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Old 07-05-2004, 07:19 PM   #1
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Lansing Rally - 2004 - What a disappointment!

I attended my first International Rally in Lansing Michigan - as a working person who took most of my vacation to attend this rally it was an extreme disappointment. I realize that complaining in this forum will not accomplish any purpose so I would like to ask who can I send a letter to and / or can I talk with. I would very much like to offer my reflections and recommendations from my point of view as an event organizer and director of communications. I will be happy to cc any and all that you might recommend. Thank you.

If you are interested in my reflections and recommendations I will be happy to post them under a new thread or send them to you directly.

Thank you very much.
John
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Old 07-05-2004, 09:25 PM   #2
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I would like to hear more.

I would like to hear about the rally. We've considered going next year.

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Old 07-05-2004, 09:34 PM   #3
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I would send your comments to the new WBCCI President and 1st and 2nd Vice Presidents. They are the folks who will be putting on the next 3 Internationals. They will be listed in the next Blue Beret and on the WBCCI website.

The new President (Holloway) is well into planning for next year's International at Springfield. he is an Associate member of our unit and spoke to us two months ago about plans for the rally. There will be 30A power available; something very necessary at Springfield in July.

I'm not sure what problems you ran into, but I do know that the persistent rain this spring caused havoc in parking.
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Old 07-05-2004, 11:26 PM   #4
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There is no reason not to openly discuss your experiences at your first rally, as long as you are being honest and do not personally attack anyone. We are also first timers planning to go to MO for the international next year, and would like to hear what it was like for you.
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Old 07-06-2004, 12:39 AM   #5
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Lay It Out For All To See

Yes please by all means post your thoughts and complaints (and kudos too) here. Be direct and thourough if you will. If it sounds personal your creditability may suffer, but most of us can glean the grain from the chaff.

THIS FORUM IS NOT AN ARM OF THE WBCCI. (Or is it)? A friend of it certainly, but not it's official propaganda device I trust. If it is then I want no part of it.

If one reads closely and between the lines it sometimes appears, I am afraid, that honest discussion and opinion that might be construed as "negative" is feared and discouraged around here, but as a potential joiner of the WBCCI I want to know everything I can about how it operates and I will then weigh that body of "evidence" to help determine my own need to join or avoid the group/s.
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Old 07-06-2004, 05:38 AM   #6
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This forum has no association with the WBCCI, VAC, or any other AS organization. It was formed to become the "Airstream Knowledge Sharing Forum", a repository of knowledge for the repair, restoration, and use of everything Airstream. There have been threads in the past about the WBCCI, if you search you will find them.

As it is not related to the WBCCI any posts here about changes or improvements you would like to see made are probably not going to be seen by people who will consider these. WBCCI does have a website, I would start there.

John
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Old 07-06-2004, 05:45 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 53FlyingCloud
roadeo,
There's no call for your inflammatory remarks, or negative assumption of the Airstreamforums community........
Since his issue is with WBCCI, let him address it with that organization.
Any report about the rally is always welcome.
53FC and rodeo....

I read and reread roadeo's post and found absolutely nothing either inflammatory or negative - just an opinion, a question, and an observation.

It's amazing how different people will read the same paragraph and come away with entirely different interpretations of the content.

I, for one, and I suspect most of us on the Forum who has not been to an international, would very much appreciate an open airing of a first timers (not a WBCCI insider) view of the big ralley - both positive and negative aspects.

3237 - post away.
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Old 07-06-2004, 06:29 AM   #8
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C'mon, John, we need to hear what your experience was like! Most of us have never been to an International Rally. You might save us all the trouble... or make some changes that vastly improve our/your experience in the future.
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Old 07-06-2004, 06:34 AM   #9
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Lansing in the mud became.......Land Sink

Dear John,
We, too, were first time attendees. I doubt that your disappointment had any reference to the weather. We had opted to stay in a local campground, the Cottonwood, which was quite pleasant, 30 amp, and perhaps 20+ AS there also. That created an ad hoc, 'mini-rally', which was delightful. Everyone we met was friendly and gracious, genuinely nice.

In re, the rally itself, it seemed as slow as a turtle trying to moonwalk. The general sessions were protracted, announcement periods inane, but the evening entertainment, a little hokey perhaps, was family oriented and well, talented and entertaining. No threat to the drivel we watch on television every day.

Retired, at ages 64 and 56, my wife enjoyed the quilting and needle art afternoons, while I found the technical sessions and the bridge tournament rewarding. One can only guess as to the average age of the rallyists, but we were on the low end of the spectrum. As to all the pomp and pageantry, perhaps we will need to mature a little prior to returning.

