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Old 10-15-2012, 09:38 PM   #43
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I love this thread-- I would love to see more of a Facebook and other web presence.
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Old 10-15-2012, 10:07 PM   #44
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The easiest way to find out what happens at an individual unit's rallies is to review their rally reports in their newsletters. Newsletters are usually posted or linked on their unit websites. Unit websites can be located by going to the links found on the WBCCI.org websites under the join and Region tab. The units are very diverse and activities match their individual demographics.
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Old 10-16-2012, 05:52 AM   #45
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Unfortunately I am in a unit that does not have a web site and rarely sends out newsletters. I usually don't find out about events after it is too late to change previously made plans. Hopefully they will get on on board with the rest of the units and put together a web site and keep it up to date.
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Old 10-16-2012, 06:33 AM   #46
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I love this thread-- I would love to see more of a Facebook and other web presence.
never use Facebook, personally or professionally. Don't have a Facebook page, don't check other people's Facebook pages. Just a personal preference thing.

However, I agree that WBCCI, at all levels right down to the individual Unit, needs a more robust Internet presence. Preferably including separate public (no login) and private (login required, member only) pages. And an online store for WBCCI merchandise such as the berets.

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Unfortunately I am in a unit that does not have a web site and rarely sends out newsletters. I usually don't find out about events after it is too late to change previously made plans. Hopefully they will get on on board with the rest of the units and put together a web site and keep it up to date.
You could always volunteer to set up and/or maintain the Unit's web page…
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Old 10-16-2012, 07:13 AM   #47
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We live in N Louisiana, and I've looked through WBCCI newsletters and so far the only event I've seen for the chapter for my area is something like Monthly Lunch TBA.

We're interested in WBCCI, but there's not much pulling us in right now. I've also thought about joining a more active chapter that's not as local (Arkansas Razorbacks or greater New Orleans) just because of the more events and opportunities to gather with people.

We found ourselves much like the couple in Texas, frustrated enough to throw our own rally. It was small and local, but we had eight airstreams from five different states show up and we all had a blast!

Another hurdle for us is that most WBCCI events are not that easily attended for younger people, especially ones with families. Last weekend we were the youngest ones there (by around twenty years) and were the only ones that didn't have at least one retired spouse. We were also the only ones with children. The age difference was not ever a problem, we loved everyone there and got along great. It's just a fact that when you're dealing with a community of mostly retired individuals its hard to get a younger crowd involved.

Please don't take offense to what I'm saying, I would love to be more involved, but we can't take two weeks or a month off and caravan down the east coast or take the kids out of school to make a Thursday through Monday rally six or eight hours away. We have to stick to weekend trips most times within a few hour drive and then we like to plan something large in the summer.

I understand the best thing for us to do is to get involved and try to help the organization from the inside and that's a very likely possibility in the near future. I've met some wonderful people so far and we're going to the rally at Mill Creek next month and I'm looking forward to meeting some more! We just have to find where we fit, or make our own hole.

Looking forward to running into you guys down the road.

Matt
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Old 10-16-2012, 07:39 AM   #48
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Originally Posted by AWCHIEF
Unfortunately I am in a unit that does not have a web site and rarely sends out newsletters. I usually don't find out about events after it is too late to change previously made plans. Hopefully they will get on on board with the rest of the units and put together a web site and keep it up to date.
One of our frustrations with the unit we belonged to for two years was that, although they had a website with rally dates and post-event postings, they simply would not use the Internet for other purposes.

Their stated belief and intent was that if one wanted to be involved in any planning or even vote on issues, one MUST be present at EVERY rally or off season meeting where issues were discussed and then voted on. They refused to even email business meeting agendas ahead of time, so one would know what was coming up for vote, etc.

For our former unit and many other units, WBCCI has been the central focal point of members lives for DECADES. There is not only a reluctance for change but fear that this change would disrupt the status quo.

And, it would.


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Old 10-16-2012, 07:47 AM   #49
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We live in N Louisiana, and I've looked through WBCCI newsletters and so far the only event I've seen for the chapter for my area is something like Monthly Lunch TBA.

We're interested in WBCCI, but there's not much pulling us in right now. I've also thought about joining a more active chapter that's not as local (Arkansas Razorbacks or greater New Orleans) just because of the more events and opportunities to gather with people.
I belong to the Greater New Orleans Unit. When I first joined, I didn't know much about WBCCI, and thought it best to join the local unit. I have since become an affiliate of another Unit as well. You're not limited to a single unit. You can only vote on WBCCI issues with a single unit, but you can be affiliated with as many Units as you want, and you'll be on the mailing list for every unit you're affiliated with. This lets you find out first-hand about every affiliated unit's rallies, caravans, and other activities. You only pay WBCCI dues when you join your primary unit; for each affiliate you join, you only have to pay that Unit's dues. In my case, I pay $80 to belong to the GNO unit— $65 WBCCI and $15 Unit— plus another $10 for the other Unit I'm affiliated with.

So, joining a Unit is not all or nothing. Consider joining multiple units, and expand your possibilities.

Membership in WBCCI also gets you a subscription to the Blue Beret magazine. It may have low production values compared to more professionally-published magazines, but there is a wealth of information in the magazine about upcoming events, for all Regions and Units. The information isn't always up-to-date, which is unavoidable since it has to be provided far in advance to be in time for publication, and plans might still only be tentative at that stage. Thus it helps to get the Unit e-mail newsletters as well, to get the up-to-date info.
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Old 10-16-2012, 09:01 AM   #50
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Originally Posted by doug&maggie

One of our frustrations with the unit we belonged to for two years was that, although they had a website with rally dates and post-event postings, they simply would not use the Internet for other purposes.

