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Old 03-04-2011, 08:28 AM   #1
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Future Leaders Walking

It appears based on comments in different threads and conversations over the past couple years that many of what would/could have been great future leaders in the WBCCI have either been thrown out, walked away from the club in disgust (not paying dues over the past couple years) or are now saying if big changes are not made this year this will be their last. Understand the people I speak of are not those that just talk about the WBCCI and how it could be better. Many of the people are ex-Unit Prez’s, VAC Leaders, Rally Host, Caravan Leaders, etc… These are people that not only talked the talk, but walked the walk in stepping up and taking an active role in the WBCCI over the past 10 years. These are people that were really trying to make a change in the club in an effort to grow and make the WBCCI a club that any Airstream owner would be proud to be a part of and take part in. These are people that saw the internet as a tool that could be used to recruit members, a more relaxed atmosphere that people would enjoy, short caravans or weekend rallies in fun places so families could take part, to giving a voice to all regardless of their membership type (Unit/MAL), etc…

Some of you have now formed other clubs, created websites, hosting rallies, creating caravans, joined other vintage trailer clubs or are just sitting back watching the WBCCI implode, etc… and for the most part moved on with your life of Airstreaming with groups that are far more appealing to a relaxed style of camping/caravanning than that of the WBCCI.

Still being a member of the WBCCI, I would personally like to say:

“I’m sorry for the way the Leadership of the WBCCI IBT/EC7 treated your efforts in trying to make the club better”.

Maybe someday the current mindset of the WBCCI leadership will change, reorganize and make the WBCCI again the once great club it was and make it the club of choice for Airstream owners. Some have hopes a “New WBCCI Constitution” will fix the problems, but mere words will not fix the problems. Let’s just hope this happens before the WBCCI is thrown on the scrap pile of trailer clubs and becomes nothing more than something that is talked about in 20 years with people who wish it was still around to enjoy.

Sorry to see you go, but everyone understands.

“See ya down the road”
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Old 03-04-2011, 08:41 AM   #2
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Hear, hear!

Paul,

You know, I have been thinking of starting this very thread. Thanks. I'm glad someone else is noticing this phenomenon.

For the last couple of years our unit has been seeing a steady attrition of some of our most active members. These are the people who come to the rallies, host rallies, write stories for the newsletter, and serve as officers. These are the people who make the WBCCI work, and who the club can't afford to lose. Some of them are vocal about their disgust for the Machiavellian politics at the international level. Others just leave.

Earlier this year I put together a spreadsheet of unit rallies and luncheons and who had hosted them so I could see a pattern of who was doing what for the unit. The first pattern that struck me was that the hosts of our last three fall rallies had all left the unit. One sold his Airstream. One said the dues increase was the last straw. The third resigned as a unit officer when Leo got kicked out, and subsequently didn't renew.

It is an article of faith among the Internationals that membership loss is due to new members not being adequately welcomed into the units, but in recent years we are seeing an alarming loss of long time members who are simply fed up.
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Old 03-04-2011, 09:01 AM   #3
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Two Cents from a nobody...

First off, please forgive me if this offends you. I do not intend it to be offensive, but I can be direct in my communication at times.

As someone still in their 30's (at least for a couple more months) I'd like to throw in a couple observations:

I joked with my wife that every hobby I pick up seems to have a lot of white hair in it. I am a beekeeper, enjoy classical music, have chickens and drink raw milk, and a couple other odds and ends activities that have me socializing with people that are usually much older than I am. However, my day job, I work at a fortune 200 company consulting them on how to engage younger customers with new digital technology. Anyway, when looking at the pics on the WBCCI trying to figure out what it was, there seems to be precious few folks in my generation on the site.

Organizations have a hard time getting new generations to join ranks. Youth joins your ranks due to a coolness factor. Putting rigid rules and creating trips that are comfortable for older citizens are not going to attract the next generation.

To be honest, you're really going to have to think about a way to make these caravans something cool if you don't want the whole thing to fade away with the normal human life expectancy.

As uncomfortable as it may have seemed, the Pam Anderson trailer was a very good thing for you. What you really need right now is a movie or TV show that predominantly features someone in a caravan or restoring an airstream as a sub plot. An iconic symbol like the Airstream where most everyone that steps out of them looks like everyone's idea of the perfect grandparent is not going to get the 20-30 something guy to buy one for him and his family.

