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Old 07-14-2004, 12:28 PM   #1
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Need rally activity ideas

I'm planning on a series of fun, low-key rallys for working age folks with our Oregon Unit next year. I need ideas for what kinds of activities people would like to see. My initial plans (with some thanks to NewKid64) are

Friday evening - arrive and hang out and meet everyone, campfire, something like that

Saturday - some sort of group activity (hike, visit a local attraction, etc), with options to do things in the area on your own, then something in the evening/socializing

Sunday - Morning get together and then head out as you need to

The rallys would be scattered around the state, so folks on opposite ends would have a chance to have one close by from time to time, and might have to drive aways to the others.

I'm hoping we could plan a rally every month throughout the camping season, so there's a chance to get together every month.

I'm not even sure if it would be a matter of reserving spots for a group, or if we'd just say for example - "in April we'll be at Silver Falls the 4th through the 6th, so make your reservations now if you want to join us".

So I need ideas on what kinds of activities working folks and families might enjoy. Any contributions would be appreciated. I'm going to meet with the rest of the unit next month and want to have a plan in hand to show them. Those who's units are already having some success in doing rallys for the younger folks, fess up on what you're doing.

(Please don't turn this into another thread about if the WBCCI wants to change or not, we'll save that debate for another time and place.)
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Old 07-14-2004, 12:52 PM   #2
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One of the resources that we used was the statewide festival calender.

This one is for Florida:
http://www.southfest.com/florida.shtml

Here is one for Wa.
http://www.wfea.org/calendar-event/

Home basing a rally near an event offers something for those that don't want to hike a way to have fun too, or if the hike does not wear them out they can go to a festival too.

What we found was this way the Rally hosts did not have to plan every part of the day/rally and the attendees would have something that interested them all.
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Old 07-14-2004, 12:55 PM   #3
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Our latest press release cited several of the most popular rally activities (for us)

"Sierra Nevada Unit Airstreamers will head for the Twin Lakes Campground group area, near Bridgeport, CA, for the August 27-29 weekend. This scenic and peaceful area is great for hiking, boating, biking, or just observing the deer browsing nearby. Popular activities include creative relaxation, Airstream maintenance and restoration, and pink flying gopher watching."

I edited out the "gray water rafting" though as that was too easy to misinterpret (many of our members have pre-74 trailers). The 'pink flying gopher' thing has to do with the 'disgised as flamingo gophers' we having guarding their psuedo holes.

Since we only have a weekend there isn't too much time for formal and structured activities so we pretty much just try to let folks know what is available in the area and keep it loose.
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Old 07-14-2004, 12:57 PM   #4
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Need rally activity ideas

Greetings Stephanie!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stefrobrts
I'm planning on a series of fun, low-key rallys for working age folks with our Oregon Unit next year. I need ideas for what kinds of activities people would like to see. My initial plans (with some thanks to NewKid64) are

Friday evening - arrive and hang out and meet everyone, campfire, something like that

Saturday - some sort of group activity (hike, visit a local attraction, etc), with options to do things in the area on your own, then something in the evening/socializing

Sunday - Morning get together and then head out as you need to

The rallys would be scattered around the state, so folks on opposite ends would have a chance to have one close by from time to time, and might have to drive aways to the others.

I'm hoping we could plan a rally every month throughout the camping season, so there's a chance to get together every month.

I'm not even sure if it would be a matter of reserving spots for a group, or if we'd just say for example - "in April we'll be at Silver Falls the 4th through the 6th, so make your reservations now if you want to join us".

So I need ideas on what kinds of activities working folks and families might enjoy. Any contributions would be appreciated. I'm going to meet with the rest of the unit next month and want to have a plan in hand to show them. Those who's units are already having some success in doing rallys for the younger folks, fess up on what you're doing.

(Please don't turn this into another thread about if the WBCCI wants to change or not, we'll save that debate for another time and place.)
A feature of a recent Rally that I attended that seemed to go over very well was a "Roundtable Forum". This was a pre-planned activity with a volunteer moderator as well as a volunteer "transcriptionist". Interested owners were asked to bring names/addresses/contact information regarding the favorite repair/restoration/refurbishment facilities as well as brief descriptions of successful modifications made to their coaches to enhance usefullness. In roundtable format, each person was given the opportunity to share his/her experiences and recommendation. The "transcriptionist" provided a printed record of the information that was shared (in a somewhat abbreviated format). The attendees at the Rally were from several states in our region so there was a variety of information shared - - the full-timers and those who traveled more extensively shared information about good and the not so good repair experiences with more distant shops. It turned out to be a great learning experience that extended beyond the sheduled timeframe.

