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Old 09-12-2010, 09:15 AM   #113
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I hate to think anyone has become disillusioned by this discussion - it's truly just a bit of back and forth which I see as no more than a few friends around a card table discussing what game to play next
Then, you Sir, need someone to interpret the tea leaves for you. I just sent an email to Rob asking that I be removed from TAC's membership roll (FL-1 can be reassigned). This has been like watching a train wreck, but I need to look away....you are now on ignore.

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Old 09-12-2010, 10:16 AM   #114
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Then, you Sir, need someone to interpret the tea leaves for you. I just sent an email to Rob asking that I be removed from TAC's membership roll (FL-1 can be reassigned). This has been like watching a train wreck, but I need to look away....you are now on ignore.

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I too am thinking of pulling out. Dave, you need to shut this dumb thread down. Your are ruining a good thing.
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Old 09-12-2010, 12:11 PM   #115
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I guess I shouldn't be surprised that people get upset when some things are discussed, or they become polarized at the mere mention of some ideas, but maybe I'm too idealistic.

So, aren't the Emperor's new clothes beautiful?

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Old 09-12-2010, 12:15 PM   #116
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Old 09-12-2010, 12:53 PM   #117
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I think they must have been reading a different thread. Or they just read the first page and the last, and glossed over that whole part in between were it was reinforced over and over again that the majority view is to change nothing at this time, with an acceptance that at some unknown point in the future, we might need to do something about becoming more... organized.

I try not to be offended when people tell others to not even discuss things in the open that they don't personally agree with. Which is hard. I like to sit around a campfire with people and hear views that are different to mine, and to even let it change my views sometimes. It's a great way to learn, and to get to know new people.

But I'm letting it go, because it's just a conversation.
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Old 09-12-2010, 01:42 PM   #118
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Many times I have heard the quote "To little to late".

Guess for some folks this thread is "To much to soon" .

Organizing TAC may be tabled for now but current leaders will be looking for relief or assistance sometime down the road and I would hate for folks to drop out as one of them may be a future leader or providing needed assistance as the club moves forward.
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Old 09-12-2010, 01:45 PM   #119
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Well, if this is a "non-club," I can put my invisible non-numbers on my Airstream while wearing official non-hat. It also explains why I can't find my non-membership card; it's right in my wallet next to the pictures of the kids I don't have and the money I spent last week.

What's happening, Dave, is that some people aren't getting exactly what they want so they are taking back the dues they never paid and are going home... which is probably for the best. If a simple conversation on the Airforums is going to cause people to drop TAC then it was just a matter of time before they jumped ship. I think the important thing, Dave, is not to figure out how TAC will appeal to everyone. It won't and it never will. The key is to figure out how the generally nice, easy going, friendly, low-key people who don't fit into the WBCCI (for any number of reasons) can have a generally nice, easy, friendly, low-key club.

You and Gene are both wonderfully idealistic, if not a bit naive. One of the problems is that TAC was formed in a simplistic manner. It was totally open-ended (dead serious about having fun) and didn't require any contribution (zero dues). This created a situation where anyone could join TAC and immediately assume it was exactly what they wanted it to be. So what you have now is a group of people with wildly different expectations about TAC... and this is a recipe for trouble. It would have been far better for Rob and/or Frank to come out and say--with at least some specificity--this is TAC. You like it, great. You don't, no problem. At the end of the day people like you (Dave) and possibly Gene and others are going to make TAC into something. The folks who are bolting out the door aren't, and never were. Making an organization "work" requires time, dedication, sacrifice, flexibility, a sense of humor, a sense of humility and a heckuva lot of luck. I don't understand why people think it takes planning and hard work to renovate a vintage Airstream but an organization can just fall together perfectly by everyone doing their own thing.

So, Dave, we're down to brass tacks. Are Rob and Frank (and you) going to make TAC a "non club" with zero structure... or are you all going to try to make it into something?
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Old 09-12-2010, 02:19 PM   #120
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I freely admit to being a little naive. It was the reason I started the thread - for my own education, and the information of others too.

I think your words are very heartening - they weaken my discouragement.

I've said before that I think another club needs to exist. I see the need for TAC and a long and successful future for it, but it will not meet the long term needs of most of the members it COULD attract - as nobody can calculate how many people haven't joined because of the disorganization and failed stab at non-politics. There's the rub. The resistance to politics is actually the strongest political view I have felt, and it has been expressed bluntly.

