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Old 02-06-2004, 07:56 AM   #21
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everyones got a different need

I joined the local unit that Brett is Preident of because I thought he was a natural leader who has all the enegy to make a club go and have found that more than true, I haven't even mebtioned Edies wonderful support.

In my case I have had 2 boys graduate from college and one get married and had one daughter have a grandchild and another get married and 3 move and start new jobs with differing degrees of happiness and I have just sold my house and will be full-tming in March...all since last fall.

By the time I work and settle things up there for full-timing and fish the different bites we have here in my part of SW Florida, I have had to postpone my involvement in my local chapter. I use my 310 motorhome when I fish overnite areas so it doesn't sit, others bring the boat and I the housing.

While indeed this has been a abnormally busy time for me, I enjoy the banter and opinions expressed here on the forum and appreciate the great advice I have gotten. I do think we all have slightly different agendas in our normal lives but Airstream talk is a common bond and there are those who have been there and newbies alike. I just hope when someone doesn't have a strong local chapter, others will not be too harsh on them for wishing for more...jem
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Old 02-06-2004, 08:45 AM   #22
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Before I moved into covered storage, I was parked next to a cheap-looking white box that made me shudder every time I looked at it. I didn't recognize the brand, but when I looked at the nameplate, I found that it was a Thor product. Expanding WBCCI to include that type of product would certainly spoil it for me.

OTOH, maybe there is a halfway point. Thor does make some other high-end products besides Airstream and I could support expanding the club to include some subset of those products IF it means the survival of WBCCI.
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Old 02-06-2004, 09:25 AM   #23
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Thor does make some other high-end products besides Airstream and I could support expanding the club to include some subset of those products IF it means the survival of WBCCI.
Yeah, if it would ... but I doubt it. The club's current problems are not because of a dearth of Airstream owners. The factory estimates that 75,000 Airstreams are on the road today. The club has a little more than 10% of them.

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Old 02-06-2004, 11:41 AM   #24
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Survey

"There was actually a rather large call to survey last year"

Ken,

Was the survey last year your doing, or the doing of International? And my point is that survey was on-line, I don't recall that it was posted in the Blue Beret (I just checked my back issues and didn't find it). The Blue Beret is the common denominator for Club communication, and should be the forum for the Club's debate. Instead, the debate takes place here or elsewhere on the Internet only because the very nature of the Internet allows opinion and fosters exchange of information. Discussion, ideas, debate, dispute, or protest does not get printed in the Blue Beret. Why?

thenewkid64,

You had discussion in your exective meeting two months ago, but was there discussion in your unit meeting? Does the bureaucracy and structure of the WBCCI stifle debate, and discussion, or does it encourage it? Does it enhance or impede the flow of information? Can the current parliamentary process respond to the desires of the membership in a timely mannner?
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Old 02-06-2004, 12:18 PM   #25
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*Soapbox On*

It is not a secret that WBCCI caters to senior citizens. I mean look at the unit group pics. If you were 55, you'd be a youngin' in these pics (there are exceptions- SCC unit).

I find the club just out of date. The blue berets look old and stupid. The logo looks ancient. Even the name is old, it should have "Airstream" in it.

The pagentry of the WBCCI rallies really turn me off. The Parade of Flags, opening and closing ceremonies, etc. , all sounds lame to me. I would just rather "meet up" at a campground at a predetermined time with a bunch of Airstreamers. Well, just like a Forum Rally, really.

But I just became a new member. I already wonder if I will renew. Maybe WBCCI will change. I would like to see a newly named mag that looks like this forum- iInformative, fun, interesting, and exciting. I would like to see a club focused on working Airstreamers, with many weekend rallies.

The fact that there are very few club officers as members of these forums tells volumes about WBCCI troubles.

*Soapbox Off*
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Old 02-06-2004, 12:42 PM   #26
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Re: Survey

Quote:
Originally posted by Forrest

You had discussion in your executive meeting two months ago, but was there discussion in your unit meeting? Does the bureaucracy and structure of the WBCCI stifle debate, and discussion, or does it encourage it? Does it enhance or impede the flow of information? Can the current parliamentary process respond to the desires of the membership in a timely manner?
Forrest,

The fact that the survey we had was discussed in the Executive board meeting, but not with the general membership was at the direction of my Region superior. This was to begin the process of getting feedback, before the general membership was surveyed. It is assumed that the Executive board knows the wishes of the unit on some issues.

