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Old 06-10-2016, 08:03 PM   #1
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WBCCI Doesn't want New Members ?

I am new to Airstream and really never have been big on joining clubs. With this said, my wife and I have been debating whether or not to join the local Airstream club. We heard that the National Rally was in WV this year. only 5 hours away and we thought we would check it out and if we liked it, we would join. I called WBCCI and talked to Julie and she informed me that the rally was for members only. I explained our situation and she said that she was sorry but only members could attend. She advised me to call our local Chapter and surely they could help me because I could come as a friend of someone in the club. I called the local Chapter and was told "No Way" would they let me come as a friend of one of the members but I could join and then would be able to go. I explained I would like to check out the whole scene first and than make a decision. He informed me that no one would sponsor me. Well, joining the WBCCI North Carolina Chapter is out of the question with people like this.
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Old 06-10-2016, 08:12 PM   #2
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The West Virginia International was sold out as of May 15th. We have 750 units coming, which exceeds the capacity of the State Fairground, where it will be held. When we had more space available, we had some Internationals that were "buddy rallies" where potential members could come, after paying the rally fees. This year is different. Sorry to disappoint you. Visit you local unit rallies and see if your impression remains the same. If it does, try a different unit. All units have their own personalities, based on the members' wishes.
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Old 06-10-2016, 08:17 PM   #3
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When a club treats a rally like an AGM and doesn't encourage new prospects to visit, I think they've lost the plot.
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Old 06-10-2016, 08:19 PM   #4
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Thanks for the Info

I know it was full I had found a Campground about 20 miles away, just wanted to attend for the weekend. He still said no one would sponsor me.
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Old 06-10-2016, 08:22 PM   #5
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Think of the International Rally as primarily a business meeting with a few added-on activities. It's not generally the kind of thing you want to attend if your goal is to get into the WBCCI thing. Rather, you'd want to join into a local unit's rallies.

That said, the many units of the WBCCI are all over the place in terms of their personalities, so if one unit doesn't strike your fancy, some other will.

Nor is it the case that you must join a unit that is physically close. You can join any unit, anywhere in the US, Canada, Europe. As a member, you are welcome to attend any rally from any other unit.


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Old 06-10-2016, 08:25 PM   #6
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We heard that the National Rally was in WV this year. only 5 hours away and we thought we would check it out and if we liked it, we would join. I called WBCCI and talked to Julie and she informed me that the rally was for members only. I explained our situation and she said that she was sorry but only members could attend.
That's unfortunate. I'm told that part of the problem is the venue just has no space left for any more attendees. I don't think anyone was really prepared for the number of attendees who have signed up, which is close to double what they had last year in New Mexico.

I can't speak about the North Carolina Unit's refusal to help you out; it may have more to do with the rally already being fully booked more than any lack of desire to help you out— but if that was the case they should have said so. In any event, please don't let that one experience sour you on club membership.

Let me suggest this as an alternative… There is an AirForums rally at Georgia Mountains Fairgrounds in October. See this thread: http://www.airforums.com/forums/f288...-a-145491.html
A number of WBCCI members will be there, many of whom are from the Southeastern Camping Unit (SECU). If you can come to that rally— which does not have WBCCI membership as a prerequisite for attendance— you can meet a bunch of WBCCI members face-to-face in a more relaxed setting and find out if WBCCI is right for you. You never know, SECU might be a good fit for you. I'm not a member of SECU yet, but as soon as my term as president of the Greater New Orleans Unit is over, I'll be transferring my membership to SECU.
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Old 06-10-2016, 08:37 PM   #7
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Let's travel. I'm sorry this happened to you.

It's sounds like a little something got lost in translation . (I have not been to International)

So International is the grand pooba of WBCCI Rally's for members only. (They did have buddy space in the past but no longer). Sign ups for the various members have long since filled up. So even if you joined your local group now International is already full.

The WBCCI office helper really mislead you by saying go with your local chapter as she should have known there was no room.

In the past there were one time pay day passes for events. But possibly still member only.

You may likely visit (camp) with your group or others (after International) at their next gathering. We camped with our local group for a 3 night event. After that we needed to decide if we would like to join WBCCI in order to camp with our group again.

