For the first time in a long time, I went to a ham radio club meeting. It was not a pleasant experience. In fact, I left after the half hour business meeting; I didn’t even wait to see the program for the night. It’s not that I was angry or frustrated or whatever; no, it came across that this club wasn’t serious about being a ham radio club.
Here’s three mini-events that came up during the business meeting:
After holding a fox hunt once a month for several months, there hasn’t been much participation. So in the business meeting, the person who is usually the fox stood up and noted the lack of participation and said that if there wasn’t going to be any participation, then the event should be cancelled. There was further discussion about publicizing the event–which showed there was lots of publicity in the club for the event–but no one came despite the publicity.
To me sitting in the audience, it screamed that the club members were not interested in the club activities. To top that off, no decision was made either on whether or not the event would continue. Hey, at least make a decision and move on; it shows leadership in the club. Nope.
During the treasurer’s report, it was noted that some members paid dues for the following year as well as this one. The club president, perhaps with gallows humor, noted that the club will at least survive into next year. Now, no one laughed, so maybe he was being serious. I took the whole thing as survival was in question. Who would want to be a member of a dying club?
Bonus item: an e-mail to the last two years members who had not paid dues for this year brought in five or six additional dues payments. No participation, just money.
Field Day, for most ham radio clubs, is 70% in the bag. Location done, band captains named, equipment is getting organized and who is doing the cooking is all getting settled. Most won’t feel confident in the outcome just yet, but the organization of ham radio’s premier operating event is moving right along.
Not here. Nothing is done. Nothing looks like, from the discussion, that anything will get done anytime soon. You wonder if anyone learned anything from last year’s event.
You want a fast way to lose your ham radio club members? Start disrespecting the club and its activities. Dis the events. Don’t manage towards the event outcomes. Make misplaced remarks about the survival of the club.
It was my first visit back to a ham radio club since I moved. And in the audience, was someone who came to discover ham radio and found the meeting through the incredibly poor club web site.
You think he will be back?