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Has anyone started their own club?

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johnnyrockets

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Hi, I was wondering, has anyone started their own rocketry club?

I'd like to start my own in the next year, but don't know if it is a good idea. My aim would be sort of a "dads and lads" kind of thing, or "kid and grownup".

I'd like to make it free and aimed towards youth (disadvantaged?). I'd like my children then to help with it and ultimately run it with my oversight.

We live out in the country on 5 acres and can launch Low Power no problem, but there are lots of little towns all around us.

Just pipe dreams at the moment, but would like all of your insights... :confused:


Thanks,


John
 

stickershock23

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It takes some effort to start a NAR or TRA club, but the efforts are well worth it! especially if you get the kids involved. Remember they are the rocketeers that will take our place!

Good luck with it. keep posting here there are many people that can give you better advice than I can
 

artapplewhite

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I've started 2 NAR sections, 1 Tripoli Prefecture and one ARSA chapter.

It's not hard to start a rocket club, all you need is a field, some launch equipment and people to fly with. You don't need to collect monthly dues, have a bunch of club officers or complicated by-laws as long as the club is relatively small and everyone gets along. Some clubs fail because they get bogged down with organizational details that have nothing to do with flying rockets. A set of complicated bylaws is no substitute for basic leadership skills.

If you're willing to accept the increased risk of flying without insurance then you don't have to be affiliated with a national organization. One approach that can provide so protection is to have everyone attending a launch, including spectators, sign a liability waiver.

Don't be discouraged if things don't take off right away and people don't volunteer to help without being asked (repeatedly). That's normal. Don't be afraid to twist a few arms when things need to get done and pass the hat when equipment needs to be bought. Just remember to keep it fun and follow the KISS principle.

If you feel you absolutely can't do a club alone, then NAR is the easiest, quickest and cheapest national rocketry organization to join. It costs $25 a year for Section dues and the paperwork is simple and straightforward. Most of it can be done online. A town or other geographic area can have as many NAR Sections as they want but you must have at least five (5) NAR members to charter an NAR Section. At least one must be a Senior (adult) member but the other 4 can be Junior members.

In your case, there would be no reason to form a Tripoli Prefecture. You're not primarily a high power club and you won't be flying experimental motors. To form a TRA Prefecture it costs $100 a year in Prefecture dues and Headquarters Tripoli is very slow to respond, making the process take months. You also have to have at least 3 Tripoli members, one of which must be Level 2 certified to serve as Prefect. TRA prefectures are established on a geographic basis so it is difficult to get approval if there is already a TRA prefecture nearby.

An often quoted reason for being a part of a national organization is advertizing. From personal experience, I've find this to be vastly overrated. No one, who ever joined any club I had ever been a part of, said they found our club by looking at the NAR or TRA websites.

Art Applewhite
www.artapplewhite.com
 

bobkrech

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John

Whether you form a club affiliated with NAR or not, a good set of guidelines can be found on the NAR website.

http://www.nar.org/sectguide/index.html

Although much of the information pertains to starting a NAR section, the checklist are valuable for any club.

Just a few words of caution.

1.) The NAR Model rocket safety code is the basis of NFPA 1122 which is the nationally recognized model rocket safety code.

http://www.nar.org/NARmrsc.html

While 5 acres sound like a lot of area for a launch site, it's really only suitable for up to C-impulse motors (at most) unless your neighbors don't mind rockets coming down on their property.

2.) You said "I'd like to make it free and aimed towards youth (disadvantaged?). I'd like my children then to help with it and ultimately run it with my oversight."

This is a noble goal, and it's OK if it's your goal, but I'd ask my children first if this is something they really want to do. Running any youth organization, and especially one for disadvantaged youth, is a lot of work. While it can be rewarding, it does require a significant time commitment, that your children may be unable or unwilling to make.

Bob
 

johnnyrockets

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Bob, Art & Sticker,

Thanks a lot!

REALLY good advice that I will take to heart and some items I hadn't thought of! :eyepop:

Really appreciate it!!!



John
 

MarkII

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An often quoted reason for being a part of a national organization is advertizing. From personal experience, I've find this to be vastly overrated. No one, who ever joined any club I had ever been a part of, said they found our club by looking at the NAR or TRA websites.
Actually, that's how I found the club that I belong to (ASTRE).

MarkII
 

Queeg500

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When you say you 'don't know if it will be a good idea' do you mean 'will it be a successful or not?'

Keeping your plan simple and focused is the best way to go, I have found. With no prior organizational experience, I started one unaffiliated club at my church's day school and this is our third year. After a flight demonstration it was obvious my kids really loved rocketry so I said, 'For this one-time fee you get a free kit (that I happily paid for), and a plastic keeper range box, free engines and we will go flying'. Sure, I thought the club officer thing was great at first, but like Art said, that turned out to be unimportant because I found they didn't know when the glue was dry or not. So things were great for the first year until meeting times switched from after school to Saturdays and with that brought a transportation issue. If I didn't offer rides to and from meetings then the club would have folded cuz mom and dad or mom or dad value sleep more on Saturday than getting up at the same time of the weekday and driving Timmy to rocket club. So for year two, I gave rides and waived the dues fee but then I set up a summer fundraiser and if the kids helped out with that then I would give them a free rocket - value $20. If you want your club to be a success then I'd say don't get distracted by the glory but keep it simple, identify the barriers, figure out how to meet them and go from there.

Get them building. Take it for granted nobody knows you have to build these rockets from a kit - even if you tell them at a flight demo kids will not know what that means so I say the first year goal should be about building. They don't realize they can build but they CAN build something that will fly fast and high. Cool! Then the next level will be repairing - because accidents happen and if they can build then they can repair. Build, repair, modify, design. That's a good three year plan right there. Good luck!
 
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MarkII

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Wow, terrific information, Queeg500! I'm not the OP, but I just learned a bunch.

MarkII
 

johnnyrockets

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Queeg500,

Excellent info!

Thanks a lot!


You really provided a lot of insight to what a "real" club is run like.


I have to ponder this some more. ;)


John
 

JRThro

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artapplewhite said:
An often quoted reason for being a part of a national organization is advertizing. From personal experience, I've find this to be vastly overrated. No one, who ever joined any club I had ever been a part of, said they found our club by looking at the NAR or TRA websites.
Actually, that's how I found the club that I belong to (ASTRE).

MarkII
The NAR website is also how I found the club I have belonged to for several years now.

(Granted, the Challenger Rocket Club, NAR Section 498, is not one of the sections that Art helped to start up.)
 

artapplewhite

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The NAR website is also how I found the club I have belonged to for several years now.

(Granted, the Challenger Rocket Club, NAR Section 498, is not one of the sections that Art helped to start up.)

I am very glad the club is doing well, especially with its "new" flying field at the Robert's Ranch. The Challenger498 Rocketry Club has been around in various forms for a while and has had some periods of inactivity. I will trust David Montgomery to give you a more complete and unbiased "ancient history" of the club. John Pursley might also know something about it. Here is a copy of the Challenger498 website from 2001 when John was the Senior Advisor.


I helped the club reestablish itself in 2003 and 2004. I attended several club launches at Paul D. Rushing Park in Katy, including competing in a NAR Regional meet there. I set up a website for the club and maintained it for a couple of years. During the past 6 years I've had links to the various Challenger498 official websites on the Clubs page of my website since 2003. I also advertise the Challenger 498's monthly launches on my Launches page.

Further proof of my involvement with the club can be seen in my messages to the Challenger 498 Yahoo group starting with message#19 dated Jan 9, 2004. Message #558 is typical of the type of conflict that can arise in a club when it goes beyond model rockets.

I'm not trying to discourage anyone, but there's a lesson here for those who pour their heart and soul into a club. Clubs have very short memories. Don't expect much gratitude or even credit for the things you do. Do it for the fun of it and when it stops being fun, look for something else.

Art Applewhite
www.artapplewhite.com
 

MarkII

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I'm not trying to discourage anyone, but there's a lesson here for those who pour their heart and soul into a club. Clubs have very short memories. Don't expect much gratitude or even credit for the things you do. Do it for the fun of it and when it stops being fun, look for something else.

Art Applewhite
www.artapplewhite.com
This goes along with what Queeg500 said, which was that running a club is not about being a hero or a big shot, but simply about getting stuff done, and trying to keep people involved. I thought seriously about starting a club in my area when I restarted my hobby a few years ago, but then realized that I had never even been in a club, let alone run one. (I had never launched rockets with more than one other person.) So I decided to join the club down in Albany to gain some experience and to see how it was done. Due to the distance, I'm not able to be as involved in it as I would like to be, but I'm learning things bit by bit. I don't know if I will ever start a club up here (maybe someday) but I'm enjoying the experience.