International would likely not give you a very good representation of how a local Rally goes anyway.

You can also join at large and not pick a unit or join several.

It's like any group you join weather it's the golf group, book club, bridge group, needlework etc. It's the people, their attitudes, activities and discussions that will make of break it for you.

Give it another chance it's fun.
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Old 06-10-2016, 09:01 PM   #8
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Okay, camping for the rally is full. Unfortunate, but reality. But...what's preventing them from being hospitable and having an open house for prospective members/interested parties?
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Old 06-11-2016, 12:34 AM   #9
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Okay, camping for the rally is full. Unfortunate, but reality. But...what's preventing them from being hospitable and having an open house for prospective members/interested parties?
Lack of parking for non-registered attendees? Lack of time in the rally schedule to hold one? Lack of a room that's not already booked solid with seminars and meetings? Lack of enough non-members expressing an interest to justify the effort of setting it up?

Fixating on the International doesn't really give you a representative sample of the club anyway. The International is once a year, and it's a business meeting with a rally wrapped around it, as eubank said. The first two years I was with the club, I did not attend the International, and didn't feel like I missed anything. Last year I did, and this year I will, because I'm a Unit officer and I feel that I have an obligation to attend and represent my Unit at the Delegates' Meeting. But starting next year, my attendance at International Rallies will be entirely optional, and I'll only attend if it's in a location I'd travel to anyway. The International rallies aren't exactly my cup of tea. Too big, too businesslike. But I still like the club the rest of the time.

The Unit level is where most of the rallies happen— on a smaller scale, with a less rigid schedule of events, at a lower cost, and much greater frequency. There is only one International a year, but there are probably over a hundred Unit rallies every year all over the country. Some are even designated as "buddy" rallies where members are encouraged to bring guests such as yourself. And as long as you belong to WBCCI, no matter what Unit you're in— or even if you're a member-at-large belonging to no unit at all— that's an automatic invitation to attend any Unit's rallies, anytime, anywhere. All you have to do is contact the rally organizer listed in the club magazine "Blue Beret" (also available online) to let him know you're coming, and make your reservation. Some Unit rallies have limited attendance due to the venue, but most rallies don't set attendance limits.

I encourage you to get your first real taste of the club at the Unit level, not the International level. After all, even at the International, I think that most club members are more likely to hang out with the people they already know from their own unit than they are to seek out total strangers to hang out with. The Unit level is where most things happen.
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Old 06-11-2016, 01:08 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lets travel View Post

I am new to Airstream and really never have been big on joining clubs. With this said, my wife and I have been

debating whether or not to join the local Airstream club. We heard that the National Rally was in WV this year. only 5 hours away and we thought

we would check it out and

if we liked it, we would join. I called WBCCI and talked to Julie and

she informed me that the rally was for members only. I explained our situation and she said that she was sorry but

only members could attend. She advised me to call our local Chapter and surely they could help me because I could come as a friend of someone in the club. I called the local Chapter and was told

"No Way" would they let me come as a friend of one of the members

but I could join and then would be able to go. I explained I would like to check out the whole scene first and than make a decision.

He informed me that no one would sponsor me. Well, joining the WBCCI North Carolina Chapter is out of the question with people like this.

Hi, first impressions are lasting impressions. Run Forest, run. WBCCI doesn't want you and their responses were rude. Too bad you had to hear all of the reasons/excuses on this forum instead of Julie passing the buck to a dead end road.
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Old 06-11-2016, 01:45 AM   #11
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Old 06-11-2016, 01:55 AM   #12
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Doesn't the VAC usually have an 'open house' during international?

