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Reviving a club?

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Old 10-11-2004, 02:37 PM
  #1  
Mikerjf
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Default Reviving a club?

My "Club" is going through some major changes in that all the club officers are leaving. We fly from a small field with a 20' x 200' paved runway next to a pond/swamp that's in a park owned by the township. Over the past few years the membership requirements have dwindled to the point where it's now pretty much just pay your dues and go down there and do whatever you feel like doing. Wasn't much of a problem in the past because out of the 50 members only 2 or 3 actually used the field on a regular basis (most of the members are new to RC or intimidated by the field), however over the past year we've started to pick up new members that fly but have never flown at a club field. Additionally a lot of the new members are into heli's (we've primarily had planes) and they're a mix of experienced and total beginners.I was asked to take the job of the Field Safety Officer by the clubs President about a year ago. We're an AMA chartered club and are supposedly subject to AMA and Club rules. The new members were never made aware of this and it's been like pulling teeth to get any degree of compliance and there's been essentially no support from the club officers.

I've been nominated to be the next club president, however nobody's chomping at the bit to fill the other vacancies. After two months of talking some members have reluctantly volunteered to fill a couple of the open spots. We're scheduled to have a meeting to get members to fill the vacant spots, however the attendance at our club meetings has dwindled to the point that the school we meet at gave our room to a band. At our last Fun Fly's we asked for volunteers to pick up donuts and coffee in the morning, supply soda and ice and run to the sub shop for lunch (club would pay the bills). Nobody volunteered.

I personally don't want to see us lose the field, but I don't think that 2 or 3 people should be responsible for keeping it open for 50 people that won't lift a finger to help out and feel that they should be able to do anything they feel like when they're there. I'd like to turn it into some semblance of a club and would appreciate any input regarding how to do it.

Thanks

Mike
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Old 10-11-2004, 06:45 PM
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Jerry Sigur
 
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Default RE: Reviving a club?

You say that the club has some new members, perhaps they would be interested
in being officers and getting things going in a more positive way. Sometimes it
takes new blood to stir up the old.
Jerry
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Old 10-11-2004, 07:07 PM
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Mikerjf
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The new members don't seem to be interested in anything but using the field. We emailed a questionaire attempting to see who was interested in what and got 3 responses out of 50 people.

Mike
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Old 10-11-2004, 08:45 PM
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The .02 cents I can provide is, if your club doesn’t do this already might change the by-laws so club officers get free dues. Money can be a good motivator.
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Old 10-12-2004, 12:56 AM
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Default RE: Reviving a club?

My "Club" is going through some major changes in that all the club officers are leaving. We fly from a small field with a 20' x 200' paved runway next to a pond/swamp that's in a park owned by the township. Over the past few years the membership requirements have dwindled to the point where it's now pretty much just pay your dues and go down there and do whatever you feel like doing.

snip
I've been nominated to be the next club president, however nobody's chomping at the bit to fill the other vacancies. After two months of talking some members have reluctantly volunteered to fill a couple of the open spots.
snip

I personally don't want to see us lose the field, but I don't think that 2 or 3 people should be responsible for keeping it open for 50 people that won't lift a finger to help out and feel that they should be able to do anything they feel like when they're there. I'd like to turn it into some semblance of a club and would appreciate any input regarding how to do it.
Since your people do whatever they like, I suppose you don't have a very strict set of Bylaws and Club Rules. Actually your problem is not too big if you're serious about solving it.

You want a real club, then run it as it is, a business. Be sure you have a contract between the Club and the facility owner that gives you control over the facility.

You can surely find a meeting room for at least one big meeting even if you have to rent one at a local restrurant

Write a new set of Bylaws. Try www.jetero.com and go to documents for the Constitution and Bylaws for examples.

Call a general meeting with a quorum to be the members present. Vote in the new By-laws, etc.

Establish your new rules etc. If needed have the Officers the Board which runs Club Business.

Call for another meeting with a significant dues increase and/or assessment to increase the runway to 40 x 300. Get permission from the site owners and some bids. Go for it while only the few are there to vote. You now have something that will get member attention: MORE MONEY!

Then ENFORCE your new policies. Such as: Each new member must receive a check-out from a Club Instructor. New member applicants must attend a meeting to be voted in. Field Rules posted and enforced.

Those not rejoining within 30 days of dues due date are out and must rejoin only as a newbie including a hefty initiation fee.

You have a lot of options. All you need is the dedication.

10 to 20% of the members will always run the club.

edited for a big peeve: I used your for you're. Bad me!
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Old 10-12-2004, 02:07 AM
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Default RE: Reviving a club?