Probably the most significant activity that I have ever participated in with my club, and the one that has had the most meaning for me, was going on a group day trip with five other club members to NARCON 2009 last March. I absolutely never would have done that if I hadn't been a member of my club. Rocketry clubs can do much more than just build and fly rockets together.

MarkII
 

Blakkzakk

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I'm trying to put a club together in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas. Anyone who is interested, please contact me.

Thank you,

Zakk
 

luke strawwalker

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As a landowner who provides his farm for two local clubs, as well as flying rockets myself, I have kind of a unique perspective. This ain't exactly my first rodeo so I'll give you a bit of advice, for what it's worth.

-- 5 acres isn't much land... what is the surrounding area like?? Surrounded by tall trees, impenetrable brush, or houses on ever side, busy highways, power lines, etc?? This is something that needs to be looked at objectively. We launch off a 22 acre southeast pasture 1/8 by 1/4 mile in size, NO trees, with 3 more identical pastures adjoining it-- over the fence is Dad's cousin's farm which is rented to a fellow who grows cotton and sorghum crops. More than a few rockets land over there, and some have even landed up to a half-mile to the south, past some houses into fields and trees on the other side of the creek south of the farm. Have you flown rockets there before a lot?? What are the prevailing winds like at various times of the year? Are the neighbors cool with any wayward rockets, or are they anal PITA's who are going to flip and cause no end of problems, legal challenges, etc.?? Is it a safe location for a group of kids, fairly loosely managed (assuming you don't have other ADULTS to help monitor them-- and when you say you hope your kids will run it with minimal supervision by you, this is a somewhat precarious proposition for reasons I'll get to in a minute-- it can be done, but it's difficult).

-- The KISS principle REALLY applies... Keep It Simple, Stupid!... I've seen a local club implode from having certain individual "personalities" take over and run the club strictly to their own tastes and interests and not according to the wishes and needs of the club membership, and other "personalities" take over and beat club officers over the head with minute points in the bylaws and run off the folks who were actually doing the day-to-day work of making the club functional while they contributed NOTHING to the club other than stirring up trouble... People are people, and sometimes PEOPLE SUCK! Realize that and know who you can depend on, who you can't, who's a blowhard, braggart, liar, or troublemaker, and realize you'll have to run the club IN SPITE of them not because of them. This problem became SO severe it caused basically everyone actually flying rockets to leave the old club that imploded and form a NEW club, adhering to the KISS principle and operated by some experienced folks who've been around and were doing the actual legwork to keep the old club running, along with the membership who were actually interested in flying rockets, leaving the old club as basically an empty shell that seems to be merely a debating society at this point. The more complex the club structure, the more likely this sort of thing seems to get... My advice-- KISS!

-- You're going to need someone to do the 'day to day' legwork to actually keep the club running-- someone to set up launch days, haul and store equipment, and ride herd over the launches and ensure things are being done safely, ESPECIALLY as a landowner because you're the liable party. A property liability policy isn't a bad idea, because accidents happen. It doesn't have to be a HUGE deal-- if you want to start the club with a "misfire alley" system (where basically folks use their own launch pads and launch controllers) the equipment requirements are very minimal, which also means less transport and storage to deal with. You'll need a good fire extinguisher (for safety) and depending on the size of your group, some way of making yourself heard by everyone (bullhorn, PA, whatever). You'll have to "recruit" some help from other responsible people, be they adults or kids, and someone you can RELY on to actually help. It's a bummer when the same folks end up having to do ALL the organizing and preparation for launches, haul everything to the launch site, set it all up, conduct and oversee the launch, tear everything down, load it all up, clean up the field, and lug everything back into storage when it's all said and done... in addition to doing the "paperwork" with NAR (if you form an affiliated section for the insurance) and doing other club work (meetings if you have them, build clinics, contacting neighbors or advertising the club, etc.) BUT, as mentioned previously, you have to get folks who are RELIABLE, that you can COUNT ON, and who will work WITH you not AGAINST you... not that disagreement or debate NEVER happens, of course, but who can disagree on a logical and sound basis and have a disagreement without temper tantrums, personal attacks, with wild implausible ideas, and other such juvenile crap...

