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Bob Haases Another Can Of Worms

The Benefits of Joining a Club

I am webmaster for a number of fishing and sportsman’s clubs and I just finished updating all the information for each of the 24 musky clubs that are part of the Musky Clubs Alliance of Wisconsin. What I noticed is that the membership of every club has gone down again this year.  Some of the clubs that had 250 to 400 members are now below 175.  One club just folded because of the loss of membership.

It is not just musky clubs, but it seems like all clubs whether they are a community service organization, a fishing club, or a photography club they are all having problems recruiting and retaining members.  I don’t think that most people, especially our younger generation realizes how important joining and becoming active in a club is.

When we were younger we were joining clubs such as Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and even the Mickey Mouse Club.  Today even the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts are having problems recruiting members.  The kids are not joining clubs like we did and as they get older it is evident that they do not understand the benefits of joining a club.

Social media such as Facebook is taking the place of clubs for social interaction, but it is not the same.  Clubs were and still are an important part of what makes this country great. Clubs like Kiwanis, Optimists, and other clubs like this not only provide a source of social interaction, they also raise funds and volunteer help for many important projects and activities within a community. 

Our habitat, environment, fisheries, and wildlife are the beneficiary of the work sportsman’s clubs do, but the members themselves benefit as well.  They meet new friends and participate in various activities that helps them learn about new products and techniques for hunting and fishing.

I don’t believe that our country outgrew the need for clubs like this or the good that they accomplish.  I think the problem is that many people don’t understand how important these clubs are to our society, workplace, and the individuals that join them.  With so many broken families, clubs can provide another outlet that cannot take the place of a family, but can provide a place to meet friends.  The structure of a club with the officers, board of directors, and use of Roberts Rules of Order can help build people skills that can carry over into the workplace. 

 I think we need to do more to promote clubs and the work they do and encourage people to join them.  I think we need to encourage kids to join clubs and set the example by joining clubs ourselves.  I think we also need to get away from that attitude of “what’s in it for me!” and start asking what can we accomplish by working together.  Give it a try!  Find a club that you think you might be interested in, attend a meeting, and when you find the one you like join it!  Make 2015 the year that you help yourself and our country by joining a club.

Bob Haase is the host of “Outdoors Thursday” heard Thursday mornings at 9:10 a.m. on News-Talk 1450 KFIZ.