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Old 12-21-2009, 10:04 PM   #201
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O.K., I've resisted comment so far, but I will kick things into gear tomorrow. Basically, we are almost at two star W.B.C.C.I. status and we are staying put!
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Old 12-21-2009, 10:12 PM   #202
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points of views...that matter from those that have tried it

Rob’s proclamation of separation has stirred much interest on Airforums and after five plus days has over ten thousand view counts. And just yesterday a few posters appeared with the plea that this thread be put to rest. This seems to be a minority view judging by the view count. Hopefully they can utilize the thread edit feature to avoid more discomfort.



My few contributions to this subject were sent to counter the usual wave of WB club detractors that always follow after the first complaint. My point of view on this is if you have participated in club rallies and caravans and decide it is not for you it’s your choice to no longer participate in this activity. As we have heard there are conflicting feelings from members of the WB club.



Some examples are.….I like to camp with my Airstream friends but hate the politics, ceremonies, fees, etc. This is good. You have tried it, love it, hate it and have an opinion about what would work better for you and your travelling container. Maybe club membership is a worthwhile experience excepting for the IBT controversy and you are willing to help change this while remaining in the club.



What is strange to me are the responses from many Airstream owners that have not attended group events, rallies, meets but feel the need to express their views as to why this would not work for them. The retorts come out something like:



We brought our AS to escape from groups, clubs, rules etc. and no way would we join!


I have heard about….. Flags, ceremonies, hats, age issues, rules, not for me!


Too expensive and fees not applied locally. Value not returned from dues.


Why would we (young, hip, vibrant, cool) kids what to hang out with the retirees?


Who cares about the history, traditions of the club, WB or the trailers themselves?



To this I would have to ask? Then why do you care? Why share the negative opinions with others that may be interested in joining and attending events?



What is most surprising and disconcerting about Rob’s and others leaving the club now is they have been the most ardent Wally Byam Club supporters over the last so many years. They helped foster and cultivate new interest in the Club, vintage trailers and Airstream as the brand. Rob has an excellent blog which details the trials and tribulations of the vintage ownership while balancing family and work demands. As most know he is a panel member on Tim Shepard’s, “TheVAP”podcast.


Frank Yelsen is a somewhat new member and has dived head first into vintage trailer ownership. Web savvy and gregarious, this guess gad fly has buzzed his way into the call in section of the VAP. Frank is an active contributor to the Airforums and also his own entertaining and informative websites. He has even started his own trailer restoration service and freely offers advice on his blogs.



Disconcerting for fellow trailer enthusiasts like me as we now read about their plans not participate in future WB club activities????


Wait a minute…. these guys were living the dream? Buying, selling, restoring, camping, rallying, and travelling over the next hill, and the one after that, and after that……….and wearing the beret to boot!



What happened? Is this really about the top heavy handed Club leadership and their perks? Or is part of this some leftover hurt feelings from the Madison International Fiasco?



Rob, you have related that the Vintage club is also of no use to you now? I had read you were on your way to be the vintage club prez and after Madison resigned officiating from the Vintage club.


So maybe there is more to this then the clubs current financial woes in your decision to leave?


All this and the latest Vintage Advantage magazine has pictures of these guys and their trailers. Their west coast promo men are working overtime.




Remember the movie Network? The lead character is a TV newsman and convinces his viewers to go to their windows and yell out, “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore” I think he goes insane at some point. Someone here on the forums occasionally mentions to remember this is just a RV/trailer club and not life and death.



Dale “Pee Wee” Schwamborn has also been an interesting character in this ongoing love/hate debate about the club. One of my favorite things about Airstreams is the Wally Byam history and the early caravans’ to far parts of the world. Mr. Schwamborn’s recollections and his Mothers photos provide countless hours of blissful escape to days long gone. Thanks Dale!


Another movie comes to mind:


In Bridge over the River Kwai the prisoner of war British Colonel Nicholson is assigned to construct a bridge using his subordinate fellow prisoners. He does this knowing that as long as they are providing a service the Japanese captors will still need them and keep them alive even though the bridge will be used to supply the enemy’s war effort.


