View Full Version : Sign 3 & Fly Free Ambassador program
02-19-2003, 04:25 AM
AMA has a recruitment program that in theory should work very well, but unfortunately, for whatever reasons, hasn't. The idea was to encourage veteran club members to sign up 3 members in exchange for a free one year $58 membership .
I was wondering if MAAC has every considered such a program?
02-19-2003, 05:45 AM
No,MAAC hasnt tried anything like that.The situation on both sides of the border is the same regarding new members and growth over all for both AMA and MAAC is slow at best.
There are lots of theories why,and many ideas of what to do about it,but its very hard to say what direction the hobby/sport is taking,IMO.
02-19-2003, 07:07 AM
AMA Executive Director Joyce Hager told me that she feels the program has been successful. Her idea of success is in the 3 years of the program's existance, only 151 members took advantage of it and signed up some 3000 members, which doesn't add up to much considering that AMA's reported membership numbers around 170,000. I have had no problem in signing up at least a dozen every year. Once I sign them up, I direct them to the nearest flying club, whose members report that they have a very difficult time finding new members.
It could very well appear that in too many clubs, growth is one club's medicine and another club's poison?
02-19-2003, 07:14 AM
We have a healthy training program and sign new members every year. The problem in our are appears to be one more of retention.... most seem to go to golf. :yuk:
02-19-2003, 08:26 AM
My club,s experience is the same as Jim,s.Its not attracting new members that kills us, its the turnover.We have an excellent mature field,available and excellent instuctors,free supplied by the club buddy boxes ,and low dues with no first time fees.We have a nominal fee for any student and usually that is quietly waived,and more than one disadvantaged kid has been given a plane and radio free.........
There are those who claim that if MAAC worked harder or smarter it could double its membership..........I dont buy it.
Young people today have so many things available to them and competing for available time that the devotion to a time consumer like our hobby sport takes a level of effort that not too many will stay with for any length of time.My zone happens to have the highest ratio of junior MAAC members to open class members in Canada and I wish I knew why.All I can come up with is that there may be fewer other options available to rural or small town kids as compared to City life.Travel to the field probably has a bearing too.Has anyone noticed the fact that time honored kid activities like the Boy Scouts,Guides,4F,etc are all advertising publicly for new members?
The middle age category is often ravaged by the usual demands of family,and career which is unavoidable,I guess.
The 50+ empty nesters,and soon retiring boomers is where I suspect growth will come from,but only if the hobby/sport is presented as a mature ,viable,and worthwhile pastime.There is a lot of work to be done by clubs with local government,for example,and we could help ourselves a lot by not using terms like "Toy" airplanes.
MAAC, and I suspect the AMA and other national orginizations,need to stop the factional bickering that goes on,and do some realistic long term planning,IMO.. :!:
02-19-2003, 08:41 AM
Today�s kids grow up in an environment of instant gratification. Thus we see a large proliferation of ARFS. Like Kevin says we are one of the many pastimes that compete for new members. Also remember that most of us (mature) modelers grew up with our eyes on the prop driven era of aviation. The books and movies of our youth depicted mostly WW1 and WW2 fighters and other aircraft of the golden era. These even today can be built relatively within anyone�s budget. Today�s youngsters relate to the jet age and that as we know does not equate to inexpensive. I have had many prospective youngsters turn their nose up at the idea of a Mustang, Spitfire or civilian prop plane.
02-19-2003, 08:42 AM
Kevin and Dennis hit the nail on the head. I couldn't agree more.
I spent the last 8 or so years instructing. and it was the "empty nest" life phase types who are still around, with the exception being the Dad and son but even then, it's Dad who keeps returning.
Still, I can't completely discount youth, I once had a 'J' suffix to my MAAC number. but I too left the hobby for a time to pursue other interests. What brought me back? A reminder... I saw someone flying a big ole RC scale stearman on TV.... 8)
Dennis is right, most of today's youth want a Shuttle or an F16. Park flyers show some promise but, this is problematical too....
Helicopters, OTOH, do hold some sway with the younger generation.
02-19-2003, 10:29 AM
I dont want to appear negative regarding juniors.......Im not.As a matter of fact I like working with young people who are interested in the hobby and one of these days Im going to get the right "little brother" assigned to me if possible.
