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my negative experience in an Astronomy club

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#76 Zebra24601

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Posted 28 March 2014 - 09:59 PM

A young lady showed up at our monthly Open House and asked simple questions at first and she got into it very quickly. Me, Larry and some others helped this young lady along because she really soaking these things up. She was elected to the board, then vice president, then president when Larry got ill. She was elected president on the following term. She left afterwards to SoCal to marry her boyfriend and she got on at Griffith as volunteer operator on the 12" Zeiss right after the big renovation. Then she got on at Mt. Wilson as part time maintenence on the bubbly Hooker 100" and then at JPL as a tour guide. My sister and I had her last year while we toured JPL. My sister asked her on how she got into astronomy and she turned in my direction and did a double point at me and said "He and some others at the DAS got me insterested". I melted at that. What comes around....
She is still working at these 3 places.

Joe


Great story, because I'm pretty sure I know who you're talking about. It's a small hobby, even in L.A. Next time I see her, I'll have to mention this.

#77 gunfighter48

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Posted 31 March 2014 - 06:28 PM

In the over 40 years that I've been in and out of amateur astronomy, I've only belonged to one club. This wasn't for any other reason than that was the one time I lived where there was a club. I now live within 20 miles of a club but their meetings are on the days I work. So I won't be able to get to any meetings.

So I have been a solo observer most of the last 4 decades. But I do enjoy it when I get the rare opportunity to share the night sky with other amateurs!!

#78 Juan A

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Posted 01 July 2014 - 08:16 AM

What an interesting thread. It offers an opportunity for meditation and inspiration on great amateur astronomer's lives like that of John Dobson https://sites.google...n---wall-str... .

Why not take your scope to the middle of you lighted neighborhood shopping center the next Saturday evening clear Crescent Moon night? Your local radio station or /and TV station may wish to announce it,

It's about SHARING your interest and your enthusiast for your hobby and SELF-EMPOWERMENT.

Clear nights,

#79 oldstargazer

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Posted 01 July 2014 - 05:19 PM

Reading through all this gave me an idea. Most TV stations these days have a place for people to post pictures of things they have seen. I have sent in some of the moon and stuff like that when they talk about how big it will look and such.

I suggest that we all send them some of those great shots we get of distant galaxies and nebulas. And might mention that those same shots can be done with by todays standards a small investment. I think that I have less than 2000 including mount and camera in mine. What I get might not be magazine quality but I don't care, it makes me happy and I like to share what I get and people are always like can I have that picture. I print out the best ones on 8x10 and don't charge for them.

So anyway post some of those great pics onto the TV stations and see what happens.

#80 iam1ru12

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Posted 08 July 2014 - 05:11 PM

I'm an officer of a local club with about 200 members. I can definitely say that in our out club like most another club be it an astronomy club, amateur radio, or even book club there is that 20% to 30% that are the most active and others that are just not as active. There is no requirement to be active or not. If you want to pay dues and not participate that's fine and you are not any less a member.

As for welcoming new members, I think every club can always do better. We try to reach out to unfamiliar faces before and after meetings to try to make them feel welcome and see if we can help answer any questions or direct them to a member that can. Another area where I feel clubs can help new comers is with a loaner telescope program. It's a great way to bring in folks that have the interest but are not ready to commit the funds to purchasing equipment. I am trying get some equipment for the loaner progam for those members that want to try astrophotography.

It is my personal opinion that clubs should focus on both furthering the observing/imaging/knowledge goals of their members but also on outreach. The balance of these should be directed by the membership. Therefore for those that do not like how things are run, step up and take charge. Far to often no one puts their name in the ring and the previous officers are left to continue in the leadship role and thus eventually stagnating in the ideas department.

If what I see locally is representative of the country as a whole, interest I astronomy is growing. However the methods of engaging newer, younger members must change. The younger generations are much more technology savvy and communicate in different ways. We as astronomy clubs must adapt. We need to embrace social media and all the benefits that technology has to offer such as steaming of meetings via YouTube, etc.

Also most of us are not professional public relations managers and I see most clubs lack the expertise in promoting themselves and events. Consider partnering with local museums and planetariums in getting the word out.

-Mike

#81 Undermidnight

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Posted 09 July 2014 - 10:30 AM

I'm an officer of a local club with about 200 members. I can definitely say that in our out club like most another club be it an astronomy club, amateur radio, or even book club there is that 20% to 30% that are the most active and others that are just not as active. There is no requirement to be active or not. If you want to pay dues and not participate that's fine and you are not any less a member.

As for welcoming new members, I think every club can always do better. We try to reach out to unfamiliar faces before and after meetings to try to make them feel welcome and see if we can help answer any questions or direct them to a member that can. Another area where I feel clubs can help new comers is with a loaner telescope program. It's a great way to bring in folks that have the interest but are not ready to commit the funds to purchasing equipment. I am trying get some equipment for the loaner progam for those members that want to try astrophotography.

It is my personal opinion that clubs should focus on both furthering the observing/imaging/knowledge goals of their members but also on outreach. The balance of these should be directed by the membership. Therefore for those that do not like how things are run, step up and take charge. Far to often no one puts their name in the ring and the previous officers are left to continue in the leadship role and thus eventually stagnating in the ideas department.

If what I see locally is representative of the country as a whole, interest I astronomy is growing. However the methods of engaging newer, younger members must change. The younger generations are much more technology savvy and communicate in different ways. We as astronomy clubs must adapt. We need to embrace social media and all the benefits that technology has to offer such as steaming of meetings via YouTube, etc.

Also most of us are not professional public relations managers and I see most clubs lack the expertise in promoting themselves and events. Consider partnering with local museums and planetariums in getting the word out.

-Mike


Our club has done just that: created a public Facebook page. It has taken off pretty well! We are seeing more young people showing up and joining the club.

Jason

#82 Raginar

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 07:47 PM

The club in my area does none of the online stuff. I saw them at a recent event at a local college and it made me chuckle because I'm on their mailing list and had no idea they'd be there. There is no communication as far as I can tell other than between the 'bros' who have known each other for years. I imagine there is a way to be invited into the 'bro club', but I don't have the energy to invest in it.

It sounds like lots of you have great clubs around the country. Others of us don't.

#83 Undermidnight

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Posted 14 July 2014 - 03:33 PM

Our club has done just that: created a public Facebook page. It has taken off pretty well! We are seeing more young people showing up and joining the club.

Jason


We had three more people join the club during at our meeting this past Saturday and all of them were in the early 20s. One of them brought their telescope and we had some of the current club members help them out with it.

Jason






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