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Old 07-19-2008, 07:06 PM   #1
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WBCCI or Airstream Camping Club

We have only had our Airstream trailer since November of last year.

I realize that no matter how much reading I do on this site, the WBCCI site or the SaveWally site I will never be able to understand all of the nuances of the politics that exist within/without the WBCCI.

The one recurring theme that permeates everything I read about the "friction" that exists within/without the WBCCI these days seems to center around this:
The members of the WBCCI who have "paid their dues" by working the WBCCI system for many years and have "arrived" at the pinacle of the organization are in no way interested in making changes to that system. I can understand why they would feel that way.
I can also understand why there are many people who are frustrated with the continued adherence to a system that they feel is antiquated and does not meet their needs.
What I do NOT understand is why these two factions continue to bash each other as they do at WBCCI meetings and on the various web sites that address this issue.

It seems to me that there exists an opportunity for a new Airstream Camping Club to come into being that will provide all of the things that I read about people wanting that they do not or cannot get from the WBCCI.

Herresey!

Perhaps.

Given that the WBCCI was created to assist with the marketing of Airstream products and foster commraderie within the people who supported those products there is a huge tratition that the WBCCI maintains.

Frankly I see the years of WBCCI tradition being a huge part of the problem. So many people have come up within the organization within that tradition that do not want to see it changed.

Almost every post that addresses this issue mentions the "change from within" theme and implies that working within the confines of the WBCCI is the only way change will be brought about.

Perhaps.

In my experience it is next to impossible to foster change within any organization UNLESS THAT CHANGE IS DRIVEN FROM THE TOP.

I can see no reason why the WBCCI should change. The leadership is very happy with the status quo. So are the majority of the members.

I'm firmly convinced that there are sufficient Airstream owners to support more than one Airstream Camping Club.

It seems to me there is room for an Airstream Camping Club that will represent the Airstream owners who would like a way of doing things that is different from the WBCCI way.

Jim
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Old 07-19-2008, 07:40 PM   #2
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The leaders do want the club to have lots of members contributing their $55 per year to fund their activities. The potential younger members do not want to fund those kind of activities but like the Wally Byam name and adventures. The VAC members have fought the brave battle for years and continue to exist within WBCCI and have been better tolerated by the leaders lately. People continue to hope "we can all get along" but some members are not flexible enough for that. That is when people come to verbal blows. I have been a member for 14 years. I was president of a 110 member unit in 1998. You can not please all the people all the time. Some old people are more set in their ways than others and some are not physically able to participate in activities that may be more interesting to younger members or kids. AirForums Rallies may be better suited to younger members.
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Old 07-19-2008, 07:52 PM   #3
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...It seems to me there is room for an Airstream Camping Club that will represent the Airstream owners who would like a way of doing things that is different from the WBCCI way...
good idea and it's been debated here on the forums several times...

there are about 15 threads on this issue and a couple of them are very long.

it is sort of an annual topic and sometimes connected to wb' fiascos or corporate issues.

other times the 'air club' idea is in threads that explore the 'ideal' or modern club style for working, young (headed) and post war folks...

advance search thread 'titles' only with the word "club" and some of those threads appear...

but some of the better thoughts and issues related to a new club are buried in other wb' threads.

without directly intending to, the forums has fulfilled many of the important club needs, including numbers!

there are even a couple of threads primarily about how AIR IS the club for many...

cheers
2air'

and in NO WAY is this post intended to discourage exchange on this issue...
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Old 07-19-2008, 08:20 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by norsea View Post
... In my experience it is next to impossible to foster change within any organization UNLESS THAT CHANGE IS DRIVEN FROM THE TOP.

I can see no reason why the WBCCI should change. The leadership is very happy with the status quo. So are the majority of the members.
... Jim
I think you're probably a bit off in this regard. The current leadership is interested in future directions and commissioned the 2020 Committee to examine change. The report of the committee is available now on the WBCCI site:

http://www.wbcci.org

(Click on the 2020 committee link at the top.)


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Old 07-19-2008, 08:32 PM   #5
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I think you're probably a bit off in this regard. The current leadership is interested in future directions and commissioned the 2020 Committee to examine change. The report of the committee is available now on the WBCCI site:

http://www.wbcci.org

(Click on the 2020 committee link at the top.)


Lynn
Hi Lynn,

Thanks for responding...

Yes they did commission the 2020 Committee. I listened to the audio report the committee made at the IBT this year.

I have also listened and read about previous committee's that were appointed to perform a similar function.

It is entirely possible that I did not understand the result of those committee recommendations, but my take was they were filed on a shelf and left to gather dust.

While it is entirely possible that this latest report will be acted on I have to say that I am not convinced that the IBT leadership is at all interested in doing so. They seem to be VERY interested in stifling any/all dissent.

Given that they have a severe budget crisis about which they took no action I do not see taking action for other change being a priority.

Having said all that, I really wonder how many people within/without the WBCCI would support an Airstream Camping Club other than the WBCCI.

