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Old 01-11-2006, 10:20 AM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chaplain Kent
The problem of our lack of sponsorship came from several of the members of our local unit not from the entire group.
Kent, I do not understand what you mean by sponsorship. Do you need a sponsor to join? I am not a member, so could you please explain.

Thanks
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Old 01-11-2006, 12:04 PM   #44
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Mission statement and goals

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cedars
Read the sketchy WBCCI History on their website..... too bad it is mainly a bio of Wally, with damn little about the organization. How disappointing. I cannot find any info on the prpose of the club, at least on its own site!
I get very confused about what, exactly, the purpsoe, or mission statement, is!
You are so right about the lack of info on the WBCCI website, especially in regards to the organizations history, mission, purpose and goals. One of the things that makes WBCCI unique is that it does have a specific purpose and mission although they aren't stated as such. These concepts were written by Wally Byam and they formed the basis for his vision of what the club was all about. They are the Four Freedoms - Freedom from Arrangements, Freedom from the problems of age. Freedom to know, Freedom for fun and the Wally Byam Creed.

http://www.airstream.net/wallybyam.html

From everything I have read and heard it appears that Wally developed these ideas and wrote them down before the club was actually formalized. This in itself is rather unique as most of the time a group is formed then they develop a mission statement and goals.

When you read through these you notice they are open and inclusive concepts not restrictive and regimented. You even hear this from Wally himself on the Pod cast. Yes, there was a strong emphasis on Caravans but the underlying concept was to use your Airstream to get out and explore, whether it was your neighborhood, your continent, or the world and to do it with all the comforts of home. To enjoy the fellowship of others and to promote goodwill.

That to me is the crux of the problem with WBCCI. They have either lost sight of these concepts or have come to define them in a narrow and constrictive way. They are unable, unwilling, or just don't know how to use these concepts to meet current needs and to grow into the future.

I keep thinking of the Disney Corporation and a presentation I attened on the Disney philosopy of customer service. They expect everyone from the bottom to the top to help make Disney properties the "happiest place on earth". Unless WBCCI can understand and learn to be inclusive, welcoming, encouraging, enthusiastic, and open minded to all Airstreamers then in my opinion a name change, adding benefits and services, or any other such attempts will be a waste of time and resources.

When you read through the history and the early days of WBCCI you learn what Blue Berets are all about and how the big red numbers came to be and why. It gives you a clearer perspective on the whys and hows of the organization. Again, there is so much WBCCI could do through it's website. It would be to their benefit to provide more information and background to everyone interested in WBCCI and Airstreams. It would help us all and probably answer a lot of questions. Here is a link to an FAQ I developed partly in response to questions asked by members of our Unit. Click on FAQ

http://sierranevadaairstreams.org/snu/wbcci/index.htm
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Old 01-11-2006, 02:08 PM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by azflycaster
Kent, I do not understand what you mean by sponsorship. Do you need a sponsor to join? I am not a member, so could you please explain.

Thanks
I wish I could explain but I never quite understood myself. Maybe someone who is up on the bylaws, traditions, and fadarah of the WBCCI can chime in with the reason. I am almost sorry I brought it up. We were not offended just a little taken aback and surprised.
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Old 01-11-2006, 05:37 PM   #46
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This thing about sponsorship is not good. The WBCCI Constitution defines the membership requirements. Hare are pertinent points from article VI, Qualifications of Members. (Blue Blook as of 2005)

Sec 1. "An adult who owns a fully self contained and hard sided recreational vehicle manufac­tured by Airstream, Inc. shall be eligible for membership."

Sec. 2 Regular Member - (a) apply and pay dues, (b) own Airstream and belong to Unit, (c) and (d) cover temporarily without Airstream, and (e) "A Unit shall not establish other requirements for an applicant to be a member of a Unit."

There is nothing here about sponsorship and Units are specifically prohibited from adding membership criteria other than, essentially, owning an Airstream and paying dues. The fact that a WBCCI affiliated group is shunning Airstream owners willing and able to pay dues or providing the idea that some form of sponsorship is needed is something that should be a signficant concern to the club. Such perceptions, even if misperceptions, are not good for the club. They need to be resolved and clarified.

In searching through the bylaws and constitution, the only use of "sponsor" was in regard to sponsoring an event.
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Old 01-11-2006, 07:43 PM   #47
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Sponsoring new members means bringing them in - recruiting. This is worthy of recognition and reward. Sponsoring can also be a means of exclusion - you need a sponsor to be able to participate and this is how I understood Kent.

Inclusion sponsoring to find new members is good.

Exclusion sponsoring to only allow those who can get an existing member to vouch for them is not so good, I think, and certainly not what WBCCI is about.

Units are supposed to have a minimum number of members in order to be a Unit of the WBCCI. There have been a number of units who do not attend to their reason for being, don't let anyone know that they exist or what they do, and don't look for new members. They loose members and become less and less a rally and caravan group and more and more a lunch group. They become an exclusionary group of close friends and not an RV adventure club.

There is a major section in the bylaws about dissolving Units because this seems to be all too common an event. IMHO there should be more emphasis on detecting indications of poor health in units and training unit and regional officers in how to get the unit back on track.

