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Posted: November/01/2019 at 7:31am  Quote
 
Hi everyone,

Hope you are all enjoying our wonderful hobby this month. As we ramp up our building season in the Northern Hemisphere (and flying season in the Southern Hemisphere) I wanted to take a moment and reflect on the state of our hobby. I often hear fellow hobbyist say our "hobby is dying"  and will soon be gone, well this is just not the case. Our hobby is CHANGING, not dying. With the advent of ready to fly models and ARF's (in all sizes) this has opened up our hobby to a wider audience than in the past. Along with this wider audience comes better technology (just think about how far radio systems have come in the last ten years for example). With almost half of a billion dollars in sales in 2018, R/C is one of the top five highest grossing hobbies (and growing every year) in the world.

So what does this mean to you and me? This mean WE as hobbyist have to change from being so passive and start encouraging all these folks at the parks and school grounds to visit our clubs, join our organization, offer our help as mentors, and encourage them to participate in our events. We need to offer a path for that guy at the park with the foamy to explore our hobby more (such as building) by interacting with others and learning more about our hobby. The social aspect of our hobby is one of the most rewarding and fun parts of it. Why not share that? 

Not sure where to start? How about contacting that neighbor with a foamy or that member at your club who just joined and ask them if they have an questions or need any help. Make them feel welcomed to your club and actively try to recruit others at the parks, hobby shop, or fly-ins/fun-flys. There are lots of opportunities to encourage these "casual hobbyist" to participate and enjoy our hobby more, WE just have to work at it. 

WE are the ambassadors and caretakers of our hobby and it's success or failure depends on us!

Until next month,
Mike


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Avatar User Offline martin5465
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Posted: November/02/2019 at 1:35pm  Quote
 
Some may consider the colder months up north as the 
"building season", and it is more conducive to building 
than flying, but being primarily a builder, I consider all
twelve months of the year as the "building season" even
when I lived in a milder climate in Texas. 

Not being critical...just stating an opinion!

 
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Avatar User Offline MaxSouthOz
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Posted: November/02/2019 at 1:55pm  Quote
 
Good advice, Mike.  

We have a new challenge here in Oz. 

Clubs are wary of encouraging new young flyers to our clubs, as there is a chance when dealing with young people of being accused of inappropriate behaviour toward them.

I'm a member of three clubs and it's a uniform policy stance to shy away from junior membership.

Adult members' kids are welcome - as long as the parents are present.

Older members can remember Sunday mornings with a gaggle of kids on the simulators and buddy boxes.

Not any more.  It's too risky.

Cheers



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Avatar User Offline Clmoore
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Posted: November/02/2019 at 3:30pm  Quote
 
Hi Max.

I understand your concern.  But where there is a will there is a way. I was a foster parent for years and had to deal with concerns like this every day. Had to take classes one day every week for the time my wife and I were in it on how to deal with the challenges in all aspects.  I think if one member were to speak with someone in child services .  They  could help lay down some simple ground rules when dealing with younger groups . And now your concerns are on the table so to speak with the proper people backing you. Just narrow it down a few do's and don'ts and I sure it will be fine. If were to not teach your youth about our hobby then what? Nothing but Walmart drones! Curtiss would role over in his grave and spit 


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Avatar User Offline Sabre09
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Posted: November/02/2019 at 4:38pm  Quote
 
Max,
Forgive me, but I'm not sure I understand the "inappropriate behavior towards them," or the "risk" you refer to with regards to young members. One of several clubs that I am a member, encourages students by reducing the annual membership fee to half the adult fee. One of the clubs I discontinued membership has become stagnant in the past ten years because a few old members won't step aside and relinquish club ownership, so to speak. Clubs need younger members and new voice ideas.   Typical old man comment; "we tried that twenty years ago and it didn't work, end of discussion!" Accepting young members, only to have them do all the work, but having no voice, is not the way for retention! That being said, it is true that traditional hobbies do not draw the interest of youths they did several decades ago. Too many senseless diversions, I guess! Along with that, cost and time are factors.
Gary Chudzinski
 
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Avatar User Offline MaxSouthOz
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Posted: November/02/2019 at 5:40pm  Quote
 
Hi Guys

In recent times, Churches, Youth Groups et al., have become safe havens for paedophiles; and we all know about the terrible stories we've heard.

Our National umbrella organisation is encouraging clubs to have members obtain police security checks before dealing with children.

This is an onerous, costly and lengthy process which must be undertaken by each member who may be contacting unaccompanied children.

No members have been interested in putting up their hands for this.

Once the kids grow into older teenagers, they are no longer vulnerable and neither are the members.


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Avatar User Offline Dowmer
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Posted: November/02/2019 at 5:53pm  Quote
 
Max, if the kids are at the clubs, I figured they would be accompanied by a guardian or parent etc. How would they get there in the first place? Why not just have a rule in the club that minors must be accompanied by their adult (guardian/parent) Seems to solve any issue. It’s really about getting the kids involved early.

At my old club in Virginia, we had a kid there (13 ish). And he was a top 5 national competitior in precision aerobatics. His father always came with him to fly.

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Avatar User Offline MaxSouthOz
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Posted: November/02/2019 at 6:11pm  Quote
 
That's true, Dowmer.  The children of active members are always welcome.

However some people see the idea of encouraging unattached kids to come and fly, as being a means to keeping them out of trouble; and growing the hobby from the ground up.

It may be different in the US and other places, but we have become sensitised as a community.

My brother in law (a recently retired high school principal), had a campus policy that no member of Staff was to be alone in any room with a student under any circumstances.

I try not to be left alone with my grand children.

Sad.  But it's a sign of the times.


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