The March 10th opinion by Mr. Michael Turrini did not clearly specify the cause of the Napa Valley California Coin Club’s demise.
To put it bluntly, the club disbanded when it was no longer an enjoyable enterprise.
When a club is fun, people attend meetings and more people join. In its heyday, Napa had many members and was a fun club.
What makes a club enjoyable? Auctions, raffles, bourse nights, displays, show and tell, educational talks, contests, games, and – most importantly – friendships.
What adverse events lead to a club’s demise?
Overly talkative control freaks cause folks to quit.
Long business meetings dwell at length on every boring subject, such as arguments over Robert’s Rules of Order or spending $10 to buy stamps.
Petty arguments between members consume the whole club.
Members who vent or criticize bring down a club.
Programs that are too long bore people.
Leaders make members feel guilty for “not doing enough”.
Harping about raffle ticket sales annoys folks.
Individuals invent make-work projects, expecting others to do their bidding.
All these are examples and perhaps readers can think of others.
Every club has elements of positive and negative. Whether a club thrives or goes extinct depends on the skill of the leadership in promoting the positive and minimizing the negative.
When club members start saying “this isn’t fun,” good leadership changes direction.
I don’t subscribe to the notion that every club member has to work, work, work or give, give, give for the good of the club.
In a club, people volunteer. They do what they can to enjoy the hobby with their friends.
People do more in a club that is fun and quit those where enjoyment is inadequate.
Bruce R. Frohman is a hobbyist from Modesto, Calif.
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