Jump to content
Kirk W

Escapees RV club spirit?

Recommended Posts

In reading the latest issue of Escapees Magazine, I noted that it was stated that membership now exceeds 34,500 families, which I am sure means SKP numbers which are shared by both members of a couple or the entire family. To me that seems to indicate that the total number of people must be close to 70,000! Some of the best news, while not in this article was when it was announced that the X-scapers are now the fastest growing part of the club, which means our average age is not continuing to rise as it was for so long in the past. The current article also addresses the importance of all of us who are members need to remember the kind of spirit that was key to the club in the early days when it was just the Petersons' who owned and managed the club. That spirit has been a major factor in attracting many of we older members and hopefully it continues to be that way to this day but it is imperative that all of us do our best to keep it going. I am starting this thread because I have watched as the younger, X-scaper folks have  become a greater part of the club but we seem to attract very few of them to these forums. It may be that we will never get all of them to take part here, but we must do our best to encourage those who do post to continue to do so and to treat them as equals. 

I have been working to get my own son interested in being members of the club and the forums, but with little success. He was a member of the club for 1 year and has occasionally read these forums but has not felt welcome as one who still works for a living and is only 50 years old. I'll not point out any posts here as he did, but only ask that we all do our best to make the younger members as welcome as we can and carefully avoid unflattering terms for them, such as weekend warriors as has been used here in the past. I was fortunate to have known both Joe & Kay and wish that there were some way that everyone could have done so. Now Cathy & Bud have cut back their involvement to enjoy life more so we need to step up to keep the spirit of the Petersons alive and a major part of this group!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In my opinion we also need to welcome those with "cheap" rigs. Van dwellers, for instance, are true full time RVers. My van was as expensive as many RVs but even those with older vans and other older rigs deserve our respect. Many of us started in tent trailers but how many of those today would feel welcome here? For me, all types of RVs are RVs and all ages of people using RVs are RVers.

Linda

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

KIRK, my friend . . . in my experience, our younger generation isn't as interested in "forum" participation as they are in newer styles of communication  such as texting, et al.  Letter writing and other ways of communication using the English language are now completely out of vogue. In this day and age its all quick abbreviations without punctuation. My dear English teacher mother would turn over in her grave. As for this mid-seventies age man. . . its all beyond me. I'm grateful for this newer Escapee generation who has evolved into the Xcapers . . . well done to our new Carr generation.  I'm just an old guy who loves the Escapees,  yesterday and tomorrow.  As always,  Orvil Hazelton 75065.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I totally agree with Orvil.  Xscapers will use Facebook rather than an online forum.  The younger generation is totally different with communication than when we were that age.  They also are not into volunteering as much and do different, more active activities. They're not into clubhouse activities of coffees and games.  They are also workers from their RVs.  They have found their own niche and that's good.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As far as making lower priced RVs welcome, I think that most members do that and most of them are welcomed here also, but the point is clearly a good one. We never were part of the high price group as we were fulltime in a gas powered class A in the mid-price range and now travel in a travel trailer that cost $12k, when we bought it new. If Escapades are any indicator you see pretty much every imaginable type of RV there as well as some really creative homemade ones. 

I do realize that the younger folks are more active in the "social media" and I even participate to some degree with the gang on Facebook, but none of that is any reason to ignore the fact that some of the younger folks have expressed a feeling that they aren't wanted here by the older generation. Let's make an effort to make those who do come here welcome, not only here but also in any gathering of SKP members. As much as I am happy to see the success of X-scapers, we need to make an effort to bridge between that subgroup and those we participate in. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The main topic of the original post seems to be the creation/adoption of a more welcoming attitude  towards  Xscapers so they will feel welcome and thus increasingly become more active in the main group.  This is an acceptable philosophy to have as it will usually yield positive results.  This attitude does/should also be extended to "all" members but sometimes is not.  Several years ago, after having been an Escapees member for several years, we decided to incorporate attending one of the "national" rallies" (2016 Burlington, Vt) into our travel plans as we were going to be traveling to several NE states.  The lady that was part of the welcoming committee made us feel at home and was most charming.  The second day we were once again greeted warmly and made to feel  welcome by none other than #1- Mrs Kay Peterson as she noticed our First time attendees badge.  The remainder of the week was less than welcoming as it became evident that groups of obviously more seasoned Escapees existed but were not very sociable towards or receptive of strangers.  At the conclusion of the rally, we were disappointed at the arms length approach that we had mainly received which left a bad taste in my mouth that still exists today and undoubtedly is why we have not been to any other gatherings with this group.  :(

Edited by jc2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My wife and I started RVing when we were in our 20s.  Started with a TT and now we full-time in a Class C.  We are both under 55.  I will say that most RV clubs are not geared toward the younger RVers.  Many of the events are held when working families are generally not able to get away such as the spring rallies.  Then most things at the rallies and events are geared toward the older RVer (retirement age or getting close) that is in a Class A.  The looks we used to get for having a TT and being in our 20s was awful.  We felt looked down on.  Even when we went full-time in a Class C in our 40s we still felt looked down on.   We see part of the problem is stereo-typing going both ways.  Older RVers are stereo-typing the younger RVers and vice versa.  Time to break the stereo-typing and barriers.  

