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Old 02-10-2004, 08:55 AM   #1
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Vintage sub-units?

Following on the heels of the recent Blue Beret survey thread...


Has anyone tried, or are there reasons not to try, creating Vintage sub-units of their local units wherein members would have to be WBCCI, VAC, and local unit members but would also be members of a Vintage sub-unit?

Our scenario is that we're members of the WBCCI, VAC, and our local unit. We've found the people in our local unit to be friendly, welcoming, and hospitable, but we haven't been pleased with our experiences at traditional WBCCI rallies, especially compared to the Vintage rallies. There seems to be a trend in our metro area of younger, working people joining the unit - sometimes with vintage trailers, sometimes with brand-new Safaris and Bambis - and then attending one rally and never coming back. In driving through our area, I'm surprised at how many vintage Airstreams - many restored - I see parked in driveways that are obviously used. I've been seeing more and more lately, but I know most of their owners are not involved in the WBCCI. I think they're missing out on all the friendship and enjoyment we've derived from our VAC experiences, and our local unit is missing out on bigger membership numbers, new members, and the opportunities for distinctive ralllies and caravans.

Would it make sense to work the local units to create a Vintage sub-unit? The Vintage sub-unit would recruit Vintage owners and hold occasional caravans and rallies designed more like the VAC rallies but always make them available to the regular unit members, and the Vintage sub-unit could work with the regular unit and the region to create Vintage parking, open houses, and other traditional features of VAC rallies at the regular WBCCI rallies.

I think the end result would be an increase in unit membership, a higher retention rate for new members, the building of a "bridge" between the more traditional membership and a newer membership, more appealing WBCCI events, and an eventual subtle and manageable change of mindset in the WBCCI.
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Old 02-10-2004, 09:10 AM   #2
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Been there

I have actually done exactly as you are referring.

I do have some correspondance on the issue from the President of the Vintage Club if you choose to follow up on the issue.

Getting a unit sanctioned is an undertaking but not too bad. The difference in your plan and mine, I was going to develop a VIntage unit locally, say here in the Southeast. I actually solicited members on this very forum. I will search and find thread.

The President of VAC pointed out that the VAC is an intraclub of the International membership. Therefore, their Rallies and events are an International type as compared to regional or local unit level. If you choose to do so as a local unit, you have to allow any WBCCI member to participate whether thay are vintage or not. (Which is what I think you indicated you would do). That brings the point that since the rallies and events you plan are not really exclsive to Vintage or whatever your focus is. So really you wind up with another Local unit.

I believe another member has suggested you do just that, split from your current unit and develop a new one that is comprised of members that share your interest. Those measures have always existed. There are some minimum requirements for you to sanction a new unit and or maintain a unit.

Go fo it! You are doing well and your drive will prove to be successful. Just like I said in the beginning and all along, it will be what YOU make of it. Make it a good one. I am looking forward to attending one of your units events.

Smily
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Old 02-10-2004, 09:10 AM   #3
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Might not be a bad idea, on a unit-by-unit basis. Some units may only have a couple of vintage coaches, while others may have the majority being vintage.
I think it would be a good idea, for a nominal surcharge, to have vintage sub-units available. They could have vintage-only activities, hold clinics, even have a monthly "trailer repairing" day, where everybody gets together and helps out a member with a project, or two.
The forums here are great, but, for example, if I wanted to help you install a new black water holding tank, I couldn't, because we are too far away from each other. Someone closer to you may be able to help you, and in exchange, maybe you could help them install that awning they want.
Terry
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Old 02-10-2004, 09:19 AM   #4
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Discrimination

One of the biggest issues, believe it or not, (Argosys), discrimination is bad Joo Joo in the WBCCI.

The bylaws and constitution dictate that if you are a WBCCI unit, you must allow any and all WBCCI member to participate and you must allow any Airstream owner to join.

I am not certain how the VAC governs. Can a member or Officer of the VAC explain the membership criteria?
I think you have to own a vintage unit to be a member, but can you preclude WBCCI members, who do not own a vintage, from partcipating in you functions?

