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Old 05-08-2007, 08:49 PM   #29
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Cool Membership is the driving force here

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cracker
Has anyone been able to find out just what the financial benefits are, if any, to the officers of WBCCI?
There are some financial benefits to being a regional or national officer of WBCCI. There is a mileage reimbursement, and if you buy a new unit once elected there is a discount (5% IIRC) but most do it as a matter of desire to serve the club they have been a member of for a long time, and to hopefully incorporate change for the better. I know of no officer, past or present that has ever MADE MONEY serving as an officer of the club.

I read Don Shafers letter with more than a small amount of confusion. I believe he is attempting to satisfy all possible views with his presidents message. he is also trying to prepare the delegates and members that the whole thing is likely going to change before the vote. Some of the options he mentions are workable. Based on a pleasant, long conversation I had with him at Florida State this year I have to say he is being lead to the wall by circumstances.

The issue is overall club growth. There is none. I say this as a member with over a decade in the club. I have served in officer positions, chaired committees at rallies, and have been involved in discussions regarding the future survival of the club with members from all corners of the room.

Without growth the club will cease to exist.

The name change last year was, in my opinion, a misguided attempt to fix this. I agreed that the name change was not going to fix the issue and I told the powers that be that very thing. I have also put my $.02 worth in on the motorhome issue. Membership is the issue that is driving all this. Fear of no longer being able to recruit new members, retain exiting members, etc. If the membership number were guaranteed to go up WITHOUT doing the motorhome amendment I am willing to bet real money the IBT would back down. Anyone care to take that bet?

Soapbox on:
If you want the club to change, the only way to make it change is by being on the inside. Saying if the club does or does not do something I want it to do will make me leave and vote with my feet and pocketbook does not work. All of you that are saying you will leave if this issue passes will only hasten the demise of the club. If that is what you want, fine. But when it IS GONE, and it will be, then who is going to step up and take on the responsibility of carrying Wally's traditions and stories forward. There are a lot of people out there to reach, are you prepared to step up and bear the burden today? Remember, not everyone is on the web. The club serves as a vital link to the past, BWWW(before the world wide web).
Soapbox off:

I own a motorhome, it is in my profile. I hate the fact that the club is looking to allow the Four Winns in. But what have I done to stop it. Nothing productive. I have not gone out and tried to get new members, I have not been a rally host and made rally plans that attract the younger more forward thinkers that will in the future shape the club. So I am to blame. I am a member of WBCCI, I have not helped the organization I am a member of. I deserve to be parked next to a Four Winns at a rally.

Have you done more than just saying Noooooooooo!?? Have you helped to solve the problem? Posting here is not going to solve the problem. Encouraging non-members to join, involving yourself with the WBCCI in a positive manner, understanding that acting in an adult manner and working toward compromise is not a bad thing..... These are the things we can all do to help make the club better. But you have to be a member to do this.

I did point out in my conversation with Don things the club, I feel, is going to need to do to stay viable:

1. Need to cut overhead, we have a structure that is too top heavy. It was implemented when the club was 2X as large. In business it is referred to as too many chiefs and not enough Indians. Can you say cost cutting? The dues continue to climb because the membership continues to shrink. This is self defeating.

2. Need to make the club and it's events a true draw for the target demographic. In today's environment the club has to compete with Theme parks, the cruise industry, soccer camp, year round professional sports, and a work environment where 2 weeks of vacation is a normal thing at best. Where is the typical family with 2.3 kids going to spend their time? It is going to get spent where the whole family has fun. Typically this is not a WBCCI rally.

3. Need to reduce the "uniform and hats" requirement. Not many members joined the club to wear a dress **** and tie while CAMPING.

These are my big three, but there are a ton more. All can lead to more members, if we all work to recruit instead of drive off new members.

On a positive note, did anyone notice that the International rally is trying to plan for a non ballroom (under 50) crowd? It may only be one night, but it is a start. If the feedback is positive it can be expanded. Change can be made, but it will not all be changed tomorrow.