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with what others have said about the younger generation of RVers (50 and younger) not communicating the same way.  I would predict that in another several years there would be very little activity on forums such as this one.

As far as "club spirit" and attending rallies and such, some members will never make an effort to attend one.  Maybe they already are active members in a different RV club with rallies, or a veterans group that keeps them too busy.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, jc2 said:

 The remainder of the week was less than welcoming as it became evident that groups of obviously more seasoned Escapees existed but were not very sociable towards or receptive of strangers.   :(

I'm sorry you felt that way.  Did you try to join in with the Boomer BOF group?  They are so welcoming!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Kirk W said:

I do realize that the younger folks are more active in the "social media" and I even participate to some degree with the gang on Facebook, but none of that is any reason to ignore the fact that some of the younger folks have expressed a feeling that they aren't wanted here by the older generation. 

I don't know how you can single out younger folks on this site unless they give their age.  I haven't read that the younger ones have expressed a feeling that they weren't wanted.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 hours ago, Orvil Hazelton said:

KIRK, my friend . . . in my experience, our younger generation isn't as interested in "forum" participation as they are in newer styles of communication  such as texting, et al.  Letter writing and other ways of communication using the English language are now completely out of vogue. In this day and age its all quick abbreviations without punctuation. My dear English teacher mother would turn over in her grave. As for this mid-seventies age man. . . its all beyond me. I'm grateful for this newer Escapee generation who has evolved into the Xcapers . . . well done to our new Carr generation.  I'm just an old guy who loves the Escapees,  yesterday and tomorrow.  As always,  Orvil Hazelton 75065.

oRV beat me to it (that's how he spelled his name on his Escapees name tag the last time we saw him - love it!). Looking at the Xscapers web site, they seem to connect on Facebook and other social media platforms. I know our kids do, too, and think I'm a dinosaur for participating in "old-fashioned" forums. The Xscapers also have their own gatherings, etc. On the other hand, I've seen the younger crown (that's anyone younger the us, I guess) welcomed by most Escapees anywhere we've been (there's at least one curmudgeon in every large group of any kind).

Rob

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, FL-JOE said:

I agree with what others have said about the younger generation of RVers (50 and younger) not communicating the same way.  I would predict that in another several years there would be very little activity on forums such as this one.

As far as "club spirit" and attending rallies and such, some members will never make an effort to attend one.  Maybe they already are active members in a different RV club with rallies, or a veterans group that keeps them too busy.  

Or have attended Escapades in the past and after the first couple, it was always the same cliques and nothing really changes.   We're not conservatives, we don't particularly like country music, we don't drink to excess and with Dave's diet restrictions, we really don't eat out much, don't do potlucks, etc.    So if you have already done the 'bootcamp', and all of the intro things, there really isn't much reason to go.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I find the entire concept of Escapees "Club Spirit" to be a bit odd.  In my mind Escapees is first and foremost a for-profit business. The fact that they use "club" in the name doesn't change that. They run an efficient mail service that we have used throughout our full-timing and offer other products (Rallies, Boot Camp, Road Service) that we don't utilize. 

As long as they take care of the business side of things and provide worthwhile services, they should continue to thrive.  How many folks use the bulletin board or avoiding the use of "unflattering terms" like weekend warrior will likely have very little impact on the success or longevity of Escapees as a business. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, mptjelgin said:

How many folks use the bulletin board or avoiding the use of "unflattering terms" like weekend warrior will likely have very little impact on the success or longevity of Escapees as a business. 

True. And based on your description of yourself, you most likely have never experienced the sort of spirit we are speaking of. I suspect that you also have nothing on the RV to identify yourself as an SKP to other traveling members, and that is fine for those who prefer it that way. We were much that way ourselves our first few years of membership. But we chose to spend an extended period of time in an Escapee co-op park due to the proximity to grandchildren and that was when we began to understand. The club side of Escapees is no different than any other club or association in that if you never join in with the other members you will never make any ties to them.  Clearly you joined for the mail service and related benefits, just as we did but when a family crisis caused us problems and some Escapee members stepped up to help because we were Escapees even though we hardly knew them, that opened the door for us to begin to reach out to others. It is interesting to note that those who choose not to join in also criticize and say it isn't a club. There is an old saying that I believe applies here. "If you want to have friends, you must first be one." We have made more friends from our involvement in Escapees than any other organization we have ever been part of. In fact, there are several members of these forums that we have met only because of the Escapee connection.

