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Old 10-14-2009, 08:19 AM   #1
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WBCCI - One Man's Positive Opinion

Last weekend I attended our Region 11 Rally in Fort Collins, CO. The weather was miserable. Our cheerful Colorado sunshine was absent, muscled aside by dreary overcast gray days with penetrating cold temperatures to heighten the uniformly dull mood. Nighttime brought darkness, below freezing temperatures, a few inches of snow and, on the last night, a thin coat of freezing rain. People’s water hoses and sewer hoses froze, their water pumps malfunctioned, and some tow vehicles had a hard time starting each morning. Was I disappointed and sorry I attended such a potentially miserable WBCCI event? Not in the least!

I looked forward to this low altitude, 3 point hook-up winter condition rally to test how my ’64 Globe Trotter would fare during winter camping. I had the catalytic heater running on high all weekend and the trailer remained comfortable, giving me confidence it could handle cold weather but telling me it might benefit from the largest catalytic heater available. Watching my neighbors on their knees, laboriously thawing their water hoses and sewer pipes with electric hair dryers, taught us all how to adjust our use of water in below-freezing temperatures. Two warm night’s sleep told me I had piled on just the right number of wool blankets. All this freezing weather camping helps me prepare for celebrating this New Year’s Eve boondocking at 11,000’ elevation in Rocky Mountain National Park without any hookups. I’m now confident I’ll survive up there.

Was every facet of the Region 11 Rally to my personal liking? Of course not. The food, though not inspired, was good, was warm, and I did not have to prepare it (though I contributed). There were informative seminars on trailer maintenance and repair, and some that held no interest for me, though others might have found them enjoyable. If an event did not appeal to me, rather than suffer through it I simply did not attend it. That’s pretty easy to figure out.

Yet the entertainment (a violin and accordion duo that made talk difficult during dinner and for which we all had to shut up and politely listen to immediately afterwards, as if in church) remained insipid in a way only the WBCCI has truly mastered. If Hollywood every awarded “SIPPYS” for totally uninspiring and annoying entertainment, the WBCCI would sweep each category. They gotta get a new booking agent! Better yet, just can the entertainment entirely and promote Fellowship by letting us members talk and enjoy each other’s company instead of making us sit down and shut up as if in a pew.

Nevertheless, for me the most enjoyable part of the Rally was talking to my WBCCI elders about the neatest places to see and visit throughout the Rocky Mountain West. The collective camping and travel experience and knowledge of WBCCI members is awesome. Our elders can tell you firsthand about the best places to visit nationwide or in your locale, the best routes to take or avoid getting there, where and where not to stay, and what to do or avoid while there. If you don’t like what’s on the rally agenda they have provided, then ask them individually about the travel and camping agenda that most interests you. Yeah, at times they may be as crabby, demanding, grumpy or interesting as your Mother. But they also are a tremendous resource, with much wisdom and experience to impart. So dig the potatoes out of your ears, open up your mind, ask and listen. You can learn a lot if you occasionally turn off the music in your head and direct your attention elsewhere.

I look forward to many more WBCCI events with friends I know and those I have yet to meet.
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Old 10-14-2009, 09:05 AM   #2
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Jan and I attended the same rally with Fred last week. We are in Southern Utah working our way home.

We did not know what to expect at the rally, but as a Unit President I felt that we needed to attend. We were pleasantly surprised and had a great time. We enjoyed the time we spent with our friends old and new. The food was fine and the entertainment was entertaining. There were members of all ages from all over the region.

It certainly was not a 4CU type rally, but being with our friends made it worth the trip.

The weather was miserable!
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Old 10-14-2009, 09:18 AM   #3
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Smile WBCCI - One Man's Positive Opinion

Greetings Fred!

I am with you . . . each WBCCI event is in great part what you want to make of the experience. One of the first things that I did in 1995 (when I was 36 years old) after I purchased my Overlander was to join the WBCCI and have been a member ever since (a Lifetime member for the past several years in fact). I have yet to attend a WBCCI function where I haven't found plenty of interesting things to do. My experience mirrors yours; while I am not interested in every activity offered, I feel like I have always found plenty to get my money's worth.

In many ways my WBCCI friends are a big part of my extended family. I find myself looking forward to attending many events just to have the opportunity to catch up with my WBCCI family. One of the things that never ceases to amaze me is how much an Airstream seems to be a "Fountain of Youth" - - outsiders looking in upon a WBCCI event may think many of the members are "old-timers", when the truth is that despite a little gray hair most of these WBCCI members have more verve and stamina than persons 15 or 20 years their junior.

I am fortunate as well in that I belong to a very wonderful local unit - - the Wisconsin Unit. When I joined, Wisconsin was my home . . . even after moving several hundred miles South, I have maintained my membership there as I still enjoy making as many of the Unit activities as I can. Over the years, I have attended activites hosted by a number of different Units including DENCO, Southern Illinois, Cleveland OH, and Western Kentucky. Each Unit tends to interpret the rally experience in a slightly different way, but that is part of what makes being a WBCCI member so enjoyable for me.

Kevin
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Old 10-14-2009, 10:22 AM   #4
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Froodles anyone?

We were the newbies there and are glad we went. The folks are great. Our trailer was put thru the test and passed with flying colors. We used the onboard tank for water and kept the spigot hose inside. When we were readying to leave, and to our suprise, the dump valves were not frozen. So we could take care of that business.

