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Old 04-03-2008, 11:47 PM   #1
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Young Members in the WBCCI

I know some people understand why younger Airstream Owners are not as active in the WBCCI, but Iím hoping to bring some light on the subject of younger members and what they can bring to the table. More than likely one of the youngest members of the WBCCI, at age 21, maybe I can help others understand what younger members are feeling.

First I would like to say this isnít intended on a bashing session, and I would rather see that it didnít become that. Iím simply stating how I feel about the WBCCI.

I only joined the WBCCI this year, but it was a Christmas gift that made me jump up and down, over and over, and over. I was so excited to become a member. Iím proud to say that Iím a member of the WBCCI and planning on attending this years International Rally in Bozeman, MT. However some people still wonder why younger people donít share a passion like the older ones do. Well I have the answer. First is that they donít have the resources to get their own Airstream. Letís face it, people in there 20-30's canít always afford an Airstream. They have other things on their plate that are more important. The cost of gas, WE ALL HATE IT, I understand, but as a young person, I work hard for my money, and I hate to see it go toward my gas tank. But I donít have the power to change it as of now. Between the cost of the Airstream, gas, a TV if you donít have one and then the dues for clubs, and nightly fees at campground, it almost always seems overwhelming. It doesnít seem worth it. So how can we fix this? Thatís a great question that I donít even have the perfect answer for, but what I think is the club, its members, and families need to be more open to having younger members. That last statement Iím sure will make some people upset, and thatís not what Iím trying to do. But I have talked to some people who are not members of the WBCCI and asked them why they havenít joined. Almost every time itís because I hear itís not a "Family Friendly Club," not meaning there is anything bad or wrong going on, but as far as families with younger kids, they donít seemed to be welcomed. Iím not convinced that this as big of a problem as others think it is. Why do families think this, because they get the vibe and the feeling that older members donít want to deal with screaming kids, ones that are crying, and have to be watched all the time. Well frankly, itís not the older members that have to watch them, yes, if a child gets hurt, and starts to cry, we all look to make sure they are okay. That is what humans do, but is this really a bother? I donít think so, simply human nature!

I know that when I go camping, I want to enjoy myself. Sit by the campfire with my chair and a cold drink and enjoy the weekend. However this doesnít mean I donít want to be a deciding factor in what happens with my unit or the club. I donít want to look like the type of person who is venting and not willing to do anything about it. I plan on staying with the WBCCI and trying to work toward changes that I think would benefit all ages and all members. So if you see a younger person, or a family that are coming to a buddy rally, welcome them with open arms, try to convince them they are a part of the group like everyone else.

Now, for another issue. I donít know what some people have against younger people running or being elected for leadership positions in the WBCCI, but if it happened to me, I would open my arms and feel thankful. Younger members are the future. Whether we like it or not, itís the truth. Younger members that stay with the group for long periods of time are going to make sure the true meaning behind the WBCCI stay intact. Donít be scared of younger members, you may find out they have the same feelings on issues as you do. I know this may sound like someone is running for the Oval Office, and I really donít take the WBCCI THAT Seriously, but, I think it is important that younger people, and there decisions are going to one day be the voices for the club.

One last thing that I have seen in the WBCCI is some people take it TOO SERIOUSLY!!! Relax, enjoy yourself, donít get all high and mighty. Sit by the fire, get a smore, and call it good. Donít get me wrong, for those in leadership positions, there are responsibilities, but does that mean we canít have a relaxing rally. Just an FYI to some, going over Bylaws, is not what I call fun.
At least not at a rally!


I would like to see people do what Wally did. If there was a vote on something for the group, every camper had a vote, all but one that is. Wally didnít vote. He wanted the vote to be from the group, whatever they wanted is what he wanted. If we had leaders like this in the WBCCI now, maybe we would have all the problems. But find me a club that doesnít have issues. I havenít been in one club yet that is perfect. We all have problems, but with all the problems over the past, the club hasnít disappeared yet.

I hope this helps some understand the challenges that others face.

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Old 04-04-2008, 12:14 AM   #2
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I understand the bylaws are a part of it, but to take time out of a rally for them, I think that is just silly. I know a lot about Roberts Rules, I served 8 years in the USAF Aux as a Cadet/Lt Col, I know all about having a leadership position, I just got out of it, and Im not sure if I want to jump back into one so quickly, after 8 years, I think i deserve a break!!
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Old 04-04-2008, 12:19 AM   #3
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I'm 30 and my wife is counting the weeks until she is as well, and ultimately we've held off joining because in our area there are two issues for us (maybe not everyone).

