News and Views
from the WBCCI Electronic Communications Committee
October   2013
This will be the final issue of News and Views. 

We hope you have enjoyed our attempts to keep you informed about WBCCI
and the adventures of our  Airstreaming members.
The Wheel Goes 'Round
What's a Caravan
A Year of Club Events for Your Planning
Guide for New Airstreamers
Why have a Unit Website?
Dutch Oven Cooking
Boonedocker and
his Airstream
What's in a Number?

Just click HERE .

Quick Links
Don't miss the Blue Beret when you are on the road.  Click the image below to read it OnLine. 
September 2013

Wally knew there is something
about a Circle
that brings people together.

  Today's Airstreamers are still following his lead.

Wally Byam's 1958 African Caravan

The 7th WBCCI International Rally held in Princeton, NJ in 1964
Vintage Airstreams circled at the Laura Ingalls Wilder .....
awaiting the start of  the Huron International Rally

The 2013 Maple Leaf Caravan  
Recreates the Wagon Wheel.
by Cam Murray, NorCal Unit

After seeing that iconic photo of a wagon-wheel formation of Airstreams in front of the Egyptian pyramids Carlos Leach (Texas Highland Lakes Unit) was determined to re-create that formation with the 22 rigs on this year's Maple Leaf Trail caravan, documented by an aerial photograph. It didn't take much to get his group of caravaners behind the project.


A year before the caravan, Carlos had made arrangements with a Red Deer Alberta convention center to use their large parking lot for the "stunt". We arrived at the chosen location, but the pouring rain and wind was bad for flying and photography and the operators wanted us out of the lot ASAP because of competing events. We paused while Carlos tried to secure a church parking lot, but even with its connections, the church could not arrange good flying weather. Unwilling to accept defeat, the parking team negotiated with the rangers at a nearby Bentley AB provincial park and received permission to occupy a large grassy field for two nights.


Surprisingly, we had no major problems forming the wagon wheel using Carlos' calculations and sketches with a few field modifications for greater practicality. No aluminum was harmed, and it was no longer a stunt - this became our real campsite for two nights, and a very enjoyable one. The open center proved perfect for happy hour and serendipitous conversations throughout the day. It even hosted a pick-up Bocce ball competition with space for observers. Wally knew what he was doing when he parked in a wheel. As many aboriginal people have known for centuries, circles bring people together and create community.


But could we pull off the photograph? We rose the next morning to perfect skies   After a day of exploring we all hastened to be home by 5 PM, the scheduled shoot, each wearing a Canada-red shirt emblazoned with "I Parked the Wagon Wheel". Someone grabbed a Canadian flag. A few minutes past five we heard the plane approach and tried various poses (who knows what would have been tried if the shoot were after Happy Hour). Carlos talked with the plane via a hand-held CB, and Carolyn Beardshear, in the passenger seat, leaned out the window, snapping away with three cameras. In what passed for a back seat Rosemary Leach 

held Carolyn's belt to keep her, and the photos, from loss.  Success! 


What's a WBCCI Caravan? 

A caravan is NOT:

A cruise.  


Or a parade of Airstreams, plodding elephant-like through the countryside.  


Or a lock-step, one-size-fits-all guided tour.


A caravan IS:

A circus, with clowns and musicians, ringmasters, and talented performers,  

each with a unique act to contribute to the show.


Spending a month or more with people who start as complete strangers  

and emerge as lifelong friends.


Sharing ups and downs, literally and figuratively.


A cooperative vacation, where the more you help, the more fun you have.


A flock of migrating silver birds, departing a few at a time, finding their own path, then coming to rest at night to converse about the journey.


Running into friends and "new neighbors" at every turnout, coffee shop,  

museum or ice cream parlor, 1000+ miles from home.  


Sharing inside jokes at the final banquet. 


Not taking yourself - or anyone else - too seriously,  because   

the next person to make a wrong turn might be you.  


Being awakened by the sun's reflection in a city of silver.  


After a day of playing hard, enjoying a great meal that you didn't have to cook .


Knowing that even if you walk into the wrong trailer by mistake  

(It happens more than you might think.) you will always be welcomed.


Realizing that if you raise your hood you'll draw helpful and eager problem-solvers, offering insight, tools, and encouragement.


Seeing the recognition and enjoyment of others as the Airstreams  

drive through their towns.


Being exposed to unique ideas, accents,  

and stories (some of them true) that will enrich your own life.


Finding you are impatient to "go rolling" again  

when you've only been home a couple of days.



