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Friday, September 17, 2010

5 tips for reducing radio club in-fighting, or why I don't belong to any local radio clubs

I've not been a club person for many years. In fact, I've steered away from clubs over the last several years because of one thing: politics. In fact, of the last 6 clubs I've been a member of:
  • I quit one in protest over an issue with the state ARES coordinator wanting to change policy demanding the requiring of training that cost money
  • I quit another in protest over a Field Day occurrence
  • I was thrown out of another club (who claimed I was never a member) after I tried to help organize Field Day activities that were not supposed to be club related, yet the President of the club decided he was going to make it a club event and sent me an email (and CC'ed everyone in the club) telling them that I was not a member and would do the world a favor if I went away
  • One club was dissolved after the membership dropped sharply
  • Two clubs simply went dormant due to lack of participation
Almost all of these clubs had one low common denominator: Politics.

I have been dabbling in various hobbies, clubs, and activities of all sorts and never have I seen more political mudslinging, underhandedness, and general douchebaggery than I have in an amateur radio club.

I realize not everyone's going to get along when it comes to being in a large club, but seriously, what do you have to gain from stealing someone else's thunder or makes them look bad? No one gets paid to be a club president (that I know of) and the only perk I've seen from it is that on maybe one occasion you might get thrust into the TV news' camera lenses and maybe some newsprint, and who cares who that person is, unless you're a glory hound (like some people I unfortunately know). I've been interviewed a couple of times for news stories, and it's not that spectacular, believe me. In fact I'm surprised my interview didn't end up a YouTube viral video.

KE5UTN wrote an interesting article on his blog about steps for reducing the politics of conflicts within an amateur radio club. It makes for recommended reading, especially for some of the clubs I've been associated with around here. Maybe more people would actually attend of some of these golden rules were abide by (I especially like #3).

And seriously, whoever "Robert" is, his rules of order suck!


  1. I liked your post here. It's unfortunate that people can be fickle. Maybe it takes personalities of folks on the opposite side of the spectrum (forgiving and humble) to even things out. This doesn't mean we have to be doormats to stronger personalities, this means we must trust that, as my dad used to say, "what goes around, comes around."

    This has been true my whole life. If we are ment to get credit, we may not get it at first, but, sooner or later, credit (recognition) goes where it is deserved.

    Nice post here Greg, and good luck with your future endeavors.

    KE5UTN, Dan

  2. I agree. I've been involved in two clubs the last 10 years. all I got was aggravated. It is a shame, clubs could serve a purpose.

  3. I recently attended a Morse Code training class. Even though it wasn't "officially sponsored" by a certain club, most of the attendees were members of said club. The clique behavior was quite surprising to me. This has always seemed to be one of the more open clubs I've had interaction with, but not with this group of guys. It's the same way if I help with a "public service" event (MS Bike ride, etc) that if you're not known to the other hams, you're almost shunned. These days, I'm more into emergency preparedness. Anymore, I'm only on the air for storm spotting. I know more hams online than on air and THAT is sad...