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Old 04-04-2008, 08:51 AM   #15
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Great Thread!

I love this thread. and I am glad it is here.
I saw the phrase a few posts ago about WBCCI is not marketing itself towards the younger generation or something along those lines. I couldn't agree more! When you look at the Blue Beret you will find very little to entice the younger folks into wanting to join up. That is not a bash of the Blue Beret but it seriously needs an overhaul.
Secondly - I feel that any unit that does not understand that the younger folks are not retired and therefore can not always spend time to go to every rally. And that being the case, they should not be punished for not contributing as much as the retired members. My wife and I were told once that we had only attended a few rallies with our previous unit so we really didnn't have a say in what goes on with the unit. That was a shocker! So we joined a unit that does like having us around (I think) and things have been fine ever since.
So this is perhaps my point. If you put yourself in the younger member category (I don't because I am 44 years old and have no kids at home so I do have more free time on my hands then most younger folks) and you are in a unit that doesn't quite fit your needs - do look around for one that does and support that unit. For just as our children are the future of this world, and just as we must hand this world over to them, so the future of this club IS in it's younger members and the future of the WBCCI is dependant on younger, energetic folks, stepping up to the plate in any capacity (even if it is only participating).
I love the example of the "We can tow it" rally!
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Old 04-04-2008, 09:39 AM   #16
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Wow, I have gotten more responses than I thought. Maybe I should clear some things up. I never said that my unit wasnt working for me. I love my unit, although there is a older crowd, there is a younger crowd. Im the youngest, but there is a member that is 22, and one that is 24. (my sister) The younger crowd is working its way. We had some people that didnt like it as much, but I think our unit is good to us. Also, with children, our unit is good in that department, or I should say getting better. We have a Christmas in July rally, and the kids have a ton of fun things, including seeing Santa and getting a gift from him! So when I was making comments in my post, I didnt mean I have seen this all from one unit, or heard it all from one person. I have been talkinging to people for awhile.

Thank you all for your support
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Old 04-04-2008, 10:11 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by airedale
Maybe I should clear some things up. I never said that my unit wasnt working for me. I love my unit, although there is a older crowd, there is a younger crowd. Im the youngest, but there is a member that is 22, and one that is 24. (my sister) The younger crowd is working its way.
Yes - I had the feeling things were going good for you. But I do know that plenty of younger members had stated more than once that they did not feel like they fit in. You obviously do witth your unit and I am quite glad for that.
We are in the VAC and for us that really means a lot. In fact, my wife wanted to join the VAC from the moment she first heard about it. Now we volunteer our time with them and are trying to help make it a great club and intra club. We truely do love the WBCCI and especially the history.
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Old 04-04-2008, 10:23 AM   #18
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Yea, I was thinking about joining the VAC, havent done it yet, but I will. Also Upnorthair said something about the lower leadership. I think that if every unit did something small it would make a big diffrence, but what I ment as far as the Higher Leadership, they are wanting to pass this Moho 2 act, and well, that make us look so stupid if you ask me. Also the White tux's, I couldnt believe that when I first heard that. I know its just for officers, but COME ON PEOPLE. It serioulsy makes us look stuck up!! Thats what I ment as far as higher leadership, if they would look at the bigger picture, and see what would benifit the club as a whole, we would be doing a lot better!
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Old 04-04-2008, 10:38 AM   #19
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You are echoing the thoughts that so many have and the basis for the impressions that many have that the WBCCI is just an old folks club. Well, it isn't but it is hard to shake off that image.
Airstreams are selling like hot cakes and the vintage movement is very strong. So why isn't the club?? Perception.
BTW, I am the membership for the VAC and if you are interested in joining, PM me your email address and I will send you some goodies.

