Author Topic: How do clubs need to respond in modern ‘Web’ era?  (Read 1668 times)

Offline simon

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How do clubs need to respond in modern ‘Web’ era?
« on: August 09, 2019, 10:26:41 AM »
Just a bit thoughtful at the moment - I used to be a member of two clubs and have not attended / renewed for a number of years and was trying to understand for myself why.

I think one of the big draws used to be the ‘tuition’ / sharing that came from having a demonstrator visit to go through a project or skill set.  This really made up 80-90% of the evening so was the ‘reason to go’.

So, what’s happened?  Two things:
1) My turning has got (a little) better so some of the questions covered by general audience demos (as distinct from 1:1 tuition), I now know.

2) YouTube and other platforms have really developed and whilst there is both rubbish and gold available, it is easily available and instant to watch a demo on power carving, texturing, skew basics etc, very often from internationally renowned turners, not just Barry Bodge in his garage.

So, what do clubs need to do to attract the next (current!) generation of turners that consume information / knowledge in a very different way and perhaps challenge some of the raison d'etre clubs are currently founded upon?

Thoughts. .......

Simon

Offline dr4g0nfly

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Re: How do clubs need to respond in modern ‘Web’ era?
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2019, 11:52:26 AM »
Simon,

you pose a good question and I think that some of the answers are more obscure than going to watch a demonstrator for the evening.

There is a growing movement for the 'Men's Sheds Association', this started in Australia, and came to us via Ireland. It offers a place for men (although I believe not exclusively) to go and continue to use their knowledge of a lifetime. There they can help others learn a new skill, help others repair something (also branching out as Repair Cafe's), or just make something. Not only in wood, but metal and electronics and all the other engineering skills they have.

Our Woodturning Night are an older but probably just another aspect of this sort of organisation.

It has been noted that once a man retires, he tends to lose contact with many of his work colleagues, and his social circle becomes worryingly small, it enables them to have a more active social like, meet new people and pass on their skills.

I'll also add that it has saved lives, I can name at least 2 people I know that are still with us because it was noticed by someone at the club that they were 'ill' (for want of a better word), and a visit to the doctor was advised. I also believe this is a recognised benefit of these sorts of organisation in Australia.

How we draw in the next generation, that is a whole different question. Again our sort of clubs are for the older person, there are younger members but these are generally a rarity. As people get to the point in their life when they are looking to take up a hobby and decide on (or to try) woodturning, we need to find them and introduce them to the club system. How we do that is harder. We have tried advertising, flyers on car windscreens, public demonstrations etc., but even then the club numbers only are fairly stable. As we lose one we gain one.

I do teach some young people the skills as part of their DoE award scheme, knowing that they will walk away but hopeful that a few will return to it in the future when they need a hobby. One does come to a club with me and is a junior member of the AWGB. I also understand that some of his classmates are a little jealous of the things he sometimes take into school to show off as a 'Look what I've made now'.


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Offline Les Symonds

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Re: How do clubs need to respond in modern ‘Web’ era?
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2019, 01:19:16 PM »
You have broached a subject which causes much concern in clubs throughout the country and you rightly mention the deleterious effect of social media
and Bryan touches on a number of very valid points.

In general, the club has to be welcoming and friendly, and that's especially down to the personal properties of the people on the committee, but also down to the existing members as a whole. The club needs features that cannot be found elsewhere, such as club competitions, a display of members work at each meeting, with a good critique from a senior member, a mentoring scheme and hands-on days/evenings where new members can be guided, a club raffle every meeting, a club library of tools, books and DVDs, also, attending local events and encouraging new and established members to participate. These are all features which may make little difference when taken in isolation, but which collectively serve to give a good impression....make the meetings enjoyable and there's a better chance of keeping both new and established members.

Les
Education is important, but wood turning is importanter.

Offline John D Smith

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Re: How do clubs need to respond in modern ‘Web’ era?
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2019, 03:34:45 PM »

 Hi Simon,
               One thing I would like to say is if you have some great ideas that would enhance the Club evenings don't walk away get involved and put your ideas forward Clubs need new blood to get involved but unfortunately every one seems reluctant to come forward but stay in the background and just moan and believe me I have experience of this I have been a Secretary & Treasurer of a Club for 22 years and several times I have said I am standing down but no one out of a club of 60 Members volunteers but this year I am walking away from Committee duties also we have young members but do not forget they have collage,work & other studies they have to do for their future. So come on go back to the clubs and put your ideas forward.
                      Regards John   
John Smith

Offline simon

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Re: How do clubs need to respond in modern ‘Web’ era?
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2019, 03:52:12 PM »

 Hi Simon,
               One thing I would like to say is if you have some great ideas that would enhance the Club evenings don't walk away get involved and put your ideas forward Clubs need new blood to get involved but unfortunately every one seems reluctant to come forward but stay in the background and just moan and believe me I have experience of this I have been a Secretary & Treasurer of a Club for 22 years and several times I have said I am standing down but no one out of a club of 60 Members volunteers but this year I am walking away from Committee duties also we have young members but do not forget they have collage,work & other studies they have to do for their future. So come on go back to the clubs and put your ideas forward.
                      Regards John   

John,

It’s not lack of engagement I’m getting at with this post (although as vice-chair of the club I was a member at I feel your pain re apathetic succession). 

