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Old 03-20-2005, 09:00 AM   #15
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The biggest cause of the shrinking WBCCI membership is Lots of potential WBCCI members get all the fellowship, community, and technical resources they need right here. It's not ALL about Pomp and Campenstance.

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Old 03-20-2005, 09:36 AM   #16
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You can count me among the Airstream owners who chooses not be join the WBCCI. With the purchase of our new CCD we received letters from both the national and local membership chairmen and a copy of the Blue Beret. I went through everything with an open mind....but could find little to interest me. We spend a lot of time in our Airstream, but esssentially none doing the things WBCCI sponsors.

We do belong to other associations which more closely fit our activities, and we attend their functions.

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Old 03-20-2005, 09:46 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by markdoane
The biggest cause of the shrinking WBCCI membership is
Oh my gawd! It's all our fault!

Take me out to the woodshed!
Jack Canavera
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Old 03-20-2005, 09:57 AM   #18
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Sadly, change for most .orgs comes hard. It seems to me that wbcci has a serious case of "founders syndrom". unfortunatly when membership organizations don't change to meet the evolving needs of their constituants, they slowly die. People vote with their feet. The Wbcci is seeing this and until now has chosen to ignore the writing on the wall.

I read the article in the blue beret and was heartened. But I suspect that there will be little change or not soon enough. The demographics of the leadership of the club doesn't seem to accurately reflect that of the memberhip and so I suspect the wbcci will continue to decline.

I joined - don't flame me - but in my inland wa unit I am viewed as an oddity. I am very young they have reminded me - only 46. We cannot find time to go for weeks on end to international. We will not take time from work to attend unit lunches at bad restaurants during the work week. We use our As for primarily short 3 day events and we want to have some free time at those events.
Maybe the wbcci needs a subgroup (kinda like the VAC) of folks like us. OR better yet maybe the wbcci needs to regroup and gear to folks like us and have a subgroup of retirees.....
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Old 03-20-2005, 09:59 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by jcanavera
Take me out to the woodshed!
I think you should get a gold rivet, rather than a trip to the woodshed.
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Old 03-20-2005, 10:17 AM   #20
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At Least Try it

I think it is so important to find a unit in which the people have similar interests as you. After stating the obvious; we were lucky enough to find just such a group. We went to our first Rally and found a very broad spectrum of some interesting people. Not all our flavor, but some which I can see we will be life time camping compadres. This is life, I love it.
There are a lot of really good people out there and I plan on meeting as many as possible. I think WBCCI and this fourum are two very good things right now.
Places and People are what the experiance is all about, I don't travel to be a hermit. Sometimes I go for the sights, sometimes I go for the people.
Who controls the cookie jar can make or break a "Snack Time". I for one hope that changes will be made for the better. WBCCI is a positive, and worth saving.

When we chose to opt out of our passions, our lives are deminished.
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Old 03-20-2005, 11:11 AM   #21
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two definitions of WBCCI

"WBCCI is a positive, and worth saving"

I think that you are refering to the spirit of individual people of the WBCCI when you make that statement.

I think at other times WBCCI is referenced by others as the government of those people.

Two separate garanimals, in MHO.

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Old 03-20-2005, 11:14 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Janet's Husband
When we chose to opt out of our passions, our lives are deminished.
Though I agree with this statement Gary, I'm not sure it fits in this context. By that I mean, all of us here clearly have the passion, it's how we choose to share that passion that is in question. This forum and the informal type gatherings that grew from it have been positive because the fit the need of the average Joe out there. Heck, the VAC folks are some of the most open folks in Airstreamin' today. Why? Because they have chosen a path and have an eye on the ball for the future. I can't tell you how many times I've had conversations with VAC members who care less about their territory and more about gettin out there hanging with folks and talking shop.

The fact that clearly a large percentage of owners have chosen not to be a part of WBCCI doesn't mean to me that we opt out of our passions, it just means we have found other places to share those passions which represent more of the "real world" type situations we have here in 2005. In your case and a select geographic areas like the one you are in seem to have it good....however, that appears not to be the norm in every unit and even less when it comes to the national charter.

