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Old 03-22-2005, 01:47 PM   #71
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Another thing many people don't realize is that if you go to a rally you don't have to join them for every activity, or every dinner. The rally fees are pretty minimal (at our unit anyway), usually $10. We have skipped dinner and cooked in our trailer, or skipped the evening entertainment and gone out on the town, and no one has ever given us a hard time, in fact they usually just ask what we did and if we had a good time. Often the time spent just hanging around socializing is worth going to a rally, and a chance to explore a new area. The entertainment, meals, and activitys are just a bonus if we happen to be interested.

I think the clubs should be very welcoming to having prospective members drop in for a rally or two before they make the commitment to join. $70 might be nothing to some people, but it's still a lot to us. We probably would never have joined if we hadn't been given a free year to try it out.
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Old 03-22-2005, 02:12 PM   #72
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Not trying to change minds

Not that I'm trying to change the minds of anyone or how they feel about the WBCCI, buy I would like to give you an invite. The WBCCI/WDCU is holding their "Cherry Blossom Rally" in April here in the Washington, DC area. It is what is called a "buddy rally". You can come, camp from Thurs-Sun, or show up on Friday/Sat if you work and can not get off until then or show up for the open house on Sat., it's really up to you. If you do want to camp at the rally there will be a fee, you "DO NOT" have to sign up to the WBCCI. Come kick the tires, sit by the fire, talk about a broken toilet, drink an beer, whatever! Here is the link to our homepage that will have the info you will need to attend.
http://www.servintfree.net/wbcci-dc/
Come, if you don't like it, fine. You spent nothing more than your time and a few bucks for camping(if you choose to camp) and you'd spend that if you went to a campground anyway. Again, it is open to "EVERYBODY". If your Airstream is broke down and you have to bring an "SOB" fine, it will give us something to talk and laugh about. Just trying to be as open as possible to non-members. I hope see you there!

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Old 03-22-2005, 02:38 PM   #73
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As for why rallies tend to be members-only...As I understand it (and, please, I'm not an officer or a lawyer!) part of membership fees in WBCCI is used to purchase insurance. The insurance, as I understand, only covers members. That ensures that, if some act of misfortune or negligence causes material damage to participants or trailers at a rally, there's protection to the participants, WBCCI and officers to avoid losing their shirts in liability claims. I don't know what goes with buddy rallies, but I imagine that there probably is a requirement for some kind of liability waiver (now, whether that happens, is another thing).

Now if you have an independent rally (or rendezvous, if you prefer), the liability issue is probably not going to be a concern until something bad happens. I understand some campgrounds will not permit group camping unless there is proof of coverage.

If you wonder more about how WBCCI uses your dues, why don't you ask them? Dues are moderate, but I can see a number of things that can get costly--the magazine, the International, and insurance. I don't know what WBCCI's legal status is, but I think it's some kind of not-for-profit, so these records are likely public.

Hearkening back to discussion yesterday, I do, after reflection, differ with Paul on one point from yesterday Even though I am a happy member, I think it is in WBCCI's best interest to understand why the airstream owners who aren't members don't join. Why? That's the missing market share!

I reread the latest Blue Beret last night and I really do think they are trying to get this debate started, hoping it will get us all thinking about what would make WBCCI more valuable in our lives. I don't know that the WBCCI leadership has much exposure to non members. But bear in mind, very few top WBCCI leaders are on the internet, much less participants in Airstream Forums. Complaining here isn't going to do much more than make the folks here who do toil over local WBCCI activities disheartened that their efforts are not appreciated.

So, if this is you, why don't you let them know as well and write them a letter? I bet they'd welcome thoughtful explanations. Make it clear, organized and polite (I hate to get on folks about writing style, but some of the rambling reasons I've noted here would just confuse, hurt and insult). Granted, your reasons may not be indicative of other non-members, but at least it would expose a new perspective.

Mary
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Old 03-22-2005, 04:39 PM   #74
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It's about the local units...

Since Big Dee defended me, let me defend him...

Our local unit has 10 active members, average age is 75, only 2 have access to a computer (Big Dee and me..), and they have never done a buddy rally or any other non-member or open event... The officers live out of the county, and the annual schedule includes 3 fairgrounds and two roadside RV parks within an hour of San Jose, and for one the only local attraction is the Airstream Dealer in Los Banos..

