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Castaway 07-02-2015 07:08 AM

Why do you not belong to WBCCI
 
The WBCCI recently polled its members on why we belong. I am curious as to why people have never joined.


Gary

DanB 07-02-2015 08:34 AM

Your poll left off probably the two biggest reasons.

1. The membership dues. (If it was free, many would join)
2. No apparent benefit beyond what they have now (See reason 1)

Protagonist 07-02-2015 09:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DanB (Post 1645485)
Your poll left off probably the two biggest reasons.

1. The membership dues. (If it was free, many would join)
2. No apparent benefit beyond what they have now (See reason 1)

There was a time when purchasing a new Airstream came with a benefit of a free year's membership in WBCCI. Sadly, many of those buyers never renewed for a second year, so the program was considered a failure and went away. In addition, the free memberships detracted from the club's operating budget. If membership was free, the club couldn't afford to stay in operation, because we couldn't even afford to pay the few full-time employees who process the memberships!

Membership in Good Sam costs less and gets you more benefits, that's true. But look at the cost of an all-brands Good Sam rally vs. the cost of an Airstream-only WBCCI rally. The now-defunct WBCCI Mardi Gras Rally is a good example. The Mardi Gras Rally was held at UNO Lakefront Arena. There was a Good Sam rally right next to it, also at UNO Lakefront Arena. The Good Sam members paid four times as much to get exactly the same level of service as did the WBCCI members. The difference in price for that one rally was a whole lot more than the difference between a $25 Good Sam membership and a $65 WBCCI membership.

Good Sam makes their money on the back end and turns a profit. WBCCI as a licensed non-profit organization gets its annual operating budget from the membership dues, and only charges enough for any given rally to cover that rally's expenses. No profit, and only enough rally fee funds retained to cover unforeseen contingencies.

One thing that was brought out in one of the seminars I attended at this year's International is that WBCCI is still the largest RV association that is owned and operated directly by the membership, as opposed to Good Sam and other larger clubs that are run by a corporation where the membership is not given a say in how the club is run, and the club has to turn a profit for the sponsors.

mandolindave 07-02-2015 09:47 AM

Reasons I haven't joined
 
Because I haven't had a reason TO join.

I care more about going to music festivals or camping with a few close friends, rather than going to a rally, where Airstreams is the only thing you have in common.

I should go to a rally. I bet there are a few close friends there that I haven't met yet

ttbikes 07-02-2015 10:04 AM

I have joined the WBCCI even though I do not think I will be going to many if any of the big rallies. I do plan on attending many vintage rallies though. But beyond this I just think it is good to promote airstreaming on lots of levels. In many ways the WBCCI is the face of airstreaming. A strong active airstream community promotes interest, part availability, and resale values.

dznf0g 07-02-2015 10:06 AM

1) I like to camp by myself or with family.
2) not retired and can't take advantage of many scheduled events.
3) after spending 30+ years of association with organized, structured, processed organizations, I just don't want to spend mental energy on another one.
4) unnecessary expense for me
5) from the outside, looking in, the organization seems to be struggling with the change in need sets of new generations of potential members...(like many other institutions)

RangerJay 07-02-2015 10:43 AM

Relevance is everything.

There is a real lot about WBCCI that should be appealing - and very relevant - to most Airstream owners.

When we first purchased our Airstream we were able to take advantage of free membership for a year.

We were one of the ones that did not renew that membership.

There were a couple of reasons.

One was plain geography - we simply weren't in a location that allowed us to easily participate.

Second was more the organization itself. WBCCI seemed to us (like much of the Airstream corporation's marketing efforts at the time) to invoke a spirit of Wally Byam that was way more vicarious than real.

It came across as stale and musty.

The once proud and stately WBCCI organization had become bureaucratic and policy driven with a largely geriatric agenda and a whole lot of old pictures .....

Relevance - at least to us - was nowhere near.

I did continue to follow a lot of the discussions about WBCCI on this forum for a while but stopped doing so a number of years ago.

It seemed that WBCCI needed to take a long hard look at what it was doing, who it was doing it for, and how it was doing it.

Maybe that has happened - I hope it has.

We would love to purchase a membership in a WBCCI with a fresh image and diverse mandate ......

..... although I gotta tell you - the way my knees and back feel these days - the old WBCCI is starting to look pretty good too ......


