1. Attention: We have put together a thread with tips and a tutorial video to help with using the new software. Please take a moment to check out the thread here: Trapshooters.com Tutorial & Help Video.
    Dismiss Notice

Why Should I Join a Club?

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by AllAmer4, Mar 26, 2013.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. AllAmer4

    AllAmer4 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2011
    Messages:
    247
    Location:
    Arlington, VA
    This is the first of two posts about increasing participation. The next one provides a handful of ideas on how to accomish this.

    Dean
     
  2. himark

    himark Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    1,418
    Location:
    LINCOLN NEBRASKA
    Dean,
    I enjoyed reading your blog. However, every club I have ever visited (midwest) always penalizes non-members with a bit higher fees. But memberships are generally very reasonable here..

    I do think you will see clubs prosper. It is generally the ones that are not run by the "good ole boy" club. I beleive it is important to be aware of your changing markets and yes at times you have to run your club like a "business" as you stated but dont lose sight of the fact its still a club and NOT a business. I do believe a good middle ground can be achieved.

    One thing clubs are missing out on IMO, are the clubs that remain staunch on shotgun only even with facilities/Real estate enough to handle more. I mean face it we have the largest gun movement in our country going right NOW. People are buying and want a place to go to an shoot.

    I believe if a club offers a mulitple venue of items you will have people WANTING to be members and clubs will grow. But if you keep giving it away for free or not charging anymore than non-members than as your said what would be the point?
     
  3. AllAmer4

    AllAmer4 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2011
    Messages:
    247
    Location:
    Arlington, VA
    Thanks. I agree with the middle ground as you suggest. In terms of the "product" and customer acquisition, business thinking is required. I'll get into that with my next post and provide specific examples/ideas.

    My point on the higher fees was simply to say that if there isn't an incentive to actually join(lower fees would be one), why bother? All of the clubs I was referencing also have very nominal dues, but no real reason to join. If there were exclusive, members only type events, that would be a great reason to join.

    Good point about adding other games/sports to the offering. An outdoor pistol range would be a great addition and members would have very little need to pay for time at an expensive indoor range. In this area(Northern VA), those indoor ranges have outrageous prices. A few trips will more than cover your dues at a private club.

    Dean
     
  4. funclays

    funclays Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2011
    Messages:
    44
    If we don’t have people that are willing to join a shooting club and to get involved and support it, you, me, and others would not have a club to shoot at now would we? So now if that alone is not a good reason to join a club and be a member I don’t know what is. It is the main reason I joined a club over 30 years ago and god willing I will be a member for another 30 years.

    Shoot often and have fun

    Dave
     
  5. RWT

    RWT Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    1,553
    Dean,

    The one's that say trapshooting is "dying", I think are confusing registered shooting with, nonregistered, practice and leagues which I see as increasing consistently over the years.

    As far as joining a club, for a lot of folks if there is no financial advantage to them they don't.
     
  6. Joe Potosky

    Joe Potosky Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    5,481
    Why Should I volunteer at a Club?

    Not many clubs out there that would not welcome more volunteers, members or not!
     
  7. GrandpasArms

    GrandpasArms TS Supporters TS Supporters

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2010
    Messages:
    872
    Location:
    About 40 miles west of Chicago, IL
    Good question,Dean. One that I seriously ponder every year. In our area clubs allow full memberships, shooting memberships, and guests. At one club where I was a full member, the board was cautious about membership classifications and tax status. It seemed a giant headache.

    Since leaving that club I have not joined another as a full member for the two important reasons you mention in your blog - "...nobody will nag me to volunteer, work, or get involved in club politics." Sure, there is the money calculus, but these two issues always win out - and are supported every time I overhear the bickering and watch the hearty souls slaving in the hot sun while I sit in the AC and shoot when I want.

