Messages from the President, January 10, 2021

I have sat down to write this message at least five times and even now as I sit down to write this message I find myself at a loss as to where to begin. 

In my normal year end message I would normally be a recap the year of successful and well attended mini rallies and our annual rally and business meeting.  But that is not the case for 2020.  Absolutely nothing was normal in 2020 and 2021 is only looking slightly better.  It is heartening to know that multiple vaccines are on the way and the process of administering them is underway.  In addition to the COVID19 Pandemic many had to cope with wild fires and other weather extremes.   We have all experienced the complete upheaval of our daily lives and that of those around us.  We can only hope that the year of endless ground hog days are coming to an end.

As you know we cancelled the 2020 Annual Rally and Business Meeting due to the COVID19 Pandemic and have rescheduled it for September 12th to the 17th at the Mill Casino Hotel and RV Park in North Bend, Oregon.   As I write this now we are operating under the assumption that our members will receive the vaccine, travel across the Canadian border will resume and occupancy restrictions will return to normal or be greatly relaxed.  However, nothing is guaranteed and we will keep you up to date as things develop.

But this past year has not been a total bust; two of the mini-rallies planned for 2020 actually took place.  The April Napa Valley get together was canceled, but the July 4th McMinnville, Oregon and the July Cripple Creek, Colorado mini-rallies did take place, both with somewhat reduced participation.  On the Forum under the BOCI Mini-Rallies category there appears to be some interest in a mini-rally to be held somewhere in the Southeast region of the USA.  We shall see how that develops.  I for one am anxious to get back behind the wheel and travel in our Bigfoot.  Due to the travel and occupancy restrictions enacted by the Governors of New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania my camping options were severely limited this past year.

One item in particular that seems to be a positive result of everyone spending quality time watching how the grass grow this year is the increased activity on the Forum.  Well, okay I know that not everyone watched the grass grow; many of you did get out and about in your Bigfoot this past year.  Our members are amazing in their willingness to respond to questions or share advice on how to handle problems or make modifications.  The depth of many of these replies is exceptional.  Keep it up.

Our membership is also up at year end, 472 members, although not at our all time high of 685 in 2008, and the trend is upward.   As you may know the Club was founded in 2003 by Richard Allen and today we still have 68 of the original members on our membership rolls.  Of our owner members we have 359 (79%) in the US, 93 (21%) in Canada and 1 in Norway.  We also have 15 Alumni, 1 Honorary and 3 Dealer members.  Our member in Norway has been preceded in the past by members from Australia, France, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.  So there is a reason we are the Bigfoot Owners Club INTERNATIONAL!

We have had 237 Complementary members during the year and 45 (19%) have joined as owner members.  Out Guest members have totaled 78 this year and 4 have joined, 2 were returning members and 4 have been upgraded to complementary members. 

Of our owner members most own trailers at 200 (44%), followed closely by motor homes 182 (40%) and Truck Campers 71 (16%).

We have also been working to improve the existing website and develop a new version.  We shifted our host platform at the end of 2019 and have seen a definite improvement in response time to clicks and have had fewer troubles arise.  We heard you and have also developed a procedure to add various manuals relating to items/appliances installed in Bigfoot RV’s to our website for use by members.  The big problem with that is many of the documents are copyrighted and as such we need permissions to post them.  Getting that permission takes time, especially in today’s environment.  Our classified page on the website has also gotten a workout this year with several members successfully selling their RV and others getting responses to their wanted ads.

As with everything else technology never stops changing and several of the software packages that we use are becoming outdated or are no longer supported.   Our website committee is hard at work seeking solutions in this ever changing environment.

Our Club store has a nice selection of BOCI themed items for your consideration; check them out on the website.

Every month your Board of Directors joined by the committee chairs gets together on a conference call to handle Club business.  To my fellow Board members, Dan Kirkham, Mike Henley, Sue Peters and Jay Rutherford, our Committee chairs and members Julia Laney, Charlotte Whiteford, Gayle George Sackett, Andrew Matheson, Jim Thurman, Kathy Olson, Norman Rector and Bob Kohler, on behalf of all our members thank you all for everything that you do for the Club!

Personally, I am deeply indebted to each and every one of them for their exceptional support and devotion to the Club.  They volunteer their time effort and energy to make this a great organization.

I want to wish you and yours a Healthy, Safe and Happy New Year and may we all get to use and enjoy our Bigfoot’s in the coming months.

Art Dunn – President BOCI