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Old 02-10-2004, 10:00 AM   #5
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Ken,

I am not an Officer, but I was a member and have sent in my renewal. This is how I remeber it:

The type of member is based on what you own. if the coach is "vintage" then you can be a full member with voting rights, and serve on the club board. Non vintage are considered associate members and can join, but cannot vote, or serve on the board. This is the same way in local units. Only full unit embers can do these things too. Associate members cannot. This is following the WBCCI club guidelines.

So anyone who wants to can be a member. The type of member is determined by the age of your coach.
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Old 02-10-2004, 12:03 PM   #6
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And another good idea...

goes down in flames.
It sounded like a good idea at the time.
Terry
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Old 02-10-2004, 12:04 PM   #7
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Well this thread seems to have two topics. Here is my attempt to cover both and how they relate to each other from the comments made by Midamrail.

To start off: I am that young working person. My wife and I are in the middle of restoring, from the ground up a 1959 Caravanner. I intend to Join the WBCCI and the VAC once we have our coach road worthy. I have looked at what both have to offer.

There is a combinations of things that has caused me concern with the WBCCI, VAC and it's events. Price of some of the ralleys and events, Time and timing is my other big issue. With two kids, full time job and all that goes with it most of the Ralley's are just not possible for me and my family.

Honestly the price is fair on every one I took the time to reseach to see what I was getting but the problem for me is I can't always attend the full durration of the events and in most cases that means well over half of what the money was going to cover is wasted.

I camp as much for economic reasons as anything. For what it would cost for a Hotel for one night for the four of us I can often camp for 2-3 days or more if you take into concideration food. Tend to dine out when hoteling. A event costing $500 for 4-5 days of activities is tough if you can't participate in about 50% of what that money covers for both time and activity missed. I bet many familys have the same problem.

Economics is also a big reason a lot of younger folks are in vintage coaches as well. I can't afford to lay out $40k on new or nearly new coach. I can however afford to lay out $2k, a lot of sweat equity and cash in small doses over a longer period of time and restore a vintage coach. I see a lot of Vintage owners are yonger working stiffs just like me. There is a flip side in that there is also many Older Vintage owners that do restore or are original owners and their going to have differnt things appeal to them. (like limited rug rats running around hollering LOL).


These Ralleys seem to be planed by and for those that are retired for the most part. Time is not a concern because the kids are out of the nest and they have plenty of vaction time available if they are not already retired.

Many of them conflict with Kids school scheduals . In addition to the School problem many don't make provisions for kids very well if at all. So I either have to take my kid out of School to alow for travel time or I have to miss stuff to not interfere with their important scheduals. Then there is limited activities they are interested in so they get board.

I think what might help to bring in new members is to have some "Family" events durring the summer months and the breaks at locations that will have some stuff to interest the kids. Try to find locations that offer something like a water park or beach nearby where they can do their thing While we do ours.

To sum it up there needs to be some change in many places to draw the younger folks and I mean under 40 with family back in. While the folks I have met both online and in person that are WBCCI/VAC members are great, freindly, helpful, people the over all structure of the WBCCI/VAC is not family oriented.
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Old 02-10-2004, 12:10 PM   #8
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Here's a link to the VAC Membership Website which explains the different levels of membership.

Shari
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Old 02-10-2004, 12:23 PM   #9
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Re: And another good idea...

Quote:
Originally posted by argosy20
goes down in flames.
It sounded like a good idea at the time.
Terry,

This is not necessarily a bad idea, just one that will not work within the current framework and guidelines of the WBCCI as it stands today. The WBCCI as a whole is all about inclusion. There is a Classic Caravan Club that had to apply numerous times to be an intra club of the WBCCI. They at first wanted, or so I was told, to restrict membership to the intra club to ONLY silver, only classic shaped(read as pre widebody)trailers, period. No Motorhomes, no Argosy's, no squarestreams, b-vans, etc. International would not allow that as it was exclusionary under the International club guidelines.

Please don't read that as ridicule of the Classic Caravan Club, but as an example of how narrowly some folks want to define what constitutes membership.

The Vintage club is a recognized asset to the WBCCI, that is why at Fl State they will be parked together and given a place that is highly visible to "show off".

