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Old 10-11-2003, 07:34 PM   #141
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Petunia and I will probably join the club and give it a try ... we'll join "at large" since we will be fulltiming and not aligned with any particular local club.

We have been receiving the Blue Beret to see what the club is like. We have also joined the Escapees and receive their publication as well.

From what we have seen .. and we may feel differently after we join and participate ... the WBCCI could benefit from a revamp and freshening up.

The Airstream Club seems a bit stuck in the past and mired in this obsesive "Wally Worship". I find it sad that the club has dropped the 1 year free membership for new AS owners because they can't retain them. That speaks volumes.

The Escapees .. on the other hand ... seem to be a "with it and happening" organization of energized RVers. These folks are into everything .. and their publication reflects the enthusiasm of the members.

I actually enjoy "marque type" clubs. For many years I was an active member in the BMW Motorcycle Owners of Amercia (BMWMOA). Again .. another exciting group of people with an excellent monthly publication.

Airstreamers remind me alot of BMW riders .... fanatical about the marque ... a quality marque with a small market share and loyal owners.

I hope I am wrong about the WBCCI .. but I do know of an elderly retired couple (in their 70s) who joined a local group and felt ignored, excluded and isolated by this "clique" .. as they described them. Losing this couple is a big loss to the club ... they are truly fun and interesting folks.

Sorry for the long post ... my fat little fingers are fatigued.
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Old 10-11-2003, 08:07 PM   #142
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Quote:
Originally posted by Porky Pig


Airstreamers remind me alot of BMW riders .... fanatical about the marque ... a quality marque with a small market share and loyal owners.
Apple Computer is the same thing....

I'm one of them crackpots too!

I multitask all my fanatical stuff!

Eric
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Old 10-11-2003, 08:13 PM   #143
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Apple Computer .. good comparison.

I used to own an Apple Computer Dealership back during the good ol' days of the Mac Plus to all the way up to the G3. Finally got out of it in late 2000.
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Old 10-27-2003, 07:31 PM   #144
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A year later

Man,
what a year it has been. This years state rally was a hoot.
I cant believe how much has happened in a year. I was a little wary of maintaining my membership in the WBCCI but now I am going to be a Unit Officer.

See, if you just give it a shot, it will become what you make of of it.
Did I mention that I am only 38 years old?????????

Read this thread from the beginning and maybe your curiosity will be intrigued enough to give it a shot.

Smily
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Old 10-27-2003, 07:49 PM   #145
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No comment!

....by the way, I'm in my early 30s FWIW.....

Eric
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Old 10-28-2003, 12:20 AM   #146
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Thumbs up I'm In!

I was really on the fence until this last rally. In fact, that's why we went, to try and get in one last rally to decide if we should renew or not. And actually, when we drove out to the beach, we had decided to blow off the rally and just enjoy a weekend exploring the beach by ourselves. But then we decided to be social and join in and see how the rally went. It was really fun. People went out of their way to be friendly to us, the previous owners of our trailer were there, we made friends with another couple who were also into Geocaching. And we still spent most of our time wandering around exploring, but when we came home to the trailer there were people to talk to and hear how their day had gone, and tell them about what we saw.

I'd say it increased our enjoyment of this trip quite a bit more than it would have been if it had just been us alone. Not that we mind travelling solo either, which we've done plenty of this summer, but it was fun to be part of a group to come back and hang around with in the evenings too.

So we went ahead and signed up for another year, and of course if they get you for another year, you're probably going to be in it for life Really, the toughest decision was which unit to go with. I guess we're doubly lucky to have two units in our area, WA and OR, both active and with very friendly, welcoming attitudes.

And since we signed up to stay in the WBCCI, I went ahead and coughed up the dough for the VAC membership as well. If you're going to be in, you might as well be in it all the way!
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Old 10-28-2003, 12:41 AM   #147
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In my short tenure on this forum, I don't think I've seen any other Airstream topic that generates as much "spirited" debate as WBCCI participation! [Just an observation.]

My $.02 on the topic...let's not forget the core activity here -- it's all about camping (and, in style)!
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Old 10-28-2003, 03:52 AM   #148
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Yukionna,

The polishing topic is even worse....or better

Hart
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Old 10-28-2003, 06:14 AM   #149
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Talking Drink water

You can drag a horse but..............

I was making a point that it is not just for the retired crowd it is is for all and it is what you make of it!!!!!!!

Smily
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Old 10-28-2003, 06:14 AM   #150
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re; Polishing --

"...Grasshopper, you start with small steps....wax on, wax off."


or,

Like the Sadomasochist said....

"It feels so good when I stop."


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Old 10-28-2003, 07:51 AM   #151
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Those numbers

We joined WBCCI about 7 years ago for a short time. I'm pretty sure pasting your numbers on your coach was a requirement then. Is this still a requirement? They're a bear to get off if you need to take them off...

The clever plexiglass panels that bypass the actual pasting onto the coach are an option as long as I don't have to bolt the things to the coach for traveling.

I'm interested in WBCCI again, but I want to be a baldy!

