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Old 11-25-2009, 06:36 PM   #15
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I want to the believe (and everyone please correct me if I am off base) that the intention of the "progressive" units meeting is to start a like minded action to save the club, not to start a new club. The decline in the club seems to be in direct correlation to that of the current leadership. The forming of a consensus is simply a starting point to create that change that many feel is required. As individuals we are weak, however as organized units with the same set of goals we could create the corrections necessary to take the club into the future.
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Old 11-25-2009, 06:43 PM   #16
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Good idea paul, but are you really going to the International ??????
Doug beat me to it. Paul as much as I would like to help in this discussion, you could not get me to an international if you paid me $.57/mile, feed me pancakes everyday until the real rally began and invited me to ten formal cocktail parties. Not going to happen if hell was to freeze over.
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Old 11-25-2009, 06:56 PM   #17
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Paul

I applaud your idea as I think it is long over due.

While I notice some are questioning the word Closed Door Meeting might you consider "Caucus"

a closed meeting of a group of persons belonging to the same political party or faction usually to select candidates or to decide on policy; also : a group of people united to promote an agreed-upon cause

Caucus seam to politically accepted in this time of political correctness so why not just use it.

Let the IBT have their "Closed Door Meetings" and the distasteful image that goes with them.
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Old 11-25-2009, 07:05 PM   #18
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It wouldn't take but a few E-mails or phone calls between the leaders of these "progressive " groups to hammer out something that could be brought to the club leadership as a proposal for improvement of the club. I doubt that you would find that the leaders of these groups would all stand behind a proposal to reform the international leadership. What I hear from most of these groups' members who post here is that the international politics are here to be ignored. Perhaps there is more discord than they let onto, but that is what I see here.
So, if these "progressive " groups are somewhat content with things as they stand, who will lead this meeting and who will attend?
It seems that there is a really severe disconnect between the older retired members (who run things), and who have the time to rally mid-week and go on caravans, etc, and the newer members, young, or young at heart, and tight of funds and time to spend them on, looking for the most bang-for-the-buck. In the long run this will probably be decided on the basis of money, or the lack thereof. The bank account will be empty before long, and things will certainly change then. I don't look at this as failure, just change. There will be a club as long as people want to get together and share what makes them alike: Airstreams!
Would the wdcu or the fcu be any different if there was no national organization?
YES! Because they would have their money to spend on their unit activities. I believe they would be greatly improved just for that reason alone.
That idea raises a question from me to "progressive" unit leaders/ members: Do you get back from the national organization what you put into it? I'm asking you to disregard your units' wonderfulness and brotherhood, great times, etc. Speaking strictly about the return on your investment in the national organization, is it worth it? What do you get back from them?

I'd appreciate some edumacation on that aspect of this issue, as it is often stated that the individual unit makes the investment worthwhile even though a paltry sum is kept for the unit to work with.
I have a really hard time with the whole "pay no attention to the man behind the curtain, I am the great wizard of oz", thing.

Watching the trainwreck in slo-mo,
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Old 11-25-2009, 07:58 PM   #19
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Just trying to solve the problem we all b*tch about.

Call the meeting what you will, “Closed Door”, “Working Session”, “Group for Change”, etc… I don’t really care. I just think we have a stronger voice as a “group” than as single members. I understand a bunch of people wanting to take part and have no problem with a meeting being open to any and all that want to come, it’s just been my experience that very little ever really gets done out of a very large working group, thus the reason for a smaller “closed door” meeting or “working session”. After a smaller working session, a list of items can then be placed before the larger group for input and thoughts. This would not be a meeting for everyone to get up and restate everything that has already been said in the past. If everyone wants a “free-for-all” that’s fine, but a doubt anything real will come from it. It would be a group of people sitting down and trying to work out a plan to “MAKE” the leadership of this club get off their butts and make the need changes. It’s not a group of people forming a committee to look at the problem and make suggestions that will never be put into place (remember the 20-20 committee).

We the members of the WBCCI need to get control of our leadership one-way shape or form. I hate to say, they are acting very much like the politicians in Washington DC. No matter what we say, think or ask, they are doing what they damn well please.

We can either sit by and play by “their” rules and continue to go nowhere on the subject of change, or step-up to the plate and actively work on forcing the needed change to keep this club alive and well along with setting it up for growth in the future.

I’m just making a suggestion on a possible way of trying to get control back from the lack of leadership in the WBCCI. The leadership “is not” and “will not” make any changes until they are “made” to do so. I have many things that can fill my time on this earth, I just would hate to see a club that has been so good to me and my family (we are only 45yrs, with an 8 yrs daughter) collapse due to the short sightedness and the unwillingness of the few in power to make the needed changes because of their own greed and lack of leadership.