From our observations over the last 10 months, there is little to nothing going on in Eastern Washington, though I've been talking back and forth with some forums members and people at Spokane Airstream to maybe get something going over here. We found it ironic that for a club for travel trailers, most events seem to be within a few miles of the same location (all at the headquarters)

Second, our limited contact with the chapter here has been slow, but the people were very nice. The issue we saw was exactly the disconnect I hear a lot about on here. We have friends just out of school (and former students still in college) all the way to great grandparents, but if joining a club, it would be nice if all age brackets were included in leadership, planning etc.

I think WBCCI is great for a lot of people, but don't see it marketed for all ages, more retirement age group (no offense) and less for 20's-30's-40's etc and young families

If enough interest gets going and it appears to be of a wide range of age groups, we're ready to jump on it in a heartbeat and become a member and help get a chapter going, but in the meantime, that 80 bucks a year can help offset the axles, tanks, curtains, cushions, appliances, etc and keep me out of the financial dog house a little.
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Old 04-04-2008, 12:24 AM   #4
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But thats my point in this post. It seems that the club isnt really for younger people. But as a younger person, Im not willing to vent about it, and not do anything about it. This post is to try and open the eyes of older people to allow younger ones to feel more welcome and as a part of the group as a whole. We cant expect the WBCCI to change, just because we want it to, and feel it's in the best intrest. It will only change is people take action, and bring light to the subject.
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Old 04-04-2008, 12:29 AM   #5
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I see your point, I'm just echoing it and pointing out problems here and our hope we can be part of the solution, but can't do it alone. Your points are very well said.
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Old 04-04-2008, 12:29 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goransons
...in the meantime, that 80 bucks a year can help offset the axles, tanks, curtains, cushions, appliances, etc and keep me out of the financial dog house a little.

Well said! I hope all goes well with your area and finding/starting a club. As far as it goes here in Mich. clubs are everywhere its just the economy has got me down! My husbands job is dependent on the economy and if people aren't doing good then neither is he/us! The $80 can be very useful! But when we can there is nothing like relaxing together out with our AS (with or without the club)!
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Old 04-04-2008, 12:33 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goransons
I see your point, I'm just echoing it and pointing out problems here and our hope we can be part of the solution, but can't do it alone. Your points are very well said.

Thank you. Im hoping people in the higher leadership of the WBCCI read it, and understand where people like ourselves are coming from.
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Old 04-04-2008, 02:20 AM   #8
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I don't know if it is such a problem that the "higher leadership" can deal with it as best as the local leadership can. I am 30 something with kids and also holding off on joining. I have looked up what is on the calander for the MI area and it seems that I can have lunch once a month and attend a rally in Iona, MI......... ..... Iona or the UP, I'm going to the UP .... but I understand its centralized local for the state rally.

OK, memebership would also give me acccess to rallies all over the world. Nice perk but realisticly I could make maybe one or two a year. So I will be looking for a "happining" rally somewhere...Lots of talk on forums, marketing, web pages, ect. The buzz and happenings seems to be with active units that go camping! This is where an individual can have the greatest impact, at the unit level. Organize small local rallies, promote other rallies, find places to boondock. I think "local" camp outs, maybe 4 hours max from home, would give most members the greatest reward. Remember if you are looking for new younger membership, we are not retired (would love to be) and maybe get 3 day weekends to go camping and a week for a vacation.

As far as WBCCI caravans go, great for some, but to rigid to do with kids for me.

Oh ya, as a memeber of the WBCCI we get a discount at selected campgrounds across America. Kewl perk but not a deciding factor for me in joining. 90% of time I stay at state parks or boondock, no discount there.

Just my 2cents, I hope I didn't step on toes
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Old 04-04-2008, 05:22 AM   #9
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WBCCI is a club of and for older people, or, those who think and act like seniors. Nothing wrong with that, but, that's the way it is. Super nice folks. The marches, the jackets and caps and badges, the anthems, all right out of the Lawrence Welk era. Ceremonies taken very seriously by those involved. But, OMG to someone witnessing for the first time.
Entertainment at bigger events is of second tier cruise ship quality.
The structure, rules, and limitations serve a purpose, but, can also be stifling. Working folks need to be able to arrive after hours and set up. Not sent to the dungeon or whatever it's called. If you forget to wear your name tag, no one should comment. If your trailer is parked a bit crooked. who cares.
Also, younger folks want use of the amenities that come with an AS. 3 amp electric is not OK. 30 amp around the clock is really nice. Lots of electronics to run and AC and coffee, and, who goes to bed at 10 pm?
Relaxation, flexibility, and adaptable structure.......add these and the campers will come.
Oh, and dinner hour is never 5 o'clock, unless you are retired I suppose.

