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Old 01-13-2019, 11:27 AM   #43
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We were in a local chapter for a couple of years eight or nine years ago and even in our early 60's at the time, we were young for the chapter. We enjoyed it for the most part, but it was fairly strict, even though I'm an ex-military officer, very conservative, and still wear my hair really short.

At weekend rallies, usually attended by eight or ten long-time members, if you stepped out of your rig without your name tag on it was a $.25 "fine".

I didn't want to put the big red numbers on our trailer, but it was a constant subject of discussion, trying to get us to do so. We also noticed that on the interstate when we passed other Airstreams with the numbers affixed, most wouldn't wave even though we waved and flashed our lights.

We agreed to host a weekend rally, but got all sorts of complaints over the fact that we scheduled Saturday morning breakfast for 8:30, instead of 8:00 AM - even though we clearly put it on the printed schedule that was sent to everyone in advance.

I don't mean to criticize the members in the chapter, they were all great folks personally, and we liked them - still do. But we didn't enjoy the fact that every little thing seemed like it had to be done exactly the way it had always been done for decades.

Of course, that was only one chapter, but it was our local one and we didn't want to offend anyone by "chapter shopping". So we dropped out.

But that's historical perspective and times may well have changed.
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Old 01-13-2019, 11:41 AM   #44
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YOU Be the Change

When I first joined our unit, the same people did everything. They were burned out, hence they did not put a lot of effort into planning a lot of activities.

I decided to step up and participate. I joined as a trustee and webmaster and unit membership. Two years later, we went from a dwindling membership of 24 to a robust 70+.

The spirit of your club depends on YOU. Get into positions where you can make a difference. To attract younger members still working, make sure your events are on the weekends. Thursday - Sunday is OK — encourage members to come and go as their schedule allows. When a younger person volunteers to do something, like plan a rally, encourage them plan it to include things that they find fun. This will further attract other younger members (or younger at heart).

If everyone is tolerant of differences, then it works. This is a two-way street. If people want to have prayer at meals, just accept this by showing respect. If badges are encouraged, try to see it from the perspective of how this benefits the club — we liked the idea of putting special designations on new members (less than a year) badges (like they do at International) so everyone knows to show them the ropes and introduce them around. You have to remember, new people don’t know if others are new, as well, or seasoned members of the club.

YOU be the difference.
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Old 01-13-2019, 08:29 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by Streamer77 View Post
Had a lovely meeting with Mona, the President Elect of WBCCI, and she is very laid back. She is no where near as formal for meetings. She wants campers to enjoy their Airstream experience.
�� I truly love this Club, and am committed to doing all that I can to ensure that it's relevant to our current and future members, while respecting our heritage, for another 60+ years!!! See you @ another fun rally down the road!
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Old 01-14-2019, 06:01 AM   #46
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I would say I would not have liked the club ten years ago, but today's club is not that club. We first joined in 2013, as part of the Central Indiana unit. Rallies were, and are, informal- the group meals are potluck pitch ins, maybe a meat provided. But mostly, like minded Airstreamers enjoying 'just camping'

Since becoming Texas residents, we recently affiliated with a much larger unit. These rallies are "hosted", where two or three couples plan the group meals and prepare them.

Berets? I have never been asked or expected to wear one. Officers at International and regional rallies are encouraged to wear them. Not us regulars.

Best advice I can give is go to the web page at www.wbcci.org, find a contact for a unit near you, and ask about dropping in to visit a rally. See for yourself. Most units welcome folks curious about the club, and encourage a visit or two, before asking you about joining.

The best friends I have ever met are members of the Wally Byam Airstream Club, previously know as the Wally Byam Caravan Club International.
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Old 01-14-2019, 08:55 AM   #47
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Well said I totally agree. And I did the same thing, I quit complaining about the club, and started do stuff to help it. Just takes that one person to bring in new ideas and to turn a unit around.



Damon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CabinCruiser View Post
When I first joined our unit, the same people did everything. They were burned out, hence they did not put a lot of effort into planning a lot of activities.

I decided to step up and participate. I joined as a trustee and webmaster and unit membership. Two years later, we went from a dwindling membership of 24 to a robust 70+.

The spirit of your club depends on YOU. Get into positions where you can make a difference. To attract younger members still working, make sure your events are on the weekends. Thursday - Sunday is OK — encourage members to come and go as their schedule allows. When a younger person volunteers to do something, like plan a rally, encourage them plan it to include things that they find fun. This will further attract other younger members (or younger at heart).

