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Club member appathy

Do your club members show an interest in club events/outings etc?

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ChrisB22/10/2016 23:18:24
1220 forum posts
34 photos

Our club has 90 members. Of those 90 we get the same 20 at meetings and usually those same 20 at flying field events.

We'd like to organise outings to Duxford for example, or maybe a visit to a preservation group or a skittles and fish and chip evening for members and their families etc.


most of our members aren't interested in any of the activities. Most just want to fly when they please and only interact with the 'club' or other members when it comes around to subs renewal.

Are we on our own or is it the same for other clubs? AND is there anything we can do to change it, or should we just accept the status quo and be grateful that 90 members choose to be with us?

john stones 122/10/2016 23:34:46
10833 forum posts
1483 photos

No it's the same at most clubs, What should you do ? get on with it Chris, we have an hardcore who turn out for events of all descriptions and for work parties, don't worry about how many get involved, enjoy the days with those that join in, well worth the effort smiley

Biggles' Elder Brother - Moderator22/10/2016 23:41:37
15748 forum posts
1460 photos

No Chris - you're not on your own!

We tried really hard over a 2 years - organising monthly events, speakers, meals etc. Promoting them on website/email to members. But no - numbers stuck firmly to about 10-12 attendees (out of a membership of 50+) and bear in mind 6 of those attendees would probably be the committee!!

Interestingly it was not the flyers in the main attending these - it was a group of non-flyers (for various reasons) that all they did was attend these meetings!

In the end we gave up! We now do just 4 events a year - the AGM, a club "Hot Pot" in Feb, a summer BBQ evening at the field - complete with flying of course! - and a quiz evening. And that's it. To show how little notice the average member pays to this; on the BBQ evening, which was a BYO with us providing the "fire", many turned up to what they thought was just going to be the usual Wednesday summer's evening flying session, without bringing anything to eat - "We didn't know it was happening" - this despite two emails from the club sec to the entire membership. But as an old boss of mine once taught me "effective communicatiuon requires the willing cooperation of both parties!

We are thriving club - flying is well attended. As well as the events above we have a sucessful Scale Comp, a Fun Fly day and of course "Club Comps". We are a friendly club, with new members made welcome, good relationships between members and plenty of good-natured joshing and humour. It just seems members simply don't want that additional social dimension away from the flying field. C'est la vie! Times change and we change with the times.


Tim A22/10/2016 23:42:14
219 forum posts
12 photos

Ditto that John, no different here halfway round the world, just Human nature I suppose. have seen exactly the same in other clubs not even connected to Model Flying. Yachting, Badminton, Golf, Charity Orgs. No different.

Oh unless we have a BBQ!! Then they come out of the woodwork!

Scott Edwards 223/10/2016 00:20:33
193 forum posts
96 photos
I'm the Sec of our club, and family members and friends have been the Secs of other special interest clubs like Astronomy, shooting, Chess etc. They all report the same thing: The rule of thirds. One third participates regularly, another third occasionally, and the final third you never see. Trying to change that round is pretty futile. It's universal human nature.
cymaz23/10/2016 06:48:51
8910 forum posts
1179 photos

Have to agree with all the above. Being Competition Sec, trying to find willing victims participants in club activities is almost impossible. It's the same 4-5 that enter all the events and who then win at prize giving at the annual dinner. Some members then voice their disapproval that the same old few get the awards....duh....then enter !

I've tried different events and held fun fly days. The club has now a couple of themed fly-ins to try and spice up the flying calendar. More pilots enjoy our Chris Foss Fly-in and 2 minute challenge more than anything.

Next year the club is considering abandoning the charity event due to lack of support....shame.

John F23/10/2016 07:38:05
1318 forum posts
51 photos

The thing is people join a flying club to fly. Other activities are an optional extra.

Now is a good time though in which to possibly increase the uptake with the subscription renewal year coming up.

Formulate a survey asking members if they want to be involved in a charity night, outing somewhere etc or just ask if they want to do something extra, and use those returns to arrange something that folk might be interested in.

This opportunity can also be used to confirm contact details, emails etc, so your records are kept up to date. You'd be surprised how many people change phone numbers or email addresses.

Don't be surprised though if the majority just want to fly. That is, after all, the reason for joining and as kiwikanfli says it is no different with other clubs; the reason for joining is the activity upon which the club is founded; everything else is an optional extra which most members are not interested in.


Edited By John F on 23/10/2016 07:49:44

Percy Verance23/10/2016 08:04:25
8108 forum posts
155 photos

I guess we're all different in our attitude to our hobby, along with how much time we wish to devote to it. One of our members is as keen as anyone I know. Having been a model flyer for 35+ years, he's still as keen to go flying on a beautiful Summer's morning as he ever was. Once at the field, he'll stay most of the day and have 10 flights or so. At the other end though, there's a chap whom is in his late 70's, and not in the best of health. The most time he seems able to devote to his flying is around three visits per year to the field.

Events and fun-fly days etc seem to do little to spark folk into action. The vast majority just seem to want to do their own thing as and when they want to.......

My own view though, is that you're only going to get out of the hobby what you put into it!


Edited By Percy Verance on 23/10/2016 08:06:54

John F23/10/2016 08:09:23
1318 forum posts
51 photos
Posted by Percy Verance on 23/10/2016 08:04:25

Events and fun-fly days etc seem to do little to spark folk into action. The vast majority just seem to want to do their own thing as and when they want to.......

My own view though, is that you're only going to get out of the hobby what you put into it!

Very true but if you're very happy to go flying only three times a year . . . . . . .

