesn't that seem a lot like the Airstream Edition of the Mandalay and Four Winds, et al.

My point is that we have to look at the here and now on this issue. I see that this issue is as divisive as the name change was a year ago. It's not good for the club and it may be much more detrimental to the club than declining membership.

I think each member of the WBCCI should turn to their local unit and work from the grass roots on this issue no matter which side of the issue you fall on. All the energy that is being put into these threads on the forums should be put into typing letters to the local officers and/or fellow members of the local units. Attend your next rally and discuss the issue, calmly and civilly, and try to influence your local members. It is definitely apparent that all of the post on this and the other threads on this topic are not going to change anyone's mind here.

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Old 01-25-2007, 02:00 PM   #116
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Wally died in 1962 the club was founded in 1955 and named after him, at least that is what is stated on the WBCCI Page.

"He was thus enormously pleased in 1955 when a group of his followers actually beat him to the next logical step; they founded a club of their own which would “localize” caravanning and put it on a year round basis. Of course, they named it after him."


Tidewater Virginia Unit states the club was chartered in 1956 and Unit 111 in 1970.

Thanks Jim
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Old 01-25-2007, 02:02 PM   #117
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Tom, I'm not so sure about your history - see Wally Byam on Wikipedia, for instance. And he did leave his four freedoms and plenty of example.

Quote:
I think each member of the WBCCI should turn to their local unit and work from the grass roots on this issue no matter which side of the issue you fall on. All the energy that is being put into these threads on the forums should be put into typing letters to the local officers and/or fellow members of the local units. Attend your next rally and discuss the issue, calmly and civilly, and try to influence your local members. It is definitely apparent that all of the post on this and the other threads on this topic are not going to change anyone's mind here.
This deserves emphasis and repeating and taking to heart, IMHO. Internal business of the club should be handled within the club and its code of ethics should guide the tone of the conversation.

ALSO: check WB's creed at the end of the wikipedia article.
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Old 01-25-2007, 02:03 PM   #118
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Say what?

Quote:
A lot of people have stated what Wally Byam would have said or done on this issue. First of all, Wally Byam had nothing to do with the WBCCI. He was dead when it was formally chartered and its constitution drafted.
Huh? According to the official history, WBCCI was formed in 1955 and Wally died in 1962.

WBCCI.org

Who's right here?

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Old 01-25-2007, 03:05 PM   #119
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Furthermore...the 2007 International is the 50th International Rally. Wally has been gone 45 years. Wally must have attended at least five Internationals.
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Old 01-25-2007, 03:45 PM   #120
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraBreeze
... I know many people are impatient. They think change should happen now. They don't want to wait years for things to change. They don't want to wait for motions to move through the establish system – from a proposal sent by a Unit to the Region, from the Region to the IBT mid winter meeting, from acceptance at the Mid Winter meeting back to the Region and Units for consideration, for the Units to elect their delegate and represent the Unit at the meeting at the Rally in July for something to happen. They don't want to invest years moving up through the leadership system gaining experience along the way. Yes, there has to be a balance but rash decisions often exacerbate the problems they are trying to solve. From many of the misunderstandings and misinformation I have seen expressed on some of these threads, it seems as if some of the proponents of quick change haven't made enough of an effort to understand and be informed before proposing change. This to me, does not bode well for effective change.
Hi Diane:

Thank you for your thoughtful comments, and kudos for your Unit's excellent web site that honors and preseves WBCCI history. I spend far too much time there.

One big problem with the club is it's once-every-6-months, we-gotta-be-facing-each-other decision cycle. Getting proposals up and comments back down that long chain of command in 6 month steps takes far too long for today's faster paced world. Don Shafer created an innovative solution: the Communications Liasion, Renee Ettline, who side steps that cholesterol clogged staircase and takes new ideas and suggestions directly to the very top. The fact this good solution emminated from the top tells everyone that some people on the IBT know the club's decision-making stairway structure is outmoded and needs to be changed. Others up there may feel safe and comfortable by forcing proposals to march up and down on a 6 month schedule.

By contrast, one intra-club discusses core matters by email and can make a go/no go decision within 48 hours. We're all over the country (as well as the map), but reach a decision using modern instantaneous communications, no face time required. When we do get together, we spend our face time enjoying each other's company, not conducting business (except, of course, at the club's business rally called International).