Until a month ago, I was completely oblivious about the whole airstream culture. There are many, many sub cultures out there. I think you need to fundamentally choose what type of culture you want to be in 5-10 years and then figure out how to get there.

You need to be honest with yourselves. You may not want a bunch of young families in your caravans. I'm not going to want to sit at a winery with my 4 and 10yr old sons for 4 hours. They will go nuts. You may not want my boys running around with swords or light sabers at 8 in the morning, or 9 at night while you're sipping that fine vintage you picked up earlier in the day.

So, do you want an enduring club that exists long after you're gone, or do you want one that you and those in your generation enjoy, without the hassles of a bunch of screaming kids? I have found that many times, people want the kids and the youth, but want them quiet. They want them to act like all the other seniors in the group. Sorry, but though we homeschool my boys, and limit the tv, they are still products of this culture. They are not Wally and the Beaver. I wish they were that respectful! I can say my kids are close, but most are not.

Rambling here, but I think one last piece of advice I can throw out there is watch who you elect. There are people that couldn't make it in the business world or their professions, and they get voted into some sort of minor power in a niche club and the "power" goes to their head and they use it as a political tool to alleviate their personal insecurities. There are also those that value tradition so much, they will kill a group because no one else in the regular world wants the same brand of tradition.

Untreated plywood, and loose buck rivets are tradition too, but I'm not a fan of that rot.

Again, I barely even know what WBCCI is, and haven't read or commented on the constitution changes (whatever the issues are there). I'm just telling you what I've observed as a member of Gen X, who just happens to like a lot of older, more traditional things. I respect and adore my grandparent's generation. I'm trying to embrace the baby boomers, but as a lot, they seem a little spoiled, but not nearly as much as my generation, and nowwhere near the one coming after me. (see, it just seems to get worse the younger you go. Are you sure you want us tagging along?)
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Old 03-04-2011, 10:34 AM   #4
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Well said Robwok. As a tail end "boomer" married to a "tweener" with children 10 & 12 years old, I desperately want to see this club continue. My in-laws and original owners of our trailer were long time WBCCI members. The club has tremendous history and rich traditions, but I too want it to be around for my children. Robwok's comments are spot on. Without bringing in members in their 20's, 30's, and 40's, the club WILL fade away.

I am fortunate to belong to an active and progressive unit with strong leadership looking to reinvigorate the club. Now is an ideal time to do so, and with the proposed constitutional changes we have a great opportunity to do so. What it appears is most needed is for those currently in charge of the club to embrace and support a vision of a vibrant WBCCI. A WBCCI which includes folks of all ages in order to assure future success and longevity of the club.
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Old 03-04-2011, 10:45 AM   #5
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Robwok said:
You need to be honest with yourselves. You may not want a bunch of young families in your caravans. ...... You may not want my boys running around with swords or light sabers at 8 in the morning, or 9 at night while you're sipping that fine vintage you picked up earlier in the day.


Man that sounds like the last rally the WDCU had last fall! That's definately what we want!! The kids were having a ball well after dark while we sat around the campfire and exchanged stories. Although I think there games had to do with the Harry Potter phase. (light sabres?......dude your showing your age )


Paul, I've avoided getting involved in the online discussions about the club but, I have been following all of these threads closely for the last few months as I am sure other members remain silent and do the same. I am thankful for members like you and Howie who have the patience to wade into these discussion thread. I am concerned about the future of the club but, I still choose to work with our unit at the local level because I enjoy belonging to a club that the generation before me invested their time, respect and money. I don't like to argue. I just want us to sit around the campfire with a cool one as we pretend to know what we're talking about.

The past year has been a disappointing one with the loss of some wonderful members. I keep hope that they may someday consider rejoining the unit and if they don't, I hope they would still consider joining us at a buddy rally or 'just happen' to show up at the same location a unit rally is being held.

I kind of feel cheated that at the time in my life when I'm beginning to have more time to attend rallys or just go camping, some of the members with whom I have developed wonderful friendships are no longer camping with us. That's the real tragedy in all of this, not the politics, not the money, not the power grabbing, its the loss of facetime with good friends.

