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Old 09-08-2012, 11:05 AM   #1
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Letter to editor, Blue Beret, draft

Attached is a draft letter to the editor of the Blue Beret concerning recruitment and retention. I'd appreciate your commentary!

Please note: I did not and will not include the name of our park in this letter, for the name of the park is completely beside the point of the letter. To include it in the letter or even to bring it up here in the forums would be inappropriate in more than just a couple of ways. So don't ask, and I won't tell!


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Old 09-08-2012, 11:30 AM   #2
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Nota bene: I just distributed the draft (with the same proviso concerning name of our park) via the WBCCI presence on Facebook as well.

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Old 09-08-2012, 12:25 PM   #3
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Yeah, yeah, yeah, I caught the goof-up: It's "measly," not "measley."

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Old 09-08-2012, 04:12 PM   #4
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I belong to Passport America. I think 50% discount is too much. Have felt guilty going into a struggling park and paying half price. The 50% discount is also high enough so that now it comes with a lot of restrictions on days it is good and length of stay. Would like to see 20 to 25% discount instead and fewer restrictions.
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Old 09-08-2012, 04:42 PM   #5
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I belong to Passport America. I think 50% discount is too much. Have felt guilty going into a struggling park and paying half price. The 50% discount is also high enough so that now it comes with a lot of restrictions on days it is good and length of stay. Would like to see 20 to 25% discount instead and fewer restrictions.
I don't think 50% is to much if it fills a spot that would be empty otherwise.
Of course for us private parks are usually the stop of last resort, in fact if it has resort in the name we probablywon't stop.

The escapees club has some parks in their system that offer 50% and a greater number at 15%..

I suspect 10% is not much of an incentive for some one to choose a park and it is not reasonable to expect a park to pay for the privilege of being on the 10% list.

Certainly a list of parks offering a significant discount to WBCCI members would be a good perk to offer.
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Old 09-08-2012, 04:57 PM   #6
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Nice letter Lynn. If the WBCCI adopts it I'd be a penny wise and a pound foolish to not rejoin!
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Old 09-08-2012, 05:14 PM   #7
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I hope you will rejoin us, Forrest!!

Actually, this idea came about some years ago when Lowell and Connie were here for a rally. They're (or were) members of Passport America and showed us the printed directory. And we started talking ...

50% is a lot of discount, but I think it is intended to fill spots that otherwise wouldn't be filled. That's why Passport allows all sorts of restrictions on availability and so forth, I suspect. As far as I'm concerned, I think the restrictions are ok (though a few of them are so restricted that it hardly makes sense to try; their problem, not ours).

One additional point, though this is just my opinion. Because this would be a fluid thing -- parks joining, parks quitting -- I think it would be best if this were handled entirely via electronic means, certainly not something printed in the yearly book, which would be almost assuredly out of date at the moment it hits the press. At best, then, members can be reminded that the program exists in the Blue Beret, but provided only with a link to the WBCCI site, where the list is kept -- and kept up to date.

Likewise, there has to be oversight. Years ago, the old WBCCI system of listing parks that gave discounts (usually 10% or so) was, well, a bit loopy. We tried to use it a couple of times while on vacation, only to discover that the park managers didn't even know what the WBCCI is, let alone anything of a discount. What a disappointment!

By oversight, then, I think yearly contact has to be established with cooperating parks (email is fine, IMHO) to ascertain that they're still with us. If not, then their listing must be deleted immediately.


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Old 09-08-2012, 07:48 PM   #8
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Parks affiliated with Passport America, or Good Sam, or any other organization, get one distinct benefit - Advertising. By being listed in the Passport America Directory, or the Good Sam Directory, that gets the name of the park out to people who might otherwise never hear of the place.

Given the membership numbers for Good Sam and for Passport America, offering a discount in exchange for being listed in the directory is a reasonable tradeoff; where else can they reach so many people all at once? It's like having a Yellow Pages listing coast-to-coast instead of just in their neighborhood.

What campgrounds would join the WBCCI network if they've never heard of WBCCI, and have no idea what kind of business it would bring in? It's not a good deal for the campground if they join only to find that no one from WBCCI bothers to go there. How would we find these places to enlist them? How would we rate them as to the quality of their amenities? How would we ensure that there's enough WBCCI business at that campground to justify their commitment?

I think that the optimum solution would be for each Unit find campgrounds where it would like to hold rallies, and have someone from the Unit contact the park and see if they would be willing to offer a WBCCI discount, not just for the rally, but all the time? Because they would get business from rallies and so they would know who WBCCI is, there would be a reason for these campgrounds to sign up.

Then, once the Unit has gotten the campground on board at the local level, the Unit can report the campground, complete with a review according to a standardized rating system, to Headquarters for inclusion in the new campground network so other members can hear about the place.
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Old 09-08-2012, 08:18 PM   #9
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Great letter, and great idea!
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Old 09-08-2012, 08:39 PM   #10
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...What campgrounds would join the WBCCI network if they've never heard of WBCCI, and have no idea what kind of business it would bring in? It's not a good deal for the campground if they join only to find that no one from WBCCI bothers to go there. How would we find these places to enlist them? How would we rate them as to the quality of their amenities? How would we ensure that there's enough WBCCI business at that campground to justify their commitment?
You bring up some good points! I'll try to answer a couple of them:

1. If nobody from the WBCCI goes to a campground that offers the discount, then there's really no harm done. The park didn't pay to join, so all they got was some free advertising, even though nobody took advantage of it.

2. Finding these parks is pretty simple, I think. Passport America, for instance, lists all of their parks on their website. Evidently, each and every of them is willing to do a 50% discount. We just ask; if they're not interested, so be it.

3. I don't think the discount program should involve itself in rating campgrounds. There's plenty of independent info of that kind available on the web, rvparkreviews.com being one of the more prominent ones. If the place is a dump, that info is readily available without our getting ourselves involved in determining this in some official way as a club.

4. The commitment is theirs to make in exchange for some extra business. Remember, though, that they wouldn't have to pay us (the WBCCI) anything. That makes it similar to Passport America, but very, very different from Good Sam. (We pay Good Sam quite a few hundreds of dollars per year for the affiliation. I'm still not convinced that it's worth it.)


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Old 09-08-2012, 08:52 PM   #11
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Good letter, Lynn. I think it's a bueno idea...and it's a win-win for everyone. We enjoyed our stay in the unnamed RV park, too, by the way...and the discount was great!
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Old 09-09-2012, 08:16 AM   #12
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In case you're wondering about Passport America (the closest model to the one I'm proposing here), the linked page below provides information for campground owners on how the system works:

Passport America Affiliates


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Old 09-09-2012, 05:18 PM   #13
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What a simply brilliant idea! One of the members from the Oregon Unit told me about your letter so of course I had to come check it out. As much as my husband and I love to camp @ State & Federal parks, we've also grown very fond of some very special private RV parks here in the Pacific NW.
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Old 09-09-2012, 06:10 PM   #14
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I've owned an airstream for 3 years, bought it used from a friend (who was not a member) and the unit has numbers on it. Until I accidentally found this site I had no idea what the numbers where even for. (lots of camping, not much RVing I guess)

The wife and I are in our thirties with 2 teenagers, and have no intention of joining the WBCCI, (although I have been checking out the local unit's web site). Not because we have anything against it, we just don't see a purpose in joining (I'm not trying to be rude, just trying to illustrate a point). But if I stayed at a park that offered a discount and provided a list of other parks that also offered the same discount for WBCCI members, I would already be a member.

In defense of the WBCCI, I also have not heard of passport America either, I suppose we are just weekend warriors.
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