Fun for club members

Discussion in 'Club Management' started by Gilbert Skip Kauffman, Mar 17, 2014.

  1. Gilbert Skip Kauffman

    Gilbert Skip Kauffman Moderator Staff Member Bronze Member

    A club social event can be fun for the entire family. I enjoyed the Summer picnics. The club Summer picnic had a horseshoe pitching contest. That was one of the highlights of the day. As we get older the softball, badminton, volley ball, and other exercise has seemed to dwindle. A fun transmitter hunt within the picnic grounds is always a good project and a fun game. As the days get shorter and colder it's time to have a covered dish supper. This get's the wife involved and gives her time to chat and explore why hams are crazy. Our cover dish supper became a real hit, and the XYL's started a cookbook. All the recipes were included in the book. During the supper you chat with friends and enjoy a great meal. Afterwards, the picture show starts. Field Day, the summer picnic shots and remembering the summer that was.. Now we can make plans for next year. Door prizes are great fun. We also would give boobie prizes.... The games we played were simple, talk about your greatest QSO, bring your best QSL Card from the last year and show and tell a new piece of gear..

    I have given you 2 ideas that are very easy and inexpensive. If your club members are flush, have a formal club dinner at a fancy restaurant. If you like games a card party or Casino night could be arranged. Your social event does not have to revolve around Ham radio. The idea is to have fun and enjoy the folks that your are in your club. You may want to have a dual club get together with another radio club. I have tried that with Saturday breakfast. Invite anyone interested in wireless communication. Do a show and tell, have a door prize for the person that came the furthest.

    There are many ways to waste time and enjoy yourself, Christmas party or my favorite, cookie baking. Gang up in a fellow ham, show up and put up an antenna or whatever they need. Sometimes folks are to proud to ask for help. Another of my favorite is installing a new transceiver in your friends brand new car or truck. Ok, were does this hole go ?? Sometime you just go with the flow, bring some beverages, sit down and vegetate . Relax, enjoy the company.

    In Wellsville, NY there is a Chinese Buffet and as soon as it's good weather some of us are going to go for dinner at the buffet... Quick service, large comfortable restaurant and very reasonable price for us 65 and older HI HI. Start small and make it up as you go along. Enjoy the folks that make up the ARC. Who knows you may have something in common with one of them !
     
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  2. W.T. Jones

    W.T. Jones Moderator Staff Member Silver Member Golden GPS Recipient

    After our first ARES breakfast I am beginning to think that it is really something that will work. Even though the conversation got a bit raucous and the manager had to ask us to tone it down a bit. Seems that there is more interesting in MESH and its values than I thought. I just planted the seed and got out of the way. The notes from the meeting are a bit hard to read but I think that I found at 4 Hams willing to try to get the MESH started in the valley.

    Could it be that Ham Meetings need to be in the morning rather than the evening? The people sure seem a lot more animated than at 8PM at night.
     
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  3. wedgar

    wedgar Administrator Staff Member Gold Member

    At 8pm, we were more interested in coffee and dessert! (y)
     
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  4. Gilbert Skip Kauffman

    Gilbert Skip Kauffman Moderator Staff Member Bronze Member

    Now that you tried a breakfast, try a dinner before the club meeting.. Choose a buffet if possible, why, because there is no waiting. You can get in and get out when you want. I started with a Chinese Buffet. Make sure they have some food like seafood or roast beef or pork for those who may not like the Chinese cuisine . Do not go to a bar before your meeting.. After the meeting as "meeting B" the bar is fine. We did more at the buffet then at the club meeting. Later, the my wife and others joined us for dinner. The social dinner or breakfast puts folks at ease.
     
  5. wedgar

    wedgar Administrator Staff Member Gold Member

    Dinner before might be a good try. We've never had alcohol at club meetings even beer and I agree it doesn't belong at a club meeting.
     
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  6. W.T. Jones

    W.T. Jones Moderator Staff Member Silver Member Golden GPS Recipient

    Yep, I don't think alcohol is a good idea at a club meeting. There times and places and I agree that a good Glen Morangie Scotch at the appropriate time and place (when the covers are on the amplifiers and the guns are in the safe) is a great thing. But! I like to keep the members alert enough to carry on conversations without slurring their words.