More to come... OL JR :)
 
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luke strawwalker

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Continued...

-- There has to be some organizational responsibility-- someone who's "in charge"... otherwise "NO one's in charge". As the landowner, ultimately you're responsible for what takes place on your property. If your club is going to be organized around kids, they can certainly be recruited to do a lot of the legwork things (with proper oversight and supervision to make sure it gets done and done correctly) but there will still need to be an "over-arching authority" who has the "last word" on things, who says what goes and what doesn't. This is especially important at launches, because kids can get some pretty wacky ideas, like flying mice or varmits, flying "warheads" or other unsafe schemes, climbing trees or power lines to retrieve their favorite rocket after a wayward landing, running like the football team downrange going after a pass to retrieve a rocket coming down under parachute, tilting the pads or launch rods over at obscene angles trying to "hit targets", fly rockets they designed which would be completely unstable, dangerous, etc... As a landowner and club organizer, you'll need to have a GENERAL UNDERSTANDING and UNCONDITIONAL ACCEPTANCE that YOU, as a responsible adult, have the FINAL say-so on what goes on during a launch on YOUR property. Anyone who cannot abide by that simple rule SHOULD LEAVE. Be unambiguous on this point. Realize that, especially with kids, who get easily enthused, come up with some wild ideas, and often don't know the ins and outs of why things work, why they don't, why some things are a terrible idea, dangerous, or whatever, you're GOING to have some of this sort of thing crop up from time to time. Realize that you, as the ultimately responsible party, WILL have to play the "bad guy" once in awhile and reign in or pull the plug on such activities before they happen. It's not easy and not pleasant, but NECESSARY for everyone's safety as well as your own. When folks relent on things they KNOW aren't a good idea, is usually when something pops up to bite you in the butt... For instance, a club in north Texas didn't allow sparky motors to be flown on their field, but a group of students who had been TOLD NOT to buy/use sparky motors for their contest launches, ignored the advice of their rocketry mentor, and bought ALL sparky motors for their launches. They arrived at this N. Texas field to conduct a certified contest launch attempt for official points, after driving several hours and a couple hundred miles, with their field-prohibited sparky motor, and then wheedled and begged to be allowed to launch, despite the ban on sparkies on this field, and the organizers relented over their better judgment, since it was the last opportunity before the deadline for them to launch (they required a waivered launch due to size/power of the rocket). They flew their sparky, started a grass fire that burned off a good portion of the pasture, which was bad enough, BUT the fire very nearly incinerated a neighbor's standing dry wheat field that was almost ready to be harvested... had the fire not been stopped at the last moment by the fire department, it would have razed the neighbor's entire wheat field and burned several hundred thousand dollars in standing grain! The neighbors got together and approached the landowner and the club lost their field... and the kids who did it learned NOTHING, because they went on to the contest in Alabama where they were AGAIN told sparky motors weren't allowed, and wheedled and begged their way into being allowed to do it AGAIN (thankfully this time with no fire). The BEST lesson they could have learned was FOLLOW THE RULES OR GO HOME! It's not easy saying "NO, you can't fly that" when some kid comes up with some weird amalgamation of tubes and parts with no fins in the back and big fins up front and wants to fly it, that's CLEARLY unstable and will part someone's hair if it flies, especially when they're SO proud of their creation, but they have to be made to understand WHY certain things work and others don't, and WHY it's not a good idea, unsafe, or dangerous. That's where the responsible adult, the "ultimate authority" comes in. YOU have to know why things work and why they don't, what's safe, unsafe, what will hold together and what won't (you glued your fins on with HOT GLUE?? :eek:) and why... You need a good solid foundation in the "how's and why's" of rocketry-- you don't have to be an 'expert' but you DO need a good foundation. There are Range Safety Officer training programs and such, but basically they just augment having a good solid foundation in the how's and why's of rocketry-- they don't replace it.