Thanks,


Jay

SteveSueMac 07-02-2015 11:02 AM

FWIW - here's a little snippet related to the transition of leadership in the NY Ballet:

"When it comes to programming, Mr. B taught him to keep things vital. "He was actually on his hospital bed, and it was really, truly towards the end. ... He said, 'When you schedule your season, don't be reverent. Be relevant.' And it has followed me through all these years. That's always in the back of my mind.""

To the extent the club thinks more of relevance to now and the future over reverence to Wally and life in the 50s, the club will grow.

Alternatively, the club may have served its purpose to promote RVing and there is nothing relevant anymore? And it all still boils down to the local unit you would consider joining anyway. I initially joined one and didn't resonate with it. Met folks from the NEU at a joint rally and joined. Been a blast!

Here's the full story of the quote if interested:
https://m.timesunion.com/entertainmen...st-4645607.php

m.hony 07-02-2015 11:32 AM

I had no reason to join until...
I starting meeting nice people who were already members, one of which lives 2 doors up.
Then, I started meeting nice people at campgrounds who were members.
Membership in some cases is neither here nor there, because I would still camp and attend bluegrass festivals with those same people. but...
Since I have joined and attended a rally, I have met so many good people. You can never meet enough good Christian people who share the same hobbies.
Another reason to join was to have the iconic big red numbers. That is just part of it to me.
I had considered not paying dues and getting out, but the Mississippi Unit rally in Vicksburg was so great that I will likely be a lifetime member. We attend other rallies outside of WBCCI, but we really enjoy the WBCCI rallies as well. The rallies are so well planned and so well organized.
I think my dues are $80- $65 to national (international?) and $15 to Mississippi Unit.
Most units raise money for needy children or other charitable acts of kindness. WBCCI is a bunch of good people doing what good people do- in an Airstream trailer-

wrhnco68 07-02-2015 11:49 AM

We do belong
 
We're not joiners and are not good at organized events. BUT we have saved the membership fee during our travels on the occasions we've stayed at "Airstream Only" campgrounds. Its also nice to know that, wherever you travel, you have some local folks that you can contact in the event you have problems.

Stefrobrts 07-02-2015 11:59 AM

We joined for a few years when we got our trailer (that year we got a free membership for a year even though we bought used). The club at that time was very stodgy. But the people we met in our local unit (Oregon) were very friendly. We were odd ducks because we were so young - in our 30s - and got lots of attention at the rallys. But everyone was super nice.

The only problem was that their rallys would start midweek, and we would not be able to join them until Friday night, and often people were packing up on Saturday to get home in time for church on Sundays! So those rallys were kind of a bust for us, by the time we got there, they were already reminiscing about what a great rally it had been and saying good bye!

On top of that we just didn't have as many weekends to sneak away for rallys. So after paying our dues and only getting out for a rally or two every summer, we dropped out after a few years.

The club has loosened up a lot. Now they have more younger members, rallys that actually last all weekend, campfires, stuff like that. I would like to join them again, but we still have that lack of weekends getting in our way.

AND somebody else got our number. I check every now and then, if it ever becomes available again, I'm in ;)

KWN306 07-02-2015 12:36 PM

I'll probably will get a lot of sh*t for what I'm going to say but AS owners are snobs, just like BMW motorcycle owners.

I have owned many BMW motorcycles and went to over 100 rallies, what a bunch of fakes.

I go camping to enjoy the outdoors not to have my head filled by a bunch of garbage from folks telling me how great the product is and then you read posts on this forum about new models falling apart.

I've took delivery of a 2015 AS in January, every time I use the trailer something else breaks or doesn't work. The trailer has spent more time at the dealers waiting to get repaired than it has in my driveway.

I owned three Keystone products before purchasing the AS and not one of them ever had a warranty issue.

The build quality of the new AS suck IMHO.

Stefrobrts 07-02-2015 01:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by KWN306 (Post 1645608)
I go camping to enjoy the outdoors not to have my head filled by a bunch of garbage from folks telling me how great the product is and then you read posts on this forum about new models falling apart.

That does not describe any rally I've ever been to.

rochar3 07-02-2015 02:18 PM

Hats
 
Never joined because of the stupid hats they wear:wally:

Protagonist 07-02-2015 02:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rochar3 (Post 1645666)
Never joined because of the stupid hats they wear:wally:

I don't mind the blue beanies. I even wore mine once (for about an hour) during this International rally. But it's only the second time in three years that I've worn it at all, and both times it was optional; I wore it only because after buying the danged thing it would be a waste to never use it. It's one of the good wool berets that's properly floppy, not one of the newer nylon ones that don't drape properly and fit like an undersized chef's cap.

