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Author Topic: reasons some clubs fail.  (Read 67806 times)
WD8DK
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« Reply #30 on: March 04, 2017, 01:56:37 AM »

Yes many clubs have boring meetings and do not draw the younger people in. A lot of times you will find that in any club 10% of the club will end up doing 90% of the work, be it a hamfest, FD, bike race or whatever. Most would rather sit and socialize at the meetings.

People have other interests and a lot of them have families whose school age activities take up a lot of time. Those who are still able to work don't have the time to commit to club activities. So the retirees are usually the ones who end up doing the work.

How do you get the older generation to embrace the technology that drives the young generation? If a club wants to get more younger members then it has to keep abreast of the latest advances. If an older ham buys an IC-7300 or even IC-7610 they set the radio up with the use of a computer and then don't learn the different features. If a younger ham buys the same radio and needs help they get the "deer in the headlights" look when they ask another member for help. So the new ham or new member stops attending the meetings because all they see are a bunch of old men socializing about their medical ailments or they claim they're too busy being retired.

No matter what a club's interest is, being radio, trains, quilting or whatever that club will be hard pressed to attract new blood because of the myriad of activities and obligations that a person of the younger generation has.

Exactly! A club of 40 is lucky to get 10 at a meeting. We have done everything from Field Day, Street Fair raffles and more to get the club's name out. We operate one of the better repeaters in the area. Still it is the same handful of people who come to meetings, serve as officials. It's a shame, as there are over 100 licensed hams within a 10 mile radius.
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ONAIR
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« Reply #31 on: March 04, 2017, 06:07:16 PM »

Yes many clubs have boring meetings and do not draw the younger people in. A lot of times you will find that in any club 10% of the club will end up doing 90% of the work, be it a hamfest, FD, bike race or whatever. Most would rather sit and socialize at the meetings.

People have other interests and a lot of them have families whose school age activities take up a lot of time. Those who are still able to work don't have the time to commit to club activities. So the retirees are usually the ones who end up doing the work.

How do you get the older generation to embrace the technology that drives the young generation? If a club wants to get more younger members then it has to keep abreast of the latest advances. If an older ham buys an IC-7300 or even IC-7610 they set the radio up with the use of a computer and then don't learn the different features. If a younger ham buys the same radio and needs help they get the "deer in the headlights" look when they ask another member for help. So the new ham or new member stops attending the meetings because all they see are a bunch of old men socializing about their medical ailments or they claim they're too busy being retired.

No matter what a club's interest is, being radio, trains, quilting or whatever that club will be hard pressed to attract new blood because of the myriad of activities and obligations that a person of the younger generation has.

Exactly! A club of 40 is lucky to get 10 at a meeting. We have done everything from Field Day, Street Fair raffles and more to get the club's name out. We operate one of the better repeaters in the area. Still it is the same handful of people who come to meetings, serve as officials. It's a shame, as there are over 100 licensed hams within a 10 mile radius.
   Interesting.  Do you know how many of those local hams in the area are active?  I've been to areas where a substantial number of hams are listed, but it seems that only a small number of them are actually still on the air.
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W1XWX
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« Reply #32 on: June 15, 2017, 08:41:39 AM »

In my area there are only 2-3 clubs that actually DO anything other than bicycle races. Smiley

Yes most of them hold a weekly net and a monthly meeting --- but that's about it. Others are stuck-on EMCOM only. 73
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Life's too short for QRP
KC4ZGP
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Posts: 1637




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« Reply #33 on: June 15, 2017, 11:57:15 AM »


Hero worship of the ARRL is the main cause.

But the league says...

And the league means...

_ _ ... ... _ _

Kraus
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K1HMS
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« Reply #34 on: June 26, 2017, 10:02:36 PM »


Hero worship of the ARRL is the main cause.

But the league says...

And the league means...

_ _ ... ... _ _

Kraus

Kraus

Some of your post clearly shows you have real knowledge of radio and antennas, many are just trying to be funny but are flippant/annoying QRM on the threads, but "Hero worship of the ARRL is the main cause" given the question is "why clubs fail" I don't get. What does the ARRL have to do with whether a club is healthy and growing, or not?

