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Old 07-14-2004, 09:57 AM   #71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr.C
Forum or the mudroom ?

"they're rioting in Africa,
they're starving in Spain,
What nature doesn't do to us,
will be done by our fellow man."

Look, we have much more in common than the subtle differences erupting in this forum.

The opinions expressed, all worthwhile, are as diverse as the membership and would you want it any other way ? I wouldn't want to participate in an organization where everyone was just like me.
Well you will never have to worry about that.
Judging only from what I have seen and read that organization would have far less than a dozen members.
I would enjoy an organization that had all members as wise and witty and decent as you. But of course then I would not be elligible for membership.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr.C
As this thread has grown into a fabric all its own, I see only the positive. But if we exhibit the personal charm of an East German figure skating judge,.....


Bottom line:
Be kind to one another.

Dr.C.
Good Dr. please be more specific. I just do not see the contentiousness in this thread that you allude to. What I would see as negative would be not talking about it at all.

Premature comments regarding the lack of comidy in a thread by one as wise and respected as you only lends weight to those who may seek to re-direct or worse , squelch or spike such discussion. The "latter day book burners" that haunt every discussion group ever formed.

Over on the VAC/VAL forum every time this subject rears its head it is eliminated in short order by the operators. Here every time it is raised the same old same olds circle the wagons and try to harangue those who dare question the hallowed order. Of course over there they have an admitted vested interest. This protectionism is all food for thought.

Flash: I have just been informed by the trailer owner that she is re-joining the WBCCI (her parents were in it) and that I will have to conform. Wonder if she will really still love me if I wear the Blule Beanie in public?
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Old 07-14-2004, 11:00 AM   #72
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roadeo
[b]
Flash: I have just been informed by the trailer owner that she is re-joining the WBCCI (her parents were in it) and that I will have to conform. Wonder if she will really still love me if I wear the Blule Beanie in public?
Wow, only eleven more to go to have the dirty dozen.
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Old 07-14-2004, 12:25 PM   #73
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Well done John Truitt!!

What a wonderful letter. Positive, constructive...great!

Even though we have yet to attend the big one our experience last year at the local rally was so dissapointing we have chosen to forget all about rallies for a while.

Our age gap (20's & 30's) and as you very well point out, interest gap leaves us working youngsters very much to our own when it comes to airstreaming. This forum has been and is the absolute most welcoming and helpful Airstream experience we have had. Needless to point out that ironically this forum is not run by AS...or WBCCI.

We maintain our WBCCI membership exclusively to access AS parks and in the hope of a future club division aimed to better serve the new generation of AS owners like ourselves.

In your letter you raise the attention to a focal point that has troubled me ever since we bought our AS. We believe AS to be a classic example not only of "Americana" but also of American Spirit. Well there's nothing more anti-american than a club which lacks so stunningly in diversity!!!!
Diversity is what make this country a better place, what gives it colour and gives it the power to stand out. It is a strenght not a weakness and I wish the WBCCI would understand this and meet the 21 century with greater American spirit.

I strongly emphasize this because not too long ago a beautiful american family of hispanic origin visited an undisclosed AS park where it was not welcomed and involved as other families have been in the past. Various comments about them flew around inaproprietly. What a shame!

I truly hope that all the voices raised in this forum create a wave of change in this mummified system that is the WBCCI.
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Old 07-14-2004, 12:32 PM   #74
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Oh, Kimili, that is so sad. I hope you had a chance to show warmth & friendliness toward that family to ameliorate the racism being exhibited.
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Old 07-14-2004, 02:50 PM   #75
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Kimili, come on now... this diversity non-sense is just that.

Do you know of any policy of WBCCI that is biased against race?, nationality? or gender? or lifestyle?
If you do then put it forward and indeed the organization will be on it's certain deathbed. Gotta stay politically correct officially you know.
(It was absolutely un-necessary of the original poster Mr. Truitt to include in his list of concerns in his otherwise fine expose).
I went to a rather large family reunion around the Fourth. There was not a single black or Hispanic there. Should her family refuse to have another get together til someone marries a "diverse person"? Or should we just hire a few to make the place look more "American" ?

But to cite some anecdote about the actions of individual members and declare that it represents the WBCCI is ludicrously unfair. (And I am no staunch defender of the club but )

If no members of the Iraqui Kurd tribes belong to the group do you suggest and propose that a few be found and given an Airstream so as to complete the "circle of peoples"? Are blacks and Hispanics not allowed to purchase Airstreams just like we did? If they do and apply to join WBCCI and are rejected, then you will have a point. Until then to imply that the organization is racially or otherwise biased is reckless rhetoric.

However since you made the charge about the Hispanic family that was not welcomed to either an Airstream Park or a Airstream function of some sort, I think you should tell us more about when, where, and who says this happened. Did you see it? And exactly how should any of us expect to be "welcomed" to a park?

But again I think you must understand that when anyone starts mandating how most of us MUST act toward others while camping you are going way overboard.
Of course the beauty of the wheels under the things is if you don't like the campground company you can always roll on.

Why make trouble where there is no evidence that any is needed?
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Old 07-14-2004, 05:24 PM   #76
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roadeo
Kimili, come on now... this diversity non-sense is just that.

