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Old 02-15-2010, 11:08 AM   #71
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A final word

I've just reread this thread from start to finish - I must first say that it's a privilege to know so many thoughtful, intelligent and caring individuals. I'm constantly impressed that so many people are trying to light a candle rather than curse the darkness. Seeing so much uncommon sense makes me hesitant to add my 2 cents. However, fools rush in so...

HOW EFFECTIVE is writing to the IBT - Call Al Capone a crook and a murderer: he'd smile and cave your head in with a baseball bat. The IBT (present and past) have had their snouts in the trough so long they feel entitled. The ones serving now really DID have to kiss a lot of butt for years to get their turn at the gravy train... now it's just their turn. I don't sympathize, but I can understand that they are outraged every time some snot nosed "youngster" tries to upset their cosy little world.

I GOT PHYSICALLY SICK when I found out how much money the IBT members get in subsidies and how much they pissed away in last year's International.

So...

Tell 34 members of the sacred circle something they already know and have successfully kept on the "down low" for years... Why bother?

OR

Get those e-mail addresses of the remaining 7000 members - send them Paul Waddell's post, and 62Overlander's, and Streamer23, and most succinctly DwightDI's immortal words:
We have 35% of our dues money going to feed the egos of 34 people. We have way too many "leaders" sucking off the members. We need to get them to resign. Cutting off their funding will accomplish both goals. The problem is, those same 34 people are also the same old people who establish and control all funding. They will continue running the club to stroke their own egos and do the same old things they are familiar with and like. If we got rid of $125K of their expenses, we would have a balanced budget and the club would be financially viable. Someone tell me how we can do it, they have control and have written the rules and procedures to protect themselves and their interests.

The recession is teaching each of us to more actively "vote with our pocketbooks". The membership at large - many won't care - but many will... and what's happening in the IBT is only happening because people just don't KNOW what's going on.

I really want to stay in the WDCU... I'm trying to remember how impressed I was meeting PeeWee and not savage his mother's club... But I just can't ignore that the IBT is being paid to set up an international that loses $100K while they get champagne and the membership gets the shaft?

Preaching to the IBT is worse than preaching to the choir - it's an exercise in futility. Getting the members to realize that the IBT is responsible for the treasury being lighter by almost a quarter of a million dollars? Sexy? Not so much, but still it's kinda like a case of the chiggers... it's a little itch.. that gets bigger and more and more and more inflamed... and after a while you just can't ignore it any longer.

Paula
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Old 02-15-2010, 02:11 PM   #72
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Good post Paula

Quote:
Originally Posted by Foiled Again View Post
I've just reread this thread from start to finish - I must first say that it's a privilege to know so many thoughtful, intelligent and caring individuals. I'm constantly impressed that so many people are trying to light a candle rather than curse the darkness. Seeing so much uncommon sense makes me hesitant to add my 2 cents. However, fools rush in so...

HOW EFFECTIVE is writing to the IBT - Call Al Capone a crook and a murderer: he'd smile and cave your head in with a baseball bat. The IBT (present and past) have had their snouts in the trough so long they feel entitled. The ones serving now really DID have to kiss a lot of butt for years to get their turn at the gravy train... now it's just their turn. I don't sympathize, but I can understand that they are outraged every time some snot nosed "youngster" tries to upset their cosy little world.

I GOT PHYSICALLY SICK when I found out how much money the IBT members get in subsidies and how much they pissed away in last year's International.

So...

Tell 34 members of the sacred circle something they already know and have successfully kept on the "down low" for years... Why bother?

OR

Get those e-mail addresses of the remaining 7000 members - send them Paul Waddell's post, and 62Overlander's, and Streamer23, and most succinctly DwightDI's immortal words:
We have 35% of our dues money going to feed the egos of 34 people. We have way too many "leaders" sucking off the members. We need to get them to resign. Cutting off their funding will accomplish both goals. The problem is, those same 34 people are also the same old people who establish and control all funding. They will continue running the club to stroke their own egos and do the same old things they are familiar with and like. If we got rid of $125K of their expenses, we would have a balanced budget and the club would be financially viable. Someone tell me how we can do it, they have control and have written the rules and procedures to protect themselves and their interests.

