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Old 06-25-2003, 06:21 AM   #81
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Exclamation Try it before you knock it!

It is imperative that people read the whole thread before casting judgement!

If folks would read this whole thread from the beginning they would see that I too was concerned that maybe I was in the wrong crowd so I came to this forum and asked for a concensus, (with open mind I might add).

I felt that for the price of the membership, (free), I could try it out for a year and see for myself.

After nine months as a member, I am proud to say that I am fortunate to be member of one of the largest and most diverse units within the WBCCI. The WBCCI is made up of all walks of life just like Harley Davidson.

There is no one knocking on my trailer door on Sunday morning trying to drag me to "Devotion" and never once has any of my fellow unit members said a word about it. For the record, I have never attended a Sunday service at a rally and I have never felt snubbed or judged because of it either. My nine year old son does enjoy the service if that is any indication of how loose the service is. There is no revival or baptism going on at these services just a simple thanks and prayer to our creator.

The WBCCI is the largest organized camping organization in the WORLD! They were also the first.

My wife and I have consumed alcohol at every rally event that I have attended and never felt looked down upon by other members.

I am saddened to see that there are a few units that have dissolved but for every one that dissolves a new one is established.

The WBCCI was instrumental in building the phenom of the Airstream and will always be the Airstream endorsed club. We are not talking about a few thousand members here, we are talking tens of thousands including ten thousand in europe alone.

Airstreaming is rapidly regaining its notoriety in the world. I am certain that you folks have noticed that every time you turn on the television there is a new company using Airstreams in their commercials. GMC is the latest that I have seen.

Time marches on and with that comes evolution. Dont knock it until you have tried it! If it does not suit you at first, become active in the evolution of the club. The WBCCI is very large and strong. It is growing every day.

WBCCI is for the whole family and it is a safe, clean, organized way of camping.

I say to thee, come one come all and enjoy the WBCCI

Smily
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Old 06-25-2003, 06:57 AM   #82
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try this on...

Ok, guys... interesting thread. We belong to WBCCI and have for about three years now. We've owned Airstreams since 1987, but didn't join until 2000. We attended the International Rally in Sioux Falls in 2000.

<soapbox on>

Here's my perspective... the Sioux Falls rally was an unmitigated disaster. We are in our late 40s and have teenage kids and have many years to go to retire.

The folks running the parking didn't pay any attention to us as we arrived on Friday night after the Int'l started on Monday. We were very disappointed when we merely tried to find out what to do. There was no one to tell us as first timers where to go. We had little or nothing in common with most of the folks in attendance. The entertainment was abysmal. The 'clinics' weren't relevent.

Then we hooked up with the Vintage group. My kids hooked up with other kids their ages. We started talking about Airstreams with folks. We ended up having a nice time. I met the last surviving charter members of WBCCI who toured around the world with the Byams. I learned things from some of the 'old timers' I couldn't have learned anywhere else.

So... where do I stand on WBCCI? The club will become what we make of it. I don't care for the full-week rallys as we can't attend. The newsletters are dated and kind of stale. There's a bunch of folks in their '70s and older who are struggling trying to keep it going doing what they've always done. We almost didn't renew our membership this year, but... after thinking it over for a very long time, we renewed and I'm glad we did.

If we want WBCCI to meet the needs of the boomers and younger folks into the future, we have to join, and become active. The officers in the local chapters influence what happens nationally. So, if the club isn't meeting your needs, but you want to be part of an international Airstream club, let's see what you can do to update the organization. If you don't belong, you can't help fix the problem.

So, join the club. The dues aren't THAT expensive. Using places like this forum, let's make the club relevent again!