So are you an agent of change, or a chicken little??
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Old 05-08-2007, 09:44 PM   #30
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Excellent points thenewkid64 makes.
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Old 05-08-2007, 11:00 PM   #31
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I sure hope leadership will accept thenewkid64 suggestions and act on them. I am afraid there are alot of those chefs that are not willing to lose their jobs and influence on the club. The club only had 7 regions when it was this size when it started out. The Region years in each office also should be cut from two years to one. Maybe we only need one vice president at the Region level. You do not need 6 years to plan a region rally. Reducing the cycle time would cause the people that rise up to national officers to be younger and more in tune with the proposed new younger members.

Maybe we need a two party system and competitive elections. The Conservative old farts vs the Progressive rabble rousers. Elections would be based on the candidates actually proposing how they will lead and benefit the club. Resumes of the candidates would actually state the their life experiences in actually organizing and running a successful, growing, organization.
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Old 05-08-2007, 11:23 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcanavera
I hate to say this but this issue is my only regret in leaving the organization. I love a good fight and I wish I had been at the last unit rally where the vote was taken. I would have loved to champion the no vote since one of the local members is an International Officer with a motor home, and one who has championed this change. She was much against the Base Camp being allowed to join, but first up to the plate when she found out that the motorhome production was ending.

Jack
I have a real problem believing that some of these people can be so arrogant. I guess that's why some members (MALS) are not permitted to vote in this club. How can something that started out to do good become so twisted?
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Old 05-08-2007, 11:25 PM   #33
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Responding to thenewkid

These are excellent points and many of them have been mentioned before. In fact, some of these are years old. The theme is the same - It is a persistent problem of image. My wife wore her beret at NorCal and a few people kind of snickered. Not because she looked silly (which she did not) but because of the images WBCCI portrays to the average person. I love the beret, I could even wear a coat - but only if it is what i wanted to do.

WBCCI has a very bad and image problem. People see it as an old and antiquated club where regimentation is high and freedom is quashed. If the WBCCI leadership spent as much time at embracing the younger generation as it did promoting it's own self interests I think this club would turn around 180 degrees. But it takes a lot of letting go on their part. Like trusting that the club is going to survive under a new style of leadership.

I was president of our local astronomy club. As president the hardest thing I had to face was the desired of the long time members to have a club like they were used to. They did not want to see change. Us younger members had tons of ideas to boost membership and interest. We succeeded in our goals with a 25% increase - but it took work! We lost a few members who were offended at our "new ways" but we were ahead in the long run. Some of the old timers even liked the eventual results we achieved - greater participation - and were able to let go of the means we used to achieve it.

When I left, the hardest thing was letting go. I had become like the old timers - I had ideas of how things should be but the younger leadership had a new set of ideas and they didn't want to hear any "you can't do that" comments from me, even for things that I tried and failed at. They wanted to try again. Maybe they would fail but maybe they would succeed. For me the letting go was the best answer. I still help as much as I can but accept the vision of the new leadership. Our club has laster over 75 years, 5 years beyond my departure in office, and the membership is still strong. I came to the conclusion that is in part because we got the change in and the old timers were more amenable to a more progressive way of thinking.

The one thing we never did was to sell our identity, our core philosophy down the river at the expense of getting members. The reason is that once you let go of that identity, you have already lost the very thing you were trying to protect. And that is what is happening with the MOHO issue. It may pass and Fourwinds will be in. But when that happens the Airstream club ceases to exist. And that is what I for one am trying to protect.