I attempted to revel in the knowledge that this is a 'volunteer' organization, well intentioned individuals doing their best. Look, beside the sharing of opposable thumbs, the right to trail by jury, and purchasing a product from the same company, it is intrinsic in all of us to find other common denominators. On a scale of one to ten, I would be generous and give it a five. To others, perhaps, they may view a moonwalking turtle as a 3 or even an 8. We may do it again in the next decade.

I can surely sympathize with you if it represented a hard-earned week away from work. Next time, bring more beer.

Cheers,
Dr. C
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Old 07-06-2004, 07:22 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drcharles2
Dear John,
We, too, were first time attendees. I doubt that your disappointment had any reference to the weather. We had opted to stay in a local campground, Dr. C
Based on feed back from many of our local unit folks, staying in a local full hookup campground is preferred. From what I gather our locals begin to scout the new rally area early and usually have reservations at a private campground by fall of the year preceeding the rally. Most of them have been through too many horror stories of heat, dust, mud and other issues to want to camp at the official rally grounds.

As far as the content of the International rally goes, it seems nothing more than what I have seen at a regional rally I attended last year. Personally we didn't find it that much fun and probably will not attend Springfield, even though it is technically in our back yard. But as I always say different strokes for different folks. Maybe when I "mature" I'll enjoy this type of event. As far me give me a campfire, woods and a nice campground and I'm set.

If we change our minds, and that's a big maybe, we might just head down to our favorite tree shaded campground in Branson and mosey on up to visit for a day. Branson is only about 38 miles south of Springfield.

Jack
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Old 07-06-2004, 08:05 AM   #11
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As a resident, let me say that the ONLY reason to come to Springfield in July would be if you enjoy the rally experience itself. That is not to say there is not plenty of other things to see and do, but there are more pleasant times of the year to see and do them.

Those in charge of entertainment had better be up on their toes as the competition is very stiff around the fourth. Firefall is a patriotic day long program put on by our parks and recreation dept. It will be June 25, with a rain date of July 2. It features a variety of excellent musical acts through the afternoon, skydivers, hot air balloons, plenty of food, and is capped by a major fireworks display synchronized to the music of the Springfield Symphony orchestra. Then on the fourth itself (and only a mile from the rally site) is James River Assembly of God's "I Love America", a Christian-oriented afternoon and evening celebration with one or two Branson acts, gospel music, food, games, other entertainment, usually an air show, capped by their own 60 piece orchestra and 200 member choir, again synchronized to fireworks.

Both events are absolutely top drawer, and draw 60,000 to 70,000 people EACH!

Mark
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Old 07-06-2004, 08:23 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drcharles2
the rally itself, it seemed as slow as a turtle trying to moonwalk.
Retired, at ages 64 and 56, One can only guess as to the average age of the rallyists, but we were on the low end of the spectrum. As to all the pomp and pageantry, perhaps we will need to mature a little prior to returning.
i really would like to see that....perhaps you would find the burning man rally more suited to you......
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Old 07-06-2004, 08:29 AM   #13
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mutant ninja moonwalking turtles forever dude........
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Old 07-06-2004, 10:08 AM   #14
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Quote:
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As a resident, let me say that the ONLY reason to come to Springfield in July would be if you enjoy the rally experience itself. Mark
I think the Bass Pro Shop is worth the trip to Springfield on its own merits! That's a pretty neat place to stop....even for someone like me who is not a hunter or fisherman.

http://www.basspro.com/servlet/catal...=94&storeID=15

Jack
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Old 07-06-2004, 10:14 AM   #15
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Sounds like Springfield's going to be crowded next year. If there's that many events going on nearby, campground spots might be hard to come by.

I had already figured the events at the international probably wouldn't be of interest to us, except maybe the tech sessions - but our trailer is pretty low tech already - so we were thinking af camping nearby and arranging to meet with the folks we wanted to visit with while we were there. Sounds like that might be harder than we expected.

Mark, what is the best time of year to visit the area?
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Old 07-06-2004, 10:21 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stefrobrts
Sounds like Springfield's going to be crowded next year. If there's that many events going on nearby, campground spots might be hard to come by.

I had already figured the events at the international probably wouldn't be of interest to us, except maybe the tech sessions - but our trailer is pretty low tech already - so we were thinking af camping nearby and arranging to meet with the folks we wanted to visit with while we were there. Sounds like that might be harder than we expected.

Mark, what is the best time of year to visit the area?
Best time in my opinion is October. The Ozark greenery starts its fall color change, temps are just great and rainfall is minimal. We usually head down to the Branson area mid October for a week.

Jack
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Old 07-06-2004, 10:23 AM   #17
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We just returned from the rally, 2300 Miles round trip for us, pre registered for Springfield.

Why?