Being a member of the WDCU, I’m already in a GREAT unit that is the future of the WBCCI if it survives. I’d just love to see all the other people that say they would not join the WBCCI because “Bla-Bla-Bla” also have the chance to be part of what I think could be a truly “great club” and not just a “few great units”. But, this club will not be here long if changes are not made soon.
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Old 11-25-2009, 08:15 PM   #20
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Do it by email or website etc. so a larger group can participate.

A majority or a very active minority will be needed to push bylaw changes and deletions. We really have way too many rules.
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Old 11-25-2009, 08:46 PM   #21
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I've never posted about anything pertaining to WBCCI (that I can recall), but I'll pipe in here with a general viewpoint from one outsider.

I just don't get the point of WBCCI, beyond the fact that it's a quaint relic tied to the history of the company, and made for some charming black and white photos taken from blimps.
(Oof, too harsh!)

- Now, maybe that's because I didn't grow up with family members involved with WBCCI. I didn't have an uncle who always donned a beret, or a grandmother who pulled into Red Square in her Ambassador.

- Maybe it's because I vastly prefer the experience of finding my trailer in a quiet, wooded campground instead of among a thousand others in a parking lot (as it was at International, which I visited for an afternoon.)

- Or maybe it's because I see too many wonderful alternatives out there; Alumapaloozas, Balloon Fiestas, Trailer Jams and Forum Rallies! When you have all that -- not to mention a virtual get together 24 hours a day right here on the forums -- who the hell needs annual dues, letters of grievance, bloodless coups and secret ballots??

What, exactly, am I missing out on!?

If you're still reading, here's my lone WBCCI rally experience really quick:
I live in Chicago, but signed up to attend the Balloon Fiesta with the Four Corners Unit in 2008. I wasn't asked for a membership number, past dues, or shown the secret handshake. I simply paid my campground fee, showed up, and made a couple new friends. If I'd been asked to pitch in for t-shirts, bring food, etc. I'd have been thrilled to pitch in.

So please explain why all this other nonsense is necessary. If my experience was the exception rather than the rule, explain why it's the exception. How are national officers, ballots, subchapters and constitutions all critical for us to have a fun weekend in Albuquerque with other Airstreams?

At the end of the day, if not being part of this organization means I can't put red stickers on my trailer, well, I doubt anybody will notice. Because we'll just be a tiny, silver speck on the horizon, way out in the wilderness... and enjoying it the whole time.
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Old 11-26-2009, 12:15 AM   #22
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I've never posted about anything pertaining to WBCCI (that I can recall), but I'll pipe in here with a general viewpoint from one outsider.

I just don't get the point of WBCCI, beyond the fact that it's a quaint relic tied to the history of the company, and made for some charming black and white photos taken from blimps.
(Oof, too harsh!)

- Now, maybe that's because I didn't grow up with family members involved with WBCCI. I didn't have an uncle who always donned a beret, or a grandmother who pulled into Red Square in her Ambassador.

- Maybe it's because I vastly prefer the experience of finding my trailer in a quiet, wooded campground instead of among a thousand others in a parking lot (as it was at International, which I visited for an afternoon.)

- Or maybe it's because I see too many wonderful alternatives out there; Alumapaloozas, Balloon Fiestas, Trailer Jams and Forum Rallies! When you have all that -- not to mention a virtual get together 24 hours a day right here on the forums -- who the hell needs annual dues, letters of grievance, bloodless coups and secret ballots??

What, exactly, am I missing out on!?

If you're still reading, here's my lone WBCCI rally experience really quick:
I live in Chicago, but signed up to attend the Balloon Fiesta with the Four Corners Unit in 2008. I wasn't asked for a membership number, past dues, or shown the secret handshake. I simply paid my campground fee, showed up, and made a couple new friends. If I'd been asked to pitch in for t-shirts, bring food, etc. I'd have been thrilled to pitch in.

So please explain why all this other nonsense is necessary. If my experience was the exception rather than the rule, explain why it's the exception. How are national officers, ballots, subchapters and constitutions all critical for us to have a fun weekend in Albuquerque with other Airstreams?

At the end of the day, if not being part of this organization means I can't put red stickers on my trailer, well, I doubt anybody will notice. Because we'll just be a tiny, silver speck on the horizon, way out in the wilderness... and enjoying it the whole time.
Your one WBCCI experience was with one of those "progressive units."

The FCU is a very informal unit that puts friendships and fun over formality. As you found out.

Every unit has it's own personality. Some enjoy being relaxed and others love their formality. To anyone considering joining the WBCCI I suggest you go camp with the units around you and join the one that fits you.