This is gonna be a long thread!
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Old 03-20-2005, 11:21 AM   #23
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My 2 Cents, too

Very interesting thread! Many good points made. I will throw out some more opinions.

It seems to me the club is clinging to the past and refuses to let go. Tradition is everything to the leaders and it seems they can not embrace change even with the writing on the wall. The club has a real problem with traditions. The younger members and potential members just are not interested in all the pomp and circumstance and traditions. Clearly the WBCCI is a retired persons club. If they really want to pick up new members, than they really need to get away from the way it has always been done.

1) The name needs to be changed, ASAP. That's obvious to everyone that the name needs to include Airstream, but still hasn't happened. It is discussed and discussed but goes no where. The older members can't let go of the name.

2) The club needs to throw out the "constitution" and start over. Has anybody read the laws, upon rules, upon laws that make up the constitution? It goes on and on. What is the need to have all thses laws? Do we really need to govern the club with hundreds of laws? And then there are the officers that love to enforce every law. This is fun?

3) The silly traditions that must be observed at every rally have to go. Flag ceremonies? Berets? Parades? Worship services? I think these are all a big turn off to younger people and potential members. This is not how I want to spend my very valuable free time.

4) Forum rallies should be the model for more short 3 day rallies that should be offered by the club. Why the WBCCI persists in ten day rallies is beyond me. Do they promote rally stays for less? No. Every rally should be pay by day. Usually, you have to contact someone to find out the fees for only a two night stay. The burden is on the working member to get the info for a two night stay.

5) Why is the International held the same ten days every year. I know, I know- it's Wally's birthday. Gimme a break! Why does anybody always want to spend the 4th of July doing the same thing? I'll spend the 4th with the International next summer but not again. There are too many other fun festivals out there on the 4th. Also will not be coming for 10 days. What do I need 10 days for? Overkill.

6) The Blue Beret? Terrible name. Cheap paper. No color. Very little good reading. Now campare that to Airstream Life or Escapees magazine. Well... there is no comparison.

I see the current leadership is looking at change but will anything really change? I think the numbers will have to shrink to almost nothing before the club can be totally revamped. Then it can be remade into a different kind of club geared towards working stiffs as well as retirees. I am a member now, but only because I feel it is my charity to Airstreaming. Not because I feel I get anything from my membership.
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Old 03-20-2005, 01:43 PM   #24
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I cann't think of a better way to discourage new owners from joining than to send them an issue of the blue beret. I find no sense of identification with those mug shots with the funny hats. They look foolish. Who wants to join a club of people who put out a paper were they look foolish.

The fact is that it's all about the unit. Some are more progressive than others. I've been to two region one regional rallies. Did almost none of the "events". Attended a workshop on GPS which was will done. Hung aout at International in Vermont. Stayed at a campground up the road on the water. There were somethings I might have attended but they were during the week. No way I am using vacation to be around that many people.

Want a good time, attend a Washington DC Unit rally. Great people having fun. The best time however was a forum rally last year at a state park in Vermont. Low key with a great community meal.
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Old 03-20-2005, 02:10 PM   #25
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Thanks for all the great comments. I am trying to help my unit change from the inside, and have gotten positive responses from a lot of the older members. Hopefully we'll begin to make some progress. Anyway, people's responses help me think through my plan of attack.

Personally, the International holds no interest for me, purely because of size. The Rocky Mtn VAC rally was a little big for me, but that's just me. I like smaller groups where we can sit around a fire and talk and get to know each other.

I would hate to see the club dissapear completely. I hope it is still around when I am free to try a caravan or two. I think the idea is solid, it just needs refinement. Don't forget that it has grown into what it is. As in, if we have a forum rally, and eventually we start setting up pot lucks, and then we plan an activity, well, fifty years later, along with folks trying to top one another from one event to the next, you'd be where the WBCCI is today!

