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Getting your club members enthusiastic

Old 06-16-2010, 06:15 PM
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MaxAdventure
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Question Getting your club members enthusiastic

No general club forum, so I'm dropping this here....

Any suggestions on getting club members exited about the club? Exited about helping run the thing, take care of the thing, fix up the field?

I'm hoping to breed some enthusiasm, and while I'm at it I thought I'd solicit for help from the great bunch at wattflyer!

I'd like to set up regular meetings with more of a party atmosphere and a skill demo every time. I'd like to set up work parties with a party atmosphere and fun fly after. I want to keep a strict agenda so we accomplish the meeting goals and still have time for fun.

Just looking for thoughts and input, thanks!
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Old 06-16-2010, 06:47 PM
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TDisaster
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Originally Posted by MaxAdventure View Post
No general club forum, so I'm dropping this here....

Any suggestions on getting club members exited about the club? Exited about helping run the thing, take care of the thing, fix up the field?

I'm hoping to breed some enthusiasm, and while I'm at it I thought I'd solicit for help from the great bunch at wattflyer!

I'd like to set up regular meetings with more of a party atmosphere and a skill demo every time. I'd like to set up work parties with a party atmosphere and fun fly after. I want to keep a strict agenda so we accomplish the meeting goals and still have time for fun.

Just looking for thoughts and input, thanks!
Not sure how many pilots are in your area, but why not try to set up a small fly-in/picnic?

That'd help get a large amount of pilots at the field, increase interest and bring in some money for the club.
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Old 06-16-2010, 07:01 PM
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firemanbill
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Something that we are doing is hosting Inter Club picnics. Our club started this spring with the first one and the Williamsburg club just had theirs. Each club puts one on and all members form all the local clubs participate.

We are fortunate in that there are several clubs fairly close to each other, big metropolitan area but spread out as we are.

We also have started up a Radio Control Club Council with a rep from each of the respective clubs participating. We get together a few times a year mainly to plan all the events so we don't have any major conflicts, learn more about each other, and all sorts of other stuff.

One of the really cool things to come out of the council is the agreement we have made that each member of a club that is a member of the council has flying permission at all the council clubs. That is a really cool way to get the folks to know each other even better.

As far as internally in our own club we have the Pilot Accomplishment program. Basically it's a set of maneuvers that you have to do to obtain each level. The checklist items get progressively harder as you move up and it is very challenging at the upper levels. It has created a lot of friendly competition between a few of the pilots to see who can get to the next level before the other guy. My Son has taken full advantage of that and passed me up reaching the advanced pilot level before me!:redface:

Picnics, fun fly's, contests, swap meets, are all good ways to generate more interest.

Some folks will never get motivated to do anything though, so don't get frustrated with the ones who don't want to participate, but don't alienate them either. Just keep asking, you never know, one of these days they may just step up.

www.newportnewsrc.org
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Old 06-17-2010, 06:57 PM
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Matt Kirsch
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This is an age-old question to which there is no one good answer, or ANY good answer, even.

People as a general rule "just want to fly." They want something akin to a country club where someone else prepares them a place to fly, and they show up whenever the mood to fly strikes.

It usually ends up that about 10% of the membership is interested in running the club, and then only begrudgingly, while 90% just make use of the facilities.

Clubs have been trying to find ways to get people "excited" about the non-flying parts since clubs have existed. No magical formula has been found yet that works for all clubs in all situations.

I count myself lucky that I belong to a very active club. We get a 20-25% turnout for big work parties, and meetings run anywhere from 25%-45% attendance. From what I've read, that's phenomenal.

Where the guys are real excited is where there's no club structure at all. I belong to a loose group of flyers known as the "Ground Pounders" who have permission to fly small electrics in a couple of locations around town. With no club structure and no fields to maintain, they are VERY excited about the hobby. Most of them also belong to area clubs too.
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Old 06-17-2010, 09:06 PM
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Glacier Girl
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Well if it's a true club, the members are part owners, maybe remind them that as "owners" it is their responsibility to up keep the field. If you can't get them to accept their responsibility maybe the club officers should inform them that since the "Owners" aren't keeping up the property, a contractor will have to be hired to do so, and they as the owners are going to have to come up with the money to pay them.

It could go several ways.
One, the folks will take the kick in the butt and actually do something about helping out.