tk



Quote:
Originally Posted by airedale
Yea, I was thinking about joining the VAC, havent done it yet, but I will. Also Upnorthair said something about the lower leadership. I think that if every unit did something small it would make a big diffrence, but what I ment as far as the Higher Leadership, they are wanting to pass this Moho 2 act, and well, that make us look so stupid if you ask me. Also the White tux's, I couldnt believe that when I first heard that. I know its just for officers, but COME ON PEOPLE. It serioulsy makes us look stuck up!! Thats what I ment as far as higher leadership, if they would look at the bigger picture, and see what would benifit the club as a whole, we would be doing a lot better!
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Old 04-04-2008, 10:49 AM   #20
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Well, Im glad that Im not the only one that feels this way. Sometimes I wonder how long until the club changes, however, I know that people over the age of 55 make about 70 percent of the club, but it would just be nice to see everyone treated the same!
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Old 04-04-2008, 12:44 PM   #21
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The "Blue Beret" regularly runs ads for an air ambulance service. Nuff said.
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Old 04-04-2008, 10:12 PM   #22
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Too funny!!!!
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Old 04-04-2008, 11:10 PM   #23
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I agree!

I agree. When I, my wife and my six year old daughter use our Airstream, we hang out next to the campfire, I knock back a cold one, relax and let my daughter play with other young kids "her" age and know there's other parents watching her, as I help watch their kids. I have a a blast watching her playing with lots of other kids, riding bikes, playing in the dirt/sand, doing arts and crafts, etc...

Oh yeh, I forgot, I do this at every "WBCCI WDCU RALLY". She was helping me get the 66 Safari ready tonight for the WDCU Cherry Blossom Rally saying she could not wait until we go camping to see her friends!

We attended our first WDCU Rally when she was 3 months old. As a young family, it's been the best thing we have ever done!!!
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Old 04-05-2008, 09:06 AM   #24
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Gang,

The Wisconsin Unit WBCCI Wisconsin - Region 7, Unit 116 also has a lot of activities oriented toward younger members with kids. All Wisconsin Unit rallies are kid-friendly, and each year they plan one or two "Camp Airstream" rallies specifically for kids.

Like Paul says, it's great--the WBCCI "village" can mind the kids while the parents and grandparents relax together.

See you down the road,
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Old 04-05-2008, 12:40 PM   #25
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GenX, GenY, Baby Boomers, etc.

My husband and I are among the youngest members of our Unit AND our chapter of the Studebaker Drivers Club. (We're 35 and 37.) We've always been welcomed and urged to take on leadership positions in each organization. It seems to us that the veteran leaders know that others will need to take the reins someday, and they've got to start sharing that leadership.

I'm wondering whether a lot of us in the GenX and GenY age groups just aren't "joiners" in the sense that Baby Boomers+ are. Many of us didn't necessarily have parents who were involved in the Elks, Lions, Rotary, Bridge clubs, etc., and many of us ARE more independent and into the "me" thing (not social or organized clubs). The idea of having meetings with rules-n-regs is pretty unfamiliar and uncomfortable for a lot of us.

That being said, I think that if young/new members attend meetings and rallies with open minds and maybe with a mentor to explain the whats and whys, they can enjoy and appreciate the fellowship,the organization, and yes, even the "quaintness." It also helps if the long-time WBCCI leaders recognize that many GenX/GenY individuals value shared input decisions, want purposeful change to move ahead, and want to be looked at as equals (not kids).

Just my observations.... this is an interesting thread with some great points of view!
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Old 04-05-2008, 01:44 PM   #26
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Airdale,

I don't disagree with your statements but would like to expand upon them. Many young people are struggling with cash, a few likely are not. But don't forget that many older and not quite so oldler people aren't exactly flush with the stuff. Life situations change and there are certainly those that haven't even had the opportunity or the inclination to amass savings as much as others their age.