Scott
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Old 10-28-2003, 08:09 AM   #152
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Wink Not too thirsty....

Quote:
Originally posted by smily
You can drag a horse but..............

I was making a point that it is not just for the retired crowd it is is for all and it is what you make of it!!!!!!!

Smily
My point Smily is that not all local clubs may be as good as yours is....and not a lot of us want to get into the interstate club scene.....perhaps I may make a cameo and give it one last shot in Lansing for some sort of connection, but the local one out here is a total dead issue......

I agree it's what you make of it, but a fair number of us don't have the time to be able to participate and spend all the time needed to make the (IMHO) long overdue changes to some of these regional or local units. Glad to hear all is well in your neck of the woods though....but your unit/chapter is WAY to far for me to be an active member....so I suppose I'll just have to camp instead!

Drink, sure, but the drink has got to be a good one if I'm gonna take a sip....I don't want to have to filter the water, make cubes and work on the mixture of the beverage....it would be nice if the basics were covered first, which is not the case in every bar or.....regional club.



Eric
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Old 10-28-2003, 08:35 AM   #153
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Re: Not too thirsty....

Quote:
Originally posted by Silvertwinkie
perhaps I may make a cameo and give it one last shot in Lansing for some sort of connection......
If you are going to give it "one last shot", I personally would suggest avoiding International -- I think your chances at making "a connection" would be better in a smaller group.
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Old 10-28-2003, 09:29 AM   #154
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I'll second that. If my only exposure to the wally club was my brief visit to the international last year, I probably wouldn't have pursued it any further. Only a couple of very "chance" meetings made the difference.

We felt so out of place wandering around the rally, it wasn't even funny. There we were, pushing an infant in a baby carriage on a 95-degree day, and all we saw were old people. REally old. I mean, people wearing long pants/sleeves, and sweaters in that heat. It really looked like some weird nursing home field day, to me. Nice people...sure....but um...not really my crowd.

Now, after the fact, I found out that those were not the only people in attendance, but because the event is so HUGE, its not surprising that we just didn't happen to run into anyone under the age of 80.

But it just so happened that there were some younger, hipper 'streamers that decided to stay at the very same nearby campground that we did, and we got to chatting. AND we just happened to run into some local club officers, who encouraged us to come to their future rally on Cape Cod....which we were planning on checking out, anyway. At that smaller rally, where we actually attended, and didn't just visit, we made some connections that we found were worth maintaining.

so, I think that's the key: "owning the same make of trailer" isn't enough of a common bond to keep people together in any club; its a good start, but not enough for many. The likelihood of running into the sub-group that does fit, at such a large gathering, is probably pretty slim.
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Old 10-28-2003, 11:07 AM   #155
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Welcome to the New England Unit!

Chuck -- I heard thru the "silver grapevine" that you not only renewed your WBCCI membership but, lucky us, you left the ranks of "member at large" to join the New England Unit! Let me be one of the first to formally welcome you to our group!

We have some great rally's planned for next year -- coincidentally those rally's are being hosted by me and Pam!
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Old 10-28-2003, 11:17 AM   #156
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Might as well throw another $0.02 into the pool...

I have attended a couple of rallies this year, just to try it out. My personal conclusion is that *everybody* who has posted on this thread has a legitimate point. The WBCCI is just too big and diverse across units to completely praise or condemn.

We've met with members from four different New England units. Some emphasized the diversity of their membership, while others frankly admitted that their unit was in danger of dying out.

Realistically, we have little in common with the folks in our local unit, many of whom are old enough to be our parents. They don't want to do the sorts of things we want to do on our vacation time, and they don't want to stay in the types of places we like to stay.

But it doesn't matter. We joined the local unit anyway. We'll probably never rally with them again, but we'll read the newsletters of all the units in our region and pick out the nearby rallies and events that interest us, regardless of which unit is holding them. Sort of members-at-large but with a unit affiliation just to be supportive. That's all we have time to do.

Now the question is, "Will the local units hold enough events of interest to us -- a working family -- for us to renew next year?" That's a tougher challenge, and it is at the core of WBCCI's declining membership and poor first-year renewal rate.

Here's a few suggestions, based just on our three experiences with WBCCI rallies.

1) Stop holding rallies at boring locations when it's not strictly necessary. I see the need for using a dusty fairground for the International Rally, but when you're expecting just 30 attendees, how about a more inspiring location? And while private campgrounds are nice sometimes, they look like pretty much every other campground in existence. Let's visit more of the many great state and national parks -- where there's actually something unique to see and do. (Actually, I suspect I know why WBCCI rallies resist those parks. Most require boondocking for a weekend. And that means you can't watch TV every night!)

2) Recognize that us weekenders with kids have trouble traveling 200+ miles on a Friday night after work. Try to structure a few weekend events close to the unit's geographic center. It's actually quite easy, even if you think you've seen it all in your area. When I was a tour leader for a social club in Boston, I was surprised to discover how much people don't know about the things in their very backyards!

3) Organize more optional activities. I don't mean adding a Happy Hour. The Wash DC Unit and the Vintage Club are better at this than most others. At Acadia National Park, one of the big daily events for us was the diverse ranger talks (with slides) every night. Those events that are just chat'n'chew will NOT draw us again.

