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Old 01-09-2006, 12:13 AM   #29
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I don't think this has been mentioned yet...

One of the biggest differences between Good Sam & WBCCI is that Good Sam is run by professionals and WBCCI is run by volunteers. It is a club, not a business...

Shari
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Old 01-09-2006, 12:49 AM   #30
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dwightdi said it best and he's in my area and was a president....and his comments are exactly why we didn't renew. Wisconsin is nearby and from Chaplin Kent's comments, is in NO better shape. Alan is in GA and he had similar exp on how the club ran and it's resistance to change. This is why WBCCI is broken and why I voted with my membership dollars as do many new Airstream owners and some past WBCCI members have done. It's why membership in WBCCI is flat or on the decline. All this for $50 some odd dollars a year.

I must admit, that I got a big laugh out of the name change could add 10-20% membership. The name change, with all due respect is not the heart of the problem that will yield those kinds of numbers, or at least those types of numbers nationally....maybe regionally in some cases where there are some great regional groups that are becoming few and far between, and are already on the right track (and they are out there)....but again, you did make me laugh......sorry 2air.

As for Sam, I can say this, for what they do vs. the cost, business or not, what they do, they do far better and more cost effectively than WBCCI which can cost upwards of 4x of what Sam does, even though Sam is not a you have the same camper I have only club with secret handshakes and funny pins and hats. You'd think a mostly volunteer group would have low overhead and lower membership costs.....

It's all about what works for you and understanding that you have feet if one is not to your cup of tea. Personally, I belong to neither, but if I had to pick one or the other, I'd pick Sam every day of the week and 2x on Sunday. I know some may disagree and that's what's great about doing what works for you in particular. There are many WBCCI members that I call friends. It's just a difference of opinion and direction.
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Old 01-09-2006, 12:56 AM   #31
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If they would have us I would be more than happy to pay my local unit the $50 a year and add a donation to the VAC as a show of support. I would like to be able to contuinue to camp with these folks.
As for our numbers, we have them back on the trailer and there they will stay as part of the history. We have enough sets to last and can make more if we need. So why renew??
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Old 01-09-2006, 09:00 AM   #32
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Is WBCCI all volunteer? Do those people in the big new motor homes, dressed in the gold coats, fancy dresses, and berets, who sit by themselves at the rallies volunteer all of their time? Do they donate their fuel money to travel around the country and visit rallies so they can get dressed up in those clothes? Who pays for those funny ties and berets? Do the women actually go into dress stores and buy hoop skirts on their own dollar? Just curious.
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Old 01-09-2006, 09:07 AM   #33
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There is a small number of full time staff at Jackson Center but they are mainly clerical with one lady who directs the office. They got rid of the salary of the one full time executive director (Mr Reed) several years ago but his wife (Cindy) still remains the office manager. All policy and operating decisions are made by the officers or IBT which are all non-paid. WBCCI does publish their financial summaries now but it appears much of the money is spent on travel expenses for the Regional and International officers as well as other regional expenses. They do need to fund the cost of the building in Jackson Center and the salaries. I do not know whether you can access the financials on line, but copies can be purchased from Jackson Center. People staffing Jackson Center are nice and competent for what they do but are not driving the club into new areas or technologies.
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Old 01-09-2006, 09:15 AM   #34
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I volunteer

to watch the money. btw, please send gas money and free passes. Hmmm-- maybe that is why the club charges so much for children's attendence at rallies--they may be out of touch about people on budgets.

I hear there was included in a seminar for first timers from those in the big MH suggesting how to store and carry your jewelry. It's just not mainstream...
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Old 01-09-2006, 09:15 AM   #35
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The officers pay for all their clothes and their travel allowances frequently do not cover all their actual expenses. A previous International President, which I know, estimated he had spent additional about $50,000 of his own money in his carreer of 14 years of leadership ranks within the organization. He thought it was worth it for the many friendships he formed over those years as well as the lifestyle he enjoyed traveling the country to attend and promote the club functions.
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Old 01-09-2006, 09:27 AM   #36
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I don't doubt that much spent at all

In fact that is quite conservative for that period of time, I think. I know how much it has cost me to travel across country to get to distant rallies. But it is a club so that is considered entertainment and a hobby.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dwightdi
The officers pay for all their clothes and their travel allowances frequently do not cover all their actual expenses. A previous International President, which I know, estimated he had spent additional about $50,000 of his own money in his carreer of 14 years of leadership ranks within the organization. He thought it was worth it for the many friendships he formed over those years as well as the lifestyle he enjoyed traveling the country to attend and promote the club functions.
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Old 01-09-2006, 11:42 AM   #37
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So many topics!

The way the club conducts its business is not why it is in business. Artifacts from the fifties in terms of terminology, habits, and culture need only be kept as deemed appropriate for tradition. It is Wally's four freedoms and the vision and purpose of the club that need to be the focus. I think people get too obsessed with clothes and titles and processes and forget that the intent is to carry forward a purpose that can usually be carried forward in other ways.

Volunteers should not be maligned. Often volunteers can be more qualified and skilled than professionals in terms of what they contribute to an organization. An employee run organization is often hindered because it doesn't really know what it wants the employees for. And often what it is said is the goal for employees isn't what is being measured.

Then there is the leader accountability complaints. People seem to forget that there is accountability and it is in their vote and in their own stepping forward.

Suggestions:

WBCCI needs to select those things from the past that it chooses to keep as tradition. Keep them as tradition and not as constrictions. Understand its values and don't let artifacts confuse them.

