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Commentary for Canadian Radio Amateurs
#1
A significant number of licensed Canadian amateur radio operators do not support their national amateur radio society: Radio Amateurs of Canada Typically support is by membership, but may also include volunteering time to perform the various functions required to run a large, non-profit organization. It has been demonstrated repeatedly, that a small percentage of people are doing most of the work in modern volunteer organizations.

Some thoughts concerning volunteerism
-Volunteerism is down in many sectors including service clubs, meal delivery programs, church groups, volunteer firefighters radio clubs, etc. etc.
-The population is aging and our current volunteers are retiring; Younger folks have so many distractions and things they can do today. We now live in a world with 200 plus TV channels! The spirit of volunteerism seems to be decreasing in the western world.
-There is some evidence that people who donate their cash to charities also tend to participate in groups, associations and organizations. Is this a characteristic or trait?
-People volunteer for causes they believe in. What do people believe in now? Is our culture too self-absorbed, individualistic and focused on our own personal agendas and pleasure?
-Economics. Are young to middle aged people less able to volunteer and contribute because they are spending more of their time working?

RAC Membership
If you haven't, please consider joining RAC. I joined out of respect to the many RAC volunteers who have devoted their personal time and continue to toil to keep amateur radio viable in Canada. We cannot take our currently allocated radio frequency bands for granted. There are groups who for profit, want to apply technologies which will consume or interfere with the radio frequency bands we enjoy. Canadian amateur radio needs a strong, united voice to survive into the future. Apathy and lack of awareness may significantly decrease the rights and privileges we enjoy as radio amateurs today. The least we can do is support our national amateur radio society. It would be even better if more of us contributed by volunteering our personal time towards our wonderful radio hobby and serving RAC

Todd, VE7BPO
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#2
Amen to that and thanks to Todd for stepping up and voicing his opinion.

When I look at the numbers I am embarrassed to be a Canadian ham:

USA: ~760,000 callsigns in the registry, ARRL membership ~154,000 (20%)

UK: ~85,000 callsigns in the registry, RSGB membership: ~ 23,000 (27%)

Canada: ~70,000 callsigns in the registry, RAC membership ~ 4500 (6%)

By a straight ratio with the US, RAC membership should be ~ 14,000 (19,000 if you compare with UK). If you browse the big US ham forums (qrz.com & eham.net) there is a tremendous amount of vitriol poured on ARRL, yet their penetration is >30x RAC.

Are we REALLY that much more cheap and selfish than our US neighbours? I'd like to think not, but whenever I promote RAC membership to my fellow hams, I get mostly blank stares or hand-waving arguments (you know: "too expensive", "lousy magazine", "they don't do anything for me", etc etc ad nauseum).

And I'm sure those same hams will be the loudest complainers when we lose some of our little scraps of spectrum, despite the work of the RAC folks who are putting their hearts & souls into preserving it for us.

Join RAC!
73
Dave, VE3WI
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#3
(2019-08-05, 21:37:49)VE3WI Dave Wrote: Maybe the problem is due to how easy it is to get, and keep, a ham licence in Canada compared to the US and UK. I have seen a lot of people get licenced only to disappear and never get involved in the hobby. Perhaps if we looked at the ratio of active hams to RAC members we might see a different picture.

John VA3KOT (RAC member).

Amen to that and thanks to Todd for stepping up and voicing his opinion.

When I look at the numbers I am embarrassed to be a Canadian ham:

USA: ~760,000 callsigns in the registry, ARRL membership ~154,000 (20%)

UK: ~85,000 callsigns in the registry, RSGB membership: ~ 23,000 (27%)

Canada: ~70,000 callsigns in the registry, RAC membership ~ 4500 (6%)

By a straight ratio with the US, RAC membership should be ~ 14,000 (19,000 if you compare with UK).    If you browse the big US ham forums (qrz.com & eham.net) there is a tremendous amount of vitriol poured on ARRL, yet their penetration is >30x RAC. 

Are we REALLY that much more cheap and selfish than our US neighbours?  I'd like to think not, but whenever I promote RAC membership to my fellow hams, I get mostly blank stares or hand-waving arguments (you know: "too expensive", "lousy magazine", "they don't do anything for me", etc etc ad nauseum). 

And I'm sure those same hams will be the loudest complainers when we lose some of our little scraps of spectrum, despite the work of the RAC folks who are putting their hearts & souls into preserving it for us.

Join RAC!
73
Dave, VE3WI
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#4
This year, for the first time, I joined RAC.

Historically, I have found RAC to be very expensive.  And having received my first RAC magazine, I do find it to be less then wanting.  But as a result of my experience on our executive, I understand fully the lack of participation and support.  My wife and I are now empty nester's mostly, thus freeing a little time and money.  In my first Presidents message I mentioned something to the effect of Stepping up because no one else was.  I don't know the answer as to how to get more more people, more actively involved.  It does seem to cost more to live every day, so it's hard to get more financial support for clubs in general. And, for my self personally, time is ever limited.  Working construction and agricultural in the warmer seasons, doesn't leave much other time.  I also have other interests other then Ham Radio to compete with my little time.  In the colder periods I drive a snowplow, and as such, one tries not to ever turn down a shift.  One just can't count on the weather.  Just ask a farmer. . . . . . . .  So I don't know what the answer is.  Happy to take suggestions.
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#5
Smile Maybe think of the yearly subscription as a support for amateur radio in Canada, the fact that there is a magazine is just a bonus. I believe one can opt to not receive a printed copy and get a small break on the price.

And the second thing is the break in price for GBARC membership. This also gives us insurance when we are out and about as a group, not something that every club has.

Your words about lack of participation rings true. The solution is two fold, new members are vital to the existence of the club and for that matter amateur radio. (Thanks to Frank VA3GUF for being the course co-ordinator).
The second thing are nets. This club, at one time ran a net on 3.783 every Sunday morning at 9:30 am and another Tuesdays at 7pm on VE3OSR. Nets bring the group together, it is the glue that holds a club together.

Its also an excellent way to determine emergency preparedness. If one cannot check into the net, then one is not emergency prepared.

There are some 50 club members, so it isn't necessary for a few to do everything. Keep the tasks small and spread the work around.

If there is a new forum / topic users would like me to add, just say so...73
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