It wouldn't hurt to be friendly to each other here as well as the younger members.  😊 I think that some of us sometimes forget that too. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 hours ago, podwerkz said:

I would never join any club that would have me as a member.

😎

 

I will join almost anything that doesn't require me to go to meetings. 😏

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Kirk W said:

I suspect that you also have nothing on the RV to identify yourself as an SKP to other traveling members, and that is fine for those who prefer it that way.

You would be right about this.  I also don't have anything identifying myself as a member of the Good Sam Club, ("The Nation's Largest RV Club"),  Passport America ("The Original 50% Discount Camping Club"), or other RV related "clubs" that I utilize for the various services that they provide.  Each of these is also a  primarily a for-profit business rather than a club.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We became interested in Escapees when we were in our 30s, a good 30 years ago.  We came here trying to figure out how to go full-time and have jobs.  At that time, more than one person said that we needed to "earn" it like they did and wait until we retired.  It seemed like every time I asked a question then, I just got some smart remark about not having earned.......  I also agree that those with cheaper rigs or lesser funds to buy a rig need to be just as welcome as anyone else.  I see so much criticism when someone mentions a rig not considered for "full-time" in their opinion.  Having lived full-time among others off and on, I can tell you that I have seen people full-timing in every possible variation of RV imaginable, and it works for them.  

 I have heard that The Ranch has that "spirit" that first interested us in the Escapees.  There is so much information and experience that can be shared here, and a warm welcome despite someone's "circumstances" would certainly not hurt!  I am afraid that the "spirit" is wilting, but much of that is due to the changes in the world in general.

Cheap RV Living has an active forum which is a good resource for those with lesser means, younger ages, etc.  Lessons could be learned from their forum.  An attitude of tell me your circumstances/what you have to work with and I'll share the knowledge/experience I have to try to help you make it work would show some true "spirit" IMHO.

Kirk:  I know the "spirit" that you speak of.  There still are Escapees out there with that, and I feel sorry for those that don't get what the Escapees "Spirit" is.  I read the books and articles about and by the Petersons, and once emailed Kay and got a very nice response. I try to show that "spirit" in my life, a Golden Rule thing for me.

 

Edited by SnowGypsy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Kirk W said:

But we chose to spend an extended period of time in an Escapee co-op park due to the proximity to grandchildren and that was when we began to understand. The club side of Escapees is no different than any other club or association in that if you never join in with the other members you will never make any ties to them. 

We spent two months in an Escapee co-op park back when we first started fulltiming.  We were 47 and 37 years old at the time.  We went to a breakfast they were having, and didn't feel welcome at all.  I can engage a fence post in discussion, and even I was struggling to get anybody to talk to us.  So I talked at various people for a bit, and then we left.

Then one afternoon we spotted a basketball hoop.  We have a basketball, so we went and got it and shot some hoops.  The next day, the hoop was gone.

Another day, the 37-year-old was riding his bike around the fenced and gated park out in the middle of nowhere, and someone stopped him to make sure he was allowed to be there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
28 minutes ago, SnowGypsy said:

We became interested in Escapees when we were in our 30s, a good 30 years ago.  We came here trying to figure out how to go full-time and have jobs.  At that time, more than one person said that we needed to "earn" it like they did and wait until we retired.  It seemed like every time I asked a question then, I just got some smart remark about not having earned.......  I also agree that those with cheaper rigs or lesser funds to buy a rig need to be just as welcome as anyone else.  I see so much criticism when someone mentions a rig not considered for "full-time" in their opinion.  Having lived full-time among others off and on, I can tell you that I have seen people full-timing in every possible variation of RV imaginable, and it works for them.  

I think that the attitude toward retirement travel that you mentioned was probably a majority for some years but assure you that was not the case back when the club began in 1977. All of the founding members when the group first organized were working and nearly all were traveling construction workers. Joe Peterson was a construction electrician. Kay had been a nurse but began writing for a living as they went on the road. (I don't think that traveling nurses had been invented yet) When Escapees started it was not a business but just a group with a newsletter that Kay wrote and published in their RV. The business end started with the first Escapades when someone had to spend some money and organize things to get it started so they then charged a fee to get their investment back. Later came the co-op parks and over time the business side became a bigger and bigger part of the organization, eventually reaching the point of requiring a full-time employee and the first one was Cathy Peterson, their daughter. Bud Carr was a contractor for Rainbow's End and later Cathy's husband and the father of the current generation of Carrs'. 