    Dinner before is always a good thing except that most of the club members make dinner out of the coffee and cookies at the meeting. It is a fine line to walk because I do know of one member that is rubbing together his last nickels having lost his job. More grist for the mill.
     
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  7. wedgar

    wedgar Administrator Staff Member Gold Member

    Oh yes.

    Our club found ways to help those at the meeting after the meeting in those type of circumstances.
     
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  8. W.T. Jones

    W.T. Jones Moderator Staff Member Silver Member Golden GPS Recipient

    Problem is that sometimes the pride of the member gets in the way. He'll never find out who paid his dues for this year. Some Hams can be down right sneaky you know.
     
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  9. wedgar

    wedgar Administrator Staff Member Gold Member

    Like the grizzled old ham who bought an ARRL membership for a local ham with a tight budget. :rolleyes:
     
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  10. k4gkj

    k4gkj Member

    Our club is just starting to try out a different venue. we will still have some buisness issues to talk about, but i hope to keep that to a minimum and just do buisness meetings seperately if nessesary. But starting in a couple weeks, we are building projects. I was going to put togeather a kit, but decided to get one for the first one anyway. first kit is a basic power supply. and following kits will run off this PS if it offers enough current (small 1 amp). many club members enjoy building, a few don't know the first thing about it and have some desire to learn, but many seriously desire to learn about what makes things tick... I am really looking forward to this myself. I will have to show up an hour early to set up shop, and prepare ppt's and such, possibly a camera over the project so it can be seen on the big screen for everyone to see, but one step at a time... most don't care to build antennas. they are burned out from it from projects years ago, but when the time comes, someone will be doing a one on one with those desireing to learn antennas. (I still throw the club new antenna projects as needed, such as the CP 2m antennas being used for an upcoming ARISS contact our club is hosting for a school).... most club members had no idea why or what a CP antenna was....
    Only concern is making sure everyone gets out at a decent hour as club nights are a work night. Some folks travel an hour or better to join us.
     
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  11. wedgar

    wedgar Administrator Staff Member Gold Member

    If you are able to, why not upload a copy of your powerpoint presentation with pictures to the Resources section of this forum for others to view?

    Here's the link to upload presentations.
    http://www.bfdinforums.net/index.php?resources/categories/amateur-radio-presentations.5/
     
  12. Gilbert Skip Kauffman

    Gilbert Skip Kauffman Moderator Staff Member Bronze Member

    I enjoy going out for breakfast on the weekend..... The earlier the better. I hold my VE test session at the Charles Cole Hospital
    on ODD months.. I always include a small breakfast or munchies with coffee for the candidates.... It's fresh donuts or pastries from
    the local bakery and Mickey D's for the VE's....... Years ago, the TV ads said things go better with "COKE", well coffee and MT Dew
    to work for us. The meetings should have a short break for us older guys and sugar and coffee/soda to talk over. Bill was at the
    meeting in Smithport where we had more discussions over the pastries then during the meeting.. Harry had a hard time getting
    folks to sit down and get away from the food... That's what I call a very good meeting. We must enjoy ourselves while we are at
    meetings. Folks just don't sit there with their hands folded listening to the talk. Years ago when I went to "charm school" for executives
    I learned the importance of person to person contact. One ploy was to have everyone at the beginning of a meeting and introduce
    themselves to the person to their right and left. You would not believe what a difference that makes. Even if you already know
    the person. Asking everyone to standup and give their name and call is ok, but the personal touch of shaking another hand and
    personal contact is a better way.
    The club should make sure that the members have a part in the meeting. After a short business meeting, and I mean short, have a
    member stand and give word about something they are proud up.... Your first contact, great DX contact, longest QSO, Homebrew
    project, antenna party, hamfest, etc, all members should feel that they are part of the meeting. This is often overlooked and members
    get tired of listening to the same old same old every meeting. Your membership must be involved in some way every meeting.
    Here's another of my pet issues, do not ask for volunteers. You assign someone to a project, then ask only if they will need help.
    Folks should have responsibility for projects or outings. This is a club with members, most folks are not forward and they will not
    volunteer, but if selected they sometime will then step up. Encourage the members to challenge themselves, but always back them up
    when needed. Try not to let them fail. Even if you have to do the project, make sure they get the credit.
    Awards, start a simple competition for an award. Make it simple, the longest distance on 2 meters, best DX, neat QSL card received,
    and best baked goods at the meeting.
    Remember your members are all individuals, and the only thing they have in common is the Ham license and the club. Make sure
    that all your members are needed and a special part of the club. The more the members interact together the better friendships can be
    formed.
    Have fun and enjoy !!
    de Skip
     