<soapbox off>

Roger
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Old 06-25-2003, 07:17 AM   #83
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Jury is still out, but I will say it isn't looking very promising. One reason is that most of the groups from my take are retirees or empty nesters (understanding that there are other that are not, but they seem to be in the minority). Don't misread me, there is nothing wrong with that at all, it's just that being a 30 something, we're in a bit of a gen gap and place in life.... Second, there are just as many bad stories as there are good ones. Third, if I went soley by the newsletters, the folks in it seem like nice people, but I've watched paint dry and had a better time hammering stakes into my feet!

Last is the fact of all the friction I have been hearing about among the different groups. Locals not liking to mix with the main WBCCI and the opposite. Some of the comments on this are in this very thread I believe.

In the end I have about 6 months to make the final call and perhaps I might make one trip to check out the scene, but it's hard not to hear the undercurrent of issues and frankly, I don't want to get into the politics of being the young folks there trying to add some spice, that is sort of my job all day long, change, change, change.

Eric
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Old 06-25-2003, 09:30 AM   #84
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A few of the younger members and I had an informal get together after a unit luncheon a few weeks ago. We decided that we will be doing some local weekend rally's during the time when the unit has nothing official scheduled. These will be based much like the airstreamfourm rallys that you see popping up.

A minimum of organization, no seminars, tours, or other agendas other than a community campfire, tours of our units, and maybe a pot luck. This is camping as I know it and will keep the younger folks hopefully engaged and interested in the club. We also will go to camping sites that don't resemble parking lots.

This idea was bounced off one of the older unit officers and he thought it was a great idea. He noted this is the way it used to be but noted that it evolved into the current heavy scheduled agenda as the members all got older.

Our unit officers do recoginize that changes will have to be made in structure and content of our events to attract the younger member who eventually will be running the show in the future.
Personally I think there is enough room for us all to cater to those who like the current structure and those of us who would like to see less formality.

Bottom line I want to see the organization survive since I believe one of the best things we can do through WBCCI is to give direction to Airstream on current and future products. I think we carry the ability to lobby Airstream that really hasn't been used up to this point.

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Old 06-25-2003, 09:53 AM   #85
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I like the informal rallys that are at non parking lot campgrounds. The midwest rally was a really great time and that is exactly how I feel it should be. It is a real shame that it was that way and got so top heavy.

I even more strongly agree that with the numbers comes power to help shape Airstream. I'm not sure what level can be attained regarding orginization of such a group, but the current regime seems far out of touch to be effective at all at such a feat, let alone taking apart the bureaucracy that it seems to have become over the years.

Another observation is that it's current form has gone on far too long and turned off a bunch of folks already. At any rate it is going to be one heck of a feat to change the status quo to change some of the perceptions. If attending side rallys is it, I'm all for it!

Just my observation.

Eric
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Old 06-25-2003, 09:54 AM   #86
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Jack...

Well said.

Roger
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Old 06-25-2003, 10:49 AM   #87
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tolerance

I am an 54 year old empty nester with 4 successful grown chidren, I wish they were still at home, those were to date the best days of my life.

Now that it is just me and the dog at 54, I enjoy listening to enlightened, that means what I am interested in stuff like most folks, not smart or some other high minded talk, but when I run in to someone I don't care for I just go somewhere else and find someone I choose to talk to.

I tolerate those of other minds and oblige there right to their opinions, frankly it is what I was taught growing up and it works for me.

Maybe some of the older members are not with it to me, while some are, but they deserve the right to be who they are just as any of us do and you don't have to be bible toter to listen and give everyone a listen and move on done the line. Sometimes you have to give respect to get some...a little preachy so I apologize in advance, learned that from dealing with my own children who are from the bottom line generation....jem
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Old 06-25-2003, 02:46 PM   #88
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Re: tolerance

Quote:
Originally posted by zduke4x

Maybe some of the older members are not with it to me, while some are, but they deserve the right to be who they are just as any of us do and you don't have to be bible toter to listen and give everyone a listen and move on done the line. Sometimes you have to give respect to get some
No doubt there are obvious needs and expectations that the organization sucessfully brings to many of the older members. The handwriting is on the wall and WBCCI numbers continue to fall. I respect the traditions and practices in place today....but there is room to change and it can be done in a dual mode that may satisfy the needs of the younger members also. The growth of the Vintage group says a lot.

Quite honestly its easy to stand back and complain, but if you want the organization to change you are going to have to expend some personal time and effort and step up to the plate. Talk won't do it. Actions will.

I'm still working so I do what I can for the unit (Webmaster), but I'm not the person who has the time like the retired folks do. Those who step forward to serve are the one's controlling the future of their local unit and the International organization. We will work on the informal rally side, which takes minor effort, and see if we can preserve the younger membership coming into the unit.

As noted earlier we have no obstructionists in our local unit. I'm very appreciative of that attitude and hope that others have experienced the same level of cooperation that we have seen.

But Jack has three issues that he won't compromise on. One, you won't ever see me wearing any beret. Two, no big red numbers on my pretty A/S (I was chastized by a member at a Regional Rally). Three, I won't buy yours if your numbers left a shadow on your otherwise nice used unit. Yea, I guess I'm showing my age!

Jack
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Old 06-25-2003, 03:34 PM   #89
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Thumbs up My sentiments exactly Jack!

Quote:
Quite honestly its easy to stand back and complain, but if you want the organization to change you are going to have to expend some personal time and effort and step up to the plate. Talk won't do it. Actions will.
We are involved with both WBCCI & the VAC intragroup and are 43/47 and still working. We and others in our unit are trying to bring the two closer together so every rally has a vintage (read: younger, for the most part) contingent. The older folks have welcomed us with open arms...especially when they see our eagerness to participate and "hang out" with them. Yeah, we have different ideas of what the club has to offer...some raise an eyebrow or two with all our "fussing" with polishing and restoration projects...but just as often, we get the "Boy, that looks nice...if I was younger, I'd like to have one like that" comments. And we often wonder why everybody gets up & goes to bed so early.

People need to get past the "entertain me" mentality...it's what you put into it.

If you have never even been to a rally...how can you complain? Usually it's only the whiners and squeaky wheels that get heard...

Okay, enough of my soapbox...

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Old 06-25-2003, 03:51 PM   #90
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That's " fussin', " young lady.

Kids today!! Drink too much.... can't spelll
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Old 06-25-2003, 04:07 PM   #91
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WBCCI reflects the ages of a majority of the members I suspect...

It is not my wish to change the members and/or WBCCI. The problem is the club does not seem to meet our travel needs/wishes.

The club seems to have moved off-road -- into restaurant meetings, rallys, and "caravans" to desert locations to pick up artifacts...AZ here.

This is not the heartbreak of our lives BUT really I (and to some extent Brenda ) had the vision of being in a caravan of Airstreams to some place interesting/scenic. Want to pose the Airstreams in Banff, Glacier, Estes, Sequoias, WI Dells, Fargo

We are both 64; have been retired 10 years and are definitely bored. We would like the comaradrie of a group, the safety of a group, but for us the "folderol"--berets, pins, blue blazer officers is not the biggy.

AND I am with the resale point of WBCCI #s leaving shadows....I imagine we will be selling ours in the next 6 years....

I might be able to do the number installation if "they" would approve it in the windows front/rear.

I don't wish to see a tradition disappear--WBCCI. I think Wally had a good idea.
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Old 06-25-2003, 04:51 PM   #92
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The numbers are nice, but I also have to admit that I am not going to put them on my new to me MH. The paint is in good shape and I do not wat to mess it up. Besides I put them on my current MH and they are peeling off anyhow.

I have seen many compromises on the issue. Most of them are to use a plexiglass square with a couple of suction cups. We have a member that does not wear his numbers unless parked at a rally, then he pulls out the board and suction cups it to the front stone guard. The back numbers are on a plexi board as well and displayed in his rear window. I have also seen this done on MH's with the board being attached to the inside of the Passenger side windshield down low to not block the drivers view.