I'd be interested in leading change from within, but there's a limited probability of changing.. I love Jack's perspectives, and envy those of you with large units, active schedules and a variety of open or flexible events. While there's a place for some scheduled and regimented events, openness and flexibility are part of the reasons for Airstreaming, and should not be viewed as inappropriate at a rally.. Wanting to sleep in, skip breakfast and eat at 7 shouldn't be anti-social behaviors..

I also agree with point of view (as expressed way back in second page..) that this topic ignites passion BECAUSE so many of us care, and are passionate about our hobby.. Hopefully the passionate dialogue will result in pressures to improve and change for the better.. My token was to officially respond to Cindy Reed at WBCCI staff with my specific reactions to Jim's article, and to encourage her and the HQ staff to read these posts to see how both members and non-members were feeling...

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Old 03-22-2005, 07:36 PM   #75
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I just joined our local unit and the international unit too (I guess). I'm pretty confused about what you all are talking about. This is beginning to sound like almost every club I have ever belonged to. Is there a lot of disagreement amoung members generally. The unit I joined seems pretty laid back. I am not ready to take the Argosy to any events. Gee, I haven't even taken it out of the yard since it got home from El Paso, TX. in November; however, I thought it would be a fun thing to go to one of the rallys. Do they generally have a pretty structured agenda. I'm not into structure.
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Old 03-22-2005, 08:26 PM   #76
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Every unit is different. Prior to rally season ours have monthly luncheons, which is a nice way to get to know people. I've found our unit to be friendly and welcoming. I hope you find yours the same!
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Old 03-22-2005, 09:05 PM   #77
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you just pick and choose

Quote:
Originally Posted by juel
Do they generally have a pretty structured agenda. I'm not into structure.
The rallies have program guides and you can review what's offered starting with doughnuts and coffee (quite early though 7:30-8:00?) with all kinds of activities and things to do ending with entertainment in the evening. You just pick out what's appealing to you and head on over to whereever that function is being held. There's no pressure to attend ceremonies or any events. You come and go as you please, meet new people, meet up with friends, take off into town to explore on your own if you like. There's a lot offered. I usually meander around and I investigate and sometimes stay sometimes move on. There's plenty to do and see. And I don't need to be entertained or occupied the entire time to have fun there but you could be if you wanted to. There is enough going on. It's laid back and it's very friendly. With that many different people you're bound to find your comfort niche.
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Old 03-22-2005, 09:50 PM   #78
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Quote:
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Do they generally have a pretty structured agenda. I'm not into structure.
Each unit is different. Ours is tightly structured. I really didn't think much about it at first. But then the next rally seemed a lot like the one before and then I realized that we do it the same way every time. Breakfast at 7, lunch at 12, programs in the PM, social hour at 4, dinner at 5 or 6, games after dinner. On Sunday its Sunday service at 9.

Sunday breakfast is always some type of roll or donut. Biskets and gravy are a breakfast staple. Some of us think that we have a 5 year supply of gravy that gets frozen and passed down to each rally over the years.

New folks hosting the rallies are instructed in the format and it goes on and on and on and on............

So then I went to a regional rally...only to find out it was just like the unit rally only with more people and with a flag ceremony, and of course ice cream every night for dessert. There must be something about ice cream since it seems to be the big thing. I remember the regional had ice cream every night.

Folks are all friendly. I remember I went site seeing during the regional. While out I got a call on my cell phone asking me why I wasn't at social hour. I told them I was out site seeing. I guess I should thank them after all, I guess they were just checking to make sure I wasn't dead in my trailer.

You see why I want to break the mold.

Jack
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Old 03-22-2005, 10:28 PM   #79
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Quote:
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New folks hosting the rallies are instructed in the format and it goes on and on and on and on............


You see why I want to break the mold.

Jack
But this is exactly when the mold should be broken with - the new hosts - but if they are from the same generation - you will not see change - or nothing to radical anyway.

There have been a few comments throughout this thread that may indicate that the Vintage owners are the younger generation - well from what we saw at the Sarasota Rally that may not be exactly accurate. We were very surprised - and pleasantly pleased to see some pretty Hip 60-70 year olds toting their cool vintage rigs and the stories to go with them and the help they provide was incredible - so people don't be too quick to lump everyone all in the same basket.

There was a pretty full schedule at the Sarasota Rally (hints of exactly the type of schedule at our own unit events) - but we made it to only two dinners, the vendor stores, and several happy hours. We found it took so long to get anywhere for the SAGS (stop and gab sessions). Our sleeping arrangements made for very difficult times in getting out of bed before 7 - so we did NOT. A cup of tea in bed beats a line up for donuts in my book (at this stage in my life) Those early risers how do they do it......- ha I know.... they are in bed by 9 We don't operate in quite that time schedule yet - but one day we will.