I was really trying to elicit thoughts / ideas / views on how clubs need to evolve / develop going forward.

Simon

Offline The Bowler Hatted Turner

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Re: How do clubs need to respond in modern ‘Web’ era?
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2019, 04:26:54 PM »
I am not sure that the clubs need to evolve I think it is more that the members have to get more involved. I have demonstrated at many clubs around the country and they all have the same problem. It is always the same little group that put their names forward and participate. We tried to have Saturday sessions but someone said they go shopping on a Saturday, but these people are retired!! go shopping on Fridays for crying out loud.
I used to be heavily involved with one of the cadet organisations, as a boy I was always eager to take part in whatever was being organised but these days the kids have so much school work to do they do not have time for extra curricular activities and the parents would just use it as a child minding service most of the time. People that join clubs can be categorised into 2 groups, those that do and help out and those that just attend and do nothing. In the clubs I visit there are always those that are keen to leave at the end and can't be bothered to even put their own chair away, to my mind that is plain rude. The best clubs that I have been to have a vibrant committee and all the members participate and they are eager to help other members. The young people that do attend are treated the same as other club members, after all they are only the same but younger. There is no patronisation and certainly there are no sexist comments made. Basically everyone behaves the way sensible adults should. They are helpful, kind and polite.

Offline John Plater

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Re: How do clubs need to respond in modern ‘Web’ era?
« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2019, 06:58:47 PM »
A real can o’ worms this one. There are lots of ways of looking at it but fundamentally a club is a coming together of like minded people. If the club is not offering whatever it is that the individual or group of members wants from it then they walk. So be it. The people who volunteer their time and effort to help run things do so for their own reasons. For many it is an extension of their interest in woodturning activity. If they don’t like the way things are then they should either change them or leave. For the vast majority it is a leisure activity and as such should not be creating grief. Time is far too short.
I once stuck my head above the parapet, got dropped on from great height and said never again. It was giving too much grief and not what I thought I had signed up for. So, I am a happy footsoldier, working behind the scenes and offering support where I am able and when I am able. I am quite comfortable to let others get on with what interests them and will join in if it suits me too. I attend and support a very good club for reasons of “infotainment”, being sociable and “putting something back”. I don’t NEED to but CHOOSE to.
I have seen first hand the “coming together of like minded people” through the digital media in a number of instances. It seemed to work for them and I got the feeling that it involved by and large a younger demograph. I hope that there is enough opportunity for anyone to pursue their interest as woodturning continues to evolve. It might be through digital media, printed media, or meetings with others. There is no one single correct answer, hopefully there is room for many.
ATB John
If I had a better lathe, I would be able to show my ineptitude more effectively.

Offline Wood spinner

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Re: How do clubs need to respond in modern ‘Web’ era?
« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2019, 07:54:01 PM »
My personal opinion is as follows

Woodturning is a dying art and may be gone in 25 years time

We are not getting school age people showing interest in any great numbers , mainly down to the government removing hands on activities from schools .
I have belonged to several clubs 99% retired men,
I was at the Chestnut woodturning weekend , same at the show , I did not see one 15 - 30 year old on either day .

If you find a youngster and concider mentoring you then fall foul of the Pedo bergade , Would anyone these day risk a one on one with a youngster at home teaching wood related hobbies , I would need to think long and hard as your joy and help could turn to hell very easy, as said school work / home work / social media / Fortnight gaming etc all come way above woodturning

I see this as such a shame as working with wood is stress relieving for me , design opportunitys ,creating ,  starting with a chunk of wood and ending up with something that looks and feels good gives great pleasure

We need to find a way of bringing on the next generation or Doom  :(
What can I muller this time ?

Offline GBF

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Re: How do clubs need to respond in modern ‘Web’ era?
« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2019, 09:01:58 PM »
Hi Wood Spinner you are a cheerful soul aren't you .
Joking aside I agree with everything you say as Chairman of our local club we tried to get youngsters interested in turning .
We Emailed the local Scouts Sea Scouts and I went to the local secondary School all to no avail.The School would not let me talk to the woodwork Teacher but gave me his Email.I Emailed him with an offer to go to the School and talk to the young people or to do a demo for them no reply.
The same with the scouts and Sea scouts neither replied to Emails.
Maybe they could not be bothered to tell the kids we will never know.

