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Old 07-01-2007, 01:07 PM   #43
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-- Jettison the outmoded practices of requiring coats and ties at camping club meetings, including IBT and Delegates Meetings.
If you listened to the IBT meeting, 1st VP asks the Prez if the members can remove their jackets and hats (due to the heat), a roar is heard from the crowd!
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Old 07-01-2007, 01:25 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by Sugarfoot
The notion that the older population wouldn't benefit from such enhancements isn't entirely true. I know more than a few 70- and 80-somethings that are quite proficient online. And more would be if the rest of us took the time to show them how.
The organization already has a sanctioned computer club that could help out with these needs.

Membership retention. I listened again to the Executive Board meeting conducted on the 26th. The president said that a thousand (1,000) new members register each year yet 1,200 - 1,300 leave each year.

We do not have a problem registering new members, its keeping the ones we already have.

Again, you have to find out why members are leaving before you can determine a game plan to fix that problem.

How many of us complete surveys when we buy a new product and also answer a couple questions when we've canceled a service. We need to use a similar system for own membership retention.
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Old 07-01-2007, 01:34 PM   #45
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I think the membership chairperson of each unit is invaluable. They should be the first cheery voice you hear, the impetus before each event and implore you to stay and find out why if you leave. They are the first face of WBCCI and can make a big difference. Questionaires are very impersonal and many probably feel no obligation to complete them. Our new members are not stats but personalities that we should have done our utmost to acquaint ourselves with. If they leave we should be able to give a response to headquarters. By the time someone is walking it may be insult onto injury to be asked to fill out forms.
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Old 07-01-2007, 01:39 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by wheel interested
I think the membership chairperson of each unit is invaluable. They should be the first cheery voice you hear, the impetus before each event and implore you to stay and find out why if you leave. They are the first face of WBCCI and can make a big difference. Questionaires are very impersonal and many probably feel no obligation to complete them. Our new members are not stats but personalities that we should have done our utmost to acquaint ourselves with. If they leave we should be able to give a response to headquarters. By the time someone is walking it may be insult onto injury to be asked to fill out forms.
The questionnaire could easily be implemented in a phone call. Doesn't have to be formally done in a document form. However, there needs to be a way to document why members joined and why they left. Doesn't have to be complicated.
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Old 07-01-2007, 01:58 PM   #47
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That may accomplish a little. But if I had my druthers there would be a touchstone involved and a relationship built up long before it came to calling down the list of why your monies didn't show up.
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Old 07-01-2007, 02:10 PM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wheel interested
That may accomplish a little. But if I had my druthers there would be a touchstone involved and a relationship built up long before it came to calling down the list of why your monies didn't show up.

Ah man I wanted to give you Karma on this post but....it would not let me - them there rules again!!!

This is an excellent point. When Peter and I left we told our unit why - we did not want to just quietly leave and get the "call" as to why we are not returning. But when it came time for the next years membership renewal - you can bet we got the dutiful e-mail informing us that our membership dues were coming up Technology.

You can ask for reasons why people leave all you want - it is what you do with the responses that will COUNT!
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Old 07-01-2007, 03:00 PM   #49
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How to make it better? Simple...

Less formality,
fewer rules,
and a much more
flexible and welcoming attitude.

People buy Airstreams to travel, camp, and get away from all the "normal" life stresses. Why would anyone want to use their precious time off (whether they work or not) to travel to an event full of rules, rigid itineraries, and people who are telling them what to do when. The best rallies are those with just a few planned events (like potlucks) and relaxed friendly people. There are always enough people around so if you want to get up and have coffee around the fire at 6am, someone else will too. Or if you want to get up at 11 and go out for a late breakfast, you'll find someone to join you. The less rules you have the easier it works.

The important thing is to be friendly and welcoming to all. Ask everyone to join in whatever you're doing and those who want to will. There was a thread a while back complaining about someone (an Airstreamer not even an SOB) showing up at a potluck without signing up. I say, the more the merrier! If I see any unknown Airstreams at the campground, I'll invite them to join us. I have yet to go to a rally potluck where we ate even half of the food we brought. We often have a mini-potluck meal of leftovers the next day.

So back to the original thought...
less rules,
friendlier attitude,
and more fun!
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Old 07-01-2007, 03:40 PM   #50
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Talking

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Originally Posted by Chuck
Kristine, you hit the nail on the head, I think.

I've been thinking the same thing: this issue (and MOST issues within the wbcci) is not going to be solved by a bylaw, constitutional ammendment, or any other "rule".

The biggest problem I see regarding the declining membership is with people. Theres a "culture" of the club at large, that is very rigid, and unwelcoming. the solution to that is..."be more welcoming, and quit being so d@mned rigid."
I don't think there's any way to legislate that.

I've heard too many stories about newbies being "scolded" for various petty infractions, by some self-appointed tyrant, like not parking with their jack post exaclty on the red dot, or numbers not being on their trailer, comments about kids, etc, etc. this type of crap has sent people running to our unit from others...but I suspect for every one of these people that has given "wally" another chance, there are 10 that just never came back to another event, and won't. ever. We'll just never hear from them again.
You don't "welcome" people by turning them away after the gate after they've driven 1000 miles to get to the event. You don't "welcome" people by not pro-rating rally fees for those who can't attend for the entire time. You don't "welcome" people by telling them "we don't mind kids...if they're quiet".