We are a growing club (N1FD) due to "project nights", offering license and CW classes, hosting VE testing sessions, mentoring, having members write articles for a monthly news letter and much more. As Fred (AB1OC) writes above in this thread we reach out to the young to encourage STEM interests. The most recent was a high altitude balloon launch  (it went over 90,000 feet and crossed 3 state lines) with various sensors, APRS and GPS for live tracking, and a Go-Pro camera link. Local HS students participated.  None of these activities start or stop because there is a ARRL. ARRL is not the cause of clubs failing, or succeeding.

Now if the ARRL didn't exist it is likely Ham radio wouldn't continue to exist.

Spectrum is valuable real estate worth taking, making products RFI free costs money, and the thought of amateurs modifying/building non-type accepted equipment in non-channelized spectrum with ERIPs over 15kW scares a lot of people due to the potential impact to public safety and FAA comms, and the HOA lobby would be more than glad to see Hams put 10' under. Now throw in the concern over the preppers having a independent distributed comm solution without a single switch to turn it off.

There are a dozen organizations that have tried, and will keep trying to put pressure on the congresscritters to cut our coax for good.

We need guys in suits to put counter pressure on the congresscritters to keep the bands open. Guys that know their way around the Rayburn Building that have enough jingle in their pockets to live anywhere near Wash DC and cover a nice lunch for discussions with the congresscritters' staffers so they know our side of why Ham radio is important and the ability to sound the alarm to the Ham community if a threat appears. Those guys are the ARRL. 

We just wrapped up the ARRL field day with 3 towers and 4 beams, wire Vs, and a 3 el wire V beam array with 3 50' masts, 7 transmitters going the full 24 hours.  (I could have used you on CW). We put it up on a soccer field Friday and took it all down Sunday.  We got additional points by inviting State reps, the governor and congresscritters. It's a ARRL effort to counter weight the efforts of those making the case to pull our plug.

Unlike big pharma the Ham related industry isn't large enough to do the job, and if Hams went it alone what would that look like? If Hams showed up on the Washington Mall to protest it's likely they would be out numbered by tourist and other disorganized protesters by 4 to 1 on a typical day, and they wouldn't be noticed. Beside most Hams would never spend the money on a airline ticket.

Is ARRL perfect? No, far from it, I could write pages on the issues I believe they have wrong. But as a member I, and 170k other members, have a voice to try and fix it. If they stray too far we'll stop sending money and they will need new jobs.  QST is almost worth the $10/month to join.

Does ARRL always get what they want, no. They tried and couldn't stop the US Dept of Commerce from letting in non type approved LED noise generators light bulbs because it would irritate China. But look at it this way, ARRL only has 170k members, which isn't a position of strength.  AARP has 37 million members and nearly $1B/yr, and they don't always get what they want either.

73

K1HMS
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WI4P
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« Reply #35 on: June 29, 2017, 10:10:36 AM »

Very well said HMS.
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K4FMH
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Posts: 425




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« Reply #36 on: July 03, 2017, 04:09:34 PM »

Indeed! This seems to be extreme ritualism in many clubs. We dint know broadly because the ARRL (according to the guy in charge of the forms) doesn't compile information from the annual reports requested of affiliated clubs! I requested this info I. Order to do some work as Asst Dir of my Division..got this response. But the Central XYZ Amateur Racing Association only appeals to those who want to practice ham radio in this narrow style.

Good post!

In my area there are only 2-3 clubs that actually DO anything other than bicycle races. Smiley

Yes most of them hold a weekly net and a monthly meeting --- but that's about it. Others are stuck-on EMCOM only. 73
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KC8MWG
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Posts: 445




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« Reply #37 on: July 04, 2017, 04:30:30 PM »

I have belonged to our club for a couple of years now and I have to say I enjoy it. We all get along with each other prety well, and we try to plan fun events, especially during the summer months. We even try to plan some events so that they attract at least some public attention, like having a "ham radio in the park" event at one of the local parks in May, and posting signs directing people to our Field Day site that included the words "PUBLIC INVITED" (and yes, a few non-hams DID show up and stay for a while). Once, we even did a group project, assembling "Easy Digi" digital interface boards. Not everyone shows up for every event or meeting, but enough people show up to make things interesting.
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AC2EU
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« Reply #38 on: July 13, 2017, 07:04:16 AM »

I've read some of the posts here and recognized most of these issues in local clubs.
If you have the luxury of having many clubs in your area, check them out. Each club has it's own culture from my experience.