I have experienced some of the attitude toward those with less impressive RVs as we were fulltime in a gas powered class A with no slides and much of that was due to budget restrictions. Some of that still exists on these forums. Today we are part of the "tiny trailer" gang as put by a 12 year old boy who attends Escapades with his dad in a trailer only slightly larger than mine. I have found that the vast majority of Escapee members who actively work to be known as SKP's and who take part in the gatherings and activities are neary free from prejudice toward the more budget conscious RV owner, toward those of different races, political beliefs, or sexual orientation and even age. We do have special interest groups like "Birds of a Feather." that tend to hang out together, but I have not found them to be exclusive. X-scapers has been very good for the club as it had gotten to the point that the majority of us are old enough to be parents or even grandparents of many of those now joining. It is only natural for those with similar backgrounds to spend more time together, but I hope that we can all make just a little bit of effort to reach out to others who may not be part of our particular social, political,  or age group. If you are part of an organization whose average is rising, the group is doomed, eventually.

Kay Peterson was a lady who truly cared about every person that she ever met, or probably that she saw. She was the most caring person that I have had the good fortune to know. Our world would be a much better place if everyone strived to be more like her. In our travels we have met some folks who were far different from us in many ways and we may never understand some of them but our lives have been enriched for having shared some time with them. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm glad that as a child I was allowed to play with kids who were rich and poor, black and white, plus younger and older than me. That taught me to welcome anyone into my life and that has paid off many times over the years. Including being comfortable working for a gay couple--love is wherever you find it after all.

Linda

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/7/2019 at 6:37 PM, 2gypsies said:

I'm sorry you felt that way.  Did you try to join in with the Boomer BOF group?  They are so welcoming!!

Our first national muster with the SMART organization was the same as what jc2 experienced. After we had returned home I pondered on this a while and formed a  solution, that in my mind would rectify this negative feeling.

EVERY new member/attendee is assigned a mentor and guide( experienced escapees member) for the entire rally. The guides duties are to first make the new member comfortable with this new experience, introduce them to every group( in this case BOF) present at the rally and explain their purpose. That is not all-inclusive, but everyone reading this gets the idea.

The mentor's duties do not end with the rally, they maintain contact with the new member until next years national. At that time the former new member has a good feeling for knowing the workings of the organization and they do feel welcome, and hopefully encourage people they know to become members.

This method may also be incorporated into welcoming younger generations into Escapees. Of course  this depends on the dedication and personality of long-term escapees members.

 

OK, those are my thoughts on this subject.  2gypsies, thanks for making me think again.

 

Edited by Ray,IN

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 hours ago, Kirk W said:

I have experienced some of the attitude toward those with less impressive RVs as we were fulltime in a gas powered class A with no slides and much of that was due to budget restrictions.

Then I guess it was just us they didn't like, since we were rolling in a new 40' diesel pusher.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, Blues said:

Then I guess it was just us they didn't like, since we were rolling in a new 40' diesel pusher.

Escapees Co-Ops are really different than general Escapees parks/Escapades.   A lot of the Co-Ops are darn right hostile to those who are traveling - even though they NEED Escapees who travel to at some point buy into the co-op.  I've never been able to figure out why.   It isn't just you, it is the nature of the co-op lifestyle I guess, where they become so isolated they forget what it was like to travel and be the new kid in town.   Also, almost all Co-Ops are 55+ and a lot of older people aren't very tolerant especially when it comes to people who represent change.   One of the most welcoming to us has been Timber Valley, in Sutherlin, Oregon, which is why we usually stop.  But I have noticed a definite chill this past year.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/7/2019 at 12:08 AM, 2gypsies said:

I totally agree with Orvil.  Xscapers will use Facebook rather than an online forum.  The younger generation is totally different with communication than when we were that age.  They also are not into volunteering as much and do different, more active activities. They're not into clubhouse activities of coffees and games.  They are also workers from their RVs.  They have found their own niche and that's good.

Maybe but FB is an overwhelmingly female affair while, altho I have no data, I suspect that RV forums are the opposite. I am on a number of photography lists and they are dead. But so far as I can tell RV.NET and iRV2 are alive and thriving. I have not been and Escaper long enough to judge these forums but they seem to be healthy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

RVers Online University

campgroundviews.com

Our program provides accurate individual wheel weights for your RV, toad, and tow vehicle, and will help you trim the pounds if you need to.

Rv Share

Rv Insurance Benefits.com Logo

Dish For My RV.

Find out more or sign up for Escapees RV'ers Bootcamp.

Advertise your product or service here.

AGS Now Hiring

RV Pet Safety

Cummins Home Generators

RVTravel.com Logo



×
×
  • Create New...