  Photo from  - Carolinas Unit
Article by Carolyn Beardshear

In response to member requests for access to a full year of WBCCI activities so they can plan cross-country trips that include visiting other unit events, selecting caravans, and scheduling family events, the ECC has responded with a solution that every unit and region can adopt.  There is no additional cost to the club, because the technology is already in place.  Here's how it works:

Units - Any unit member who knows how to can create a Google Calendar with future unit activities, as far in advance as desired.

Regions - With instruction from the ECC, the Region webmaster creates a Google Calendar for the Region and all the unit calendars automatically update the Region calendar, whenever changes are made at the unit level.  So the information is always current (no TBD's) and, once created, the Region webmaster does not need to touch the calendar again.  The caveat here is that all units in a region have to participate, but an industrious Region webmaster can help units who may not be comfortable with the technology quite yet. 

WBCCI - The ECC posts the Region Google Calendar to the Region page of the club website,   Here's an example

These Region websites are already displaying their unit's events so WBCCI members from throughout the US and Canada can join their fun: (webmaster, Eric McHenry) and
(webmaster, Jim Cocke)

If a region decides not to implement Google calendars, we can continue to publish the two-month listing we receive from Jackson Center.
Click HERE for instructions on how to create these calendars.  All the information is at  Please note: It is strongly recommended that these calendars be created with a email address.  These email accounts for all units and regions have already been created.  Contact to receive your passwords and get started telling the club about ALL your events. 
Learn More about Enjoying your Silver Pickle!

    Image used with permission of    


Harold Higgins of the NorCal Unit is a talented guy.  Though he's retired he doesn't seem to rest much.  He's done a lot of work for the ECC in the past and this month he applied his talents to helping new Airstream owners who are Internet savvy, in a hurry, and who like to use videos.   


His latest work is a webpage titled "30 tips for Airstream Repair, Maintenance and Operation."  It is all done with videos from YouTube and other commercial web sites.  If you have a favorite Airstream help-video, send Harold the URL and he'll be glad to add it to his collection. 

Though this page is currently posted on the NorCal website we will be moving the content to shortly so it will be more accessible to members.   
"Why Have A Unit Website?" 


Could there be a WBCCI unit that is not interested in attracting new members? That's doubtful, since membership in some units has been declining steadily while other units have been experiencing unprecedented growth. What makes the difference?   There are many reasons, some of which are beyond anyone's control, but a significant factor in attracting new members to units is having an inviting presence on the Internet.


A strong, inviting web presence is critical for our newer members who are essentially "shopping" for where to spend their still-limited personal time.  If you ask the units that are growing they will tell you that many of these younger Airstream owners are using online resources to choose which WBCCI unit to join. 


New Airstream owners members are also finding the club largely through Internet searches that take them to the club's main website, Once they've found WBCCI the next question is "What's happening in my area?" Within a few clicks prospective members arrive at a map of the units - and just one more click will display the unit's location, dues, membership chairperson and treasurer.  However, if there is no website or newsletter link and no "About Our Unit" paragraph it appears that the unit may be inactive or even non-existent. An outdated website gives the same impression, so it's on to another unit in the area with a website that does contain photos, a current list of officers, and a calendar of activities that look like fun! With the new online Join option, new members can be signed up for a unit, pay dues, and have their big red numbers on order in minutes, but it might not be in your unit if they can't find anything that portrays you in a positive way. Check out your unit's Internet portrait at (Home > Regions and Units) and decide for yourself if you are attracting or discouraging new members.


This new demographic of Airstream owners represents the future of WBCCI; they are wired and online. Your unit can be as well. The ECC has launched 15 new websites and helped countless other units to update their outdated sites in the past year. It doesn't take a lot of expertise to maintain a unit website. Anyone with basic word processing skills and a modicum of problem-solving expertise can manage the task because the ECC offers one-on-one support, either via email or phone until your problem is solved. We set up the basic site and your unit only needs to edit the pages with your own information. It doesn't have to be elegant or complicated. Just let the world of prospective WBCCI members know that your unit is active and eager for them to join you.   


If you want to bring your unit into the digital world and/or improve your Internet presence, email the Electronic Communications Committee at   We can help you grow your unit and give your current members access to a wealth of information as well.


The WBCCI Electronic Communications Committee  


Welcome to the World of

We've noticed a growing number of our members talking about, sharing pictures, and exchanging recipes based on dutch oven cooking.  Along with the non-Airstream world, the love and fascination of cast iron cooking has returned in full force. We thought it'd be fun to collect and share our favorite recipes and resources.  Click the link above and enjoy.   

Photo courtesy of Terry Esrael at Wood Islands lighthouse,
the southernmost point on Prince Edward Island.