Region One President’s Newsletter – December 2012

Published: December 31, 2012

By Ray Richard

This Region One newsletter is the first of eight you will receive from me as Region One President. I intend to publish a newsletter once a quarter to share relevant information with you about our Units, Region One, and the International club (WBCCI). The anticipated publishing schedule is presented in a Table elsewhere in this edition. The newsletters will be distributed through the Unit Presidents, Unit’s email distribution, and the Region One website. Hope you enjoy and benefit from this newsletter effort.

If you have comments or questions about Airstreaming, the Club or Region, please contact me via cell, (203) 804 – 3732, email,, or in person at a luncheon or Rally. Remember the Region One Florida Luncheon will be held at the Buffet City in Brooksville (13235 Cortez Blvd); an opportunity to discuss Club activities together in a relaxed informal gathering. As always, I will conduct Club business as transparently as possible and maintain an open door policy. To the extent possible, I will follow your direction and voice your opinions. As your representative on the International Board of Trustees (IBT), I will strive to honor the wishes of the majority of Region One members. To do that, I need your input, support and help.

Most of us look back upon the many events of a year during the final month and recall some of the highlights and major events. I will be no different. For all of us, the year has been full of great fun, excitement, adventure and change, as well as despair, tragedy and heartbreak. It is not my intent to provide a comprehensive list of all the events that come to mind, only a few from my prospective. I can not start this year-end summary without beginning with the too tragic event of Newtown, CT which has affected us all. Our thoughts and prayers are with Gilles and Joyce Rousseau who lost their daughter, and long-time members of Charter Oak, Bud and Jessie Gould who lost their youngest son, and Joan Beardsley who lost her husband.

The 2012 Region One Rally was well attended and enjoyed by all. I again would like to acknowledge all the planning efforts and hard work of all the members of the New England Unit. Additionally, a special mention of the delicious food must be made and a quick recognition of the hard working food crew.

Plans are well underway for the 2013 Region One Rally in Berlin, CT from August 8 through 11. If you have not yet registered, please consider sending your payment during January and February. Although the 10% discount has ended, we are offering a small incentive for registrations received prior to February 28, 2013. Please register soon.

We have a very nice facility for our 2013 rally in the Lions Fairgrounds of Berlin, CT. The central location within Connecticut provides many opportunities to visit several near-by world renown and state historical museums, and historical sites. We have scheduled three (yes, 3) nights of entertainment this year. You will not be disappointed, (well you shouldn’t be). On Saturday night after our elaborate formal banquet, we will have an eighteen piece band playing for your listening and dancing pleasure. The 2013 Rally is an Irving Berlin theme we call ”Puttin’ on the Airs”, so I encourage everyone to dress appropriately. Use your imagination. I saw someone wearing a T-shirt depicting a black tie and tux at this year’s Region Rally. The tuxedo-like T-shirt is available from several online vendors. Join me in wearing a costume and have fun! Yes, I plan to dress “Black Tie” in true ZZTop fashion.

Also please remember to donate items for the raffle. Sandy Sasuta will be contacting the Unit Presidents asking for raffle items from the membership. I have had a few volunteers that were interested in doing a demonstration or seminar. Please confirm your willingness. Have an idea for a seminar? Lets talk, I still have a few openings.

The 55th International Rally was held in Sedalia, MO. The Region One Officers were parked together along with our incoming 2nd VP on large level camp sites with 3-point hookups. The days were hot, but the meeting rooms and coliseum were air conditioned and kept very cool. Overall the facilities were very nice. The last official attendance number I heard was 459 rigs. Region One had one Unit President out of six in attendance. I sincerely hope that we have better representation in 2013.

In the Unit Directory Bound category the New England Unit won 3rd Place and in the same category, Cape Cod MA Unit won Honorable Mention.

The Region One luncheon in Sedalia was held at the Best Western State Fair Inn was attended by 16 members and guests. Out going Region President Russ Melocik and his wife Cynthia were presented a gilded framed photograph entitled “Sunset over Lake Sumter Landing” in The Villages as a token of our Region’s appreciation for their efforts.

