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Old 08-25-2004, 11:50 PM   #15
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Although the WBCCI Caravans are a pretty big deal, don't forget about the local WBCCI units. When you join the club you are welcome to attend events with any unit, and we have found airstreamers all over the country treat you just like family because of those big red numbers. You could travel around the country visiting local rallys and see a lot that only the locals know about. There's also courtesy parking, where club members offer parking space for other members travelling through the area.
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Old 08-26-2004, 07:58 AM   #16
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What a blast from the past. I saw this post and I thought, oh man, another WBCCI thread...wonder who started this one.... only to find one of my old posts dusted off, recycled and made new again.

Funny how along the way you really find out what WBCCI is all about and the controversy it brings with it.

Basically, over a year later, my take has changed significantly toward WBCCI, mostly for the worse (and yes, I did ride out my year membership before allowing it to gladly nose dive into expiration). Since I've been quite vocal about WBCCI and wish not to re-open too many old wounds (and that this was my thread), I'll simply say that if anyone is interested in WBCCI, do a search on the subject. If you happen to be in an area where there are some forward thinkers and folks willing to embrace change, you will be in a good place. Unfortunately, even the drum bangers for the organization will admit (or shy away from) the fact that frankly, the club is not really where it should be nationwide given the fact that it is a nationwide .org. There are however a VERY small handful of wonderful local groups out there. Of course for me, Florida, Colorado and South Carolina (from what I've been told) though above the trend, are just too darn far for some. The basic answer from the club in general is to pack more members in and make the new blood start the change. This to me has been flawed thinking from the start for most workin' folks since the last thing we all need is to go on vacation only to work (and pay for the privilege), not to mention how many of the higher ups in the overall group refuse to change. Well, they will either change or sadly fade away. Case in point, I posted to the WBCCI forums...no repsonse. Nothing, nada, zip. Just general lip service. If you post here on this forum, the answers, comments are countless. Fundamentally, the club needs an overhaul and folks in similar situations like me, either have the time on their hands to help force the needed changes or for the most part don't have the time. IMHO, use the dues funds to pay some of the extra high gas prices and go into hover mode until you find an area that has the type of forward folks I talked about earlier. I mean the club just did a survey that basically was placed into a circular file and was sort of "fixed" survey to start with and rumors are abound to allow non Airstream folks into the ranks to protect the general .org from falling out of existence. To give you a sense of the level of resistence, here is a direct quote on the WBCCI forum when folks questioned the survey:

"Among the constitutional changes will be a motion to add the word "Airstream" to our Club name."

Whew! I am sure glad they got that change out of the way. I mean this was a BIG one to worry about. LOL! You can view the whole thread here:

http://wbcci.org/Forum/viewmessages....srow=1&erow=10

The membership numbers are not what they use to be, nor do they seem overall to be leaning to an upward trend. There is a BIG reason for this which I won't get more into as this is already a novel beyond what I had planned on posting. Ask me how I really feel sometime.

Do a search and the rest will come to you. Best of luck in finding a club that meets your needs.
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Old 08-26-2004, 08:28 AM   #17
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One last thing to think about here:

Airstream can barely keep up with demand, meaning that there are thousands of new Airstreams being built and sold, each year now for the past 2 years (at least). Given the large numbers of new units being sold, I find it strange that the WBCCI numbers themselves have not gone up even in any type of similar upward trend whatsoever. In reality, if what I've been reading is correct, the membership numbers are actually either flat or down (overall). Of course some local units have significantly bucked the trend, or on the other side, have gone out of existence.

The one kicker is VAC. To be a member of the VAC you first need to be a member of WBCCI (from what I understand). VAC- vintage owners, is a hot little club from all that I've read. I wonder what WBCCI's numbers would look like overall if you didn't have to be a WBCCI member to be a part of VAC?

Where are all those new Airstreamers going? Apparently not to the WBCCI.
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Old 08-26-2004, 08:54 AM   #18
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Windy City

Indeed.

There are many other locations that are just as uplifting as the few that Twink mentioned. Pretyy much the whole region3, region 1 are exciting and funfilled. You can read of these good opinions all over this very forum.

It is easy to speak of actual experiences and I admit that some have not had what they had hoped for. It is a simple concept. It is not for every one. If we all enjoyed the same thing, we would all be driving the same car or eating at the same restaurants, attending the same church, etc....

Twink has made it clear that is not of his taste and that is cool with us. I can honestly say I thoroughly enjoy it. At first I was apprehensive but I stuck with it and now I write a column for the Blue Beret.