The Forum Rallies are a great way to have folks from an area get together and have a non-structured rally. I am considering coordinating one in August for the Florida members. I just need to figure out where.

All of the discussion is good. It allows everyone to voice their opinion and be heard. Especially those that are not already a part of the WBCCI. Those posts are the ones I read to try to get a better grasp on what our unit can do to make it better and more attractive while balancing the needs and expectations of our current members.
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Old 02-10-2004, 12:31 PM   #10
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Classic Club

Brett, I am under impression the Classic Club has same rule and regs as VAC. With exception that their Full Members are Classic only, (Silver).
Is that not so?

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Old 02-10-2004, 12:34 PM   #11
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Ken,

I am under the same assumption as they are a chartered intra-club.

I am not a member, I have spoke to a member or two and when they hear I have an Argosy Motorhome I get looked at like I just broke wind in church So I will not be a member. I have decided that I will not fund that kind of attitude.
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Old 02-10-2004, 12:39 PM   #12
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vintage rally

Brett, depending on how many units you think will get together, and what you want to do, there are a couple of federal parks down here that are nearly deserted at that time of the year, and the volunteer attendants would probably get a kick out of having a bunch of old Airstreams camping out there. They have full power hookups, showers, laundry, etc. Last summer when we went, it was $8.00/night. Only drawback is, it is out of the way, and holding tanks are required, although they would allow "blue tanks" if that is all you had.
I think there are around 40 spaces there.
Terry
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Old 02-10-2004, 12:41 PM   #13
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Cool,

Lets talk about that next week at the rally!
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Old 02-10-2004, 01:01 PM   #14
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The Denver CO WBCCI Unit has a good mix of vintage and non-vintage trailers. Of the 100+ members, approximately 35 of them own vintage trailers and are involved with the VAC IntraClub as well. Our unit welcomes and encourages members of all ages...both people & trailers! We don't have an official vintage "sub-unit" as we attend the same WBCCI unit rallies offered each month during the season.

Each of our monthly unit rallies has vintage trailers in attendance, some are more geared to the older trailers than others. Specifically, each spring we have a Maintenance Rally at which time everybody gathers at one of the member's ranches and we all work on each other’s trailers for a three-day weekend. It's a great opportunity to get some work done, share expertise, and build unity and friendships working side-by-side. Some of the "older folks with new trailers" enjoy tinkering and dabbling in polishing with the older trailers even though they wouldn't want to maintain one on a full-time basis...let's face it, a vintage trailer demands more maintenance.

Most of the rallies are Thurs-Sun with working folks showing up when they can. We also have 1 or 2 longer week (or longer) caravans to the International, Regional or semi-local events. Obviously, the vintage owners, who are typically working members do not as attend these longer trips in as big of numbers.

In addition, several of us vintage folks get together for "work parties", outside of the rally format. I guess this could kinda be considered a sub-unit, however it’s more just because we like hanging out together. The VAC members also host the Rocky Mountain VAC Rally each summer. Of course the attendance of vintage trailers at "The Big Event" is always higher than the monthly rallies, but vintage attendance at the regular rallies is growing each month. To date, the Rocky Mountain VAC rally has only been a once a year event…in time, every unit rally will become a mini-VAC rally.

This fall, the main DenCO Unit’s September rally is going to feature our vintage trailers at the big Thresher Days celebration in Yuma, CO with a parade through the fairgrounds and an Open House for the public. This was entirely planned by the WBCCI DenCo Unit (not VAC) to encourage and celebrate vintage involvement...

Are there still some “old-timers” that don’t like change and prefer to just sit and chat? Of course, change doesn’t happen overnight. But at least with our unit, the long-term members realize that they will need to change with the times if the unit and club are to remain active. This has been obvious by they influx of families and the “younger generations” to the membership and the involvement of the “under-50” crowd in Officer, Trustee & Board positions.

There isn’t a luncheon or rally that goes by that some of the older folks don’t make a special effort to show their appreciation and publicly applaud our involvement. They have been very open minded and excited to see the unit continue…even if it does mean they have to do things a little differently than it’s always been done.

I see it all as positive…

Shari
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