Something that I have enjoyed doing for several Rallys that I have attended is making home-made ice cream and sorbets. It usually turns into a teaching/learning experience. The first time that I did this, I was surprised to learn that so few children had ever been involved in the making of home-made ice cream. Two of the Rallys where I made home-made ice cream, the children of other attendees were interested in learning about the process and they assisted me from the point of cooking the custard through the final freezing of the ice cream as well as assisting with the preparation of the fresh fruit sorbet. The biggest challenge can be lining up the ice cream freezers - - since my family owns more than five freezers, I just begin borrowing them a few days prior to my departure for a Rally where this will be an activity.

At another Rally where I volunteered to plan the food-related activities, we had a make-your-own-sub get acquainted social as the first evening's activity. This proved to be quite successful as it was relatively easy to devise a method of keeping the coldcuts cold as well as the condiments - - this meant that eveyone dropped in as they arrived and had a selection of popular sandwich ingredients. This was handled similar to the 4:00 o'clock socials in that there weren't any items that needed to be kept hot and each attendee brought condiments and/or chips to share (the bread, meat, and dessert were part of the rally fee). We had thought about having baked beans and one or two other vegetables kept warm in a crock pot, but decided that we would keep it simple.

Good luck with your plans!

Kevin
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Old 07-14-2004, 01:13 PM   #5
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Our unit has had several "theme" rallies - circus, rodeo, Hawaian, etc. We tried to coordinate some afternoon games, evening meal, and dress to meet that theme. We sure had fun and had things to do for all ages. Some of these ideas can be found on the internet.
For our Sat. eve. meals we often have a pot luck sometimes with the club providing the meat or the grills. Sometimes we get a family or 2 to do a meal with the expenses coming from the rally fee. We also try to coodinate our meal with our rally site. If we are at the beach we try to have seafood, etc. We always have fun and never leave hungry!
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Old 07-14-2004, 01:36 PM   #6
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get togethers

This summer several of us have gotten together about every 3 weeks. We've picked a site usually within an hour of everyone and arrive on Fri and leave on Sun. We purposely leave it unregimented with no rules and it has been fun. Friday and Sat night we all potluck including the homemade ice cream. Cocktails etc. allowed. During the day it's completely open for whatever. We usually do some kid activities to keep them interested while others join us or do their thing. We come back together for dinner or throughout the day as the spirit moves.... We agree on the site and specific section of the campground and everyone makes their own reservation so that the load doesn't fall on someone to feel responsible for it all. No specific time to get up, eat or go anywhere. I come back feeling relaxed.
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Old 07-14-2004, 02:28 PM   #7
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Be a Free Spirit

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stefrobrts
......I need ideas for what kinds of activities people would like to see. .......
Winery, distillery, and beer plants.

Besides the mechanical, business, history, and process interest, there usually are free samples distributed.

The Adult Beverage Business has always seemed to be a rock steady business, and, as such, has remained something of an historical "marker" for both regional and national economic indicators.

......did I mention that there are usually free samples distributed with the plant tour?
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Old 07-14-2004, 02:44 PM   #8
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Thanks for the great ideas. I think Tin Huts right up my alley - laid back weekend get togethers. Love the ice cream idea though. If there's a winery or brewery around I'm betting the attendees will find it on their own

That's actually one of the issues I hope they don't give me trouble on. From what I've heard it's pretty important to some to be able to walk around with a beer and relax, and our unit has strict rules about hiding your adult beverages. I'm hoping they will bend the rules for these rallys. I think that can be a real sticking point for working-age folks. Personally, I don't drink, but I understand some folks want to go camping and kick back and have a beer, and I have no problem with that. So we'll see if we can sneak that one through.

Tin Hut - how many folks do you get together at once? I'm wondering how big a rally can be before the 'make your own reservations' thing gets out of hand.
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Old 07-14-2004, 03:34 PM   #9
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I beg to differ with the notion of not organizing. It's important to plan activities--and that doesn't have to stop it all from being laid back. I've seen organizational studies (used for running another membership organization) that indicate in particular that structured schedules are especially important for new members. Unstructured events don't allow new members a means to envision how they can meaningfully fit into the activity, much less into the group.

To add to the previous suggestions....I love workshops--don't overlook ones for beginners--on trailer related topics like electricity, plumbing, dumping (this is especially daunting for us newbies), how to (fill in the project), trip planning, etc.. Swap sessions are also good. Silly craft workshops are fun--especially the really old fashioned camp ones like popsicle sticks or gimp. Also, I love slide shows (better yet, ask everyone to bring electronic pics of their travels and throw them up on a screen with an in-focus). Outside sports activities are especially welcome--for instance, if you are near a mountain, someone really ought to lead a hike. Excursions are also tons of fun and give time for socializing as well. Don't forget potlucks and parties! Finally, contests are always fun.

