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Old 09-05-2008, 11:52 PM   #1
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Why do you have the Blue Beret? What is the Blue Beret for?

I guess that those that weren't around in the 60's don't know why the "Blue Beret" was born.

In the mid-50's the Airstream paper "the Caravanner" gave information when and where Caravans were going. Mexico, Canada, Europe and even Africa. And of course Airstream rallies.

In 1955 the Club was born. This added a listing of rallies, meetings, and such for the Units and Regional Rallies. Then in 1958 the International Rally became a new member of the agenda page.

So far so good?

I have a letter from Helen Byam Schwamborn to Art Costello. Helen of course ran the Headquarters office for the Club, Caravans, publications and more. Art Costello was president of Airstream.

My Mother, Helen, pointed out to Art that the Caravanner wasn't been printed and mailed on time. This meant that critical dates for events for the Club Members came many times after the events were held. Something had to be done.

Something was done. The Blue Beret was born, and it was under control of the Headquarters.

This was a positive step.

The Blue Beret is, and has always been a schedule issue for the members to know what is going on. Rallies, meetings, Caravans and information that is pertinent for the members.

We have all seen or should see "Airstream Life." This is a wonderful, glossy, expensive publication. Rich Luhr is right on his game with his magazine. It has it purpose, and the Blue Beret has its purpose.

At times it seems that the Membership of the Club wants a Blue Beret Life. This is not a cost effective project, unless all members want to pick up the expenses for a magazine staff, the cost of printing, mailing and so much more that goes with upgraded publications.

The Blue Beret is the calendar of events for the best RV organization ever, the Wally Byam Caravan Club. It has served you all well for 43 years.

Best,

Pee Wee
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Old 09-06-2008, 12:33 AM   #2
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Pee Wee,

While I believe the Blue Beret should in no way try to be an Airstream Life. It could be a bit more interactive and informative. It is just so very dry.

Milo
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Old 09-06-2008, 07:00 AM   #3
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And repetitive...... Each month repeats almmost verbatim the previous month's information. In its present format, it could easily be made into a bi-monthly or quarterly issue without loosing a thing.

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Old 09-06-2008, 08:58 AM   #4
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Interesting post Pee Wee. Thanks.
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Old 09-06-2008, 10:17 AM   #5
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PeeWee ~

Thanks for the clarification. It makes alot of sense how the BB is so very different from ASLife.

Brad
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Old 09-06-2008, 01:38 PM   #6
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PeeWee,
The purpose of any club newsletter is to inform the membership about what is going on, what is coming up, etc. Some clubs just do it better than others. Look at the SportsCar Club of America, for example. They have appoximately 50,000 members (or did when I was last a member in the 1990's), and they produce a club newsletter / magazine that is so well done you can buy it at many magazine stands. There is plenty of "dry" reading, including rules, schedules, and results but they also include human interest stories, car reviews, history, tips, and an amazing classified section.
The WBCCI should do a magazine / newsletter that the membership can be proud of. For many, it is the first contact they have with the WBCCI after purchasing an Airstream. You know what they say about first impressions. As for who would pay for it, well, I think the money could be found. I tossed my last BB, but I think there was a line item for $155,000 for IBT member expenses in the budget report. If this is wrong, please correct me. If it is correct, then I suggest going to an all volunteer IBT and using the money to improve membership numbers, perceived benefit to those members, and also to improve the Blue Beret.
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Old 09-06-2008, 04:33 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeeWee View Post
The Blue Beret is the calendar of events for the best RV organization ever, the Wally Byam Caravan Club
If this is the case... I would suggest that time has past it by. There seems to be no reason to waste one cent publishing a hard copy magazine that could easily and in a more timely manner be accomplished on the website.

If folks are not web-active then they can pay a subscription in addition to the membership fee to have the "schedule of events" mailed to them.

I'm sure the current advertisers would be just as happy displaying their ads on the website as they would in a magazine that many of us just quickly thumb through and cast onto the recycling pile. this way the "Blue Beret" would do a better job of producing revenue for the club.
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Old 09-09-2008, 05:47 AM   #8
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For what it's worth, I've heard that the Blue Beret is actually a money-maker for the club due to the advertising, so I'd check on that before dropping it.

That said, I don't find it very valuable. I flip through to see the advice Fred and Schu are giving out, none of which ever applies to me as a motorhome owner, then I flip through to see what rallies are coming up. The pictures from the rallies are kind of nice.
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Old 09-09-2008, 08:00 AM   #9
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Keep the mag

Quote:
Originally Posted by byamcaravanner View Post
If this is the case... I would suggest that time has past it by. There seems to be no reason to waste one cent publishing a hard copy magazine that could easily and in a more timely manner be accomplished on the website.
IMHO a website would be great but I still would like a paper version. I take it with me to lots of places for a little quick reading. Plus my desk top doesn't fit and my laptop is cold sitting while on the throne not to mention computers are expensive and don't work too good for starting campfires,
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Old 09-09-2008, 03:07 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lumatic View Post
IMHO a website would be great but I still would like a paper version.
Quote:
Originally Posted by byamcaravanner View Post
If folks are not web-active then they can pay a subscription in addition to the membership fee to have the "schedule of events" mailed to them.
That is why I included the above quoted text in my post... Plus you could always just print out the appropriate pages for the Library in your throne room.
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Old 09-09-2008, 04:34 PM   #11
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Publications

PeeWee really gave some great history on the Caravanner and Blue Beret publications and I'm sure the Blue Beret has some details that are important to a few members but I can't agree more with GStephens, to see quarterly issue of the tired Blue Beret would be fine by me. After glancing through a couple of items, it gets tossed. To me it's really lame and repetitive.


As byamcavaranner pointed out, I would appreciate getting the Blue Beret on-line and reduce the cost of publication/postage to the members.


I look forward to getting Airstream Life and always have it on my coffee table, I am never embarrassed to show it to my friends.

These are my thoughts,


JB
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Old 02-22-2009, 11:25 AM   #12
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I was hoping to find out why blue berets in the first place???
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Old 02-22-2009, 11:55 AM   #13
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I am glad you asked

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ganaraska View Post
I was hoping to find out why blue berets in the first place???
Dear Friends,

I have posted an explaination of the blue beret as headgear. Also I have posted a website that will give you additional historical infomration.

I am glad you asked.

Dale "Pee Wee" Schwamborn
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