The original stair step concept likely contemplated ideas would bubble and gain primordal form in the numerous units, and the best ideas would continue to flow upward to the IBT, while less worthy ideas would be filtered out. But in practice, it appears to me that the most innovative ideas and proposals get captured and filtered out at the Regional level, while the craziest ideas are hatched directly at the very highest level, with little to no input from all the members in the hold.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sierra Breeze
... I try to keep my concerns within the organization rather than express them to the general public. To communicate my concerns to the leadership from the Unit level to the national level. I have tried to work with and support the leadership while making clear my feelings and position on issues I feel are vital to the identity and existence of WBCCI. And, I have discovered by being patient and persistent, things do change. Ideas do evolve. It may be at a snails pace and sometimes off target but WBCCI is moving forward and I, for one do not feel it is on the brink of disaster.
Escargot, anyone? Many of us still working stiffs use email and web sites to conduct our everyday business. We operate in a virtural world on a schedule faster than a once-every-6-month meeting to get things accomplished. The IBT could be faster acting. If they have a concern with a proposal coming before them later in the week, they could contact the proponents by phone or email early in the week, discuss those concerns, perhaps resolve them, and then act upon a revised proposal at their formal meeting later in the week. If some proposal needs review by a certain committee, have that committee review the proposal during its meeting or call a quick meeting to review it on the spot. Our leaders should, when gathered together, take quick action whenever necessary to help the club grow and prosper. Instead, they ask the proposal to be withdrawn for another 6 month wait. How uninspiring.

Alternatively, they might approve some proposals conditionally, i.e., on the condition that certain changes are made, such as removing an airstream trailer from a proposed logo or flag. Instead, they send it plodding back down the decision staircase, deferring any action for another 6 months. Deferral without dialogue or help can be seen as a rejection of the proposal, and perhaps that is the intended message.

But in any event, being a member of an RV club in this day and age should not be an exercise is saintly endurance. If the IBT retains its leisurely pace for acting on ordinary, run of the mill club business -- unit flag approval, new unit charters -- deferring positive grow inducing proposals six months at a time, they will soon discover more and more people will have taken Jim Franklin's advice.

New WBCCI communication channels have been opened but appear to be ignored by our leaders. Many of us here also post comments, suggestions and reactions on the WBCCI's two year old public forum at at www.wbcci.org. But there has been very little feedback from any Regional or National officers on that Club forum, including any contrary viewpoints or disagreement on the merits. Is anyone from above listening, or even lurking?
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Old 01-25-2007, 04:14 PM   #121
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65GT, this is GStephens. I hadn't read this thread in some time. I was just reading your post #98 on this thread. I am sorry if you mistook my comment. I was in fact bragging on the way you can put your positions into words. Go back and read what I said in post #90. My comment was: "Now all this time, I guess I sort of thought you were just another mal-content, but here I find I'm agreeing with just about everything you say."

It was a tongue in cheek way of bragging on you. Few people ever take a position on things, anything. Those that do often don't have the ability to put their thoughts into rational actions and then are able to make people understand what it is they want accomplished or how they feel their goals can be achieved. You, sir, seem to have that ability. You don't just vent anger with some silly comment or threat. You offer achievable solutions. I commend you. I would commend you for your abilities even if I disagreed with your position. On the post to which I responded, I found I pretty much agreed with everything you said.
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Old 01-25-2007, 04:52 PM   #122
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A letter that I will be sending to meny members

Here's a copy of a letter I plan to send to many members of the WBCCI. Not sure if you agree or disagree. But I think it meets both sides in the middle.

"
WBCCI Member,

This is a quick note to inform you about an up and coming vote in the WBCCI. The vote will be on whither or not to allow “Four Wind Class A Motor Homes” into the WBCCI. These motor homes will have a sticker put on them at either the “Four Winds Factory” or the “Four Winds Dealer” that say’s “Airstream Edition”. The only thing having to with Airstream with these motor homes will be that sticker. This motor home “will not” be made at the Airstream factory, this motor home “will not” be sold or serviced at Airstream dealerships, this motor home under any other conditions “would not” be allowed in the WBCCI. Some of the members of the WBCCI are saying, “Because Airstream is no longer making Class A Motor Homes and if this motion is not pass, it will force the current WBCCI members who own Airstream motor homes into purchasing another brand and leaving the club”. They go on to say, “By allowing these “Airstream Edition” Four Winds Motor Homes into the club, it will create more members for our club”. I agree, their needs to be an “amendment” to our constitution to protect the people that have been members for so many years in the WBCCI. I would suggest however, allowing “another brand” of RV into the WBCCI “is not” the way to solve this problem!

