A Friendly Discussion on Club Management - RCCanada - Canada Radio Controlled Hobby Forum
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Old 12-07-2010, 09:17 AM   #1
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Attended our monthly (only in the off season) Club meeting last Wednesday. As usual, out of 60 some members, about 12 showed up. At the meeting, discussion developed re. membership levels, meeting turn outs and the number of members who actually fly on a regular basis. These matters seem to come up at every meeting.
When club matters are discussed I am more keen to listen than most because I spent my entire career in Club Management. I am now retired.
What I would like to know from across Canada is:
1... in general, are all clubs having trouble attracting and retaining members - the economy seems to get the blame around here
2... has the monthly club meeting gone the way of the "doe doe bird" - we feel that members are no longer interested in club meetings because no one builds anymore and all required information can be found on the internet - thus the "ARF" and the "internet" get the blame for low attendance at club meetings. . .
3... regardless of the size of the club, very few members fly on a regular basis. . . I was at a club in the South last year and was asked if I would like to join. I said: "you have over 300 members, when would I get a chance to fly?" I was told: "don't worry, only about 24 guys fly on a regular basis." This may be true at most clubs.

Before getting too carried away with my own thoughts on these matters, I would like to hear from some club members on them. As indicated, I do have some thoughts but would like to make certain that the problems shown above are indeed real across the country and not just local. . . Cheers

John Mickle - MAAC #24781
Ancaster Sport Flyer... "your attitude affects your altitude!"
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Old 12-07-2010, 09:41 AM   #2
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Re: A Friendly Discussion on Club Management

In our club
1. There is barely any promotion of the club to attract new members so regretfully not a lot of new in the club

2. just plain doe doe birds - it is so boring that people will come once and leave - its basically an extended executive meeing - sometimes only one or more members besides the executive will attend

3. very small amount fly on a regular basis at all

What i would add with ours is that some people have the attitudes that keep our club from progressing. Ideas being shot down from new members etc... Our flying field is one of the best that i have been to ( am not being bias ) we own the six acres and fly out over 100's of acres of open space with no houses around and no noise issues.

Its great when your 3 year old knows the names of all your planes lol
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Old 12-07-2010, 09:42 AM   #3
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Re: A Friendly Discussion on Club Management

I'm going to be honest here, while I don't fly airplanes there was one heli club when I first started up here in Edmonton, now there are two. There were a couple of threads on what happened, here and other forums, but needless to say there was a TON of politics involved. This severely lessened my interest in joining the original club or the new club. Most of the people are ok but there's always 1 or 2 in any group that make trouble. This is why I prefer to fly alone or with friends.

As for club meetings, I've been an executive of a club at university with over 300 members and you don't need meetings every month. The only people that show up are the ones that fly regularly anyway and you see them all the time. The executives should meet monthly but there should only be 2-3 general meetings (unless a special session is required of course). My 2c.
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Old 12-07-2010, 11:21 AM   #4
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Re: A Friendly Discussion on Club Management

With a routine of good communication, effort and safety, perhaps the members are just happy
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Old 12-07-2010, 11:25 AM   #5
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Re: A Friendly Discussion on Club Management

We have meetings every month, at the legion in the winter months and at the field in the summer months, at the legion we get about 1/3 of the members out, in the summer we usually get a few more ( can fly after the meeting ). While i haven't been out much this year i'd say that well over 1/2 of our members are regular fliers.
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Old 12-07-2010, 11:28 AM   #6
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Re: A Friendly Discussion on Club Management

I've been in this hobby over thirty years now, have been a member of many clubs and visited many more to present or just get a flavour of other clubs.

I recall meetings in the early years being very much about the building aspect of the hobby. People would bring their models in various states of construction and we'd all get to ask questions or provide help/insight etc. A real treat would be when we'd be visited by a vendor bringing some new product to show us and sometimes there's even be a door prize of the latest and greatest kit etc.

As building has truly gone the way of the doe doe (as already mentioned), meetings have been more about reports on finances, field maintenance, an appeal for volunteers for the various positions (wings program, running of events etc.). Much of it very dry and tiresome (especially when there are 20 positions to fill by the 12 who attend the meetings).

It is truly sad but, unlike the bird, there are still a few 'doe doe' around. I'm lucky to belong to a club that still has a few of us builders around (so there is something interesting to talk about beside rampant consumerism).

Personally, I still get my biggest kick out seeing someone else's project (living vicariously through their build) that is much greater than reading and viewing pictures on the web. It's just more real. I'm also very happy to be asked to bring something to present.

Yes, the economy has impacted us but, I think there has always been a large turnover in this hobby. But, we are also (as a whole) poor at promoting our hobby. I presentations in schools, at cub meets. home week malls hows etc. this sort of thing seems to have waned at much the same pace as the building aspect of the hobby has.
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Si fractum non sit, noli id reficere - (If it ain't broke, don't fix it).
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Old 12-07-2010, 12:08 PM   #7
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Re: A Friendly Discussion on Club Management

In my experience club politics can be summed up as "my way or the highway" and "all take, no give". That attitude carries with new & old members and I can assure you it's not a problem that's unique to RC flying clubs.
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Old 12-07-2010, 02:44 PM   #8
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Re: A Friendly Discussion on Club Management

Caveat: I'm not Canadian.
Since I am an old grey beard, I have been in a few organizations and have some experience as a general member and as a member of the executive board.

It seems that ALL volunteer clubs or organizations are actually run by a handful of their members. That seems to be a natural law of some sort.

Our local club has monthly meetings. Our By-Laws create a virtual direct democracy. The Executive Board can only act between meetings in an emergency. Since decisions are in their hands, most people interested in what the club does will show up!

Model building/assembling/flying is an activity which has waxed and waned over my 70+ years. As the "aviation minded" generation (WWII era) dies out, so will the numbers of model aircraft organizations. However, I believe there is hope among the young who are presently addicted to electronic games and devices. Who knows?
If it doesn't stink, it's not a diesel.
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Old 12-07-2010, 03:37 PM   #9
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Re: A Friendly Discussion on Club Management

Like someone said "there are always one or two that cause trouble". That happened at the club in the nearest town from me. The two members from Zealandia, population about 45, one of them being myself got fed up with all the bull. Beauty of a small town is that we just built are own grass field by the town lagoon. Thus Lagoona rc was started. I cut the grass and my fellow member does the watering. It is starting to look very nice and the only rule is to have fun. Everyone is welcome as long as they don't try to take it over with all the bull""""". If they do they are simply not welcome. After all it is only as simple as having fun and enjoying company when it comes.

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Old 12-07-2010, 05:25 PM   #10
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Re: A Friendly Discussion on Club Management

Our club is a fairly small one with approx. 20 members. We do meetings every even months and that seems to be more than enough. Most actice flyers, about half of the members show up most of the time for meetings. I think that we have a great club as the majority of the guys are still building kits on top of flying ARFs. Therefore, the meetings are then still an occasion to bring some new projects, have a coffee and donut and talk about airplanes...

Disclaimer: Having said that, this is just my personal opinion, I might be wrong, please don't quote me, have a nice day.
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