So it's another RV club . . . who gains by my joining it?
YOU DO . . . it's a FUN club . . . a non-profit corporation for Airstream owners, dedicated to the spirit of friendship and common interest in RV traveling.
Tell me more about the club.
Well . . . it all started back in 1952 when some Airstream Caravanners got together for old times sake, following the first and famous Wally Byam Caravan to Central America the winter of '51-'52. You see, the Caravanners were becoming quite a group because the caravans led by Wally were now becoming an annual trek into Mexico. They talked of organizing a club which they felt would bring them together between their winter tours to Mexico. They felt that they could, perhaps, perpetuate throughout the summer the fun and fellowship that they had found in their winter travels with Wally. But it wasn't until July 1955, during Caravan #6, the first Wally Byam Caravan to Eastern Canada that a group of 39 organized, elected temporary officers and appointed a committee to draw up a constitution. In ten days it was adopted and in another ten, the first "membership" meeting was held. Holding the charter membership open for those who were out on caravan, the next meeting was held during the Airstream Company November Rally at Palm Springs, which brought the charter membership to 55.
There were 55 charter members . . . how big is it today?
One of the world's largest . . . of one make of recreation vehicle . . . from every state of the union, provinces of Canada, Mexico and overseas countries . . . truly an International Club, which it became in 1962 with the formation of the Canadian Units.
Is there anything else that the Club can do for me?
Like many clubs, we do have some Intra-Clubs which have specialized activities: Amateur Radio Club, Citizens Band Radio Club, Classic Club, Free Wheeler Club (for members who are single, widowed or divorced), Computer Club, Full Timers Club (members who live full time in their Airstreams), Genealogy Club and Vintage Airstream Club (members who own an Airstream which is 25 or more years old). As new activities are needed, you can rest assured that the WBCCI will embrace it, remember, it's the world's largest, oldest and most active club, it's the granddaddy of them all . . . and the cost to you is very nominal.
Just what will I do at unit rallies?
You name it . . . we do it . . . fashion, pet and hobby shows . . . games and contests of every sort . . . square, round and ballroom dancing . . . informational classes on RV safety and maintenance . . . and instruction sessions embracing most hobbies. Dinners, potlucks and eating out are part of these weekend agendas. Foods are sometimes prepared in unusual and different ways, as customs vary from one locale to another. Since these get-togethers are located in different parts, campgrounds and in different towns from time to time, it affords the opportunity to visit and tour local plants and businesses. One thing is sure, there is always something of interest for everyone at most all Unit rallies . . . but what's more important is that in meeting new people, you are going to make new friends and friendships will be formed that will last your lifetime.
Are there other rallies?
Oh, yes, the Units of most Regions hold a yearly Region Rally for the enjoyment of all members within the Region . . . sometimes as many as 500 plus Airstreams attend from all over the several states that the Region embraces. Then there are a number of yearly National Rallies, each of which is sponsored by a Unit. These National Rallies are planned around a central theme of national interest.
Special Event Rallies are also held to coincide with an event which is limited, such as:
These National and Special Event Rallies are popular and advance reservations are necessary. Finally, climaxing all these Unit, Region and National Rallies, comes the once-a-year big one, the International Rally. This is held the last week of June thru July 4th for the benefit of all WBCCI members. It is the one time each year when all members from all units may join in fellowship. It is the granddaddy of them all. This rally is the responsibility of the International Board, but it is run by Club members. Hundreds of Club members volunteer to do what is necessary to make this once-a-year rally a success . . . park Airstreams, lay water lines, sewer lines, direct traffic, carry messages, man the post office, first aid, message centers, paint signs, etc. The Rally site is changed from year to year throughout the country. Many members attending the Rally will arrive in the state several weeks prior to the opening date and many remain in the area several weeks after the close of the Rally.
This sounds like an active, busy club; how will I be able to keep up with all these various activities?
If you join a local Club Unit, you will receive their bulletins which generally are mailed monthly or prior to a local rally so that you will know when and where to go to join in the fun. Then, too, as an International member you will automatically receive the official Club publication, the BLUE BERET, a magazine which is the main news media for the Club. It contains news of National and International events, Region and local Unit events. In addition, as a Club member, you will receive the ANNUAL DIRECTORY of Wally Byam Caravan Club members. It contains both an alphabetical and numerical listing of all WBCCI Club members. It lists Wally Byam Club Officers, Club activity schedules, Courtesy Parking offered by WBCCI members, discounted RV Parks, and Airstream factory service centers.
I like to get together with small groups, sometimes I just want to travel alone . . . what about that?
The club is really made up of separate units . . . over 140 of them today . . . which range in size from 25 to over 400 families. These units are independent organizations; they gather their own members from among local Airstream owners; they have their own unit constitution and bylaws, elect officers and set their own dues. They run their own program of rallies, caravans and other activities as they wish, as long as they comply with the International Constitution, policies and bylaws.
Where are these Club Units located?
All over the U.S. and Canadian provinces. Some states have only one or two units; California now has 12. The states are divided into 12 geographical regions, each of which has a set of region officers elected alternately every 2 years by the individual regions. International Officers are elected yearly during the International Rally by the entire membership through delegates from each unit. Together they become the International Board of Trustees (IBT) thus insuring geographical representation and contact for the Units.
If I join a local Unit, what can I expect to gain?
The local Unit rallies are the backbone of the Club. These rallies are planned and executed by the members of the Unit. Most of these are weekend functions that allow the working members the fullest use and enjoyment of their Airstream. These weekends are usually planned short distances from home base which is another reason why there are so many units within the populous states. Attending the local Unit rallies will result in your meeting new people from all walks of life, with interests as varied as the people who make up the Club. Club members are a congenial group of men, women, and young people . . . a warm and wonderful source for new friends and friendship. These local Unit rallies also afford a perfect opportunity to "discover" new and interesting places not too far from home. Membership in one local Unit also permits you to attend rallies of all Units. Over 1,500 such rallies are held by the Units each year, and you are always welcome to attend these weekend rallies as you travel.
Must I join a unit to become a member?
No! WBCCI has a Member at Large category which permits a person to enjoy WBCCI membership privileges if Unit Membership does not fit their particular lifestyle.
What are those red numbers on the front and back of the Airstream?
Wally adopted this practice of vehicle identification in the beginning; it was an easy method of identification while on a caravan. When you join the Club, you are assigned an official membership number which, when assigned, becomes your identification for as long as you remain a Club Member in good standing and is transferred to any Airstream RV you may own.
How much are the membership dues?
Peanuts, when you think of what you get . . . what you've just read about. Yearly Unit dues range from $5 to $25 and the 2011 International dues are $65 …OR… you can be a Member at Large for $85. Your International dues cover the printing and postage to mail the "Blue Beret" and Directory to your home.
How do I join?
It's easy . . . just call the Club Headquarters at 937-596-5211 or click on Application in the Membership Information page. . . fill it out and mail it today. Do it today . . . it may be one of the best decisions you have ever made . . . it certainly will open up new interests, new experiences and a new dimension of enjoyment in your travels . . . happy and safe traveling wherever the road leads you.
WBCCI Central Office803 E. Pike StreetP.O. Box 612Jackson Center,OH 45334Ph 937-596-5211Fax 937-596-5542