Peter Miller23/10/2016 08:44:58
10499 forum posts
1246 photos
10 articles

IT has ever been so!

There is no point in trying to persuade people to do more than they want.They just resent it or don't bother anyway

However I agree that the main reason for being ina club is to fly.

leccyflyer23/10/2016 08:47:51
1318 forum posts
303 photos

Imagine the noive of those people just wanting to do their own thing.

That rule of thirds is well established in clubs and it seems to work for those concerned, they get out of it what they desire. After all it's a hobby, if it stops being fun -and becomes an obligation -then what is the point?

..23/10/2016 08:53:56
974 forum posts
1 photos


Posted by ChrisB on 22/10/2016 23:18:24:



most of our members aren't interested in any of the activities. Most just want to fly when they please and only interact with the 'club' or other members when it comes around to subs renewal.


And why should they be?? I love to spend some time up at the patch enjoying flying & banter with fellow fellow flyers but as a dad of 2 my social time is streached so if I'm going to enjoy fish & chips i would rather do it sat on the beach with them rather than in a field talking balsa.

Club meetings ?? Why should I have to get in the car and travel to some god forsaken working men's club after 8 /10 hours at work , picking kids up from school, dealing with day to day family life, etc etc etc. Surely anything that's that pressing within the club can be sorted with email or up at the patch ??

I'm in 2 clubs , 1 has a monthly meeting & the other just an annual AGM. By far the happier and much less political is the later. The meetings obsessed club give awards etc at Christmas, one year the beginner of the year award was contested by 2 individuals , the guy who was by far the better flyer of the the time didn't get the award instead it went to the other guy because he went to the club meetings ?? What's that all about ??

Horses for courses but life's a busy pass time for many so please consider others choice before condemning them as killjoys & antisocial.



Edited By Justin K. on 23/10/2016 08:55:55

Andy G.23/10/2016 08:54:25
413 forum posts
215 photos

I suppose time's change, 30 years ago the club I was Secretary of had great attendance level for everything we did, b it flying or social. In fact, we even had a Social Committee, made up from wives and girlfriends who organised all manner of events, meals etc with great success. Now, the club I am in, which is a great club, has poor attendance at meetings even when we organise speakers. I have been a member now for about 4 years and still only met around half the membership of around 50!

leccyflyer23/10/2016 09:05:29
1318 forum posts
303 photos

My previous club was a reasonably large club (80-120 members) had lots of events, it was a lot of work organising them and publicising them and trying to get attendances up. We had (as a condition of our site licence) bi-annual safety meetings, where attendance was mandatory, such that members had to attend at least one meeting and we had to be able to demonstrate that to the landlords (a public utilities company). It was very well organised, but like I said, a heck of a lot of work. The numbers attending the events were in line with that rule of thirds phenomenon.

My two current clubs couldn't be more different, both are very low key, much smaller numbers, unbelievably relaxed and the contrast is dramatic. Yet they still manage to have a decent turn out at social events, proportionately and the occasional club flying event. The work still mostly falls on a small number of individuals, essentially the club committee in one club and the even smaller club committee in the other. Facilities, in terms of club huts, equipment etc are minimal but the flying field is glorious and that is what really, really matters after all -everything else is secondary to that.

Phil 923/10/2016 09:22:35
4287 forum posts
242 photos

I am the type of club member you talk about. I pay my subs turn up at the field when I please but never go to meetings or days out. Nor do I offer my service to work as part of the committee

but this is not because of apathy

I am a family man with a full time job that requires me to work a lot of hours over the normal 9 - 5

evening functions and day trips. - I attended a number of evening functions associated with my work that take priority adding more to my calendar would become a burden rather than a pleasure

meetings. again this will eat into my evenings with my family that I see as precious. (my job also requires me to work away from home)


I like to fly my models when I can. I joined a club because it provides me with a safe place for me to fly. I can fly without endangering others and other wont disturb me . As for the social side of the club it just does not fit in with my current lifestyle. The only contribution I can offer to maintain the club if a financial one. I can see this changing in the future as my child gets older and I change employer and I often wish I could contribute more.

Yes for some members the club is a great social resource and for some it is no more than a place to fly and the majority of member will fall somewhere in the middle

As for getting out of the hobby what you put into it that is true. But it is just a hobby and some folks don't need a lot from it. For some a few days flying in the summer when the weather is nice is all they want. Me I would like to do more but I feel I am just not in a position to and I bet there is a lot of folks like me.




Edited By Phil 9 on 23/10/2016 09:28:06

kevin b23/10/2016 10:17:32
1706 forum posts
128 photos

I was going to write a posting for this thread, but couldn't be bothered. wink

P.S. it's the same at our club.

Tim A23/10/2016 10:44:52
219 forum posts
12 photos

Then I suppose their are those who join just to get out of the house at the weekend.

Dai Fledermaus23/10/2016 11:01:48
1041 forum posts
52 photos

To Quote the great Groucho Marx.

"I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member."

Phil 923/10/2016 11:03:22
4287 forum posts
242 photos

and there are those who do too much

the overzealous safety office

the member who keeps putting forward the same proposal because the vote did not go in his favour the first 12 times

the competition member who offers the club site out for competition use every weekend during the summer to the detriment of the clubs own members

the treasurer will not give up the position because he used club funds to pay his personal debts and did not want to be found out

I have seen a club split because there were two groups vying for committee positions but refused to work with each other

these are real examples I have experienced

XK5023/10/2016 11:11:49
54 forum posts
3 photos

And the club know-it-all, who says "It's the Pareto Principle ..... the 80/20 Rule, innit", which is true and semi-interesting but contributes nothing to moving things along!

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