Do you know of any policy of WBCCI that is biased against nationality? or gender? or lifestyle?
As far as I know the club welcomes any one with no bias based on race, creed, or social status.

I did see members of other ethnic backgrounds at Lansing. There were few, but I did not see anyone acting any differently toward them than they did toward anyone else.

I don't know if it is a truly a lack of diversity so much as a matter of the fact that the club and it's lifestyle offers nothing directly to prospective members that are from a different ethnic background. I know that not all of the Airstreams in the country are owned by retired Caucasian couples.

So the question bears asking. what could the club do (think nationally here) to draw members form a diverse ethnic background? I don't know the answer. I also do not know the percentages of ethnic ownership of RV's in general, not just Airstream. I would assume that the percentage is small based on what I have seen in 10 years of camping.

I have no answers here, but I know of no stated WBCCI policy that discriminates against anyone other than those that are not in an Airstream.
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Old 07-14-2004, 07:51 PM   #77
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Thank you Brett.

I cannot and will not speak about the WBCCI outside from what I have personally experienced or heard from more than reliable sources. This said I do not believe all the WBCCI is discriminating. That's a far stretch from the message John wrote and that I was agreeing with.

I apologize to any member who might have felt insulted. I'm a member myself and certainly do not consider myself discriminatory.

What I meant was that it's general attitude is projected to attract only a certain kind of people - elderly white christians- and does not seem very OPEN to the possibility of diversity (race, faith, economic., etc). This may be showcased by the importance they give to how you dress, to what profession you lead etc. as mentioned by John in his letter.

Our personal experience with the WBCCI has been very similar. Really nice and friendly people but it always seems they're more interested in your job and social status - "AS's are not for everyone" "our club is made up of mainly retired professionals you know, we're no trailer trash", we've been told over and over again by otherwise very kind people. This is an elitist attitude which can create problems.

Hopefully the wind of change will take care of this where it has not happened yet.
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Old 07-14-2004, 10:32 PM   #78
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3237 Responding

Thank you all for your posts. My first use of a discussion board and you all have been great to dialog with. It is interesting to see how we weave together our thoughts and ideas. I would like to briefly respond to a few items.

1) It is not my intention to discourage folks from attending rallies - local or national.
-Attend or visit at least one when it is local to you.
-It is an awesome site, the brand loyality, etc.
-Prepare - Have a plan A and plan B
-If rally events, workshops, etc. are not of interest - plan B.
-Make contacts with people prior to connect with them during.
-Push your comfort zone and your neighbor's - Talk, Chat, etc.
-Be mentality ready to let "volunteers" and imperfections roll.
-Understand your expectations - Rally or Vacation.
- and don't plan on sleeping in....
2) I do not believe starting a "new club" is the answer.
-So much organzational "good" and structure is in place.
-Forcing an organization or "club" to change when you are not part of it is not fair. Stay apart of it and work from the inside. (Activists working for corporate change is something different). This is a "family" trying to get along and make things better.
3) An organizational "renewal" of the the concept of "hospitality".
-From the top - promoting hospitality and a welcoming spirit to those in our gatherings, members and visitors.
-Extending the same to the public as we meet them in our travels, remembering that we are guests and ambassadors of goodwill.
-Encouraging each other to this spirit when we find ourselves waning from it or slipping into "old school" dialog patterns,
4) A thorough understanding of "event planning" and marketing.
-Takes much work and much listening.
-Hosts and organizers goals should include current thoughts of who, what, where, when and how.
-Hosts and organizers focus an attendees as guests and customers.
-Events planned around comfort, ease, welcoming, minimal hoops and designed to attract a mix of guests prove to be successful.
5) Understanding the sub-cultures within the organization and keeping these in mind when organizing and planning.
-Retiree vs. Working Folks
-Rally vs. Vacation
-Full Timer vs Weekender
-In bed by 9 vs party starts at 9
-Condo on Wheels vs Camper that wants the Campfire
-New vs Vintage
-Traditional vs Casual
6) Reflecting on our blessings and priviledeges as Americans and as Airstreamers.
-Keeping our organizational struggles and concerns in prospective.
-Kindling an attitude of gratitude throughout the organization.
-Being gracious guests to the communities we visit. (and we already are)
-Tipping well
-Participation in Local Charities (impressive)
-Leaving the communities we visit a little better off.
-Listening and Learning from those we encounter first, sharing our stories, second.
-Being good to each other.

Thank you again. Get out there and see the country. Learn Something New Every Day and Meet Humanity along the way.

peace and joy.
John
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Old 07-15-2004, 07:31 AM   #79
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The SC way of life

It is gratifying knowing that the SCCU is everything and some of what people have voiced here, (the positive side). I can honestly say that our unit is DIVERSE, Non-Discrimintive, friendly, welcoming, and it has been that way since the day I joined. Had the whole State of SC Rally not been exactly that, I would not be a member and advocate to this day.

Thank you South Carolina Coastal Unit for being a great local unit of the WBCCI. You are the BEST, and I am proud to say it.

