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Xscapers?


Gypsy Jane

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Hi, I just got back online after quite a while of bad internet connection... What is this new Xcaper thing? I read the site, and it took me a while to realize they weren't wanting me to pay to join something else... Near as I can tell, it's a different name for the same thing - it all leads to the same stuff. So I'm pretty confused. I get that it's aimed at younger, working RVers, but how is it different from logging in on the regular Escapees site? Travis Carr? Anyone?

- Gypsy Jane

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Travis & Melanie Carr are leading the move to reach out to more younger RV folks. The X-scapers site is an effort to have a section of more interest to those folks. The club began as a group of still working folks who chose to live in RVs and travel from job to job and all were much younger than the average age in the club today. For any group to stay an active, viable operation they must reach out to those who are younger as all of us will be gone one day. Even we seniors have a vested interest in the success of this effort because there is both efficiency and increased benefits in having our group grow. I am really happy to see the fresh approach as and by keeping both sites it gives those of us who are older the familiarity of what we are used to, while the younger folks can spend time with the more modern approach and if things go well, the internet can help to build a bridge between the two generations.

 

I believe that it is in the best interest of we Escapees who are past the age of 65 to reach out and help with this effort to make the younger folks welcome and that any changes that they bring will be good for everyone! :D

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Guest Caseyj

So, if you are below the age of 65, you are to go to the escapees.com site or over 65, you are to continue to stay with the rvnetwork.com site? Seems like you would want to merge them togather as one. How are you going to enforce this? Birth certificates. :(

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Maybe just go to the site that interests you or possibly even visit both?

 

Having multiple Escapees sites that cater to a variety of interests and needs makes sense to me, trying to pack everything into one site is going to lead to a big clunky frustrating site. I'm not so sure about the different Internet domains (escapees.com, rvnetwork.com, xscapers.com) though, a minor quibble and easily changed if they want to do that at some point.

Regardless of how they go about doing it they are correct in their perception that younger members are needed if the club is to remain viable. Every group I've been part of that made no effort to attract a younger group of members has ended up fading out as the existing membership ages and dies off. The club has failed to attract mid-life folks (like the ones that started it) from younger generations for many years now and is in serious danger of fading if that isn't changed.

There are also a lot of mobile folks out there that are even younger than the original membership and that could use a great support network which is what the club originally provided and led to the solid foundations the now aging membership is now benefiting from. If we don't bring in the younger folks the foundations (SKP) are going to crumble and what the club was and is will have to change in ways a lot of us hope not to see.

 

The club still has a lot to offer retirees as they shed their jobs and move into retired life and I see nothing to indicate that the management is placing any less emphasis on recruiting that age group as members. This group alone won't be able to sustain the club, we need a broad swath of ages to fulfill our promise as an organization.

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So, if you are below the age of 65, you are to go to the escapees.com site or over 65, you are to continue to stay with the rvnetwork.com site? Seems like you would want to merge them togather as one. How are you going to enforce this? Birth certificates. :(

If you check you will find that your access to one gains you access to both. And why ever would anyone wish to do so? Since you asked, I have nothing to do with any of it and am not part of management. But I do read the magazine, and the news that comes from Escapees.

 

Now a question for you. I see that you display an SKP number of 20420! So would you share with us what year you joined the Escapees RV club? You must have been around long enough to know the club better than any of us.

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So, if you are below the age of 65, you are to go to the escapees.com site or over 65, you are to continue to stay with the rvnetwork.com site? Seems like you would want to merge them togather as one. How are you going to enforce this? Birth certificates. :(

 

As I'm sure you know, the escapee.com URL is the main Escapees website while the rvnetwork.com URL is for this discussion forum. Both the Escapees website (escapees.com) and the Xscapers website (xscapers.com) have a link to these discussion forums (rvnetwork.com)...there are not two different discussion forums for the two different groups. Anyone, regardless of age, can access all three websites, so I'm not sure what your beef is.

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I "BELIEVE" Stan has it correct. The original SKP formation was by a working age group. That group has aged, and along with that aging, has "aged" the club. Same thing with Elks, Masons and many others. Since it didn't seem possible to to make the SKP's attractive to the "younger" set, they decided to segment it. I believe that the "SKP's", as we have know it will die away with the older members. Now, my question is, what happens when the Xscapers age, will there be another division created, or, will the Xcaper club be revised to address the problem ? I really don't believe the younger generation is interested in "joining" much of anything. JMOO

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Keeping the club viable long term is going to be a challenge, recruiting younger folks is something that is going to help, so is targeting mid-life folks that are shedding kids and big houses and ready for some serious RVing but not really ready to retire. Grabbing the serious retired RVers and fulltimers can't be overlooked either as there are a lot of them out there.

 

The key to keeping going is to provide something that folks in each group think is worth the cost of membership, in the past the big draw was the mail service followed by parking, the newsletter/magazine and social activities. If a bit of flexibility in the branding of the offering helps that is all to the good as long as there are strong ties back to the SKP roots of the club.

