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Old 09-17-2003, 05:24 PM   #15
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Jerry Sullivan

don't forget ghost towns, geologic field trips, museums, dinosaur digs, navel gazing, cards, trailer repairing and repair planning, horse shoes, pot lucks, meetings, happy hour, scenery, photography, amateur radio event participation, indian artifact searches, Donner trail experiences, birdwatching, botany experiences, stargazing, civil war re-enactments at Fort Churchill, walking the dogs and cats, hiking, bicycling, air races, tow vehicle and rv related debates, cold weather camping,

or just a weekend doing something not like work!
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Old 09-17-2003, 07:19 PM   #16
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Join the New England Unit!

Another fun unit, with a good mixture of young and old is the New England Unit We aren't as centrally located as the WDCU is but we travel all over New England and into Pennsylvania and New York.
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Old 09-17-2003, 11:58 PM   #17
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Activity overload

Everyone so far has focused on group and social activities, but if these type of activities become the WBCCI's main focus (which is what I think has happened) then how is the WBCCI any different from other RV communities? For example The Good Sam Club has all the same type activities except they don't discriminate over the make of RV.

I think the focus has to return to the product, the Airstream trailer, because that is what all WBCCI members have in common yet sets them apart from other RV clubs. Many people turn away from joining the WBCCI because there is no or little focus on the product - just group activities or activities with no direct relationship to AS trailers. This Airstreamforum group is an example in point. None of us would likely be active on this forum if its focus was on getting together. We're here and are brought together because of our interest in the product. The "old folks" in the local units are estranged from the "younger" set because they are almost totally focused on socializing. Prospective members often want to know more about how to use their trailer, how to take care of it and where to take it camping. When they perceive that the unit is mostly about socializing they conclude (perhaps incorrectly) that it is "cliquish" and so drop out.

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Old 09-18-2003, 12:23 AM   #18
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I disagree and agree with Forrestors comments.

I for one, am investigating whether or not to join as a member of a local unit, member at large, or just do what I have always done. This is my second AS, and at my age (34) I am not looking for a club whose interest is strictly talking AS talk all the time, nor necessarily social events that cater to how my grandparents might enjoy spending their days, but I personally am looking for an organization that I can look forward to going - enjoy the comradre that should envelop a group with such a rich tradition. Passing down the torch so to say - we want to experience hands on how people lived in their young ages of owning Airstreams - just not reminense constantly.

For example, I talked to a Unit and the first thing I hear are "poker, cribbage.... those are all activities we plan" and well that is not really appealing to someone like myself. (Although with a good enough partner I'll play hearts or spades until the sun comes up - well in my military days to pass time I did"... And that is my point - for some of us who look forward to the outtings in our AS - we are not looking to just do something idly to pass the time. We spend 80+ hours a week and kinda want to have if we join a club - that there is a portion of it that is catered to us. We want ACTIVITIES - and SOCIAL events that tie us together. Face it - a majority of us will find time to do things with friends. Being single - I rarely take myself anywhere becuase if I can do nothing somewhere else - may as well do it at home.

I correlate this to my off-road and "Its a Jeep thing - you wouldn't understand". When I go out with fellow Jeepers, we are going out for activity. Those of that are loyal and avid to our kinds of vehicles (Such as Jeeps) we do not often just go hang out with a bunch of fellow Jeepers becuase they put bigger tires on their Jeep (for the cool factor) and they have yet to even be on a pot hole ridden stretch of highway or a grass lawn. No - we co-ordinate a weekend a month - we do the camping, we tell tale tales, we the cook-outs, we socialize, and we have the days full of our off-road runs. We break something and everyone is their pitching in, if there is a newbie in the group - its not about the RULES its about why it is Safety first - and that will make your ride fun - in other words - to educate them so they pass the torch.

So how to translate this over. Us Airstream afficindao's - didn't buy an AS because it was just another SOB. A small minority of us here own 1990 to present AS, and a vast majority of folks own Vintage Airstreams - that required quite a bit of technical skill and sheer love to get them into the conditions to be used on any regular basis. That is why alot of us come here to this forum - is becuase its like a Jeep Tech forum - we are here to share tips, and when we do meet them out on the road / trail / campground - we have established a relationship. Personally with my '79 - I learned so much here online before I ever even bought an AS. And that is why social events are SO VERY IMPORTANT - to keeping the fabric of a club together - and building / maintaining those relationships. None of us are writing each other saying "Everyone Bring your AS to this PARK and we will have a big fix-it party" or to get wrapped up in the product (its the PRODUCT that already has given US the common bond) - its is about the socializing, sharing the work and effort put in, and most of all building new experiences... to relax from either the work we placed into our AS just to make it there or our daily life.


We could learn alot from the hospitality industry. There they have a wide range of folks who vary in age and culture. They go out of their way to make sure they have activities that cross the spectrum and even pull the spectrum together. A good CLUB should be just like that. They collect dues, they know the ages beforehand and the dates when these events are planned - and if the numbers of attendees are dropping - then that says - do a little market research - and changing just a little can net great rewards.

