In 2010, soon after purchasing their first Airstream, Eric McHenry and his wife LaVerne joined the Airstream Club International. They had met a couple at an Airstream dealership who encouraged them to join the Club and attend a rally. Although they were hesitant to join a camping club at first, they soon found that it was like “walking into a family.” “Everyone was open and friendly and it was clear that they loved their Airstreams and had this common bond,” Eric says.
Avid campers, the McHenry family had spent years tent camping and using a pop-up trailer with their kids. One rainy day while camping on the California coast, LaVerne looked at Eric and said, “We need an adult trailer.”
Eric and LaVerne visited an RV show to begin their search and saved the best for last: the Airstream booth. One look and they both fell in love. Being newbies, they had a ton of questions about towing, backing up, etc. and they found that everyone in the Club was willing to help and eager to answer their questions. They really enjoyed being part of the community.
Volunteering for an officer role is not a requirement for Club members, but Eric and LaVerne have always enjoyed giving their time, talents, and treasures to their favorite organizations and the Airstream Club International was no different. When he and LaVerne expressed an interest to see more dry-camping events, they were encouraged to host a rally. Soon after, LaVerne ran for an officer role in their local Club and Eric used the knowledge he has gained from working in technology to help with the Club’s website. “It was a fun, slippery slope,” Eric laughs, “getting involved makes it more fulfilling and allows us to meet more people on a deeper level.”
As part of the International Executive Committee, Eric is proud of the Club’s recent accomplishments and he looks forward to seeing what the future holds. Eric served as the Project Manager for the Airstream Club International’s new website which was launched in tandem with their rebranding initiative. The Club hopes that this rebranding will more accurately reflect their membership and encourage all Airstreamers to feel welcome and excited about joining the Club.
The Club’s leadership team recognizes that younger families have a lot going on with work and the kids being involved in after-school activities. With this in mind, the Club is working to offer less regimented events that will allow families to pop in to enjoy the outdoors and maybe a happy hour. The Club also hosts longer rallies and caravans for members who can travel for extended periods of time.
Eric is proud to see the diverse representation within the Club’s leadership which more accurately reflects its membership and the diverse Airstream community. The Club is committed to making all of its members feel welcome at their events.
Soon it will be time for the Club’s Executive Committee to travel to Tennessee to plan for next year’s 2021 International Rally. Eric and LaVerne have several stops planned along the way to visit friends and family and enjoy some of their favorite camping activities including biking, hiking, and kayaking. With current social distancing protocols in mind, Eric feels fortunate that they can travel in their “silver cocoon,” a 2020 Globetrotter named Kawika. When asked what he enjoys most about Airstreaming and the Club, Eric points out, “it has opened up for us a new network of friends across the country to travel with and visit with.” It’s clear that the Club’s promise holds true, “Wherever your wanderlust spirit takes you, we’re confident that you’ll be surrounded by fun, friendship and adventure.”
This is Part III in a series on the Airstream Club International's leadership team. To learn more about the other officers and the future of the Club, click here: