I hope all is well with you! We’ve been missing our Airstream Club friends and getting more excited by the day as we count down to joining many of you at our Rally2023 in Rock Springs, WY. For those of you coming, you can expect to see somewhere around 1,300 Airstreams with 2,500 attendees. If you can’t join us in Wyoming, we’ve got great events all around the country and are already planning for our Rally2024 in Sedalia, MO, and Rally2025 in York, PA.
Thinking about our Airstream Community
This all got me thinking about our Airstream community and reflecting on many of your comments through the various surveys (I read every comment, by the way). Coincidentally I am re-reading the book ‘Bowling Alone,’ by Robert Putnam. This book was initially published in 2000 and talks about how people are not as involved in their communities as they used to be. This means they don’t participate in groups or clubs as much as they used to, like interest groups (bowling leagues or knitting groups), church groups, or sports leagues. The author believes this is a problem because it leads to less trust in others and people feeling less happy overall.
As I re-read the book, I was struck by the importance of our Airstream Club community. You’ve told us this through your survey comments: our Airstream Club community offers a sense of belonging and connection vital to human beings. Through our events and activities, members can connect, share experiences, and build lasting friendships, also serving as a support system that provides assistance and peace of mind to members during times of need or crisis.
Our community provides a sense of support and belonging beyond the simple pleasure of owning and traveling in an Airstream. Furthermore, our shared values of adventure, travel, and a fulfilling life create a sense of pride, with members highly valuing the connections they find in the club. In fact, many of you (us!) cite it as a significant factor in your decision to join the club in the first place. You know all this, but bringing it into the broader perspective is interesting.
Anyway, I was chatting with a non-Airstream friend about this, and the question came up: “Ok, that’s nice, but in practice, what does that mean to your members?”. Good question! I think it means continued focus on providing more opportunities to get together. Our focus should remain on providing events that mix socializing, learning opportunities about our Airstreams, and, most importantly, encouraging all our members to attend. Not just the “regulars” but specifically reaching out and inviting the new members and those who haven’t attended events in a while. Let’s make it easy and welcoming. It’s easy to overlook when planning a rally.
Big Red Numbers (BRNs)
We’ve had a lot of interest and questions recently about how (and when) to display your Big Red Numbers. Please visit a relatively new page we have (airstreamclub.org/BRN) for history on those iconic red numbers, ideas on how/where to place, some examples of alternative placements, how to re-order, etc.
Our BRN on our scrapped rear panel (storm damage).
New Exclusive Discount Offerings
Shifting gears, in addition to our existing discount offerings for Abenity, Airstream Supply Company, Griot’s Garage, Harvest Hosts, Michelin tires, Passport America, we’ve just launched a discount for Goodyear tires, plus a special offer with Solo Stove for etched versions of four of their most popular sizes. You can find everything in our Members-Only Section of our Club website (login required).
Airstream Club International etched Solo Stoves
Looking forward to seeing you all down the road,
International President / BRN 153 // Amateur Radio callsign AA6EM
(scan with camera for my digital contact card)