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Old 03-20-2005, 02:21 PM   #26
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More information regarding the Blue Beret Article

I have clipped this post from the Airstream Yahoo list. It was posted by Charlie Burke. While this isn't the entire article it does summarize what was written. I filled in some of the missing parts from Charlie's original post.


Quoting Jim's article:
"The following material is intended to stimulate constructive thinking
by the full membership of WBCCI. It is time for the club to consider
making changes in our International Rally and organization and structure
of our regions and it's officers.

.... ( He gives his background involvement in working on International

International Rally Proposal
The club is currently dealing with the same rally preparation scenario
that has been used since the 1980's. Club membership exceeded 20,000
members at that time and now resides in the 8,000's. Rally attendance
has not exceeded 2000 since 1996. The club added electricity to the
rally equation in 1997 and, since then, has been on a treadmill of
expanding rally cost for equipment, increasing demand for full hookups,
declining rally attendance and volunteer participation.
We must give consideration to the elimination of our International Rally
as we now know it and decrease the length of the rally to accommodate
more rally sites with full hookups. We must consider designating one of
the Region rallies each year as our "Official International Rally" for
that year. Having region rallies in sites that can handle 400-800 units
or more with major hookups is a workable solution. These Region Rallies
could be held at an optimal time for the region - in the spring winter
or fall. These rallies could receive consideration as the "International
Rally". We could shorten our need for a rally site to approximately one
week and adopt a program approach that other clubs in the industry are
using. We would eliminate the need for most of our rally equipment,
including the mail trailer, cargo trailers, and the cost of moving and
dealing with the equipment.

Region Consolidation

Consider reducing 12 regions down to 7 regions and increasing the number
of region officers in each region to four: each officer serving a one
year term in each position. The club would therefore, eventually have
28 region officers in consolidated regions to serve the units in their
respective areas."

( His suggested consolidation is as follows: Regions 1&2, 3, 4&5, 7&8,
6&9, 10, 11&12.)

He goes on to provide a Summary, Rationale, and Goals

He gives 6 Goals:
A. Locate rally sites in desirable areas with good climates at favorable
times of the year.
B. Locate sites with full hookups and facilities to accommodate 400-800
units or more.
C. Hold rallies for approximately one week duration.
D. Gain control of cost factors.
E. Renew energy and interest in the club and make Airstreaming more
inviting and enjoyable.
F. Attract younger, working member to more International Rallies.


A. Eliminate problems....
a. Electricity would become less troublesome
b. Wash water and black water would become less troublesome.
c. Less work and stress on volunteers.
d. Cut length of service time for region officers from six to four years.
B. Size of the International Rally is unwieldy.
C. Length of time and setup for the current rallies makes suitable rally sites and locations difficult to obtain.
D. Summer heat problems are making full electrical hookups a necessity.
E. Budget preparation and attendant cost factors and control are becoming more difficult.

A. Eliminate the International Rally held under the present Constitution mandate.
B. Reorganize 12 regions into 7 regional zones.
C. Appoint/elect four region officers to serve each region zone.
D. The International Rally Committee would designate a different regional rally each year as the "Official" International Rally and rotate the honor as per the regional presidents choice.
E. Hold rallies for approximately one week. A pre-rally might be held for the Band and Teen Queen.
Jack Canavera
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Old 03-20-2005, 02:37 PM   #27
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Change is good

I agree with a little of what everyone has to say. We have not received our Blue Beret for March. Changes would be.
1) I think it would be good to change to 5 or 7 regions, each region would have their own rally.
2) Each region could have theirs at a different time of the year. Having different regional rally's could accomodate more working people and free up July 1st and 4th.
3) 10 days is way too long. Cut all the hoopla and party hard for 4 days.
4) Most important, when you set up these region, presidents should elected, not appointed by their cronies.
5) Need to have workshops for people wanting to do repairs to their trailers.
6) Change the name of the club, should have Airstream in it.
Just my thoughts. Marvin
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Old 03-20-2005, 02:44 PM   #28
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an additional .20 cents

Originally Posted by jcanavera
Oh my gawd! It's all our fault!

Take me out to the woodshed!

