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Old 11-20-2009, 04:02 AM   #113
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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.
Ken, you talk as if you climbed the mountain and found no view from the top. Sorry, but you just bought your trailer last year and have not even camped in it yet. It was in SC and then somewhere else to have serious issues worked on. You have no idea if the WB or the Airforums or anywhere else is the right fit for you. You talk of "post club" how is that? Don't you need to be in a club to then be post club? You are interested in "new social arrangements"... what are your old ones? Why is it you are such an expert on the failings of the club(and in "club", I mean the WBCCI)?

As Gene pointed out, this thread is to talk about structure of a new club not the problems with the existing one. Perhaps the thread is actually a means to gain insight into what could be done to correct what already exists. Perhaps Fred started this as a marketing survey. What ever the point is, the usual 20 or so suspects(my self included) that are talking here are not speak for the whole. We are just a very small handful of voices and there are many that go unheard due to their unwillingness to debate in this fashion.

Fred wanted to know how a new club would be structured. Here is my two cents on that. I would model it after the WB. The first thing I would do is decapitate the organization. Completely do away with all the leadership positions both on the unit level, regional, and international. I would have each unit elect a delegate that represents the wishes of each unit. Delegates would meet via the internet once a month to debate and vote on issues that arise. The minority will always follow the majority. I would continue to have the head office and give all the people working there a 20% pay raise. Their job is thankless and difficult. They are paid very little for what they do. I would fire the entire staff of the Blue Beret and hire a new staff. All new writers all new look. I would make the BB a magazine advertiser seek out because of the demographic it gets to. Charge for ad space within in a real manor. Oh, and skymed.... no more than a quarter page ad. Maybe an ad below or above it to balance the sickness insurance with something for the heathy. International would still go on, just not for the reasons it does now. Business would be all taken care of via internet, so the venue would be chosen for it's camp ability. International would be mandated to turn a profit. I just do not get why it always operates in a loss. All those attending would pay the same price for their visits. No more stay for 27 days for the same price as those coming for 7. No more perks of office. No more 45% of attendees are volunteers. Everyone attending should volunteer. I would increase dues. 50/50 split between the units and head office. I know the WB is a non profit, we just spend the profit on making a better International or unit level experience. The most formal aspect of International would be the happy hour and potluck lines. A strict "no tie, no coat, or no service" policy would be instituted. I would also require each member to host a rally. Hosting a rally is a very gratifying experience. I am hosting or co hosting three next year.

So have at it. Shred my ideas. Point out the flaws in my thoughts...
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Old 11-20-2009, 05:41 AM   #114
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The posts on a new "club" seem to split between a better WBCCI and something entirely different, maybe not a "club". This gets confusing in one thread. I tried to use "group" to distinguish from a "club". I think it's just about impossible to predict what will be invented by someone that reflects changes that are occurring now. It'll just happen and if it makes sense to a lot of people, it will work.

Twitter came out of nowhere, some type of group will too. Patience folks. Some creative person will surprise us. The wheel is obvious once you see it and every one says "why didn't I think of that?"

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Old 11-20-2009, 06:29 AM   #115
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First, the civilities. Our new son-in-law is an Air Force Academy graduate, pilot and officer doing his master's degree in Ohio. Happily married, our daughter is completing a master's in social work degree. We couldn't love our children more, including our son-in-law, thank you for asking, Frank.

Now that we've dispensed with the pleasantries, Frank, I really don't appreciate seeing details of PM exchanges six months ago showing up in forum posts. I don't appreciate you trying to make this about my personal experiences (or lack thereof) with the WBCCI. You've already tried this approach with Gene. According to you, a person cannot have an opinion about an organization without having participated in it. I simply can't understand this perspective... as a person who has a good deal of his life savings tied up in stocks in companies for whom I've never worked, or even stepped foot inside their offices. Think about it, Frank, I'm staking my family's financial future based on what I know about organizations I evaluate from the outside.

I suspect Gene is right. We'll know the future when it gets here. Maybe it will look something like the WDCU, but the WDCU is not the WBCCI.

Right now, Frank, you're underwriting an organization with falling membership, failing finances and an International leadership that apparently soaks up $125k a year in travel reimbursements. Now, if you want to do that, fine. I could go to a 100 rallies, but that doesn't change the fundamentals. An organization losing members and losing money is simply not sustainable in the long run. Ceteris paribus, something has to change.

You take this stuff incredibly seriously, Frank, Airstreams, the WBBCI, the WDCU. You've even started your own trailer restoration business. When I've listened to you on the VAP, Frank, I flash back on elementary school when there was always at least one kid who so desperately wanted to be part of the "cool crowd." Occasionally, it was me.

You're a "true believer," Frank. Like most missionaries, you're a nice person whose intensity and zeal makes me nervous. It's like discussing liberation theology with a fundamentalist, Frank (an exercise I have tried and now avoid). You don't seem able to "shoot the bull" about this stuff without taking everything way too seriously and getting personal.

