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Is Your Club Growing or Shrinking?

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Old 03-03-2003, 02:14 PM
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RCPAUL
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Default Is Your Club Growing or Shrinking?

The club I belong to is starting the year with 1/3 less members than last year. This was a surprise and, since the club was already small, a financial problem.

I've been to a couple of local swap meets and they were both signifcantly down in size as well.

Is this a result of the economy or what?

RCPAUL
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Old 03-03-2003, 03:13 PM
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Cactus.
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Default Is Your Club Growing or Shrinking?

Ours seems to be growing and the planes keep comming. tho we now have two main sites which splits the club in half and makes it feel like its dying with few members at the orginial field most weekends.
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Old 03-03-2003, 03:43 PM
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Barricade696
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Default Is Your Club Growing or Shrinking?

Our club keeps shrinking nobody's joinging and the old people are quiting either from dying or just because they are to old
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Old 03-03-2003, 03:54 PM
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Al Stein
 
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Default Is Your Club Growing or Shrinking?

Recently, our club is dying back about 20% each year and then generally picking up enough new members to about break even. Overall, it's gone from over 60 to around 40 in the course of the last several years.

Last year was a good one in that the new guys were very advanced and very active compared to the usual crop -- so we can hope we won't have as much catching up to do this year. Our expenses are outstripping our income the way things are now, especially with increased mowing costs due to fuel prices.
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Old 03-03-2003, 04:36 PM
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Default membership

Our membership to a jump last year from 90 to 118 and with the rate of renewals this year we expect to hit our adult membership max of 125.

Not sure why the jump, there are seven other facilities in our area.

Dan
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Old 03-03-2003, 04:47 PM
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Goinstraightup
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Default Going down

We've barely made it to 30 members the last couple of years. It doesn't look good.

Phillybaby,

We had two fields for several years in the mid 90's. It's a big job for a small club. It is a nice problem though. If you don't already have a system to bring everyone together, I would suggest this: Have everyone meet at a certain field on a set time (like Thursday nights) and have another set time for the other field (like Saturday mornings for example). I know the feeling of not seeing people around. You are always wondering if they are flying at the other field or not flying at all.
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Old 03-03-2003, 06:31 PM
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Default Is Your Club Growing or Shrinking?

its a tricky set up.. our club has 120ish members, only 20 max regulary fly on a weekend. the other field is a RAF base with a runway and cost the 50 members ( max limit ) that want to fly there extra. so us simple flyers dont bother. Yesterday the main field was busyier, but the muddy gate entrance and high chance of getting stuck are putting them off. couple of summers ago i could go up on a sunny week day and find at least 5 others there, last few times it's just been me.
During the summer we do fly nights which they wont be able to do at the base so it isnt a huge problem.
Sometimes i get the feeling it could lead to a them and us thing
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Old 03-03-2003, 06:52 PM
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Goinstraightup
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Default Is Your Club Growing or Shrinking?

I hear what you are saying. Our two fields were similar in what they offered to the flyers. I can see that when you have one field that is different from the other, there is a chance for problems. It's still a good problem though. Here in the U.S. it is getting harder and harder to get and keep flying sites. I'm sure the situation is similar over in the U.K. While it was a lot of work for our small club to maintain two sites, it sure came in handy 4 years ago when someone moved in to the concession stand next to one of our flying sites. She (concession stand dweller) didn't like our planes going over her "home". We were really glad we had two sites then because our property owner decided to side with the concession stand lady .
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Old 03-03-2003, 07:08 PM
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Default Is Your Club Growing or Shrinking?

the main is a large farmers field on North Cliffs, there are some houses down in the valley and apart from a few words in the past we have no trouble. the airbase came about after foot in mouth which stopped us using the main, the back up near Carn Brea and over use of other little used areas ended their use also despite pleas that this was only till foot and mouth was over. small groups went to these fields but after they went another unwitting group would turn up. hence big problem. Other fields have been lost to lone non-club members flying on the same small sites at unsocial hours, flyer's are flyer's to the public.

Anyway, we're getting off topic... new flyer's that come to our site generally stick with it. the cost of starting up means that unlike in the US this hobby isn't a flash in the pan brought on by a shiny plane in the LHS and too much spare cash. These members quickly join in the main groups and contribute to the club. The relaxed friendly atmosphere keeps our member count high with a few guest flers during the summer months enjoying a holiday in Cornwall
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Old 03-03-2003, 07:16 PM
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Robby
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Default Is Your Club Growing or Shrinking?

IF your club is shrinking ask yourself WHY.. Nothing can be done
in regards to death and old age.. But much can be done to
invite new people.. Are you inviting to new people..?
What do you do to be inviting to prospective new people..?
Look at it as if you were in a new area and were looking at joining
a new club.. What would you want to see...
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Old 03-03-2003, 08:28 PM
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Cabane
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Default shrinkage

We've gone from 8 to 5.
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Old 03-03-2003, 10:13 PM
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Roby
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Default Is Your Club Growing or Shrinking?

Our club is growing at a fast pace only because another
club 25 miles away is losing their field to development.

Otherwise we would be relatively stable in numbers.
2/3 of our club is retired or close to it.

IMO this is only the tip of the iceberg
If you look around you will see the average
age is creeping up and up.(at least in this hobby)
The largest single segment of this countries population
is getting "gray"(baby boomer's) and sooner than many
expect ,it will start to take some effect on many activities.

Maybe it already has

Regards
Roby
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Old 03-04-2003, 04:59 PM
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Default Is Your Club Growing or Shrinking?

