Have you ever considered serving as an Officer/Board member in TCARA? What questions would you like answered?
Question: Do I need to be an Accomplished, Knowledgeable, experienced Ham?
Answer: Absolutely NOT! we are all “Amateurs” and the skills needed to lead, manage or contribute to a Radio club have nothing to do with your radio operating skills. It does take some energy and commitment, but you’ll find that you get a lot out of the experience.
Question: Do I need special skills or background to serve on a radio club board of officers? Do I have to go zero to 60 right away?
Answer: Absolutely NOT! While bringing some skills may be advantageous in some positions most will be learned by either serving in a position or preferably shadowing someone serving in the position and helping as an “understudy”. This would allow a smooth transition when elected to that office. Frankly, it’s helpful to have a group of people with a broad mix of skills, technical and otherwise. It generates better ideas and it is more fun for the broadest possible group.
Question: what makes a good club officer?
Answer: Above All: Listen to your membership. They have lots of great ideas and can make you look good if you simply help facilitate their requests. Many times, this takes little or no work on your part. Often, the member with the suggestion is willing to complete some or all of the task and/or provide the time and materials required. And be prepared to delegate and let folks put their own stamp on their output. If you try to do it all yourself, not only will you burn out but the members around you miss chances to participate and become engaged. So be welcoming of both the people and of their contributions and ideas. Good communication is essential. And that usually means attentive listening more than talking.
Question: Me? I feel I’m stretching beyond my comfort zone.
Answer: This is AMATEUR radio, as we often say. Mistakes get made, on the air and off the air. But it is not our mistakes, it is how we recover from them that folks remember. You will probably find that you enjoy the challenge and the rewarding relationships that form while working with other officers and members. You’ll probably find out there are things you are good at that you hadn’t thought about in the context of Amateur Radio. And you will enjoy it.
Question: What are we trying to accomplish?
Answer: Obviously, we want to benefit the membership and the community and develop interest in Amateur Radio, assisting members in developing skills. But at the same time, it is important to remember that these clubs are social groups that happen to be focused on Amateur Radio. The friendships that are built as we complete activities and share information among members are far more important than the immediate club offerings. In fact, they facilitate all of the future club offerings. When we nurture these friendships, promote mentoring (Elmering) and are VERY welcoming to newcomers of diverse interests and backgrounds, to new Hams and to Hams that are returning to the hobby, the club will be far more effective in its mission. It will be attractive to both new and experienced Hams and will provide a terrific experience to all. The club will thrive. You’ll have a great time.
In keeping with that, when disagreements arise, try to keep a friendly and upbeat face forward. Ask for some help and consult with others. A good team will make it past the rough spots and it will help you to do the same. Remember that you are doing it to serve the membership – and to have some fun and make some great friends at the same time!
Question: So now what?
Answer: If you would like to help a club grow and be strong and healthy consider becoming an officer or understudy in the position which you may have an interest in. If you are not sure exactly what you can contribute, just reach out to any of the club officers and start a conversation. The membership will welcome any participation.
If you have comments or would like to contribute to this section or anywhere on this site email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or, again, reach out to any of the club officers or club members.