If everyone is tolerant of differences, then it works. This is a two-way street. If people want to have prayer at meals, just accept this by showing respect. If badges are encouraged, try to see it from the perspective of how this benefits the club — we liked the idea of putting special designations on new members (less than a year) badges (like they do at International) so everyone knows to show them the ropes and introduce them around. You have to remember, new people don’t know if others are new, as well, or seasoned members of the club.

YOU be the difference.
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Old 01-14-2019, 09:57 AM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CabinCruiser View Post
When I first joined our unit, the same people did everything. They were burned out, hence they did not put a lot of effort into planning a lot of activities.

I decided to step up and participate. I joined as a trustee and webmaster and unit membership. Two years later, we went from a dwindling membership of 24 to a robust 70+.

The spirit of your club depends on YOU. Get into positions where you can make a difference. To attract younger members still working, make sure your events are on the weekends. Thursday - Sunday is OK — encourage members to come and go as their schedule allows. When a younger person volunteers to do something, like plan a rally, encourage them plan it to include things that they find fun. This will further attract other younger members (or younger at heart).

If everyone is tolerant of differences, then it works. This is a two-way street. If people want to have prayer at meals, just accept this by showing respect. If badges are encouraged, try to see it from the perspective of how this benefits the club — we liked the idea of putting special designations on new members (less than a year) badges (like they do at International) so everyone knows to show them the ropes and introduce them around. You have to remember, new people don’t know if others are new, as well, or seasoned members of the club.

YOU be the difference.
I like these comments. Took a long time to get here though.
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Old 01-15-2019, 01:28 PM   #49
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Hmm, really

As my wife would say, "really?"

We have been retired close to 3 years and have been AS owners for 2 1/2 years. Our camping experiences go back over 50 years and there have been many wonderful adventures the family has experienced. Purchase of the AS was a retirement gift, and a commitment to get out more and see the country in a relaxed fashion. We view owning an AS to be a lifestyle choice we made and could not imagine owing one without being a WBCCI member with local club membership as well.

At rallies, we view wearing name tags as a courtesy to others, and a communications aid as well. Keeping track of peoples names when you have 40/50 people at a rally is no easy chore for someone in their 70's. Do not see how that could be burden to anyone.

There is a good reason why so many rallies start earlier in the week end. RV parks with group campgrounds are few and far between. They are in high demand and getting into one has to be planned with an open eye to a calendar and venue. We too were once young, both working and still able to take long week ends and head out for camping adventures that lasted 3 or 4 days. It required some planning, taking a personal business or vacation day, but was doable without any real pain. So take some time off and relax with your AS buddies.

My advice to non-members is to check out what is locally available, contact a club president, and ask to be invited to a particular rally as a guest. Just keep in mind that no 2 rallies are the same for a myriad of reasons but you truly have nothing to lose and potentially a lot to gain.
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Old 01-15-2019, 01:40 PM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrs_RedSHED View Post

We were bothered by the large amount of money thrown at those who served in higher positions for travel expenses.
That "travel expense" compensation is something that is rarely discussed but has been the subject of many chats around here. We met some very fine folks in Salem last summer, but still question the way $$ are spent and the "automatic" stepping up to positions at the higher levels. We renew / join when our summer schedule will allow us to participate. Amazing what a garden or forest fire does to available RV time. A huge thank you to the outgoing Int President, Jim, for a job very well done.
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Old 01-15-2019, 02:07 PM   #51
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I liked WBCCI 14 years ago when we joined and I like it better now. The yearly dues expense is minimal however they spend it. The caravans are great. And I am not ex military. Yes, it is sorta a “club within a club” but it suits me to be on the periphery. Basically you can do any level of involvement you wish.
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Old 01-15-2019, 03:05 PM   #52
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The changes sound impressive! Very likely we'll rejoin this year some time, although not guaranteed.

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Do not see how that could be burden to anyone.
I don't ask that you understand how or why, but I do ask (respectfully) you accept that wearing a badge makes me feel I'm at work. I prefer not to feel that way on my time off.

If it helps, I mentor a local robotics team and don't wear one there either - I tried for a couple weeks, but nah.

I've almost got a set of these working ... in the spirit of compromise, maybe this would work.
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Old 01-15-2019, 05:15 PM   #53
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That's cool!
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Old 01-16-2019, 05:15 PM   #54
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When we bought an Airstream in 2007, I quickly became aware of the battles over the WBCCI. All the issues outlined in the first post where the subject of a gazillion posts. That kind of 1950's organization was not for us. We were aware the Four Corners Unit was much different and we attended some 4CU rallies including three at the Balloon Fiesta. We met some good people including Richard (azflycaster, I can't remember his last name and maybe his wife is "Jan"). I became aware people in the 4CU and others were quietly organizing to take over the club. It took a while. Change is usually slow. I understand Richard became president and I don't think he owned a beret or the other trappings of the old club.