Flyers are flying where ever and when ever they want . The He$$ with rules and insurance, Odds are the same they think!
When Joe Blow can fly where he want why can't I, With all the negative comments out there why should I join a club here no one tell me when I can fly and if some one says some thing I just find another place don't like to drive to far.
This was a comment made by a gentleman I seen flying on county road. Guess who will get heat heat if some thing does happen.
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Old 03-05-2003, 08:35 PM
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flicka5
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Default Growing?

Our club has about the same members as for the last twenty years but it is growing since the total member club weight is probably 25% more than it was when everyone was 20 years younger! Does this mean that we collectively don't lack flying fields and space as many club memberships are getting smaller?
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Old 03-05-2003, 11:19 PM
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Default Is Your Club Growing or Shrinking?

my new club i joined which was formed this year began with 5 members and has grown to 14 in the last month which is pretty good. I think main reason though is because of the lack of clubs in my area. Many people have to travel quite far just for a flight so when new clubs open they usually grwo pretty quick as they are closer to some peoples homes. I think some reasons for shrinking clubs may be:
a) bad weather making people pack in for a while and possibly not wanting to come back till summer

b) not enough new members because of lack of knowledge abou r/c planes, 3 people i know used to think they were no suck things as rc planes! a big shame really

c) unfortunatly some senior members pass on, 2 have died recently from my old club which was a shame, both of natural causes.

Lets hope the summer brings better weather and more members

also just a suggestion for some clubs...

i read in a magazine about a club doing a display at a local school, i believe that every student was given a go for a short while on buddy system, i'm not sure about insurance things regarding this though.

They also coupled it with a free flight building comp as well to see who can build the longest duration flight plane. From what i remember of 295 pupils i believe approx. 50 pupils went down to the club to watch reguarly and another 25-ish getting into it propely. Apparantly the whole school loved the day, as enjoyable for girls as well as boys. I cant remember the ages of the children but i think the best age (including money issues) to start is about 11-13. It gives teenagers something to do when bored, something more worthwhile than playing a ps2 or gamecube!
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Old 03-06-2003, 12:02 AM
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Default Is Your Club Growing or Shrinking?

Certainly the economy takes it's toll; ours is down about 10% or so.

We have a great training program and what happens more often than not is that new members join for the program, get their wings and then move to a club closer to where they live. It gives us lots of new members but at the same time a large turnover of members. As the base members do grow in years, their participation is less until they are no longer members. We're slowly building that base of members again but it takes time and patience.

We're around 82 members last year and we predict 75 for this year in our budget and that's with 10-15 new members.

Turnover due to location is out biggest loss factor.

Bob
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Old 03-06-2003, 12:43 AM
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Default Is Your Club Growing or Shrinking?

Our clubs, plural intended, are all growing. We've got about 8 clubs in the general area and most are 100 members or more.

Some have membership limits and therefore there are active waiting lists for those trying to join. It has been this way for years, largely due to an extremely good LHS and a large number of active fliers. Graying, yes -- shrinking no.
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Old 03-06-2003, 12:50 AM
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Default Is Your Club Growing or Shrinking?

My clubs' been pretty steady at about 100 members for the last couple of years. We just went throught the renewal process and all but four people renewed.
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Old 03-06-2003, 03:28 AM
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Default Is Your Club Growing or Shrinking?

I'd like to have seen you guys post your yearly dues. I'll bet that
a bad economy affects you a lot less when you're paying $25 to $75 a year.

I had to drive 38 miles each way to my club for the honor of paying $150 a year. (about 6 to 8 visits a year) That AMA increase really pissed me off too. It was max at the old rate as far as I'm concerned.
I took care of both these expenses!
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Old 03-06-2003, 10:32 AM
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Default Is Your Club Growing or Shrinking?

our club dues are just 16.50 ( or is it 18 now.. i forget ) a year, and that inculdes insurance! we never see most of our members as they are up country and come down once during the summer maybe. our rates are so low because we dont have to pay much for our field, and the second field is paid for by the 50 that fly there. all the main costs are covered by the profit made at our display.

Nuker: i was left thinking you might want to have higher rates for your first years membership.. it sorts out the wanna be flyers from the dropouts. and if they are gonna use you for training you might as well get a bit of extra cash from them
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Old 03-06-2003, 12:42 PM
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Default Is Your Club Growing or Shrinking?

RandallM:

Our dues are $100.00/year and our membership jumped from 90 to 118 last year. This year we expect to hit our adult membership cap of 125 this year.

Dues have never really been a major factor in our membership.

Dan
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Old 03-06-2003, 01:14 PM
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Goinstraightup
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Default Is Your Club Growing or Shrinking?

For 20+ years, our club dues were $25. Last 4 years they were $35 and just went up to $45 this year.
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Old 03-06-2003, 01:30 PM
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rockmon
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Default Is Your Club Growing or Shrinking?

Our club has stayed about the same for years 27-30 guys with only 10 or so that fly every chance we get. By the way my club must be from the other side of the tracks our dues are $5.00 a year.
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Old 03-06-2003, 03:04 PM
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Default Is Your Club Growing or Shrinking?

The lowest cost club in the area is $10.00 per year the others are in the $40.00 range for renewal. Most have above average facilities.

I hear you at $150.00 a year !
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Old 03-06-2003, 03:14 PM
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Default Is Your Club Growing or Shrinking?

yikes.. expensive. but i'd pay more if we had our own field that was well kept with some facilities.
what we have a empty field shared with sheep and cows ( not good for belly landing ) at the moment its very muddy and lumpy. turbelence from the cliffs makes it hard to fly when the wind picks up. Last summer tho the patch was perfect, almost golf greenish.
Tho if we did get our own land ( we did look after foot and mouth and found it WAY! to expensive ) by the look of some members planes they can hardly afford to fly already
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