OK, for some reason the powers that be chose to make me a moderator. Let me tell you what I think. (First off, it's sort of like being hit by a meteor on you way out to the mailbox...WHAP!!....ouch, why me??)
Out side of work and family I only have two social interests, one is my church and the other is my amateur radio group. What they have in common is that they are both actively looking for new people to join and become involved in both. And they are both largely populated by some of the nicest folk you ever met.
When I'm at church, I/we keep out eye peeled looking for that new face that seems just a bit out of place. This my be the first and last time that person ever comes to our (or any other) church. I/we make it a point to make that person feel welcome and at home. "Can we help you get the kids setled in the nursery?" or "Would you like to come to my Sunday School class? We have coffe and doughnuts!"
We do this because we know eternity may hang in the balance for that person and we only get one chance to make a first impression.
In our amateur radio group we self-police our repeater system (it's like a chat room or forum, except on the radio) because thousands of would-be ham-ops are out there listening via scanners. They hear what we say. We know that someone has a budding interest in radio, and all we need to do is encourage them a bit. We don't need to say something ugly, stupid or mean (offensive) because we also know...we only have one chance to make a first impression.
Which brings me to my point: There are right now thousands of people who are interested in taking their families to the outdoors, or at least Ft. Wilderness,
who are searching the internet for information. They are vicariously camping with us
, changing flat Carlise tires with us
, haggling the RV dealer with us
, sitting aound the campfire with us
, upgrading the water pump with us
. Desiring one day to be us
And then, once in a while, we get all eat up with the desire to be a smart-@ss, to win the argument at all cost, to throw manners in the blacktank and d@mmit all, we have free speech here and we'll just shove our opinions down each others virtual throat!!
And the young couple sharing the laptop on the couch thinks to themselves "Do I really want to spend all that money just to park next to a bunch of jerks all weekend? I think not..." So now their two kids sleeping upstairs will never have the memory of going to the Grand Canyon in a Class C.
So while we enjoy (or plan to enjoy) the RV pasttime, and we share with each other about flat tires, blacktanks, state parks, campfires, chiggers and last weekend in the mountains, let's not forget...we are making that first impression on many people as they pass through our forum. And we only have one chance. Let's not embarass ourselves.
Let's make them want to share a campfire with us.