Many members I have spoken to have said "I will put the numbers on if Airstream or WBCCI is going to fix any damage they do" We know how that will work out.

As to the caravans, all I can say is ask some of the caravan leaders where they are planning to go. Many of them get notes that say we are looking for a caravan to __________, do you know if one is in the planning?

Or you could take a caravan learship class from the club, and create your own. Every rally I attend unit members say hi to friends they made on a caravan. Leading a caravan will not be as much fun as tagging along, but the planning itself (based on my rally planning experience) can be fun too.
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Old 06-25-2003, 05:10 PM   #93
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I'm not sure there is an "entertain me" mentality among the crop of younger crowds. I for one don't expect to be entertained. I believe that most of the younger ones work real hard to be able to afford such luxotrailers and the last thing we all want to do is get into changing something on our vacations (which most of us get so few of as it is). There are some real deep rooted convictions and some real perception issues these clubs have. I'm not sure it's my place to try to change the perceptions that are currently out there or the convictions. I am sure there are nice local groups out there, so please don't take this as a blanket statement for all groups. Also keep in mind that I didn't create the perceptions that are currently out there amongst the gen x'ers. Most of the current administrations have. Also, I forgot to mention some of the costs involved on some of the local rallys I get from the local chapter. Most of these are planned for people with lots of time on thier hands not gen x'er, 30, 40 or 50 somethings that still work.

Someone here said you have to look at it from a 50's perspective. I think that's right if you want to be a part of it, but the times have changed and I don't feel that WBCCI has been or may be able to change with the times-- not saying there are not wonderful people out there either.

To each their own, but I do like hangin' out with you all on side rallys with less structure and will always be a friendly camper to all.

Eric
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Old 06-25-2003, 06:57 PM   #94
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I have a couple comments about the WBCCI, now that I've had a little time to think about it.

Number one, as a 30-somthing who is still working, the caravans are way out of our reach. We work for ourselves and have never even been able to take off a solid week, four or five days away from the business is about the most we can swing. I can't imagine taking weeks or months off to travel around the country. Sounds like a good idea, maybe in another 30 years we can look into that.

One thing that annoyed me about the caravans was I was reading the descriptions in the blue beret and saw one that caught my interest, all the activities were for young people - amusement parks, hiking, fun stuff like that, and it said every trailer participating had to have a person younger than 19. So they were trying to do something specifically for kids, though shutting out those who are young yet child-free. That kind of tweaked me the wrong way, even though we don't have time to attend anyway so it doesn't really matter.

Number two, I just paid my dues in May, when I joined the Oregon Unit. Unfortunately I don't think we're going to get to another rally this year because they are all either conflicting with other plans, or for stuff we didn't care to join them for. So we got our one rally in, and immediately get hit up for next years dues! They said they start collecting for next year in July! So since we paid in May, we're supposed to shell out another $70 now for membership in a club we can see we're probably not going to attend any events in for the rest of the year? My husband was pretty annoyed about that in particular. If we'd waited until July to pay our dues would they have been good until next July?

So I'm just keeping it on my desk for now. We enjoyed the rally a lot and met a lot of nice people, but I'm not sure it's worth shelling out another $70 so we can go to a rally once a year with the local airstreamers. I'm really torn about it. Aside from getting together with other airstreamers, I'm not sure what the WBCCI is offering that makes it worth that kind of money.
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Old 06-25-2003, 08:25 PM   #95
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We also got the free first year, and joined as members-at-large. The local unit meets monthly for breakfast when I'm working. That's fine if you're a retiree. That, and the fact that we were thinking of leaving the area, was enough not to join. But truth be told, I could easily make one breakfast a month and make up the hours in one week. It was as good an excuse as any though.

