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Old 11-18-2009, 09:36 PM   #99
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Stef, I think there are many reasons posted people want new groups, many of them very different from others, and I think those reasons have been stated on this thread and many others.

There are a few general ones—the anti-WBCCI reason, the better WBCCI, or a small informal group to just get together and have fun seem to be the most common. Or maybe it's as simple as people like to get together and talk, eat, play. I think it was Hampstead who said we are tribal species and we need to spend some tribe time. I agree. The Airstream Tribe has subgroups and they are looking for something different than what they have.

The virtual club, the Forum, is not quite enough, but it can facilitate the bringing together of people in person. The WBCCI does not meet the needs of many people. What a new group is needed for is getting together, and just how it looks will be self defining.

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Old 11-18-2009, 09:47 PM   #100
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Conventional Structure...

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Originally Posted by CrawfordGene View Post
You don't need a computer to keep track of membership and dues, but it's easier. You usually start with index cards (do they still make them? Probably). There are computer programs to manage data bases and send e-mails at any period you choose—monthly, quarterly, annually. If money comes in monthly, you can manage income more easily and track it better. You can watch income more closely.

For a small group, such things are not worth worrying about. For a large one, yes. A small group putting out notice of a rally, will not have to set up a data base unless someone in the group knows how and wants to.

I only raised the dues issue because of insurance question. Insurance companies have the effect of driving an informal group towards conventional structure.

Gene
I agree about the "need" for conventional structure.

I know there are many who do not think that "structure" of any sort is necessary.

I am not one of them.

I have been involved in too many disparate organizations in my years on this here rock and have learned the hard way that operating any sort of organization requires structure.

Even here on the forums there is structure; alas, the vast majority of it goes unseen (as it should) by the users. This forum is a business and Andy R is required by law to file income taxes, deal with the cost of software, upgrades for the software, the cost of computer time for the forum to operate, etc., etc. I suspect that he also has some sort of liability insurance.

What most people are either not aware of or not willing to accept is that anyone can sue anyone else in this country. And, if you are named in a law suit and choose not to defend yourself many courts will rule in favor of the other party by default.

What this really means is that you will need to spend money for legal assistance to defend yourself even if it is obvious that the other party has no standing. Having insurance is one way to defray the cost of such an event.

And, if anyone thinks that the requirements that the insurance companies want before they will provide coverage is a bit much then look at what each of the states as well as the feds require for structure if you want your organization to be considered a not for profit corporation so that you can reduce the tax burden on the group.

While all of this sounds like something that is insurmountable it is not. And, it is really very easy to establish an organizational structure that will "please" these disparate groups requirements.

While all of this should be discussed should this conversation reach such a point of actually moving forward with the formation of a new organization it is a bit premature at this point from my point of view.

We now return you to yet more opportunities for people to provide information related to Fred's original request, "... how they would structure a new Airstream Club that will work and prosper in the future".

Jim
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Old 11-18-2009, 10:02 PM   #101
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Anyone can sue anyone...

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Why does a small group need ins. if you are so worried have people sign a disclaimer, like some Dr's do ,that you can not sue.
Gail,

The following is based on an actual experience.

I was involved in the United States Cycling Federation for many years. This group sanctions and provides the rules structure in the USA for bicycle racing.

All participants sign wavers stating that they will not hold the USCF or its officials, etc., responsible should they be injured, etc., etc., etc.

In one of the races I worked a rider pulled in front of a vehicle of one of the race officials and his bicycle was knocked to the ground.

His mother sued the vehicle operator and the USCF even though she has signed the waiver.

While she did not prevail, an attorney had to be hired to defend the person operating the vehicle and the organization. The waiver was brought up during the initial deposition.

The point of all this is that once the attorney's get involved the only way the situation can be dealt with is by way of the legal system and that costs money.

Fortunately the attorney's fee for appearing on behalf of the vehicle operator were provided by insurance that covered all of the officials at the event.