Two, they will pay up and now nobody will have to maintain the field other then the hired contractor. And if there is something not done to their liking they can either do it themselves or pay additional to have it done.

Three, they may bail on you as they don't feel it's their responsibility. So be it, they were not real members anyhow, they were users.
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Old 06-17-2010, 10:13 PM
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43851E
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Here in my area we each have an "account" that is given to each & every member that collects "points". Points are given to those who mow the field & perform other club duties, print flyers. Represent club public activites, ect. These points are redeemable once a year for prizes purchased with the club treasury with a "bid war". Points can also be traded for goods at any adhoc swap meets on hobby goodies that would be for cash sale otherwise. Just by being a member (and paying dues) everyone receives a minimum amount of points. No one can otherwise collect points automatically except for performing club duties which that opportunity is given to anyone.

I love the idea of door prizes & drawings too. So everyone gives up a little bit of cash along the way, but the club gets the operating cash in hand. This was really nice when the fire ants came along just before our big bird fly in one year, as we we were able to sperad the bags of ant bait weeks in advance thus giving everyone a comfortable experience.

Involving students, boy scouts, & others in building & flying gives the club more exposure, thus more members & gives back to the community overall. Something that we should all be doing along the way.

Blue Skies 'yall
Doug
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Old 06-17-2010, 10:14 PM
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Octavius
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BBQ during club meetings. Optionally if the field is closed for flying then add beer.
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Old 06-18-2010, 04:03 AM
  #8  
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I serve on my club ex. We are one of the larger clubs in Ontario @ just under 200 down from a high of 350+ 10 years ago.
The core guys do all the work (10) and our winter meetings get around 30 guys
We work hard @ getting speakers/demos for meetings and have done the inter club thing for many seasons with four other clubs.
I have attempted to get coreplast combat going (dud)
Electric pylon races
Sunday AM glider fun
We are lucky as every year there are the same core guys willing to step up and work really hard to keep the club going. Getting the balance of the club off thier butts is a challenge, over the years different things have evolved outside flying with a good size group getting together for breakfast @ a local place once per week over winter then the revolving table winter Sundays @ a local roadhouse
We are hosting several big events this year.
Fathers day Scale Rally,
Warbirds over the bay for an entire weekend,
a weekend charity event called SOMA,
Club Corn Roast/Fun Fly plus race what you brung day
The big events take a lot of people to run so we press gang a good part of the membership into service and encourage them to bring non flying family.
Still have a group of guys that only want to show up fly BS a bit and go home, thats OK they are good people and always willing to answer spectator questions so in a small way also help promote the club/hobby.
Getting a large group going is hard, keep in mind that not everyone is as excited as you are so starting out small and easy is often best. Very few have unlimited time and energy so you can burn out most very quickly with constant requests for time.
Good Luck getting things going.
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Old 06-22-2010, 07:46 PM
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flypaper 2
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Out of about 90 members, around 20 show up for the spring cleanup 2 of us regular members are field owners but the club members feel it's their field with good reason. They pay through the club membership, property taxes and the other owner cuts the field but the club pays the gas and maintainance of the mower. They are proud of the work they do when we have the Fathersday Funfly, an electric meet, and an IMAA event.

Gord.
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Old 06-23-2010, 10:27 AM
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vintagemxr
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Long ago (1970's) when I was very active in club and we came up with a points system. The club board determined that an active member should be involved in 25% of club activities. Points were given for meeting attendance, helping with a club contest, being a club officer, showing up for field work parties (we had a paved field and grass). Total possible points for the year if someone did everything was 100.

If a member accumulated 25 points during the year their club dues for the next year were $25. If a member did zilch and just flew, fine, no problem, but their club dues were $125 the next year.

Those that wanted a country club got one and those that worked got cheap dues and also free beer & food after work parties and other goodies.

Nearly everyone participated at a reasonable level and only a few opted to cough up $125 a year just to fly. In return, the club field was very well maintained, meetings were well attended (raffles help there too), and the club treasury fattened up a bit.

Sometime after I moved out of the area a new board was elected and they killed the points system. In short order meeting attendance was down, help for contests dried up, and the field was in poor shape. The club was back to 5% of the members doing 95% of the work.

Sometimes a carrot works to get people doing their share and other times a $tick is more useful.

Doug
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