You can't be too sensitive about the behavior of a couple of members, but focus on the collective "feel" of the club. Being a new Ham in a club where most have been doing it for decades is a bit tough at first.  Some will tell you that you are not a "real ham" because you didn't have to do code. Others assume that you are an idiot . Most are OK, though.

I was fortunate to find a club that had a mix of young and old guys and women too!
They also rotate the leadership. Clubs that are run by presidents that rule for life, are rife with strange internal politics and cronyism.
You have three choices in this situation.
1) accept it
2) lead an internal revolt against the "king".
3) find another club.

Also the focus should be on the hobby exclusively, not political agendas unless it has something to do with Ham radio. I personally haven't seen inappropriate politics in any of the clubs in my area.

My suggestion to those who feel that they are in an "old man's social club" is to do something to change it.
One of the worst things are some clubs where the meeting drone on about about minute details of club expense meeting after meeting. That will kill attendance in a hurry!

Rather than painful details, focus on the event and what roles the members will play.
Have discussions about topics of interest, presentations, 'show and tell' or mini-events at the meetings.  Promote the agenda on the email list so the members are aware that the club is doing something different and interesting for a change.

Ask for input from the members about what they find compelling about the hobby.
Throw some topics in that they know nothing about as well to keep it fresh.

Sometimes you will have to champion your own ideas, rather than sitting in a boring meeting and grumbling discontent. Offer to do a presentation or plan a club event. Make suggestions and be willing to back them up with your personal involvement. After a while, others will do the same.
I have found these to be the most effective strategies to improve a club.

Our club has members ranging from age 8 to 98.  Everyone brings something to the table in a some way. There are contesters, rag chewers, Emcoms, techies, and "appliance operators" . Everyone participates.

Our field  day showcases all sorts of ham technology, solar, satellite,emergency power, field deployed wifi, computerized network logging, digital modes, etc.
Next year we may include an Arden system to provide internet.





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NA4IT
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« Reply #39 on: September 16, 2017, 04:04:53 PM »

I used to post about supporting clubs. But, after this week, I will NEVER join another ham radio club EVER!

In fact it has soured me so much, I'm thinking about leaving amateur radio entirely.
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KC4ZGP
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Posts: 1637




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« Reply #40 on: September 16, 2017, 04:38:55 PM »


NA4IT,

Don't leave the hobby because of one thing.

Why you even took up the hobby is why you should stay.

I like building. I'm going to play CW on 160 meters, 1.815MHz. Come on down.

Kraus

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NA4IT
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« Reply #41 on: September 17, 2017, 11:15:19 AM »

I took up the hobby because I heard two other hams on my police scanner participating in SKYWARN. I also pledged to use my hobby for God. Seems people 1) don't want you to serve and 2) could care less about God.

I just had it with all the political garbage that goes on.
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KC4ZGP
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« Reply #42 on: September 17, 2017, 01:35:27 PM »


Never give up.

Kraus
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KC4ZGP
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« Reply #43 on: September 18, 2017, 09:24:18 AM »


NA4IT,

Let's meet on CW. We'll talk God.

Kraus
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K4FMH
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Posts: 425




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« Reply #44 on: September 20, 2017, 06:54:59 PM »

While this does not reflect every club, it's a clear pattern in oh so many. Kills the broader interests of the non-EmCom ham community.

73

Frank

In my area there are only 2-3 clubs that actually DO anything other than bicycle races. Smiley

Yes most of them hold a weekly net and a monthly meeting --- but that's about it. Others are stuck-on EMCOM only. 73
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