I dont agree that Woodturning will die out because as long as older people take it up it will survive .

Regards George
The man that never made a mistake never made anything

Offline bodrighywood

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Re: How do clubs need to respond in modern ‘Web’ era?
« Reply #9 on: August 09, 2019, 10:53:20 PM »
Woodturning is, but shouldn't be, the prerogativ e of tghe elderly by amnd large. We did a sort of census at outr club out of curiosity anmd a surprising number of people didn't turn, some didn't have a lathe and about 90% were over retirement age or approaching it. Part of the problem is that young people are actively discouraged in schools and colleges from being involved in practical things and told to focus on academic ones.  Parents have a responsibility to encourage their children to be creative, schools are by amnd large dictated to zand can't do much but we who belong to clubs also need to try to have an atmosphere that doesn't smack of an old folks club for younf people to come to and not feel lost in.
Just spent the day with a lady who came for tuition and asked fif her 17 year old daughter could join us, that is a rarity and was fantastic to see the grin on both their faces at the end of the day with the pieces they had made.
As far as woodturning ebing a dying art, kit is actually flourishing. When I first started in the 60's it was simply seen as part of 'carpentry' or general wood work. It has since developed into more of an art form and hopefully will continue to do so.
Pete
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Offline Paul Hannaby

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Re: How do clubs need to respond in modern ‘Web’ era?
« Reply #10 on: August 09, 2019, 11:07:08 PM »
I think the first thing clubs need to do is to consider the needs of the people they are trying to attract. Some seem to ignore that and just run things for their own needs. For example, if you want to attract either youngsters or working people, you need to have meeting times either in the evening or at weekends. The clubs also need to consider why people come to the club. Not long back I was talking to someone new to turning and I suggested they found their local club. The response was that they visited the local club and asked about some tuition and guidance, to be told "it wasn't that sort of club"! Perhaps more clubs should have a training / mentoring programme to encourage and support newcomers.

Offline Dave Wraight

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Re: How do clubs need to respond in modern ‘Web’ era?
« Reply #11 on: August 10, 2019, 06:40:00 AM »
As chairman of my local club(first year nearly over and one more year to go) I set out to try to make a difference, we don't go in for club competitions but actively encourage members to 'show and tell'. The most recent evening was Chairman's challenge - earlier in the year I had carefully wrapped 40+ smallish pieces of wood gleaned from my own workshop and woodpile and raffled them off(no charge). the task was to either produce an item from the wood or incorporate it into something else. Our members really rose to the challenge after some friendly jibes about pieces of wood only suitable for matches(among many others). We had boxes and finials, lamps and xmas decorations, egg cups and eggs, fruit and bowls to put it in. This one task had fired the imagination of so many members. Being August many members were on holiday so I am hoping for more pieces when we meet in September. This is something you do not get on the web - the sharing of ideas and practical solutions.

Two of our members stand out from the evening - one being a young lady (only a year into turning) who ended up with a log from the woodpile - two carefully crafted items - egg and egg cup which she stood up and carefully described how she had turned and finished. The other was a older man who  has belonged to the club for many years - he now has dementia but he had accepted the challenge and turned a small box with lid on his home made lathe based now on a Makita drill(the original B and D drill has been consigned to the bin! These two among others would not have an outlet for their work or ideas without the club - yes You Tube has its place as do various online groups but nothing compares to standing up amongst your peers and talking about your work.

Offline willstewart

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Re: How do clubs need to respond in modern ‘Web’ era?
« Reply #12 on: August 10, 2019, 05:30:11 PM »
One thought - my club has started a competition once a month for a defined just-made item (bud case, decorated plate etc.) with a bottle as a prize.  I am amazed by the number and quality of entries, and it is great discussing pieces with makers.  We already have an 'items made since last meeting' table but the competition has livened this up. We should maybe put pictures of pieces on the website.

Offline John D Smith

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Re: How do clubs need to respond in modern ‘Web’ era?
« Reply #13 on: August 10, 2019, 08:06:11 PM »

 Thank you Simon I do understand where you are coming from at the moment we have 4 young members under 16 and 5 lady members these are good members with regard to the youngsters as I said previous they move on not always because of lack of interest other challenges come along in their academic careers.
                                                                Regards John
 
 
John Smith

Offline GBF

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Re: How do clubs need to respond in modern ‘Web’ era?
« Reply #14 on: August 10, 2019, 08:47:13 PM »

 Thank you Simon I do understand where you are coming from at the moment we have 4 young members under 16 and 5 lady members these are good members with regard to the youngsters as I said previous they move on not always because of lack of interest other challenges come along in their academic careers.
                                                                Regards John
 
 

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