For the non-wallyites that read these threads, and come away thinking that the wally club is all about "politics": Its not. Its a sad byproduct of these discussions, giving people the wrong impression. At the local level, there's very little of this, and there is no requirement that anyone participate in it. (it does exist, though, in any large organization of this sort). We don't sit around the campfire talking about the politics of the club. well...not much, anyway. Our rallies aren't about pounding gavels and points of order or blue berets (hardly ever see them). We just get together and go camping and have fun.
So find a unit that fits your style, and go caming. You're welcome to come with us.
YES! YES! YES! Kudos, Chuck! Very well said!
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Old 07-01-2007, 10:27 PM   #51
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When I tried to join WBCCI, I recall finding the woman on the phone very curt and not very friendly. When I couldn't immediately provide the VIN of the new Airstream that I had just purchased, I was curtly told that I couldn't join until I had it. I simply made one up and gave it to her.

I have found club officials not at all friendly. That really needs to change.
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Old 07-01-2007, 10:57 PM   #52
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Originally Posted by moosetags
When I tried to join WBCCI, I recall finding the woman on the phone very curt and not very friendly. When I couldn't immediately provide the VIN of the new Airstream that I had just purchased, I was curtly told that I couldn't join until I had it. I simply made one up and gave it to her. I have found club officials not at all friendly. That really needs to change.
Another member of the WBCCI Membership Prevention Committee...
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Old 07-02-2007, 12:16 AM   #53
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Just read Rich Luhr's blog, he's getting a little antsy.

"I'm looking at the official rally schedule, but it's no help. Golf, Line Dancing, Unit Leadership Workshop, Vintage Club Board Meeting, Party Bridge, Genealogy Club Meeting, Jewelry Making, CB Seminar, a prostate seminar, Computer Class ("Publisher"), Teen Queen practice, Craft Workshop, Knitting"

What would be some great rally activities, in your opinion, if you were to compile a program?
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Old 07-02-2007, 01:40 AM   #54
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Plain and simple...

When you join a club, you do it because you are interested in what that club does. Plain and simple.
I do not know how many times I have heard WBCCI members tell me that the only way to change it is to join it. I do not agree with that approach. I am not joining a club to fight a battle. I would rather just join one that already follows my principles and likes.
For crying out loud, look at the list of events that Carol just listed. NONE, and I mean NONE would even interest me.
Now, the Metro-Detroit Unit has some fun things going on. They do a Christmas in July rally. That will be fun for my two young girls. I am planning on camping with them for this rally. This does not mean that I am going to join the WBCCI though.
The overall cost of the rallies is another thing. Figure out how much it would take to go to two local rallies and also pay the annual membership. I could do a lot for my kids with that money. Things that they like to do. Bridge and prostate seminars do not really interest them, or me.
I like the people in this local unit. I do not care for the Regional or the International organizations. The International gets WAY too much of the money.
The top 3% of the membership should not get 97% of the money! That is a shame.
I am sure that there are more good people in the WBCCI then bad people. Why not take back your organization?
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Old 07-02-2007, 08:21 AM   #55
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Great Points

I think you all are on the right path.

Open the election of officers up to the most talented, knowledgeable and dedicated Airstreamers.

Do away with the lifetime benefits, I don't think the past presidents have earned what the President of the US has. Most organizations only allow past presidents to serve one year after leaving office. The past presidents need to be out with the rest of the members telling their stories and sharing with the youngsters.

I agree on the overhauling of the Blue Beret.

I love the idea of alternating international and regioinal rallys. It promotes more local participatiion while allowing sites within the region to be identified and tried in order to qualify for an international rally,(sites already in existence and the club does not have to carry the cost of setting up). Maybe the time has come to re eveluate the regional concept and cut them back to maybe 8 and eventually 6 or 4.

The talent is here to have a dynamic camping organization at every level.

The key is opening up the leadership at the local, regional and natiional levels.

Keep the ideas comming, remember "the seen is a product of the unseen.....ideas, whose time has come, become realities"

GO FORUMS!

Mac and Linda
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Old 07-02-2007, 09:49 PM   #56
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We have gotten many great ideas in this thread. The one thing that stands out to me is the fact that the club is not very good at keeping new members. I would like to see a study done on how many new members drop out in the first few years and why. Once the reason for the loss of new members is documented, the club should work to correct the things that drove these new members away.

I think hat everyone will agree that the BB needs an overhaul. The folks that produce the BB are to be thanked for the effort they put forth in every issue, but in alot of ways they are missing the mark. Airstream Life is a great publication and I look forward to every issue when it arrives. I have also found that the publication I get from the VAC, while quite different from Airstream Life, is top notch as well. The BB should look at what these other publications are doing and encorperate some of these ideas into a new and improved BB.

I am sure more of you have some great ideas to improve the club and we would all like to hear them. It's our club, we can make it better!
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