More Dying To Leave RAC Than Joining

Sure seems that way when you read the number of silent keys and compare it to the president’s report in the latest issue of The Canadian Amateur where he talks about how many directors we’re missing. He doesn’t say so but same for section managers and others who have been quitting in frustration.

So what’s the answer to finding new vision and new members for RAC?

This is easy.

DIRECTORS: you’re responsibility to setup an executive group with vision and a cooperative friendly way of working with the few members you’ve got left.

It’s the directors who we’ve voted in to run RAC by appointing a working executive group and it’s obvious to me that not only have they failed to do so but they’ve failed to take the appropriate corrective actions when this issue was brought to their attention several years ago.

By the way I see in the president’s message some interesting thoughts about ARES. If we go back to the home planet, the ARRL has posted tons of information on how to join or start an ARES group in your own community. Well worth reading.

According to the ARRL, ARES consists of licensed amateurs who have voluntarily registered to help out their local communities in times of need. Membership in the ARRL or RAC for that matter are not a prerequisite but only licensed amateur radio operators can apply.

While in the past ARES in Canada has been run from the top at RAC and now with the absence of a solid volunteer executive group (The Canadian ARES structure has suffered the same fate as RAC with lots of ARES executives and members quitting or going inactive.) it looks like the president is sending a message that ARES in Canada won’t be run from head office anymore but authority will be driven down to the regional levels where the action happens.

That’s great but these noble thoughts seem to stem from the fact that there’s nobody at RAC HQ driving the bus anymore so why not just park it and tell everyone onboard that they’re on their own?

The only problem with this is some of the ARES issues involve petty squabbles about who is in charge of what. I think the days of ARES in Canada are limited based on the lack of leadership skills I’ve witnessed lately.

For example I wrote an ARES exam leading to some sort of leadership acknowledgement by somebody but I wrote it in March 2014 and after several attempts to discover the outcome I still haven’t heard.

So either I failed the exam or else somebody at RAC is actually holding up the report out of what: pettiness? Gee I’d hope for more from my national organization.

I love Amateur Radio and I love our RAC too but I absolutely abhor how it has been run into the ground.

We need a better RAC. We need representation with our national government. We need international representation on groups like the International Amateur Radio Union and other groups. We need a national vision (I know how old this message has become.). And we need a new executive.

As many of you know I have been in Toastmasters International for over 20 years now having served at the club and district (provincial) levels. This year my home club was hit by the perfect storm of an unexpected loss of members over the summer break (most Toastmaster clubs see a 30% drop but we were hit with a 40% loss of some of our long-time members) and the loss of most of our new executive members who dropped out unexpectedly when faced with the workload of running a club (thus speaking to a need for better exec. training before our elections).

So by meeting number five it was apparent that the club was in real trouble and the unofficial committee of the past presidents (about 10 of us) gathered as a board of directors with our fledgling incoming president and offered our considerable assistance.

The president, being no fool, accepted the help and got out in front of the parade working with instead of against the past presidents to put senior members (mainly past presidents) into key roles to help the club overcome the issues that were affecting it.

A couple of past presidents formed a special committee to look at a better venue (at a classier place). Another one took over a key vacant executive role. I helped by taking over our mentoring program for new members. And there was lots more hands-on help.

Guess what? Inside of a couple of weeks there’s new vitality and excitement in the club. Members are filling the meeting room and speeches have never been better.

This isn’t rocket science folks. It takes people who care.

Directors: It’s time (actually well past time) you have a private conference call and made some tough decisions.

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About Peter West

I am retired. I'm invested into bike riding, guitar playing, yoga and Ham Radio. I am a former photojournalist, newspaper and magazine editor and public relations practitioner with national, regional and local experience. A long-time member of Toastmasters International and an active Amateur Radio (Ham) operator here in Canada I am taking on new challenges.

One thought on “More Dying To Leave RAC Than Joining

  1. Well..Another comment on RAC. Sometimes I think you just enjoy hitting the keyboard keys and then you come up with some thoughts that are worth considering.
    I especially like you comments about the situation with Toastmasters Club. I think this applies to most of the Clubs, be they Masons, Lions, Kiwanis, Toastmasters, Rotary or Amateur Radio / Hobby Clubs.
    The world is changing and like in the past we have to rally the wagons and work togeather to come up with solutions.
    Many of our younger generation are busy working (or looking for work), raising a family etc and find it hard to commit time to getting involved. Of course the other consideration is the way our younger people communicate on Social Media. In the “old” days, we went to meetings to socialize and network. They do it differently today.
    HOWEVER, I still think that the Homo-Sapian is a Social Animal and needs Human intereaction via the many organizations, with many varied interests, that have to appeal to others.
    Many capable participants in our Groups may want to get involved but are unaware of what is involved. It is up to the Senior members of the Group to find these people and nuture them.
    Ham Radio has an Elmer System, which does not always work. How many NEW Hams do we know who become certified Amateurs and we NEVER hear them on the Air or see them at Club Meetings or Club Events.
    Think I’ll quit now…my fingers are getting sore from hitting the keyboard

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