Of course, there's also an element of gearing the activities to the sought after audience. In the case of working age folk, a workshop on, say, "How to Get the Best Out of Your AARP Card" probably wouldn't appeal.

For me, there's nothing especially appealing about an unstructured weekend--I don't need a rally for that--and my non-working time is precious. Similarly, organizing a rally around another event would make me wonder why to pay extra rally fees to do something we could do easily on our own.

Having activities and a schedule doesn't mean that you have to prevent random socializing or improvisation--remember, nobody's under a gun at a rally (I hope). Along these lines, I am believe that no activity should be obligatory. It's not especially appealing when certain activities--such as theater performances or outside excursion--are made a mandatory element of rally registration.

Whatever you plan, make sure you post it to the website ahead of the event--it's a great draw. Ultimately, organized activities are what really will draw me & dh to a rally. Maybe every moment doesn't need programming, but it should be a significant component.

My 5 cents worth, anyhow...

Mary
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Old 07-14-2004, 03:44 PM   #10
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yep

Good thoughts all. We don't pay money for these weekends I'm talking about. These are not the formal rallies. These are get togethers during the summer when many of the retirees are on the road and us working stiffs have the weekend. I view these get togethers as a chance to hook up with friends that just happen to have Airstreams. To your point, that's exactly what I would do on my own time. We actually got into this thing because we like camping and try to avoid the parking lot setup that rallies usually gravitate to. Our get togethers have anywhere from 3 - 9 trailers so far. This weekend I think there's about 5 units going. If anyone want to join us we'll be at Lake Lavon (North of Dallas) and staying in the Lavonia section.
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Old 07-14-2004, 03:48 PM   #11
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See, everyone has different interests, and that's what makes it fun. On the weekend I don't care much for anything that requires me to look at the clock and be on time. I am probably the worst possible person to try and plan rallys, but I'll still make the effort

I see the main benefit of having a monthly rally for the working folks is to get to know a group of folks in your area, and then you've got something right there to look forward to at the rally.

But I understand some need activities as well, so keep those great suggestions coming!
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Old 07-14-2004, 04:56 PM   #12
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Stef, for about seven years I planned and ran bicycling daytrips and weekend trips for a very active club in Boston. The kinds of activities we did aren't everyone's cup of tea, but they sure did draw in the working crowd! I was very proud of the fact that my trips almost always were sold to capacity, with a waiting list.

The most important thing I found was that advance promotion of the specific activities that would be available was extremely important. Even people who didn't want to do those activities felt more comfortable knowing what to expect -- and appreciated knowing that all activities were optional.

Typically, with a bike ride we'd do things like:

-- visit an unusual local restaurant that only "locals" typically visited
-- drop by a beach or swimming hole for an hour of swimming or sunning
-- visit a historical site
-- shop at local market for our picnic lunch

We also watched a polo game on one memorable tour, visited an apple orchard for apple cider donuts, rode a roller coaster, made a tour of 19th century covered bridges, visited various museums, and picnicked virtually everywhere you can imagine.

I think one of the big failures of typical rallies is that they involve activities which require you to sit at the campground all day. Personally, I don't find most campgrounds that interesting. I travel not to see yet-another CG, but to see the area. You'd get me to attend your rallies (if I lived 3,000 miles closer!) by offering me a few interesting local things to see & do.

If you do nothing else, give people a list of local things to see and do, and hold lunch or Happy Hour off-site at some interesting spot. This will upset the sit-at-the-campground crowd but the rest will thank you for showing them some place they never would have found on their own.

Good luck!

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Old 07-14-2004, 05:16 PM   #13
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Croquet, Bocci Ball and Frisbee golf are easy to organize and cheap too.

How about a project trailer for the weekend? e.g. how to replace a water heater or univolt..... set it up in advance and solicit rally volunteers to help and learn.

How about an evening music jam? Bring your instruments... or a sing-a-long

Winery tours
A wine tasting - on site - no need to drive!
International food (pick one nationality) potluck - aka "funky food night"

Or... a BYOM (bring your own meat) party - bring your own grill-ables - rally supplies hot coals, baked potatoes etc.
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Old 07-14-2004, 05:22 PM   #14
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How about a turtle race?

We had one at the last region rally and it was hilarious. All it takes is a flat area about 30' in diameter, some chalk or lime to scribe a circle, and something like a bushel basket at the center for a starting gate.

We had turtles from silver dollar size to a huge alligator snapper that one unit found in a ditch after their turtle got away. Size didn't seem to matter a whole lot ... some of the small turtles did quite well. Surprisingly how fast one can go when there's a lot of commotion. There can be elimination heats and a championship heat.

Folks are still talking about it.
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