Even though there needs to be changes folks I still think caution needs to be aired as not to make it miserable for long standing members (but I am sure if you injected a bit of change here and there within your own units) - some just might surprise you all and let their hair down!!!!

For those of you who seem to hit a brick wall - you should seek out those units that have gone through an uprising - find out how they managed and what others have done to correct some of the idiosyncrasies of their units.

And last for those of you who are not members love to have you cause you seem to be pretty strong in the comment section and idea section but in the interim - it might be prudent to pass on a donation to the club for the privilege of passing judgment toward a club to which you are not members.
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Old 03-23-2005, 07:23 AM   #80
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Here's your chance!

Since the WDCU rally schedule is already full for 2005 and looks very close to being full in 2006, I'm sure by 2007 I will be ready to host a rally. I have been reading this thread and as many of you know, responding to this thread. From defending the WBCCI to giving "everyone" an open invite to a rally in April. In my reading of this thread I keep hearing the "general problems" with the WBCCI club and/or the rallies are the same/structured. I would like to ask a question to those with all the great "ideas of change" If you were going to host a rally, with say 25 trailers(total of 50-60 people) What days would it be done? (remember people work) Where would you do this rally?(remember people want hookups), What would you offer if anything to eat and at what time?(coffee, dognuts, a meal, etc...), What types of things would you do to get the group together? In case of rain would you have a tent? Overall question I have, "How would you do a rally and what if any would be the schedule?" And remember, you have people from the age of 30-75 attending plus a few kids.

I would really like answers. I hope to host a rally in 2007 and would love to hear some of the "out of the box" ideas or changes that can be made. I'm always looking for new things to do. Example, I put up a hot air balloon at my last rally and gave some people rides! I'll wait for the many post of ideas and if you don't mind I may use some of them at my next rally. So, "here's your chance!

Paul Waddell
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Old 03-23-2005, 08:10 AM   #81
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Our local unit has 10 active members, average age is 75, only 2 have access to a computer (Big Dee and me..), and they have never done a buddy rally or any other non-member or open event... The officers live out of the county, and the annual schedule includes 3 fairgrounds and two roadside RV parks within an hour of San Jose, and for one the only local attraction is the Airstream Dealer in Los Banos.. I'd be interested in leading change from within, but there's a limited probability of changing.. I also agree with point of view (as expressed way back in second page..) that this topic ignites passion BECAUSE so many of us care, and are passionate about our hobby..John McG
John & Big Dee:

A quick look at the rooster for the Northern Calif-Casini Rally Big Dee is organizing shows me there are 13 trailers or trailer couples attending. That group is the nucleus for change in your very stale local unit. Tell your local officers you and Big Dee volunteer to host a Buddy Rally next year and seek only their blessing and, hopefully, their attendance. Then run next year's Casini Rally as the buddy rally. Advertise it and and schedule events as you see fit, to show your local officers how things can be done differently. I bet they will be amazed at the attendance.

Alternatively, if the volunteer approach does not fly with your local unit leadership for whatever reason, then offer to host a buddy rally for the next closest Calif unit, which might really like a dozen or so new members. Or think palace revolt. If all 13 Casini attendees band together as new members of your local unit, you can be running that unit in a few short years. Either way, I see a tremendous opportunity for changing your local unit from within because of the strong show of support by Casini participants for something different in your area. I see your local unit a ripe for redirection.

It may not be easy, but then again you might be surprised at how much support for change is simmering just under the surface and out at the edges of your local unit. That there are only 10 active members out of the entire rooster tells me there is more unspoken support for change within your unit than you recognize.
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Old 03-23-2005, 09:17 AM   #82
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Wink A Reflective View

Just a general note, while I have been critical of the processes and procedures, I can't say enough about the people in our unit. They do care about the membership, they make sure that new members are included and not isolated in the functions that we do. We just lost one fellow whose wife and he took us under their wing on the first couple of rallys three years ago. We commented that we had grandparents again, and we meant that in a very considerate way. Its sad to see them pass on or become too infirmed to travel. For many this club is their life and sometimes their only social encounter. So with all of my issues I understand that we cannot radically change this institution only to deal with my needs and wants.