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Old 04-04-2008, 06:06 AM   #10
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Laura,

Great post! with young members like you, the WBCCI has a great future. Be patient and keep working toward crafting a club that you will be proud of.

Not kid friendly? I've heard this myself, but have to say that I have experienced the opposite. In a few days, we are off to attend the WDCU Cherry Blossom rally. We are taking our four kids and they cannot be more excited. They can't wait to meet the many other kids that will be in attendance. Lot's of activities planned for kids and "kids at heart." My local Wisconsin unit 116 has lots of kid friendly activities - May 16th-19th is the "Down on the Farm" rally - August 1st-4th is the "Camp Airstream" kids and grandkids rally... plus other rally where kids are just part of the party! My Blue Beret just arrived yesterday and I see they are working to set up a section for kids to contribute. I can't say that every event held by the WBCCI will be perfect for kids... but so far, I have been able to find more kid friendly activities than we will be able to attend.

To me, the thing to keep in mind is that with a club the size of the WBCCI, you are going to find a little of everything. Hook up with the members that are doing the stuff you like and stay away from the stuff you don't like. Work to strengthen the groups doing the fun stuff. The larger these groups get, the more power they will have to make change. There is nothing like the power of a large group of energetic people having fun :-)

Lastly, as 65GT said, learn the bylaws - keep an eye on the folks at the top - as a member, it's our responsibility. In a big organization, it's a long way to the top... which also means it's a long way to the bottom. It's easy for these folks to get focused on the numbers and not the people. We need to make sure they keep fresh in their mind, the success of events that are full of welcoming and fun filled members.

Good luck and thanks for choosing to be a member!
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Old 04-04-2008, 06:08 AM   #11
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Airedale :

I joined the WBCCI a few years ago...but let the membership laps out.

We attended the Int Rally a few years ago & it seemed (to the wife & I) that the association is "really" (to us) an extended place for older retired people that love their freedom, to flock together as a huge community.

Now don't get me wrong here...we enjoyed hanging out with the crowd from the Ontario unit (& we wouldn't hesitate to do this again) it's just that when we go somewhere & this YouTube - Stompin' Tom Connors - Tillsonburg is "the entertainment"...

Well, let's just say that...(IMHO) we feel that it's not just "the hats" that could use some updating to become a bit more current !!
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Old 04-04-2008, 06:34 AM   #12
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Hope you don't think the inability to purchase an Airstream rest just with the young. Some of us older folks experience the same financial constraints. We also just want to relax and have fun, because some of us are still working full time to support the vintage Airstream (s) we can afford. The quest for power and order can be found in all age groups. That's why we will never run out of politicians.
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Old 04-04-2008, 07:47 AM   #13
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Almost ten years now and still one of the youngest

Great Post, please stick with us!

I was 32 when I bought my first Airstream and joined WBCCI. We were indeed the youngest couple in our local unit and I was very apprehensive of joining. After arriving at our first rally, all of that wory went by the wayside! We were warmly welcomed along with our very small children. The people of that local unit (Tidewater VA Unit) made WBCCI the kind of group We want to be associated with!

Since I am still on active duty with the Navy, we move every two years. There have been some areas with less active clubs like are described and we were even MAL for a while. We are now members of WDCU and loving life. My children can't imagine life without our trailer and look forward to every trip.

If your local unit is too "old", there are others who are not. Find a unit that matches your needs. In my experience, the best part of WBCCI is the small, local rallies where there is nary a beret to be seen! Try them!

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Old 04-04-2008, 08:49 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by henw
WBCCI is a club of and for older people, or, those who think and act like seniors. Nothing wrong with that, but, that's the way it is. Super nice folks. The marches, the jackets and caps and badges, the anthems, all right out of the Lawrence Welk era. Ceremonies taken very seriously by those involved. But, OMG to someone witnessing for the first time.
.......... Oh, and dinner hour is never 5 o'clock, unless you are retired I suppose.

Tom
OMG is right. I'm 30-something and haven't joined for reasons as echoed above. I don't complain about the WBCCI as I'm doing nothing to help change things. But perhaps it's useful for those who want to save the WBCCI and return it to what Wally wanted to hear the opinions of those who haven't joined or who have let their memberships lapse.

My two cents' worth is that I think many more people (myself included) would be interested in joining if the club was run like Four Corners. From what I've heard, those guys look like they've got it down pat. Show up and camp, make new friends, sit around the campfire. Easy peasy, relaxing.....
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