4) Streamline the bureaucracy. To join, I filled out a form on the website. Then, I got a package in the mail advising me I'd be contacted by the local unit. Then came the local unit's package in the mail. I filled out another form and sent in my check (finally!) Now I'm waiting for the unit treasurer to deposit my check, pass on my form and dues to HQ, after which HQ will send me my membership materials. Elapsed time: about 3-4 weeks.

Hello? I'm used to the Internet -- fill out the online form with credit card data and get an instant response. Joining the WBCCI is only slightly less convoluted than buying a house. (I can't wait to find out what's involved in getting a rally on the official calendar!)

5) Related to the point above, WBCCI needs to get with the program and build a good website. People in the working crowd use the Internet to streamline their lives, but the current WBCCI website doesn't allow that. It's just brochure-ware, and not even very convincing in that role.

For example, I cringed when I read the FAQ answer to the question, "Just what will I do at Club Rallies?"

Quote:
You name it . . . we do it . . . fashion, pet and hobby shows . . . games and contests of every sort . . . square, round and ballroom dancing . . .
Wow, pet shows and square dancing! What was I thinking, spending my time hiking, swimming, diving, and bicycling? The brochure the WBCCI uses to recruit members speaks only to the current members -- it doesn't address the needs of the very people the club claims it wants!

Now, will any of these suggestions be acted upon in the next year? Frankly, I'm pessimistic. There are a lot of thin-skinned members who immediately get defensive at legitimate criticism. For every person who says, "Come join the club and change it from within," I have found a person who says, "If you don't like the WBCCI [the way it is], don't join it." That sort of reaction precludes meaningful change. So before you fire off a defense "in support of WBCCI", recall three things:

1) I am also a member. Thoughtful criticism and suggestions are my way of supporting MY club.
2) Change by definition upsets the status quo.
3) The only wrong path is to continue without self-examination.

-- RL
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Old 10-28-2003, 11:34 AM   #157
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Yes, I have been assimilated. Resistance was futile.....

I haven't seen a rally schedule for next year. where are these rallies you're hosting? should I bring my square-dancing shoes?

Oh, and Rich: you missed a fun weekend on the coast of ME in September...only about a dozen attendees (space was limited). It was hosted by the folks that you parked next to when you first pulled in in greenfield. No hookups...and no square-dancing, either.
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Old 10-28-2003, 11:42 AM   #158
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Thumbs up Well said!

Quote:
Originally posted by rluhr
Might as well throw another $0.02 into the pool...

I have attended a couple of rallies this year, just to try it out. My personal conclusion is that *everybody* who has posted on this thread has a legitimate point. The WBCCI is just too big and diverse across units to completely praise or condemn.

Wow, pet shows and square dancing! What was I thinking, spending my time hiking, swimming, diving, and bicycling? The brochure the WBCCI uses to recruit members speaks only to the current members -- it doesn't address the needs of the very people the club claims it wants!

So before you fire off a defense "in support of WBCCI", recall three things:

1) I am also a member. Thoughtful criticism and suggestions are my way of supporting MY club.
2) Change by definition upsets the status quo.
3) The only wrong path is to continue without self-examination.

-- RL
RL... Well said!

Roger
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Old 10-28-2003, 11:46 AM   #159
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Point very well taken and concurred

It may not seem so but your concerns and criticism is not the first that the WBCCI has heard or considered.

There is a very strong movement which was underground for a long time but now it is very openly talked about within the WBCCI.

If you are a member, then you receive the Blue Beret. Over the last six months, there has been an ongoing article that speaks to exactly the same concerns that you have conveyed and what the WBCCI intends to do about it.

The WBCCI is aggressively pursuing the improvement and attraction to the WCG or Working Class Group. I can already see a difference locally and keeping my ear to the rail, I know that the Regional officers and International Officers are currently organizing a team to take on the challenge. The WBCCI has formally established a committee that is sampling the Airstream community and massaging the WBCCI into a contemporary and exciting enviroment for all ages and classifications of its members and potential members.

It is imperative that you and others convey these opinions not only in these open forums but directly to the WBCCI. They have a email addresses, Toll free phone numbers, slow mail addresses and people who are happy to receive your contacts and opinions.

Thanks for the objective view you have presented. I will personally forward your views to the committee and challenge the WBCCI to monitor this thread.

respectfully,
Ken Smillie
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Old 10-28-2003, 11:52 AM   #160
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RL,

Could not (and did not) say it any better....I could not agree more....

Now, to address the info about the international rally vs a local one....if that's the case, I suppose I will never be a part of WBCCI then. Locally, it's a club of retired folks (which there is nothing wrong with that) that can:

1) Afford to spend large sums of $$ on rallys.

2) Have the time to go to these places.

I'm not interested in hunting down a club or joining one that is even further away to be able to do group things, etc... and the local unit is a total joke.

So am I back to square one? Looks that way.....just camping with others form this forum, with friends, family and the great outdoors.

Eric
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