I don't know about you, but $325.00 and hour for 5 hours was more than I would have wanted to pay for that service which is what it would have cost if we were not insured.

Jim
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Old 11-18-2009, 10:52 PM   #102
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I was trying to participate by asking people what they thought a new club was needed for. I was genuinely interested in finding out and discussing it. My mistake, I was still at the 'why do we need another club phase'. Obviously there are people who feel a new club is needed and are concerned now with how to manage it. I will leave you to it. Obviously this is not for me.
Steph - if you want to know why we need a new club, look at these forums and any thread that talks about WBCCI - you will find your answer there. WBCCI is not meeting the needs of the demographic of the buyers of New and Vintage Airstreams.
It is and has been a hot topic overall and you as a moderator already know that people can be very expressive on the issue. Point being, there is already enough info as to why so many desire a new direction. They will not get it through WBCCI - so they seek an alternate form of relief. people want to meet, greet and gather over a common theme. WBCCI is a dual identity organization - that if the leadership that is out of touch with the needs of the membership (otherwise this thread would not exist), and those who desire to have free experiences that do not require a red coat to enjoy.
Why spend $55+ for rules and militaristic regulations when you can have an enjoyable forums gathering free (except for normal camping fees). The AirForums is the new model of camping enjoyment. WBCCI is on the path to dissolution - and in no small part due to the overburdened leadership requirements on the club.
Airforums only require that you pay your own camping dues and not much else - a better value for the $$$. No wonder folks are gathering here and not at WBCCI.....
I have been to numerous AirForums gatherings and I can say for fact that the AirForums rallies I have attended have has no drama and have been the best value for the $$$.
WBCCI... Well, just look at the $480 for International rally fees - what for???
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Old 11-19-2009, 01:26 AM   #103
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I'm not really sure I could make it to 500+ rallies a year.

Seriously, 65GT, your post really doesn't make much sense to me. As best I can tell, your answer is "Golden Corral." Yeah, the food isn't great, but there are a ton of locations and it's all you can eat for one price. (My apologies to Golden Corral devotees.)

For me, it's not all about "rallies." My wife and I plan to do Burning Man while on hiatus. We may hit Sturgis sans hog. We're certainly going to do charity work and service projects while on the road. What a long strange trip we hope it will be.

Honestly, I don't think I'd enjoy sitting down with every person I've ever encountered on the Airforums. And I'm quite positive that every member of Airforums would not enjoy sitting down with me. I don't care how many members an organization has, six or 600,000. I don't care if I get a beanie or a nametag or the title of first assistant vice chair of the dark laundry committee. If a new "club" emerges (niche or not), it will be far more organic and flexible than the WBCCI. (It would pretty much have to be.) I imagine it will be more a loose confederation than an autocracy. And my hope is that it would be more focused on engaging the world outside of the aluminum shell.
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Old 11-19-2009, 04:57 AM   #104
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Even in this simple discussion of how a new club might be structured, no one is happy.

Sure am glad everyone has the solutions and what is best.

*April 8- 11 Cherry Blossom Rally Upper Marlboro MD
*May 14-16 Vintage Trailering Rally Somerset Pa
*June 4-6 Crawfish Rally Augusta NJ (I am hosting)
*June 24- 28 Wally Byam Birthday Bash (I am hosting)
*July 16- 18 Cow town Rodeo Rally (I am hosting)
*Later in July two weeks in Newfoundland(as a family)
*August 7-14 Outerbanks Rally NC
*September 2-6 Highpoint Rally Highpoint Pa
*September 16-19 Trap Pond State Park Rally Laurel De
*October 7-10 Installation Rally Gettysburg Pa
*Not given dates yet are the six or so weekend trips to a State Park within four hours of Baltimore. They are all T.B.A.
*There is also an east Coast Vintage Rally hosted by Rideair that has a date T.B.A.