That is what I want from a club - it should be a escape from this routine I at least call daily life - and be amongst friends new, old, and those not yet made...

<off - soapbox>
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Old 09-18-2003, 06:58 AM   #19
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I have to say, having been here since Feb of this year, I have seen these WBCCI posts and they are all the same. You have a bunch of folks that have great local units and some who's units have far much to be desired.

In the end, the folks with the great units or the one's with a fair number of folks trying to change their local units seem to have good exp. The ones that have the folks on oxygen and seem to be stuck in the past have a very poor influx of new folks. Case in point, I seem to recall a local unit simply closing shop about 5-6 months ago.

Most folks know how I feel about WBCCI since I've posted at least 12 times on the subject among all the threads that have appeared in the 7 months I've been here.

Here is something to think about. When you bought a new trailer, you automatically got a free year to WBCCI. They nixed it. Why? The reason from what I recall was simply that the folks that got the free year, mostly blew it off and never renewed it..... that speaks volumes to me.

For those that have a great time at in these, and you have a great local unit that meets or exceeds your needs, I am very happy for you. For those that don't, I can see why in most cases and it's not always as conv to simply join another unit, sometimes distances, etc come into play.

Bottom line is simply that if the even half the posts on these WBCCI threads are not bright and cheery, that is a pretty good cross section of data that could indicate a very HUGE problem as time moves on.

Change or be gone....and don't think it couldn't happen because it already has in a few places....

Eric
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Old 09-18-2003, 07:20 AM   #20
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WBCCI

Here's my story and I'm sticking to it.
A year and a half ago, we bought a 32 year old Airstream. About the same time, WBCCI was offering a year's free membership. So, we joined in order to learn about Airstreams and how to fix and maintain them. After a year, we renewed and plan to every year.
Not only did we learn a lot about these trailers, we have met life long friends in the local unit. At least, they seem like people we have know forever.
Lots of knowledge and experience has been shared that has helped us.
We have attended several luncheons and rallies and have enjoyed them all.
WBCCI isn't perfect. But, what is.
Bottom line. You get out what you put in.
I think that the people who complain about the organization the most are also the ones who would complain about any one they belonged to.
Have fun, be happy.
Dan
WBCCI #5927
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Old 09-18-2003, 09:43 AM   #21
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Re: WBCCI

Quote:
Originally posted by Dan Brawner

I think that the people who complain about the organization the most are also the ones who would complain about any one they belonged to.
Have fun, be happy.
Dan
WBCCI #5927
I have to bitterly disagree here Dan. You cannot assume that your experiance means that it is that way all around the country in every local unit. There are a bunch of problems in the local units and possilbly even higher up....

If I took the logic from your quote above, we'd all have no reason to gripe about the current quality of what is coming out of Jackson Center. These are real complaints and as such cannot and should not be dismissed. Afterall we are not censoring anyones comments good, bad or otherwise.

Glad your unit works for you....

Regards,

Eric
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Old 09-18-2003, 10:23 AM   #22
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Criticism vs analysis

The verb criticize, once neutral between praise and censure, is now mainly used in a negative sense. There is no exact synonym, but in most contexts one can usually substitute go over, review, or analyze. -- This was paraphrased from the dictionary.

Analyzing and recognizing problems in an organization shouldn't automatically be viewed in the negative sense of being unjust or unwarranted criticism. In order to make improvements problems must be recognized and acknowledged before they can be rectified. Labeling members of an organization as complainers because they recognize a problem simply shuts down the process. It tells them they should go elsewhere if they don't like it, and all too often they do. Eventually, this works to the detriment of the organization. Don't label people as being negative simply because they want change -- change can be good and positive.
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Old 09-18-2003, 11:03 AM   #23
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WBCCI Membership

Over the past few days, I have read about potential members not being able to find a Unit to suit them. I have been a member of the WBCCI for 34 years. I am 64 years old. I have brought into the WBCCI probably more members and retained them than most, I am member of the Founders Club to prove it, so maybe I know something. 1st being a member of a Unit usually cost less then being a Member at Large, plus you get a newsletter from your area plus the Blue Beret. 2nd, it is impossible for a Unit to tailor their functions to fit everyone's needs. My Unit has probably more 4, 5 and 6 day rallies then most, but we include the weekend into those rallies to suit everyone. If you do not like the way a Unit runs their rally, join and change it, I did. You will never change anything by not joining and just complaining about it. Go to your state rally, talk to other Units, You are not alone and your voice will eventually be heard. Remember, we have been around a long time and with the younger generation we will continue to stick around. Don't bash us, don't complain, help us. You can contact me personally from the Florida Unit Web page http://hometown.aol.com/fc23343/dule.INDEX.HTM
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Old 09-18-2003, 11:50 AM   #24
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Our first year free membership is about to run out. We will not be renewing. The Southern AZ unit was dissolved....we were not interested in luncheons anyway.