LOL... brightened my day with your comment.

I don't think that airstreamforums has had anything to do with declining member numbers. It was because of the airstreamforums that we joined the WBCCI. That's how we found out about it. Technology today helps up to answer our questions faster and keeps us in touch almost immediately. This should, in fact, give us all greater opportunities within the club and at gatherings. We can intermingle with 7,000 A/Sers in one place, then bring new information back with us to our local groups.


For me, belonging to a historic institution, especially one that promotes the vision of travelling in style and exploring new territory, while meeting new friends, was the inspiration.

Wally had the vision. The club has lost the vision for the changing times. It really would be simple to steer things in a new direction, once that most of the mis-directions are identified. Or, it could simply be a new committee to focus membership opportunities for the younger/newer/vintage and changing a demographic of prospective members. Meeting the needs of a changing demographic is not difficult. In fact, it could be fun.

I read through the committees for the International and I noticed that knitting was there. While I wouldn't be interested in that, I would be interested in astronomy. Both Tim and I are amateur astronomers, president and vice president of our local society, and we would love to introduce amateur astronomy to Airstreamers. I'm sure there are a lot of ASers who bring their scopes with them. In fact, we're looking forward to brining our scopes on the road with us in Buttercup and doing star parties for the group. Broadening the types of activities and bringing them closer to home with larger regional events and more local events could be very effective.

I don't think that changing the name would draw any significance or gain any ground. The WBCCI is very well associated with the product, once you find it. Its important to hold together the root of the history and the vision of Wally. Wally just needs to have fun in the 21 century and realize the needs of potential and existing members.

We have some friends who have been talking about getting a new Bambi for the past 3 years. They are a young professional couple who are very design savvy. They have a 7 year old son and enjoy weekend camping trips with hiking and active adventures. The one thing that is holding them back is the cost of a new rig, and, their busy, hectic lives prohibit them from adopting an older one. Are they potential WBCCI members? Well, they joined the astronomy club and have come to one event a year, for the past 3 years! They do believe in fellowship and history.

My best girlfriend wants a vintage rig so bad she has expressed her envy in our purchase. Her and her husband are very active - mtn. bikers, hikers and adventurers at heart, but with their current situation, can't make it happen just yet. They will be coming around soon, though. Are they WBCCI member potentials? Well, honestly no I don't think so. They would probably come to a few regional rallies as our guest, but, they are more the free-thinking, free-doing types. Now, if the local untis had a martini social and a rock-climbing group...

Look at Disneyland, for instance. Flight to Mars then - waiting in line for hours was the norm. Now there's 10 exhibits/rides in in's place. Disneyland constantly re-invents itself to a new demographic of children, who've never been before and to the adults, who haven't seen it in a while. They keep everyone coming.

Okay, okay. I'm giving more than my additional .20 cents. I haven't been to the International. I haven't been to a regional or local. Hell, I haven't even spent the night in my new/old beautiful AS. But, I can say I've reached the end of the internet in my quest for information over the last 2 months, and, there are many things I've seen that have sparked my curiosity and many things I've seen that have made me wonder why. I have only been persuaded to join in, as you can see from this post.

I have been a desert rat for over 14 years - exploring the beautiful state of Nevada and all its backroads, history and ghost towns. Camping styles ranging from car to tent to pop-up. Overnight, weedend, week-long and 2.5 weeks at a time. I love to be OUT THERE. The road and ground under my feet with the blue skies and dark night skies to wonder at. And, lot's of my friends are intrigued with my travels. I truly think that most of them would prefer an AS than SOB. Now, how to get them involved.

SOBs market and advertise their products in this region, heavily. Nevada, being a more rugged and adventursome place. Most of the residents own and rv of some kind - mostly SOBs, especially toy haulers and fifth wheels. Maybe the new AS designs will be the beginning of a new breed of club members. And don't forget the post baby boomers, who have wanted a big silver dream for more than half their lives.

Buttercup's Web Site. WBCCI #17330, 11281 & 7830. VAC Past President, TAC NV-2 & NV-3
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