Lastly, I do not believe that Don was backed into a corner on this issue. He portrays the detractors of the MOHO issue as a minority in the latest issue of the BB. But we can clearly prove that this idea was not embraced since it was first suggested in 2004. The packaging has changed since then but the issue is still the same. And the 80%+ of the members who have spoke out against this issue clearly do not represent a minority. The leadership and especially Don Schafer are wearing blinders and telling themselves that there is no problem. Perhaps what they do not see is that it is them who are the greatest problem and threat to the WBCCI that exists today. They obviously have too much power without the corresponding checks and balances.
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Old 05-09-2007, 02:15 AM   #34
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Sell outs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Buttercup
Responding to thenewkid

My wife wore her beret at NorCal and a few people kind of snickered. Not because she looked silly (which she did not) but because of the images WBCCI portrays to the average person. I love the beret, I could even wear a coat - but only if it is what i wanted to do.


The one thing we never did was to sell our identity, our core philosophy down the river at the expense of getting members. The reason is that once you let go of that identity, you have already lost the very thing you were trying to protect. And that is what is happening with the MOHO issue. It may pass and Fourwinds will be in. But when that happens the Airstream club ceases to exist. And that is what I for one am trying to protect.

.
Buttercup,

Your wifes beret looked great, damn cute if I may say so..............

You are right on regarding selling our identity.............................

It's a friggin AIRSTREAM CLUB........HELLLLOOOOOOOO........That is our identity, plain and simple, loose our identity and the club ceases to exist, even if the membership triples, the true Airstream club will be dead.

Just my opinion.

Time
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Old 05-09-2007, 06:57 AM   #35
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I agree completely with all of this post, 65GT.
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Old 05-09-2007, 07:27 AM   #36
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Thanks Leo!

Leo,

Thanks for posting that picture! I will now have nightmares every night until International of what my life could become in the next 25-30 years. Lets hope by then it's baseball caps and Polo's. In the words of Dr. Smith from "Lost in Space", "The Pain, Oh the Pain".
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Old 05-09-2007, 07:37 AM   #37
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Old 05-09-2007, 07:58 AM   #38
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This has been a great thread filled with facts and not fiction. Thank you everyone for sharing. As we all know, we need change in OUR club and good change starts from the bottom up and not the top down. What makes the WBCCI so great is not the few in the ruling class but those units that know how to camp, travel, rally and be great friends with their fellow members. We need to bring the simple principles of Wally's vision back to the club. As Don S. made clear to the members, Wally is only but a distant memory to us peons! We live Wallys way of life at every rally we hold! I have been asked by many R1 members to run of the VP spot and I have decided to do so. I know there is one Unit in Region 1 that will not support my nomination but I urge every member of Region 1 to contact their member who is on the nominating committee to support my application. We can make WBCCI fun for EVERYONE again, whether young, old or in between, whether working or retired, wealthy or not. It makes no difference and we need to rid the club of this class seperation.
Thank you-
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Old 05-09-2007, 10:00 AM   #39
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That photo is scary as heck! Silly me - I thought that we were fighting this battle with our peers.
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Old 05-09-2007, 10:33 AM   #40
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Hey, what's the deal with the four ladies in the audience wearing matching jackets? Are they Square Dancers?
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Old 05-09-2007, 11:30 AM   #41
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Sorry to say Yes

At our recent unit rally the unit voted yes for this, although I was one of the few dissenting voices.

What actually occured really bugged me more then the vote. A motion was made from the floor, which was seconded. A VERY QUICK vote for the amendment was taken with no vote for against.

I quickly brought this to the attention of our president. What REALLY bothered me (okay this is 2) is that when he asked for the nays, he said, "Those of you who don't want your friends in the club, please raise your hand."

Anyhow I talked to him offline about this and everything is cool.

By the way, did I tell you I was elected as 3rd VP?
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Old 05-09-2007, 11:47 AM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Swanny
At our recent unit rally the unit voted yes for this, although I was one of the few dissenting voices.

What actually occured really bugged me more then the vote. A motion was made from the floor, which was seconded. A VERY QUICK vote for the amendment was taken with no vote for against.

I quickly brought this to the attention of our president. What REALLY bothered me (okay this is 2) is that when he asked for the nays, he said, "Those of you who don't want your friends in the club, please raise your hand."
Now that seems pretty rude and unprofessional coming from the president of a unit.
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