I'm more concerned about the rest of the "uniform." The last time I wore a necktie at work was December 23rd, 1989 (it snowed in New Orleans that day) and I refuse to get more dressed up to be retired than I ever was to be be working. The day they tell me I must wear the "uniform" red necktie, I'll quit the club then and there.:wally:

xrvr 07-02-2015 02:46 PM

Referring to post 12. What doesthat have to do with the WBCCI? Not a member now but the rallys I attended did not dwell on the trailers but on social interaction and good will. As far as the BMW stuff, I never experienced any of what you said there either. I guess it's just a difference in perspective or attitude.

M1953 07-02-2015 02:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Protagonist (Post 1645670)
I don't mind the blue beanies. I even wore mine once (for about an hour) during this International rally. But it's only the second time in three years that I've worn it at all, and both times it was optional; I wore it only because after buying the danged thing it would be a waste to never use it. It's one of the good wool berets that's properly floppy, not one of the newer nylon ones that don't drape properly and fit like an undersized chef's cap.

I'm more concerned about the rest of the "uniform." The last time I wore a necktie at work was December 23rd, 1989 (it snowed in New Orleans that day) and I refuse to get more dressed up to be retired than I ever was to be be working. The day they tell me I must wear the "uniform" red necktie, I'll quit the club then and there.:wally:

I agree 100 percent. I won't tie a knoose around by neck for anyone. I had no idea ties where required.

Hittenstiehl 07-02-2015 03:00 PM

Unless that was tongue in cheek. Don't be mislead, I think he was joking, Ties are not required in any way.

Sometimes this forum is like the old telephone game. ;o);o)

Sodbust 07-02-2015 03:15 PM

400 miles to the nearest group is the main reason and all but 1 rally is always away from us than toward us.... Went to one event and seemed nice people,, but saw them picking up stuff that I might steal kind of rubbed me wrong..
A well polished Overlander,, new pu.. and no tattoos so what rang the warning bell I was a outlaw?

Sodbust

StreamDog 07-02-2015 03:15 PM

We didn't join because:
1. Nothing about the club interested us.
2. Didn't want that number on our rig.
3. We'd rather spend the $65 on (put anything here).
4. We're not the "go to something organized" kind of folks.

Protagonist 07-02-2015 03:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hittenstiehl (Post 1645683)
Unless that was tongue in cheek. Don't be mislead, I think he was joking, Ties are not required in any way.

Sometimes this forum is like the old telephone game. ;o);o)

You're right. Nothing in the WBCCI International Constitution or Bylaws requires the wearing of a necktie. However, there is also a "Protocol Book" that is not available to rank-and-file members that DOES list the appropriate attire for events at the International Rally— see paragraph 7r, page 44 of the WBCCI "Blue Book" published 6/27/2014. Protocol books are distributed to the IBT by February 15th each year.

And the WBCCI Store sells "official" red neckties and "official" blue neckties, so there must be some occasions not listed in the Constitution and Bylaws where an official necktie IS required— see Appendix 9 of the WBCCI Blue Book issued 7/5/2014.

But since the Unit level doesn't have required neckwear unless it's listed in the Unit constitution or bylaws, my comment about ties was tongue-in-cheek to that extent; I don't want to ever be a Region or International officer so hopefully I'll never need a necktie for club activities.

Hittenstiehl 07-02-2015 03:32 PM

Thx Protag.

Gnorts 07-02-2015 03:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by KWN306 (Post 1645608)
I'll probably will get a lot of sh*t for what I'm going to say but AS owners are snobs, just like BMW motorcycle owners.

I have owned many BMW motorcycles and went to over 100 rallies, what a bunch of fakes.

I go camping to enjoy the outdoors not to have my head filled by a bunch of garbage from folks telling me how great the product is and then you read posts on this forum about new models falling apart.

I've took delivery of a 2015 AS in January, every time I use the trailer something else breaks or doesn't work. The trailer has spent more time at the dealers waiting to get repaired than it has in my driveway.

I owned three Keystone products before purchasing the AS and not one of them ever had a warranty issue.

The build quality of the new AS suck IMHO.

