[CQ-Contest] Strengthening Club Activities
k9yc at audiosystemsgroup.com
Mon Dec 19 15:43:15 EST 2016
On Mon,12/19/2016 8:50 AM, Joe wrote:
> But other than Field Day, How does one get clubs to try like SS or CQWW?
One of the best ways is to invite another ham, young or old, to join you
for a multi-op at your station. Rig a second set of headphones so that
they hear what's going on. If they're new to contesting, or relatively
green, let them listen to you for a while -- one hour or several,
depending on their experience and the flow of the contest. Then turn the
mic or key(board) over to them while you listen.
> Most clubs that I know of are lucky to even get members to come to a
Some clubs are better than others in that regard. Two of the best local
clubs of which I've been a member hold casual Saturday morning breakfast
or coffee sessions. The North Shore Radio Club does a breakfast thing,
the Santa Cruz County Radio Club does "CAKE" -- Coffee-Assisted
Knowledge Exchange, where the emphasis is on technical discussions of
wide range from beginner to advanced. Each attendee is encouraged to
bring something to talk about.
K6GHA, K6XX, and I are the contesters who regularly attend (if it isn't
during a contest weekend), and there are engineers, both working and
retired, from many different fields, all ready and willing to mentor
newer, younger hams. K6XX mentored K6GHA, a middle-aged guy whose dad
was a ham, and later, a YL high school student. Both have become active
contesters, but the YL is now a sophomore in an EE program at UC Santa
That North Shore club (northern suburb of Chicago) includes contesters
K9OR, KK9H, WW9S, and WA9IVH. http://www.ns9rc.org/ They regularly
place near the top of their class in FD, and are SMC members, and have
outreach programs for young people. Other members are active in DXing,
and in casual DXpeditions. This was my primary club when I lived in
Both of these clubs have formal meetings one night a month, always with
some kind of program in addition to discussion of club activities. Both
clubs have members who could be classified as "shack on the belt"
operators, and both operate VHF and UHF repeaters. The Santa Cruz club
have a fairly active EMCOMM program -- our local hazards are wildfires
and earthquakes, so our members have learned to be prepared.
I'm a member of two other clubs -- the Northern California Contest Club,
NCCC, and the Northern California DX Club (in reality, the Silicon
Valley DX club), NCDXC. Neither has a particularly good reachout to
young hams, but NCDXC members are significant contributors to the
financing of major DX operations and are pillars of NCDXF.
NCCC is a wide area club, with members in the 175 mile radius circle
that includes Reno, NV, Santa Cruz, CA, and Humboldt Co in CA.
Membership in both clubs has gotten greyer, but NCCC has done the better
job of recruiting younger (under 40) members from those who work in the
SF Bay area (which includes IT and programming folks from Silicon
Valley). And because our membership is so spread out geographically,
current NCCC leadership has made a serious effort to incorporate the
membership of more local clubs -- the Redwood Empire DX Association
that's mostly north of San Francisco, the Mother Lode DX and Contest
Club in the Sierra Nevada range that lies between CA and NV, and the
PL259 group centered in Silicon Valley. We've mostly moved from weekend
lunchtime meetings for general membership (making driving easier by
avoiding rush hours and making both ways in daylight), and moving the
meeting location around so that more distant members can attend at
least one or two meetings a year. Every meeting includes at least one
serious presentation, and the general membership meetings usually
include at least two. Topics are both technical and operational.
Meetings are always in a moderately priced restaurant that has a
suitable meeting room. Usually we get the room free -- the restaurant
sells a lot of meals.
I know that PVRC has been quite successful with a similar structure.
I've attended a lunch meeting of the DC guys, and given an RFI talk to a
regional dinner meeting.
73, Jim K9YC
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