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Old 03-23-2005, 10:45 AM   #85
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Jack were are on the same page!

Jack,

As I read your post, all of what you said I pretty much did at the "Hot Air Balloon Rally in the Valley" last year. I stuck to the "norm" but with a twist. All coffee, happyhours, dinners,etc... were up to you to attend. Reason, if you were out doing one of the three major events going on that weekend, you would not be around to do anything. We did have a tent in case of rain. There was a Hot Air Balloon feastival, civil war reenactment and a wine festival. One of the nights I showed the travel channel show about Airstreams and the club on the side of the tent with a projector. The night of the install of the new P/1stVP/2ndVP/etc... we gave away everything from TP to PinkJuice, t-shirts/sweatshirts, applebutter/etc.... One morning I put up a hot air balloon for rides and the campfire went until 2-3am each night with wood that I brought from home. It was a lot of w...ork to make sure that everyone had what they needed. From directions/maps, a hot cup of coffee to where do I dump my tanks. It sounds like you are doing a great j...ob, I hope to meet you some day. You are proof that the club can be fun and chage what the "standard" is at this time. We too have some great people in our unit. As I like to say, most if not all color outside of the lines. I'll be at International, hope to see you there. In life, there are people that talk and people that do. I'm not trying to talk about what I do, just want to let people know there is a lot of fun to be had, but with that fun comes a lot of work.

Paul Waddell
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Old 03-23-2005, 10:59 AM   #86
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There seems to be an underlying belief that if someone doesn't organize socialization at a gathering it will not happen. The advantage is that with the structure new people can participate just by showing up. The more units you have the more structure it takes to have a sense of being "a group". Otherwise it "breaks down" into clicks subgroups and loners. That's the nature of human beings.

The historical emphasis on large events creates challenges. Smaller gatherings ( a word I much prefer to rally, it's calmer and doesn't imply a central agenda and authority) would be welcome, prehaps around special interests or events. A DC and New England rally last September of the Big E (New England States Fair) was pleasant. A modest number of units, like 15-20, some gathering activities like breakfast and campfire, but I never had the feeling there was a schedule making demands on me. I did feel welcome and included by folks I just met. There were some who stayed to theirselves.

Regionals had a completly different feeling. Not bad, just different, more like going to a convention than camping. They also have ham in hot water as a meal. I am a camper at heart. We like to get away and find a nice spot to camp. I like to grill steaks on the open pit and sit by the fire until late. I don't like two hours of what should we do today. If the AS wasn't so comfortable for my bones I'ld be doing it in a tent down some river with my canoe. This is an activity I've also done with a group and found has the same issues of structure and organization and a safety need for both.
I don't think the insurance is an issue. The Appalachian Mountian Club allows non-members on all their activities, you just pay a little more.

More small gatherings (which means more unit encouragement and less restriction on members willing to do the work) and a protocol to enable people with similar interests to organize gatherings or mini caravans around those interest. For example I'ld really like to do a BBQ gathering at one of the big competitions. Or an Arizona winery gathering, or a shore dinner gathering.
When I do these all AS will be welcome. But you'll have to entertain yourselves or learn to relax.
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Old 03-23-2005, 11:09 AM   #87
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rideair
Jack,

, I hope to meet you some day. You are proof that the club can be fun and chage what the "standard" is at this time. We too have some great people in our unit. As I like to say, most if not all color outside of the lines. I'll be at International, hope to see you there.
Paul Waddell
Paul, it looks like you are doing a great job! Those events look awesum!

Part of my philosophy in life is, if you are going to complain about something you also need to be part of the solution. I wouldn't be vocal if I wasn't willing to be a part of the change mechanism.

Unfortunately even though the International is in my "backyard" this year, I have a major convention going on here at the convention center and I need to be here during that period. Maybe we will meet sometime else in some other venue.

Thanks for your kind remarks.

Regards,

Jack
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Old 03-23-2005, 11:13 AM   #88
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I wish things would happen more quicky. The WBCCI has so many rules, you have to plan everything so far ahead, it's hard to get anything done. I can't plan a rally a year ahead, I don't know what I'll be doing in a year. Planning a month or two ahead is challenging enough. It's frustrating when there's an opportunity to have a great get together, and they tell you to volunteer to put it on the schedule next year.
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Old 03-23-2005, 12:21 PM   #89
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Cool Waiting to Join

I have been following this thread for the last few days and I am truly excited.

I just sent the check to purchase a vintage Airstream for which I have been searching for over a year. As soon as the title arrives I plan to join the WBCCI and the VAC.