As the bridge nears completion, the British officer has become obsessive about its completion and wants to build it as a monument to the British character. Unknown to him the allies have a plan to blow up the bridge.



Somewhere at the base of the bridge Rob, frank and John are wiring up the explosives while Pee Wee sees them from above and attempts to stop them.


In the distance a caravan approaches and starts to cross over. I know….. it is just a caravan club and not life or death. But it is a great diversion.


Gary


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Old 12-22-2009, 05:14 AM   #203
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Gary I usually agree with you totally. I have no desires to blow up any bridges. I am just going to build my own bridge. My bridge will be toll free and have no lane restrictions. I think the bridge you are referring to might be the one built by someone else...
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Old 12-22-2009, 05:15 AM   #204
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Old 12-22-2009, 05:30 AM   #205
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Quote:
Originally Posted by safari62 View Post
What is strange to me are the responses from many Airstream owners that have not attended group events, rallies, meets but feel the need to express their views as to why this would not work for them. The retorts come out something like:



We brought our AS to escape from groups, clubs, rules etc. and no way would we join!


I have heard about….. Flags, ceremonies, hats, age issues, rules, not for me!


Too expensive and fees not applied locally. Value not returned from dues.


Why would we (young, hip, vibrant, cool) kids what to hang out with the retirees?


Who cares about the history, traditions of the club, WB or the trailers themselves?



To this I would have to ask? Then why do you care? Why share the negative opinions with others that may be interested in joining and attending events?


I am glad they care, I was on the fence about to jump, but have now climbed back down. A topic like this is what a forums are all about.
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Old 12-22-2009, 05:40 AM   #206
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Quote:
Originally Posted by safari62 View Post


Somewhere at the base of the bridge Rob, frank and John are wiring up the explosives while Pee Wee sees them from above and attempts to stop them.



Gary



#3363

I see it differently. Ther way I look at it Rob, Frank, me, and many others are pointing at the explosives and yelling at the top of our lungs for others to come help us stop the destruction! The bridge has been wired for years. It's time to do something about it.
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Old 12-22-2009, 06:29 AM   #207
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Gary, it's hard for to decide whether you don't get it or you simply don't want to get it. I own a vintage Dodge pickup. I have a vested interest in Mopar groups, for any number of reasons. Vintage Dodge clubs are a great resource for restoration information. The more active vintage owners there are, the greater the chance of after-market support. An active social network, frankly, makes my old Dodge more valuable. It makes my Dodge more fun.

A healthy, functioning, growing WBCCI would be an asset to me as a vintage Airstream owner. As a person whose academic training and professional experience is based on understanding organizations (and managing them), and as a person who has taken a long, objective look at the WBCCI, I have concluded the organization is in trouble, deep trouble.

Your question (wrapped in a somewhat passive-aggressive tortilla) is, "Why should I care"? Because the failure of the WBCCI serves no positive purpose for me as a vintage owner. And clearly, the kind of energy necessary to change the WBCCI is not going to come from within, not when the grievance process is used to squelch dissent, not when the Byzantine rules and regulations restrict the abilities of rank-and-file membes to have a voice, not when a handful of leaders at the International control the organization and profit from this position, and, Gary, not when apologists like you have your blue-beret covered heads in the sand.

I know this is difficult to understand, Gary, but my criticism is because I don't want to see the WBCCI fail. And I don't want to join because giving the WBCCI $75 is like throwing another shot glass of gasoline onto the fire. The faster the WBCCI burns through its cash reserves, the faster the membership rolls drop, the faster the current organizational model becomes utterly unsustainable and the lack of resources denies the leadership their perquisites, the faster we come to a point where the organization can be saved. And if it can't be saved, it can die so the Airstream community can migrate to something else.

Now, it is possible, Gary, that people are so coked to the gills on Wally-lore and so completely stiff-necked that they would rather see the WBCCI fail than change. Or it may simply be that they think 2500 of the "right people" are better than 25,000 trailer rabble who want to engage in some 21st century camping. I don't know.

