I’ve gotten several e-mails responding to my Op-Ed piece in the September complaining about the clubs in their area. The correspondents have tried attending local club meetings only to get the cold shoulder. This is sad, but it’s the way things go sometimes.
I am encouraging these people to start their own clubs. I know this sounds easier than it is, but folks do it all the time. You might even be able to recruit hams in your area that for one reason or another do not care to belong to the club that already exists.
One idea would be to form this club in conjunction with an organization that could use the services that an amateur radio club could provide. These include:
- Red Cross. There are many clubs that work with their local Red Cross chapters.
- Salvation Army. The SA actually provides a lot of disaster relief services and is quite familiar with ham radio.
- Local community college. The local community college might welcome your club, especially if they offer technology courses.
- Senior recreation centers. Many seniors are getting into amateur radio as they now have the time to actually pursue the hobby.
There are several advantages to working with one of these groups:
- You would be able to use their facilities for meetings.
- They may be able to allot some space to your club so that you could set up a club station.
- They may have some sources of funds that you could tap into for club activities.
The ARRL website has many pages devoted to helping you set up a club and run it properly. Here are a couple to get you started:
Also, most ARRL sections have an Affiliated Club Coordinator (ACC). It’s the ACC’s job to help existing clubs thrive and hams in their sections start new clubs. They are listed on the section webpage. To find out what section you’re in, go to the ARRL Sections page.
That’s it! If you do decide to start up a club, let me know how it goes.