I have no patience for politics. TAC isn't about politics. It's about diplomacy. It's about inviting people to get along, co-operatively and voluntarily. Some people just aren't equipped to do that.

So, let me outline a new idea:

WBCCI continues as is. TAC continues as is. A new club, let's call it "Airstreamers' Camping Club" (ACC) *grins* is incorporated.

ACC would be a family-focused club that charges $25/year in dues. It organizes itself as a non-profit and follows a least-cost path. It gets basic liability insurance to cover members/guests at events. It treats everyone the same, with no special benefits for anyone. It has three officers, who have two year terms and a two term limit, then a one-term furlough. It organizes events across the ENTIRE country, focusing on providing the best camping experience it can at the most affordable prices. It has no committees, no deficits are allowed, and expenses are limited. It communicates electronically. It has minimal rules, mainly aimed at regulating the people who run it, rather than limiting those who want to enjoy it.

To my mind, a club like that would need about 1,000 members to provide the most basic services, and once it had 2,000+ members it would be able to organize frequent national, regional and local events.

It's not unrealistic. It just requires three people who agree the plan to start it.

The main obstacle is getting those three like-minded people PMing each other.

If such a group forms, it will have my full support and paid membership. I'd continue with TAC also, and continue doing the magazine until it's more established (if a club that refuses to establish itself can become more established!)
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Old 09-12-2010, 06:12 PM   #121
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Another Club???? YES!!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Park View Post
<SNIPY>

I've said before that I think another club needs to exist.

<SNIPPY>

I have no patience for politics. TAC isn't about politics. It's about diplomacy. It's about inviting people to get along, co-operatively and voluntarily. Some people just aren't equipped to do that.

So, let me outline a new idea:

WBCCI continues as is. TAC continues as is. A new club, let's call it "Airstreamers' Camping Club" (ACC) *grins* is incorporated.

ACC would be a family-focused club that charges $25/year in dues. It organizes itself as a non-profit and follows a least-cost path. It gets basic liability insurance to cover members/guests at events. It treats everyone the same, with no special benefits for anyone. It has three officers, who have two year terms and a two term limit, then a one-term furlough. It organizes events across the ENTIRE country, focusing on providing the best camping experience it can at the most affordable prices. It has no committees, no deficits are allowed, and expenses are limited. It communicates electronically. It has minimal rules, mainly aimed at regulating the people who run it, rather than limiting those who want to enjoy it.

To my mind, a club like that would need about 1,000 members to provide the most basic services, and once it had 2,000+ members it would be able to organize frequent national, regional and local events.

It's not unrealistic. It just requires three people who agree the plan to start it.

The main obstacle is getting those three like-minded people PMing each other.

If such a group forms, it will have my full support and paid membership. I'd continue with TAC also, and continue doing the magazine until it's more established (if a club that refuses to establish itself can become more established!)
Dave,

I agree about the need for another club.

I am all about a club being inclusive, not exclusive.

For example, if you have to own an Airstream product to be a member of a club, that club is exclusive.

If, on the other hand, the only requirement for membership is to further the goals of the organization this means that anyone can become a member and, as a result, the organization is inclusive.

Each of these are hot buttons for a lot of folks on this here forum. Each are entitled to think as they wish as well as establish an organization that they would like to be part of.

Along the same lines (reminds me of the "tastes great, less filling" beer adds a few years ago) we have folks who THINK that organization equals politics.

In both of these two examples each group is entitled to its thoughts. But, never the twain shall meet.

I also have sufficient experience with social organizations to understand that anyone who is involved in one at any level (this means being a mere member) is liable for any and all liabilities that the organization incurs.

There are many on this here forum who have no legal training and no personal experience with having been involved with a social organization that, for whatever reason, found itself embroiled in a law suit who decry the need for incorporation.

Because I have had the misfortune to participate in such a debacle I will not affiliate myself with any organization that does not care enough about its members personal assets to incorporate.

This too is another item like the two referenced above where, unfortunately IMNSHO, some people will never see the need for incorporation.

I refuse to put everything we have worked for our entire lives at risk by associating with any organization that does not provide the basis for protecting not only its officers but its members assets and this is the basis for incorporation.

As a result, I made a point, by way of PM's to Rob, to find out if he had plans to incorporate TAC or not. I am sad to say that he never replied to my inquiries. This ultimately led me to submit my resignation from the organization. He never responded to this request either.

I tried two years ago to muster interest on this here forum in the formation of a new club. To this day this is something that I would like to see because I too agree that there is a need for an alternative to the WBCCI.