However we must be realistic and the best MAAC and particularly the clubs can do IMO,is make sure a good junior program is in place and easily available,infect youngster as seriously as possible while we have his/her interest ,and hope to get them back when time and money allow if/when they wander off....
02-19-2003, 12:15 PM
I agree the best we can do is to keep our hobby high profile and easily accessible to all ages and interests. Our club has a junior membership at a bit of a discount but because we know the youngster cannot become involved in this hobby without the support of one or more parents we waive any club dues to anyone under driving age if a parent joins with a full membership. Most adults who bring their kids out would like to give it a try but they will stand on the sidelines unless an effort is made to invite them as well. More often than not the adult stays and the kids wander off as their interests change. Later as time permits many juniors have come back to the hobby and joined their father who has continued to remain a member. In fact some of our most active members were parents who brought their children out to get involved in the hobby and they themselves became hooked.
02-19-2003, 02:50 PM
It has taken a few years but I finally have one junior that took my summer class last year and is going big time into RC now, after building many rubber builtup kits (no arfs I am glad to say, as much as I dont mind them I still think for beginners building a kit is the way to go) he is allmost finished his Sig Kadet Senior.
Also, Dan Nadeau and I are going to try and get a few of the kids into controlline as a start. Yes, there is hope yet!
Myself, I also joined MAAC as a junior and with the exception of the first year I was away at University, I was never idle in the hobby.
Its harder for us here where we have a low population, even to get one or two new members a year is a great thing when we have less than 30 in the club. But I am glad to say our turnover is low, we seem to keep who we get!
I'm a juniour member in MAAC. I do love to build things and aircraft. The reason a lot of poeple may buy arfs is that they do not have the time. A lot of people I know that fly flys arf's because they do not have the time to build a kit. I have bought an ARF (my trainer) But have built aircraft as well.
02-20-2003, 04:41 PM
I also understand the need for arf's (there are many reasons I think ARF's have taken off but I wont get into that. I also think kit building is still a very necessary part of modelling and I wont get into that either!) as my best flying friend has a few due to lack of time.
I think learning to build (and therefore you know how to repair) is a necessary skill but arf's sure have their place too.
Ideally today, you could buy an arf to learn on while you are also working on building your first kit. Get flying with low stress and learn how to build at the same time.
Anyway, glad to see another junior MAAC member on board, and stick with this hobby it is a blast!
02-20-2003, 06:24 PM
I find that younger kids have a short attention span. Plus this hobby is full of older and overweight people (I'm in that boat too) most yougsters don't find us HIP to hang out with.
I say most of the membership growth will be from people retiting in their 50's and looking for a social way out. We have about 50% back benchers that do all the talking.
But hey I like that part of the hobby also.
02-20-2003, 07:31 PM
Take a look at the hobby!!!
Your a young kid... you want to go flying.
YOU go down basement, and bring up your planes.
YOU then put them in your CAR, to drive what 30 min. to the field.
Wanting to spend all Sat. or Sun. Flying while our CAR sits in the parking lot.
ARE you seeing the pattern YET!!!
IF a young guy has a CAR here wants something else to fly with then a plane. :twisted: :shock: :shock: :D
02-20-2003, 08:41 PM
Well, I am "hip" so to speak, I am in good shape and I mountain bike and snow board too, and listen to "rock and roll" music even! :)
Seriously, I think there just isnt as much interest with kids these days with airplanes in general! When I was young a lot of my friends liked planes, and we would allways bike to the field to see whats going on when we heard an engine. I also see now, when I am flying and kids are biking around the area they dont even look at me flying! Not too much attraction I guess. I still look up when I hear an aircraft, no matter what it is even a Cessna 172.
I think there are too many sports and hobbies and clubs nowdays to choose from. Some of the kids that build in my shop are into skiing, hockey, swimming, music, etc and modeling is just one of the choices they have. I am glad to see some of them stick with it, but out of 12 or so I have each year in my summer classes maybe 1 or 2 really stick with it after the classes are over.
You cant make someone LOVE planes. Its like anything else they have to have an interest first and then you can grow it into a passion.
But, if you get one youngster into the hobby that is a real airplane nut the chances are they will stick with it for a long time.
02-21-2003, 12:10 AM
Andrew you mention Summer Classes?