 

Looking at the 20 somethings today I don't see mail as being a priority for them and they will likely look for the cheapest option available that meets their needs unless they are offered services that makes life easier for them like scanning and e-mailing incoming mail. Parking not so much as they are going to have to park where the job is and there is little chance the club could do parks where needed. I'm not sure about the social offerings, some younger folks seem to congregate well while many others are happy with just a few friends and avoid groups. Offering employment options is an area that has promise but that needs to go beyond basic work camping as that area is well filled by cheap to hire seniors wanting to supplement their retirement.

 

The mid-life bunch are going to be more attracted to things like the HOP functions and destination parks but are likely to still want a full featured mail service too. The discount directory, Day's End List and free camping offered by other SKPs may all play a role here too. I'd hope that they could also be interested in local chapter activities but that may require a bit of flexibility as many of the chapters we joined put an emphasis on social stuff during the work week which was retiree friendly but not so good for still working types.

 

Seniors I think the club has well covered now, they just need to be kept aware of the directions the club is headed and why it is heading there.

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Dave W, there has been a pretty significant rise in younger, still working members in the past year or so, which I happen to consider a good thing. Not only does any organization need to keep bringing in younger members to stay healthy, it is also good for those of us who are in the "senior citizen" category to have their input and influence. Too often as we age we become stuffy and unwilling to change. I am thrilled to see numbers of new members who are in the ages of our children or even younger! My kids are now about the age that the Peterson's were back when Escapee's began. Cathy Carr was just a kid!

 

Stanley has made a really good analysis of where we are so far, I believe. There are a number of other things in process to make the new site even more attractive to some of those younger RV folks and families. The #1 priority for some staff members is to improve that appeal. It is important to keep in mind that this has always been a family operation and remains so and the younger members are exerting greater influence and taking greater responsibility as time progresses. I believe what we see is an organization in transition. For me, that is an exciting thing and I see the future for Escapees improving with these changes. No service or association which serves the long time members is in any way being cut, while new features are coming on line.

 

To any of us who happen to be part of the senior majority of these forums, I share the advice that I was given many years ago.

 

The most important decision a you will ever make is when you choose to stop learning new things! We need those younger members.

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When we were a young family, both when I was a kid then as parents of a kid, we joined groups that hosted monthly weekend gatherings with kids activities. I think persuading our chapters to do that would help bring in the younger set. Having other kids to hang out with made the weekends more fun for the parents, too. At both of those ages we camped in tent trailers so we need to be open-minded about rigs. I wonder if I still have my notebook of campfire songs and skits?

 

Linda Sand

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Here is little background on why Xscapers was formed.

 

We stepped into the Escapees organization in 2010 as the third generation of the family business, but our bond has been life-long, having been raised inside this great community.Shortly after, we purchased our first motor home we threw ourselves into the RV lifestyle. While we traveled around the country in our 27’ Airstream with our son, Gabriel, it didn’t take long for us to fall in love. We learned quickly that we had to find a balance between working on the road and traveling with our son, but the adventure (and occasional chaos) is something we wouldn’t live without.

As we began to travel more and stay away from our home longer, we met and networked with several extraordinary RVers who work from the road, travel with their families, and live a nomadic lifestyle. When we asked them, “Have you heard of Escapees?” the response was too often the same: “Escapees doesn’t provide the kinds of resources I would use; it’s a club for retired full-time RVers.”

There are obviously two problems with this answer. First, we are not meeting the needs of this segment of RVers, and second, we are perceived as a club for retired full-timers. It dawned on us that we were no longer living up to our mission statement, which specifically states that we are “A support network for ALL RVers.” Something had to be done, and the concept of Xscapers was born.

 

 

Xscapers has the goal of growing the community, not segmenting it. There is absolutely no segregation in the group or the membership, anyone can be a part of either group as much or as little as they choose since it is all one membership. There is no age limit to be a part of either group, it is really a state of mind and you can choose to take part in whichever one fits your lifestyle and interests best or both.

 

The Xscapers concept was born in order to meet the needs and interests of of the working age demographic by bringing the club back to its original roots when it was founded. Having Xscapers as a lifestyle group of Escapees allows us to meet their specific needs and interests without injecting the existing membership with information and services that wouldn't be of interest. Lumping everything into one website or group simply doesn't work, it becomes overly complex and also makes it difficult to provide resources and information that meet the needs of a specific RV lifestyle.

 

I can assure you that you will see Xscapers taking part in the greater picture of Escapees. It will not become a club within a club with exclusions or segregation with Escapees.

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  • 3 months later...

I haven't officially joined Escapees but plan to do so soon. I appreciated the fact that I'm able to participate in this forum prior to joining the club. I've learned quite a bit by "lurking" here.

 

I too see bits and pieces on Xscapers - I'd like to know and to help spread the word on other RV forums in which I participate. I know lots of RVers who live and work on the road and many of them have families. Please direct me to information that will help me understand more about this aspect of Escapees.

 

Thanks.

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