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Author Topic: What do you want in a club?  (Read 67388 times)
N4VNV
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« Reply #15 on: December 09, 2010, 08:45:14 AM »

All the Amateur Clubs I have belonged to suck!  They were just another place for the "cliques" to gather. You sound lot like me, find out the skills your club members have and list them. They will be useful in your planning. Skills like: Typing/computer savvy, other languages spoken, physical condition, (i.e. don't want more people to rescue on a search) Do they have "survival skills"? (Ex-Military) Have they supervised groups of people before. Also find out the available "go-box" inventories. i.e. A rig and antenna is no good in the woods without a power source. Who has 4-wheel drive vehicles, and which ones can go off-road? How many handy talkies are available and on which bands?  Stuff like that. Make a questionare up and pass it out, asking each to answer the questions listed above. At the end have an extra page to list any ideas they have for the Club. Nets for new members, Tech Class etc..
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NI0C
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« Reply #16 on: December 15, 2010, 04:16:32 PM »

I feel lucky to belong to an exceptionally friendly and active club, the Mississippi Valley DX & Contest Club: http://www.mvdxcc.org/ 

One of the best features of our club is the informal group of guys who assist local hams with their antenna installations, and go out to lunch afterwards to celebrate a job well done.  As someone who has both a helper and a beneficiary of this loosely organized antenna committte, I can't say enough about the good will this kind of activity produces.  This is what ham radio is all about!

73,
Chuck  NI0C
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WA7URV
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« Reply #17 on: December 27, 2010, 11:37:23 AM »

Our "club" has a group of about 25 signed up on a YahooGroups account, and about a half dozen of them show up at our once-a-month breakfast gathering.  This year we are scheduling four build-days where we'll all gather and make solder smoke.  That seems to be a common interest among many of us.  Otherwise, we brag that there are "no rules, no officers, no agenda, just a bunch of people interested in radio..." 

The main thing is we don't measure our success by anything in particular; I've been meeting with these guys for ten years.  We don't have membership drives; we don't have a bank account.  The only thing that keeps it going is an annual calendar of breakfast meetings and now the build-days.

Works fine for our group!  I think this mainly is an example of a group that simply meets the needs of its members, no more, no less.

- Phil WA7URV, Cascade QRP Club   http://groups.yahoo.com/group/cascadeqrp/
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KD8DEY
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« Reply #18 on: December 28, 2010, 01:22:48 PM »

How about a club

1 That doesn't charge fee's that are higher than the ARRL

2 That most monthly meetings are not just used for excuses to meet up and gossip
   at some restaurant. (rarely held to discuss anything important like club business)

3 Social events are nice to meet new members and catch up with old friends but can be held to the point of Ad-nauseum .

4 "Seminars" can be useful BUT
    A. Is the subject of interest to the majority of the club members as a whole.
    B. only of interest to a few of the "Higher UPs"
    C. just somebody that the club was able to grab just so they could say
        "Yeah we just had a lecture on that........

5 For the ones that do want to learn something new

   A. Perhaps a nice (on site use only) "technical" resource library.

   B. A basic "lab" setup (O-scope, Freq generator, etc) where Hams can learn from each other/experiment/build/repair without a bunch of negative criticism. (What use is a bunch of theory on paper without a little practical hands on to see how all the theory actually comes together?)
  ...........................................
« Last Edit: December 28, 2010, 01:25:32 PM by Robert Anderson Jr » Logged
W5SYF
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Posts: 7




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« Reply #19 on: December 29, 2010, 11:24:13 AM »

1st off I'm a new Ham about 1 yr and do not currently belong to a club.  I'm also very lucky being in the Dallas/Fort Worth area I have several choices of clubs.  One of the best pieces of advice about clubs I'll share is that you need to find a club where you belong and provides you with the types of activites and views about the hobby that are similar to yours.  Pretty simple!!  A club is not going to be all things to all people, there will always be a core of highly involved individuals that are in the club to lead!  There will be people that are the educators and there are the builders/experimenters.  Our hobby can support all of these.  This is also what you will see as a cross section of club life. 
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AE0Z
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« Reply #20 on: January 11, 2011, 11:35:14 AM »

I would put welcoming the new person as a top priority.  The lack of it is something I have both experienced myself (not at MRAC) and heard others bemoan.  New blood can help with new ideas.