Wooh, that aroma of sour grapes...:sick: It must suck to be you.:rolleyes:

RangerJay 07-02-2015 04:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Protagonist (Post 1645698)

...... there is also a "Protocol Book" that is not available to rank-and-file members that DOES list the appropriate attire for events at the International Rally— see paragraph 7r, page 44 of the WBCCI "Blue Book" published 6/27/2014. Protocol books are distributed to the IBT by February 15th each year.

And the WBCCI Store sells "official" red neckties and "official" blue neckties, so there must be some occasions not listed in the Constitution and Bylaws where an official necktie IS required— see Appendix 9 of the WBCCI Blue Book issued 7/5/2014.

......

..... in 2015 this is a quaint blast from the past ...... straight out of the 1950's .....


Jay

sheriff1 07-02-2015 05:05 PM

Like the man said,
I DON'T WANT TO BELONG TO ANY CLUB THAT WILL ACCEPT PEOPLE LIKE ME AS A MEMBER".

Seriously, we will be checking out our local groups soon and getting acquainted.


2015 F350 CC 4X4 6.7 Diesel
2010 27FB Silver Cloud "The Silver Spoon"

hhendrix 07-02-2015 05:07 PM

We have been a member since 2009. When I first got the "promo" packet from WBCCI, the dvd was like something from the 60's and every picture in the Blue Beret was really very old people. Lots of them. All of them.
When we went to our first rally, I told my wife "If we can get thru this first weekend without having to do CPR, maybe we'll hang in there for a while." We even thought about bringing a defibrillator from her office. Seriously. As it turned out, we had a great time and have made a lot of good friends of all ages that we often see outside the rallies.
My wife is on the local board and we have hosted several rallies. We DO NOT wear berets or ties. In fact, I've never seen a tie at any rally and beret maybe once or twice. We go to great locations, have great food, have fun and interesting events, and happy hour starts promptly at 5 every time.
That being said, the governing board is bloated, bureaucratic, somewhat autocratic with entrenched leadership, way out of date and out of touch, has ancient and silly rules like dress codes, and sometimes acts more like a Christian organization than a camping club.
For example, at the last international rally, one of our board members towed her trailer all the way there by herself only to discover that no one would help her park her trailer of even show her the way because it was the "Lord's day." That didn't stop them from smoking cigarettes or drinking alcohol, so I guess that's approved by the Lord but not parking. Many locals start the meeting, meals, or events with prayers honoring Jesus. That gets right in your face if you're Jewish or another faith that doesn't recognize Jesus. It's a CAMPING CLUB!!!!
The international organization election of board members is really a coronation as a "nominating committee" selects one person to run for each office. So why bother voting.
Our unit is very open, progressive, inviting, tolerant, and full of fun people of all ages and convictions. While some other units are shrinking we are one of the fastest growing units. You almost never hear any discussion of religion or politics except that religion plays way too big a role in the organization. I can't even figure out how religion became so entwined in the club. Nothing I've ever read about Wally Byam indicated any religion was a major part of his life or had anything to do with Airstreams. In fact, when asked, he said "His religion was camping."
If it wasn't for the clubs insurance coverage for rallies and caravans, many of our members don't see a huge benefit to the larger organization. Probably the single biggest and best benefit is meeting the members of other local units. Very few of our members go the the international. There's just not much interest in except for a few who are trying to inject new blood into the leadership. Kind of a Don Quixote thing maybe. I wish them the best but frankly, I find many other ways to beat by head against a wall with better results.
I read all the comments so far and only a couple know what they are writing about. The rest are uniformed, too cheap to even being a contributing member here, clearly don't like people, or people don't like them so they don't see any reason to socialize beyond Facebook, the narcissists playground. Sorry, my rant drifted a little off course.
None the less, I stay in the organization because of all the wonderful and generous people we have met traveling the US. For example, the organizers of the Mardi Gras and Albuquerque Balloon Festival have worked so hard to put on a premiere event, that I feel both obligated and privileged to support their efforts.

Wayne&Sam 07-02-2015 05:46 PM

I stopped by the WBCCI office in Jackson Center a few years back. Two workers in a pretty nice building. My gut reaction was that they should probably have one employee and rent an office. I'm not a member so I don't know, maybe they do a lot more than I think and someone bequeathed them the building. I hope so.

m.hony 07-02-2015 05:59 PM

We stopped by WBCCI headquarters in September 2014. There was one employee who appeared to live in a newer Class A in the back.