The Delegates meeting was held June 30 with two major issues to discuss and the election of an International 3rd Vice President. Two candidates ran from the floor; Richard Girard from Region 11 and Jim Schwerdfegar from Region 9. Jim “Smith” Schwerdfegar was elected as the new International 3rd Vice President and Richard returned to incoming Region 11 President. The proposed new constitution which we have discussed the last two years during our Unit Spring Business meetings was on the Delegates agenda for discussion. As a Delegate representing Charter Oak, I was under the impression that the Delegates would discuss and vote on each proposed article, one by one, making amendments as required as a result of our discussions. That process did not take place, rather immediately after the motion was made regarding the proposed constitution, a delegate called for the question. That means vote now, without debate, without amendments, just vote accept the proposed new constitution in its entirety, or reject it. The question was voted on, and the clear majority, more than two thirds of the Delegates approved this approach. The opposition asked for reconsideration, which when put to a vote was voted down.

The Delegates were then advised that should the proposed constitution be passed as written, it would replace the existing constitution immediately. Since the proposed constitution does not establish Delegates as Unit Representatives, once it replaced the existing constitution, the Delegates would be dismissed, and the Delegates meeting would conclude. The third vote then rejected the proposed new constitution. The membership is responsible for and may change the Club’s Constitution, not the Executive Board or the International Board of Trustees (IBT). Our Club’s Constitution must meet certain minimum requirements as set forth by State of Ohio law, but it is you and only you, the membership, that can change the Constitution. As a Region President, I can help you through the process, and be the Maker of a Motion, but the suggested revisions must come from you. Interested in drafting a Constitution? Lets talk.

The next issue before the Delegates was the motor home issue that proposed we allow WBCCI Life members the ability to use a non-Airstream motor home to attend Club sponsored rallies and caravans. This motion also did not reach a vote. Several Delegates questioned the wording and the constitutionality of the motion as presented. The majority of the Delegates voted to send it to the Constitution and By-Laws Committee for further review and clarification. Don Schafer as Chair of the Committee, should be reporting back soon, perhaps at the January IBT meeting in Blythe, CA as this topic will return to the Delegates in 2013.

I was formally installed as your Region One President for 2012-2014 in ceremonies at the International Rally in Sedalia along with five other newly installed Region Presidents: Jay Thompson – R3 from Tallahassee, FL; Barry Bell – R5 from Noblesville, IN; Linda Agre – R7 from Clear Lake, MN; Linda Knezek – R9 from Georgetown, TX; and Richard Girard – R11 from Phoenix, AZ. All dedicated to the ongoing success of our WBCCI.

My first meeting as a Trustee was held July 5th. You should know that the By-Laws are the responsibility and controlled by the International Board of Trustees (IBT). The By-Laws are a collection of Articles that dictate how things are done in our Club. It describes the Standing Committees, defines membership privileges, merger of Units, and financial management such as setting a budget, to name a few. The IBT can initiate motions to alter, delete, improve understanding, or create new Articles within the By-Laws. If you have any suggestions for improving the operation of the Club through the By-Laws, please discuss them within your Unit. Write-up your suggested wording and send it to me. I will pass them onto the other Units in Region One for discussion. If a consensus is reached within our Region, then I will draft a motion for review and presentation to the IBT. Change does happen from the bottom up, if you are willing to put forth the effort.

During this July 5th IBT meeting, a Motion was moved and seconded stating that “the International President appoint a committee to study and recommend a realignment of the Regions. The committee shall submit their proposal(s) at the 2013 Mid-Winter IBT meeting”.

The vote was: For – 13 Against – 4 Abstain – 1 What do you think? I believe Region One is fine in its current configuration and her borders should remain unchanged. Send me your thoughts.

Membership remains priority one. We need to recruit new members and retain our members through friendship and fun activities. How are we doing? The start of 2013 brings a new Unit President and new Unit Officers with new ideas on how to make the Unit more active, fun and friendly. A new schedule of luncheons and rallies at the Unit, Region and International levels promise to excite and intrigue. Let’s all commit to using our Airstreams more often in 2013 and support our Club activities. The theme for the 2013 International Rally is “A New Approach” let’s make this theme a reality and work together to make our Club and Region the best they can be. I am confident we must all embrace new approaches; the Club must stay current with the changing times. But I also believe that we must not abandon some of the traditions which built this club or forget our history which defines our brand specific unity.

The Table below is based on June 1st data from each year. Looking at the Table, the declining trend in five of our six Units must change. Attrition is natural as our membership ages. However, attraction or marketing our value to prospective members must be improved and our retention rate increased. This will be one of the seminars during the 2013 Region One Rally in Berlin, CT (please register, if you have not already). Congratulation to the Quebec Canada Unit for their continued growth.