    Maybe I'm selfish. Maybe I don't see the advantage of saving fifty cents per round only to be badgered or enlisted. I know what I can comfortably spend on shooting. I will pay what I have to pay for the privilege and stop when I can't afford it.

    At the present I hold shooting memberships in two local clubs and one in Wisconsin.

    During my musings I've often thought that a good business person could run a club for profit, not depending on membership dues, politics, or slave labor. I'm sure it is being done some place - but not in Illinois that I know of.

    If ever I'm faced with the decision to EITHER join a club as a full member OR not shoot, I'll consider my actions seriously.
     
  8. plinker611

    plinker611 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2009
    Messages:
    527
    dean,your second paragraph says alot..alot of the reasons clubs are hurting..there are alot of pepole that dont want to have to help run a club,volenteer at a club,just want to shoot and go home.and then some of that type also has the nerve to bitch,moan and complain about the club,how the program was,grounds,and on and on..


    our club has 500-600 members,and is run as a 501c3 non profit,volenteer run club(100+ are life members,after 65 and being a member 10 + yrs no dues)),large club house ,offer a nice pistol range,rifel range,36 target 3-d archery course,2 trap fields,and lots of youth,and adult programs,and other events.the problem we find is every one wants from the club, but we have the same core of 20-30 volenteers doing the work..so you have the burn out factor.


    this year we implemented a change to our membership prices offering a worker membership,or non worker fee for $30/yr more,and the majority opted for the non worker over 15 club hrs/yr.we did pick up some help,but we also increased revenu.but we would rather of had the volenteers over the money there is a difference, those that want to use the club,and those that want to keep the club going,mark jones
     
  9. Charlie Becknell

    Charlie Becknell Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    1,610
    not joining a club is penny wise and pound foolish. We see decreasing numbers of gun clubs around the country. Once a gun club closes its doors it is unlikely it will ever reopen. We need people to join local clubs to insure that we have a place to shoot in the future. Consider this an admonition ,if the club closes ,where will you shoot.?

    Charlie
     
  10. Ron Burdick

    Ron Burdick Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    770
    Location:
    Duncan, SC
    Dean,

    Excellent post.

    I believe shooters that would not want to help out by joining a club are the same people that would take a free "Obmama Phone" if they have the chance, as long as their buddies don't find out.

    The Trap App is great.

    Ron Burdick
     
  11. Hammer1

    Hammer1 Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2010
    Messages:
    1,595
    .

    Many, many years ago in the South, I belonged to a shooting club that had been in existence since before the Spanish-American War. Membership was difficult to obtain. Members had to be nominated by existing life members and then voted on by the rest of the life members. Annual membership was offered in two forms. One was $250 per year. The other was $50 per year plus two full days of volunteer work during the year, which may include clean up duty, target duty during competitions, etc. Except during competitions, guests other than immediate family had to be with life members.

    They had trap and skeet, high power rifle, benchrest rifle, small bore rifle (rimfire), NRA bullseye pistol, etc. A very traditional range. If I remember right, we also had a cannon range which was used by the National Guard once per year. We held some national level competitions on the range back when...

    Remember meeting Neal Knox of the NRA there during one such national competition. Think he had flown his personal Beechcraft Bonanza in for that match.

    The club never had problems with money, membership, or volunteer work.

    The only problem I remember was that the 600 yard rifle range shot over the top of the trap range and some of the trap shooters didn't care for that.

    Oh yeah, and once a visiting high power rifle shooter snuck in at night and bush-hogged the rifle range ruining the "calibrated" grass that the local rifle shooters used to judge wind.

    There was a fellow who lived close-by who had a dog that barked. That barking annoyed the benchrest rifle shooters who wanted the fellow reported to the local constable for disturbing the peace.

    .
     
  12. cubancigar2000

    cubancigar2000 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    10,521
    Location:
    Idaho
    The answer is very simple and Charlie has it spot on. You join so the club will be there for you and your grandkids, Without membership the club will sink. I join several clubs in my area and only shoot at most of them once or twice a year. I want them to be there for the future
     
  13. AllAmer4

    AllAmer4 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2011
    Messages:
    247
    Location:
    Arlington, VA
    Part two will be posted later tonight.

