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Old 09-10-2009, 12:29 PM
peregrines peregrines is offline
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Default Re: I need help keeping interest in our club

9ason,

Well from another thread it sounds like you have at least one new member with fire in his eyes (Newtofly), so that's a good thing. If you can get some more members like him you'll be all set!

You might want to reach out and enlist a group of folks to come up with a poll of current and former members to see where their interest are- you could ask a bunch of focused things like how likely would you be to participate in:
beginner fly tying class
group trips to local waters
casting clinic
weekly group tying get together
monthly meetings
conservation/stream improvement projects
informal tying sessions or casting on the lawn before meetings
family day
participation in project healing waters or other "service' work (One group around here has an annual event with special needs kids fishing on a very heavily stocked lake that is awesome for both kids and members)

but also ask some open ended questions, like

what can we do to improve the club?

what activities would you like to see?

What activities or committees would you like to get involved in?

You might get some good feedback, and perhaps identify some folks that would be willing to step up, and maybe even get some returnees since you're showing you value their opinion and input. But i think it should be a group effort to come up with the questions, to crunch the numbers, and come up with recommendations etc to get others involved in the process- even if it isn't perfect as far as you're concerned, just to increase the sense of ownership among the different members in the group. And it could be a way to get others to step up to take charge of different activities.

As Rip Tide mentioned his club is very well attended, and heavily publicized-- look around for places to put up flyers fly shops, sporting goods stores, churches, super markets, and free announcements in local papers in "events section" and maybe get a table at local outdoor sporting shows. Some new members will bring some fresh blood and energy-- and may energize some of the older or more experienced folks as mentors, instructors and at clinics.

Group dynamics can be weird though. I think a key part of this may be that you and your wife may be doing too much- it's easy for someone with great intentions and very motivated to step up and try to get things cooking- what happens sometimes is that it becomes easy for some folks to sit back and snipe from the sidelines-- sort of a passive aggressive reaction for folks with fragile egos--- and they'll shoot down ideas for one reason or another-- or no reason. Maybe one way to approach it, to someone that's always finding a reason to shoot down an outing for example- is to maybe seek them or others out in advance and try to broaden the load sharing-- enlist their help in soliciting ideas-- ask if they'd be willing to lead the charge on a trip, do a presentation for a meeting or help out on a clinic (or whatever comes up) by appealing to their "experience and knowledge". I think if you can find a way to share the load, it will give folks a better sense of ownership and lead to more active participation and involvement. I don't mean to imply that you or your wife is doing anything wrong- not at all- you're both filling the vacuum left by less engaged members-- and trying to turn things around. But if you can find a way to reach a few others that are already in the club, and bring in some fresh blood you may get some fresh ideas, more excitement and more participation.

Just my 2 cents.

mark
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