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Old 10-13-2009, 07:52 PM   #1
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WBCCI - One Man's Negative Opinion

Let me state up front that this posting is not intended to offend anyone, to start a “flame” war, or to sway anyone’s opinion….pro or con. It is merely my (our) personal experiences and opinions of the WBCCI. I know that many will disagree with our opinions, and I respect that, but request that you keep your responses civil.

We joined our local WBCCI Unit in April 2009, while attending our first “buddy” rally. The campground (Airstream Park) is owned and maintained by unit members, and has three-point hookups. It also has a nice clubhouse for social functions, and a well-equipped kitchen. The rally was well organized, with good food and unit activities (seminar on polishing, open house, etc.). It was a bit difficult to obtain information on unit activities/park/rally, as the unit’s website no longer exists. A couple of Airstream friends (that we had met at forum rallies) provided the rally information, and were our sponsoring “buddies.” However, I was first in line entering the park and the lady host, who was quite old, tried to run me off because I was not a WBCCI member……she apparently didn’t understand what a “buddy” rally was. After some intervention by more knowledgeable unit members, we chose our campsites. Although the campground has full hookups, the spots are primitive and were (at that time) infested with ants. Our first impression of the members was……these people are really, really old. Now, I’m a young 65….so, take it from there. The second thing I noticed (with a beer in my hand) was the sign on the clubhouse….”no alcohol allowed.” OK, I can respect that. Although we are not religious, I can also respect the group’s decision to bless each meal. But, the conversations that were laced with religious references, and the church singer that was one night’s entertainment, just about drove me bonkers. However, the unit members were nice, enthusiastic about our joining, and we wanted to see the WBCCI succeed…..so, we decided to join. We did not attend any more unit rallies since April, but decided to attend a regional rally last week. We thought that it would probably have some younger members, and maybe be a bit more anchored in the 21st Century……we couldn’t have been more wrong.

There were approximately 100 Airstreams at the regional rally……and, the median age of attendees had to be close to 80. It is a bit scary to think that some of these folks are still towing trailers/driving motor homes. The rally was held at a nice complex that provided concrete pads, and three-point hookups. There was a package of materials that provided all the information/schedule of events that one could ask for. However, there were only a couple of activities (a day trip to a flea market 120 miles away, and golf tournament) that we were interested in. Other activities such as listening to “dignitaries” speak, and playing card/board games rank right up there with “watching paint dry.” The three nights of entertainment included one night of vintage film covering Cape Town to Cairo. It was interesting to see the hardships that those folks overcame. The second night’s entertainment was a three-person teen group that harmonized well, but progressed to gospel music. The third night was a gospel quartet…..which we skipped. The rally was attended by IBT President Tom Collier, and his wife, along with some other IBT “important people.” We had just been notified that annual memberships should be renewed by the end of October. When I asked why I had to pay again, after only six months, Mr. Collier responded that “Yes, we have to pay.” Well, probably not! It was very apparent that one of main agenda items of the IBT representatives was pitching the International Rallies…..especially Gillette, WY. One notable comment was made by the Region President, and that was not to pay any attention to the stuff that is being posted on the Internet…..just come out and have fun. I was also told that you receive from your membership, what you put into it…..get involved. Seems like it has to be something we would be interested in first.

So, what is the bottom line for us???? The answer is quite simple……the WBCCI (in its current form) is definitely not something we want to be associated with. In fact, I’m hoping that I can get those red numbers off without leaving any marks. From our prospective, it is an organization that is stuck in the past, with a rapidly aging membership…..someone pegged it perfectly with the term “Laurence Welk attitudes.” It is an organization that provides quite a bit to the majority of the older members that we have met…..my Mother would love it! However, the leadership is sticking their heads in the sand, and refusing to embrace new technology….where most of the younger potential members reside. Some of that can be attributed to the fact that they just don’t understand it…..but, refusing to listen to new ideas is inexcusable……and, will probably lead to the club’s demise.

BTW, we have attended three forum rallies and that’s what works for us……put up your feet, have a few drinks, and tell some “war stories”…….it is a lot more fun for us without all the pomp and circumstance.

Chief
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Old 10-13-2009, 10:04 PM   #2
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Chief,

I'm not going to try and "sell" on the WBCCI but your experience was similar to our first one with a local unit except that those folks were not welcoming or nice.

They did quit ignoring us long enough to look aghast when we opened our beers.

However we visited a few other units and found they all have different personalities. We wound up in a great unit where we really look forward to the rallies. Forum rallies and our unit's rallies are a lot alike and with many of the same folks.

I do agree with you on the mindset of many of the folks at the upper levels of the club but we focus on our units activities and generally ignore them. Never let a dud spoil the party...
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Old 10-13-2009, 10:05 PM   #3
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It is unfortunate that your WBCCI experience was negative. We are attending our first Region Rally this weekend. I have been told to expect 65 to 70 units. At our last unit rally, there were over 35 units.

We have enjoyed all of the unit rallies we have attended and we have an open mind for this new rally experience.

Bill
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Old 10-13-2009, 10:06 PM   #4
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Wow Chief

I can hardly wait till The Can Opener and hear what you real thoughts are about WBCCI.

Don't pull the numbers off just yet. Sugarfoot or I might be able to get you to join the WDC unit
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Old 10-13-2009, 10:54 PM   #5
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Sorry to hear that your first few experiences weren't what you hoped. Similar to my first attempt. There are other units that may offer more of what you're looking for and one of the beauties of today's digital society, you can be a member of any unit you so desire. I have found a unit that I am very involved with and have been since its inception several years back. Take another look before peeling the big red numbers.