    Thanks Ron. The next update is coming out within a few weeks.

    As you'll see in my second article, there is a gaping hole in our demographics. Either trapshooters are under 23 years old, or over 50. That's scary.

    Dean
     
  14. Charlie Becknell

    Charlie Becknell Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    1,610
    Thanks for the kind words Mr. CubanCigar2000.

    I belong to Blue Grass Sportsmen's League, Wilmore, KY. I enjoy helping new shooters learn the sport and seeing our membership support our club. Our club has had it's struggles but we are still here. For the life of me I cannot understand why people that love to shoot will not place membership. We are active with the U of Kentucky Skeet and Trap Team and our UK pistol team just WON the national championship. We have SCTP, AIM, 4-H shooters, and numerous clinics to help new shooters get started. BGSL has 6 trap fields, 2 skeet, Sporting Clays, General purpose range for pistol and rifle to 100 yds., 300 yd. rifle range, multiple pistol venues, casting , gun dog, hunting, casting, archery , youth division, kitchen division, air gun, black powder, and a new paint ball venue. Our dues are $250.00 per year. If having 1,400+acres with all of this isn't worth $250.00 per year , then I don't know a bargain when I see one. We have great opportunities for even bird watching , camping and hiking.

    We are located just south of Lexington, if you live near here, come on down and say hello. We have a great club house with a big screen TV.

    Charlie Becknell

    VP of Shotgun Division

    Lexington, KY
     
  15. FLIP

    FLIP Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    684
    one of the best shooting clubs they have it all
     
  16. Old Cowboy

    Old Cowboy Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    2,988
    Between 23 & 50 you're busy rodeoin', over fifty you get too old and rickety to rodeo so you start trapshootin'. That's not scary, it's just life.
     
  17. SBray

    SBray Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    797
    Dean,

    I believe that not only should you join a local club, if you can afford to, join as many as you can. Try to spend some time volunteering at the clubs to help keep them in operation.

    In addition, join every gun association that you can. I belong to four local clubs, NRA, Gun Owners of California, and the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF). It's a bit of an overkill, but I strongly believe that without our support, the clubs and associations cannot represent all shooting sports.

    If you can find the time, try to write government officials and let them know that you belong to local clubs, associations, and include that you are an avid gun sports enthusiast that votes accordingly.

    JMHO,

    Steve
     
  18. spitter

    spitter Well-Known Member TS Supporters

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    4,343
    Location:
    Prairie State
    I help run a public, municipal trap range which has an operating agreement with a private club I belong to. The Club doesn't push its membership. It's there if someone wants it and if someone inquiries about it, I usually tell them to shoot at the facility a couple of times to see if what the range offers is what they're looking for...

    Personally, I would rather have a handful of good members than a gaggle of mediocre members and recuiting for body count and dues is a recipe for problems... the policy is, members work. If folks don't want to work, don't join... be a non-member and pay non-member rates and don't get access to our value-added benefits...

    Membership has benefits, but also responsibilities. It's OK to ask your members to work!

    regards all,

    Jay
     
  19. AllAmer4

    AllAmer4 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2011
    Messages:
    247
    Location:
    Arlington, VA
    Jay,

    That's a great point and the one I'm trying to make. Increase the membership benefits so people have a reason to join. Otherwise, we can't expect anyone to make the commitment.

    I've included the second part of this article. Next week I'll detail each item and explain how they can be accomplished.

    Dean
     
  20. Joe Potosky

    Joe Potosky Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    5,481
    What about the people who have joined a club (member run)!

    When was the last time anyone here even helped load a house or picked up empty hulls at the end of the day?

    Can't be many as on my visits to various clubs its always the same handful doing all the work.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.