I think this year our unit has a great group of folks who have stepped up and are helping to organize and move our unit forward. We have had a few mis-steps but the rally year is planned and we are getting a handle on some of the tasks that have been left undone for a while. It's fun seeing a group of people who have not worked together before as a team come together. Wayne M. said in one of the other threads: "While the concept of everyone taking responsibility and sharing the load is the ideal, the reality is that there are those who would just rather go along for the ride, at least until they are comfortable. " I would like to think some of us are becoming more comfortable with taking on the responsiblity.

I hope you will continue to voice your opinions and join with us this year to get through the decisions that will be need to be made regarding the club. Then, I just want to share my favorite beverage of the day with friends around the campfire.
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Old 03-04-2011, 10:45 AM   #6
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It's called...

Duh, it's called...


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"w i n n i n g !"



The train cars seem to piling up fast unbeknownst to the Executive Committee and PIPs. Well they have enough money in the kitty to continue their life style the way they want to regardless of what anyone else thinks. They are freaking rock stars from Mars. Don't pretend they're not special.
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Old 03-04-2011, 12:32 PM   #7
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Thumbs up

Where's 2Air's post I thought it was very nice, and a great point. What happened?????? I wish I had it cached, speaking of which I believe the gist of the post was to follow the cash to make real change within the WBCCI. Once paid volunteerism is not a benefit the current leaders would leave (as we have heard threatened on the similcasts by their own admissions) and the dedicated volunteers will return and renew the club. I think that is spot on but obviously he said it much better, and much longer.
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Old 03-04-2011, 01:12 PM   #8
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? They're paid? Makes a little more sense now about the infighting. Having been a volunteer in many different areas, and hoping to be a board member for non-profits when I get a little more gray hair, I will suggest that paying for services is a delicate balance. If you pay nothing, then when times are tough, or the responsibilities hit when you have a lot of family/work responsibilites, the volunteerism is easy to get bitter about. A little renumeration goes a long way in avoiding the bitterness. However, once it crosses a threshold, then it becomes a power struggle to stay in office (um, see Congress).
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Old 03-04-2011, 01:21 PM   #9
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They don't get paid "perse'" and they will cry poor if you speak of cutting their allowances and tell you what they pay out of their own pocket to travel full-time in their rigs across America performing their duties for the club as volunteers, then tell you that the higher dues is a paltry amount and wouldn't even cover their lunch out the afternoon before, yes all on the meeting simulcasts... It's reembursements for travel and rally expenses "to conduct business" to meetings, to visit units and regions to allow the membership to meet their leaders. They travel to future and prospective rally sites, it takes a caravan team. There are many perks including hospitality baskets, gifts, formal and casual dinners, spotlight soirees, wine and cheese receptions, and tours, meals, parking, giveaways, a plethera of redundant appreciation this and that awards and gettogethers. It adds up to a considerable amount for the Executive Committee alone but then there are hundreds of volunteers that arrive a month before the rally to stay at the same price as those who come for the week or less and they must be fed and entertained before the general membership arrives. Airstream used to offer the leaders a generous allowance on their next Airstream. And only they control the spending and dues increases and rally pricing.
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Old 03-04-2011, 01:59 PM   #10
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There were great volunteers that stepped up to run from the floor for office and refused to accept their stipend if elected but you wont find them in the club anymore. They proved dangerous to the club by speaking out and allegedly violated the code of ethics for their frankness and were expelled or there were those that fell upon the trademark violation and were sent C&D letters until they resigned and changed their well attended rally. On that leadership spent thousands of dollars upwards of $20,000-$30,000 last year alone to write threatening letters and bar their activity and or membership.

As Paul says the leadership has cut off their own nose to spite their face and as a result the WBCCI has lost lost potential and dignity and many good members and leaders.
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Old 03-04-2011, 10:16 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robwok View Post
First off, please forgive me if this offends you. I do not intend it to be offensive, but I can be direct in my communication at times.

As someone still in their 30's (at least for a couple more months) I'd like to throw in a couple observations...
I'm glad someone else in my age bracket said what I was thinking. I've been lurking for some time and plan on purchasing our first AS next year. My wife turned me onto these trailers a couple years ago and slowly I've become intrigued with them...almost to the point of obsession. So obsessed that I was willing to live in one when I moved to Texas.