Please also be aware and tell prospective new members that they can submit their application online at the WBCCI website. Take a look. Go to ( and click on the box labeled “Read more: Membership Information” near the center of the page just above the Sponsor’s photo. This is a link to “Join Online Today”, where you can complete the membership application, and pay your Club membership. Show the link to prospective members, the process is easy.

Interested in working at the International Rally in Huron, SD? The WBCCI Traffic crew needs volunteers. Who are they? They are the volunteers dressed in an orange vest and hat that greet you waiving an orange flag directing Drives into the campground. If you would like to park at the Rally early, are willing to help, and like telling people where to go, please let me know. Volunteers are needed.

In mid-January, Cynthia and I will fly to Blythe, CA to attend the Mid Winter IBT meeting. We will join our Region One 1st Vice President Ernie Bauer and his wife Madaline. They are planning to pull their Airstream cross country. This meeting will be streamed live providing information to all our members. I believe that the IBT seminar begins at 9:00AM on January 25th & 26th. Visit the WBCCI website for specifics. Give it a try and listen, who knows, I may actually say something of interest.

There are 14 Motions that will be brought before the IBT during this mid-winter meeting. Two are proposing new Unit flag designs. One flag for the Illinois Lincolnland Unit (Motion 1) and one flag for the Florida State Unit (Motion 14). I find this very encouraging that Units are evolving and actively changing their image; including newly designed Unit flags. Yet I find it a bit disconcerting that after the Unit members have voted that they must then seek approval of the IBT. But then philosophically I have always been a weak Federalist; the debate of State Rights vs. Central Power or Units Independence vs. International Club Authority continues. But I digress (perhaps a name change is in order from Region One Newsletter to Ramblings of a President).

Motion 2 requests Unit code numbers be included in Appendix 8 of the Bylaws. Motion 3 requests the Vintage Airstream Intra-club be permitted to conduct a Buddy Rally in more than one of the 12 Regions per year, for the next two years. Motion 4 highlights that the issuance of Past President and Spouse Pins at all levels within WBCCI have been discontinued as a budget item, yet the text in our Bylaws do not reflect this consequence. Motions 5 and 6 requests slight text changes in the Bylaws to reflect practices currently in use.

Motion 7 addresses a concern that has floated among the IBT in the past which concerns voting privileges for Members-at-Large (MAL). Currently the thinking encourages MAL as a temporary “try us out” member classification that will lead to membership within a specific chartered Unit. Thus MAL do not have the right to vote on Club business at the International level. This Motion describes a feasible process, and requests that MAL be granted the privilege to vote on International Club concerns. Personally I am in favor of this Motion. What do you think? Please provide me with your input.

Motion 8 requests the WBCCI calendar be changed from a Fiscal Year to a Calendar Year and the text in the Bylaws be altered to reflect that change. Some believe that this would facilitate changing the dates for the International Rally. Motion 9 requests a fee of $1.00 be added to the attendee’s fee for all Unit, Special, National, and International Rallies and or Caravans. The collected funds would be used to off-set the additional expenses incurred by the Home Office generated by these activities. What do you think? Please provide me with your input.

OK, I am responsible (unduly credited) for striking the hornets’ nest that caused this next Motion to be written. As outlined in the Bylaws the newly elected Region Presidents may participate, if they so desire, in a drawing of membership numbers from the 200-299 series. This year, when the drawing took place several Region Presidents did not wish to change their current membership number. As a result, membership number 202 was available but not drawn, thus not assigned and would be available next year. I was and am still thrilled with my newly assigned number of 211, yet I confess that I emailed HQ and requested the lowest available. The Maker of Motion 10 also wanted a lower membership number thus proposing a process to insure that the lowest available numbers used in the drawing will match one-to-one the number of Region Presidents participating in the drawing, thus preventing a reoccurrence of this year’s outcome.

In an expense reduction effort, Motions 11 and 12 requests a text change to our Constitution governing meetings of the IBT. The current Constitution states that there shall be three meetings of the IBT each year. The two Motions working together will first change that text to read “will be at least one meeting of the IBT each year, and then permit meetings to be conducted using approved electronic means. The annual cost savings to the Club is estimated to be $30,000. This does not include the additional expenses incurred by the Region Officers. Personally I am in favor of this Motion. Today’s technology will support live two-way interaction between 18 individuals separated across U.S. and Canada at a far less expense. It would be much cheaper for me to invest in any necessary hardware to accommodate this virtual meeting process than what I am currently spending for Cynthia and I to attend this and the last three IBT meetings. I am convinced that the quality of Club business and decisions would not be affected. If my Employer can do it, so can my Club. What do you think? Please provide me with your input.