I would agree, I don't think international sounds like the place to find out what the club is really like. However, I think your local unit let you know what their unit is like! Which is too bad, because the fun units are awesome! Just not everybody can be lucky enough to live close to a fun unit.
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Old 06-11-2016, 05:09 AM   #13
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I'm in the WNC chapter, and they are great people. I would suggest contacting them, we joined last year, and they made us feel welcome, and it was great being around people who share the same interest as owning an airstream. Very passionate people. I can understand having a club for airstreams only, since a lot of people with SOBs don't understand, and look down upon air streamers. We've had a couple condensating opinions about our airstream, I don't really respond, but, I do think to myself, mine will still be here, when theirs is gone. Don't give up on the thought of a club, for like minded individuals. I'm not into clubs either, tried a couple of car clubs, with less than stellar results, but with the WBCCI, at least on the local level, has been great, so far. We haven't been to any larger gatherings, yet, but perhaps we will, also, perhaps we will run into you, at one. Don't give up, just because of one perceived negative situation.
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Old 06-11-2016, 05:31 AM   #14
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And I am in the Carolinas Unit 021, also a great bunch of people who love being with each other. We started out in a unit here in NC that was not so good, so we switched units. YMMV

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Old 06-11-2016, 05:45 AM   #15
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Hello, Lets travel.

You mention not being big on joining clubs. Knowing that can actually serve you well. I'd suggest the replies you've seen here each come from somewhere on the spectrum of "not big on clubs" to "raging fan of clubs". And depending on where one is on that spectrum, one will interpret the scenario you described differently (as you've seen).

If you're not a big fan of clubs, it's probably best not to bother. If you join, you're going to see all the crap you're not a fan of and be out some cash and time.

As someone who is ok with clubs (and typing this from a rally in the Berkshires the morning after presiding over one suhweet campfire last night &#128512 I had a few reactions:

1) it might be interesting if WBCCI had something like that at Int'l - a seminar or meet and greet for those interested in checking things out

2) it may be really smart that they don't. This is apparently a big business meeting wrapped in aluminum - and see point 3 below. Not the best way to attract members.

3) one really joins a local unit and experiences the club from that perspective. Local units are as different as the people in them. I happen to love the unit I'm in because the people are outstanding (including my wife and me &#128512

4) units sometimes do "buddy rallies" exactly for the purpose you mentioned and because of point 3 above, that's something I would recommend exploring - but honestly, only if you were more in to joining clubs, otherwise, it's not a good use of your time.

That's one guy's $0.02 - everyone's mileage varies. If we happen to meet someday at a campsite, we can have a mini rally 😀

Happy camping (with or without a club)
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Old 06-11-2016, 06:24 AM   #16
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I want to go to a concert. It's sold out. I want in anyway to just look around. So do several hundred more. The facility is filled to the max. I will never listen to that artist again. It's all about me.
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Old 06-11-2016, 10:21 AM   #17
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We joined and didn't attend a rally for over 2 years. We decided to try it, if we didn't like it we would drop our membership.
We are also in the Carolina's Unit, hard for me to believe any officer was that blunt. Having said that what have you got to loose? $80. Let me say we have now been to 4 rallys and can't wait until the next one. I can assure you, you are missing a very good time and a whole lot of new great people. More than worth the annual dues.
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Old 06-11-2016, 11:25 AM   #18
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we went to the International when it was in Perry, GA. Walked in and all around, saw this, talked to them, etc. reinforced my earlier personal experience that it was not a club I'd want to join. The Vintage club folks were friendly and welcoming though.
That said the above mentioned Rally in October is pretty well full ( call the campground anyway and see for yourself) , but still has lots of campsites across the road that will be available, and we welcome anyone to join our tours, meals, and campfires. Meet and chat with any of the 100 or so people that will be there.
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f288...-a-145491.html

We have been doing these since 2002...y'all come
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Old 06-11-2016, 12:31 PM   #19
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Consider yourself lucky. It's the stodgiest club ever. They dislike anyone who is not exactly like them. They have a million and one stupid rules, even laws on how flags should be displayed on your trailer. Also if you are living an "alternative" they are not real friendly. These people are stuck back in the decades that they are emulating.
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Old 06-11-2016, 12:31 PM   #20
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I agree that International is NOT the place to get the best sense of what WBCCI is all about for rank and file members. We attended Farmington last year because of it's proximity to us and we had never been to one ... it's basically a business meeting. It will be some time before we do another one. That said, we LOVE our unit and our members and the rallies are great... and that's why we remain members ... They should have handled your inquired better...I'm sorry you were not treated with more respect and encouragement.
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