Ken Smillie, 39 yrs old, married with children, still working for the man, LIFETIME owner of an Airstream and Lifetime member of the WBCCI, and loving every minute of it!
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Old 07-15-2004, 05:56 PM   #80
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<moderator hat "on">

This thread started off so positive..."How can I help make a change?", somehow it got derailed...I agree with the last couple of posters...it has gotten way off-topic. I have removed the off-topic posts...please don't go there again.

<moderator hat "off">

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Old 07-15-2004, 06:53 PM   #81
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Just curious.

We just had a small rally out here, unfortunatly I was in Jackson Center while there was a rally in my back yard, BUT

I have been watching this thread, and I havent seen something mentioned that I have heard other places.

Why schedule the rallys with the thought in mind that the Rally is the destination. For example;
The rally that was just here, if they had posponed it 2 weeks, they would have been able to hit the Fort Union Rendevous, a once yearly event. The coordinated effort could have focused on making it easier for AS people to enjoy an area, not parking them in a swamp and giving classes. Wally, from what I have read, set up discount fuel, made arrrangements for local events discounts and shuttles. If the "older Set" wants to go to classes, they would be available. But a shuttle to a waterslide would be more attractive to my family. I am the only "alumiatii", to them its great, but a little goes a long ways.

Ask anyone who has been on a bus or package tour. If you have 50 or 100 people you can go places, see things and get discounts that 1 or 2 cant.
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Old 07-15-2004, 07:02 PM   #82
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Yes, actually WBCCI rallies often are centered on events. In Region One for example we have the "Big E" rally coming up, which is a huge state fair in Massachusetts. I'm sorry we won't be able to get to it.

I applaud these sorts of rallies because they have a purpose beyond just meeting up with folks. I'm sure others like me, who like to be active and make the most of their limited time off work, appreciate the dual-purpose rallies.

Organizing events like these is a good example of how you can work within the organization to effect meaningful change.
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Old 07-15-2004, 08:12 PM   #83
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Quote:
Why schedule the rallys with the thought in mind that the Rally is the destination.
The International Rally is always around July 4th...Wally Byam's birthday.

Regional & Unit rallies are basically up to the individuals planning them. Some Units try to always have their events on say, the second weekend of the month or something so people can make long term plans around them.

One of the troubles with planning a rally around a well attended public event is the availability of obtaining a large group reservation during a campground's busy time...ie, if there is a festival...other out-of-towners will also want campsites, so let's book the groups when nothing is going on. I would imagine a campground would rather 'fuss' with a group on a slower weekend. Make sense?

At least that's what I've found in trying to book campgrounds for the VAC & DenCO Unit rallies...

Shari
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Old 07-16-2004, 02:40 AM   #84
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I attended my first rally in Lansing. Am retired. I signed up for Springfield.

Thanks to Jack Canavera & J54Mark for the good info on things to do next year while in Springfield. I will do my internet research but, you have given me a good starter list.

I will be a part of a small group to caravan in. We will take at least three weeks. Plan to stop at the St. Louis arch plus a Mississippi river campground. Our days will be filled with Bass Pro shop, Firefall, I love America, Branson, Lakes & Campgrounds (outdoor destinations to see),Outlet malls, shopping for local products such as walnut wood bowls, WBCCI events (selected), WBCCI entertainment (selected), WBCCI presentations (selected), Airstream store, Airstream trailers, Airstream technicians, Vendors, Make reacquaintances & visit friends, eat out most evenings with workers & caravanners. If this list isn't sufficient to supplement WBCCI's program, I plan to get a job and work the rally.

I agree with #3237 comments on Registration, Parking, & Information. Info package needs to be disiminated by computer and at arrival location; Registration at arrival location: & Parking later than 4:00 ( members need to use discretion on late arrival).

Attractions, events, trips should be given much more attention. Greenfield village bus tour was before rally started. Buses only ran to and from Lansing Center.

Volunteer workers are necessary, otherwise the $210 will be out of site.

Diversity is a strong statement in the Blue Beret to local units and an effort to publicize new members.

Charties are fine, unique but, fine. This is a priviliged group in our society and they need to give back which they do willingly.

As a 1 year member, retired, I know generally nicer places to camp than my local WBCCI group go to mainly due to size of group at state & region rallys, etc. Wife hates parking lots, fairgrounds, etc. We have been told to sign up for the caravans, that caravans create lasting friendships and satisfy the urge to see new places.

Working members have a special problem unless they are teachers, etc. with the summer off. My thoughts are very sketchy right now but, I can see some type of division in WBCCI's organization structure that caters to working members. I can see some type of core thought process at the international rally that might compress certain functions to the middle or end so that people with limited vacation can get the "core functions" in a few days/ long weekend, etc. Need to adjust fees accordingly.

In my opinion, WBCCI needs to make the retirees vs. working class / intl rally vs. vacation / local rally vs. long weekend vacation a front and center issue and I think a lot of these other issues will take care of themselves.

I thank God for my good health & finances to feel the excitement and adventure that my wife & I share when we pull the silver bullet out of the driveway on a trip. WBCCI appears to me to be a fairly good organization structure to enjoy this feeling. Not perfect but, a good start.
Just my $.02.
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