As far as demographics, this is something Wally noted way back in the early days. He didn't worry about it. What he did worry about was getting out and having adventures and inviting anyone and everyone to join in. This is reflected in the purpose and mission of the WBCCI.

The only problem with the preponderance of older Airstreamers is when they forget that the idea to get out in the RV and share the experience and gain new friends and share knowledge and experience. The whole idea of WBCCI is not to be a retirement community but rather a travel adventure. It may be that retirees have more opportunity to participate and do caravans and rallies, but that doesn't mean to exclude others or slow the pace. Wally mentioned teachers with summer time and Canadian farmers with time in winter as examples. Working stiffs sometimes use vacation time.

But WBCCI does seem to have a problem with cliques and inertia and calcification. And a lot of times it doesn't seem to really understand what it is selling.
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Old 01-15-2006, 02:20 PM   #48
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I guess I voted with my dollars already. I am a member of Good Sam. They have a lot more to offer me for my money vs WBCCI. There are far more campgrounds that I can get a discount at. It's very easy to find a Good Sam CG when travelling because they put the GS logo in the signage. I bought an '06 Trailer Life campground directory for 16 bucks which will come in very handy. They also have a decent towing plan that you can get should you ever have a breakdown. Plus I just renewed for three years for $45.

However, I don't see myself attending any of their events. I'll be too busy going to forum rallies ! lol. I think this forum has got the Wbcci beat.

I find the WBCCI to be pretty expensive. Especially if you are going to the International Rally this year. My initial cost would be at least $210. ( more if I knew what the Oregon units dues were ) plus the extra $20 to join the VAC. In the end I'll be shelling out upwards of 250 bucks. I feel that I could spend my money better elsewhere. I would join the VAC in a heart beat if I didn't have to join the WBCCI too. Or if I could just join the Oregon unit and be done with it, that would work too.

I am not bashing the WBCCI. Its just not for me right now. The cost is prohibitive to me. The Good Sam Club is a better deal.

I may join the TCT club however. Hey I love vintage stuff what can I say.

I also love to go to the local forum rallies. I always have a great time !

Chris
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Old 01-15-2006, 02:32 PM   #49
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I've belonged to Good Sam since 1980. Why? The discounts and various services. Never have attended a Good Sam rally nor a meeting of the local St. Louis group. If you look closely at their GS magazine, the individual GS clubs are remarkably like a WBCCI unit. Yep a round sticker and numbers on the units.

The differences is that Good Sam is a for profit corporation that basically has learned to make there money on affiliations with other commercial companies. The key to get the ball rolling was the campground affiliation and the Trailer Life magazine. I would have to admit that prior to the advent of the Internet, my basic primer for towing was Trailer Life.

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Old 01-15-2006, 03:12 PM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcanavera
I've belonged to Good Sam since 1980. Why? The discounts and various services. Never have attended a Good Sam rally nor a meeting of the local St. Louis group. If you look closely at their GS magazine, the individual GS clubs are remarkably like a WBCCI unit. Yep a round sticker and numbers on the units.

The differences is that Good Sam is a for profit corporation that basically has learned to make there money on affiliations with other commercial companies. The key to get the ball rolling was the campground affiliation and the Trailer Life magazine. I would have to admit that prior to the advent of the Internet, my basic primer for towing was Trailer Life.

Jack
I belong to Good Sam too and KOA (most often) they both save us money for camping. I never think twice about renewing as it is a value. I don't think I would go to a giant Samborie ever either.

My impression of the WBCCI dues is that they are way too expensive for what you get. For $70.00 I can pay for road insurance that really does pay off! But opinions aside you gotta do what you gotta do. If you want to belong that is the price. I hope to goodness it doesn't go up for this name change. I already put our treasurer through the ringer about costs being too high this year!
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Old 01-15-2006, 07:48 PM   #51
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  1. "You've already seen Region One open up their Aluminations up to non-members. Why? Is this a membership drive campaign? What's the plan -- how do you increase membership by opening it up? Did they need to open up the event to non-members to make it successful? How much did the registrations jump by non-members once they opened it up?"
Gosh, I did not notice this in the posts before. Here are the answers:

Question: Why? Is this a membership drive campaign?

Response: Why yes, it is.

Question: What's the plan -- how do you increase membership by opening it up?

Response: By providing a fun experience for all. Folks who are not currently members of the WBCCI/Region 1/New England Unit can "try before they buy". This works, we've enlisted many new members by inviting them to experience our rally's before they joined the WBCCI New England Unit.

Question: Did they need to open up the event to non-members to make it successful?

Response: No, in fact we are ahead of plan in regards to paid registrations.

Question: How much did the registrations jump by non-members once they opened it up?"

