Call Search
     

New to Ham Radio?
My Profile

Community
Articles
Forums
News
Reviews
Friends Remembered
Strays
Survey Question

Operating
Contesting
DX Cluster Spots
Propagation

Resources
Calendar
Classifieds
Ham Exams
Ham Links
List Archives
News Articles
Product Reviews
QSL Managers

Site Info
eHam Help (FAQ)
Support the site
The eHam Team
Advertising Info
Vision Statement
About eHam.net

   Home   Help Search  
Pages: [1] 2 3 Next   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: What do you want in a club?  (Read 75713 times)
WB9BWP
Member

Posts: 1


WWW

Ignore
« on: August 03, 2010, 04:49:10 PM »

Greetings all,

I have recently been elected to my third stint (not all continuous) as President of the Milwaukee Radio Amateurs' Club (MRAC ).  The club was founded in January of 1917 and affiliated with ARRL in December 1919.  I was last President in 2002.  Back then we had about 100 members and meeting attendance of around 40.  Over the last 10-12 years we have lost a number of members due to their passing or moving away.  Also over the last few years we had a couple of people as President who were either not present half the time or just not interested.  Now our membership is about 50 and meeting attendance hovers around 20.  As a result we need to wake things up.  The problem is many members who still make the meetings don't seem interested in actually doing anything.  We need new members, but even on our club nets which have a lot of non-member check-ins, our members don't seem to talk up the club. 

Anyway, I would like to hear from others.  What do you look for in a club?  What makes things interesting for you?  How do you get new members?  How do you keep members?

Oh, and if you live in the Milwaukee area, I'd certainly like to hear from you and of course I'll try to sell you on becoming a club member.

Dave DeFebo WB9BWP
Logged
W5DQ
Member

Posts: 1209


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2010, 05:58:28 PM »

Dave,

You just described the way our club was heading to a tee. Having held both VP for Club Programs and President positions in the past and currently VP for Programs again, I was involved with many of our more experienced members to set something in motion I think is going to have a big impact in the next few years. With our, I call it stagnant membership - not because anyone had BO, we seemed to always have the same 6-10 folks who would come out for any club function or outing. The club had discussed ways to bring life back into what seemed to be a dying club and in the last couple of years, the club has sponsered Technician and General licensing classes to do just that. We have a wide array of talents in many of our more active members and using that skillset, many of the members volunteered to teach sections of the license theory. These classes have been a great success in not only bringing new energetic blood into the club as newly licensed Technician class hams, but many of the existing members have upgraded to General and beyond. Not only do we have many of the new hams coming out to see and learn at functions and outings, but it also appears that some of the existing members are also getting more involved in 'teaching' the new hams about amateur radio topics. Several of the new hams are very involved in the club with repeater support and upgrades, APRS system integration into club functions, setting up their own stations and seem eager to learn about DXing and HF operating. Not that I'm any expert in any given field (I only have a BS in Electronic Engineering), I have given many presentations on HF stations, antennas, 6M and other topics to hopefully plant some seeds of discovery in the new hams minds. Also this year's President is a newly licensed Technician and the Treasurer is his wife, also newly licensed and an professional accountant. One of the new members also revamped our website so now it is more modern and informative, not drab and boring as before. (Link is below - take a look)

There is a new sense of life in the club meetings and yes, we still have those that only come for the meetings and to eat the refreshments but many of the new hams are bringing new ideas and experiences to the club too. Our roster has grown by many new members from the classes and hopefully we will continue to have more classes and bring in more young people to give even more youthful energy to our group. Our youngest member right now is in his early 20's.

Hope this helps you in generating some new blood for your group.

73,


Gene W5DQ
Ridgecrest, CA

ex-WN5UZU / WB5UZU / KI6LO
ARRL Life Member, DXCC: Mixed, 20M & Phone, WAS/HF, WAC/HF, VUCC 6M #1688 - 320/205 Grids wrkd/cnfd
10-10 : 24965, 6 Club :2325, SMIRK, UKSMG, SCDXC, KC VHF Grid Bandits,
Northern CA DX Foundation Supporter,
Quarter Century Wireless Association (1976),
Sierra ARC (Ridgecrest, CA) Member, 2nd VP / Programs 2005-6, 2010, Past President 2007 (www.qsl.net/wa6ybn/)
Hi Desert DX Association (Ridgecrest, CA) Member,
ARRL 6th Dist Incoming DX Bureau ā€œLā€ Segment Manager,
Volunteer Examineer (VE) with ARRL VEC,
Assistant Emergency Coordinator East Kern County CA,
Past Assistant Technical Coordinator - SJV Section,
« Last Edit: August 03, 2010, 06:00:05 PM by Gene Brewer » Logged