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  13. wedgar

    wedgar Administrator Staff Member Gold Member

    Yes, good comments.
     
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  14. k4gkj

    k4gkj Member

    Months later, we have completed several electronic projects. I would usually set the iron and kit in front of a person without asking..... this puts them on the spot, but the parts always fell to thier left or right to another person for identification and preperation for going on board, making the person with the iron spend more time learning how to solder and also learn a little abou the part as they are soldering it in. I like the idea of coffee and donuts. I'm a disabled combat vet on a very tight/fixed income, and the kits are already taking a toll, but adding the coffee and dounuts may be a nice hit, and I'm sure I can get others to help out on that one. I also like the idea of meeting at a resturant. But that won't go too well for many as some always eat with the family, others may be the cook for the family, etc..... and even though i'm on a tight budjet, others are worse off than I. Although, I could see us making sure we all ordered an item no more than a certain amount, but all giving in a certain amount on a combined tickett to help cover the amount that was unaffordable by a person or two (hopefully keeping that embarassment issue down at the same time). But for now, building kits, exploring arduino and ras-pi's, and doing the donut thing sounds like a great combo for our club. ..... so far, folks love learning or relearning soldering, how to identify a component, etc..... it is a hit, no doubt. the treats will be the icing on the cake. And calling it donut night instead of meeting night could raise a few eyebrows and change the feelings of attending for some...... ?? ..... Thank You for that tip. I suppose others will thank you as well after the next meeting!
     
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  15. Gilbert Skip Kauffman

    Gilbert Skip Kauffman Moderator Staff Member Bronze Member

    Charm School.... I have to relate that we are all volunteers and we have to handle folks in a kinder, gentler way. In business, there is a pecking order
    and you can get away with much more... Let's face it, your job is on the line. Therefore I would like to add some more advice......
    Folks watch and learn from others. The one issue I have is that we must have continuity, you must be consistent with you actions. Do not expect
    someone else to do a task that you have not done. The issue is be consistent with your request. Do not appoint anyone that can not handle
    a task by themselves. Ask them to appoint someone else to assist them... Make yourself available for aid if needed. The best plan is to give the
    appointee a plan outline. Let them modify it if they wish... Plan for success, by creating a pleasant atmosphere encouraging any others to
    pitch in if they want. One very important thought that is overlooked, make the individual club members the center of attention. Saying to a group[. "we need this..."
    is not the way to get any help...An air of encouragement is what's needed. Start planning months ahead of the date that has been chosen for the
    event. Monitor the planning and encourage others to add their comments. I short Mickey' D's meeting could be a forum for all. My main mantra is
    to create an environment where all folks can interact, away from a club meeting. Nothing formal, fun night out for the members and their spouse.

    I enjoy kit building. Our club built the "ROCKMITE". A 40 meter QRP xcvr with built in keyer and 2 freq receive. I working 15 countries with mine.
    K3NZ, KN3DZY and myself played with them seeing who could work the most countries in a week.

    Trip planning is fun. Rent a small bus and go to ARRL Headquarters' for a day trip. I loved the Franklin Institute in Phila. THey also had a HF station
    open to hams. I would love to go to Wright Patt in Dayton, OH. It would take a couple of days to view everything. Western PA and NY has some neat hills
    for QRP, Dark Sky for Viewing, Niagara Falls, many Air Shows and camp grounds.. You are only limited by your own imagination.