I don't think that the WBCCI is attempting to stifle debate in any manner, I just think that they are attempting to start the process without causing the general membership to wonder what is happening.

As for the Survey that Ken mentioned, it was available in printed form but was not a WBCCI Headquarters survey like is in the current Blue Beret. It was done by a Region 3 staff member that was tasked with finding out more about the working generation, how they perceive the club and what what the club should be looking to do to attract those members.
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Old 02-06-2004, 12:55 PM   #27
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I agree 100% with Big Dee - the goofy-ness and politics of organized clubs is not my thing.

Informal gatherings with no officers, no dues, and no silly hats... are fun and politics-free. Perhaps the day of WBCCI is over, and more casual Internet-based interest groups, such as Airstream Forums, will thrive.
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Old 02-06-2004, 01:02 PM   #28
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Re: Re: Survey

Quote:
Originally posted by thenewkid64
It was done by a Region 3 staff member that was tasked with finding out more about the working generation, how they perceive the club and what what the club should be looking to do to attract those members.
Gee .. all they need to do is log onto this forum.
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Old 02-06-2004, 01:07 PM   #29
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wait a minute

Hold on guys, it's one thing to grip about the WBCCI mag, but you've gone too far when we say we don't like silly hats. I think we need more of that. I'd like to see us all to wearing a FEZ, like the Shriners do. Imagine the party we could have if everyone walked around with a big FEZ on their head with their WBCCI # on it, combine that with a pair of cool sunglasses and all of a sudden we're all youngsters again.

Silly hats are a good thing.
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Old 02-06-2004, 01:17 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally posted by Big Dee

The fact that there are very few club officers as members of these forums tells volumes about WBCCI troubles.
Big Dee,

I will have to disagree with you on this point. There are some things to consider before you make that kind of statement. Many of the officers of the club, Local, Region, and International are retired. These folks all have a desire to go and do. Many of them spend 6-9 months a year on the road. How with the other duties they have can they also be expected to participate in a forum like this. Most of them have computers, some of them are savvy, some have trouble sending and receiving e-mail. So saying that they are not interested in participating makes many assumptions that I have to disagree with.

There was a poll in the forum regarding the age of the members of this forum. You guessed it the main age was in the mid 30's to mid 40's the last time I looked. We are the computer generation so it is where we get our information and communicate with friends. We also spend many hours in front of them at both work and home. When we travel I have little or no desire to log in and get my mail or surf the forum. I am too busy seeing the sights and doing interesting things with my MH as my home base.

I will agree that the club is going to have to change or else. The issue is getting the proper people in the proper positions to accelerate the changes from a top down method. Due to that I took it upon myself to start doing things now. Like Friday to Monday rallies, having campfires, having the rally with lots to do. The members of our unit seem to be willing to try most anything we suggest.

But you see that is the thing.

Change WILL NOT be accomplished from outside the club. You have to be a MEMBER and be willing to stand up for what you think should be done to make the club and your unit more attractive/fun.

Nothing drives quick change like success. If a unit is successful Headquarters wants to know how you did it so they can spread the word.

So be a vocal MEMBER, stir things up, if all else fails start you own unit. The club is what the MEMBERS make it, I have chosen to make my impression my way, how will you make yours?

This all brings to mind 2 things my dad used to say. "Quitting is easy, sticking with it is hard" and " You cannot wait for all the lights to be green to go, they are never all green"
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Old 02-06-2004, 01:58 PM   #31
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Oh yeah?

Quote:
...there are very few club officers as members of these forums...
Come out, come out wherever you are!

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Old 02-06-2004, 03:09 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally posted by thenewkid64
Many of the officers of the club, Local, Region, and International are retired. These folks all have a desire to go and do. Many of them spend 6-9 months a year on the road.
I think this just further points to the fact that WBCCI is a club for retirees. The ones in charge are not computer savy and do have weeks upon weeks of time to do month long caravans and 10 day rallies. For these retirees, WBCCI is the perfect club.

BUT that's not me. Or, I suspect, is it the people that are currently buying A/S's or the people on these forums. I think this forum shows there is a lot of working Airstreamers out there who feel the WBCCI is not for them, thus the low membership numbers.

