Buying an Airstream opened up many new camping opportunities for us including the eligibility to join the oldest caravan club in America – the Wally Byam Caravan Club International! We have always been aware of the name Wally Byam and the image of the Blue Beret. The T@B taught us the fun of joining a camping group and traveling to rallies to share a similar camping lifestyle. Tom’s parents purchased an Airstream in the 1980’s and joined WBBCI and attended many events. . . it seemed that joining the WBCCI was in our immediate future!
Within days of buying The Silvermine and His, we sent off our paperwork to join the WBCCI. We showed up as new members in the next issues of the club’s Blue Beret publication, and we were issued the big red 4048 numbers to announce our membership on the front and back of our trailer. We researched on the internet, read back issues of the Blue Beret, and watched old video clips of some of the first Airstream caravans on You Tube! We were extremely proud to be a part of such an established Airstream tradition, and we couldn’t wait to participate in our first rallies and caravans!
Northern Ohio Virtual Aistream
As novice Airstreamers, we didn’t know that we could have checked out clubs in our area, and then joined the WBCCI through a local club rather than as an At-Large Member. We joined the on-line forum that connects Airstreamers ( www.airforums.com ) from many different clubs. As we discovered the bigger picture of Airstream ownership, we found that the Ohio area has a variety of WBBCI affiliated clubs that could give us a more personal experience. With the efficiency of an on-line dating service Airforums helped us narrow down our group camping preferences which led us to NOVA – the newest club of the WBCCI.
NOVA is dedicated to the traditions of the WBCCI, but is unique because it allows meetings, voting and full participation to take place from all over the United States via an internet chat-room in Airforums. After all, Airstreamers are known for being off on an adventure, and the Nova group allows everyone to meet on-line without worry about where they may be roaming.
The NOVA group is also very active in getting together informally for last-minute mini-rallies. A running thread on the Airstreams Forum allows a member to post camping plans on the spur of the moment, and invite anyone who might want to come!
All of this Airstream fun opened up to us at the end of the 2011 camping season! As Spring and the start of a new season now approaches, we are finding that our camping calendar is rapidly filling up. the TAC Amish Rally, which I am helping to host, the Alamoopalooza at the Airstream headquarters in Jackson Center, OH, and the Airstream Computer Rally being held right here in Van Wert are all on the schedule with reservations made. In addition to these Airstream events we also have several two spring rallies planned in Tennessee and North Carolina, and we’re expanding our Indianapolis 500 experience to include 10 days of camping in at the Speedway! And all of that is just the preliminaries for a vacation that covers the Outer Banks of North Carolina to Florida to Texas and up the Natchez Trace -- concluding in the Smokey Mountains!
You might say we are a bit anxious for the 2012 camping season to get started! Follow along as we document these upcoming episodes of camping in The Silvermine and His.
We don’t go camping any more . . . we go ‘streamin’ ! The “SIlvermine and His” is our 2016 23' Airstream, and ‘streamin’ is the name we use to describe our adventures. Stream along as we document everything from weekend trips to longer summer excursions and full-blown vacations. You know what they say: if you’re not in an Airstream – you’re just camping!
Tom & Ella Brown