    Bottom line, have fun, enjoy that's what it is all about.

    de Skip
     
  16. Gilbert Skip Kauffman

    Gilbert Skip Kauffman Moderator Staff Member Bronze Member


    I am in the same boat when it come to fiscal responsibilities. I would ask if folks were interested in a covered dish supper or lunch.... If your club has a
    flush kiddie, maybe the club would pickup the meat.... Have a indoor picnic or and outdoor picnic as a covered dish. Some restaurants will have or can make up
    limited menu's.... Ask the restaurant, if they could post a menu for $7.50, you pay up front and that way they have their markup..... If you ask and say 20 folks
    will show up and do not pay ahead and only 10 folks show up, they may ask for the rest of the money.... Because they would plan and make the food for 20 people.
    Some places have "home style" dinners... The Old Country Buffet" for one has never let me down...... Check out Volunteer Fire departments, we used to have dinners
    at the Tatamy Fire house. Weekends up here in Coudersport the groups hold chicken BBQ, Half a chicken, roll, vegi, etc $7.50/person.... Can't beat it.
    If you have a picnic, do not forget the games. We had hard fought over, horseshoe championships every year.. Before that when we were younger, badminton was game.

    What ever you do make it fun for everyone, kids, wife whoever..... Life's to short enjoy it with friends.

    de Skip
     
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  17. wedgar

    wedgar Administrator Staff Member Gold Member

    Doug,

    I don't think I've met a person who didn't like donuts. :)

    I understand that there are people who may not have the resources others do and they need to be mindful of their budget. I have seen clubs that have people taking turns to bring something to snack on during meetings, or perhaps the club underwrites the expense of the donuts/beverages. Sometime clubs use a 50/50 raffle to help pay for the snack fund.

    For me - amateur radio provides an excellent way for people of all walks of life and backgrounds to share an interest. You don't often find that any more.

    The kit building is a great idea - you've got members working together and having fun together.

    Great stuff! (y)
     
  18. wedgar

    wedgar Administrator Staff Member Gold Member

    Hey! Try a picnic where everyone brings a dish to pass, and each family provides their own meat and beverages. We've had some outstanding club get togethers that way.
     
  19. Gilbert Skip Kauffman

    Gilbert Skip Kauffman Moderator Staff Member Bronze Member

    The Delaware-Lehigh ARC in Nazareth, PA has Wednesday night set aside for open club night. This started many years ago with just 2 of us. Now, the members
    get together Wednesday nights for dinner. During the summer they have cookouts at the Milk House ( club house) It was a milking parlor at the county farm. We
    cleaned , painted and installed furniture. We have wire antennas and a couple of stations. Someone donated a refrigerator and we stock soda for the members.
    The key is having a station or a place that is open to the club members. A club house or regular meeting place can stimulate a friendly atmosphere.
    Another plan, is to meet at a members house and help with a project and make a day out of it. Without a club house, you could have a show and tell at members
    QTH's. Don't forget tailgating parties at hamfest. Nothing elaborate, cold sandwich's and Ice tea or soda, Brew optional. If you have a large community park
    near by, try and antenna party. Erect a wire antenna and demonstrate how to trim and measure it. The kids can play in the park, wives can sun or have a tea/coffee
    party. You could build and research different antenna types. Don't limit yourself to ham radio... I enjoy flying model airplanes and, do laugh, kite flying. Other
    hobbies I see in common with hams are photography, cars, and astronomy. Recently, I have helped my neighbor's son with remote control model cars. All
    of these can be done in a open field and a nice day or night. I almost forget, the summer vegetables, corn roast, strawberry short cakes, and if you are close to the shore, crab, clams and other shell fish.
    THe summer has a bounty of food at good prices have fun and enjoy it with friends.
    de Skip
     
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  20. wedgar

    wedgar Administrator Staff Member Gold Member

    It is amazing what a few determined people can do especially like your Delaware-Lehigh ARC.

    You've got some good ideas here.
     

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