As currently structured, or not, TAC does not work for me due to the liability issues associated with such an organization.

I also agree with you that organization does not have to lead to political drama. But, where we differ, is that I don't think three people are sufficient to provide the necessary checks and balances an organization needs. Lots of reasons for this but it is just to easy for three people to conspire. And, it will not take long before three people will become so run down that they will not be able to accomplish anything.

So, I will step up to the plate as I did two years ago and ask who else would like to see an Airstream club formed that does have structure and organization? If TAC should choose to go this route I would be willing to help build such an organization.

If TAC does not want to go this way I am willing to work with other like mined souls to build such an Airstream club. Now that Airstream has authorized the use of its name in TAC perhaps they would be willing to allow other clubs to do so as well.

Jim
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Old 09-12-2010, 06:22 PM   #122
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You and Gene are both wonderfully idealistic, if not a bit naive.
Hamp', that's twice you've called me idealistic and maybe once perhaps naive. I thought personal attacks weren't permitted. Is this the Spanish Inquisition? Will the comfy chair and soft pillows be my fate?

With Dave's new club and the old groovy TAC, we are on the road to a 1,000 flowers blooming. I think even a simply organized group of a 1,000 or so is a lot of work for the volunteers, but go for it. If you want nonprofit status, you'll have to have some sort of organic document—articles of association (for an unincorporated association) or articles of incorporation are the usual ones. You can have 3 directors rotating duties (when you eventually know what you're doing, switch). It'll take building it up and collecting some cash to afford insurance, reasonably normal looking articles and bylaws to control the directors. You can call them trustees which has a nice sound, but trustees can be bad people just like directors.

From experience I can tell you keeping a group going will eventually lead to burn out. If 20% of the members do 80% of the work, I think 5% do 75%. The role of the 80% of members is either to complain or do nothing toward keeping it going.

If I were eager to get something going with some organization, I'd start with a geographical area such as the southwest. When there are enough regional groups, then a coalition of them can put on larger rallies.

All ideas are worth pursuing, though since we rarely go to rallies, we have no need for a national $25 club, and not much more for a $0 club. The Forum provides opportunities for rallies anyway.

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Old 09-12-2010, 06:51 PM   #123
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Actually, Gene, I thought "idealistic" was a compliment... though perhaps the word has different connotations in legal profession.

There wasn't a "TAC" until Rob and Frank decided they had enough of the WBCCI. Because they are well known (and well liked) in the Airstream community, people were excited about TAC. But let's be honest, folks, no one really knows what being "dead serious about having fun" means. It's turned into a kind of Airstream Rorschach test. Everyone sees the TAC ink blot differently.

I suspect--on some level--the formless TAC is simply a reaction to the hyper-structured WBCCI, a way Frank, Rob and others can say, "Hey, we have our own cool club, thank you very much." And for TAC continue, maybe all it needs to be is the anti-WBCCI.

You strike me as a bright guy, Dave. Jim has made some excellent points as well. (My unbounded admiration for Gene is well established. ) What you (Dave) and Jim are talking about is a viable Airstream-based club with some basic organizational structure and some rules to prevent it from calcifying into the WBCCI... but having more substance and shape than TAC. Honestly, I don't think you need a 1000 members. I think 200 members paying $25 a year would cover a basic liability policy and some mundane administrative costs.

Here's the thing, though. What I suggest is developing a fairly well thought out plan so everyone knows exactly what the program is. You could use the forums advertise, get a website up and use the Airforums to see if there is sufficient interest. The key is finding a value-added not available through the forums and avoiding the "buzz kill" of the WBCCI. Actually, I don't think it would be terribly hard. While I appreciate your good intentions, Dave, it's much easier to say "This is our club" than it is to get a room full of people to agree on anything. As I'm fond of saying in my real job, I can't get a room full of people to agree on free beer and pizza.
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Old 09-12-2010, 06:54 PM   #124
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Jim, we posted at the same time and covered some of the same issues.

I can add that I was on the board of a regional organization that was sued in what I thought was a frivolous lawsuit. A past executive director had dropped directors and officers insurance to save some money and I could not convince the board we needed this insurance. I should have left the board. In the end it didn't save anything, it cost a lot. I was also sued as part of this and some present and former employees were sued. My homeowners' insurance covered me, but no one else had the same insurance coverage. It was time consuming, emotionally difficult, and because most of these things end in settlements to make things go away, monetarily expensive for everyone but me. I was a volunteer who donated money and valuable time to this organization—Every good deed must not go unpunished

These things do happen.

