There is a seat at the campfire for you!
Without active members, a club cannot exist, which brings me to thinking of our own membership.....
I remember the first rally I attended: We knew no one; It was a little intimidating to walk by the many rigs and seeing small groups, here and there under their awnings and enjoying snacks and drinks. We could not bring ourselves to just walk up to a group and crash their get together. Once we had met a few fellow Airstreamers, they introduced us to others and then we too would be part of a small group, relaxing under an awning and enjoying each other's company, and yes, watched other people walk by seeming a little shy about just joining us, just like we had done!.
Cut to another Rally:
At the next rally I just walked up and invited myself into a couple or three groups; shared some popcorn and good Canadian beer and partook of the social part of our club. It was great – Lots of fun, good company and some very fine people. The old Saw that “A stranger is a friend you haven’t met” was proven to be true.
We must be proactive in welcoming new members more than one event or one time; it must be an ongoing effort to include everyone into our groups that meet under our awnings. We need these new members, as well as the long-time ones, to rejuvenate, inspire, invigorate, and, ultimately, to lead our club. In other words, to ensure that the Club remains healthy and active now and into the future.
At our last IBT meeting, Airstream reported that, to their surprise, sales were booming as was membership notwithstanding Covid19. In the most recent news sent to me, there were 176 new members in our Region alone. What great news for the Club and for our Region!
Now the challenge is upon us, as existing members, to set out the welcome mat to new members so no one wanders around alone.
On the survey recently conducted by Terri Warren she wrote: " it was made clear that local clubs need to focus a bit more on the inclusion of younger families. Airstream buyers are now including an abundance of younger ownership to the mix. I feel strongly that we need to be aware of this demographic change to stay relevant.
What was also made clear was the concern for the lack of a welcoming feeling. Repeatedly, responders said that they were unable to break into the cliques formed within clubs. While there isn’t too much we can do about the costs of rallies and caravans at this point, we definitely can do better with being welcoming.
Additionally, we can make a point of including activities in rallies that are for those more physically active and also for our younger families. “
The dictionary describes hospitality as: a friendly and generous reception and entertainment of guests, visitors or strangers.
So let’s take this to heart and, most importantly, have an empty seat ready at our campfires.
Michel Bourassa President and Mel Simrell Regional Membership Chair