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dmusca 07-02-2015 06:39 PM

My husband and I joined by accident this year. We were camping at a regional park near our home and just happened to stumble upon a rally going on for the Arizona unit. My husband and I are in our 30s, with two small children ages 3 and 5. We are by far the youngest members and our group was very eager to have us join. They said its always exciting to get "young blood".

We just bought our vintage airstream in October and figured why not join? Everyone seemed very friendly and invited us to participate with the events they had going on that weekend. They even had us join in the rally photo 10 minutes after meeting everyone. We have attended one other rally which was at a beautiful campsite near Sedona. All the locations I have seen on the list for rallies look like great places and are not parking lots. My husband and I do work and don't get to the rallies until late Friday or early Saturday. There is still plenty of things going on when we arrive and I really love how our unit has embraced our family, especially our girls. They are even sensitive to our food allergies with gluten. We may be years apart in age but we never run out of things to talk about with our unit and we look forward to attending more rallies in the fall!:)

overlander63 07-02-2015 06:51 PM

I discontinued my membership after the thirteenth WBCCI member told me my employer should sponsor rallys, so I could come conduct seminars, and fix their trailers for free.

Gnorts 07-02-2015 06:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sheriff1 (Post 1645730)
Like the man said,
I DON'T WANT TO BELONG TO ANY CLUB THAT WILL ACCEPT PEOPLE LIKE ME AS A MEMBER".

Seriously, we will be checking out our local groups soon and getting acquainted.


2015 F350 CC 4X4 6.7 Diesel
2010 27FB Silver Cloud "The Silver Spoon"

That was Groucho Marx, having been asked if he was a member of a Jewish country club.

jcanavera 07-02-2015 08:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Stefrobrts (Post 1645653)
That does not describe any rally I've ever been to.

Same here. Quite honestly we hear more trailer talk at the Air Forums rallies than we ever did at a WBCCI rally. I think the big difference is that if you belong to a local unit, the friendships are much more personal since you have more events and you all live in the same geographical area. For the forum rallies we come from all different locales and states and for many of us it's one time a year. So the talk becomes less family and local issues and more trailer oriented.

Jack

63air 07-02-2015 09:34 PM

We belonged as an at large member because of our work schedule . Paying more in dues and not being allowed a vote in the organization was enough for me to drop membership.

Kiwiman2157 07-02-2015 09:40 PM

My grandparents, Bud and Sadie Johnson of Ft. Myers, Florida, joined WBCCI in the 50's and were given the WBCCI number 2157.
In the 60's and 70's, growing up north of Dayton, Ohio, I always thought that it was the absolute coolest thing to come home from school and their rig was parked in front of the house. I periodically traveled with them and learned all about towing trailers. I am sure I drove my grandmother nuts asking her to tell me all the stories about their travels.
"Travel while you can because you will regret when you can't" she would always say!
My grandfather's eyesight began failing in the 80's and they sold their rig, (a 1976 Ambassador and a 1976 Oldsmobile, the last year with a 455) in 1983. Even though their rig was gone, they introduced me to several people they had traveled with over the years pulling their Airstreams. The last few summers, the pulled 15,000 miles. I do not recall they ever attended International Rally's or were officers in their unit but. know they went on the club caravans to Mexico and Canada in 1959 and '60.
In 2003, I did the crazy thing and bought a 1986 Airstream 345 Classic 36' motorhome...off eBay no less! My grandparents were "trailer people" so, I have always figured they were looking down on me shaking their heads, laughing.
It took my partner and I 6 months to undo the mice occupation and fixing the motorhome to make it livable after it had sat on a dealers lot in Salinas, CA for 2 years. We loved have it just the same.
I decided that I would see what it was all about to be a WBCCI member so called the office in Ohio. The lady very patiently explained the different memberships then, I decided to "go for broke" and ask for a number! Back in the old days, my grandfather told me that WBCCI numbers were never reissued.
The lady at WBCCI gave me the bad news the 2157 was not available. I was BUMMED. I asked if she would let me know when it was. Four months later......I got a call that 2157 was available and joined immediately! The next year, we decided to upgrade to LIFE MEMBERSHIP.
It was suggested that we go to the February 2004 Denco Club luncheon to try them out. Like several people here have said, we figured that we would be out of place. At the luncheon, it turns out that many of the people were like is, working and in their 40's and 50's enjoying their Airstreams. We were welcomed like we were long lost relatives! Incredible!! There was a period of 3 years where we did not miss a Denco Unit Rally or Luncheon activity.
We went to Bozeman 2008 for the International Rally figuring to try that out. We worked on Welcome Committee staff then, drove the shuttle all around the University of Montana campus as good Eagle Scouts do. As many of you have noted, the classes provided at International: CB radio, knitting and how to back a trailer certainly did not apply to us as Airstream motorhome owners.
Yup, as with any organization, there will be politics. At one point, the Denco Unit had a president who required that all rallies would be held in Colorado even though some members lived in New Mexico. I had set up a Unit Rally in Angel Fire, NM but, that was not acceptable to him.
We transferred to the Four Corners Unit who were sponsors of the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta Rally and is a marvelous event. We were received in that unit with open arms!
To join WBCCI or not is the question? That will be up to you and your situation. For me, it was a "family tradition" to do so. My grandparent's memory lives on because of FOUR red numbers!