Thanks, Gary, but who know Rob is. We know who Frank is. And unlike you, I think many of us take Rob and Frank and their words. Speculating that they are really sulking like children over something that happened in Madison shows a lack of respect for them.

Is the WBCCI life or death? No, and it's a silly suggestion. But Rob and Frank have taken the WBCCI seriously, and they've come to a point where they cannot, in good faith, remain members of the club. This isn't the WBCCI forums; this is the Airstream community. These gentlemen have the right to explain their decision to other members of the community. I think this is outstanding because it continues to ratchet up the pressure on the WBCCI to evolve.
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Old 12-22-2009, 06:36 AM   #208
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Why I left!

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Remember the target is the IBT- -because they control and maintains the bylaws.
That is right - my target is the IBT. I did not quit.. trust me, just getting going against them... and the tree can be cut from the outside too!

The IBT's center of gravity is $$$$$

Their critical vulnerability is membership (when you give them your $55 or whatever they raise it too (interesting they aren't thinking like "I wonder if we cut it to $40 a year how many would join)) and INTERNATIONAL as when you pay (for me) $600 to attend, just to get in the gates, you are further saying "I support you all and what you are doing....

If $55 a year went to WDCU and $1 to Corporate, I'd never have left... no way. But it doesn't... hell, I'd pay WDCU $100 a year for what I get.. but that's not the point. I don't support what the IBT is doing and REFUSE to give them my support. And $$$ is the only thing they care about.

Well, I don't. Staying and trying to work from the inside, won't work people. I'd had alot of emails where people outright say I'll continue to beat my head against the wall - Wally - wall, maybe it fits? But I'm not gonna.

We're working on a new club - one where you shouldn't have to beat your head against a wall - why would you want too. Will the new club happen, time will tell.

Many have told me, I'll join! That is great. But many say they won't leave the WBCCI until another option is out there.. that is also your prerogative. Many were working and thinking of defecting but have changed their mind as well - and that's ok too... if you think you can change it from within, keep on trying.. all tactics will help in the long run.

Just keep up the pressure.

Good job everyone!

Rob

PS - Gary, I resigned from the VAC before Madison, all because of being messed with after Bozeman, after I was skipped over with someone that was not even on the board to replace my moving up, after being asked if I wanted to move up and said Hell Yes, but was replaced because 1. I hadn't been to an International 2. That I did not have the ability to plan and lead a parade of vintage into International and 3. That I wasn't attending because I was recalled to active duty and couldn't make it to Bozeman.. I slept on that decision for about 320 days.... the VAC has it's many issues too, but this is about the IBT.
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Old 12-22-2009, 08:13 AM   #209
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Leo - a question

Leo,

When you're booted from the WBCCI very shortly, by a club that takes your money but doesn't listen to you, will you be joining our cause?

Now, I can't go to your Pocono Rally, but what happens when you are booted? Will it become a non WBCCI rally? Then I'll be there!

When do we hear of your fate? ...with all those points you just made, wow - a CAMPING club should NEVER be like that.

Rob
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Old 12-22-2009, 08:54 AM   #210
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Thanks Leo & Rob

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Originally Posted by robandzoe View Post
Leo,

When you're booted from the WBCCI very shortly, by a club that takes your money but doesn't listen to you, will you be joining our cause?

Now, I can't go to your Pocono Rally, but what happens when you are booted? Will it become a non WBCCI rally? Then I'll be there!

When do we hear of your fate? ...with all those points you just made, wow - a CAMPING club should NEVER be like that.

Rob
This is a good example of two people that have been there, done that. And are taking different routes to make a change.

The other contributors that are on the fence about joining, outside of the fence or buiding higher one should have some idea what this club does before joining.
It is a RV/travel trailer club that organizes rallys, caravans and other social related events. The vintage group does the same with more emphasis on history, restoration and travelling vintage.

If you do not like these kinds of activities do not join. If you think it is all about the negativity offered up by the group that does not even have an interest in joining the club you are wrong.

The club has problems now and Leo & Rob are working at two different ways to fix the problem. At least they have been there.
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Old 12-22-2009, 09:41 AM   #211
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Greetings from the Florida Panhandle

I have been carefully watching this thread with great interest.