Gene W5DQ
Ridgecrest, CA - DM15dp
www.radioroom.org
KG4RRN
Member

Posts: 16


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2010, 10:21:36 AM »

Do you have any other titles??? Shocked
Logged
WX7G
Member

Posts: 6205




Ignore
« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2010, 09:36:28 AM »

What do I want in a club? A pure democracy. No present, no club officers, no power trips, none of it.
Logged
WY3X
Member

Posts: 768




Ignore
« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2010, 07:49:34 PM »

The only "office" in my way of thinking for a successful club would be a "rotational" position. That position would be for someone to set up a program for meeting night's show-n-tell. Each and every member would be required to be "it" on rotation with no excuses for not having a program when it's their turn. No president, no treasurer, nothing formal at all. No formal involvement in ARES/RACES/weather-spotting or any other organized program. When something breaks (i.e. the club repeater) an "assessment" would be made to cover the expense and not one cent more, so no dues. Anyone who doesn't pay their fair share of the assessment would lose some privilege (like operating the club station) for a year. It would be "nice" for the club to have a regular meeting place where a full station could be set up for members use (funded by donations of cash by members who feel so inclined to donate or through the donation of radios, or possibly even provided by local government). The use of the station would not be restricted, i.e. every club member would have a key to it and could go operate any time they wanted to. Local government should be solicited to provide such a meeting place. Club meetings would be held there so that after the meeting the "club rig" could be fired up and used. If the club owns a repeater, all club repeater codes would be given out to all members, no cloak-and-dagger politics. A volunteer group would be tasked with performing repeater repairs when needed, and these individuals would not be required to help the next time it breaks, so that everyone gets a chance to learn how to repair it. Non-meeting events would center around group-build projects at the and operating events together as a group from the clubhouse. It would be understood that some members who desire to do so would be allowed to operate the club station in the event of a localized emergency requiring communications assistance.

It's not a perfect system, but it takes the wind out of the sails of those who have God complexes and removes politics from the equation.
Logged
AD6KA
Member

Posts: 2238




Ignore
« Reply #5 on: August 27, 2010, 08:49:04 PM »

Who needs a club?
Logged
N0DSN
Member

Posts: 13




Ignore
« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2010, 02:46:12 PM »

Activity!
Logged
KJ4FUU
Member

Posts: 162




Ignore
« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2010, 06:50:54 AM »

Even though I'm an extra, there are still things I do not know, and I enjoy educational programs at the meetings. I like the club I'm in, but lately, we've been having only a dozen or so at the meetings, but I have to think quality rather than quantity. I still get plenty of great advice from the old hands. After I related my experience (or rather showed my lack thereof) at field day, one of the members let me use his station for the day for the IARU HF contest and showed me what I was doing right and wrong.

Do you have multiple clubs in a small area, a couple of which aren't on speaking terms with each other? Sometimes that will bum out the new hams. I just accept the situation as it is and try not to get involved in it.

-- Tom
Logged
W7KB
Member

Posts: 57




Ignore
« Reply #8 on: September 21, 2010, 12:10:06 PM »

Egos checked at the door upon entry.Realize importance of ALL members treated as equals.Open minds to all ideas discussed.No "business as usual".Hams not thinking they are the smartest person ever in Amateur Radio.W7KB.
Logged
K1CJS
Member

Posts: 6055




Ignore
« Reply #9 on: November 14, 2010, 06:50:03 AM »

An organization that gets together more as a social club than a business club.  Once anything specific gets established in such a club, whether it be a repeater, a club station, or anything else that requires money to function and any sort of committee or 'officers' to coordinate, politics gets involved which bring differences of opinions, the formation of 'cliques' and dissent.  And those bring a beginning to fights over control of various doings and the end of a friendly club atmosphere.
Logged
N0IHM
Member

Posts: 1




Ignore
« Reply #10 on: November 25, 2010, 11:09:03 AM »

