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Old 09-25-2006, 08:04 AM   #141
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You make some good points Joe. That was why I asked if he was representative of the attitude of the group as a whole, and left open the possibility of appealing the decision.
But it does leave a sour taste....

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Old 09-25-2006, 09:46 AM   #142
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I don't know if your new Unit would have worked or not over the long haul but it should have been approved for the following reasons.

1, On paper it should work.
2, By doing the Units business via Internet you are involving ALL members in the clubs business and keeping them interested and participating in the Unit.
3, If it did work this model could be adopted b y others and the WBCCI would benefit by that.

Keep at it. Appeal or take whatever steps you need to keep this concept alive. There is always someone somwhere who will champion a new idea.

I'd rather be boon docking in the desert.

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Old 09-25-2006, 10:20 AM   #143
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Creative Workaround?

Ken and others..

Sorry from Region 12 that your innovative idea didn't fly past Region 11 HQ.. Most of us here probably feel the same way about the spirit of focusing on the needs of owners and members v. officers and infrastructure...

So here was my idea...

Could you become the "Four Corners Affiliates" of the Washington DC Unit?? That would let you maintain WBCCI membership (though I wonder about value of that...) and pay minimal dues to them, and then pay what might have sadly gone to Region 11 unit dues and put those towards costs of maintaining electronic communication with your own affiliates... Each of your members could then politely send Chester a note explaining why no more dues or renewals would be flowing into his Region...

John McG

In Theory, there's no difference between Theory and Practice, but in Practice, there is usually a difference...
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Old 09-25-2006, 10:53 AM   #144
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4. Competition among new and/or existing units for members is forbidden in Region 11. We cannot have new units that give members what they want take members away from existing units who may not be giving members what they want. How can the existing units survive if new ones arise to take their place?

I'm just dumbfounded by this statement.

"Forbidden"???? I beg your pardon???

yeah, thats the way to run a club. DON'T give people what they want, so they won't show up at all.


If the existing units can't show people a good time, then they shouldn't survive. And they won't.

I think I just found the solution to our "problem" in the NEU (we can't find camping venues that are large enough for all the people that want to come hang out with us). "quit having such a good time, so people stop coming". yeah, thats it.

good grief!!
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Old 09-25-2006, 11:40 AM   #145
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Just read this thread with interest in the approach, suggestions and of course the Region 11 response.

Not that I have any weight - other than blubber whatsoever - but just wanted to pass on that both Peter and I totally understand your frustration in attempts to develop a "unit" that will better suit your personal needs and expectations of what "camping with your airstream" should be all about for you, your children, pets and friends.

While our membership has not lapsed quite yet - we have decided to leave our Ontario Unit. For many of the same reasons that have been stated through way too many threads that I have read over the past 3 years.

A few things that I have noticed that seem to spin the need for change:

The size of the unit - over 50 tends to lean towards the easiest methods to please it's membership - large rooms, cards, typical attraction style organization (which is needed to maintain order and fairness - i.e. Disney Land) So how can you possibly get that intimate close group feeling - Impossible. However if you looked closely at those big units you will see the group dynamics - and several cliques within the large group.

Second is the average age of the members within the unit. If it is an older unit that has evolved from the late forties with its members now in their 60'-80's then you can bet - any change that you would like to see will most definately take its time.

Why change does not happen fast in these larger units - simply it is the officers and the terms they are faced with. Although many get involved to make a difference - by the time they get in, learn the ropes, learn the rules and keep up with the LARGE units logistical demands there is no more time to "actually" listen to the members and their changing needs.

Ocassionally a member (rebel) will come along and try and stir up the pot - but the pot is just too big and too hot that the member is forced to make a decision - join or stay with a unit that does not do anything that interests them or leave and find what they are looking for somewhere else.

An alternative might be to search for like members within the Large Unit and start running satelite gatherings - but for any of us who have tried that you know what the UNIT Officer response is (if it is not our way it is the hyway).

A second alternative is as this thread is suggesting to start your own unit. And although there are valid points on both sides - the answer to the above is not proactive.

A regions mandate should be at all times to encourage membership - not to discourage it. If an area is TOO big to handle all the needs of the members in the "geographical" area than there should not be any objection to a new Unit.

However on the other hand - in order to call your unit WBCCI endorsed -there are rules and procedures to be followed - how they are followed should be up to the unit - whether they are in person or by mail, phone, fax, or internet. If the charter is meeting it's obligations to the WBCCI then that is all the Region should be concerned with.

Competing for members - IMHO is such a lame excuse. What does the region care - as the most of the fee goes to HQ. If the Unit is worried about fees dropping then possibly more effort should be made to encourage programs within the Unit that are smaller and for diversified members.

