Greetings, welcome to "Dale's Tales" for September, 2019.
At several recent hamfests, I have had the opportunity to seriously discuss the status of our Great Lakes Division radio clubs with some of their members. The range of comments was extraordinary, from "very healthy and growing" to "desperate and dying". The latter of course was very disappointing news. Why the differences? We did discuss them and also talked about what possible changes had affected the dying clubs.
[This is where this message gets tenuous.] The members' comments seemed often to relate to the effectiveness of the current slate of officers and/or their immediate predecessors. This is of course reported from the members' personal perspective and may have no basis in fact.
However, for most of us, perception is pretty close to reality, so the comments included items such as these: Some leaders had grown weary of the job and could not recruit replacements, others seemed unaware of their plight, others seemed to have no plans for the club while other leaders pointed their fingers at the "other guy" being at fault, not facing the reality of their own situation.
In the meantime, the really successful clubs are reported to have truly active and involved leadership, programs at their meetings, guest speakers, club projects, special interest groups, active local nets, club field activities, club parties, and importantly a PLAN to make themselves a success.
Perhaps it is time for the less than successful clubs to take a self-examination and ask themselves "Where do we want to go and how do we want to get there?" Frankly folks, if your club Board of Directors does not occasionally meet and plan for the club's future, you may want to consider urging them to move in that direction. Strong words I am sure, but today, one has a choice to do the things necessary to succeed, adapt to change, and CREATE excitement and growth, or face the unfortunate alternative: a slow and certain demise. From some of the members from those clubs on that slippery slope, I have heard the stories of "power struggles", "club empires" "entrenched officers" and a host of other reasons alleging change is not possible. Really?
Club members need to stand up and take action. Don't allow a continuing stagnant condition to exist in your club, empower yourselves to make change. Set some goals to make your club the success it needs to be.
It only takes two or three to create a "wake up call" and encourage the
needed changes. Plans and goals are critical to a club's future, have
To those clubs on the successful part: congratulations! Keep it rolling! To those ready to make the paradigm shift to a new adventure, best wishes for your renewed success.
TOM'S TOME Comments from your ARRL Vice Director Tom W8WTD.
Of the many ways that ham radio has changed over the years, one of them has to be in the operating habits of many of us. It used to be that you could find contacts on the HF bands easily, whenever they were open. (As an operator who prefers SSB, I wish we were at a different point in the sunspot cycle. Oh well....) Of course, there are still some contacts to be made. But not as easily. Maybe our schedules provide us with so many more things to do that we allocate less time to radio.
So “events” become more important. Probably the biggest event to bring out lots of activity of HF was the National Parks on the Air several years ago. It was the right combination of contesting, contacting, portable operating, etc., to really make a hit with hams and get a lot of radio waves stirred up.
There are still lots of operating events to take advantage of. For example, the state QSO parties usually do well for participation. So if you’re looking for an “event,” you can probably find something to operate in most weekends.
A short-term “event” sponsored by ARRL is coming up right now. The Hiram Percy Maxim Birthday Celebration starts on August 31st and runs through September 8th. Full details are on the ARRL website or in the September issue of QST.
Some of us need an “excuse” to get on the air, or at least an assurance that we’ll find stations to work. This is a good one. Hope we take advantage of it.
--73, Tom W8WTD Vice Director, Great Lakes Division
OUR GREAT LAKES DIVISION web page does carry news from some of the recent events in the Division, useful links and information as well as some neat photos supplied from around the Division. Check it out: http://arrl-greatlakes.org/
Be sure to check your ARRL Section's news pages for the latest local happenings, club and net information.
HAMFESTING: Here is the current Great Lakes Division ARRL Sanctioned Hamfest Schedule covering the next few months. These swaps have received their sanctioning approval from ARRL HQ at the time of this publication.
If you plan to request ARRL Hamfest Sanctioning, please be sure to do it well in advance of your Hamfest date, as this allows adequate time for
QST Listings. Be sure to invite your ARRL Officials as soon as your
date is set. Plan ahead and request your ARRL Officials to attend.
With 52 weeks and 70+ hamfests in the Great Lakes Division, things do double up a little and we need to share duties.
9/7/19 GRAHamfest Wyoming, MI
9/7/19 CMARC Hamfest Okemos, MI
9/7/19 Greater Louisville Shepherdsville, KY
9/8/19 Findlay Hamfest Findlay, OH
9/14/19 Central Kentucky Richmond, KY
9/15/19 Adrian Hamfest Adrian, MI
9/21/19 GMARC Trunk Swap Shelby Twp, MI
9/21/19 OHKYIN ARS Hamfest Cincinnati, OH
9/22/19 Cleveland Hamfest Berea, OH
9/22/19 Flying Beers Int'l Ferndale, MI
9/28/19 Paintsville Hamfest Paintsville, KY
10/5/19 Alpena Swap Alpena, MI
10/5/19 Scioto Valley Chillicothe, OH
10/12/19 Northwest Ohio ARC Lima, OH
10/19/19 Muskegon Color Tour Muskegon, MI
10/20/19 Kalamazoo Kalamazoo, MI
10/26/19 Hazard Hamfest Hazard, KY
73, Were you on the air today??? Ham it up!
Dale Williams WA8EFK
Great Lakes Division