I have come to recognize the WBCCI as a second family to me and my family. You have to experience it to understand it.
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Old 08-26-2004, 09:03 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silvertwinkie
What a blast from the past. I saw this post and I thought, oh man, another WBCCI thread...wonder who started this one....
If I am interpreting this statement correctly, it sounds as though Twink was not excited about another thread on the WBCCI. But, he fosters the topic well wouldnt you say?
He has plenty to write about it. Thanks again for putting the WBCCI in the spotlight, we can use all of the recognition you can provide. You da man!
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Old 08-26-2004, 09:12 AM   #20
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As an outsider looking in, FWIW, I don't see the appeal unless you are going to "caravan". But I've never been much of a joiner. I was attracted to the Airstream mystique for it's freedom from the rigidity of conventional life. Independance, to me, is freedom. The ability to pick up and go is I guess more an illusion created by rv marketing types than the actual reality, one has to have reservations to go someplace with a trailer and family in tow in the real world.
The above opinion is approved by me, which is worth what you paid for it. Luke
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Old 08-26-2004, 09:15 AM   #21
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Right on

Quote:
Originally Posted by luke warm
I was attracted to the Airstream mystique for it's freedom from the rigidity of conventional life. Independance, to me, is freedom. The ability to pick up and go is I guess more an illusion created by rv marketing types than the actual reality, one has to have reservations to go someplace with a trailer and family in tow in the real world. Luke
I could not agree more. As I stated, we all have our own appeals.

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Old 08-26-2004, 09:16 AM   #22
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Politics, Religion, WBCCI...

We have spent the last couple of years as active members in what is thought to be a fairly progressive unit. We have had lots of fun and overwhelmingly the most positive aspect is the wonderful people. At the RM VAC rally earlier this month, a visitor (owner of SOB of all aluminum trailer) was chatting with a group of us and his comment really hit home, "I really love the look and lure of the Airstream, but I just can't stand the politics". We have struggled somewhat over the last year as to whether we really fit the current culture of the WBCCI, but attending the RM VAC rallys for the past couple of years, plus having a wonderful summer of unsanctioned gatherings of unit members at local state parks, has given me hope that a better future for an Airstream owners group does exist. Although the younger, still working group of owners (that includes us) seem to more or less uniformly find much amiss with the current WBCCI culture, I keep telling myself, that there are a lot of older members that love it just the way it is. That led me to make the following post on Hunter Hampton's Airstream group over on yahoo. It seems to have resonated, so I thought I would post it over here as well.

================================================== ======
As the CCD and vintage A/Ss continue to drive down the average age of A/S ownership, the WBCCI HAS TO CHANGE or become irrelevant. I was disappointed with the survey results, but given the huge demographic skewing of respondents to the 66-80 age-group, as well as the majority being current or former officers, the results were predictable ("the club only needs a tune-up"). The attitudes and atmosphere at the RM VAC rally is the direction that seems to resonate with those of us still working, while the tradition-based, caravan centric model is preferred by the retiree crowd. Maybe the WBCCI just needs to recognize that the club is really becoming two distinct cultures and adjust accordingly.

All summer long, a subgroup of our local unit has been holding unsanctioned get-togethers at area state parks (no official rallys all summer). As we were not gathering under the WBCCI umbrella, we dispensed with the BlueBook rules and traditions and just agreed to have a good time, no agenda, no hosts, no planned meals, just campfires, great pot-luck meals, breakfast @ 10am, supper whenever, mixed with lots of sharing/visiting...basically like a mini version of the RM VAC rally. Interestingly enough, although we invited any and all members of our local unit to join us, only the younger crowd availed themselves to the opportunities. Several of us even reached out to those retirees that we felt shared similar thoughts, but again, it was the working members of the unit that attended.

I think part of the culture differences is due to the desire by those of us still working to escape all the rules and traditions mentality, while those retired seem to miss that part of the working world. I also feel that there is a another difference, the retired crowd is basically WWII, Korea era vets and have a fairly strong sense of "yes sir", while the younger crowd is far more prone to say, "why" and very unwilling to accept "because" or "tradition" as a valid answer.

I know that for our part, this summer and the past two RM VAC rallys have certainly shown us that while the people in the WBCCI are the salt of the earth, the organization and its culture are out of touch with many potential A/S owners. Just as A/S undertook a bold experiment with the CCD and is now seeing record sales, largely due to the CCD, the WBCCI needs to consider the potential of creating two groups under the WBCCI umbrella (a caravan centric group and a relaxed, less organized group that is allowed to create it own culture and values). The alternative is along the lines of what happened in northern CA where over 100 WBCCI members pulled out and formed their own club.