Brad
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Old 10-13-2009, 11:14 PM   #6
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I SO look forward to the day when people no longer need to start threads bashing the WBCCI.
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Old 10-13-2009, 11:19 PM   #7
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I know exactly what you mean, Chief! But, it's true, each club does have its own personality and there are lots of likeminded 'streamers in the WBCCI, hoping to connect. Please consider hanging in there, at least in spirit. New people are coming up and there's an effort underway to embrace new technologies.
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Old 10-13-2009, 11:28 PM   #8
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hi chief...

your experience has been told and retold MANY times here by widely diverse people, in old threads...

uncanny in the similarities and with the equally common happy rebuff "sorry about YOUR experience, but MY unit is wonderful..."

it isn't really a 'negative opinion' so much as a dull experience, and repeating it might become negative...
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i opted NOT to renew this year and it's been a HUGE blessing.

let them sink or succeed but without my help or money.
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IF the primary reason to be IN is rallies and camping vents, well we have those here.

i see NO need for insurance, NO need to pay a rally fee, no need for name tags

NO need to follow an exact script and NO need to be 'guided' into a parking spot i'm paying for by somebody (or a group) waving sticks..

and absolutely no need 4 GROUP prayers, b4 meals OR drinking at exactly 4:30.
_______________

having been to BOTH styles of rallies the forum approach is SO much more relaxed and simple.

a few shared meals, impromptu entertainment, multiple camp fires and beverage times and so on...

even the largest forum rallies are SO much more relaxed with people independently deciding what to do next and without ANY officers.

ULTIMATELY the individual needs to survey personal traits and likes,

experience with (and need for) shriners style clubs and the meaning of camping freedom.
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funny thing is LAST year someone deeply involved with the wb'z came to the opener...

while bicycling around and popping into say hello at various campsites,

this fellow wearing a beret, badge and name tag stepped OUT into the street in front of me...

he said "ARE YOU WITH THIS AIRSTREAM GROUP?"

2 which i replied... "how dooo you mean with ?"

he then emphatically said "GET A NAME TAG ON! everyone MUST WEAR A NAME TAG OR THIS THING IS GONNA BE CHAOS!"

i started to say... "we don't need no stinking...." but instead replied...

chaos? oh man that sounds like FUN! if i put ON a name tag, can i take OFF my clothes?"

he quickly scurried BACK INSIDE this trayla...

cheers
2air'
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Old 10-13-2009, 11:52 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chief View Post
..... The second thing I noticed (with a beer in my hand) was the sign on the clubhouse….”no alcohol allowed.” OK, I can respect that. Although we are not religious, I can also respect the group’s decision to bless each meal. But, the conversations that were laced with religious references, and the church singer that was one night’s entertainment, just about drove me bonkers....
Chief, I could have written your post about my first experience. And I too was rescued by meeting the folks at the WDCU. All WBCCI chapters are not the same. But in Florida, let's face it - geriatric is to be expected.

Shop around. There are more forward looking WBCCI chapters out there. Oh, and my first unit - frankly it had some YOUNG FOGIES so it's not always an age thing!

Paula
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Old 10-13-2009, 11:56 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2airishuman View Post
...
while bicycling around and popping into say hello at various campsites,

this fellow wearing a beret, badge and name tag stepped OUT into the street in front of me...

he said "ARE YOU WITH THIS AIRSTREAM GROUP?"

2 which i replied... "how dooo you mean with ?"

he then emphatically said "GET A NAME TAG ON! everyone MUST WEAR A NAME TAG OR THIS THING IS GONNA BE CHAOS!"

i started to say... "we don't need no stinking...." but instead replied...

chaos? oh man that sounds like FUN! if i put ON a name tag, can i take OFF my clothes?"

he quickly scurried BACK INSIDE this trayla...

cheers
2air'
Youze one BAD BUNNY Mon!
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Old 10-13-2009, 11:57 PM   #11
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Yes, there are some old thinking units in WBCCI, yes, the leadership needs to change and yes, my unit(s) are great.

Bill
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Old 10-14-2009, 12:39 AM   #12
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The units that are growing are the ones to get involved with.

Another thing to watch is the rally calendar.. a big red flag would in my mind be a luncheon at somewhere like the Golden Corral or another non - camping event that does not involve fun.

We would be happy to show you a good time at one of our rallies. If it were not for our unit, we would not belong to the WBCCI plain and simple.
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Old 10-14-2009, 03:28 AM   #13
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Look, I'm with you all to a certain extent -- 2air, I absolutely detest bossy old white men too. But it's not just the WBCCI -- maybe society in general, and rallies in particular, ain't for the Chief. I've been to three forum rallies & been bored stiff at each one -- when I wasn't actively offended by my fellow campers. But I didn't feel a need to start a thread to discuss my disappointment.

So OK, you HATE THE WB-whatever. Trust me -- people in campgrounds the world over can be old, stodgy, pudgy & overly focused on the rules. One rally I was at left me dizzy among everyone's focus on communal dinners & picnic-table-moving & cooking & cleaning & tank-dumping & site complaints.
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Old 10-14-2009, 03:48 AM   #14
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Hey Brother!!!,

I haven't been to a WBCCI rally nor am I a member. Like you, I have been to a Forums rally and I was quite impressed with the event. All of the people there were great, compassionate and made you feel right at home, with a Corona in hand!!!

Heck, I didn't even have my A/S with me when I went to the rally. I ended up pitching a tent and named it "Fort Schmock" Everyone got a kick out of it.

I do agree with you that organizations such as the WBCCI need to account for everyone that is a member. There is an ever growing younger generation that we can not forget about.

Hope to meet you at one of the forum rallies!!! You'll always find a beer or some other tasty beverage in my Airstream!!!
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