I honestly hope the WDCU grows, that your business is successful and that you become the next Colin Hyde on the VAP, Frank. I appreciate the invitation to a rally earlier this year, but if my wife and I are inclined to attend a WBCCI event this year--we'll find one on our own.
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Old 11-20-2009, 08:31 AM   #116
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Good ideas, some further thoughts . . .

Well, it looks like we had so much new "structure" was added during the past few days that the server crashed last night under the weight!

To clarify, I have no agenda, am not doing a marketing survey, and am not starting a new club. There. I'm simply looking for ideas on newer, hopefully better ways of organizing AS activities using the tools that have recently become available, such as the Internet and forums like this one, and the tools that are on and just over the horizon. The idea of a "structure" I'm interested in is something that is flexible enough today to work well 5 years down the road, which can be an eternity given the accelerating rate of change in today's society.

The "5 years forward" set point is designed to cause people to stretch their brains a lot rather than just assemble something using what's available today. It's design to engage the imagination and likely will cause people's heads to hurt from hard imagineering and peering that far into the future.

Change will come, like it or not. As Gene suggests, it's not possible to accurately predict what might exist a few years down the road because frequently enough curve balls come out of left field. But those who think about future possibilities in creative ways should be better prepared to adopt or run with it than those who just stumble into the future.

The structural ideas I'm asking for could (in theory, practical realities aside) be adopted by any club, even perhaps my lovely old grey-haired hide-bound WBCCI (if the trailers line up celestially!). Many Units in the WBCCI have already implemented such ideas and are doing very well. Now, I'm not trying to ignite the Club Wars. But I do recognize the existing clubs, units and internet forums provide an undeniable real-life baseline of human behavior that, like it or not, will anchor all flights of fancy club structure.

IMHO, this forum is just a communications tool, a party-line telephone on steroids with semi-permanent texting and graphics capability accessible at one's convenience. Although many hang out here as their virtual Airstream clubhouse, as do I, it has not IMO quite yet became a club. Its not that it cannot; its just that something still seems missing, an ingredient I cannot quite identify is missing. The recipe needs more spice, the one that - you know - taste like . . .whatdayacallit? Perhaps its the old tribal thing, but I need to sit around a real campfire with real smoke in my eyes discussing with real people how to better the world!

Another concern is preserving history. If one subscribes and saves old magazines, on his or her passing relatives can physically see the magazines and perhaps donate or sell them to to appreciative parties. But when I kick the bucket, will my executors review my hard drive, copy it by subject matter onto separate DVDs and put all my old Airstream stuff, jeep stuff and Power Wagon stuff on the grarage sale table for purchase and preservation? Or will they just smash or wipe clean my hard drive with all that great history in an effort to protect my privacy . . or because it takes too much time and trouble to pass on my vintage electrons? How many hard drives have you seen on garage sale tables vs. old magazines?

Should any club worth its rivets use a structure that combines a near permanent record of its subject matter interest - a magazine - with the far less permanent electronic media of the Internet for tasking? Should a club be Internet + magazine + gatherings? How much past 78 year Airstream history would be available today if the sole recording medium used by all past Airstream owners was digital and not physical? Does any club owe a duty to future generations?

Anyway, a great range of good ideas have been contributed from many viewpoints, from the foundational to the practical and beyond. I believe any club or unit could adopt or incorporate some of the ideas presented here. The more successful ones have and will. Please continue to post your "structural" ideas. Thanks!
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Old 11-20-2009, 08:10 PM   #117
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You are all wrong. I have seen nothing but bickering, talk about structure, what is right, what is wrong, do this, do that. Everyone has missed the core element even, the starter of this thread. Structure is not the problem, vision is. What about a simple vision statement? A simple doctrine saying this is what we believe in. Structure follows purpose. The founding fathers came up with the declaration of Independence and the bill of rights before they got into the details of the current convoluted mess.
A simple validation of the creed that started the whole thing to begin with would be in order. Just like the Constitution get’s tweaked, so to must the basic structure of Air streaming. Remember the creed was set out for a club to support a company’s end goals. It sold a vision. Maybe we need a better pair of glasses!
Why not come up with a vision, than see if the current club can meet it. If not take an active role and fix it. I for one am excited about joining the WBCCI and can’t wait to go to my first rally! If I don’t like how things are run, I am going to try and change it. Not everybody can be against it since there are still units and members. Sure it is in decline, but so is everything else in this country. Organizations don’t improve unless they are forced to by the stock holders or customers. Do you think the car companies spent all that money trying to make a more efficient care because they cared? Do you think any company or organization does anything that isn’t in its own best interest?
Times change, so do organizations or they fail. But most have to fail before they will change!!
So what should be in the vision statement?