-- There is an "all kids" run club-- Blue Mountain Rocketeers (hope I got the name right, going from memory here). They elect their own officers, the officers organize and run the launches and other club activities, and they operate under a system that maintains discipline and "reigns in" the wilder impulses kids can often have. They have oversight from an adult(s) who ENSURE that everything is done right and safely, and that the "authority" of the student officers is respected and obeyed by the other kids that fly with the club... Kids don't often respect the decisions of other kids put in authority over them-- they see them as peers, not as having authority or greater knowledge or responsibility, ESPECIALLY in a "loose knit" group. This is where a knowledgeable ADULT advisor is PARTICULARLY important-- to back up the good decisionmaking of his responsible student officers, and to ENSURE that his student officers ARE well informed and making good decisions and not caving in to peer pressures or their own lack of knowledge or kid desires of wanting to "see something cool" despite it being unsafe. It CAN be done, but it requires DISCIPLINE and an understanding and agreement by ALL INVOLVED to abide by certain rules and authority... and anyone who can't agree to do that should move on...

-- From what you described, this would be a rather "loose knit" group, and so a 'misfire alley' launch system would probably be chaotic and unsafe... kids don't like "waiting" for authority to launch-- if they have their rocket on the pad, with their key in one hand and their launch controller in the other, it's a MIGHTY BIG temptation to launch when THEY want to, regardless of whether it's safe to do so or not... (small plane overhead, kids running out to the launch pad, unapproved/unsafe/unstable rockets, warheads or "target launches" or other weird unsafe stuff). Fortunately, setting up a centralized launch system doesn't HAVE to be expensive and difficult. A central launch pad with several launch rods can be constructed from PVC pipe, folding sawhorses, etc. quite easily (there are plans online) and a centralized launch control station CAN be as simple as having LABELED CONTROLLERS (with the pad or launch rod number CLEARLY WRITTEN on a piece of tape on the controller and ALSO on the launch leads out by the pad a few inches below the microclips, attached to the wires, with the matching number of the launch rod labeled on the pad itself prominently below the rod. So long as these controllers are REQUIRED to remain on the launch table, overseen by the "RSO" (responsible launch control person, IE YOU most likely) who will ensure that the keys are out of the controllers and the rockets have been inspected and approved for flight (safety-wise-- there are checklists for RSO's posted online that can be followed) and everything is maintained in a safe condition while the kids load their rockets on the rods/pad, and then ensure that everything is safe for launch (no low-flying planes over the site, everyone is back behind the launch control table, rods all within 30 degrees of vertical, etc.) then the kids can even launch their own rocket using the appropriate controller, under the supervision of the launch officer, at the appropriate time. Multipad "club" controllers CAN be built or bought, but they aren't necessary right away... they're "nice haves" once the club is successful and likely to continue.

These are the main things that I'd suggest you take a look at. Realize if you're dealing with "disadvantaged" kids you're probably going to have to offer a lot of help and financial support-- often these kids don't have money for rockets, motors, supplies, etc... they often have no support or interest from their parent(s) and may well depend on you for transportation to/from rocket club activities. They'll also probably rely on you for eats while they're in your charge... (heck a lot of this applies even if they're NOT "disadvantaged"! Some parents are just in their own world and don't do much of anything for thier kids!) Be prepared for this and the financial and time burden it imposes, and the responsibility (liability) it also puts on your shoulders... that's why I'd suggest a GOOD core support group of other responsible, willing, and able ADULTS to help you... even if it's only one or two additional people... You can handle 5-6 kids or so by yourself all right, but when it gets to be more than this, you're GOING to need help.

Good luck and keep sharing your ideas! We'll all help where we can!

Later! OL JR :)
 
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luke strawwalker

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I'd highly suggest that as a "hardcore newbie" (according to your avatar title) that you order a copy of "The Handbook of Model Rocketry" by G. Harry Stine and Bill Stine. It's available from NARTS (NAR Technical Service) at nar.org, or from other online book retailers (but of course a purchase from NARTS helps the NAR organization).

There's a chapter in there called "Clubs and Contests" that really outlines all the details that often crop up when forming clubs, how to operate them, launches and organizing them, conducting rocket contests, etc... Just answers a LOT of questions and maybe even asks a few that we haven't thought of...

I think it'd REALLY help you out here... plus the rest of the book is considered the "bible" of model rocketry, with all the why's and how's of rocketry from basic construction, design, stability and shapes, recovery, payloads, etc... every facet of rocketry is pretty much covered in the Handbook...