Not 500+, but what I am planning to do this coming camping season. Hope you all figure out the structure of your utopian society. But just realize, as soon as you figure out the ideal, along will come a small vocal group that will not be happy with that either.
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Old 11-19-2009, 05:49 AM   #105
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One's personal definition of a "club" determines what they want in a club. If you want a traditional type of organization, then you will get that. The WBCCI or the BetterWBCCI will satisfy that. Things do change, however, and some people want to redefine "club".

Gene
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Old 11-19-2009, 06:16 AM   #106
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Quote:
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Stephanie has gotten to the core of the issue.

Pat
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stefrobrts
That's why I maintain that any new club will need some sort of reason for being that makes people want to be a part of it.
Leaving the questions of organization and structure to those that have a flair for the mechanics and implementation of club order, I agree with Pat and Stephanie.

The reason I joined WBCCI is to be part of the living history of the original and oldest Airstream club as an Airstream owner and enthusiast. At 20 dollars for a membership card and newsletter, I'd be fine. But having to pay $70-75 dollars a year and rumours of increases for the privilege of being a member is steep enough to make me want change before I become completely priced out, not having enough $$$ to be a "quality" and quiet member.

We aren't normally club joiners. There was a reason we joined WBCCI. There is also a reason why I would like to see it change rather than walk away or join another affiliation. As others Air Forums has satisfied our desire to seek out and meet many other Airstreamers with similar interests from all over the world, more than the exposure and opportunities that our local unit would bring. And Air Forums does it for us without charge and is ever refining itself and benefits through members and administration seamlessly.

What I want from WBCCI is representation, a vote, disclosure of all club business, communication and access to efficient and dedicated leadership, equality, and fair practices and fun and interesting and affordable events offered that the greatest majority of membership can participate in and benefit from and enjoy.
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Old 11-19-2009, 07:05 AM   #107
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If one wants to see "my humble opinion" of what a new club would be......just come on down and join us for "Canopener 2010" in January. There should be approximately 50 Airstreams in attendance....
Chief has it right.

For site camping at an established location, there is little need for organizational overhead. A couple of volunteers and some advance communication, you've got all you need for a smooth event.

For camping at non-standard locations and caravanning, I do see need for organizational overhead by hiring a service provider to satisfy that need.

I apologize in advance if I've disappointed anyone by not suggesting rules, dues, officers, schedules, dress codes, and penalties/fines. In the world of recreation and leisure, those notions are quickly dying.
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Old 11-19-2009, 07:58 AM   #108
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I hear what you're saying, Gene, but I don't think it's possible to have that discussion here. Once the word "club" drops into the conversation, the WBCCI and all of its baggage--positive and negative--comes along. Some of us are interested in the "post-club" universe. After all, it's hardly just the membership of the WBCCI that is falling like a stone. Since we both seem to agree that many humans have a need for social connections, I'm intrigued as to how these new social arrangements will evolve. When I'm passing through--having not nearly the fun I could be having at WBCCI rallies--I'll look forward to hearing your thoughts.
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Old 11-19-2009, 08:05 AM   #109
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Doesn't need to be "splained"

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I gotta be so dense. Splain it to me please. Peewee could you be specific when you make your broader statements against unnamed individuals? I think it is only fitting if you are going to make negative comments that you direct them so they can be challenged.
If the shoe fits wear it.

If my comments are negative they are definitely never directed towards the Club or Airstream. I said if.

I only encourage that negative energy be turned into a constructive, revitalization of the Club. If needed and where needed.

I will never get into a "wee wee" contest with an individual. Not worth the time and not worth the effort. But it is always worth while to have a constructive, unified, pleasant approach to those efforts required to maintain or even turn an organization around.

That's all. Let sanity prevail!
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Old 11-19-2009, 09:22 AM   #110
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I am just curious but a thought popped into my head (that happens so rarely that I take notice when they do).