Motion 13 requests permission allowing the International 2nd VP to sign a contract securing a venue for the 2015 International Rally.

So, please let me hear from you either by phone, email, or in person and let me know your thoughts so that I may better represent the general membership of Region One.

A full report on the actions taken during the IBT mid-winter meeting will be reported in the next Region One newsletter to be distributed in late February. And yes, I do apologize for the December 2012 Region One Newsletter being distributed a few days late. Thank you for reading this issue.

International President John Boutwell announced that WBCCI is supporting the Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) in 2013. Each Unit may plan a fundraiser during a Unit luncheon or rally, or as a scheduled stand alone activity, such as a bake sale. I know some of our Units are planning a fund raiser for the WWP, if your Unit has not yet developed an event or program, please consider doing something. The funds from Unit activities or donations from individuals may be turned in to Trevor Lake, our Region One Treasurer. The amount collected prior to the International Rally will be tallied and a check will be presented by your Region President, at the International Rally in Huron, during Wounded Warrior Night to be held on June 27, 2013. The total contribution from all 122 Units will be presented to the Wounded Warrior representative. Donations from our United States Units will go to the U.S. Wounded Warriors Fund and donations from our Canadian Units will go to the Canadian Wounded Warriors Fund. Please look at your September 2012 Blue Beret, inside front cover, Page 34, and also the back cover for additional information about this worthy cause.

I hope that many of you have or will soon register for the International Rally in Huron, South Dakota. Fun, fellowship and adventure often happens in a place you least expect. I have been to and stayed at the campgrounds on the Fairgrounds in Huron, and can attest to the level sites with adequate electricity for summer SD heat. It is an opportunity to see a new part of the country and enjoy the area. An opportunity to attend the Rally and be involved in the decision making process of WBCCI. Register soon and join us for some good entertainment, sightseeing tours, a few informative seminars and an opportunity to participate in our Club’s operation.

In the Table above you can see the economic influence of geographic locations. No one here in the Northeast needs to be told about high property taxes and their affect on camping fees. This is the added cost for being number ONE. Several Regions don’t have an annual Region Rally, instead they offer one every other year. For example Region 2 had a Region Rally in 2012 and their next Rally will be 2014.

Although not depicted in the Table, it is interesting to compare the Daily Rally Fee between Regions. This is calculated by dividing the Rally Fee for two people in an Airstream, which in all cases includes camping fees, by the number of Rally Activity Days. The Regions rank in ascending order as follows:

  • Region 4 $26.43 per Day
  • Region 9 $41.43 per Day
  • Region 8 $48.00 per Day
  • Region 3 $57.83 per Day
  • Region 1 $62.25 per Day
  • Region 7 $75.53 per Day

Well OK, forget that, let’s just look at the cost for Children to attend a Region Rally. WOW! What a bargain for the little ones in Region One. At this rate we will have Airstreamers from all over the Nation signing up for our Region One Rally and bringing their children and/or grandkids. Better register soon, we may sell out of camp sites.

Members of the 2020 Long Range Planning Committee attended the Member Idea Share sessions at the International Rally in Sedalia, MO. Darrell Waters – 2020 Committee Chairman shared some of the Committee’s ideas with the IBT and Region VPs. Below are the 2020 Committee comments as provided by Darrell which I would like to share with you. The Committee makes several valid points that perhaps we could discuss.

  • Make changes that will make our “group” friendly to changes. Not use the “gottcha” concept as apparent at the Delegates Session;
  • The WBCCI Band needs to be accessible to the public when the concert is presented. Local musicians – folks join the band;
  • Make the rallies “working man” friendly;
  • Don’t need large facilities for rallies with our declining attendance;
  • The International Rally was half over when some were arriving at the Rally;
  • Unit bulletin board participation is low. Do we still need bulletin boards? Taking down the boards too early. Rules and regulations are not being followed by the participants. Change judging time allow the boards to be seen for a longer time;
  • If the Hobby and Art Shows are to continue, they need to be in a room where people can see the displays for longer viewing times;
  • Vintage open house was too early. Were able to secure new members from this event;
  • Publicity for the vintage open house needs improvement. Folks from the community didn’t know where to go. Open up other newer rigs to open house as well;
  • Exclusive community, closed to public. Needs to be open to outside community. Open the entertainment to the community, could be a money making project.

Region One President’s Note: Food for thought and discussion. What do you think? Please provide me with your input either by phone, email, mail, or in person.