Or Killing a Radio club?
I have been learning, observing, studying the dynamics of Volunteer groups focusing on Amateur Radio and have had the opportunity to put into practice much of what I’ve learned. First and foremost if you think, act and talk as if you’re old that is how you will present yourself the “No Code ruined Ham Radio” is substituted for “Get Off My Lawn!”. Now folks are complaining that Ham Radio is “Aging Out” eyes roll, maybe a mirror is telling you this?
The ARRL has been working feverishly to promote Youth in Amateur Radio, The Covid-19 pandemic fueled amazing growth in the Hobby, but to continue this momentum the seasoned hams need to get involved, get active, get off your old back ends and start Elmering the way those that emerged you did. It took me a long time to start paying back what was payed forward to me.
I have Used a long thought process and been very open to any constructive suggestion offered to me, realizing that communication and promotion has changed wildly since I first got involved with this hobby. the internet, Social Media, Facebook, tic toc, Instagram, Twitter etc. are now the most effective methods of communicating with our younger prospects. Internet Repeater linking, cheap Chinese radios, Satellites, Digital modes across the Ham spectrum are what will excite the “tech Savvy” youth of today. Our Ham Brethren have found that YouTube has become a useful tool for electronic elmering.
I now get regular requests to set up promotional displays for Schools, Scout groups, municipalities assembling Neighborhood watch groups or cert teams. Each of these presentations needs consideration for the demographic involved. Younger audiences want computers, cell phones, space radio involved. Cert Teams want to know how to overcome loss of infrastructure (no cell service). general public mostly want to know how to get licensed and how expensive the hobby is or simply tell us “My Dad or Grandad was a Ham”.
I cannot promote this hobby unless I agree to and put myself out there to do this. Is it easy? well NO, it takes work, time, effort etc. along with serving on boards of a couple different clubs, setting up lots of equipment regularly for “Hybrid” Zoom meetings it is a lot, BUT if that’s what it takes to promote my Hobby, that is what I will do.
Now What will YOU do, or are you the “Old Fart Ham” yelling at the young curious open minded prospects about “How things used to be”, or are you going to curb the negativity and open your mind to new modes, electronic integration of this hobby and Elmer that fresh eyed open minded young person, scout, future astronaut, electronics developer etc.
I’m Certainly hoping you are the “Want to Help” type, we need the the youth but more importantly they NEED US!
’73, and CUL, Ken KC6WOK
Tips and Tonics for Healthier Radio Clubs (arrl.org)
Leadership For the Amateur Radio Club (arrl.org)
Tips For Preserving Your Club’s History (arrl.org)
Leadership Power Point Presentation
The “Starting a New Club document gives some good tips on revitalizing a Club that may have lost it drive, Focus, enthusiasm. One of the most important tips to remember is Do Not Look Back! you cannot move forward looking back.