Good luck and happy reading! OL JR :)
 

artapplewhite

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I'm trying to put a club together in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas. Anyone who is interested, please contact me.

Thank you,

Zakk
I'm the Senior Advisor for the Alamo Rocketeers, NAR #661. We've been hosting regular monthly launches in the San Antonio area. If we can help you organize a club let me know.

There was once a NAR club in your area run by Randy Ashley but it's been inactive for some time.

Art Applewhite
NAR 80632, L2
(830)896-6331
 

JStarStar

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NAR Section affiliation is a real good idea for insurance reasons.

In addition, it is a big selling point to parents to say you are going to adhere (and actually do it) to an established set of safety regulations (the NARSC) to assure them you're not just a bunch of kids setting stuff on fire and blowing stuff up.

Encouraging participation by both kids and parents is a good idea too -- parents are much more likely to support activities if they have an active part in it as well. (Don't say "dads and lads," you want the doors kept open to girls and moms too.)

Not to mention the parents hold the debit cards (in the olden days we used to say "purse strings") and the car keys so anything the club does that involves spending any money will have to go through them, too.

Also while making the club accessible to disadvantaged kids is a great idea (and unless and until the club really gets going great guns I would try to keep any financial obligations very minimal), I would not pitch it strictly as such -- you want kids of all financial levels, even well-off ones, to feel welcome.

Luke Strawwalker's advice is real good -- check out the Handbook chapters on club formation.

You may want to start on a very informal basis -- set up a launch with your own kids and some of their friends (and parents too). Bring enough RTF rockets and extra motors so the friends can each launch one -- and take it home if they want to. If they actually have a rocket in the house, it keeps the subject on their minds.

Plus a few unbuilt kits to show everyone and say, "it just takes a couple hours to put them together." If there are ANY retailers in your area -- hobby shops, HLs, etc etc, tell them where they can get kits.

Then say, "hey, do you want to do this again?" Set a target date (don't just leave it at 'we'll try it again some day'), swap phone numbers and email addresses and you could be on your way.

At the second launch, if more than three or four people show up, it's probably time to talk about organizing an actual club.
 
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Verna

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John,

Based on my own experiences - flying on my own and with various clubs, and given your current situation/logistics as described, if it were me, I would continue flying as you have been and enjoy the experience with your kids and leave the "club" building to someone else at this time. At least visit a club launch or two before you jump in.

As with anything, there are pros and cons for both senarios, but I would bet you dollars to donuts that at this time you would soon regret going the club route in your current circumstances.

:2:

Verna
www.vernarockets.com
 

Blakkzakk

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I'm the Senior Advisor for the Alamo Rocketeers, NAR #661. We've been hosting regular monthly launches in the San Antonio area. If we can help you organize a club let me know.

There was once a NAR club in your area run by Randy Ashley but it's been inactive for some time.

Art Applewhite
NAR 80632, L2
(830)896-6331
Randy is on my Facebook friends list. We have corresponded about reforming the club, but this one horrible thing called work is slowing it down.

If we reform the club, I want to expend extra effort into including the youth rocketeers in it. They are, IMHO, not only the future of a club, but model rocketry in general.

I appreciate your interest and help, Mr. Applewhite,

Zakk
 

paul.nortness

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Last summer, I started a small rocket club for the kids in my neighborhood. We have 6 members including myself. The kids range from 8 to 12 and just come down to my garage and build rockets and have a good time gluing their fingers together and then we go down to 60 Acres and launch.

Over the Christmas break, we watched a doc called "From the Earth to the Moon" and they were blown away. So this summer, I picked out historically significant rockets from Zooch and the kids will pull from a hat. Each kid will build and learn about that rocket and teach the rest of the group about it. And then of course....we get to fly them!
 

Blakkzakk

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Last summer, I started a small rocket club for the kids in my neighborhood. We have 6 members including myself. The kids range from 8 to 12 and just come down to my garage and build rockets and have a good time gluing their fingers together and then we go down to 60 Acres and launch.

Over the Christmas break, we watched a doc called "From the Earth to the Moon" and they were blown away. So this summer, I picked out historically significant rockets from Zooch and the kids will pull from a hat. Each kid will build and learn about that rocket and teach the rest of the group about it. And then of course....we get to fly them!
Sounds like great fun. Do you buy the rockets yourself? I might have to provide some funding for my club project. Our local library has meeting rooms that might be good for building rockets, meetings, and such.