Secondly, I tend to look at WBBCI in sections. There is the international governing organization and there are individual units. Yes there are the by-laws, etc but each unit has it's own individual flavor. Our unit is very welcoming to families. So far there are three families with young ones that come on a regular basis. The kids have a great time and so do the adults. Hopefully we will get more. The Internationational Organization doesn't actually do much to encourage families, from what I have seen. I keep hearing, "You should go on a Caravan!" But: Most of them are during the school year. They last longer than some of us have vacation time allowed. And NONE so far that I have seen have activites geard toward young families. Occasionally one says a particular campground has kid friendly ammenties, but there often isn't enough to keep a young child entertained for more than a few days, let alone a week or WEEKS that a caravan stays out. Some of the unit rallies themselves are geared toward kids and that is just awesome. Others aren't necessarily geared to the kids but for a weekend, they can keep entertained fairly well.

You can't assume that every unit is the same. We checked out a rally that a unit nearish to us was having. The rally fees were way too high for our blood AND they had an additional tack-on for an expensive (to us) catered meal or two. The unit to which we belong has reasonable rally fees and the supplied simple meal or two is included in that fee. There are good potlucks. Sometimes as a group they go out to eat but we just hang back with those that don't wish to spend the extra bucks (usually the ones with kids) and it is no big deal!
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Old 04-05-2008, 02:53 PM   #27
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New members and younger members are what keeps the club lively and active, and evolving at a modern pace. FRESH! Long-standing members (not leaders) give the club validity and guidance. If you don't have new and younger members joining in then you don't go anywhere.

I'm in my mid-40s. I joined the WBCCI because I was carried-away with the history and nostalgia of the club. And the historical leadership of Wally Byam enticed me. (I, like many, have wanted an AS since I was 14 or so and in 2005 I got my chance. Then while researching restoration information I came across the WBCCI and VAC.) During the past 3 or so years there have been serveral, what I would call, crazy ideas that have come forth. Most of which have been justified as potential member-getters.

I think that the WBCCI leaders pays too much attention to themselves and not enough to the rest of us, nor the potential members out there. Self-serving not progressive. The WBCCI needs to have a 'Strategic Positioning' session and invite everyone to the table. Then, perhaps, they would understand who it is they currently are and who it is they could potentially become. -- I'd be happy to conduct such a meeting if they would be willing to schedule it! Modern thinking is that if you're taking up space and not willing to move and re-shape to the ever-changing landscape, then you have to step aside and let the new entity fill the voids. I think that the WBCCI is stuggling with this very concept.

There are also several things that they could do to broaden their horizons with regards to running the club and conducting business. These could all be begun with one simple action: 'Think outside the box!' But others, that I don't see happening, are things like the leadership attending seminars on member-supported and volunteer-run non-profits and then implementation of new techniques for retaining current members, getting back old members and mining the fields of potential new members.

Perhaps this seems like a daunting task for what could be considered (even with a dwindling membership) a large membership base. This is where a good 2-page positioning plan would come in handy.

For all the 'bad' that is going on in the WBCCI, there is still so much good.

I joined -- became proud -- got frustrated -- worked hard to stop crazy ideas from taking hold -- tried to volunteer -- tried to volunteer again -- and finally found a niche where I could contribute and make a hopefully positive difference.

I think that if you want to join then you need to, because without you we can't take it all the way. If you were a member, but got discouraged, come back and work with us to make it what YOU want it to be.

I love to wear my blue beret. And, I think every member should get one for joining!
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Old 04-05-2008, 04:01 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 59 GlobTro
I'm wondering whether a lot of us in the GenX and GenY age groups just aren't "joiners" in the sense that Baby Boomers+ are. Many of us didn't necessarily have parents who were involved in the Elks, Lions, Rotary, Bridge clubs, etc., and many of us ARE more independent and into the "me" thing (not social or organized clubs). The idea of having meetings with rules-n-regs is pretty unfamiliar and uncomfortable for a lot of us.
Glo,

You are certainly correct. Some (not all) of WBCCI's problems result from generational differences which are causing problems for all kinds of participatory organizations--fraternal, service, church, etc. If you would like to see a scholarly study of the matter, by all means read Bowling Alone, by Robert Putnam, who lays out the facts with stark clarity. BOWLING ALONE

Disclaimer: I don't necessarily agree with Putnam about solutions but his book certainly helps to understand the problem.

Cheers,
Nuvi
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