Their stated belief and intent was that if one wanted to be involved in any planning or even vote on issues, one MUST be present at EVERY rally or off season meeting where issues were discussed and then voted on. They refused to even email business meeting agendas ahead of time, so one would know what was coming up for vote, etc.

For our former unit and many other units, WBCCI has been the central focal point of members lives for DECADES. There is not only a reluctance for change but fear that this change would disrupt the status quo.

And, it would.

Maggie
This is something we touched on a little bit last weekend, and it is exactly what I'm talking about. Surely not all chapters are run this way, but it does put a major roadblock in recruiting new and/or younger members. The mentality is what's the point on getting financially and emotionally involved in something in which I will most likely have no say in the direction it travels?

I understand Protagonist's point also, there are several opportunities to get involved and we most likely will just because we so much enjoy meeting people and making new friends, I would just like to know that I could be an influence.

Airstreaming is an exclusive club. I'm thrilled to be a part of it and wouldn't trade it for anything. Financially it's a huge investment and I understand my generation for the most part can't get into it unless you're able to afford it. The only reason I can right now is because we got a great deal on one that needed a complete remodel and we're doing it ourselves. There are exceptions but my generation in general has a hard time paying $10k to $20k for a decent vintage airstream ready to go when they can get a brand new fiberglass box for that price. New trailers are almost completely out of the question. Why must getting involved and being a part of the entire "Airstream Experience" be such a chore?

There are lots of discussions on the forums and I've seen in the Blue Beret (I download it free online) articles about membership issues. I'm afraid one day the organization may seriously falter before it finally turns around.
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Old 10-16-2012, 10:10 AM   #51
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Variety

The club's member diversity is both an advantage and a challenge. Our unit has 65 members and 52 have e-mail (80%). We use broadcast Email to notify those members of changes in plans, but we can not forget the 13 couples who do not have email or smart phones. If the president really needs to notify everyone, he needs to use Snail mail. If it can not wait for Uncle Sam, we do use a phone tree. Even then, some people are not at home all the time. We do list the members' cell phones in the Unit directory, for those who travel a lot. Facebook has limited value, because it is no good, unless they have a smart phone with internet access and have it turned on. Most travelers have cell phones, but only 50% have a smart phones. The unit website gets a weekly update during the active camping/rallying season and is accessible by smart phone.

Most units have a mix of young and older members, which makes it difficult to arrange entertainment and events that are suitable for all.

The membership statistics show that 80% of the new members join with a used or older unit. The Vintage Airstream (sub club) has about 600 active members. People in VAC are usually younger and do their own work.
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Old 10-16-2012, 11:12 AM   #52
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I'm afraid one day the organization may seriously falter before it finally turns around.
But discussion threads like this one are a step in the right direction to turning it around. At the very least, it demonstrates that not ALL of the membership consists of stodgy old geezers who aren't comfortable with technology more advanced than an adding machine. The stodgy old geezers may be in charge for now, but as long as we can outlive them, WBCCI will eventually change.

Then the WBCCI will be run by a new generation of stodgy old geezers, who aren't comfortable with technology more advanced than an iPhone, while the rest of the world has moved on to something even newer and more useful.
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Old 10-16-2012, 11:23 AM   #53
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You could always volunteer to set up and/or maintain the Unit's web page…
I would not even know where to begin to do such a thing. I am great with computers as long as the work like they are supposed to. When they break that is why we pay big bucks to the IT folks. I offered my services and time and so far have not been received favorably by the current leadership. Could be that I have been vocal about my objection to their support of the SOB motor home issue that is contrary to the vote of the local membership.
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Old 10-16-2012, 11:54 AM   #54
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The Electronics communication committee was set up to help people like you establish unit websites. It can be started in less than an hour, but it will take more time to put in all the data and keep it current. 25% of the units do not have a website or are not maintaining the ones we set up for them. If you leadership agrees to have one, email the ECC chairman and he will set up the passwords and a person to assist you.
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Old 10-16-2012, 12:00 PM   #55
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In addition to having a unit website, units need to be willing to use email and snail mail for other than notification/updates of hospitalization of members, deaths, funeral arrangements, etc.


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Old 10-18-2012, 12:21 PM   #56
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Just another thought, I don't have a family of my own and am not retired yet I do not know what goes on at a Rally. What do people do besides a pot luck and park near each other - not being negative at all just curious if there are local activities pertaining to the rallies, etc. Perhaps some old iteneraries for people to look at would also help garner interest.
Yes, you are mostly correct ... it is a caravan club after all.
HOWEVER, in our case, we were greeted by a very nice group of folks from both our local area as well as Canada. The rallys have been in interesting locations and allowed us to spend even more time with folks having a similar interest... really a new family of friends.

Our unit (I say our, but have only been a member since July) has provided us with a heads up on several interesting activities and gets out a monthly news letter complete with pictures. We have been in email contact with either unit members or friends from north of the border at least weekly; emailing off photos every time we get Bambi set up is something to which my wife looks forward.

Your "parking near each other[closely]" concern aside, I would say to try it and see if you like it - if for nothing more than the potential friendships that might come from your participation.
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