Figure out why WBCCI exists, clarify its mission and purpose, create a means to measure everything it does against this mission and purpose in a way that provides constructive criticism for improvement of focus. Work at it. Figure out what is really important and what isn't so important. Use that knowledge to guide planning and action.

Help the leaders. Monetary support for expense is a good start but how about training? Moral support? How about procedures that can be used to help assess health and progress and methods for improvement of the organization?

Keep up the conversation in a civil way. Who are we? Why do we join? What makes WBCCI special? How do we show our mission and purpose in what we do? How do we help the leaders and delegates do a good job? How can we contribute towards the health and vitality of the club and our local unit? What can we expect from being a part of the WBCCI? How can we better communicate what the club is, what it does, what it values, and how each member profits from belonging and participating in the club, its units, and its activities?

We got a start here, I think
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Old 01-10-2006, 09:14 AM   #38
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"The way the club conducts its business is not why it is in business. Artifacts from the fifties in terms of terminology, habits, and culture need only be kept as deemed appropriate for tradition."

I agree with keeping the tone civil and I do not want this to sound rude but please remember my wife and I were shunned from the group because we did not have proper sponsorship. Those people in the large motor homes dressed in the funny clothes are the "artifacts from the fifties." If they are also the ones who set policy and are responsible for the growth and future of this club then it is doomed. It would make no difference how much energy the rank and file puts into the club there is a veto at the top. Maybe the WBCCI needs to change its direction.
I do not deny these people put in a lot of their own time, energy, and resources. I applaud their efforts in keeping up a tradition that has been around for many years and do agree there is a place for them. There is a large segment of the RV population who are retired and can make the time for the caravans and other activities planned by the WBCCI. These older people also do not complain about the high cost of children's registrations at rallies. (I bring my grandson to show him off.) So maybe what we have here is a generational problem. Possibly the WBCCI needs to accept the fact that they are old. Start to advertise in the AARP for membership and not worry about young members. There are other groups which fill can fill the needs of the younger people and when they retire the WBCCI will be there filled with the tradition, history, and ripe with stories of the way it used to be.
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Old 01-10-2006, 09:31 AM   #39
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please remember my wife and I were shunned from the group because we did not have proper sponsorship.
=======================

What does that mean, Chaplin Kent? I didn't tink you had to have a 'sponsor' to join, just an Airstream. Or am I being naive?

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Old 01-10-2006, 10:08 AM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cedars
please remember my wife and I were shunned from the group because we did not have proper sponsorship.
=======================

What does that mean, Chaplin Kent? I didn't tink you had to have a 'sponsor' to join, just an Airstream. Or am I being naive?
From what I recall, this was a similar event that happened to wheel interested too. When I was at Jackson Center, some guy from Canada was there. He gave me the full court press on WBCCI and I told him no way, he was rather miffed, as he had already given me a form with him as the person who would have referred me.
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Old 01-10-2006, 11:08 AM   #41
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re: "shunned"

Been there, done that, been amazed, agree that it is one of the most significant problems facing WBCCI. I couldn't believe a volunteer could be rejected before even serving, a ham ignored trying to check into a net, and people given a cold shoulder because of some fault or other. I mean, even SOB owners deserve sympathy and friendliness instead of a cold shoulder! ;-)

What to do about it?

The only thing I can think of is to make sure that you set a contrary example. Keep a smile on your face and an open heart. If they don't have an Airstream yet, assume they are dreaming about it just as you probably did and share the dream. If they don't have a sponsor, get to know them and become one for them. If there is some other problem, help them out, help them find a solution.

I don't think complaining about these folks who shun others is going to help much. They usually don't have a clue about how they are perceived. Instead, set the example as a contrast. Give them a chance to join the program. Meanwhile, you will find others who share your views. Join with them, start a movement,

A Chaplain probably knows what I suggest but, whether Christian or not, we can all learn from a good example. Turn the other cheek, put a smile on your face, and show 'em the way it ought to be.

And this does get back to Good Sam. Can a commercial entity survive if its representatives and 'associates' shun potential customers? If they don't hear from current and prospective customers and really listen to get the message?
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Old 01-11-2006, 10:14 AM   #42
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The problem of our lack of sponsorship came from several of the members of our local unit not from the entire group. Although that did include some of the officers. We joined WBCCI after buying our first AS and finding WBCCI online and thinking it would be worthwhile. During the first year of our membership we were not placed on a mailing list, informed of activities, or made to feel welcome in the club. When we did get to go to our first rally the subject of sponsorship was brought up several times by several people. We do understand how people can be protective of their "turf" and this is not the first time we had to overcome such feelings. We simply plod on.
My role in the unit club is to watch the children during the meetings, by choice. I have attended to many meetings in my life and my skills are with children. (Chaplain at a children's hospital) In turn I also must accept what ever happens at the meeting since I choose not to attend. Thus what the local unit does is their own choice and I had my chance to complain. My remarks are meant to be broader towards the WBCCI in general. Being shunned for lack of sponsorship is just one example of the protectiveness of the tradition. There is a place for this group. We can choose to belong but I do not think we can change it. I am not ridiculing the old style clothing worn by the top officers, it is part of the tradition. Can you picture a square dance where people dress in hip hop gangsta style? It does not work, the tradition is lost. WBCCI is a package of ingrained history and tradition stemmed from the fifties and it has its place for those who want to be part of that tradition.
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