Response: This one is hard to answer. We've gotten a few folks who were not WBCCI members when they signed up for the Region 1 Rally but all have since joined the New England Unit. As far as registrations "jumping" I don't think so, but it's wicked early in the game for us. The Region 1 Rally isn't scheduled until August 17th (though as of late December , 2005 we were already at 33% capacity. So if you are thinking of attending and want to be parked in the inner circle you need to get your registration in now ).
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Old 01-15-2006, 08:24 PM   #52
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Boy, have I been a fool

I did not realize that the reason to join the WBCCI and VAC was for the financial benefits such as campground discounts. I thought that the reason to join was for the new friendships that we would find and the opportunity to be with other people with the same interests. I believe that the $70 for annual WBCCI membership and the $20 for VAC membership is worth it for the new friends we have met. Such as the quote on a Christmas card we received from one of these new friends "We are grateful that owning an airstream has presented the opportunity to make new friends".

Bill
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Old 01-15-2006, 09:01 PM   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wkerfoot
I did not realize that the reason to join the WBCCI and VAC was for the financial benefits such as campground discounts. I thought that the reason to join was for the new friendships that we would find and the opportunity to be with other people with the same interests. I believe that the $70 for annual WBCCI membership and the $20 for VAC membership is worth it for the new friends we have met. Such as the quote on a Christmas card we received from one of these new friends "We are grateful that owning an airstream has presented the opportunity to make new friends".

Bill
If I have to reel in spending I suppose my friends will have to be in the 20 to 40 dollar range. You get what you pay for. I guess my friendships would only consist of fair weather friends because of the lower cost.
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Old 02-12-2006, 12:01 AM   #54
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I too am grateful that my ownership of an Airstream has manifested itself into making some good friends. Trust me, I had no idea what I was getting into when I bought my Airstream. My orientation to one club or another has nothing to do with making friends. It has been my experience that when I am out and about with the AS people will stop by and chat regardless. Even when I had my other vintage SOB, people would still stop by and and chat. If I had to be a member of any club to make friends that would be a sad state of affairs. My friendships do not have a price tag. They are invalueable. If a person wouldn't talk to me because I am not a member of one club or another would I really want that person as a friend ? In the end we are all in it for the adventure/recreation no matter what club we belong to or not and what kind of trailer we have. I will invite anyone to my firepit who wants to chat about rv'ing or whatever. Thats my .02 on the costs of being a member of any club.

I would bet the house that if any WBCCI member saw me camping with my Caravel they would stop by and say Hi whether I was a member or not. Maybe I am wrong but I doubt it.

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Old 02-12-2006, 09:26 AM   #55
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Perhaps the bottom line of all of this goes like this: Many join the WBCCI for the comraderie and would have none other on that basis. Other folks, however, are looking for a well-advertised and extensive program of parks that provide discounts to members.

There's obviously nothing wrong with joining for the comraderie. However, I also don't think there's anything wrong with joining a club for the discount program. It is true, though, that the WBCCI discount program is moribund.

So, then, perhaps the relevant question is whether the WBCCI should/is willing to revamp its discount program. That would, I think, have to include the following: Check to make sure all provide the discount; invite other places to join the program; make a significantly greater effort to promote the program, including by providing a specific directory (PDF file?) with complete contact info, and by providing Good-Sam-like signage.

But maybe the WBCCI should not or simply doesn't want to push this angle of membership.


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Old 02-12-2006, 12:58 PM   #56
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Post The Airstream Fourm is my club!

I donít belong to the WBCCI. I am a non retired single person working and living on the road. I am a member of GS, Passport America, and will apply to the TCT.

Of course these groups are a very different breed from the WBCCI. The reasons for joining are also very different. BUT many of the reasons for which I would consider joining the WBCCI are present RIGHT HERE in the Airstream forum!

Easy access;
Airstream forum members held my hand as I purchased my 1st AS.
( I searched on AS, reviewed many of the websites and THIS site addressed my needs, not the WBCCI or any other sight)

Airstream forum members have demonstrated their supportive, considerate and welcoming nature. (Just read the heart felt welcomes to new members posts)

Airstream forum members have gone out of their way to answer all the stupid questions I have asked over the past 20 months or so.

ASF members have always made me feel welcome.

It was easy to join.

Itís easy to belong, through the effective use if 20th century technology (internet)

The ASF is always fresh and up-to-date.

The ASF has HELPED ME, entertained me, enlightened me, and informed me on all things Airstream.

I feel/know I'm a part of a virtual group with diverse backgrounds, skill sets, ages and experience I can draw upon, all with a common love of Airstreams.

I also feel, as others ASF members obviously do, motivated to help other members as other members have helped me.

All the organizational elements are all ready in place.
Add local chapters, a nifty ASF emblem and some registration numbers. Throw in an E-mail newsletter (pdf file), a secret handshake, Tinfoil hats fashioned with an eye towards the jiffy Pop look and a few other tweaks and perks and I would gladly pay to join.

Although I suspect that this is somewhat of the goal that the founding fathers of all forums expect/hope to achieve, Iím fine with that.

I canít imagine any organization better equipped to address my needs as an Airstream owner then the one I belong to now, this forum!

Sincerely,
Michael J. Depraida

As a footnote, I have many older friends, Lions, Masons, Moose, VFW, etc.
Their organizations seem to be suffering from all the same symptoms as the ones expressed in this thread. I see a pattern, if you want to form a club you need to address the NEEDS of the group you are trying to attract. Itís just that simple.
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