The BLUE BERET does not interest us; very few caravans begin near us.

The red numbers could be a problem later for the next owner so I guess I shall return them to WBCCI.
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Old 09-18-2003, 12:56 PM   #25
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Thumbs up Re: Criticism vs analysis

Totally agree Forrest.


Eric
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Old 09-18-2003, 12:58 PM   #26
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Couple of things:

1. When I bought my Airstream from Great American RV - never was a mention made of the local Unit or the WBCCI period. Problem ID: Unit Branding. Some free campground package given away with each purchase - had a call within a week from them. Did they insist on joining - no - they asked me what I was expecting and enjoy from my camping experience to start off the conversation - the hook. Then 10 minutes later - just let us know when you would like to stay for a free weekend - we will call and follow up in a few months. Why aren't more units actually working with dealers to at least promote their units? Is it that much time involved?

2. Most of the Unit websites lack any kind of information and are difficult to find. I had to call to get the website address for one of the chapters in my neck of the woods. If you go to the main WBCCI website - all you usually get for 95% of all contact information is a name and phone number.

3. WBCCI website has no real forum to discuss issues and and gather real feedback from its membership base. I have noticed a few local chapters in the forums elsewhere involved - but why can't we as a whole work to get something in place? Better yet how can mobilize forums such as this to work with WBCCI and units to give them tools they need? With all the varying talent that we all have - while we may elect to stay outside of the clubs - we can still be part of the solution...

4. Why isn't Airstream / Thor - more active with these groups? Here would be a fairly cool idea is to have Thor/Airstream work with dealers and and local units - sponsor a low cost outting with activities that are geared around even just the median age - plop a new trailer - for show and tale... etc...from a pure marketing perspective there are alot of people like me who start vintage - to try - and then buy new. From that perspective it would be nice to see local units and everyone just work together....

5. What kind of communication is going on between units and the top level WBCCI to begin with? Seems to me, not very much?


Just some crazy thoughts
And I have no clue what I am talking about before anyone takes offense
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Old 09-18-2003, 01:06 PM   #27
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Frank,

I apprec your comments, thoughts on the subject. I can see from your post that you have had vast exp with WBCCI.

The bottom line for me is that I love Airstreams, I love the folks who own Airstreams, they are a tight knit community. My issue is simply that I don't currently have the kind of time to invest to "eventually" be heard. To me, there are far more productive uses of the small level of spare time that I have....

There is no arguement of the fact that you can't be everything to everyone. To me, that seems pretty obvious. Your group might be different than some of the other groups out there. I can say this, I am that younger generation you are talking about. In my travels, there are many of us who simply just love to camp. WBCCI to me seems a bit dated (not all but the ones I have seen, specifically the one around the Chicago area). Chapters are closing and it can be looked at several different ways. I am not really suggesting I know all the answers here, but it seems clear that there is work to be done and who knows, maybe I'll eventually have the time to try to spin my wheels a bit and have a crack at changing it. I fear though, but the time that I do, more chapters will have fallen to the sidelines as a number have already.

I think Forrest said it best on another thread:

Criticism vs analysis

The verb criticize, once neutral between praise and censure, is now mainly used in a negative sense. There is no exact synonym, but in most contexts one can usually substitute go over, review, or analyze. -- This was paraphrased from the dictionary.

"Analyzing and recognizing problems in an organization shouldn't automatically be viewed in the negative sense of being unjust or unwarranted criticism. In order to make improvements problems must be recognized and acknowledged before they can be rectified. Labeling members of an organization as complainers because they recognize a problem simply shuts down the process. It tells them they should go elsewhere if they don't like it, and all too often they do. Eventually, this works to the detriment of the organization. Don't label people as being negative simply because they want change -- change can be good and positive."

Regards,

Eric
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Old 09-18-2003, 02:18 PM   #28
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Unhappy

Quote:
Go to your state rally, talk to other Units, You are not alone and your voice will eventually be heard. Remember, we have been around a long time and with the younger generation we will continue to stick around. Don't bash us, don't complain, help us.
Frank -
that is you and that's your situation in Florida. It is not so for everyone else.

Where we are for example WE ARE ALONE. The 2 units we contacted, we were the youngest by 30 years!!! We have wonderful relations with people older than us and enjoy their company but unfortunately don't share the same ideas of fun when we're off work!

Spending the day at the museum, touring Victorian houses, crochet, dominos etc. is OK for some but we much prefer: hiking, kayaking, swimming, skiing, scuba diving etc.

All we're trying to do is find other AS members with whom we can share a fun couple of days. A local unit NEAR us would be ideal but unfortunately most unit members we spoke too are not as physically active.
No offense to anybody, just the way it is.

...and as Eric said "we don't have the time to change the WBCCI".

This said we will remain members and go to rallies. Hopefully we'll find our spot in the WBCCI.

Thanks to everyone for their suggestions on which unit to join, just wished they were closer.
If there is any of you out there with our same problem and ideas of fun, let's talk!
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