While this forum provides a very good outlet for much of that need as pointed out by 2air above, it is not a Club, it is a private web site owned and operated for profit by a provate individual. This is in no way a problem from my perspective and I am in no way sugesting that it is.

What I am questioning is whether there is a need for an Airstream Camping Club in addition to the WBCCI.

Jim
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Old 07-19-2008, 09:04 PM   #6
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hi lynn

sorry but i'm not impressed with the 2020 product...

don't wanna hijack this thread but i've read the 2020 stuff and past surveys and past ad hoc committee stuff, and so on...

while the wording includes slightly more direct exporation of SOME of the issues it still doesn't go far enough....

the problem is the wb problems are a moving target and getting worse by the month.

so most of the issues the 2020 identifies are old now.

and the suggestions made for improvement are not nearly as drastic as needed.

the closest medical analogy is this....

your loved one stepped on a nail...

last month.

together, you see the doc because a toe is turning colors, there is a little pus draining and perhaps an odor....

you both think "maybe they'll need to cut this open, drain it and load up on antibioitcs..."

the doc tells ya the ENTIRE FOOT must be amputated.

this shocking idea causes you both to leave for another opinion.

a week later the next doc sadly suggests removing the leg below the knee....

and a few days after that the next TEAM of docs suggests taking the entire leg....

3 weeks pass and your loved one is in the hospital...

the original doc informs ya that it is no longer necessary to remove the leg,

because death is inevitable regardless of treatment now.


Quote:
Originally Posted by norsea View Post
...What I am questioning is whether there is a need for an Airstream Camping Club in addition to the WBCCI.

Jim
this is the big question and along with the need issue, who or what group takes on the task.

look how many folks jumped in to reply on this question 2 years ago...

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f48/...ice-22315.html

cheers
2air'
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Old 07-19-2008, 09:30 PM   #7
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Why not...

Jim: I'm in "camp" of those believing another Airstream Club is unnecessary, the name is locked up in Trademark law, and there are plenty of options within realm of WBCCI AND the Forums..

As so many have noted so enthusiastically, there are those who enjoy structure, consistency, and hierarchy, and those who don't.. Some enjoy extended travel solo or occasional events with a few friends, others enjoy monthly outings with common meals, caravan driving, etc..

There are plenty of Units, and you should try a few before deciding about traditional ones, as they are often different.. Some like quilting and jelly donuts, others like adventure travel in middle of nowhere. Some find alchohol troubling, others enjoy a good breakfast cocktail..

If you don't enjoy politics, do the Member-at-Large thing and forget it.. Check the Blue Beret or Unit websites for interesting ralllies, and do your own thing.. Go to Forum rallies as well, often with little "structure" and more diverse groups.

If you do care about politics and voting rights, join a Unit like Washington DC or 4Corners where dues are less and voting is democratic. The senior leaders aren't likely to change at speeds you can measure with normal instruments (clocks and stopwatches) but will evolve over years, I suspect.. The flags, uniforms, hierarchical structure of military/fraternal organizations are pretty popular with the senior leadership, and will probably be with us for a long time.. The relationship to Airstream, the insurance and buying power and ability to participate in large scale events or extended caravans are positives, and will also remain a constant, I hope.

Finally, you can do what many in Calif have done, and attend a few Forum events, find friends you enjoy spending time with, and organize/join a few events each your to stay connected. Your organizational affiliation shouldn't hinder your enjoyment of your Airstream, and with a proper attitude, you can find a way to enhance it...

John
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Old 07-19-2008, 10:02 PM   #8
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...others enjoy a good breakfast cocktail..
This one! Where do I join this one!
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Old 07-19-2008, 10:04 PM   #9
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I believe U have it. The last three sentences some it all up. We are old and have no need for Pomp and Circumstance and ROBERTS RULES OF ORDER.
We have done exactly what a few In California have done. Got acquainted with people from the forums from Mich and OHIO Camped with them, enjoyed their company ,enjoyed our AIRSTREAM . Just havin fun.
Whow without WBCCI . We get discounts without them.
Our Rallies so far has had one or two pple make a suggestion,take a poll of who will come Find a campground that will put up with us. Get the ball rolling and watch the momentum build.
We have been to 2 this yr with Forums members and are well please with the result. NO OFFICAL BOSSES////// NO BLUE BEANIES ///// JUST FUN. I had an idea that was what this AIRSTREAMIN Thing was all about.
I been wrong before.
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Old 07-19-2008, 10:11 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2airishuman View Post

<BIG SNIPPY>

Quote:
Originally Posted by norsea View Post

What I am questioning is whether there is a need for an Airstream Camping Club in addition to the WBCCI.

Jim
this is the big question and along with the need issue, who or what group takes on the task.

look how many folks jumped in to reply on this question 2 years ago...

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f48/...ice-22315.html

cheers
2air'
Hi 2air,

Thanks for getting involved in this.

I think the people who feel disenfranchised by the WBCCI are the ones who take on the task. From my perspective this is not a lot of work; IT IS WORK.