As far as energizing current members, I'm out of ideas (but Dave you already knew that).  I know of several clubs which have a very healthy bank account but seem to be stagnating, and it would make sense to spend some of that money in order to get things going.  But spend it on what?  Perhaps front the money for a nicer transceiver and sell raffle tickets at meetings to boost attendance and recoup some (all?) of the cost.

One last suggestion -- keep the mood at meetings and in the newsletter positive.  I'm not much of a cheerleader myself but I can usually find humor in things.  Sarcasm and cynicism can be overdone, and if the overall mood is already something of a downer ...

Good luck!  94 years continuously operating is a record to be proud of.
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Howard AE0Z
1 Peter 4:10
K9FON
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Posts: 1012




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« Reply #21 on: January 11, 2011, 01:29:22 PM »

Geee id like to find a club that isnt totaly into ARES. So far no such luck here. The other clubs are too stuck up for me.
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K9ZF
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« Reply #22 on: January 12, 2011, 04:07:21 PM »

I just discovered this topic, so sorry for the late comments.

Most of the ideas I wanted to express have already been posted. 
A few of the ones I agree with should be repeated:
KD8DEY:
   A. Perhaps a nice (on site use only) "technical" resource library.
   B. A basic "lab" setup (O-scope, Freq generator, etc) where Hams can learn from each other/experiment/build/repair without a bunch of negative criticism. (What use is a bunch of theory on paper without a little practical hands on to see how all the theory actually comes together?)

NI0C:
One of the best features of our club is the informal group of guys who assist local hams with their antenna installations, and go out to lunch afterwards to celebrate a job well done.  As someone who has both a helper and a beneficiary of this loosely organized antenna committte, I can't say enough about the good will this kind of activity produces.  This is what ham radio is all about!
73,
Chuck  NI0C
W5DQ:
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
N0DSN:
Activity!
SCEPTIC:
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).



It comes down to activity, and services.  I believe club members should be asking themselves "what can I do for the club?"   And in turn, the club should be asking what can it do for it's members?  What does your members need from the club?

NI0C's antenna party idea is great.  Many club members do not have the means, or the ability, to work on antennas.  Put together a team to help them out!

KD8DEY's tech lab idea is awesome.  Put together test equipment that can be used by club members.  Many of us can't justify the expense of buying an antenna analyzer, but could sure use one once in awhile.  How about a good set of crimpers to install cable ends?  Even a high quality watt / SWR meter and dummy load could be useful.

Activity, activity, activity...  Plan some special events and get a team on the air.  Field day is great, but it's only once a year.  Have a group activate the club station for your state QSO party.  You do have a club station, right?

Presentations are great.  Particularly if you can attract some special guests.  Just make sure the audience attendance is optional.  I have given club presentations on contesting when I know some of the folks had zero interest, but felt obligated to be there.  Not a good idea.

And lastly, do frequent surveys of your members.  What do they want to see the club do?  Pay special attention to members who aren't currently active.   What will it take to get them back?

Good luck with your club, my friend.  And by all means, if you discover something good that works, let us all know so we can put it to use in our clubs!

K9ZF@yahoo.com

73
Dan
--
Amateur Radio Emergency Service, Clark County Indiana. EM78el
K9ZF /R no budget Rover ***QRP-l #1269 Check out the Rover Resource Page at:
<http://www.qsl.net/n9rla> List Administrator for: InHam+grid-loc+ham-books
Ask me how to join the Indiana Ham Mailing list!




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--
K9ZF
Amateur Radio Emergency Service, Clark County Indiana. EM78el
The once and future K9ZF /R no budget Rover
 ***QRP-l #1269
Check out the Rover Resource Page at:
<http://www.qsl.net/n9rla>
List Administrator for: InHam+grid-loc+ham-books
Ask me how to join the Indiana Ham Maili
KC8OYE
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Posts: 297




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« Reply #23 on: January 30, 2011, 05:01:51 PM »

The problem with the 'no officers' statement is that most clubs, if they want to collect dues, or even donations for equipment, have to be registered as a 501c (not for profit) organization.. and as such.. 501c rules require a board and a minimum of once-yearly meeting...
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WA7URV
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« Reply #24 on: January 30, 2011, 08:05:37 PM »

These are some notes I made a while back regarding your question...

In a good club...