Here is my piece: "To spend time with friends and families enjoying your airstream. Whether it is a night, a week, a moth or the rest of your life."
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Old 11-20-2009, 08:48 PM   #118
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Thank You

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You are all wrong. I have seen nothing but bickering, talk about structure, what is right, what is wrong, do this, do that. Everyone has missed the core element even, the starter of this thread. Structure is not the problem, vision is. What about a simple vision statement? A simple doctrine saying this is what we believe in. Structure follows purpose. The founding fathers came up with the declaration of Independence and the bill of rights before they got into the details of the current convoluted mess.
A simple validation of the creed that started the whole thing to begin with would be in order. Just like the Constitution get’s tweaked, so to must the basic structure of Air streaming. Remember the creed was set out for a club to support a company’s end goals. It sold a vision. Maybe we need a better pair of glasses!
Why not come up with a vision, than see if the current club can meet it. If not take an active role and fix it. I for one am excited about joining the WBCCI and can’t wait to go to my first rally! If I don’t like how things are run, I am going to try and change it. Not everybody can be against it since there are still units and members. Sure it is in decline, but so is everything else in this country. Organizations don’t improve unless they are forced to by the stock holders or customers. Do you think the car companies spent all that money trying to make a more efficient care because they cared? Do you think any company or organization does anything that isn’t in its own best interest?
Times change, so do organizations or they fail. But most have to fail before they will change!!
So what should be in the vision statement?

Here is my piece: "To spend time with friends and families enjoying your airstream. Whether it is a night, a week, a moth or the rest of your life."
Dave and Felicia,

You are really going to have fun and you are going to enjoy yourselves. Welcome to the world of the Wally Byam Caravan Club.

Pee Wee
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Old 11-21-2009, 05:23 PM   #119
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Because you asked...

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<SNIP>

What about a simple vision statement? A simple doctrine saying this is what we believe in. Structure follows purpose. The founding fathers came up with the declaration of Independence and the bill of rights before they got into the details of the current convoluted mess.

<SNIP>
OK

Here's a suggestion:

The purpose of the organization is to operate and maintain a national Airstream travel trailer and motor home club to promote the camaraderie and friendship of individual members and Airstream travel trailer and motor home clubs.

I will raise your purpose statement and add something about WHO can be a member, as follows:

Membership in XYZ Airstream club as an individual member shall be open to any person who is over the age of 21 and interested in furthering the purposes of XYZ Airstream Club.

Notice that there is nothing whatsoever in the above paragraph about having to OWN an Airstream.

The objective would be to have a club that is inclusive of anyone who shares an interest in the organization and "furthering the purposes" of the organization. This, as opposed to a club that is exclusive and has lots of requirements for membership. The idea is that anyone who so desires can become a member; much like this here forum.

Jim
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Old 11-25-2009, 05:10 PM   #120
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I don't think most groups start out with a conventional structure, but if they grow beyond some number—10, 20, maybe more—people start wanting something familiar. That usually means a board, officers, dues, and yes, insurance. But first, just getting some like minded people together is the task.

If you click on the red banner at the top of every page—actually on the blue words to the right—you'll see a list of the groups that have so far listed themselves. Four are WBCCI units and 3 are not. The 3 are NorCal (apparently the oldest), AIR Midwest, and NW Streamers. None of the three have more than 10 members, but now that the Forum has provided easy access to a webpage, I expect more people will join. All are geographical in name.

No affinity groups yet. I suggest Assorted Iconoclasts Rallying [AIR] for a national group of malcontents who want to avoid rules. Of course such a group would have a hard time finding someone to facilitate things. A leaderless group has been tried in other situations, but someone has to rent the room and invite or solicit people, so there's always someone acting as leader. But maybe we can change that.

The name AIR would confuse everyone (except airheads). That appeals to me as much as the theater of the absurd once did. I suppose it could be Absurd Iconoclasts Rallying, but I think I'm starting to sound like it's 1970. But there's a history of people finding a way to communicate and then just showing up—it's been done with posters years ago, but now with cellphones, smart or dumb. A rally with trailers isn't so easy to arrange on a few hours notice, but the spirit of that maybe could be maintained.

I'm still trying to figure out that liability thing—maybe call it a joint venture or partnership so everyone is equally involved and basically liable for what they do themselves just like real life. All decisions jointly via internet, though I don't know how that works. Any thoughts on AIR, a non-group group?

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Old 11-25-2009, 08:39 PM   #121
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At the very least you'll need a leader.

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Old 11-26-2009, 05:09 AM   #122
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now that is exactly how it should be done...
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Old 11-26-2009, 05:46 AM   #123
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In reply to number 117---I thought the WDCU was a part of WBCCI? zz
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Old 11-26-2009, 05:59 AM   #124
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In reply to number 117---I thought the WDCU was a part of WBCCI? zz
The WDCU is part of the WBCCI. Airstream club vintage trailer WDCU WBCCI region 2 Unit 170

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but the WDCU is not the WBCCI.
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Old 11-26-2009, 06:09 AM   #125
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Thank you! zz
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Old 11-26-2009, 09:50 AM   #126
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Can't we all just get along....
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