delara news Delaware Amateur Radio Association, Delaware OH   VOL 36 NUMBER 8

Affiliated Club News

What other clubs are doing

Tom Sly, WB8LCD Affiliated Clubs Coordinator

Hey there!

How'd you all do at Field Day this year? Do me a favor, if you, or your club, participated in Field Day, 2017, send me a copy of your score sheet, as submitted to the ARRL. I want to see just how the OHIO Section scored compared to the other ARRL Sections. There's really no reason on God's gray earth why we shouldn't be the top section in the whole of North America! And, if for some reason, we weren't, then we've got our work cut out for us in 2018. Last month I talked about having fun, and that will continue to be my theme this month, but with just a little twist that maybe you weren't expecting. Every club has two distinct groups in it: 1 - the officers, whose job it is to make sure everyone else is having fun, and, 2 – the membership, those who are being served by their club's officers. Being a club “Officer” can sometimes be a thankless job. I can tell you that there are some club officers who put their heart and soul into serving the members of their club. In the coming months, I'll have quite a bit to say about what those officers can do to make the club experience a good one for their members. I'll talk about the programming and activities that club members are looking for and appreciate. I'll talk about all the things the club officers are responsible for overseeing for the benefit of the membership. But right now, I want to talk about the responsibilities of the members of any club they belong to! The dilemma is kinda’ like that of the chicken and the egg. Which one came first? If no-one can really say, then maybe the best way to work at the issue is to look at it from both sides and agree that both sides need to work together to solve the problem. If you are a club officer, by definition you are working on the problem. But what about the other 75-85% of you who are the club members? There are a lot of things you can do (with no commitments!) to help make your club successful. 1. Show up. Just by being there, you are saying a lot to the club officer's, which will motivate them to plan other activities! Let's say you've got a monthly meeting, a weekly net and maybe one or two other activities or meetings each month. I'm talking about maybe 10-12 hours per month! Even if you only did half that stuff, it's still only 5-6 hours a month. Figure out all the hours you WASTE per month watching stupid shows on TV or just doing other stuff you really don't care about. You can't find a few hours in there that would be better spent participating in your chosen hobby? When members show up and participate in club activities, your club officers will be highly motivated to doing more good things for the club! 2. You want to motivate your officers? Try saying “Thank You”. You could do it in person. You could send them an email or a text. If you were really ambitions, you could send them a written thank you card in the mail. As a club officer, it can get pretty disheartening when you don't get any positive feedback that your members appreciate what you're doing on their behalf. That might add another 5-10 minutes to your monthly time commitment to the club. BFD. (Yes, it is to the officers who feel appreciated for what they do.) 3. Have you ever said “Our club ought to........” but never offered to make it happen? Every club leader is looking for those suggestions. If you add on “and I can help you do that” or “I will find a great speaker on that topic” you have just made yourself a valuable club member, even if you only do it once or twice a year! And you've made the club more interesting and valuable to every member who takes the time to participate in that activity. Nice work! 4. Be that guy who is INCLUSIVE at club activities! See someone you don't know, walk up to them and say hello. It's every club member's job to make sure that new hams and/or prospective members are made to feel welcome at your activities. I have personally seen people walk into a club meeting or activity, spend an hour or more there, and have NO-ONE say a word to them. Why would they even want to go back to someplace like that, let alone pay your dues to become a member? Sure, the president can make sure you have an opportunity to be introduced at the meeting, but if you aren't made to feel like you can become a part of the group, you aren't coming back. I promise, if you do just these things, your club will experience a revival like you never expected! Sure, you're going to nominated to be in charge of some things, and I hope you accept that responsibility. You'll have more fun with your hobby and so will the other participating members of your club! Here's a special note to you older guys: Ham Radio has become an “Old Man's” hobby. We need to change that. If we get some young peoples interested, they come out and see a bunch of old guys who don't want to do anything because they're old and tired, do you think they are going to want to be a part of that? NO WAY! We (Yeah, I'm one of you too) have to get out there and have the time of our lives doing fun things so that the younger folks can see that it actually is a FUN hobby! Then, when they're all excited about the fun we're having, they'll want to be a part of it too! I don't want to get political, but I want to quote John F.  Kennedy: “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country!” Put that into the context of your club. If everyone worked for the success of the club, how could it not be successful? And I don't just mean lip service – I mean some real picking up where the weak spot is and holding it up. I've heard people accept roles or jobs in a club by saying “I'll do it if no-one else will.” Really? That's your level of commitment? Sometimes it's better to let something go undone than to do a miserable job at it. And if it always  has to be done by your club officers, they're going to burn out rather quickly! I like to quote historical figures, and one of my favorite quotes is from Winston Churchill. In some of the worst times in Britain during WW II, Mr. Churchill said “It's not always good enough to do your best, sometimes it's necessary to do what is required.” It's all about attitude! Just remember this: If your club needs to be turned around, put back on the right path, have some fire breathed into it – it needs the club members doing their part to support the mission of the club. That mission should have something to do with having fun with and learning more about your hobby! Like most things, it's going to be a process – not an event. It'll take some time, effort and commitment. I can promise you – it will be worth it!