If this discussion is any indication of the passion members and nonmembers have concerning the future of the WBCCI than I definitely want to be a member. I have lurked on the forum off and on for the last year. I have devoured all the information I could find on Airstreams. I have joined the VAC as an associate member and I can hardly wait to be a full time member.

I think it will be great to be a member of the WBCCI at a time when it is experiencing growing (or shrinking) pains.

I look forward to stopping by the Buddy Rally during the Cherry Blossom Festival at the farm in Upper Marlboro, since I live just across the river in Alexandria, Va. it will be a short drive.

As an outsider it appears the members may be soon facing a dilema, or at least they are willing to admit change is inevitable. But what a admirable process.


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Old 03-23-2005, 12:27 PM   #90
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Good for you TW. Your local unit is IMHO one of the best. WDCU. You'll have a great time with some real people.
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Old 03-23-2005, 12:49 PM   #91
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Glad you want to join!

TW,

Look forward to meeting you and hope you bring your new trailer. Sounds like you have all the info to get there. If you have any questions, let me know, I'll help in anyway I can. Are you planning on camping or just stopping by for open house or a happy hour/etc....

Paul Waddell
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Old 03-23-2005, 12:55 PM   #92
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Originally Posted by rideair

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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Hey Paul sounds like you have a good handle on what your unit interests are - or did you just take a chance that your ideas would be a hit.

One of the easiest ways to find out what people might like is to ASK them. None of us should be apprehensive to approach club members to toss around different ideas - see what raises eyebrows and what sort of goes over the head without reaction.

With smaller units you have it made - a few e-mails and a couple of stamps and you could get some real input.
Try not to fall into the same old trap of asking "what do you want to do at a Rally? or ask them to comment on what has or is being doing".

As some say here - think outside the box.... Ask questions that will reveal what makes each member tick - their home life, family members, pet owners, interests, hobbies (other than the obvious Airstream interests). Ask where they have traveled and what places got them excited, types of restaurants or picnics/BBQ's that were fun and interesting above all tasty. What sporting or recreational activities they like, or awards they have one (which gets you the same result) and the questions are endless....In otherwords really get to know your potential participants. With the information you collect you will bound to find some common ground within your Unit.

Now all you have to do is brainstorm to come up with both schedules, activites and the menus to tickle your members interests.....

That is why I wish our unit was smaller - just a mailing alone would be a heafty donation at .50 cents a letter to a tune of $100.00. But if we were in Regions then I would be looking at maybe a 1/4 of our membership.

There are already "splinter" groups - but without the attitude some think there may be - we have a great Unit with great people (it will just take us 10 years to meet everyone.

We have eastern dinners and western dinners as well as south west - not too much happening in the north or central part of the province and yet we have quite a few members residing in that area. So this is where we will be stepping in - as we live right between the north and central territory and might just be able to get some participation going.

Start small - by getting to know as many people as you can - then offer to run something different then move in for more ideas and suggestions each keeping the whole club in mind and of course the philosphies that "Wally" and his founding members created.

Ps - instead of the mess hall - have several trailers parked special in order to hand out the donuts - have a little open house at the same time - people love to look at Airstreams (but only a few like people trodding in so be careful to ask not pressure people into something new.

Then go radical and have a BRUNCH! (yeah we can sleep in) - or to meet the early risers just wonder to the trailer over here and there with our morning coffee instead of the cattle/sheep line up for donuts.

Set up a school "House" system where so many members are in a sub group - and would be responsible for running meals or activities (not the host!) You can still be involved even if you can not make the event. Start a few competitions with in the houses - such as charity work with all moving toward a single goal. This could evolve into Regional Competitions - all friendly of course - with the culmination of top acheivers from each region winning the honour to represent their region at the International - With the International allowing for Unit "Supporters". This type of system will unit Airstream! and meet all levels of participation and types of activites.

What could we do for competition (besides the crafts and food end of things) Hmmmmm how about croquet! BYOM&B (Our age group can handle that) just make sure the rock guards are all down cause you know some have some pretty mean Golf slices.
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Old 03-23-2005, 01:58 PM   #93
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Don't let Paul (Over59) kid you; he'll provide all the entertainment necessary, whether he intends to or not. LOL!!