We recently attended our first rally, a regional. I worked that first day, so we didn't get there until about 7:30PM. There was no one at the check-in, so I left the rig sitting in the road and went lookin'. Found everyone in the hall at the opening ceremony. Got more than a few looks with our black Harley t-shirts, my grey beard and my long hair held back by a black head band with flames. Sure didn't fit with the blazers and berets! LOL! We snuck back out and came across an old couple hobbling to the ceremony on the way back to our rig. I asked him about parking, and he just pointed and mumbled something about a "bullpen." I'd remembered a sign that said bullpen as we came in, pointing down toward where Ricart RV, the Columbus Airstream dealer had a bunch of new trailers and motorhomes parked just off the road.

So we drove down there and backed into the soggy field next to their big new Land Yacht (I sure love 4WD, especially the Low Range when we went to pull out), and went next door to meet the Mayberrys from Ricart. What wonderful friendly folks! Fortunately they had power run WAY out to their unit and they invited us to hook up to it (I hadn't brought the generators). Otherwise, we'd have boondocked with no TV. Should there have been someone at the check-in to handle newbies? Probably. But I don't let little stuff upset me, and can generally figure things out for myself.

As far as numbers on the trailers, we weren't the only ones who didn't have them. I maybe wished we did a little bit, until I walked around and saw how ratty those trailers who've had them removed and replaced with another number looked! It looks like that adhesive eats right through clearcoat and into aluminum! And given that you can "trade" in for a lower number if you work during a factory caravan, there's more than just buying a used trailer to explain a number switch. A low number is important to some members. NO ONE said anything to us about not having them. We'll probably put ours on plexiglas and hang them on the LP tank cover.

We met the members of our local unit (Miami Valley) and did switch from Members At Large there. We joined them as primary and the Cincinnati unit as an associate, or whatever they call it, since they have several rallies just as near us. We had a good time with both groups there and are lookin' forward to rallying with them again.

We had great time. No one said anything about our appearance. As I've experienced for years, many of the old folks wanna tell us about the Harley or Indian they rode. We did find out that we were the subject of much whispered debate at first. I'm 52 and look every bit of that and more. My little wife is 42 and looks 18... she gets carded all the time. The ladies couldn't figure out whether she was my daughter, or I was a dirty old cradle-robber. It was hilarious when they found out she's a grandmother! We don't take offense at that.

From the 'net, I knew they don't publicly drink out of beer bottles/cans, etc. I don't have a problem with sippin' jack or tequila from an insulated Airstream mug... just a little respect for those who don't. There were quite a few young folks, even some with babies, with vintage units. They all parked together and had an open house. Wow! What a nostalgia trip! We won a nice handmade red oak footstool as a door prize from the Appalachian unit that really goes with our wood well. The evening entertainment was what I'd expect for that age group. The scary part was that I knew the words to the old songs! My Mom used to sing them. LOL!

I guess to sum it up, the average age could've been our parents, but we had a great time. When in Rome, do as the Romans do, and you may really enjoy something you never dreamed you would, and find fellowship with those you think you have little in common with. I think that has a lot to do with how we were treated, in turn. I sensed an openness and acceptance to us from everyone there. Maybe a Midwest region is like that and others aren't. I dunno about that, but I do know we had a ball and can't wait to do it again.
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Old 06-26-2003, 05:33 AM   #96
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Roadking Moe

YOU ARE THE MAN!!!!!!!!!!!!

Well put. I hope that there are others that have an open mind as you do and can see how well the story reads under the cover of the book.

We too are the youngest members but the older folks are by far the most understanding. I think it is a fact that Wisdom comes with age and if you dont repsect and understand that you will always be dissatisfied with your surroundings.

Rally on!
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Old 06-26-2003, 05:46 AM   #97
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I think you all have it wrong. I just don't see the benefits. My perceptions were created by some of the groups you all participate in. For each that has been happy, that is great. However, I can point to serveral folks that are not really excited as the others about it. I fully understand that there are always some folks that are hell bent on being unhappy and as such you can't please everyone, but the ratio is fairly dead even some days and to me that seems a bit high and somewhat alarming. I myself have no intention of climbing into a group that's stale or has folks that complain about the numbers not being on the trailer, etc. It's not all that serious to me and I prefer what this forum has allowed us to do. Post, meet when we want and be unstructured. The range of folks is diverse and I have to say great times had by most if not all.

