At the March 2022 meeting of the AUXCOMM Work Group, one of the topics was a brainstorming session on ways to recruit amateurs into the hobby and into volunteer service in AUXCOMM. Following are the ideas, in no particular order.
Note that not all these ideas are not tested, and a key rule in gathering ideas is that all ideas are welcome.
Ideas for recruiting more members to the hobby:
- Lions Club example—give new members something to do. Find out what they like and don’t like. Keep them interested. Problem is retaining the folks that join. Don’t overburden them with a bunch of training right off the bat. Give them a purpose and incentive to grow. They start putting word out.
- Holland Radio Club—with every new person, everyone is to go out to greet them and make them feel welcome. Find out what piques their interest—gives them the incentive to grow.
- Offer emergency managers (EM) a “Ham in a Day” workshop.
- Give them something to do, make them feel welcome with personal development. Provide recognition and awards.
- CERT Teams like to do training during the year. Work with EMs—what is amateur radio and why does it matter.
- EMs have to do 3 exercises per year. Have them shadow or help with the exercise.
- Find 10 ham radio operators that are 18 years of age or younger and ask them what creates interest
- Tap into community colleges, technical institutions and try to recruit from there.
- Embrace the newer technology—this may be more interesting to the younger generations.
- Go to where the people are, don’t expect them to come to us. Embrace newer technologies/social media to share what is going on. Need to have a plan. Be a communicator.
- Announcement in homeroom class, classes about electronics for free. Promote the local radio club. Reach out to kids in environments they are already in.
- Midland Amateur Radio Club—get involved in school STEM club. Launch weather balloons. Teach about electronics and radio by building devices to sense temperature, send location data etc. to carry as payload in the weather balloons.
- October—at Boyne Falls, the Boy Scouts come up and do a class every year. Many have gone on to get ham license.
- Get with public safety agencies—see if they have public events. Set up a booth at conferences.
- Leaders must be flexible. Check ego at the door. Don’t shoot ideas down. Let them try it and take leadership in new ideas.
- Be more active seeking out planned events. Establish an identity for the group so people can easily recognize this.
Have you tried one or more of these? What works for you? Share your thoughts in the comments area.