Originally Posted by Goin camping
I tried but alas it would not accept my posting. Yes, I registered and got my confirmation but alas after I press the button it tells me I'm not logged in.
I got the same thing. Here's what I tried to post. Communicator, if you want to copy it over to that forum and attribute it to me, that would be fine.
I have some opinions on this. I have been in the club 4 years, and I think this will probably be my last season. This is a very difficult decision for me, and we have spent a great deal of time discussing it. My husband and I are in our 30s and joined when we bought our trailer from an OR Unit member, and they encouraged us to join.
Now, the OR Unit is a great bunch of folks. They have been very encouraging and have tried to encorporate my (and other younger members) ideas - stuff like having rallys at state parks instead of paved campgrounds, having campfires, not getting up so early for breakfast (or at least not waking folks like us up to see if we want to join them) and they couldn't be more welcoming to new people and people with kids. There's no problems there. But I have been involved in organizing several informal rallys through AirstreamForums.com and those rallys are very different. The OR Unit even co-sponsored one of these informal rallys so we could get everyone together and see what happened, and it went off really well.
But for some reason, these groups can't come together. The recent upheaval in the club with the name change, and all the talk about politics, has turned off a lot of younger people who see it and say "that's not something I want to be involved in, I just want to go camping". They don't want structure and itinerarys and flag rules, they want to camp and relax and fly a windsock over their trailer if they want, or hang a flag off their awning. People I've met through the forum rallys who are my own age, aren't eager to join the club. They want to wait and see how it goes.
And there's a real difference between the forum rallys, and the unit rallys. At a forum rally we all communicate online, say who's coming, plan a pot luck, pick a location (twice we've had to change locations at the last minute, and because of the internet we were able to pull it off without losing anybody). We arrive, have no schedule except maybe a potluck on a particular night, and just find stuff to do. It's so fun to be without a schedule after being on a schedule all week at work! We visit, some folks go exploring, go fishing, or just relax around the trailer. Since we have a vintage, every day is an open house!
But unit rallys are more strict. There's always a little confusion when you arrive about what you're supposed to be doing and where you're supposed to be. Group dinners are at a particular time with a menu worked out, group socializing is planned, group activities are scheduled throughout the day. I feel bad when we find something else to do and go off on our own. No one makes you feel like that on purpose, but it just seems like it's all so organized, you should be doing what's on the itinerary. I know they don't mean it to be, but it's a little uncomfortable.
Another big deal to me is making it clear that a family can show up for just the weekend on a longer activity. For example, the year we joined there was a pre-rally caravan, and they made a big deal about it being for the folks who were going to the rally. We couldn't attend the week long rally, but the caravan, a couple days spent exploring historical towns around the rally, sounded like great fun. But since we weren't going to the rally, we didn't ask. Later someone said "well of course you could have come just for the caravan" but that wasn't even hinted at, so we didn't ask.
But the main thing for us that makes me say this is probably our last year is that we just don't have a lot of time to get out and participate. We can't leave until Friday after work (unless I take a day off), and we need to get back on Sunday. I've been to rallys that started during the week and by the time we arrived, people were packing up and leaving! I just can't see spending another $70 for a club we don't get to use. We don't do caravans (for obvious reasons, we can't take that much time off), we don't travel far enough to use courtesy parking, and the Blue Beret is of pretty much of zero interest unless you're planning on going to international, or enjoy the politics of running the organization.
I guess the thing is the WBCCI is for travelling, and we can't travel all that much at this point in our lives. It would be nice if we could, but it's not like we get weeks off a year to go exploring. I see why so many WBCCI members I've met are retired teachers - at least they had time off to enjoy the benefits of the club. We haven't been to a single activity this year, except hosting a luncheon in the winter, because just coincidentally something else we can't cancel has overlapped with every activity. Even last year I think we only made it to one rally, and maybe two the year before that.
But the final straw was really international. It was in our area this year. I couldn't take off a week to go to it, but I heard there would be leadership seminars and things that sounded interesting. However, determining if I could show up for just a day to go to them was impossible ahead of time, and I have to plan ahead to take a day off from work. Couldn't even really tell just when they would be. So I thought well, at least I can go to vintage open house. But no, even that was held during the day, during the workweek! That just says plainly to me that the WBCCI isn't the slightest bit interested in working families. There were a lot of local people who could have been welcomed and introduced to the club by having open house during the weekend, publicising it, welcoming outsiders, but that wasn't a priority, even now when all the talk is about declining membership and what can be done about it. I ended up camping nearby with my forum airstreaming friends and didn't go at all.
I hope the WBCCI is still around when we have more time to travel and can enjoy it.