Do you run a RC program / Building Clinic for kids in the area?
Jim Moss :)
02-21-2003, 06:22 AM
Hey Jabba, airplanes by day, the other stuff by night. Me and my buddies always had time for both. Thinhgs are different today though. I have a stepson who is 16, built him a trainer and had him out a few times but he finds it boring. He would rather (and does) sit in front of his computer and ICQ for 6 hours at a time. I guess the definition of boring has changed over the years???
02-21-2003, 06:38 AM
Andrew you mention Summer Classes?
Do you run a RC program / Building Clinic for kids in the area?
Jim Moss :)
Yes, I teach a week long (full days, 30 to 35 hours total) model airplane building class at the summer camp put on at Nirthern College here.
I still have my certificate when I took it back in 1982! :) This will be my 5th year teaching it, and we build a lot of stuff. Start with a MAAC cub, a few balsa HLG's and then a built up stick and tissue job like a Sig Tiger. Lots of work for one week but it is a lot of fun. We use Sigment and dope, just like when I was "young". HAHA! I have 4 of the kids working on stuff at my shop once a month just to keep up the interest.
02-21-2003, 07:14 PM
That's great! :TU:
Jim Moss :)
Andrew, you never cease to amaze me.....is there anything you DON'T do ???
02-21-2003, 10:41 PM
Andrew, you never cease to amaze me..... is there anything you DON'T do ???
Get Married! :wink:
Jim Moss :)
02-21-2003, 11:12 PM
Sure, I dont fix my truck - I leave that to the boys at the Ford dealership :)
The kids are fun, and it is a good excuse for me to build some simple planes too. I work on balsa stcick and tissue kits with them.
This Sunday is building day again - and I get to start covering my Herr 24" Pitts with tissue :)
The local community College, Northern College, has this summer program that has been running for about 35 years, It has classes for music, dance, art (painting and stained glass) and other things. Way back when an older gentleman taught the model building class and I took it. Then it stopped for many years, untill I was talking to the camp coordinator about 6 years ago, and he suggested we start it up (his son was interested in it and ended up taking the class a few years) and asked me to teach it. I said SURE! Lots of fun, lots of hard work keeping a dozen 9 to 14 year olds working on planes all day for a week , but they allways like it and I try my best to show them how modeling is and give them the basic understanding of why it is good to learn the fundamentals of building. SOme of the kids are surprisingly good after only the week at it! mAkes my day to see that...
02-22-2003, 05:45 AM
Andrew for Prime Minister! 8)
....and Modeler of the Year !!!!!!!
:oops: yet?? It boggles the mind to wonder what life would be like if the whole Board of Directors, and the officers of every RC club in Canada were infected with Andrew's "It can be done!" attitude........
02-22-2003, 10:38 AM
Aint that simple Nony.........the politics would eventually wear even Andrew out :!: :roll:
02-22-2003, 11:09 AM
I don't envy you having to attend the AGM and actually participate this year it looks to be a doozy. I would however like to be like a fly on the wall and just watch.
02-22-2003, 11:50 AM
Well we have an unwritten agreement on RCC to stay away from the politics so I wont indulge (much) :wink: .
I will say that uncontrolled venting,agenda pursuit,personal attacks,and character assassination of the "are you still beating your wife?"variety,particularly by MAAC board members using E-mail and web sites,has done real damage to the orginization,and is going to have to be controlled and stopped before any change or progress is going to be made.I,ll admit to doing a little of it myself on occasion.What was that definition of frustration? Something like" the inability to punch the snot out of some b*****d who desperatley needs it?"
The pity is that there is a lot of willing talent on this particular MAAC board of directors,and a good balance of experienced and new members of all ages, but it needs leadership,direction,and a cessation of the destructive bickering that has prevailed in the last year......
02-22-2003, 02:45 PM
You guys crack me up! :lol:
Hey I am just one guy doing what I like to do. There is nothing that gives me greater pleasure than this fine hobby and all it encompases. It allows me to make great friends, keep my creativity fresh and so much more!
I surely dont ever want to get tied up in the politics of this hobby - I dont envy the people like Kevin that have to deal with this garbage on a daily basis, while guys like me can just have fun.
I dont know much about what you are talking about Kevin, regarding the MAAC board members and all you said above. Its probably better I dont know...
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