Note: this post was updated June 24th with current registration info
Today, we are six months away from what promises to be another memorable Airstream rally. In cooperation with AIRForums, we invite all Airstream owners and enthusiasts to join together to celebrate our common love of the Airstream way of life.
In addition to the unparalleled destination, we promise to deliver great camaraderie, fellowship, and fun. A family-friendly environment will be maintained. A calendar of optional activities will be available from which attendees can choose.
So what exactly makes this an “AIRForums National Rally”? Good question! Each year AIRForums will select a rally to call the National Rally partnering with the event organizers by helping market and develop the rally into the premiere event of the year. Together with their support, “Airstreams in the Wilds” will be a rally that will celebrate and replicate the community that exists on the forums. It will be our goal to represent the fellowship, diversity, and friendship that is displayed on the forums every day. AIRForums will be nearing its tenth birthday and I suspect a little birthday cake may be in order!
Now on to the details…..
This event is a special celebration of adventure that is a core value of Airstreaming. Our group will camp in a primitive area with limited services surrounded by a very special piece of nature.
What is the Wilds!?
The Wilds is one of the largest and most innovative wildlife conservation centers in the world. Located on nearly 10,000 acres in southeast Ohio, it is home to rare and endangered species from around the world living in natural, open-range habitat, as well as home to hundreds of indigenous species. In addition to innovative, in-depth science and education programs, the Wilds offers guided experiences to the public. We last visited in 2009. Some changes have been recommended and are being made. One change we have made was to make the event longer. We are extending the dates, but be aware that the main activities will take place Friday through Sunday. Please feel free to join us and depart when you must.
Dates: Aug. 31, 2011 (Wednesday) through Sept. 5, 2011 (Monday).
Please note that this is Labor Day Weekend.
Nearest City: Cumberland, Ohio
Noon – Arrival open, camp site preparation
Hiking, mountain biking, and photography opportunities prior to dinner
Dinner & campfire- We will have a community dinner & desserts as you arrive.
Morning – Please note that we will be using a “community kitchen”. This will include a large propane grill, water supply, and some kind of refrigeration unit. I suspect we will have a few volunteers willing to cook up an Airstreamer’s breakfast for all. Within an easy drive of the Wilds are many great natural and historical sites. A planned excursion aboard a private dinner cruise of the Lorena Sternwheeler in Zanesville is going to be planned for the evening.
An optional “Day of Service” to the Wilds is planned. Much like we did in 2009, we will participate in a service project to improve the Wilds facility. It is hoped that with a large attendance, a larger project can be taken on.
Others may choose to go visit the Longaberger factory and store. Tours and basket making activities are available.
A potluck dinner and campfire will finish the evening.
This will be the main day to enjoy a tour of the Wilds. You may choose from various options and price levels. In 2009, many Airstreamers elected to make the Sunset Safari dinner the highlight of the rally. The opportunities offered on this special tour as well as the buffet dinner make this very worthwhile. Where else do you get to pet a rhino?
Following breakfast, we will make some time to have an open house party. Those that wish may open up their trailer for viewing and maybe share a snack, drink, or surprise for the kids.
Sunday’s dinner will be a special “AIRForums” dinner. We are planning something fun with some great souvenirs!
The Wilds does not ordinarily offer camping and so we consider the opportunity to do so very special. At this time, we do not expect electrical service or pressurized water to be available.
Please know that you will be camping within the 10,000 acres managed by the Wilds. You will quickly learn that this is not your normal campground!
Please do not let this worry you. Our trailers are designed to work in this environment! Even if you have never experienced this type of camping before, we will have volunteers ready to assist you.
Nice portable restrooms and potable water will be available. In 2009, we enjoyed listening to coyotes howl and deer knock against our trailers at night. Generators will be permitted for those in need. I encourage the sharing of power if possible and only using generators as needed to charge batteries or for medical reasons.
This is a “not-for-profit” rally! The budget for this event is designed to cover the expenses incurred. Therefore, the price is attractive.
Rally fee: $18 (per person)
Parking fee: $15 (per night)
Service Project (optional) $5
Sunset Safari and Dinner buffet (optional) $65
note - reservation for the sunset safari must be made by August 18th
Finally, a couple of “rules”:
- The event is intended for Airstream manufactured products. A maximum of 5% non-airstream campers will be permitted to register.
- As we are special guests of the Wilds, all of their rules and restrictions will be honored.
- It is a standing rule of the Wilds to not introduce any domestic animals in their facility. This rule MAY change due to the distance between our campsite and the controlled animal population. I will post the determination as soon as it is made.
- We will be permitting limited vending opportunities and we are looking for some sponsorships. Please contact us if you have an interest in these.
In closing, it is with great concern that I have learned that the Wilds! has lost a significant amount of government funding. This loss is causing a reduction in program and other areas. I am in hopes that our community will use our time at the Wilds! to learn about how important their existence is. Please expect to see an opportunity to donate to the Wilds at our rally.
I hope you consider joining us on this adventure!
Let us know you're coming!
1. RSVP on the AIR calendar: Airstream Forums - Airstreams in the Wilds!
2. Register now! Tours sell out fast and are first come/first served. Please download the attached form. We must receive this form.