A Noise Blankers Editiorial By K5KVN
I'm not saying our club is the greatest on earth, but I would rent a limo and ask it to the prom.
I have done the club thing since I was first licensed in 1994. Back then, I was a member of the University of Arkansas club (W5YM). I was president for two years, too. After I graduated, I helped start a new club called Amateur Radio Klub of the Arkansas Northwest (ARKAN). I was a charter member and president.
Work and a baby took priority for the next few years and club politics became an unfortunate burden, too. So, I backed out of the club scene...until we started The Noise Blankers Radio Group last year.
Here are three points that make The Noise Blankers Radio Group work well.
We act, work and play similarly. That's not earth shattering, is it? We all know that people who think the same way tend to get along.
The Noise Blankers have a similar "don't take things too seriously" viewpoint on the hobby. We think making fun of ourselves is healthy. Our members must share the same viewpoint and be active on social media and the radio. Our mission: “DO RADIO STUFF. HAVE FUN DOING IT. TELL OTHERS HOW MUCH FUN IT IS.”
Find your strength
Our club quickly found a "niche" and began to exploit our best qualities. Put it this way: find your club's strength and use it to its full potential. Your club may have a membership full of talented webpage programmers. If so, perhaps you set out to have the best ham radio club website on the internet. Or, maybe your club has an abundance of "tinkerers" and you help school kids build kits. For us, it was a common background in professional broadcasting, communications and public relations. We use our similar professional experience (the stuff we do well and get paid to do) to enhance our enjoyment of the hobby.
Here's a catchphrase that WBØRUR sent me a few days ago: "Loosen Up The Squelch Bro!" He mentioned it to me and other club members in our 24/7 chat room. (We currently use Facebook Messenger.) That chat room really is active 24/7. It’s where we take care of club business, send jokes, post DX spots, send pictures or share random thoughts.
That "open line" is where we have our best ideas. It's our 24/7 club meeting. It's where we came up with the name "Noise Blankers Radio Group." (Have you noticed we don't use the word "club" in our name?) One day, we were sending funny ham radio news headlines to each other. There was much LOL. And that's how hamhijinks.com was born! Then there was the time that one of us suggested in the chat that we should get our VE credentials. That was 11 a.m.; by 3 p.m. we had all passed the VE exam.
From day one, we have worked to keep it simple with a light-hearted focus. We stay in touch with near real-time communications amongst ourselves, take quick action on things that need a decision, keep a "GET 'ER DONE" attitude and have NO burdensome and antiquated voting/meeting procedures. In this group, there shall be no “analysis paralysis.”
That’s how we roll. It’s a situation that works for our “club.” Your mileage may vary. What works for you? What makes your club great?