Of course, these are just my observations and thoughts, but in talking to many others, I have found similar feelings.

David



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Old 08-26-2004, 09:46 AM   #23
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Going back to the previous question about the WBCCI caravans just a note. We had signed up for one which had a multi-year waiting list. As we waited for our turn to come up, one of the members from our local unit went on the same caravan. From what I learned we decided to not partake in a group but rather do the adventure ourselves.

I assume each caravan is different so while I'm not saying they are all like this, its important to understand what may be expected of you or what the travel agenda is.

In the case of this caravan you were expected to be responsible for cooking meals (I think the food is supplied) for the caravan attendees. That load is shared amongst all attendees on a rotational basis (This information was not in the description).

You may also have situations where along the road there will be sites to see in which you will have to leave your trailer and tow vehicle in a parking lot or along an access road (you may not be at an organized campground), if you have animals that you travel with this could be a problem dependent upon weather conditions.

You also may be asked to be the diary keeper for the day in which you will need take notes of the activities and provide some verbage for a caravan document that is provided at end of trip.

There may be an entertainment night where you will be asked to do something entertaining at an evening event. Obviously to some this is fun and in other cases listening to a person read an Ann Landers column as their contribution is a real joy.

Understand that these caravans are highly organized and in most cases you live by a schedule. If you are into doing your own thing, a caravan may not be for you. Campground arrival times are planned carefully. You are told not to arrive early. If you are early you are instructed to sit somewhere outside the campground and wait.

My point is that if you are interested in going on a caravan contact the folks responsible and ask for the daily agenda and what duties you are expected to perform during the caravan. I know that based on what we learned we would have not been able to enjoy the caravan and are very happy we were able to get some advanced information.

BTW, the folks in our unit loved the caravan so again its just a matter of how you view things. We each have our own expectations.

Jack
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Old 08-26-2004, 09:48 AM   #24
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Well said David. I have no interest as I've said before in seeing WBCCI fail. Glad there are some good pockets of it, sad there are not more like those pockets. Had there been a better pocket, perhaps things would be different and I would be an active cheerleader on the mountain top with different opinions (and fact). So really, it still boils down to location, location, location. Still the few areas where there have been some sucesses seem to lead me to conclude that perhaps there will never really be the national WBCCI of the past. Perhaps this is as good as it will get and there is nothing wrong with that at all.


Numbers don't lie (if you don't skew them) and frankly the number of new units sold is fairly dispropotionate to the number of new, active members of WBCCI as a whole. Take out VAC and I feat those numbers go further south. If folks feel that this is great news out in the spotlight, bringing attention to the issue, more power to them. Frankly, it changes nothing though. The bulk of the 20, 30, 40 and perhaps some of the 50 somethings are speaking volumes by not joining as they walk away with their new coaches rolling out of Jackson Center weekly. Don't think folks don't see that. It must be frightening for the powers that be. I mean think about it. If they don't get some of these people, the club dies. If these people get in, things change and human nature being what it is, change can be difficult.

I still ask the question though to the faithful, where have all the new Streamers gone to?

I think Lee Iacocca's statement of "Lead, follow or get out of the way" is something the grand poo bahs at the WBCCI main mothership could really take to hear. Of course, that is just my opinion and as such is offered only as is.
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Old 08-26-2004, 10:00 AM   #25
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numbers

I find it interesting that there are more members here at airstreamforums than in the WBCCI. Without digging further, that says a lot.

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Old 08-26-2004, 10:05 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dtbw
I find it interesting that there are more members here at airstreamforums than in the WBCCI. Without digging further, that says a lot.

david
And the informal rallys that have happened from it not only here in the midwest, but in several other areas has been suprising, not even getting into the turnouts.

The last midwest rally took a whole section of the campground we were at!

As Jack said we each have our own expectations. This seems to fit the bill nicely for us.
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Old 08-26-2004, 10:06 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dtbw
I think part of the culture differences is due to the desire by those of us still working to escape all the rules and traditions mentality, while those retired seem to miss that part of the working world.
David

Also just a note the new International President is currently staying at the JC Terriport. One of the folks on Hunter's list who is staying at the Terriport got a knock on the door and the International President and his wife introduced themselves. As it ends up this person will be delivering a printed copy of Davids posting so this one is "gong to the top".

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Old 08-26-2004, 10:08 AM   #28
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That sounds encouraging. Hope it makes a difference.

I'd love to know how you get all the juicy stuff Jack....if you could tell me what color shirt I have on right now, I'd be even more impresseed, nervous. You know where all the bodies are burried my friend.
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