By the time real change was happening, we were fine with being independent travelers, met many people through the Forum and had no need for the old club. I expect a lot of people coming to Airstream from the "oughts" got turned off and few will ever join. We went in another direction and in 2017 we sold our Airstream and bought a Nash because it suited our needs better as we aged.

I'm glad to see the changes. Obviously some units haven't changed and at least one apparently died out because it would not change. If someone tried to "fine" me for not obeying a silly rule, I would suggest they try to get it, or something far more dark. I never went camping to wear a specific hat, a tie, a name tag and all the other rules that used to be the law.

I miss some of the people we met at 4CU rallies, but have survived. We also met lots of people through the Forum and not one of them made me wear a beret, a tie or a name tag. Some I still keep up with and have visited them on the road and some have visited us when they come through our area. I remain in contact with some frequently. Friendships develop between people with similarities and it can be done in many ways.

If we still owned an Airstream and were new to the whole thing, maybe we would join. I would avoid old fashioned units and maybe that would work. I am wondering how the dues increased so much, not that that is unusual, but after all the fights over dues, it seems surprising. And what about that $1M fund? Does the club donate to the less fortunate people? As Nash owners, I feel we are underprivileged and wish to get a yearly stipend from the club of millionaires, whatever it is called (sounds like they kept the corporate name and adopted a trade name).

If you need a club, the Forum can serve as one, and/or join the Wally club. If not, the Forum is full of information and over time you'll meet people if you post as much as I have (though such frequent posting suggest severe mental issues*) and even if not. And we have done fine traveling on our own. A caravan is for people who need help, don't want to do the research to get the most out of trip, or want to explore with others. We met people on some trips in caravans (there are ones for any and all RV's) and they seemed to like being guided, but we liked figuring it out ourselves and being able to change our minds along the way.

*here in the mental hospital, having little to do along with others who have posted 10,000 times or more, we pretend we have or had Airstreams and cackle over how we have fooled everyone. It is 3 am and I have snuck into the director's office to use his computer before they sedate me again. I am still trying to discover in my therapy group whether I am a dog or not. Woof!
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Old 01-16-2019, 06:19 PM   #55
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Perhaps I'm Not the Norm!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mefly2 View Post
That "travel expense" compensation is something that is rarely discussed but has been the subject of many chats around here. We met some very fine folks in Salem last summer, but still question the way $$ are spent and the "automatic" stepping up to positions at the higher levels. We renew / join when our summer schedule will allow us to participate. Amazing what a garden or forest fire does to available RV time. A huge thank you to the outgoing Int President, Jim, for a job very well done.

The "automatic stepping up to positions @ the higher levels" definitely has not applied to my leadership roles in the Club . I'm extremely proud to have served as International 3rd, 2nd and now 1st Vice President....all the while hearing, and learning from, our members. As the 2019/2020 International Budget Chair I can assure you that your leadership team values your support and respects the fiduciary responsibility to our past, present and future members.

As a former retail and wholesale manager, I understand how difficult it is to overcome bad experiences and word of mouth. Thank you to all of you who've given the WBCCI / WBAC a second chance as well as to those of you who may consider joining us around a campfire in the future.

To all - regardless of your affiliation, happy and safe travels. Mona
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Old 01-16-2019, 07:28 PM   #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monah View Post
The "automatic stepping up to positions @ the higher levels" definitely has not applied to my leadership roles in the Club . I'm extremely proud to have served as International 3rd, 2nd and now 1st Vice President....all the while hearing, and learning from, our members. As the 2019/2020 International Budget Chair I can assure you that your leadership team values your support and respects the fiduciary responsibility to our past, present and future members.

As a former retail and wholesale manager, I understand how difficult it is to overcome bad experiences and word of mouth. Thank you to all of you who've given the WBCCI / WBAC a second chance as well as to those of you who may consider joining us around a campfire in the future.

To all - regardless of your affiliation, happy and safe travels. Mona
FWIW, I just wanted to throw in that we enjoyed camping next to Mona at the recent Canopener Rally in Florida. She's a nice lady and will do a great job in her new position.
We've been WBAC members for about a year now and are very happy we chose to join the group.
Cheers,
~erik~
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