I would suggest, we “grandfather” current members of the WBCCI who own motor homes and members planning to purchase a motor home in the future. Under the “grandfather” rule, only “current members” of the WBCCI as of December 31, 2007 can purchase another brand of Class A Motor Home to live out their lives in the WBCCI. It would also allow these members to purchase any brand of “Class A Motor Home” they wish! Anyone joining the WBCCI after this date will not have this option. Also, if a current WBCCI member chooses to purchase another brand of Class A Motor Home to live out their lives, they should become a “Life Member” of the WBCCI. I think this suggestion, “allows current members” a great option for staying in the club and remaining a part of the WBCCI. It allows the people who want to keep the WBCCI as it has been for over 50+ years, with an “Airstream” only identity within the club.

What I find sad is this:

The “Airsteam Only” club that these members have had the privilege to be a member of for the past 50+ years are not willing to pass that same “Airstream Only” club on to the next generation.

I ask, you vote “NO” to this proposed amendment and ask a motion be made with the suggestion I have placed before you. I’m afraid if this amendment passes, you will have many more members leaving the club than you have current motor home owners.

Also, these are the thoughts “I” have about the proposed amendment. No were, do I suggest or imply these are the thoughts and views of the unit of which I am president. My unit has yet to vote on the issue.

Paul Waddell
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Old 01-25-2007, 05:01 PM   #123
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Rideair

Very good letter, it is along the lines of what I plan on writing for our newsletter. Two comments: 1) typo in next to last line "were" should be "where" and 2) based upon how the BaseCamp and name change motions were changed from the motion voted on at the unit level, do you think it is appropriate to suggest voting for a revised motion which we have not seen?

Bill
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Old 01-25-2007, 05:52 PM   #124
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Quote:
do you think it is appropriate to suggest voting for a revised motion which we have not seen?
What you need to do is to clarify your values. Figure out what is good, what is better, what is OK, and what just won't do.

Make sure that your delegate understands these values and will work with others at the meeting to get the best result. Sometimes the best results come about when a group is working together and understands their values.

There are reasons the USA is a republic and not a democracy. Many of these reasons also apply to other large organizations. We need to learn from history so we don't keep doing things that don't work.
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Old 01-25-2007, 10:07 PM   #125
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Originally Posted by 47WeeWind
Thank you for your thoughtful comments, and kudos for your Unit's excellent web site that honors and preseves WBCCI history. I spend far too much time there.
Thanks. Glad you enjoy it. Just to clarify, the website is our personal site. We created it to share our interest and enjoyment of the area we live in as well as our family history with camping, Airstreams, and WBCCI. We have also included ideas and materials from various friends. We donate a section of that website for use by our local Unit.
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Old 01-26-2007, 08:18 AM   #126
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I wrote based on my memory from "Wanderlust - Airstream at 75". It's been a while since I read it. I admit I may have my facts wrong, but I would have sworn that is what I read: that the charter and constitution, as well as the decision to have the Internationals on July 4Th came after his death. I will have to double check them this weekend. Thank you for correcting me. I find no shame in admitting that I am wrong when I didn't verify my memory before I wrote. But the point is the club was started specifically for Airstreams and the constitution was written specifically for Airstream owners and I don't think we should be second guessing what Wally might have thought about an issue that is occurring 45 years after his death.

I also read the article on Wikipedia and found this quote:
Quote:
To lead caravans wherever the four winds blow... over twinkling boulevards, across trackless deserts... to the traveled and untraveled corners of the earth.
emphasis by me.


I don't consider Wikipedia to be an authoritative source since anyone can write anything in it without verifying their information, but I do recognize this to probably be accurate.

SO, according to Wikipedia, I guess Wally would have wanted Four Winds motor homes in the WBCCI so we could follow our WBCCI leaders in them to the
Quote:
traveled and untraveled corners of the earth.
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