I would like to see clubs with a sense of belonging to a group of people that just like Ham radio, recognizing that it is many different ideas, modes, ages, and interests.  Ours has fallen apart, almost, to the point of non-interest in anything.  Too many stonewalls, feelings, and stubborn personalities have gotten in the way of people being able to merely voice their opinions or ideas.  I have seen too many people get up and stomp out, saying that our club is going down the drain.
I have been "made" president, and don't care for the job.  I just hang around, and a lot of us meet at a local store on Saturdays for breakfast and talk about lots of things.  Where has the hobby gone??  I feel I can just do things on my own.  Even our repeater has been listed on the internet as being "Rarely used"...............it still is there, and alive.  Only used as check in night on Wed.  Others have parted ways and started their "own" repeaters, snubbing our club.  Nice, really nice. Sad
Logged
2E0OZI
Member

Posts: 270




Ignore
« Reply #11 on: December 01, 2010, 03:33:28 PM »

A friendly approach to new hams (I am one).

An active training programme, and in between that, if possible a mentoring programme to help those who have passed whatever exam there is, but realise its a licence to learn.

A clubhouse with a rig would be nice.

Regular meetings at least once a month, even if they are little more than a pint and a chat. You would meet at (see above). 

A yearly trip to somewhere interesting to operate (maybe).
Logged

Men can only be happy when they do not assume that the object of life is happiness.
George Orwell
K6MA
Member

Posts: 5




Ignore
« Reply #12 on: December 02, 2010, 04:24:24 PM »

I am new to ham radio, only discovering it in 2010. If I had known how technical it can be I would have joined 50 years ago, or even longer (I will be 68 in a couple of weeks). Knowing that I had a lot to learn and no one to ask about it I opted to take all the licenses as soon as I could. So I now have my extra license and have more questions than a playground of kids. However, I suspect that because I am older people assume that I know a lot about ham radio. This is not the case and I am learning as fast as I can, mostly by myself. I belong to 2 radio clubs; one is very active and the other appears to be dying. The people in both clubs are very nice (for the most part) and I enjoy their company, especially when technical things are being discussed.
It is difficult to determine what I would want in a club as I am so new to this hobby but I can come up with a few ideas: regular meetings, technical presentations or discussions, social interaction, a look at someone else's shack and watch how they operate their radios, ideas for antennas in restricted areas (I now have 7 books on antennas), no politics (probably unrealistic), activity of more than one or two members in helping to run the club, some sort of newsletter (could be web-based).
I do plan on being very active and trying to revive the one club that is in decline but I need more information and experience than I possess to do this.
Yesterday I joined the American Legion as I offered to run their ham shack for emergency purposes and try to get some scouts involved. This is going to be a big challenge for me as I have extremely limited air-time and I am going to need help. However, what I lack in knowledge I will make up for in enthusiasm. If I could just get one young person interested in ham radio I will be very happy. My goal is certainly a lot more than one.
Sorry I rambled on a bit here.
73
Terry Hall
Logged
WD8LIC
Member

Posts: 32


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #13 on: December 04, 2010, 04:17:34 AM »

I used to be a club member but dropped out.  Several reasons:
1.  Time.  Seems like ham radio is the only life they have.  I've got a career, spouse, kids, grandkids, etc.etc.etc.  Monthly meetings are just not in the cards.  Quarterly maybe, semi annual much better.  Or how about only having a meeting when the club has something worthwhile to say.  Meeting just to meet and be seen is unnecessary.
2.  Technoiditis:  I love to operate, not design or build equipment.  I feel that unless you are a electrical engineer who is building moonbounce gear you are just not part of the inner circle
3.  Good ole boy network:  6-8 hams run everything.  No fun

I'm not cynical, just sharing my thoughts as an ex club member.  Maybe my comments will help.
Logged
2E0OZI
Member

Posts: 270




Ignore
« Reply #14 on: December 04, 2010, 12:49:08 PM »

WD8 you are right about the time thing - seems like I am in exactly the same position as you, however I am about to join a club. For me, as I am new to ham radio, I think it will help quite a bit to have a few people who know a bit more than me to bounce ideas off and ask questions of.

Monthly meetings I can just about handle - though I dont expect to make every one. With a 5yo and a wife, and a full time job, plus kneeboard surfing, motorcycling, banjo pickin, bagpipes and trying to get enough exercise...time is precious.
Logged

Men can only be happy when they do not assume that the object of life is happiness.
George Orwell
Pages: [1] 2 3 Next   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!