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Old 06-10-2016, 10:31 AM   #1
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Should we or shouldn't we

We just bought our first AS and have been looking at the WBCCI to join. We are Escapees having been fulltImers and enjoy the org. Benefits. After some online searching and based on the yearly fees ,it seems to us the WBCCI is very old fashion,very regimented (militaristic) , have a very poor newsletter/mag and seems to have some very bitter infighting. Could we be seeing this wrong based on the info we have found or is this a pretty good org.? Our dealer would not give us much information. Also,Looking at the cost of their Natl rally for what you get seemed really high based on other large rally's we have attended. Any helpful discussion would be appreciated.
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Old 06-10-2016, 10:47 AM   #2
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Are you considering full timing in your Airstream. If so you might find the remaining Airstream parks worth the cost of membership. Beyond that your insight is hard to dispute.
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Old 06-10-2016, 10:52 AM   #3
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It seems to vary a LOT from unit to unit. I'm not currently a member - the local unit is as you describe - yet I know of two units that are very progressive and am seriously considering joining one or the other.

If I were you I'd visit one or two before deciding. I hear good things about the FCU (four corners unit) which is west of you, but seems to have FUN rallies as well as a lot of people who restore vintage Airstreams.

Paula
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Old 06-10-2016, 10:54 AM   #4
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Most of WBCCI issues your talking about are gone now. The "old" guard is now gone and the club is making changes the members are asking for. The Magazine is going to be overhauled soon, as there is now a new committee looking at updating it.

What you get for your dues is way to connect with fellow Airstreamers. Like anything in life you will get out of the club what you put in. If you join and don't get involved, then it is a waste of money. If you join, go to local Rally's, meet people, and have fun, then you won't think twice when it's time to renew you dues.

The WBCCI, isn't like Good Sams or other RV clubs, where they try to sell you on the services as a reason to join.

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Old 06-10-2016, 11:24 AM   #5
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We joined several years ago and have kept up membership for the opportunity for Airstream-only caravans and rallies, as well as connect with other Airstreamers. It's part of the Airstream tradition and lifestyle, we have our red membership numbers displayed proudly.
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Old 06-10-2016, 11:57 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Munchie View Post
After some online searching and based on the yearly fees ,it seems to us the WBCCI is very old fashion,very regimented (militaristic) , have a very poor newsletter/mag and seems to have some very bitter infighting. Could we be seeing this wrong based on the info we have found or is this a pretty good org.?
Opinions vary widely in that regard.

Part of the reason is that WBCCI is not a monolithic organization. Each Unit has its own personality, shaped by its membership. Some Units will be a good fit for you, others will not. I suspect that some of the detractors of WBCCI were in Units that didn't suit their personalities, and left the club rather than transferring to a different Unit that might have been a better match.

I for one have not seen much "bitter infighting" in my four years of membership to date. Some, but not a lot. All fighting in WBCCI is infighting because WBCCI doesn't go to war with anyone outside the club. And there will of course be some infighting because no group of that size can be unanimous in every opinion, and many members are very passionate about the opinions they hold, against all opposition.

I've been a Unit president and have absolutely no desire to rise higher in the organization by seeking Region or International office; in fact, my term as Unit Prez has made it abundantly clear to me that I'm in the wrong Unit, so I'll be changing my membership next year to a Unit that should be more copacetic. Don't get me wrong… with very few exceptions I like the members of my present Unit, but their collective preference in terms of rally venues and activities just doesn't match mine. The Unit I've selected to transfer into next year is a little bit farther away geographically, but should better match my style. And if it doesn't, there are others I can try.

I've been a member of WBCCI for four years, and in just that amount of time I've seen a modest amount of change in the club. Change happens slowly, because the "club" is actually a licensed non-profit organization and so it has to follow parliamentary procedures and adhere to a constitution and bylaws— and those cannot be changed wholesale without legal review and voting by the membership.

In order for change to happen, you've got to join the club, stick with it long enough to see a problem, file a motion regarding the problem, and stick with the club long enough to shepherd the motion through the system. Kind of like the US Congress in that regard, but on a smaller scale. And too many members think that it's up to the club officers to do this. That's not true. Any member, at any level, can file a motion for a proposed change to the Constitution and Bylaws; the only thing that is solely up to the officers is to implement the changes decided upon by the membership.

But in order to file a motion, you can't just see a problem, you also have to come up with a workable and cost-effective solution. All change is the result of finding solutions, not finding problems. That's where a lot of change dies stillborn, because the people who see a problem would rather leave it to someone else to find a solution while they just sit back and gripe about it. Or worse, quit the club and gripe about it.

That's also where a lot of the reported infighting comes from, because there are basically three sides to any issue:
(1) There's no problem;
(2) There's a problem and here's how to fix it; and
(3) I agree there's a problem but I don't like your proposed fix.
Change only happens when group (2) outnumbers the combined groups (1) and (3) by enough of a majority to get the fix passed in a vote. And if group (2) gets voted down, then group (3) gets a chance to propose a different solution next time and the process starts over, with the former group (3) now in the (2) position. Repeat as necessary until either group (2) wins and a change is made or group (1) wins and the status quo prevails.
Change can happen quickly, but only when the membership is virtually unanimous in their agreement that there is a problem, and virtually unanimous in their agreement on a solution.
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Old 06-10-2016, 12:14 PM   #7
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It's like any organization, you have the 80/20 rule, we have been to states in their rallies and have been welcome by very nice people and we have a very large group of friends all over the USA.