Post-reality check, I've been zeroing in on a smaller model that will fit my current family. With that came the search for other people that would share our same interests. My wife is a designer and I'm an IT professional and the blend of classic and modern really drew me in. I, also, really really do not wish to offend anyone but I would really like to find other couples closer to our age bracket with similar interests. I've been seeking out clubs and the like and researching the WBCCI. In particular, I've taken the time to peek at several chapter pages from around the country.

My initial impression is that the WBCCI is too rigid and full of rules. Another thing that is a MAJOR turnoff is they seem less likely to take advantage of more up to date web and networking capabilities. That's one thing I found refreshing from the TAC guys. By leveraging that kind of stuff, they were able to quickly form and legitimize. From reading various threads and websites, it seems to me like the people I'm seeking out have broken off into TAC or are just independent and the best place to meet them are through these forums. From out here it looks like WBCCI is a retiree club fraught with internal bickering and drama.

I'm not saying that the WBCCI is just chock full of white haired, stuffy boring boomers that just park in a circle and sit in folding chairs. I'm positive from the postings on these forums that isn't the case. However, when I check out a lot of the other websites for the chapters, I just don't relate.

I used to be an Air Force recruiter and we made heavy use of photos that the kids would bring back from basic training and tech school or when they would stop back in town on leave. Part of our sales technique was called "Put Them In The Picture". Rather than try to wow the applicant with boring Air Force propaganda I would have them casually thumb through the large photo albums I had in my office. The albums were full of candid shots of kids graduating basic, in technical school, goofing off in the dorm or even pictures of their travels overseas. After a while I would ask the applicant if they could see themselves doing the same things and the sale was good as closed at that point.

To me, the problems with the WBCCI seem very similar to our local VFW and American Legion chapters. I really liked hanging out with those guys when I did pop in from time to time because they were such characters and always let us use their halls for recruiting functions. One catch was they were always hitting me up to join and tell the recruits about them. It was always very awkward letting them down gently. It wasn't that I didn't like them, it's just that we didn't share much in common.

Once again, I'm sure it's a lot more awesome than that and I don't mean to offend. I'm just trying to portray my original impression before I looked closer.

If the WBCCI wants to attract new members then it needs to relish in the zany and fun aspects of it's members and project them to the market. Some members on this forum sound like they would be a hoot to hang out with and hear stories or even take part in some shenanigans.
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Old 03-05-2011, 05:58 AM   #12
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Nuvite-F,

Thank You for getting the meaning of this thread. Your post was dead on as we too have had the very same thing happen in the WDCU as you can see via "TWaugh's" post.

Again, those that "Talked the Talk and Walked the Walk".

We all know there are problems with the WBCCI like any other club which there's plenty of those threads already out there. But over the past couple of years there have been a bunch of "Leaders" leave.

The question I have is:

"Why?"
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Old 03-05-2011, 06:41 AM   #13
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Paul, As someone who probably fits right in the middle of your description, I want to thank you for noticing. To be honest, I never really understood the connection between the WDCU and the WBCCI. I went to an International(even though all my Unit elders warned me not to) and there I saw an even greater disconnect between the two groups. Perhaps the WDCU will become it's own group someday and it can go back to the way it was, "just camping"

As more time progresses, and more and more rules, regulations, grievence policies, by laws, constitutions, and a great deal of back stabbing thrown in for good measures, the WBCCI becomes less and less desirable on all levels. As a "working man" with a 12 and 4 year old, the current offering is close to zero.
All of this is a direct result of why The Airstreamer's Club was formed.

Tom W, you are always welcome at my campfire. If I don't have a seat for you, you can have mine and I will gladly sit on the ground.
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Old 03-05-2011, 07:02 AM   #14
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Age is just a number

Robwok, sounds like we might be kin, I have those same thoughts about the WBCCI. I don't want it to ever go away but fear it will. I am 57, not young any more but NOT old. When i go to a WBCCI rally I look for the younger members but there usually are none. I don't need any help getting older, I need help staying young. There are lots of younger folks out there with AS, they just don't join the WBCCI. Too much mold.Safe travels, John
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