lucca53 07-04-2015 05:38 PM

Hi KWN306 why did you buy a Airstream you had 3 Keystone trailers?These are manmade so not always perfect but I have a love of the History that the Airstream has and seeing many Vintage trailers in our group together is fun,we love talking trailers,its about the brand sounds to me you like camping alone thats great but just because i own a Airstream and don't like plastic fantastic square things next to me make me a snob.

Lumatic 07-04-2015 06:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Stefrobrts (Post 1645653)
That does not describe any rally I've ever been to.

Ditto

AWCHIEF 07-04-2015 08:45 PM

I have only attended three official WBCCI rallies. The two I attended with my original unit were almost 100 % focused on politics and the other was with another unit and was just the opposite. I almost let my membership lapse until I discovered the Region 3 Southeastern Camping Unit. Focus is 99% on fun and camping. Politics is kept in the background and not shoved down members throats. They are strongly represented at many independent non club rallies in the south east.

m.hony 07-04-2015 09:57 PM

At the Mississippi Unit End of Winter Blues rally in Vicksburg in March only a few minutes at breakfast on the last day were devoted to politics. That was the only "official" part. The rest was very relaxed. We toured a lot of attractions and ate a lot of fine food. What's wrong with that?


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jcanavera 07-05-2015 11:14 PM

Why do you not belong to WBCCI
 
I remember the motorhome issue led to some bad feelings within our unit. We had some of the long term members who held positions within the International and supported allowing Thor built motorhome owners to belong to WBCCI. This strained some relationship between the younger members and them. I remember the discussion at a rally where one motorhome member who made an impassioned plea that "it isn't fair!". It was interesting that they had a fairly new motorhome, but her husband liked to trade in frequently. I think when the final votes came in the unit voted to allow Thor motor homes. I think we all know that the Thor amendment was defeated by the majority of unit members at the International that year.

Jack

switz 07-05-2015 11:54 PM

We joined even before getting the first Airstream (it was ordered). The dues check for a "local" unit and International was mailed in to International and was cashed. About a year later, I got a renewal notice in the mail from the "local" group. I was surprised that there was absolutely no communications from that "local" group for an entire year and I had no contact information.

By this time we found another "local" group and attended a rally without the trailer (another long story) just to see if real people existed. This was a vibrant group having a great time with all ages in attendance.

We changed our membership to the new group and upped the ante to Life memberships. We have been to many rallies (for us) and had lots of fun in the process.

This year we went to the International WBCCI rally in Farmington along with 21 other trailers from our group. The get togethers with the group were fun.

We also got to see the elder WBCCI statesmen in hat, tie and white shirts. We went to some of the official programs as well as the technical classes. I learned where I could access the technical materials on line and will get the information that way in the future. We did not stay the entire time as there was not a lot to do that was of interest to us, the heat was oppressive and we had cooling issues in the trailer.

We do not plan on attending another International rally, unless it is relatively close - like in a neighboring state.

For us, the action is in the "local" group.

AWCHIEF 07-06-2015 06:45 AM

"I learned where I could access the technical materials on line and will get the information that way in the future."