If a new club in any shape or form does develop, why would WBCCI care? Why try to sell a club to people who obviously see it as not a value to them. The WBCCI isn't suddenly going to become the club of dreams for everybody.

To me that is like telling people who drink Pepsi that they would be better served drinking Coke instead and not to bother with Pepsi. But you don't like Coke - you like Pepsi and want to hang out with other people who also like Pepsi and not Coke. You get the point...

If folks discuss the concepts of building a new Airstream Camping Club, why try to impede that by saying that all you need is WBCCI? That is just not the case.

Personally, I find this discussion interesting if only for the fact that for a large part, this thread isn't even about WBCCI - it is about what a new club could be like.

It could be easily argued that Airforums as it exists is the nebulous beginnings of a new club, forming out of the desired of folks who just cant do the Red Coat Camping plan. They want a simple, no rules experience - WBCCI doesn't have a monopoly on that. They aren't the only game in town. Airforums may not (yet) be able to boast of having 500+ camping events, but that doesn't invalidate the gatherings that do go on.

So rather than try to quash these discussions with the "you don't need it cause we have WBCCI" statements, lets see what actually does form out of this. It will not hurt a thing....
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Old 11-19-2009, 09:40 AM   #111
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If the shoe fits wear it.

If my comments are negative they are definitely never directed towards the Club or Airstream. I said if.

I only encourage that negative energy be turned into a constructive, revitalization of the Club. If needed and where needed.

I will never get into a "wee wee" contest with an individual. Not worth the time and not worth the effort. But it is always worth while to have a constructive, unified, pleasant approach to those efforts required to maintain or even turn an organization around.

That's all. Let sanity prevail!
That will work. That's the way I did think the thread was going. I guess I will go back and look. As I said I must be dense to not have seen the construction in your comments that critiqued other posters comments! Always good to have a coach and tally man for reference. Carry on.

I just think if people are to be solicited to freely contribute their ideas and thoughts to a thread that asks their opinion, we should not denergrate their efforts because we don't agree, who ever or what ever it is.
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Old 11-20-2009, 04:05 AM   #112
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Quote:
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I'm not really sure I could make it to 500+ rallies a year.


For me, it's not all about "rallies." My wife and I plan to do Burning Man while on hiatus. We may hit Sturgis sans hog. We're certainly going to do charity work and service projects while on the road. What a long strange trip we hope it will be.

If a new "club" emerges (niche or not), it will be far more organic and flexible than the WBCCI. (It would pretty much have to be.) I imagine it will be more a loose confederation than an autocracy. And my hope is that it would be more focused on engaging the world outside of the aluminum shell.
Ken, You will have to go to at least one rally so you can understand just how loose the confederacy is. You speak of life outside the aluminum shell, well there is. I have often said you must experience things first hand to understand. I often say that one cannot just read here what it is all about. But when I say "speak from first hand experience" I am told how wrong I am to make that statement. I personally invited you to our Units Cherry Blossom Rally so you could see first hand what our Unit is all about. Your daughter was getting married(congrates on that, hope your new son in law is a stand up guy)Had you come, you might have seen the van so full of donated food that the driver had to unload some of the donations into another vehicle so it was safe enough to drive. At another rally we had turkey dinner for everyone. The soup kitchen in Norwich also had turkey dinner for anyone that wanted it, for we made sure we were feeding them too. They were even able to make soup from all the stuff we sent them and feed others for a few days. I was also astonished to see all the toys donated at Madison WI for children that are in need. Is that the kind of "life outside the shell", "charity work" you are speaking of? People try to keep their charity work quiet. It is bad form to brag about it. That is the reason you probably have never read about it here.
Once again, I hope you will come down to Upper Marlboro in April and camp with us or just come for happy hour. That way when you make blanket statements you will be talking from knowledge not what others have written. Heck I might just be talking some crap and none of it ever happened. Find out for yourself.
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