The recession is teaching each of us to more actively "vote with our pocketbooks". The membership at large - many won't care - but many will... and what's happening in the IBT is only happening because people just don't KNOW what's going on.

I really want to stay in the WDCU... I'm trying to remember how impressed I was meeting PeeWee and not sav
age his mother's club... But I just can't ignore that the IBT is being paid to set up an international that loses $100K while they get champagne and the membership gets the shaft?

Preaching to the IBT is worse than preaching to the choir - it's an exercise in futility. Getting the members to realize that the IBT is responsible for the treasury being lighter by almost a quarter of a million dollars? Sexy? Not so much, but still it's kinda like a case of the chiggers... it's a little itch.. that gets bigger and more and more and more inflamed... and after a while you just can't ignore it any longer.

Paula
Paula,

Thanks for the post, especially the part about the WDCU. It was a treat to get Pee Wee there... and that is why it was so difficult to do what I did back in December... but after studying the problem set, exactly like you point out, the $$$ is the only way ,in my educated brain, to affect change... it can't be done with reasons you stated from the inside.. unfortunately.. I once thought one could, more than Leo even, with my naivity, that it could be done from the inside. But no more...

One good thing, is that the WBCCI can not send a Cease and Desist letter on me going camping!!

Thanks for the post.
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Old 02-15-2010, 03:02 PM   #73
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I set here and read about the spiraling out of control membership losses and the excomunicating of members whom over the yrs have worked their butts off to make the (club) ( i can bring myself to say the letters) and thier respective units to thrive and gain members, only to be undermined by the people at the top.Of all the great ideas that have been put forth here on AirForums ,DOES anyone from the IBT or Top leadership Ever read what is written here>???? Thats my question. It kinda looks to me like they dont and dont really care about the club,they just care for the benefits they get.
Its a shame to see what is happening. My wife and I have met and camped with a lot of CLUB members,finer people one would not want to meet. I just cannot bring myself to join something that takes advantage of these fine people.
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Old 02-15-2010, 08:07 PM   #74
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I spent 5 hours reading past posts from 2008 to current concerning this and came to the conclusion it is best to stop before we had a true chance to get started.
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Old 02-15-2010, 08:08 PM   #75
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To the Members of the IBT,

This letter comes to you to address my thoughts and feelings concerning the management and direction the current board has taken with regards to the membership and the WBCCI club at large. I would hope that you take the time to read this letter and take the necessary measures for the betterment of the club so that there will be a club in generations to come.

I would first like to tell you a little bit about myself and my family. My wife and I are in our early to mid thirties; our 3 dogs are our current children and we have only been members since April 2009. Our first travel trailer, an Airstream, was purchased in February 2009. I did not know anything about Airstream or the WBCCI until last winter when we delved head first into everything Airstream. It was at the WDCU Cherry Blossom Rally that we discovered the WDCU and everyone it had to offer.

I say everyone because it was the people and camaraderie of the WDCU that made us crave more rallies. Though we only went to three rallies last year, we made some great friends, so much so that we were considering becoming life members. It was at those rallies where we saw family values and beliefs similar to our own. It was there where we saw children playing as we’ve read about past generations of children playing; where kids can be kids without video games or TV, just outside playing and making friends. It was there where age did not matter - young families gathered with retired friends as if it were a much anticipated family function. It was there that every attendee was a family member watching over one another and helping at a moment’s notice. This is what we fell in love with.

It was not until the issue of the Blue Beret 2009 containing the financials arrived that I began to question the responsiveness of the club. How could any organization plan on staying alive if they work in the negative? How could such a club be willing to raise fees admittedly knowing they will lose more members? The membership have been in a dire decline since the 1990’s. How can you willingly cause a further decline and find that acceptable?