Can you share that information?

tsunami 07-06-2015 07:31 AM

Yup!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by hhendrix (Post 1645731)
We have been a member since 2009. When I first got the "promo" packet from WBCCI, the dvd was like something from the 60's and every picture in the Blue Beret was really very old people. Lots of them. All of them.
When we went to our first rally, I told my wife "If we can get thru this first weekend without having to do CPR, maybe we'll hang in there for a while." We even thought about bringing a defibrillator from her office. Seriously. As it turned out, we had a great time and have made a lot of good friends of all ages that we often see outside the rallies.
My wife is on the local board and we have hosted several rallies. We DO NOT wear berets or ties. In fact, I've never seen a tie at any rally and beret maybe once or twice. We go to great locations, have great food, have fun and interesting events, and happy hour starts promptly at 5 every time.
That being said, the governing board is bloated, bureaucratic, somewhat autocratic with entrenched leadership, way out of date and out of touch, has ancient and silly rules like dress codes, and sometimes acts more like a Christian organization than a camping club.
For example, at the last international rally, one of our board members towed her trailer all the way there by herself only to discover that no one would help her park her trailer of even show her the way because it was the "Lord's day." That didn't stop them from smoking cigarettes or drinking alcohol, so I guess that's approved by the Lord but not parking. Many locals start the meeting, meals, or events with prayers honoring Jesus. That gets right in your face if you're Jewish or another faith that doesn't recognize Jesus. It's a CAMPING CLUB!!!!
The international organization election of board members is really a coronation as a "nominating committee" selects one person to run for each office. So why bother voting.
Our unit is very open, progressive, inviting, tolerant, and full of fun people of all ages and convictions. While some other units are shrinking we are one of the fastest growing units. You almost never hear any discussion of religion or politics except that religion plays way too big a role in the organization. I can't even figure out how religion became so entwined in the club. Nothing I've ever read about Wally Byam indicated any religion was a major part of his life or had anything to do with Airstreams. In fact, when asked, he said "His religion was camping."
If it wasn't for the clubs insurance coverage for rallies and caravans, many of our members don't see a huge benefit to the larger organization. Probably the single biggest and best benefit is meeting the members of other local units. Very few of our members go the the international. There's just not much interest in except for a few who are trying to inject new blood into the leadership. Kind of a Don Quixote thing maybe. I wish them the best but frankly, I find many other ways to beat by head against a wall with better results.
I read all the comments so far and only a couple know what they are writing about. The rest are uniformed, too cheap to even being a contributing member here, clearly don't like people, or people don't like them so they don't see any reason to socialize beyond Facebook, the narcissists playground. Sorry, my rant drifted a little off course.
None the less, I stay in the organization because of all the wonderful and generous people we have met traveling the US. For example, the organizers of the Mardi Gras and Albuquerque Balloon Festival have worked so hard to put on a premiere event, that I feel both obligated and privileged to support their efforts.

Not a member of the WBCCI, but am here to attest to the outstanding job that the wonderful folks do hosting the International Balloon Festival and the Rose Bowl Parade. We requested to attend and they graciously allowed us to join them. They were inclusive in all activities and we thanked them profusely for allowing us non-member to join in the festivities. When we purchased our AS in 2006, we looked into joining, but there was way, way to much trauma/drama and infighting that we decided to not join. We have met a lot of WBCCI members and they have been extremely nice. Joining anything has, for me, been an ardjous decision. I joined the Boy Scouts, joined the U.S. Navy, and joined my wife in matrimony and thats about it. So now that I've droned on, I just wanted to agree with your assessment of how hard they works to make these event a success.

switz 07-07-2015 10:35 AM

Howard Lefkowitz put on several seminars at the International, Rally. His detailed handouts can be found here:

WBCCI Caravans

The column of informational topics is on the right. Starting with the "Troubleshooting...." there is lots of useful information that he has prepared on various topics. He suggested printing it out and binding it for reference and storing it in the coach or tow vehicle. They are written for the non-technical person to be able to do an initial trouble shooting and make simple repairs or do preventative maintenance.

He is very knowledgable and comes across like the W-4 Warrant Officer with 32 years of active duty on my ship in the Navy who had forgotten more than all the "new" chaps knew in the Repair division.

He does update the files when an error is found or something new comes out.

blickcd 07-08-2015 05:54 PM

My sweetie and I tend to do our own thing and avoid the crowds, so WBCCI and rallies in general have no appeal to us.

In our eleven years of owning our trailer and taking it almost coast to coast, we've met and spoken with only two couples who were members. Super nice people.