I must say, though, I do detect a tad of inflexibility in both sides of this argument. while you can't expect anything to change by not joining, and just grumbling from the outside, there obviously needs to be some accomodation from the elders, as well. rules rules rules...well, yes, they do like their rules. I only see that as a "problem" when the importance of said "rules" takes on a life of its own, and the rules become more important than that for which they were intended to protect, prevent, or encourage. That is the very definition of beurocracy, and it is something for which we younger folks have very little patience or time. We bought these trailers to have a good time, and that goal is not being advanced one bit by some self-important poo-bah in a funny hat dictating with whom I will associate outside of wbcci events. I will continue to camp with my forum friends, as well as with my SOB friends. and Jack, if the president of your unit doesn't like it, then I wish to extend to him my most heartfelt invitation to kiss my belly pan.

good grief!!


fwiw: the NE forum rally last summer was attended by 80% wally-ites, including our unit VP. One unit that had to cancel at the last minute due to mechanical problems, was our unit PRESIDENT. and a great time was had by all. (and there wasn't a speck of canned ham in hot water to be found). Pics in my photo album...more to follow. http://www.airforums.com/photo...&c=3156&page=1

be that as it may, though, it is appropriate that the elders run the show. they have the experience, and more importantly, the time to devote to the task. Looking through the historic pictures in recent issues of the Blue Beret, it seems to me that this was always the case. and who else has time to take a year off to trepse through darkest Africa? While previous generations had more lesiure time than we do now, they didn't have that much. I bet if you ask them, they'd tell you that they had to put up with their parent's crap, the same way we have to now. I don't think thats such a bad thing, as long as the leadership can be just a scoch more flexible, so as not to cause the club to disolve completely before the next generation has the time to adjust things to its own liking.

I can't wait to hear what our kids have to say about our choice of headdress.....
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Old 03-23-2005, 05:02 PM   #94
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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 toward how it used to be. It will be an evolution though and not a revolution.

Jack,

I am on the same page here.

I see it not so much as a change in the way we want to do things, but a "getting back to the roots" of the organization as it was originally envisioned.

I guess the best way to put it is that I want the club to embrace the retro theme that is sweeping so much of the country. The club as I see it has become too inflexible, and quit growing a long time ago. I am not speaking of members, but in ideas and goals.

When I get resistance on changes, "that is the way we have always done it, scheduled it, or reserved it" I remind myself that in order to grow in life you have to get outside your comfort zone. Much of the membership is VERY comfortable with the status quo.

I changed things as unit president because I decided when things should happen at the rallies I hosted. The business meetings were moved around so they worked with the events that were scheduled. I got some flak on that, among other things, but it was a good experience and I have had many members thank me for a fun year.

I am not advocation overturning the whole applecart, but if enough of us push for change and are willing to be vocal about it there is the possibility for change to occur.

One of our best attended rallies was a rally for new years, there was very little on the schedule, and only a few meals were provided. It was thought that there would be a few in attendance, we had almost half the unit show up.

My experience as unit president taught me one thing. If you are willing to volunteer and make the effort, you can change things. You don't have to be unit president, but it helps
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Old 01-08-2006, 07:34 PM   #95
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one of the issues with social activities is the fear of trying new ones. once something has been tried and enjoyed it gets repeated..year after year. even forum rallies are likely to have this happen. it can be a challenge for people to reinvent and entertain themselves....
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Old 01-08-2006, 09:03 PM   #96
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one of the issues with social activities is the fear of trying new ones. once something has been tried and enjoyed it gets repeated..year after year. even forum rallies are likely to have this happen. it can be a challenge for people to reinvent and entertain themselves....
This is true, but the thing I try to remind everyone is that you may attend the same rally in the same place, with the same events, but each rally will be different because of the shared experiences that you have. I guess it is a version of the old saw of "you can never go back to...."

Like I mentioned in my post above. People need to pushed, cajoled, and sometimes ordered out of the box to see something from a new perspective. Once there they often realize that this is not a bad thing and become an advocate for change.
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Old 03-19-2006, 04:05 PM   #97
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well readers, spectators, watchers, posters......and imposters......

here is a thread worth reviewing.....with a little less flambe'....


i see some of the big wb issues as:
completely restructuring the club.......fewer regions, fewer local chapters and so on....

rewriting the constitutions, by laws and guiding documents.....

no pomp, or new pomp, but definitely less and different pomp...

now the redistricting is a hugh challenge.....
a new set of words for working documents.....wow that will be a full time job for some luck sole....
and plucking the pomp is well..........

so no owner so many/much focus on the name...
it is the simplest issue to tackle first........
and depending on membership response......

might enable changing all the other issues......

cheeers
2air'
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