Sierra Nevada Airstreams -|- Sierra Nevada Unit

Enjoyment of the whispering winds, the zephyrs, the airstreams of the Sierra Nevada and Great Basin areas of the United States in a recreational vehicle.

Four Freedoms

Wally Byam, Developer of the Airstream travel trailer and founder of the Wally Byam Caravan Club, International defined the Airstream experience in terms of four basic freedoms. These are freedom from arrangements, freedom from the problems of age, freedom to discover and to know, and freedom for fun.

In response to an article in the March 2004 issue of the Blue Beret, the Sierra Nevada Unit, was prompted to describe these concepts as they are enjoyed by our members.

After going downhill for several years, the SNU made some changes and is now, slowly beginning to turn things around. The first decision we made was that we wanted to be an independent Unit rather than fold up or merge with another Unit. The four freedoms listed in the article were essentially the concepts we all agreed were worth our efforts to rebuild the Unit. We then explored ways to make that happen.

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2004 Rally at Lahonton

Freedom from arrangements - The SNU is in the unique position of having lots of wide open space for Unit gatherings. Although we may have to reserve a site, we are usually free to park where we want and how we want. Since our membership prefers dry camping or minimal facilities, we have more options and are not dependent on high price campgrounds or RV parks. The open parking available to the SNU also means that we never have to turn away anyone, even if they haven't registered for the rally.
One of the primary assets of the Airstream that Wally Byam promoted was that it is self contained and can have all the comforts of home independent of provided services. The SNU follows that example on most of our outings. We also have a flexible rally schedule and side trips, activities, and tours, are optional. The SNU provides a list of possibilities available for each rally but arrangements are made by the individuals not the SNU. This enables members the freedom to make their own arrangements, to come when they can, for as long as they can, and participate or not participate as they choose.

SNU members at Twin Lakes in 2005

Freedom from the problems of age - We have had all ages from toddlers to octogenarians participate in our activities. Because of our flexible schedule working families, those with school age children, and retired adults all fit in and enjoy participation as it suits their needs. Because of our simple needs, flexibility, and the availability of low cost camping sites, we can keep costs to a minimum thus encouraging anyone young or old to participate even if they have limited resources. The flexibility of SNU outings can accommodate almost anyone regardless of any restrictions or limitations in abilities.

2005 SNU members touring Bodie

Freedom to discover and to know - Northern Nevada has lots of great history and geological points of interest. Our rally schedule is planned around something of interest to our membership. For instance our May rally is planned to coincide with the Civil War re-enactment at Fort Churchill and our October rally is near the historic Bower's Mansion. No matter where we are there are places to explore and opportunities for hiking, biking, tours, or other activities

2006 SNU 30th Anniversary Luncheon

Freedom for fun - The basis for our gatherings and for our desire to continue as a Unit. The great places we have available for SNU gatherings, the enjoyment of each others company, the sharing of tales and experiences, the sharing of new memories and adventures, and the excitement of encouraging and including new members in the Airstream experience. No wonder we are thankful we made the decision to keep going, to do what we can to rebuild the SNU and make it successful.

2005 Kingston Rally

Changes we made in our bylaws also provide another freedom - that of participation. Too often people are leery of getting involved because they are concerned they will end up serving on a committee, being elected to the board, or given some task or job to do. In part because we are currently a small group, we all share responsibilities and carry out the functions necessary to meet WBCCI guidelines. We work together and get things done. Our system enables members to choose their own level of involvement. There is no pressure or expectation to take on a job. Our goal is to get people as enthused as we are and on their own want to take on some responsibility that benefits the Unit.

We are very proud of our efforts to date and enthusiastic about our future. Our PR efforts continue to pay off. Since the beginning of 2004 we have mailed an introduction letter and information packet to all RV dealers in our area. This packet included the profile, the 2004 rally schedule, and our achievements. Our unit activities have consistently been listed in several local newspapers Another idea paid off the first time it was tried. We created a table sign to use at our restaurant luncheon meetings. Our website has created a lot of interest and our on-line subscription for the newsletter has encouraged people outside our area to subscribe.

Our decision to hold more rallies rather than luncheons and to hold them in all areas of our territory has proved worthwhile. We have had people show up who have never been to any of our other events. Also we have had people that heard about the rally and joined us for the first time.

All these efforts have increased the awareness that an Airstream Unit exists in the Northern Nevada area, that is is doing things that are fun and encourage participation. We continue to explore new ideas to encourage participation and generate membership. We feel that a solid foundation and providing activities and events that reflect the interests of our members and potential members will enable us to continue to strengthen the Sierra Nevada Unit, WBCCI.

The Owner's Guide Participating section for information about planning and conducting rallies and caravans.

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