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Covid ruined club!

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#1 Mike W

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Posted 30 June 2022 - 04:57 PM

It's really sad to see what has become of the Albany Area Amateur Astronomers! No star parties for three years and clear tonight but no one heading to dark sight! It's not like we live in AZ!
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#2 Stevegeo


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Posted 30 June 2022 - 05:40 PM

Mike , as you know many things have changed in the past couple years .

If you have a roster with members names or email, give them a shout out, perhaps they feel the same way ..

 And like many things like car shows, carnivals , other public gatherings  they have downturned significantly. 


And that too will pass .. give it time . 

 Stevegeo...about dead center of NY,  most eastern of fingerlakes ..

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#3 Chris K

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Posted 30 June 2022 - 06:08 PM

Our club and others here on Long Island use groups.io as a bulletin board.


Members will post that they're going to be observing at X location tonight. We do this in addition to official club observing nights.


I believe groups.io has a free edition. Once you institute it you'll need to go door-to-door with your existing members to get them to the club groups.io.


We call it the 'hotline' for short. If you get people to sign up, then you just need a willingness of the membership to get together which I'm sure you'll get.


You can connect groups.io to your mail account and see the messages there. There's also a free phone app.

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#4 RazvanUnderStars


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Posted 30 June 2022 - 08:03 PM

I think the pandemic has amplified, rather than created, some existing trends and behaviours. My experience has been that even at large city-based clubs, only a very tiny fraction does dark sky observing (for many different reasons, certainly) and an even smaller fraction does it if it's not a club-sanctioned outing, even though the night is great. The dark sky observing session is more of a pretext for a monthly social interaction with some mild observing sprinkled in. 


And yes, communication and leadership are often weak points. Some leaders don't realize it is so or they are simply settled comfortable in their roles during their term or I don't know. But I've seen it. For individual members, it's nothing but the human nature: people find a few buddies and carry on in that small group, like at a party where people knowing each other for a long time will chat in a corner. Of course, it's the duty of the club leaders to think about the health of the club itself, but not everyone has the skills to do it. It's even harder now, in the pandemic, since such roles bring a heightened responsibility but fewer emotional benefits, such as the joy in doing outreach or shared events.


I think overall clubs are in a clearly weaker position than, say, a decade years ago, particularly when it comes to attracting younger members, and this is self-perpetuating. A new member in a group is less likely to renew the following year if there isn't much activity. The situation will naturally improve to some extent once the pandemic is over, but am not sure if it will go back to what it was. 

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#5 Starman47


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Posted 01 July 2022 - 03:26 PM

I know CN will not replace clubs. But CN has some benefits, and some clubs use a bulletin board for coordinating with those who want to go observing together. Yes this approach is a work around, but it is better than nothing.

And maybe things will get better in the not too distant future. Just my 2 cents, which is not worth what it used to be worth. 

#6 edwincjones


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Posted 04 July 2022 - 04:35 AM

my club is considering its continued existence 

covid is not totally responsible

but may be the final nail in the coffin



Edited by edwincjones, 04 July 2022 - 04:36 AM.

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