This fall a discussion of the gross mismanagement of the club lead to some very prominent members resigning their memberships. Most recently, I discovered the membership of Leo G had been revoked. This has continued the spiral of resignations of memberships and refusals to renew. I concede that I do not know all the information concerning his dismissal, nor do I know Mr. Garvey personally, with the exception of his posts on Airforums.com, savewally.org and the rallies he was planning. However, it is my perception that Mr. Garvey and the people that recently resigned the WDCU were your biggest advocates. These were the people drumming up membership, including ours, not discouraging it. It appeared that these were the very people who were most active in the club and creating and advertising for the club and its rallies, including International. If these people, who clearly loved the club and felt so passionate, are being thrown out and resigning, there must be something very wrong. Many of these members have been with the club for numerous years and wanted to see it flourish and not destroyed.

It is simply a fact that if membership is to increase, and it must if the WBCCI is to survive, there must be action. However, the direction in which you are taking the club is wrong and will certainly fail. Every member that has been lost due to absolute disgust will be your biggest opponent with regard to your goal of increased membership. These people will inevitably talk to 20+ potential members discouraging them. In the last 4 years there have been nearly 1,000 members lost. If 10% of them were adversarial, they could easily account for 2,000 future members lost. We, the members, can be the greatest ambassadors for the club. However, how can I with good conscience convince someone to join when the club is in the state that it is. You may disagree but the WBCCI does not offer much to its members: there are no camping discounts, trip planning programs, road side assistance or even a free hat. In fact most of the rallies are held at campgrounds which are open to the public where you don’t even need to pay a rally fee. What the WBCCI DOES offer is a history, a legacy and opportunities to meet some of the greatest people around. That is why I joined and was willing to pay a membership.

I have been very disappointed with all of the leadership to include Unit, Region and International levels. As many of these issues that have been around for several years now, I would have thought they would have been publically addressed via email, newsletter and/or the Blue Beret. You know there are problems and this ongoing failure to address them is clearly neglect of your responsibilities.

I recommend you address and rectify the foolish dismal of Leo G, suspend the reimbursement of travel (even if that means you will be unable to attend all events), change International to a biennial or triennial event. In addition, it should go without saying that it your duty to address these issues with the members.

In closing, I have paid my 2010 dues. Had I known all of this prior to making that decision I would have never done so. Even though it saddens me, I will not be renewing my membership for 2011 and vow to become the largest opponent of the club. I implore you, address these issues: rectify the deficit and reinstated Leo G’s membership.

Thank you for your time.

Nick Iverson
WBCCI#6930
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Old 02-16-2010, 12:00 AM   #76
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Very Nice, Nick....
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Old 02-16-2010, 07:14 AM   #77
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THE Purging of the WBCCI.Hey want "quality not quantity" .Quote from IBT official.
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Old 02-16-2010, 07:21 AM   #78
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Let's give it to them

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THE Purging of the WBCCI.Hey want "quality not quantity" .Quote from IBT official.
Very nice letter Nick!

They want Quality over Quantity.. let's give them less Quantity... give em what they want I say!!!

Debating if I should waste my time with a letter or not... hmmmm.
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Old 02-16-2010, 11:12 AM   #79
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Quality used in that sentence can be very subjective. Do you mean they want clones? Variety is the spice of life.

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Old 02-16-2010, 06:10 PM   #80
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Graph

Information in Graph Form - Click on the graph to make it larger.

Quote:
Originally Posted by streamer23 View Post
I have been tracking both unit and total membership numbers since 1996 using the information provided in the annual WBCCI Directory.These are unofficial numbers but should give you a good idea.

