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Old 04-12-2013, 03:22 PM   #43
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In all fairness, the International is supposed to correspond with Wally's birthday. It is not a big part of it, but that is why those dates are used. Some of us celebrate his birthday. Not a member but feel the timing of International is it's one success.
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Old 04-12-2013, 08:37 PM   #44
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"and as a p.s., the Club isn't a 501(c)(3) corporation, those are strictly charitable.. It is organized under 501(c)(7).."
==
Thanks for that correction Condo..

Your comment about the International is right on. The whole year of activities in many units is fudged to fit around this event which takes a long time to travel to and back, and as you said, is in weird places in July.

Because of the way the entity is structured, it is IMO impossible for younger, new people to take over and reform it. There's a built in rigidity at the very top that protects itself and assures the status quo.

Amazingly to me, there is no real challenge yet. I'd sure like to see one.
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Old 04-12-2013, 08:42 PM   #45
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We are members at large and don't mind paying the dues. Our membership is a nod of appreciation to Wally Byam and his spirit of adventure. We camp independently, but the people we have met who are unit members have all been very friendly and helpful.

You can make your membership work for you on your own terms. Relax and enjoy the parts you like (including the pretty red numbers) and appreciate that the organization is continuing an American tradition, however archaically.

BTW, we haven't been to a rally but we're looking forward to our first Canopener in 2014. All that silver loveliness in one place - We can't wait!

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Old 04-12-2013, 09:20 PM   #46
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For those who have been in or are in AS clubs, what's the best and worst part of your club experiences? What would you like to see in an ideal club?
Or, do you just prefer solo camping?
What's the best and worst part of your club experiences?

For me, the jury is out on joining WBCCI for now. I attended a rally recently and had both good and bad experiences. To be fair, most of the people were friendly and helpful. Several of the topics of sessions were also interesting. My goal in becoming a part of anything is considering how it benefits, in this case, my Airstreaming, but also then how I fit in to share and contribute. I am comfortable with various age groups. I have researched the local chapters by their calendars (events) and found that nearly all events are/were scheduled during the week (may spill over to include weekends but no activities specific to weekends) and were not something I would be able to participate in while working 8-5 M-F. That troubled me as some said we cater to families, solos, and working people- how? Without pulling kids out of school and taking off work, the only calendar event that I could attend regularly was the monthly dinner meetings at a restaurant.

What would you like to see in an ideal club?

I appreciate the interchange of ideas related to Airstreams along with activities- caravans and rallys with a purpose. As a solo I consider the benefit or option of group travel. I also need help learning to care for my rig. The Airforum helps tremendously but the personal part is more difficult as it would be by design. That is where a club would/could serve as a benefit to this camper. Activities - caravans, and other activities could be planned to include weekend only excursions for still working people and families. I am not saying all planned activities but some at least that did not leave on Mon, Tues or Wed per se.

Do you just prefer solo camping?

I currently do solo camping as an only option. Beyond a few coworkers, none of my associates have campers. I prefer it if nothing is gained by group venture.
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Old 04-12-2013, 10:10 PM   #47
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Rodster--
I agree that there needs to be events planned that working people can enjoy, such as "weekend campouts." I've noticed that a lot of new trailers are sold to people in late 40s and 50s who still work.

It would be great to have events that are weekend, week long, and then caravans of a few weeks. Events have to be more varied to encourage all the new owners to join and be active. A little weekend "campout" can be organized pretty easily. There's no reason not to have one every month. If the club leadership was spread around more and not so concentrated, this would be easily accomplished.

Nice comments.
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Old 04-12-2013, 10:13 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by rodsterinfl View Post

What's the best and worst part of your club experiences?

For me, the jury is out on joining WBCCI for now. I attended a rally recently and had both good and bad experiences. To be fair, most of the people were friendly and helpful. Several of the topics of sessions were also interesting. My goal in becoming a part of anything is considering how it benefits, in this case, my Airstreaming, but also then how I fit in to share and contribute. I am comfortable with various age groups. I have researched the local chapters by their calendars (events) and found that nearly all events are/were scheduled during the week (may spill over to include weekends but no activities specific to weekends) and were not something I would be able to participate in while working 8-5 M-F. That troubled me as some said we cater to families, solos, and working people- how? Without pulling kids out of school and taking off work, the only calendar event that I could attend regularly was the monthly dinner meetings at a restaurant.

What would you like to see in an ideal club?

I appreciate the interchange of ideas related to Airstreams along with activities- caravans and rallys with a purpose. As a solo I consider the benefit or option of group travel. I also need help learning to care for my rig. The Airforum helps tremendously but the personal part is more difficult as it would be by design. That is where a club would/could serve as a benefit to this camper. Activities - caravans, and other activities could be planned to include weekend only excursions for still working people and families. I am not saying all planned activities but some at least that did not leave on Mon, Tues or Wed per se.

Do you just prefer solo camping?

I currently do solo camping as an only option. Beyond a few coworkers, none of my associates have campers. I prefer it if nothing is gained by group venture.
Sorry to hear that units in your area are camping during the week. I must be spoiled living and camping with the San Diego unit. Most of us are still working and our rallies are weekend camping 10 months out of the year. Don't give up. You sound like you would be a good addition to a unit.
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Old 04-13-2013, 12:12 AM   #49
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The rallies in our unit run Thursday to Sunday, but we can usually only come Friday to Sunday and that usually works, except for the few parks which will only book the full four days. If you can't make it the full time, ask, sometimes it will work to only make part of the rally.

Bill
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Old 04-13-2013, 08:48 AM   #50
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More variety of events - maybe even some simultaneously (e.g. a 5-day and a weekend in the same period) would be very doable with a club that had a horizontal instead of vertical leadership structure.