We are WBCCI members, and have been since getting into Airstreaming four years ago. We love our Lucy and have used her extensively, more than we ever thought that we would. In the past 3+ years, we have pulled Lucy over 50,000 miles, and have spent 550 nights in her. Lucy has visited all of the lower 48 States. I mention these facts to show that we are avid Airstreamers, and not some once-in-a-whilers.

We have been to several Airstream Rallies, both AIR and Wbcci. They were OK, but not really our cup of tea. We are not unfriendly folks, but we are not congregators, and do not feel the need to "herd" with other Airstreamers. As far as participating in an Airstream caravan is concerned, I would just as soon have a root canal.

We have decided to remain WBCCI members for several reasons. We like to have the flexibility to attend a WBCCI event or rally whenever and wherever we please. We like being able to camp at the various Airstream-only campgrounds. The rates for WBCCI members are very favorable. This benefit alone pays for most of our membership. We also really like the big red numbers, and feel that Lucy would not look like herself without them. Although, Lucy also proudly displays her blue AIR numbers.


They don't have to because the WBCCI is structured in such a manner that the IBT is all-powerful and the rank-and-file members are meaningless. The members-at-large issue is a prime example. Here is a Club where a significant portion of the dues-paying membership does not have a vote. That is downright stupid! Along the same line, if the WBCCI were one member, one vote, the IBT knows that they would be out on their ear in the next election.

We plan to remain WBCCI members, and not abandon the Club. I think that much of what the Club does is stupid, and I want to be in a position to complain.

Brian
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Old 12-22-2009, 10:12 AM   #212
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I too have been watching this thread, and resisted replying until now. Brian, I am in agreement with you. The cost of membership has it's benefits, and entitles you to speak-out within the club and not as an outsider.

As you can see by the signature, we are involved with our local Unit and that's where the fun really is. We enjoy planning and attending those rallies. The bigger ones are pretty much the same and after this year we'll take a hard look at our attendance there.

I encourage every member to try a caravan if you are able to devote the time and money. We were on the Nor' by Nor' East this year and had a great time. This is after all, the WB Caravan Club I. That's what it needs to focus on for the future. (Brian, we'll talk at the Can-Opener.)

The club is facing some challenges ahead, and I want to be a part of the solution. Throwing your hands in the air and walking away from everything you have worked for is not an option for me.

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Old 12-22-2009, 10:27 AM   #213
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Old 12-22-2009, 10:38 AM   #214
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The members-at-large issue is a prime example. Here is a Club where a significant portion of the dues-paying membership does not have a vote.
In the past five years, the members voted down both the name change (thanks Leo) and SOB motions (thanks Leo).
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Old 12-22-2009, 10:42 AM   #215
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Like Brian and Suellen we are avid travelers—in half the time (2 years vs. 4) we have covered about 23,000 miles and though I haven't counted the states we have visited, it is more than 30 plus 3 provinces. We have invested thousands of dollars in improvements to our Safari. Through the forum we have met some members of each group—Forum and WBCCI—personally and enjoyed making new friends.

Because our time is limited and we mostly like to travel on our own, we have few opportunities to attend rallies and a caravan is just not our way to travel—something worse than a root canal. Nonetheless, I check out the rally calendar, but our schedule usually conflicts with them. One we were looking forward to last August with the NorCal group suddenly became impossible, not only because of our schedules but because I had to attend a settlement conference over a nuisance lawsuit at the same time. I have noticed that since we live in the relatively sparsely populated west, there are simply fewer rallies to attend unless we want to drive 1,000 miles to get to a rally. That means a week driving both ways just to get there.

Since the WBCCI wants to attract new members, I would think the leaders and supporters would want to know how nonmembers look at the WBCCI.

When we first bought our trailer, I looked into what was being said about the group by members and former members. Those members include those who are avid supporters. A lot of what was said is negative: the leadership cares not for the members, the leadership is out of touch, the leadership is wasting money and running the club at constant deficits, the members are leaving in droves, the membership has shrunk from more than 20,000 to less than 6,000, rallies of many units are more like the 1950's than the present day, voting is stacked against change, only retirees are welcome, new members are not welcomed, those who speak out are quashed, and on and on.