ORIGINAL: Mikerjf

My "Club" is going through some major changes in that all the club officers are leaving. We fly from a small field with a 20' x 200' paved runway next to a pond/swamp that's in a park owned by the township. Over the past few years the membership requirements have dwindled to the point where it's now pretty much just pay your dues and go down there and do whatever you feel like doing. Wasn't much of a problem in the past because out of the 50 members only 2 or 3 actually used the field on a regular basis (most of the members are new to RC or intimidated by the field), however over the past year we've started to pick up new members that fly but have never flown at a club field. Additionally a lot of the new members are into heli's (we've primarily had planes) and they're a mix of experienced and total beginners.I was asked to take the job of the Field Safety Officer by the clubs President about a year ago. We're an AMA chartered club and are supposedly subject to AMA and Club rules. The new members were never made aware of this and it's been like pulling teeth to get any degree of compliance and there's been essentially no support from the club officers.

I've been nominated to be the next club president, however nobody's chomping at the bit to fill the other vacancies. After two months of talking some members have reluctantly volunteered to fill a couple of the open spots. We're scheduled to have a meeting to get members to fill the vacant spots, however the attendance at our club meetings has dwindled to the point that the school we meet at gave our room to a band. At our last Fun Fly's we asked for volunteers to pick up donuts and coffee in the morning, supply soda and ice and run to the sub shop for lunch (club would pay the bills). Nobody volunteered.

I personally don't want to see us lose the field, but I don't think that 2 or 3 people should be responsible for keeping it open for 50 people that won't lift a finger to help out and feel that they should be able to do anything they feel like when they're there. I'd like to turn it into some semblance of a club and would appreciate any input regarding how to do it.

Thanks

Mike

Mike

Just what is the problem? Sounds ok to me.. Do you have some need to draw some lines and have people tow them? If your club is meeting the operating budget and people are ENJOYING flying at the field, what more could you want? If AMA is a requirement for your club then members have already succumbed to AMA's rules, which BTW is sufficient in most cases. Just enforce those as needed if that is the case. Don't worry be happy...And forget what ole Hoss said bout running it like a business...You are on public property for crying out loud!!!!
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Old 10-12-2004, 07:35 AM
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Mike, thought about your situation some more regarding getting people into officer positions. Does you club hold meetings on a monthly basis? As an AMA club you’re only required to hold one meeting a year. This is what our club does and we never have a shortage of people willing to accept a position. I also believe this is the reason why our club is so easy going… Much less opportunity for politics to ruin the fun of flying model airplanes.
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Old 10-12-2004, 03:15 PM
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The club has By Laws, is incorporated and has a set of Field Rules that are minimal but adequate to supplement the AMA rules, and no one to support the administration of any of them (the majority of the clubs members aren't even aware of their existence). The town requires a copy of AMA's proof of liability yearly and no one's in place to renew the clubs charter and incorporation or to handle the funds. The town sort of cuts the grass but the club takes care of it when they miss, we're also responsible for all other field maintenance (runway, tables, lockbox, frequency box and cutting back the brush and trees around the field and parking lot), almost impossible to get volunteers for any of that. Additionally we've got 3 club trainers (2 glow, 1 electric), they're presently being kept in our fields lockbox because nobody will volunteer to keep or maintain them and bring them to the field when needed. We schedule meetings once a month but over the past few years attendance has dropped to around 2 or 3 people so a lot of the meetings were cancelled. Enlarging the runway is out of the question, the sites too small to handle it.

The way I see it, the club brought most of these problems on itself by not informing its new members of any of this and they haven't got a clue as to what's required to keep or run the field. In this area RC fields are few and far between and most of our new members don't seem to realize that if you don't fly at an RC field you don't fly. I'd be happy to see 10 or 20% of the members running the club, right now its 2%.

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Old 10-12-2004, 03:47 PM
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Default RE: Reviving a club?

I will say that I belong to two clubs.
One has a very strong president and the other has a person who will be running for president and will be turning the club around. She has been working with everyone to make improvements, participate, get involved in the community, and to bring structure to what we are trying to accomplish. She is a good flyer and an excellent person. She has my vote for president and with her in office, we will offer a service to all club members, county residents, and the AMA membership in general.

All I can say is to be the best president that you can be and you will find that people are looking for good leaders. WHen they see this leadership, they will follow!
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Old 10-12-2004, 04:19 PM
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Mikerjf
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That's pretty much the direction I'd like to see this club take (actually with the recent changes to the surrounding area and park I think it's a direction that's going to have to be taken to keep the field open). Any advice on how to achieve those goals?

Mike
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Old 10-12-2004, 07:44 PM
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Next year we want to have a couple of fund raisers, host a Boy Scout outing, and a politician appreciation day. We may even man the phones for the local PBS station. Trying to make some of those plans now and some are already set. We plan to host the county libraries like we did this year!
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Old 10-14-2004, 10:21 PM
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This is just a statement but when clubs and officers only support what they want thing start to fall appart. Some are afraid to speak up because they think they have no say of what is going on, and others only get involved in what they want to do. Officers should support all funtions of the club and not be pressured by any one and make sure that rules are followed with out causing hard fealings or problems in the club. Don't be one just in the job to show your power or how big you are, a proper time a proper place. All we have to do is run the hobby the way we want some on else to, do what others won't , and fly the wing off of every thing we own. It's hard for a person to eat crow when there are a bunck of Turkey's at the field!!!!!!!!
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