From the Public Information


John Ross, KD8IDJ 2017 Newsletter Contest – Results Judging for the 2017 Ohio Section Newsletter Contest wrapped up last week…and WOW…what a great experience! Just when I thought the newsletter judging could not get more intense…it did…and the judges were blown away with this year’s entries. The most frequent statement I heard was “these are all good.” Perhaps the most important revelation of the night was when the judges realized the printed newsletters had “ upped their game” with graphics, readability and content that nips right at the heels of the on-line newsletters. That is a benchmark moment. Frankly, there was some concern over the past three years that when the on-line versions became more prevalent the normal printed newsletters would find it hard to keep up. Well, they did keep up and in a big way. Actually, what the judges saw is a true reflection of Amateur Radio…ever changing, pressing the envelope and growing in the process. It’s a tribute the Ohio Section clubs and their newsletter editors…showing us the more they are challenged…the more they respond...all to the betterment of Amateur Radio. It was very, very difficult to pick the winners…they were…are…all that good. It’s a great problem to have and I believe it could only happen in Ohio! For a group of seasoned, professional and experienced journalists to respond so overwhelming positive to the newsletters speaks volumes to the hard work of every editor, every club and every member. It was a great night…a great time to be an Amateur Radio operator. As for the results…the announcements and presentations will come on August 5th at the Columbus Hamfest and Ohio Section meeting. Next month I’ll detail of the winners. Congratulations to everyone! After Judging As we wrapping up the judging last week one of the judges…a Pulitzer Prize nominated journalist with decades of experience… starting “unloading” on me!! Keep in mind this is a guy I’ve known and worked with for years and he started with the rapid fire questions…”Why ham Radio?”, “What’s the advantage, can’t you just use a cell?” “Why would anyone want to be become a Ham?” ‘What do you really do besides talk to each other?” Well, for second I wanted to hook him up to the output of my 1500 want liner amp…but then I realized he was giving me a great opportunity and a great lesson. In my professional life, I’ve trained hundreds of executives and public relations folks how to talk to the media…how to present their point of view and cast themselves and their company in the best possible light. I was now on the other end of that sword and needed to think quickly. So I began to calmly explain amateur radio, a little history, the advantages of being a ham and some of the things we do to foster better communications. Well, it worked…he smiled and under this breath I’m sure I heard him say “this guy has still got it.” All of this got me thinking that every PIO and Editor needs to be ready to respond to challenging questions from, not only the media, but from non- amateurs as well. We need to be ready with good facts, good information and a professional approach that makes our hobby stand out and stand strong. Take some time and practice answering questions. I promise it will come in handy in the future. That’s it for this month…more on the newsletter winners next time. I’ll see you on August 5th at the Ohio Section Meeting and hamfest. That’s it for this month.
© DELARA News, the official monthly newsletter of the Delaware Amateur Radio Association, Delaware, OH