Not all members attend all the Rallies and events. And why is it so harmfull for members to have a choice to go to various rallies within their own area. If there be a kiddie rally, a Kayaking rally, a real camping rally (that one just blows my mind really as we all seem to drag a mini house around to say we are camping ) or how about on the opposite spectrum, the quilting rally, the Domino Rally, the Country Music Rally - why is it so difficult for Units to get around that they can organize 10 small events just as easily as they can organizing one large event for 100+ Airstreamers.

Someone please tell me WHY the powers to be get all bent out of shape to losen the reigns a bit and let some smaller breakout groups do their own thing without having to be full of red tape and procedures.

I found in Ontario's Unit that the majority of the 70 average out of their 128+ members who attend - were quite happy with the same routine that they have had since we joined. And that many of them are not interested in the more outdoorsy type activities - and those that are seem to have their "other groups" that they belong to outside of Airstreaming to get those fixes.

Adjust your reasons for the unit that will fall a bit more in line with the obigations of a Unit and then have fun. Appeal the decision to the Region on your new grounds - or aske specifically the grounds for refusal - based on the criteria of the by-laws. If the refusal is reasonable then as mentioned adjust them to better suit and re-submit your appeal to the next level.

Good Luck.

But on another note - have you tried working within the unit and recruiting members to attending a breakout event and do you have the units support for that approach - if not - stay the course above and start a new Unit.

Just my two thousand cents.....
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Old 09-25-2006, 12:03 PM   #146
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Originally Posted by Airstream25
Wally was an amazing leader of daring and great spirit. His Cape Town to Cairo caravan was world class.

I believe the WBCCI organization had grown to a peak of about 25,000 but has now declined to about 8000.

I should think the current WBCCI leadership would be concerned about this decline and seek constructive ways to turn the organization around.

By the way, how does one conduct a poll on Airstream Forums? It might be informative to have the forums vote on whether they think the Region 11 leaders were right or wrong to deny the charter for the Four Corners Unit.
They would never allow that to happen. In fact I suspect they will be unhappy that this wasn't kept a "private matter". It's how most business is conducted, "in confidence".
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Old 09-25-2006, 12:10 PM   #147
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I think there is a lot of hot air blowin' - people need to be very careful about perceptions, especially of attitude.

I think good arguments can be made for not creating competing organizations for a social activity. That is not a good basis for a social organization seeking to encourage community.

There is also something to be said about demonstrating a need for organization before organizing.

In other words, get friends together doing things that complement other organizations - not compete with them. If the activities of your group of friends gets to the point where its activities need organization, then do the organizing.

The idea with WBCCI is not to play with organizational artifacts but rather to stimulate people to get out and utilize their Airstream RV. What I see in a lot of the hot air (and I am aware of the caveat in re perceptions) is folks who are putting the focus on the artifacts and not on what we gather to do together. Use WBCCI as a tool to help you if you find you need the organization and its support and structures. Don't use it as a foil for your other frustrations or problems.
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Old 09-25-2006, 12:40 PM   #148
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Lubbock Texas is home to the Largest Lion's Club in the USA and 2nd Largest in the World.
However, there are also about a dozen other Lion's Clubs in Lubbock that are smaller, more intimate, and serve the needs of their members.
Is there competition???....sure.....friendly rivalry???....sure.
Is that okay????...sure it is.
I do NOT understand the stodgy, super secret, smoke filled room attitudes represented in Chester's response.
People have different needs and expectations.
People are able to compete and have friendly competition without "ruining" an fact, it might just spur growth.
The ONE THING we all have in common is Airstream why do we all have to do it by some WBCCI Bible Guidelines that are never to be changed?
It appears to me that WBCCI could study Lion's International and LEARN a few new tricks about membership and Club Charters.
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Old 09-25-2006, 01:36 PM   #149
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I do NOT understand the stodgy, super secret, smoke filled room attitudes represented in Chester's response.
Probably because they were not really there.

There is competition and then there is rivalry. When you have several Lion's clubs in the same area serving different interests, it is not competition as they serve different markets. Same thing exists with WBCCI.

why do we all have to do it by some WBCCI Bible Guidelines that are never to be changed?
You don't. And the ones you complain about don't exist the way you portray them - they are fantasies.

The first step for anyone is to get a handle on reality if they want a productive discussion. The danger is a real one and a serious one. We have to be very careful of what we know and what we think we know in order to avoid charging off into someplace that doesn't really exist.
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Old 09-25-2006, 01:36 PM   #150
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Just a little note on the side....I have noticed that there are some people who really get turned off by the word "competition".