The only winter downside was being met back at home with 14 inches of snow. So we needed our 4-wheel drive to get through town to our house.
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Old 10-14-2009, 10:40 AM   #5
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Violin and accordion is my second favorite instrumental duet. The first is bagpipe and picalo (sp).
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Old 10-14-2009, 10:54 AM   #6
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Sounds like an adventure! We enjoy our outings with our unit although we agree on the entertainment. Especially the "sitting in a church pew" part. We were pushed to leave the table we had dinner at to sit at the chairs lined up at the stage. When we didn't move we certainly go looks! But I think everyone is trying to respect each other even though we do get teased for I late night at the campfires! In my own belief, the problems with the WBCCI is not at the unit level. Somehow things get distorted at the International level.
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Old 10-14-2009, 01:56 PM   #7
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Let me entertain you!

Be careful what you wish for. My instrument of choice is the accordion. Maybe we'll see you at a rally and you can dance to the "beer barrel polka"...or the quintesencial "lady of spain"...and if that doesn't excite you...we'll break out the ukulele's!
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Old 10-14-2009, 03:21 PM   #8
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Lettuce Entertain U . . .

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roadrunner View Post
Be careful what you wish for. My instrument of choice is the accordion. Maybe we'll see you at a rally and you can dance to the "beer barrel polka"...or the quintesencial "lady of spain"...and if that doesn't excite you...we'll break out the ukulele's!
Hi Roadrunner: I have nothing against either the violin or the accordion. In fact, I enjoy them both . . . but not in my ear during dinner when I have to fight them to carry on a conversation . . . or during dessert when I'd rather continue chatting with my table mates than have to stifle myself out of respect for the performers (which I did). It's not the instruments that bother me, its the mandatory imposition of silence at a time when Fellowship is flourishing at the dinner table. I'd much rather chat with my friends and catch up with their goings-on than suffer in silence listening to some performers whom I wouldn't even summon to my worse enemy's funeral.

As for ukuleles, I'll simply note I have many fine ukin' friends in the California El Camino Real Unit who make the Arthur Godfrey Play-Along-Club look like a bunch of pikers. I greatly enjoy their enthusiasm and strum-urn-dang! But they respectfully wait until after everybody has finished dinner, dessert, a cigar and brandy before breaking out their mighty ukes and into song.

From my point of view, entertainment has its time and place . . . but it does not intersect with dinner or dessert. Perhaps I'll have to create an imaginary drawing room to retire to whilst the dinner music plays. . . .
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Old 10-14-2009, 03:29 PM   #9
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Here is a picture of the ECR ukulele group at the Salem International after the VAC awards presentation.

Bill
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Old 10-14-2009, 03:43 PM   #10
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Here is a picture of the ECR ukulele group at the Salem International after the VAC awards presentation.

Bill
Thanks for the video, that's the best rendition of "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" I've ever heard.
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Old 10-14-2009, 05:19 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by overlander64 View Post
Greetings Fred!

I am with you . . . each WBCCI event is in great part what you want to make of the experience. One of the first things that I did in 1995 (when I was 36 years old) after I purchased my Overlander was to join the WBCCI and have been a member ever since (a Lifetime member for the past several years in fact). I have yet to attend a WBCCI function where I haven't found plenty of interesting things to do. My experience mirrors yours; while I am not interested in every activity offered, I feel like I have always found plenty to get my money's worth.

In many ways my WBCCI friends are a big part of my extended family. I find myself looking forward to attending many events just to have the opportunity to catch up with my WBCCI family. One of the things that never ceases to amaze me is how much an Airstream seems to be a "Fountain of Youth" - - outsiders looking in upon a WBCCI event may think many of the members are "old-timers", when the truth is that despite a little gray hair most of these WBCCI members have more verve and stamina than persons 15 or 20 years their junior.

I am fortunate as well in that I belong to a very wonderful local unit - - the Wisconsin Unit. When I joined, Wisconsin was my home . . . even after moving several hundred miles South, I have maintained my membership there as I still enjoy making as many of the Unit activities as I can. Over the years, I have attended activites hosted by a number of different Units including DENCO, Southern Illinois, Cleveland OH, and Western Kentucky. Each Unit tends to interpret the rally experience in a slightly different way, but that is part of what makes being a WBCCI member so enjoyable for me.

Kevin
Hi Kevin! As some of the newest members of the WI Unit (haven't even attended a WI rally yet), we look forward to meeting you down the road!
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Old 10-14-2009, 05:43 PM   #12
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This appears to be culture wars all over again. Some people like a very orderly club and others don't. Some people like to talk during dinner and some like "entertainment". People disagree what is entertainment or whether there should be any. I guess some WBCCI rallies have "old fashioned" entertainment and that's what part of the rally fees are for. Another reason to avoid them to me.

A formal club is not for some; an informal club is not for some. To the former, the latter may look like chaos; to the latter, the former may look tyrannical.

I doubt culture wars ever get resolved except by attrition. The Forum is the informal group and thus the situation is solved for the Airstreamers who don't want to be part of the WBCCI. There's really no reason to start another club, because it's here. Just like in the WBCCI, information about Airstreams and places to visit are passed on here. There no 1950's music or any other here (except sometimes from UTube, and that's optional). For most Airstream owners the WBCCI is more and more something from the past and the present organizational leadership appears to want it that way or they'd do something else. So, everyone has their group, some are in both, and tune in in 2015 and see what's happened.

Gene
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Old 10-14-2009, 05:55 PM   #13
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Violin and accordion is my second favorite instrumental duet. The first is bagpipe and picalo (sp).
Accordions, bagpipes, and mimes all have the power to turn me into a serial killer in a very short period of time.
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Old 10-14-2009, 06:17 PM   #14
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Ahhhhhhhhhhhh

and I thought I was the only one who enjoyed the WBCCI "mix". Can't wait for our next rally to hear about the old dude that was deported, came back to the USA and fought in WWII. Only at a WBCCI rally will you hear a story like that.

And YES he is grouchy!!!
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