The mechanics of this WORK are not too difficult, in my opinion.

The basics of establishing any organization that is most generally defined in legal parlance as a "Domestic, Mutual Benefit Non-profit Corporation" is well established and not at all hard to do. In this day and age it may be that the organization is established as an LLC (if permitted by law) rather than being an Incorporated entity. Usually, this entails Articles of Incorporation being filed in a state that will be the "home office" for the organization. In conjunction with this there are usually By-laws for an entity of this nature that need to be filed with the governmental tax entities to establish the "non-profit" status of the organization.

Not a lot of work to do this.

The ancillary issues that accompany this are the establishment of a mailing address for the entity. That is a physical issue for purposes of receiving snail mail from places like Franchise Tax Boards, etc.

Beyond that it is a question of establishing in the By-laws the structure of the organization and how it will be operated which would echo the Articles of Incorporation. There is nothing that I am aware of that requires anything beyond this; of course there may be some states that have additional requirements that I am not aware of.

I'd really do NOT want to turn this into a debate about how and where something like this could be done.

My point here is that the work that is needed to be done can be accomplished by us mere mortals.

Based on previous experience it takes some committed individuals who are willing to put for the effort (WORK) to accomplish these tasks. Usually there is going to be some out of pocket expenses to make filings, etc., that can be reimbursed after the organization is established and begins to receive income from dues paying members. Consider this akin to seed money that is used for a start up company. The difference is that in this case only reimbursement for expenses is realized.

I have read most of the threads on this forum about this subject; I say most simply because it is VERY possible that I missed some when doing my homework.

From what I have read it seemed that there were many who would be interested in doing something like this.

Consider my posting this message somewhat akin to a fisherman throwing out a great big "dare devil" to see if he can get any bites.

This is something that could move forward very quickly if there is sufficient interest and COMMITMENT. I will define commitment as being like the pig in ham and eggs. In ham and eggs the chicken is involved; the pig is COMMITTED!

Jim
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Old 07-20-2008, 08:18 AM   #11
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We're new to the AS family and want to get off on the right foot. Which organizations do we join and how do we contact those involved? We are looking forward to years of travel throughout the US and Canada and are interested in getting the most out of our AS. We believe that we need to know as much as possible of what is out there in order to pick the options best suited for our needs.

See you all on the road.
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Old 07-20-2008, 10:30 AM   #12
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<snip> There is nothing that I am aware of that requires anything beyond this...
There IS an issue of licensing the trademark name "Airstream" & dress (image) in order to use them.

SHari
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Old 07-20-2008, 01:02 PM   #13
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There IS an issue of licensing the trademark name "Airstream" & dress (image) in order to use them.

SHari
HI Shari,

I appreciate your input, as I am sure all who read this will.

As I stated earlier, "I really do NOT want to turn this into a debate about how and where something like this could be done.'.

I think it is much, much too premature to be concerned about the name for a new Airstream Camping Club. If a new club should be founded it will be named by those who choose to do the work to bring it to life. It is not my intent to suggest a name based on this thread.

What appears to be important to the folks who have posted on this forum and the other forums mentioned previously in this thread by me is the issue of the WBCCI not meeting their needs.

The objective of this thread is to determine if there are a sufficient number of people who are interested in establishing an alternative to the WBCCI.

It may well be that all the comments that have been made have been made to only "blow off steam". I thought it was interesting that this issue has been addressed for years on this forum.

I also found it interesting that there is a group of dedicated souls who have gone to the work of establishing a web site devoted to expressing a view that the founders believe is necessary to "Save Wally".

While I think that "venting" (blowing off steam) can be a positive process simply for allowing the frustration that others are feeling to be expressed is important I also think that the continuance of this activity without some sort of constructive means to channel the energy associated with this frustration is not doing anyone any good at all.

To date the only channel for people dissatisfied with the WBCCI to take is to join with the "Save Wally" movement. I view the attempt to change the WBCCI from within as very noble and the people who are "fighting the good fight" are to be commended for doing what they belive is for "the good of the order".

However, there are many who do not think that it will be possible to bring change to the WBCCI from within. What are these good people to do?

To date all they have been able to do is vent their frustration.

Is there a need for another Airstream Camping Club? If yes, who is interested in moving forward to establish such an entity?

If there is NOT a need for another Airstream Camping Club and people believe that the WBCCI should be the ONLY Airstream Camping Club then this thread will die a natural death.

Jim
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Old 07-20-2008, 03:36 PM   #14
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Most people miss the point about changing the club from within others totally get it . I think that I and others like Shari get it. At some point in the clubs history the people our age will be in charge as others die off. We will to and those that come behind us will hope that we to die some day. However the day is coming when we will be in charge and things will change . I think if you give the new WBCCI president and his successor a chance they are for change and want to bring the younger people into the club because the realize that we are the future of the club . Nothing stays the same so help WBCCI change .It will the Lord willing and the creek doesn't rise. Just my two cents
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