There are many forms of competition out there.

In my opinion fair competition is healthy. But when "competition" is associated with "competing for members" in this instance I thing we are way out in left field - actually we are not even in the ball park.

A WBCCI member is a member no matter which way you slice it. They can participate at their home unit, next doors unit, State Rallies, Region Rallies Theme Rallys throughout the Country/Continent or International events.

As members of WBCCI we can attend and feel at home in any Unit hosted Rally on earth did "competition" ever get into the conversasion at this level I will never understand.

Where it should be is as mentioned - friendly rivalrys for the good of the community and the misfortunate. Or internal competitions in crafts or games which can either raise money or not. Competition brings about fun, commoradory, team play, communication and community spirit.
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Old 09-25-2006, 01:52 PM   #151
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Originally Posted by klevan
Chester Haughawaut, Region 11 1st VP, provided a comprehensive analysis and rationale, much too long to paste into this reply. Send me a PM with your email address and I will be happy to forward it to you along with a copy of our letter requesting the provisional charter.

I have listened to both views on this situation and for the life of me cannot understand the decision.This decision is especially troubling to me at this point in WBCCI's history.
Why are we turning away members?I have to give Chester credit for some of his analysis but not with the results.
I see Chester is from the New Mexico Unit as is klevan and hope that some compromise can be worked out to everyone's satisfaction.

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Old 09-25-2006, 02:19 PM   #152
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Four Corners Unit

Hello all -

I have been 'in on' the conversation with Ken since early in the process of trying to get the provisional charter. I too, was astonished, to see that there was a denial from the Region 11 "Powers that be". I've met Chester, and he seemed more open minded than his reply would seem to indicate. Perhaps it was written by committee....?

All that being said, I was ready, willing and prepared to join the FCU when the charter came through. Alas, my proactive wife re-joined the NM unit while I was at the Grand Canyon. I emailed that info to Ken telling him that I was going to 'un' join and then pay to the FCU. His response was that I shouldn't do that, as the NM leadership would likely find this to be inflamitory. How right he was/is.

This letter from Chester has now made the decision for me. I am going to get the $ back from them. I'll join the FCU! or whatever it winds up being. I'll join whatever camping unit I want, the old ways DO NOT do it for me. Some really nice folks ( and they love those multiple stars) in the NM unit - I am spliting from the leadership and their 'my way or the highway' attitudes, NOT the poeple in the unit!

AirStreamer's are AirStreamer's after all. Camping is what is all about. Period.

Long live the Four Corners Unit!!! Can I get an 'Amen'???

Ken, where do I send the check??

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Old 09-25-2006, 02:41 PM   #153
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how on earth did "competition" ever get into the conversasion at this level I will never understand.
It got there because of the reasons given for the formation of a new unit and the rationalizatopms for its formation.

To me, a key factor is that this idea for a Unit came about not through the process of a group of friends getting together at times and then deciding to organize but rather as a means to avoid working within the system to effect change. That is the competition that was of concern and I think it is a valid concern.

Camping may be what some say it is all about but look at what drives their behavior. It is anything but camping. If it was only camping then all the bitching about rules that don't exist and philosophies and protocol and organization would sink into their proper perspective.

Anyone reading this thread should see several choices. One is to learn and understand and find out what is going on. It is tolerant of others and looks for ways to coexist and cooperate. I don't see much of that here. Instead I see confrontation, combativeness, challenges, assuming the worst, questionable perceptions, and discord. And that worries me.
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Old 09-25-2006, 03:39 PM   #154
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just my musings.....

I just stumbled upon this thread and boy, am I glad I did! I have been considering joining the local WBCCI here in Big D, or actually just been considering going to a unit meeting first to see what it was like. Sounds like sheer torture to me! Do they use Roberts Rules of Parliamentary Procedure and all that stuff?? Sure smacks of a Bible-beating church service to me where the true message and intent of being there (loving fellowship of like-minded folks) is totally lost with all the hate-mongering and excluding going on!! Now I'm not prone to do this ordinarily, but this kind of lights me up, being on the receiving end of some of the hate-mongering going on in the US today from members of the so-called "right". Get it? wink, wink I think if you guys do form a unit under any auspices I would love to join up, if you'd have a 50 something "spinster" (wink, wink) from Dallas who considers Northern New Mexico a piece of heaven and a second home. I will not waste a moment of my time in an atmosphere which does not promote joyful fellowship, relaxation, fun and authentic friendships in the beautiful outdoors. I had enough of that when I worked all the time! Also, please forgive if I offended any of you with my characterization of the "right". I do attend Church, but I'm a major lefty!

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