In the end, we may just simply have to agree to disagree on the subject. I have an open mind and I do respect the folks that have walked the planet for more years than I. In the end though, that still does not mean I might want to plunk down $70 (or more) to stick red stickers on my Airstream and not be able to go to most of the formal meets b/c they are either too long or too costly. Perhaps first before you all make comments, you should first take a look at what I think to be the local group has sent my way. It's not ANYTHING like the Utopia some of you all make it out to be that simply needs some young blood in it to change the world. It does not appear to me to be that cut and dry. Perhaps in your neck of the woods it is, but the stuff I get is not very appealing. I fully agree, in concept, it's very appealing, but as usual politics, egos and attitudes may have complicated the vision at some point. Perhaps not everywhere. Lastly, what is under the cover of the book is politics plain and simple should I want to try to change it by becoming a board member or whatever they call it, and speakig soley for myself it's not why I camp and I could not make many of the meetings even if I wanted to run for an office. I have to say, it's kind of funny, the WBCCI kind of reminds me of the waterbuffalo club Fred and Barney were in on the Flintstones with all the hats, numbers, secrect handshakes....etc

Eric
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Old 06-26-2003, 09:39 AM   #98
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As they say Eric, what ever floats your boat.

An interesting aside, we attended our first (and last but I won't go into it in this posting) regional rally this spring. It was my first chance to see the beret wearing folks (guys and gals) during a flag ceremony at the rally opening.

Patty and I smiled at each other as we saw the guys wearing their berets as they marched down the isle. As they sat down every guy ditched the beret and never put them on for the duration of the rally.

That's why I know I won't go anywhere in the organization, maybe a baseball cap but no beret.....

Jack
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Old 06-26-2003, 10:23 AM   #99
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1968 17' Caravel
Battle Ground , Washington
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Eric,

Each unit is made of individuals, so of course every one will be different. I found our Unit to be very warm and welcoming. We spent every meal talking to someone new, and they all had great stories to tell about AS ownership and places they'd travelled. There were a few people there who were a little odd, like one guy who was stuck on details, who spent a half hour telling us how we had to throw away the numbers the WBCCI sent us and have new ones made out of special reflective vinyl and get some expert in Seattle to put them on for us so they'd be perfect - luckily we always had an excuse to escape this helpful individual, we had to go check on the dogs back in the trailer :-)

For us though, one of the best things about clubs is as a way to meet people. Because we work at home, we don't have co-workers, and since we have a mail order business, we never meet our customers face to face. So even though most of the people we met were somewhere between our parents and grandparents in age, we really enjoyed the people. My only problem with the club is how often I will find time to use it, being 30 something and still working. I can totally see your point there.

My Unit has their annual business meeting coming up. I guess we should go and see what they discuss and what they might intend for next year. Maybe we can help influence them to throw in a few more shorter rallys for the working stiffs :-)
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Old 06-26-2003, 11:06 AM   #100
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Bedford , New Hampshire
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Eric,

You probably should know this, yesterday I parked my trailer at the international rally. Doing so I must have driven past 20 different people that aided in my parking. I don't have my numbers on yet. The only person to say anything so far is the fellow who parked me.

He said, "You should think about putting your numbers on your vehicle someplace. Many people are now putting them on a plack in their front window. The only reason I say this is if you have a medical emergency at the rally, the only way we have to find you is with your numbers." Other than that, nothing.

There are some people I want to meet up with and the only way I'll be able to find them is with their numbers. Finding a particular trailer among 1,800 others will be a daunting task.

I'm looking forward to visiting the rally this weekend. I don't think my wife shares my degree interest.
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