There is room for both though, and in many cases what I'm trying to espouse is multiple events a year that meet the needs of the younger membership and also respect the traditions of what is there today. There is room for both and while we will be doing some things differently on some events in 2006, there will still be events with the structure that the long time members enjoy to partake in.

It's interesting that when I talk to many of the older members individually, they tell me about how the local unit was much less structured and focused less on "entertaining and feeding" folks at the rally and more on the enjoyment of the surroundings and each others company. "It just seemed to have evolved over time as we grew older" is the comment also noted.

I guess that's where we are going, and I think we will evolve back towards how it used to be. It will be an evolution though and not a revolution.

Regards,

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Old 03-23-2005, 09:58 AM   #83
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rideair
I would like to ask a question to those with all the great "ideas of change" If you were going to host a rally, with say 25 trailers(total of 50-60 people) What days would it be done? (remember people work) Where would you do this rally?(remember people want hookups), What would you offer if anything to eat and at what time?(coffee, dognuts, a meal, etc...), What types of things would you do to get the group together? In case of rain would you have a tent? Overall question I have, "How would you do a rally and what if any would be the schedule?"
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Paul, the first consideration would be timeframe. How long do you want the rally to be. That will dictate what structure you will have. Second question would be is this an "entertainment rally" or a "get out and enjoy the outdoors" rally. That again tells me whether I need to enlist help to pull this off.

I think the mistake many folks do is making the rally so complex and detailed that the organizer gets overwhelmed with work and duties and can't enjoy the function themselves. Another thing is that in their need for a "program" we end up with things that are done by reluctant volunteers or are not well thought out. I know of people who avoid rallys because they can't stand being tapped again to be the cook for the 7AM breakfast.

Another example, at one rally a unit decided to do a computer seminar on email, since they were now emailing the newsletter as a PDF attachment. Good idea. The fellow who did this however, tried to do a presentation in a brightly lit area using a 17" monitor in front of a group of 20 or so people. Needless to say nobody could see anything the his meeting disolved into everyone chit chatting.

At Moraine View, the rally has been done as an enjoy the outdoors social event and in my opinion has worked well. Everyone is responsible for their own reservations and food. The only structure we attempt is the pot luck, open house, and campfire. It's short, sweet, and simple. I try to have a giveaway for everyone attending, and some of the attendees have provided giveaways also. Last year Zamboni provided the site signs, I gave away Airstream style keychains, I forgot who brought the prize (I think it was Zamboni) but we had one for the person who traveled the furthest distance, some folks chipped in and bought firewood, and Tin Can Luv brought flamingos and whirly giggs for everyone. Maybe this year we are going to try to do a movie. But for this we need an LCD projector and screen (we are going to try to do this right).

Another rally we were looking at with the co support of another fourm member, would be more structured with at least a potential catered dinner and some restoration seminars, and a drive in movie.

I love the idea of the hot air balloon. That's different. But as noted there are only so many things you can do with a rally. The goal in our unit seems to be do it on the cheap but in some cases the results reflect the cheap attitude. My view is that if you can't do it well, then don't do it. If I can't get an LCD projector and screen for Moraine View, I'm not going to show movies to the group on my 15" TV.

Remember that you can't please everyone and if you try to please everyone you probably will end up with a product that pleases no one. Don't fall into the trap that you need to entertain folks every minute of the day or have some function going on. That's what drives some of us completely crazy.

Jack
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Old 03-23-2005, 10:19 AM   #84
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We commented that we had grandparents again, and we meant that in a very considerate way.
Right on! I'm looking forward to meeting with people across the generations. Our own family is so spread out across the country that we rarely get to see our parents, and our children aren't able to grow up with their grandparents. We miss this a lot in our lives.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jcanavera
There is room for both though, and in many cases what I'm trying to espouse is multiple events a year that meet the needs of the younger membership and also respect the traditions of what is there today.
I think this is the way to go. Airstreaming is what moves us; it should be blind to age. We can learn from those who joined WBCCI ahead of us.

Juel -- Like I said, I'm new to the WBCCI and haven't even attended a rally yet. But from my interaction so far with the local unit they seem to be a great group of people, very helpful and friendly, doing things that our family would enjoy, and very welcoming to new members. The rallies look flexible enough to meet the needs/wants of the members. It appears that different units do things differently though. I'm not so sure about the larger organization in general, and when I mentioned hoping for change in WBCCI I was thinking more along the lines of what I've heard about the International rally and upper organizational tiers of WBCCI.
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