I believe that the small group of people that don't like the WBBCI most likely have too much time on their hands, they need to get out and meet the nice people that have AS and their local groups.

The biggest problem is we have way to much FUN when we get together, way too much food, wine and friendship going on.

So, you do not like that much good times, then it's not for you.
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Old 06-10-2016, 01:20 PM   #8
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As said above, it varies greatly from unit to unit... Our Unit (Four Corners Unit) is a great group, very progressive, inclusive, laid back, lots of fun, great people, good rallies, with little concern or bother over regimentation and regalia. We camp together. We have fun together. My advice? Try a few units as guests to see what they are all about and how you fit with the folks involved... As to the larger organization...it is changing slowly...and for the better.
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Old 06-10-2016, 02:40 PM   #9
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My wife and I joined WBCCI a couple of years before my retirement 8 years ago. Prior to that we just didn't have time to devote to a past time because of my extensive work travel, raising kids with attendant church and school activities and taking care of elderly family members.

Since joining, we have made more friends with similar likes and dislikes than ever before and have thoroughly enjoyed our local unit Palmetto State. Yes there have been moments of tension when folks disagreed on something, but those times pass. Like many clubs, our membership is aging out and new members aren't always easy to find but it appears we have "turned the corner" on that issue and have recently welcomed several new member families. We even enjoy our time as officers of the local unit, me as President and my wife as corresponding secretary.

We have a wonderful chaplain/member who is a retired minister. Paul holds a very inspiring worship service each Sunday morning at our rallies. What a great way to say so long to so many friends after a rally when we pray for each other for safe journey Home.
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Old 06-10-2016, 04:10 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Munchie View Post
We just bought our first AS and have been looking at the WBCCI to join. We are Escapees having been fulltImers and enjoy the org. Benefits. After some online searching and based on the yearly fees ,it seems to us the WBCCI is very old fashion,very regimented (militaristic) , have a very poor newsletter/mag and seems to have some very bitter infighting. Could we be seeing this wrong based on the info we have found or is this a pretty good org.? Our dealer would not give us much information. Also,Looking at the cost of their Natl rally for what you get seemed really high based on other large rally's we have attended. Any helpful discussion would be appreciated.
I guess the WBCcI organization is a little old timey.
The online version of the newsletter/magazine is much better- vibrant full color- high definition- I wish they would discontinue the print version with its grainy black and white photos.
Not all units are structured/regimented/militaristic.
Not all units wear blue berets.
The Mississippi Unit is a very relaxed, informal unit. We enjoy rallies and fellowship.
The rally fees are generally very inexpensive, as our unit has money in the bank. Our rallies are the least expensive form of entertainment there is, but yet very well organized with events and tours. Kudos to the organizers of the events and rallies. It is always a fun time.
We attend other large rallies and our Mississippi Unit rallies are pretty much the same. All are fun.
I do look forward to retirement when I can rally and caravan more often.
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Old 06-10-2016, 04:41 PM   #11
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Four Corners Unit

Quote:
Originally Posted by Munchie View Post
We just bought our first AS and have been looking at the WBCCI to join. We are Escapees having been fulltImers and enjoy the org. Benefits. After some online searching and based on the yearly fees ,it seems to us the WBCCI is very old fashion,very regimented (militaristic) , have a very poor newsletter/mag and seems to have some very bitter infighting. Could we be seeing this wrong based on the info we have found or is this a pretty good org.? Our dealer would not give us much information. Also,Looking at the cost of their Natl rally for what you get seemed really high based on other large rally's we have attended. Any helpful discussion would be appreciated.

I bought an airstream in 2014 and had the same concerns. The more I read the more I saw a 'stuffy, structured, overpriced' organization that appeared to do very little.........so I stayed away until 2016.

Then I found the 4CU. It was everything I was hoping to find. Terry Rich is right and beat me to this, but if you are looking for a great bunch of folks who don't much care for meetings and talking about having fun and would rather just go out and have a great time, then you found the right answer. I consider joining the WBCCI a necessary evil to be a part of the Four Corners Unit. You don't seem that far away, and we have Associate members all over the country.
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Old 06-10-2016, 04:50 PM   #12
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We have been WBCCI members for over 20 years. We have both been Unit Presidents. We have been retired for 20 years. We have time to work for, and enjoy, the local club, as well as the Region and International activities. If you have the time and enjoy the type of activities the club puts on, the membership dues are worth it. Most of the dues money is spent for the salaries of the employees at the Jackson Center HQ. Some dues moneys go to the Region and International Officers, as a mileage travel subsidy, to attend rallies. Attendance at WBCCI International Rallies have been a lot smaller recently and the fixed overhead costs have increased, leading to higher per trailer rally fees by comparison to the larger non-Airstream clubs with higher attendance. Other clubs usually charge higher fees for caravans than the volunteer lead caravans provided by WBCCI. WBCCI is a non-profit corporation and therefore, all events are designed to be revenue neutral.
Your match with the local unit demographics and desired activities will determine if WBCCI is for you.
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Old 06-11-2016, 08:35 PM   #13
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Nope! We were members for a year and could never break the secret barrier to sign up for ralies. I guess the old ones need to "retire".
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Old 06-11-2016, 08:56 PM   #14
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Then I found the 4CU. It was everything I was hoping to find. Terry Rich is right and beat me to this, but if you are looking for a great bunch of folks who don't much care for meetings and talking about having fun and would rather just go out and have a great time, then you found the right answer.
To join, are you required to put the red numbers on your trailer?
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