The W-club is organized like a business. President, vice presidents, secretary, treasurer and so on. On any given event, the officers want to be present as a whole structure. That limits how many events can be done in any period of time.

A more useful structure for an adventure club would be horizontal. It might have several "Trail Guides" and several "Scouts", where a Trail Guide is assigned the task of planning and leading an event, with the assistance of a less experienced Scout (helper). The most experienced Trail Guide could be the "Trail Boss" let's say of the whole club, providing some executive leadership, dispute resolution and so on. Some other administrative roles can be passed around to those with expertise in such. With this kind of organizing, it would be possible to have say, 3 events going on in one month. A weekend family-style campout, a 5-day "Tour" and a 20 day "Trek". Each having their own Trail Guide and Scout to organize and run them. There would be no need or reason to have all of management present at any given event.

So, maybe only 5 rigs would be on a particular event and 5 more on the other event and so on. What's wrong with that? Nothing. Everyone would be involved in the kind of event they prefer. With a modern interactive web site everyone could enjoy what the club is doing as a whole. With a better variety of the "kinds" of events, and more horizontal leadership the appeal to a larger set of owners would be improved. More support, more better club!

Keeping it to a simple "club" much of the oppressive administration could be jettisoned in favor of more camaraderie and adventure.
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Old 04-13-2013, 09:47 AM   #51
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I like the ability to learn from those with experience the ins and outs of the Airstream trailer by attending functions at most levels and listening and taking notes.
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Old 04-13-2013, 01:57 PM   #52
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We've been WBCCI members for a few years now, going on five, and we really enjoy our unit, the people, and the unit rallys. Our unit activities are designed for working people, and all rallys are held on weekends, and usually within 100 miles of home.

We've also been to a few Region rallys, and one International rally, and they are sort of like an endurance run. Not really our "style", but lots of folks like them.

I does seem to trouble me that people on this forum have such disregard for the WBCCI, because like any activities you engage in, it's usually what you make out of it, and most here who down talk the club, have little to no experience with it. I'm not saying the club is perfect, actually far from it, IMHO, and the worst thing about it, again IMHO is it's virtually impossible to change it much, and only the uppermost management of the club can actually be effective at bring about change.

The think is, it usually takes many years before a member can get to a position within the club where he could be instrumental to making any changes, and by the time he has spent those years getting to that position, he is so firmly indoctrinated in the "way it has always been done", and the fact that at that point the club system is for his benefit, that nothing will EVER change, IMHO. Sort of like changing our government, but let's not go there.

The first thing that I noticed when we went to the International Rally last year was all of the past and present Region, and International officers were parked in a special area, up front, and all the rest of the peasants were scattered out across the grounds and insulated from the officers. It was clear to us, that segregation does exist. If the club officers wanted to get to know the membership, listen to some of their concerns and suggestions, you would think they would want to be parked with all the rest of the members. It's clear to me the IBT does not want any input from the members.

Again, I think our unit is great, and the rest, well I think you know from reading the above.

Maybe a new club should be started consisting of genuine campers with Airstreams?
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Old 04-13-2013, 06:34 PM   #53
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Thumbs up "circle the wagons" style camp-out

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I think even 5 to 10 rigs makes a great little 3 to 5 day camp-out. It doesn't have to be huge to have fun. I'd love to find some ranch or meadow that could hold a "circle the wagons" style camp-out. That would be a hoot. I've also thought a "beach crawl" would be fun for 5 days with a small number of rigs.
THAT is a beautiful mental image....I wonder if we could put together something like that in northern OH? Maybe I'd better meet the local unit first.....
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Old 04-13-2013, 08:43 PM   #54
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"I does seem to trouble me that people on this forum have such disregard for the WBCCI, because like any activities you engage in, it's usually what you make out of it, and most here who down talk the club, have little to no experience with it."
---------
To clarify my own position, we DO have experience with the WBCCI as members including about 7 5-day rallies and a 12 day "carally." So, whatever criticism I have, is legitimately based on my direct experience.

As to "it's all what you make of it" - I'd like to suggest that it takes two to tango. A social relationship of any kind consists of TWO sides, not one. Yes, there is my input to the group, and then there is the group's input to me. I can not force others to act in any certain way to "make it what I want." I think that angle has been played up too much. The idea that the whole experience is up to the individual member is simply not an accurate description of how clubs of any kind work.

Of course one of the difficulties in discussing WBCCI is that whatever is said about Unit A, is refuted by members of Unit B, and vice versa. It is rare that people are all talking about the same unit. And I totally agree that local custom is different from unit to unit.

There is a certain "sacred cow" environment about discussing the WBCCI that is a bit over done. The comments I have seen of late have been both polite and constructive even though critical. There is no deity involved here - it's a club, an institution. It has good aspects and sorry to say it also has bad aspects and people ought to be free to express both.

Personally, I do not assign any form of holy reverence to clubs or institutions. I see travel clubs as a means to serve the adventurers, not the other way around. When they don't work as they should, they ought to be changed. When they can't be changed, they ought to be ignored and a new one setup that does serve the adventurers and travelers. It just my opinion and nothing more, but I like the idea of EVERY rig being equal. I don't like class systems and hierarchies dominated by some old guard. I think a travel and adventure club should be as egalitarian as possible. I don't see anything improper about that criticism.
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Old 04-13-2013, 09:15 PM   #55
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MStephens, I don't know how you got the idea that I was talking about you specifically, but I was not.
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Old 04-13-2013, 09:25 PM   #56
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THAT is a beautiful mental image....I wonder if we could put together something like that in northern OH? Maybe I'd better meet the local unit first.....
Sure - why not? All it takes is a little organization and then getting the word out. Try it!
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