And you say, join the club and change it. Why join a club if it does not represent any of your interests? If it works for the current members, then they could resent someone new coming in and telling them to change their club. Wouldn't they say "if you don't like our club, then why did you join?" In order to attract a younger crowd than it HAS to appeal to that crowd in some way. There is no appeal in joining a club just to fight for big change.

I really hope you don't see me as attacking the club because it would be perfect if I were retired and full timing. I think the people in WBCCI are the greatest people. But I am just pointing out why it seems to be dying and not appealing to the younger Airstreamers. It is the people on these forums that the WBCCI should be doing everything they can think of to attract. They aren't there yet. But maybe, it has begun.
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Old 02-06-2004, 03:11 PM   #33
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Re: Oh yeah?

Quote:
Originally posted by InsideOut
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I'm a trustee of our local unit which makes me an officer!

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Old 02-06-2004, 06:22 PM   #34
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OK ... I've been thinking about this ...

... and my head hurts.

This has been discussed before ... the WBCCI is a caravan club and not a marque club. And there ... in my opinion ... lies the problem. Retired folks have time to caravan and working families do not. The club is too narrowly defined.

The solution for the WBCCI is to change the focus of the club to owning an Airstream and the varied lifestyle and interests that comes with ownership. It is time to change the name of the club to something like Airstream Owners Association ... and begin to provide the type of activities and information that would appeal to a broader spectrum of Airstream owners.

Folks in their 30s and 40s with families would benefit from local weekend activities ... such as restoration and maintenance clinics, camping with real campfires, day hikes and other physical activities, safety seminars, community outreach, etc.

If the club could recruit and retain younger Airstream owners, it would have an enthusiastic core of members just itching to caravan when they reach retirement age.

There's an old saying that is used in the Sales & Marketing Department ... "If you see a hole in the market ... fill it."

It's time for the WBCCI to change or make room for another club.

There ... my head feels better now.
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Old 02-06-2004, 06:54 PM   #35
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Tin Hut --I could go along with your idea of the new style hat & perhaps add to that a bright blue toga, with an A/S pictured on the back. We could also put on some wooden shoes, along with striped knee lenght socks & make"Merrily we roll along" , our offical A/S song to sing around our campfire. WOW !
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Old 02-06-2004, 09:56 PM   #36
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Porky,
You hit it right on the head. There should be a new club called the Airstream Owners Club. Let the WBCCI stay as it is for the retirees but a new club focused on weekenders. Wow, how come i didn't think of that?

Now Porky, since you will be having so much free time after April.....
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Old 02-06-2004, 11:09 PM   #37
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Actually, I'm not advocating the formation of a new club ... but predict that it will happen if WBCCI doesn't do something about their dwindling numbers and narrow focus.

An Airstream Owners club that welcomed all owners and provided a wider array of events and activities for a diverse membership would be best.

Right now ... one of the best "marque clubs" in the world is the BMWMOA. Check 'em out ... they really know how to run a club.
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Old 02-07-2004, 07:23 PM   #38
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Long caravans

Trustee, MN Unit

I am a relative new-comer to the Airstream family and the WBCCI. I could see that if I wanted the club to work for me, I had to get involved.

Yes I am a working stiff and can't do the 50 day caravans,( but I would love to someday). I am not a big fan of the berets, (I like the Stetson idea). Most of the over 65 crowd I have met are great folks and have a lot of information to share.

The change has to come from the inside.

That is why I opted to take the Trustee position with the MN unit. I am also putting together a 3 day caravan for the MN unit next August. If you are close enough, come join us. We are going to run Eastern MN and Western WI.

...and when I caravan/rally/camp we do have campfires. As long as there is a fire pit.
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Old 02-07-2004, 07:31 PM   #39
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Pete---Would you PM on your location if you so desire, we could be neighbors. We're located North of Brainerd. This is the first I have heard of a 3 day rally for the Mn unit. Way to go. I'll be watching for more info. BTW our unit #is 5186.
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Old 02-07-2004, 07:32 PM   #40
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Thumbs up Good job Pete!

A 3 day caravan ... now that's something a working family could enjoy.

Here's another idea ... poll your members and see how many folks who work would be interested in coodinating their vacations together for a 1 or 2 week caravan.

Perhaps if you could set it for 2005 ... that would give everyone something to shoot for.
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