The purpose of joining a unit is so you'll camp more often. either with the group and with the friends who you meet there.

We camp with our unit 2-3 times a year and probably another 4 to 6 times we'll boondock with either unit members, Airforums folks and often both at the same time.
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Old 11-26-2009, 06:03 AM   #23
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I still can't find a reason for anyone to not try their local unit(s) to see if there's a match to be made -- something that will get you out in your Airstream more often, gaining new local friends with a common interest, etc...

All of that other negative fictional crap -- yeah, that's all it is people making @#%# up...

Progressive Unit -- it's pretty easy to figure out club wide which units are progressive and which ones aren't.

Leave your meeting completely open, make it coincide with the $6K President's Appreciation Dinner in Gillette and you'll have your answers. Those Unit Prez' that believe they're 'owed a dinner' won't come. IBT members won't come, International Past Presidents won't come. Anyone on that $125K dole won't come.

Those that believe in the status quo want their free meal(s), want to put on their suit and ties, ladies gowns, etc..

Compound that with an $81K deficit budget immediately following a $44K operational loss, compounded by a $40K - $60K International loss will squarely peg any and ALL of those attendees as anything but progressive.

Anything can be done prior electronically, but a face to face is prime time for creating a full fledged agenda and finalizing a plan of action.

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Just one issue Leo... There is no way I would ever spend the effort to attend another International. I took two weeks off, spent thousands on gas, food, and Michael D's t- shirts for a rather lack luster experience. I will not repeat that again. Well, except spending money on Michael D's t-shirts, I love those. Once was enough for me. There is no way I am going to contribute anything to the presidents dinner or the presidents anything by paying that hefty rally fee. Some of us are planning our own International of sorts. We are calling it The Wally Byam Birthday Bash. Perhaps the IBT will send someone to us to see how some of the progressive units want it done. I keep hearing "make it what you want it" or "you only get out of it what you put into it" Well we are taking that to heart.

I think Paul is really onto something with this idea. I support him 100% on this(actually 110%, I am always way too serious about the club and everything club related).
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Old 11-26-2009, 06:38 AM   #24
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One more comment... Brad you mentioned the Vintage Trailer Jam and Alumapolusa. Both of those were commercial ventures. Making a profit is incentive for you to have a good time. Just keep that in mind as you judge a rally.
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Old 11-26-2009, 09:06 AM   #25
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right, good, well intended, but not me. I disobeyed the advice of at least six unit members and went. I am still apologizing to them for not following their advice. International is for other not me, I will not lend any support to that event again. If I could I would with hold the amount of my dues that goes to supporting that budget.

Leo I find it odd that as many times they have crapped on you that you are still so supportive of the event.

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Old 11-27-2009, 10:14 AM   #26
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"They" are wise and "They" were right.

903 trailer is not 1000. it is only 90.3% of 1000. And not all were there at the same time. Not all were occupied by their owners either. Some were spotted there for VIP's to use. Some were spotted for VIPs that never even came. How many trailers were at the 1973 International? How about 1983? Seeing those numbers next to 1993 and 2003 might be an interesting graph to behold.

Glad you like International. I added it all up. $2458 and some change. Was it worth it? NO. Would I ever do it again? NO. I sure hope you succeed at what you are fighting for. I doubt you will, but good luck to you none the less.

Good luck with your rally. I bet it will be a blast.
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Old 11-27-2009, 01:27 PM   #27
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"Progressive"...........na, this has turned into regressive. To progress you would need to only look at the past to learn from, not to dwell on. I would make only one more suggestion on this "Progressive" topic. One thing I have not seen or heard of ANY unit doing is a constructive survey. Using technology you can get a general survey from both members and non-members as to what direction an orginization should take. You gather and act on this information and not the needs or feelings of a select few, this leads to progress in shaping the 'ideal' club. Key points is objective and clearly defined questions. This presented in a "OPEN PROGRESSIVE" meeting to all who wanted to attend, such as a 'Web Conferance' might lead to some positve resultes.

Just an idea

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Old 11-27-2009, 02:09 PM   #28
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If you don't like the circus you just stay out of the big tent, and make your own fun. It's way too easy to do...
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"They" are wise and "They" were right.
I added it all up. $2458 and some change. Was it worth it? NO.
Leo, I agree... the International, in concept is a great event... but as Frank points out, at $2500... it's not worth making your own fun.

Your Pocono event sounds like a great one... Our Wally Byam Birthday Bash will be too... Lot's of great events.

So why does the International have to be so lacking? ...and at the same time so expensive... and at the same time a big money loser?

To me, this points to an event where all the money (and more) is being spent in the wrong places.
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