Wow. I didn't have time to read all the comments...but it does look like this is a HOT topic! I'll weigh in with what little I do know.
1. ByLaws changes require the governing board so nothing can change till next year since that just happened.
2. The governing board this year voted to allow the membership to vote on allowing towables in. They aren't in...until the membership votes.
3. I was a delegate this year just so I could learn more about FMCA and how it works and I was waiting to see how this towables thing was going to go. I asked lots of questions before the meeting to get a feel for everything and this is what I came up with.
a. There is definitely a small group of people who are completely opposed to allowing towables in. I didn't find any of these people so I couldn't get their reason for being opposed. I say it was a small group because out of all the chapters voting...the item passed by over 80% leaving those against in the minority.
b. People think FMCA will change if they allow towables in. Well, honestly, FMCA NEEDS to change. It was a great thing..but as all things they either grow or they die and FMCA is dying...or rather its membership is dying. If the "average" age is 72 that means that within 10 years or so most of the FMCA members will either hang up their keys for some reason for to put it delicately, move onto their big RV in the sky. What I've learned consulting for many years is this...organizations MUST change or they become OBSOLETE. FMCA needs to get younger people in PERIOD or they will not continue at all. (This is my assessment and my personal opinions and observations).
c. Will towables be a problem? Yes and no. Yes, parking them is different. There will be some things that will change but from what I see big picture wise..your rallies aren't going to be that different at least not for a while. WHY? Because...towables are towables and they know what FMCA is and they don't want or need just another membership. Even IF the membership passes allowing them in it's going to take a HUGE marketing effort to get the towables to join up and even after they join even more of a push to get them to rallies! Why do I say this? Because just look at your own membership. I have been a member for maybe 3 years now and I just went to my first rally this year! I talked to lots of people and I was surprised at how many people I met who had been in FMCA for "years" and they were at their FIRST rally! SO...even adding towables...doesn't mean they are going to show up en mass and take over you rallies. Not going to happen.
d. KIDS. This is also a hot button for some. Many people reach their retirement years and they want peace and quiet and they see kids coming around as destroying their peace and quiet. I totally GET THAT! I have SIX of them! I'm travelling full time with mine. Started with all 6 now down to 4. So I totally get the noisy kid thing. Some days I want to get away from them. BUT...and I asked a LOT of people about this one. Are FMCA members opposed to having kids around? The answer I found was surprisingly NO! In fact, my kids attend seminars at the rallies as part of their "school". I send them out and they have to learn things and act like adults. I expect a lot of my kids. While walking through the vendor area one day a gentleman came over to one of my daughters and started talking to her. He was curious what she thought of things and then told her he was really glad to see her there. Lots and I mean LOTS of the older folks enjoy seeing the kids there having fun. I cannot explain it. I've seen it in nursing homes when we've gone to visit and volunteer how when my kids enter the older folks light up and something inside them remembers childhood. Yes, there are always going to be the few grumpy old folks who don't want kids around but I do think they are the minority and we can always park people in different sections so that those who don't want to be near kids won't be near kids. I really thought kids would be a problem...but I don't believe they will. And...we tried at Indy to get kids together and give them a place just to play and be kids and we had a lot of positive feedback on that. We even had some adults WITHOUT KIDS come over just to check it out and many grandparents who wanted to bring their grandkids next time since there would be something for them to do. And, honestly, without getting kids involved in things like FMCA when they ARE kids, then you aren't planting positive seeds in them for when they grow up to even consider FMCA. So..I'd say kids are necessary and it can be done in a positive way for everyone. In fact, I'd like to add on a personal note that my girls taught themselves to cook, sew, knit and are trying to crochet. They would LOVE to have some of the more experienced folks share their crafts with them and teach them things. Many kids these days have absolutely NO interest at all in learning things that aren't electronic. I think having a place where we can get the older and younger together to interact over things, teaching and learning is good for all of them!
e. Will towables even WANT to join? I'm going to recommend to all my towable friends that they join just for the benefits. BUT...the benefits to them aren't as good as they are to the motorcoaches. I LOVE the tire benefit. That alone is well worth the cost of a membership. But towable tires aren't nearly as expensive as our tires are. So...they might not see it as worth the cost of membership. I do know a LOT of towable people because there is a new group of folks ditching suburbia and traveling fulltime with their children and they prefer fifth wheels because of the amazing bunk rooms. I admit...some of those are pretty sweet! Yes, their needs are different. But...they too are living this nomadic lifestyle. Some part time, some fulltime just as the motorcoach people are. There is a lot that we share, many things we have in common, sewer issues, water, parking, etc. There are some things that we differ on. But...we all have a passion for traveling and seeing our country in our time, on our terms. I'm not sure the towables people are going to see great value in joining FMCA.
My bottom line on all this. I think what has been done so far is that leadership has UNLOCKED the door. Now it's up to membership to choose to actually OPEN the door. But once it opens...it's going to take a huge marketing effort to push that door wide open enough to allow the mass of towables into the organization. I expect it's going to be more like...IF it passes, one guy is holding the door open and there is a trickle of people coming in, looking around, kicking the tires and trying it out. Depending on what they find INSIDE will determine whether or not the towables make any difference at all in the FMCA organizaiton.
I hope this helps give you some feedback from a different perspective so you can vote. The MOST IMPORTANT thing is...EVERYONE should vote! It would be a shame to let a handful of people vote and therefore make the decision for everyone. Regardless of which side of this issue you are on....VOTE! Then we'll let the majoirty decide.
Thanks to everyone in FMCA who has welcomed me AND my kids.