Why would most people want to join such an organization?

I know positive things are also said: we have friends in our units, our unit is progressive and informal, ignore the leaders because our unit is different, there are more WBCCI rallies than Forum rallies, honor the history of the WBCCI, and honor Wally Byam by joining the Club.

So, we have to look at the pros and cons. First of all, a lot of people say what Wally would want, but Wally himself hasn't said anything in decades, so I don't know what he'd think of the present WBCCI. I have no problem with the history of the Club, but the present counts more. We have made friends through the Forum and although I don't doubt the 4CU is progressive and informal, slowly we meet people in that group as time permits. More rallies would be nice because it means more opportunities to meet Airstream people, but this is not a deal breaker.

On the other side, is the widely acknowledged mess that the leadership has made of the Club. I repeat: [I]Avid supporters acknowledge the leadership is doing a bad job.[I] To join this organization is to support that bad management, attempts to silence critics and pay for unsustainable deficits made by and for others. I also note that some supporters try to silence any criticism on this Forum or simply discount what is said—is that going to attract new members? I know it means we will not be attending the annual meeting and seeing hundreds of Airstreams in one place, but I wouldn't want to pay the high fees for that anyway.

If we had joined the WBCCI several years ago and made friends through that membership and had the time to attend more rallies, maybe we would feel differently. I fully understand why Brian and others want to stay in the group. Maybe the possible increase in dues would not drive us out of the Club if things were different, but I would still be irritated by it.

The fact is to me that the WBCCI is not an attractive option to nonmembers and many of the supporters are not doing anything that will attract new members. I truly wish it were different, but it isn't. There are now, through the Forum, different options and Airstreamers are taking those options while WBCCI members are voting with their feet and leaving. I see no reason why this will change.

Gene
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Old 12-22-2009, 10:49 AM   #216
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I too agree with Moosetags and silvercabin,and applaude Rob & Frank for getting people talking (mad as hell and not taking it any more). I will continue to talk change to our membership. Also as President with a Nation Rally I'm going to be the 1 vp's best friend , if they like it or not. I've haven't hit my head against the glass ceiling yet so I'm going to still fight for change from the inside.
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Old 12-22-2009, 10:49 AM   #217
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Seems like we meet more members of this forum on the road than WBCCI folk.
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Old 12-22-2009, 01:21 PM   #218
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It has really all been said--so many times, in so many ways and from every possible angle--ad nauseum. The WBCCI is a wreck, we hear that, and the status quo cannot be tolerated. It would seem that the mere history, here, warrants the effort to resolve the issues. We cannot be the only ones who simply don't know enough to know who to contact, how to reach them, etc., and these Forums are reaching a lot of people.

How about a new thread pertaining strictly to Saving the WBCCI? No pissing and moaning about what is wrong with the WBCCI allowed, (that can still be done for those who must on this and other threads) but an action plan for starting to bring about needed change. Seriously!! This notion has been partially addressed but something separate and concise that interested but unknowledgeable persons can go to, where you do not have to wade through all of this stuff to try to figure out what you can do!

There is a month or so before the IBT meets, during which time members can lobby the relevant parties regarding the most important issues. We will be reading and watching and will do what we can, but we need guidance.

Let's have an action plan!!
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Old 12-22-2009, 01:29 PM   #219
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Good luck

Doug and Maggie,

Good luck with that... as all I can say is communication from the member to the IBT is one way - you to them... THEY do not reply. And if you do, they'll just say, I agree with your points but all I'm doing is banging my head against the wall..

It's gonna be like boot camp... where you break the individual, and rebuild...the WBCCI has to be broken and then rebuilt. How to do this is easy - make them run out of money ( don't give them your money and BOYCOTT International ) .. they'll dip into the treasury one last time and will have to CHANGE or dissolve...

As far as two way communication.. we though the new WBCCI forums was to be the tool - but alas, that is NOT the case.

I'll be watching too... eagerly.

Rob
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Old 12-22-2009, 01:41 PM   #220
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