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Old May 12, 2014, 04:20 PM
Vanadu
Heavy Chevy's Avatar
Canada, YT, Whitehorse
Joined Dec 2008
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Help!
Youths joining RC clubs?

Hello all,

I can't find a section for clubs, (to my surprise), so this seems like the most appropriate place to post this thread.

I'm looking for some comments about what your current air or land based official club's policy is on Youths.

My local air club is small and we are looking at facilitating youths to join our club. We have a discounted rate for them in our new Youth policy as well as some other basic rules and guidelines.

Issues that were raised at our last meeting on the subject were when it comes to voting within the club, do youths get to vote? My initial answer was yes, of course they do, but what happens when you have a small club of older experienced guys and then an increase of teens who are keen but may lack the years of experience that is involved with maintaining a club and official RC field. We wouldn't want the Teens to always have the swing vote..... 10 teens to 6 grown ups in a vote could be a bad move for a club.

A question to others guys in bigger RC clubs: how have you guys dealt with the issue of teens and voting within the club?

I appreciate the feedback, thanks
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Old May 12, 2014, 05:06 PM
AndyKunz's Avatar
Illinois
Joined Sep 2001
24,832 Posts
Teens shouldn't be voting unless they're of legal age. In a way, they could be entering into a legally binding contract - don't you normally have to be majority to do that up there? We do here. All the clubs I've ever been in, as well as other organizations, are that way. Some do not allow voting until you've been a member in good standing for at least 12 months.

That said, they sometimes have good ideas, so listen to what they say and then apply the wisdom of age. MAAC probably has some good guidance on this subject; I'm sure you're not the first to ask!

Andy
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Old May 12, 2014, 05:13 PM
Vanadu
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Canada, YT, Whitehorse
Joined Dec 2008
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Thanks for the feedback, much appreciated.
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Old May 12, 2014, 05:27 PM
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United Kingdom, England, Hitchin
Joined Jan 2004
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If you have enough junior members to worry about them swinging votes you are doing very well; here in the UK they are a rarity in the extreme. The new beginner here tends to be in their 40s or 50s, having just packed their kids off to Uni and finally having a bit more time and ús free. I am in 4 clubs of various types (soaring and power), and I doubt the average age is below 50 in any of them.
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Old May 12, 2014, 08:11 PM
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New Zealand, Marlborough, Blenheim
Joined Jun 2012
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My understanding is a club operates with a commitee (President,Secretary, Treasurer and a commitee) elected by club members. Commitee members have the power to make decisions approved by a majority vote of commitee members. In this way if you have a larger number of youths or whoever then unless they also make up the elected members then this would not be an issue. Whilst your club may be small it would still be prudent to have elected members.
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Old May 12, 2014, 08:22 PM
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United States, CA, Sacramento
Joined Aug 2011
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Youngsters are unfortunately a rarity at most clubs. I'd suggest making their membership free if 21 or below.
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Old May 12, 2014, 09:01 PM
buyer of the farm
United States, FL, DeLand
Joined Mar 2009
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I'd suggest giving them jobs to do around the club along with the free membership. Nothing like real responsibility and a willingness to rely on them to let them know they're valuable. More is better and I'd love to be able to require them to join a flying club.

Actually, when youths sign a legally binding contract, the other end is binding. The youth's end is voidable at will. I agree that they shouldn't be voting until legal majority but they should have real responsibility and real privileges.
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Old May 12, 2014, 09:32 PM
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For all of you club-goers out there who want more youths, try not having so many rules. I'm 16 years old and pretty new to this hobby. I looked into joining a club about 15 minutes away from where I live, but was dissuaded from joining by the requirement of one month minimum training with an instructor, different level pilots, by-laws, etc. While I understand that this club in particular does not represent every rc club, I'm just offering a teenager's perspective on one example. Additionally, I understand that expensive models and anarchy don't mix well, but a set of club rules more complicated than tax code is off-putting. I usually fly at a park with a lot of open space so I won't be bothered etc.
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Old May 12, 2014, 10:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shambopyro View Post
For all of you club-goers out there who want more youths, try not having so many rules. I'm 16 years old and pretty new to this hobby..
I was going to mention this in my reply but I'm glad I didn't. It has more impact coming from you. It's one reason I don't fly at clubs around me either, though I'm far from a teenager these days. I have more fun at the park, lake or empty lots. I'm all for safety and getting along together but many club's rules go beyond that. It just starts sucking the fun out of safe, considerate flying.
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Old May 13, 2014, 12:19 AM
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United States, CA, Alpine
Joined Oct 2007
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Generally speaking, having a lot of rules isn't the right way to go about it. There are the basic rules which we all know are vital to the smooth operation of a club that keeps things fun, but nothing extreme. I would say if they can't legally vote at a political voting poll, then they shouldn't be allowed to vote in club policies, but as mentioned that shouldn't mean they can't throw in their ideas on ways to improve certain aspects of your club, or suggestions for future events or renovations. You could also make a policy that if you haven't been a member for a certain period of time (typically 6-12 months) then you can't vote in the club policies, but don't make it seem like they aren't welcome to come to the club meetings and input their ideas.