Just because some people, most people perhaps, do not sue when they are injured, it does not mean that everyone feels the same way. A frivolous lawsuit is filed to get a settlement and often does. If you did nothing wrong, it does not matter. You can be sued for negligently choosing a campground where someone could get hurt. People have different expectations—for some a boondocking site is dangerous and because they are very urbanized, they are fairly likely to get hurt. They may blame you. When you sponsor a rally and post it on the internet, you will get strangers, some may be clumsy, some may have children that always are in trouble, some may be borderline psychotic—you do not know what you are getting. Mostly these things don't happen. Sometimes they do and what you have at risk far outweighs the cost of membership dues to an organization that has insurance for rallies. And sometimes you may be negligent (we all make mistakes) and someone should or could sue you.

So those things happen too.

An insurance company insuring rallies will have it's own rules that the club will have to enforce.

So would you drive a car without insurance, have no insurance on your trailer or your home? If so, you are a risk taker and wouldn't feel the need for insurance. Let no one get the idea I like insurance companies—I don't. I have seen them act fairly and act horribly. Health insurance companies are the worst in my opinion, but any can be good or bad. They do perform a service and provide a risk pool.

I go back and forth on these issues of organization—anarchy is soooo appealing. We can all wear flowers in our hair (or what's left of it) and call it The Aquarius Club. We can have loveins instead of rallies.

But, maybe it can't work that way. Jim knows I change my mind all the time on this. I still like the idea of seeing how this evolves via the Forum, and I think it is. Dave, thanks for bringing this up and good that you have thick enough skin to deal with the flames.

Gene
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Old 09-12-2010, 07:57 PM   #125
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Quote:
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Many times I have heard the quote "To little to late".

Guess for some folks this thread is "To much to soon" .

Organizing TAC may be tabled for now but current leaders will be looking for relief or assistance sometime down the road and I would hate for folks to drop out as one of them may be a future leader or providing needed assistance as the club moves forward.
I wish I could ave thought of so few words myself to say that. But, as anyone who participates in the threads that I do knows; I am rarely less than a couple paragraphs.

I chose not to multi-quote because typically that takes more time than I'm willing to deal with but I'll just say that I read all posts up-to-current before posting this one. The point that I have been trying to convey from the beginning of this thread is that this just isn't the right time for this thought process. And finally, hopefully the light will be seen by combining garry and Dave's posts. Dave, you said that there needs to be at least 1000 members to get a new dues-paying club going. How many members does TAC have right now? You know because not only did you read the latest newsletter, but you wrote it! How close is the TAC to being your 1000 people? If 1000 people are needed, then how can you expect the TAC to fit your model when the TAC is presently at 1/3 of that? Insert garry's post of "too much too soon" and hopefully a moment not unlike that in the Blue Brothers comes to your life and you hear from someone behind you: "do you see the light?!?" Now, if you proceed to go to TAC and other rallies saying that you're "on a mission from God" then don't blame me. But I will find it quite humorous.

I'm not about to jump TAC-ship. After all, it costs me nothing to stay in. I hope that someday TAC does become "a real club" (scenes of Pinocchio come to mind, anyway...). When it does, I'm sure there will be officers, there will be business documents, there will be a mission statement, and there will be dues, and insurance. But, right now TAC is young, we're havin' fun, and many of us being fresh out of or almost out of WBCCI; we'd like to not deal with the organizational stuff for a while. People are feeling pushed by your prodding and for some it's too touchy to even mention right now; hence the "I'm leaving" or "I might quit" posts. OK, so be it. I'm not sure who posted it earlier; but there is going to be a certain percentage that's fringe and will take their ball and go home the first time they get PO'd.

As for when's the right time for TAC to become more official, I don't know for sure what the trigger will be. It surely won't be a membership count. I think it will be when Rob and Frank both are tired of being the point-men and they will publicly offer up for someone to take over and thereby start the track-record of something like a presidency. Until then, it should be hands off. Right now, it seems like writing a mission statement or organizing regions, etc. is like trying to steal the ball from your own teammate.
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Old 09-12-2010, 09:49 PM   #126
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... TAC IS different today. Let's not change that by making regions or mission statements or other political / administrative stuff.
Exactly!

Please stop pushing for TAC to change into a 1970's club with a 1990's mission statement.

All any TAC newsletter needs is to to share when camping events are planned, and camping fun that was enjoyed.
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