The younger of the two couples, in their 30's maybe, had bought their early 80's trailer and found WBCCI members to be a valuable source of information when it came to how to fix or upgrade various things. Sort of like a person might belong to a classic car club. I suspect the internet, and dare I say possibly this forum, may have made the club obsolete as a source for repair advice, lowering the interest in membership.

Protagonist 07-08-2015 06:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by blickcd (Post 1648751)
I suspect the internet, and dare I say possibly this forum, may have made the club obsolete as a source for repair advice, lowering the interest in membership.

Not necessarily. There's still no substitute for, "Hey, got a minute? Come over to my site and take a look at this and tell me what you think." WBCCI still offers face-to-face help that the Internet hasn't caught up to, by virtue of getting members with problems together at the same rallies or caravans as the people with answers.

Though I'll admit, not everyone needs or wants face-to-face help from some crusty old geezer who is probably old enough to have known Wally Byam personally— or from some young but knowledgeable fellow whose trailer is older than he is!

Ultradog 07-08-2015 07:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by KWN306 (Post 1645608)
I'll probably will get a lot of grief for what I'm going to say but AS owners are snobs, just like...

...this place?
LOL,
I have a beleaguered old AS camper that I use for hunting and fishing.
It's tight, warm and dry.
I haven't had to fix it much. It never goes anywhere.
It is cool but I don't think it is special or magical. It is not the Holy Grail or a thing to be revered.
And it certainly isn't such a part of my identity that I would spend all my dough making it new and perfect or join a club and wear blue hats.

SteveSueMac 07-08-2015 07:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ultradog (Post 1648800)

...snip...

or join a club and wear blue hats.


Wait, what? We're supposed to have blue hats?!?!😄

TWA640316 07-08-2015 08:28 PM

Why do you not belong to WBCCI

Don't have a Airstream. Had plans to buy one, but then found out about Oliver Trailers (molded fiberglass) and bought one of those.

There was a WB rally at the fairgrounds here in Tonganoxie, KS this spring. Was surprised to see all the Airstreams, but could not find anything in the forums about it. So went out and paid them a visit, nice folks.

Stan

rvb 07-08-2015 11:04 PM

Club membership
 
We've had our Argosy and been a member of WBCCI for about a year and a half. The club was not what we expected, but, we like it better each time we go out. We met Protagonist in the VAC (Vintage Airstream Club) tent at the Farmington, NM Rally, where we had a great time. The VAC members are definitely one of fun groups. While at the rally we visited the nearby sites including the Durango/Silverton train, Aztec ruins, Mesa Verde and 4 Corners. We also visited Sante Fe on the way up and Roswell on the way back. It was a great trip.

The appeal of an Airstream to my wife was specifically the club and camping with other owners. The club is definitely geared toward retiree's and we both work, but, we've found time to be members of a local club, affiliates with another 4 hour away, members of VAC and we stay at an Airstream only park occasionally for shakedowns.

The club is about the people and we've made friends in each club and at the park, some from across the country. Each club has different emphasis on activities. If you are not impressed by the local club, look around and go to some rally's sponsored by others.

tvketchum 07-19-2015 10:00 AM

You are Assigned a number, but there is no requirement to display it on the trailer. Many members opt to display on a sign at the campsite.

Besides the commonality of an Airstream, when I meet other WBCCI members, we have another bond of friendship.

We have enjoyed courtesy parking three times now, on our journey. Each night saved us at least half of the annual dues. One couple went over and above, by offering dinner, and a continental breakfast the next morning. All three offered electric connections, to boot.

We have met many wonderful people in our local WBCCI unit, the Central Indiana Unit. We spent wonderful weekends camping with these friends, and enjoyed a short local caravan to sites and places we lived near but never knew existed.

Not to mention, seeing the red number on the road on another unit, being able to look them up, and send a greeting. WBCCI is changing, and evolving, to what many think it should be, as new members come in and participate.

Run by volunteers, with very few paid employees, it is what participants make it. Some folks want to sit back and be catered to, others want to step forward and take control.


Sent from my iPhone using Airstream Forums

Tom
TVKetchum

eubank 07-19-2015 10:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SteveSueMac (Post 1648805)
Wait, what? We're supposed to have blue hats?!?!😄

Yep, blue hats, for sure! This is the one I wear (when I'm all dressed up):

https://i.ebayimg.com/00/s/MTYwMFgxMT...Thd3j/$_12.JPG

:)
Lynn


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