...visitors are treated as VIPs; they walk out of any club event thinking, “I want to learn more from that club’s members; I want more fun experiences like the one I just had…”

...club leadership/officers primary responsibility is to find out what each member wants/needs and do everything they can to meet those wants/needs

...there is a direct ratio of member experience with commitment to welcoming and Elmering newcomers; the more experienced a club member is, the greater the role in welcoming/Elmering!

...visitors are encouraged to talk about their own ham radio experiences.  If they aren’t yet hams, they are encouraged to talk about the part of ham radio that interests them

...there is a focus on learning all things ham radio.  This focus is backed by an annual planning calendar that includes a series of educational activities geared towards members’ wants/needs

...the club develops a planning “system” around its calendar (e.g. monthly themes that contribute to member education/fun

...club members who are very close always meet and spend lots of time together as a tight group at times other than those where new people are involved

...strong opinions and debate are encouraged only when those with such opinions meet separate from the mainstream group.  (Such discussion turn newbies away....)

...there should be opportunities for members who want to have traditional ham radio arguments such as “code, no-code” or “the dumbing down of ham radio”  -- these opportunities should occur apart from the mainstream group.

...every club event, whether it’s a dinner or Field Day or other activity, should include emphasis on these things (importance is weighted in a percentage)

> equal member opportunity for involvement (60% importance)
> member networking/socializing (25% imortance)
> member learning and education (14% importance)
> club business and administration (1% importance)

...the entire club Field Day operation is “owned” by club membership; emphasis is made to involve/welcome every member to some aspect of Field Day, even if it’s some role that doesn’t occur ON Field Day weekend.

...the club frequently assesses its member’s strengths (knowledge, skills, experience) to best fit members into club roles where they can have the most fun and greatest personal rewards

-Phil, WA7URV
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KC8OYE
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« Reply #25 on: January 30, 2011, 09:00:23 PM »

keep the suggestions coming guys!! i'm a volunteer on the IT Comittee of our local ARES/RACES "club" and one of our new big hurdles is de-alienating the members that have gotten p'd off over the years... plus attracting new members.
I can only push skywarn and public service so far!

I'm thinking we need to do more as a 'club' then ares/races 'training ops'  maybe some home brew proejcts that are easy to do.. I remember when I was new to hamming was going to another's club and watching a presentation on how to build an off-set attenuator for fox hunting.. what a blast!
 another one I Found entertaining was turning an old TV Antenna into a fox hunting beam.
after watching a video of a ham who built a weather balloon packed with a video camera and managed to get it something like 5 miles up before the balloon burst was absolutely amazing.. I Figured some weather balloon expieriments using GPS, APRS, Packet, and ATV could be a blast too!


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N8CNJ
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« Reply #26 on: February 22, 2011, 11:26:35 AM »

This is just my experience from the club I was with before moving 700 miles away.
  • Our smarter repair guys would work on equipment for the more technically challenged.  But, they would have the person in need do most of the work while being watched.  This helped boost interest from just being on the radio to the technical side.
  • We would contest in public whenever we could without the use of shore power.  Using parks, boardwalks, etc.  Put up banners with the club website and meeting times.  You would be surprised at how many people will just come up and ask questions.
  • Field Day was always held in a public place for the same reasons with the same results.
  • When in public, we keep one station on a very busy frequency and let non-hams try it out (with supervision of coarse).  You would be surprised at how this 1 thing can take someone with a slight interest to someone ready to start testing.

We did our best to be as public as possible.  We are also affiliated with the local Red Cross and get called out to emergencies with them and provide communication from the field back to their base of operations if needed. 
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KF7ITG
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« Reply #27 on: May 29, 2011, 12:08:30 PM »

A little 411

http://k9jy.com/blog/2010/02/18/ham-radio-web-sites-need-improved-marketing/

73 James
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AD6KA
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« Reply #28 on: June 04, 2011, 12:02:22 AM »

What do you want in a club?
No cover charge.
Live Music.
A dance floor.
Bouncers to keep drunk "Good Old Boys" out.

73, Ken  AD6KA
 
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N0SYA
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Posts: 290




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« Reply #29 on: June 05, 2011, 05:41:41 AM »

A club? Hmm. About arm long, maybe with some spikes or just simple nails driven thru it, and a razor on top. Like a baseball bat but more menacing.
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If you have a clumsy child, you make them wear a helmet. If you have death prone children, you keep a few clones of them in your lab.
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