1996-10300 members
1997- 9848 members
1998- 9547 members
1999- 9085 members
2000- 8750 members
2001- 8467 members
2002- 8073 members
2003- 7844 members
2004- 7540 members
2005- 7504 members
2006- 6913 members
2007- 6553 members
2008- 6394 members
2009- 6092 members
2010- 5947 members

There is a trend and it is consistently down.Despite the hard work of many I see nothing to suggest this trend will reverse at this point.
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Old 02-16-2010, 08:19 PM   #81
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Following is the text of a letter sent today to the IP.

Dear Tom:

I want to convey my disappointment and alarm with the decision to expel Leo Garvey from our Club. This decision, coming as it does on top of the decisions made at the recent IBT meeting, have grave implications for the future of WBCCI. While some people may be uncomfortable with Leo’s style of communication, I can think of few people who have done more to initiate and encourage progress in this Club. My Unit has been a strong supporter of Leo’s election efforts for an International role in both of the last two International elections. He gave us an election with a clear choice. His expulsion sends a very negative message to our membership.

This decision, coming on the heels of the IBT decision to raise International membership dues while continuing to run a deficit, is causing members to critically examine their commitment to WBCCI. In recent days, I have been approached by both newer and long time members who are expressing serious doubt that they will renew their memberships. These are not “arm chair” members, but people who are active and involved in our Unit program. They see an International organization in long term decline, stuck in its traditional hierarchy, focused on its own needs instead of membership benefits. Ask yourself how many of the myriad motions approved at the recent IBT benefit the Airstream lifestyle of WBCCI members. What we saw was leadership more involved in apportioning its own recompense, in tightening procedures for disciplining members who run afoul of something and in ultimately passing the buck to the general membership. We remain a club with declining membership, eating its assets and now holding the fond hope that a marketing program will somehow reverse the decline. Is it any wonder that members are losing faith? When we lose the hearts and minds of our core membership, our future is bleak.

We hear repeatedly from our leadership that the Unit is key. It is at the Unit level that most of our members find the real value of WBCCI. As Unit President, I am frequently asked why our Unit needs WBCCI International. For this fiscal year, the Ontario Canada Unit will transfer approximately $10,500 Cdn to WBCCI HQ (we must use part of our Unit dues to cover currency exchange rates and international bank transfer fees). Next year it will be even more, if members choose to renew. Members are asking what dollar value we get for that investment. The question is legitimate and difficult to answer. Most of the benefits of Fun, Fellowship and Adventure that our members experience are delivered by the Unit program. We are told that building membership is a Unit responsibility but the reality that we face is that WBCCI International is the biggest impediment.

This year, WBCCI has lost two new events, the Birthday Bash and the Pocono Race Weekend, because their initiators were either alienated or expelled by WBCCI. Both are going ahead full steam outside of WBCCI. Our Unit responded enthusiastically to the Pocono Race Weekend when initially proposed and it will continue to be on our Unit program, despite no longer being a WBCCI Special Event Rally. These are opportunities lost by WBCCI to expand member benefits. Instead, the benefits will be seen to be delivered without WBCCI. The message to members reconsidering their commitment to WBCCI is clear.

I repeat that we are losing the hearts and minds of our members – their wallets will surely follow. We do not have the luxury of years to revitalize this Club. Passing the responsibility to Units and/or Committees without authority doesn’t help. Leadership is elected to lead. Members will decide with their hearts, their minds and ultimately, vote with their feet. Let’s start giving them reasons to stay in WBCCI.

Yours truly,

Kerry Mattila
President, Ontario Canada Unit
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Old 02-16-2010, 09:27 PM   #82
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Wow!!!!
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Old 02-16-2010, 09:36 PM   #83
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Well said Kerry! And all the letters by all the members have been very moving and appreciated by the rest of us that think you writers speak far more eloquently on our behalf than we could for ourselves.

I hope the IP will stop and reexamine matters from a different perspective when it has been presented to him so well.
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Old 02-17-2010, 05:37 AM   #84
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That letter was FANTASTIC!!!! I hope some more will be inspired to put their thoughts toward a letter.
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