Having an inexpensive membership is also a great way to let them in- my home club was free until I was 18 at which point I had to pay my full dues, but it got me a lot of stick time at the club and sold me on the environment. Keeping it a relaxed environment is also helpful- every club is going to have that one guy that is always sour about something, so making it a priority to keep the flying environment safe and relaxed is important, it helps improve everybody's attitude. Afteral, why are we even in this hobby in the first place? I sure as hell wouldn't be if it wasn't relaxing. If nobody can vouch for their flying skills, stick them up on the club trainer on a buddy box for a couple of flights to observe their take off, flying, and landing skills- make this a policy for all new members so as not to single anybody out.

It's not hard to get us young whippersnappers out there and flying, you just have to think like one of us
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Old May 13, 2014, 02:11 AM
Vanadu
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Great responses guys, thanks
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Old May 13, 2014, 06:05 AM
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Well about this hobby being relaxing...it is for the most part, until you try balancing an edf, and run it near full throttle in your bedroom
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Old May 13, 2014, 06:50 AM
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All members of a club who pay the regular subscription should have 'equal rights'. If there is a lower 'junior' subscription maybe not.

Don't worry about 'Youths'. They are nothing special or deserving different treatment though they like to think they are.

We've got a 'teen' section in our local library. The books have small words. The human brain is not fully developed until age 25. So the psychologists say.

Voting age? Nothing to do with age, just the 'equal subscription'. Our UK soldiers can get killed at 16 suppressing foreign people but cant vote against who sent them there until they are 18.
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Old May 13, 2014, 07:51 AM
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United States, NY, Syracuse
Joined Oct 2008
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I agree, they are nothing to worry about, and it is definitely not going to ever turn into a situation where they have a majority, kids just aren't that interested anymore... Even if they did, I doubt any of them would want to overthrow the current "administration" to take a seat at the throne. If they are genuinely interested in the hobby, they are going to want to spend all the time they can flying instead of running a club or organizing events or anything of the sort. Having been there myself years ago, I had zero interest in doing anything other than flying, but I did help out at events when the older guys wanted me to. When I started in a club of 40 people, I was one of three pilots under the age of 25... I'd say there might be one interested "youth" for every 10 adults around here, and that's probably generous.

If they pay a membership fee (even reduced) I say let them vote... if you work out a free membership to trade for occasional labor then I don't think they need the right to vote. Either way I don't think any harm will come to your club.
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Old May 13, 2014, 12:37 PM
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We give people under 19 a 50% break on the membership dues, but they're not allowed to vote.

As for rules, well, we have them, largely they come about because of situations that come up, but I think for the most part they tend to follow the AMA rules or are largely what should be common sense. New pilots to our club we do require that they either demonstrate that they're proficient flying or they have to go through our instruction program until our instructors are confident they can fly safely on their own. Quite honestly, we'd rather not have someone come out, crash a couple of planes quickly and get frustrated, and then leave and never come back, because that sure doesn't help grow membership. (And that proficient bar isn't necessarily that high these days at our club, so it's not like it's a huge bar to entry. Used to be a little stricter in what the instructors would require to qualify, but nowadays it's not nearly as formal a process.) In the summers, we have one night a week that the evening is reserved for students.

We do get new teens every now and then, and I'd love to see more, but we do find that it's pretty rare for a teen to stick with it as they go through the distractions of school. I know I tried starting back when I was in high school, and then things got too hectic and college got in the way, and I didn't get back into things until I was around 30. I'd say most new members we get these days tend to be in that 30-40 range (or much older).
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