To us the rally is secondary. We enjoy the far flung friends that we get to see once or twice a year, and some of the seminars are interesting to sometimes. This year I did not attend one of them. This was a busy rally for me as President of my unit, but I had fun too. We went to Battle Creek and saw the "Breakfast Factory" as one of our four year old Friends described it. We also did a neat tour of the Botanical gardens on the MSU campus and had some ice cream in the Moo-U store. Ate out with a different bunch of friends every night, toured the vintage section with my sister-in-law (she flew in for 2 days from TX), went to a few happy hours, made some more new friends, All in all had a good time. We were parked in Marshall Park (30 AMP power) so did not get to experience the sinking feeling that others did

Not to say there isn't room for improvement. The evening entertainment was OK, not what I would pay to see. The Web access for those of us "still working" needs to have some additional though put into it. 3 phone lines in the Lansing center is not what I would call convenient or easy to use. Seminars that appeal to the vintage MH owners (I am a bit biased) would be nice, but the only way one will happen is if someone steps up and does it.

So there is room to improve, anyone have some time to spare so we can get some things on the Springfield schedule, or at the least have some input?
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Old 07-06-2004, 10:27 AM   #18
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BTW if you register for Springfield before 4/1/05 you can have 30 AMP power for the duration of your stay for an extra $125.00 $12.50 per day for 10 days, not a bad deal.
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Old 07-06-2004, 10:39 AM   #19
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October is when things are at their best, but September can be a great time for warm weather activities - swimming, boating, golf, fishing, without it being oppressively hot.

The crowds are mostly gone by Halloween, but we do a lot of camping and hiking in November and even into December. The hiking is great, and after leaf off the views are spectacular. Many of the Branson attractions have partial schedules into the Holiday season.

With all the wild flowers and generally mild temperatures, mid March through Memorial Day are good times to visit as well. Most attractions start their new season mid April. But be aware that spring weather can be amazingly - and suddenly - violent.

Caveat: While rare, snow can occur, well, anytime after Nov. 1. But we seldom see more than just a trace prior to New Years. I was planning to go to the Gulf Coast last January, but with our daytime highs in the mid 60's it seemed scarcely worth the effort. Do check the forecasts, though.

Mark
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Old 07-06-2004, 11:14 AM   #20
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WBCCI Internationa - Lansing, MI

Greetings Brett!

It was great to meet and have the opportunity to visit with you during the Rally. My experiences mirrored yours in many ways.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thenewkid64
We just returned from the rally, 2300 Miles round trip for us, pre registered for Springfield.

Why?

To us the rally is secondary. We enjoy the far flung friends that we get to see once or twice a year, and some of the seminars are interesting to sometimes. This year I did not attend one of them. . . . . We were parked in Marshall Park (30 AMP power) so did not get to experience the sinking feeling that others did

Not to say there isn't room for improvement. The evening entertainment was OK, not what I would pay to see. The Web access for those of us "still working" needs to have some additional though put into it. 3 phone lines in the Lansing center is not what I would call convenient or easy to use. Seminars that appeal to the vintage MH owners (I am a bit biased) would be nice, but the only way one will happen is if someone steps up and does it.

So there is room to improve, anyone have some time to spare so we can get some things on the Springfield schedule, or at the least have some input?
I too have pre-registered for the International in Springfield, Missouri - - can't miss out when it will be so close to home for me at less than 250 miles. Also, knowing what the late June early July weather can be in the region, I didn't waste any time in signing up for the 30-AMP parking area. From some early discussions, it appears that there MAY be a Vintage parking area set up in the 30-AMP section.

This was one of the first Internationals (six and counting) that I have attended where I didn't go to any of the seminars and a very few of the daily activities - - it was so much more interesting to relax in the VAC parking area and visit with the members and visitors at the site. I did attend several of the evening programs and enjoyed them, but agree that they were not necessarily something that I would have chosen if not for the company.

It seems that each International has its own "personality" or "flavor". This year's International was my absolute favorite of those held East of the Mississippi. The weather was fabulous. The people of Lansing seemed genuinely pleased to welcome our group (at least those whom I met along the road). The atmosphere at the rally site was fantastic. Even though I was parked at the Airport, I didn't have problems with mud - - even being among the last four parked in the last row of the Vintage parking area on Saturday evening. I did get the 4WD operable on the Suburban just prior to departure so exiting among the last half-dozen VAC attendees wasn't a particular problem either. This was my third International experience where mud was an issue - - the VAC paraded into a muddy field at the International in Boise, ID (1998) <my first International>, and there was some trouble with mud at the International in Dayton, OH (1999) as well. I can't speak of two of the recent Internationals held East of the Mississippi as I did not attend those in Burlington, Vermont (2003) nor Huntsville, Alabama (1997).

I am looking forward to another great International in Springfield, MO.

Kevin
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