I have "In the Shadow of the Moon" on one of my laptops, along with other things, such as "The Space Race", some docs on Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, etc. I love watching them!
 

paul.nortness

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No, the parents buy their kids rockets....but I have a ton of spare parts from various projects that the kids can usually scrounge something together on their own. Last summer, I had them design their own rockets in Open Rocket and then made parts lists for the parents. The kids showed up with their little white boxes under their arms and went home with rockets. It was awesome to see them launch something that they dreamed up.

I provide all the launch equipment, but we split the cost of engines.

Yeah, I have In the Shadow of the Moon as well....that one is a great documentary
 

Blakkzakk

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No, the parents buy their kids rockets....but I have a ton of spare parts from various projects that the kids can usually scrounge something together on their own. Last summer, I had them design their own rockets in Open Rocket and then made parts lists for the parents. The kids showed up with their little white boxes under their arms and went home with rockets. It was awesome to see them launch something that they dreamed up.

I provide all the launch equipment, but we split the cost of engines.

Yeah, I have In the Shadow of the Moon as well....that one is a great documentary
I might have to get some more spare parts and accessories. Beyond that, I'd probably have to depend on the parents and the kids, themselves to provide a lot of the materials. I do have a lot of experience with garbage rocketry (Stuff that people normally throw away). As for launching equipment, I can provide materials and assistance, but they'll have to put it together, like I did when I was a young 'un. (What fun is it to have someone do everything for you?).

I should get my Openrocket program going, but I don't think I have Java. I have RockSim 9, but I think I should just get a cheap, used computer and use it for that.......I'm a little particular about who touches my laptop (NOBODY BUT ME! GRRRRRRRR! :bangbang:).
 

JStarStar

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Coming back to this thread with a couple of new thoughts:

1) It probably goes without saying, but do some scouting around on the internet, with the NAR, etc etc. and see if there is a club already operating in your area (in some cases 'your area' might be interpreted as 'within an hour's drive'). Virtually all clubs welcome new members and it might save everybody a lot of legwork. Even if there aren't any clubs in your immediate area, there might be some in "contiguous" areas and you could go watch a launch, compare notes, etc etc. Plus you may avoid any ruffled feathers if you end up "poaching" rocketeers from an already-existing club -- even unintentionally. You might find a club 100 miles away and they might tell you, "yeah, we have a few people who live 75 miles away and they can only make a couple launches a year" -- you might be able to establish a "tandem club" in your own area with members of both clubs welcome at each other's launches, etc etc.

2) As bobkrech points out, do a little thinking about whether your kids are really interested in rocketry, or if it's YOU who are really interested and hope your kids get into it too. If you pitch the club as oriented mostly for kids and then it turns out the kids aren't that interested, the whole idea runs out of gas.

I think I would try to cast as wide an umbrella as possible -- make it clear people of all ages, income groups, sexes, etc etc etc., are all welcome to take part if they have the interest. If a lot of kids get fired up and some of them drag their parents along, it could expand your potential membership. And you don't want to shut out any lone-adult BARs either.
 
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Blakkzakk

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Coming back to this thread with a couple of new thoughts:

1) It probably goes without saying, but do some scouting around on the internet, with the NAR, etc etc. and see if there is a club already operating in your area (in some cases 'your area' might be interpreted as 'within an hour's drive'). Virtually all clubs welcome new members and it might save everybody a lot of legwork. Even if there aren't any clubs in your immediate area, there might be some in "contiguous" areas and you could go watch a launch, compare notes, etc etc. Plus you may avoid any ruffled feathers if you end up "poaching" rocketeers from an already-existing club -- even unintentionally. You might find a club 100 miles away and they might tell you, "yeah, we have a few people who live 75 miles away and they can only make a couple launches a year" -- you might be able to establish a "tandem club" in your own area with members of both clubs welcome at each other's launches, etc etc.
I'm about 250 miles away from the nearest club, up in San Antonio. There used to be a club down here.....it's just a matter of getting it going again.

I'm also going to pitch our launches to members of other clubs as a fun stop on a family vacation to South Padre Island where they can enjoy our excellent beaches and our outstanding bay and deep sea fishing.

Coming back to this thread with a couple of new thoughts:

2) As bobkrech points out, do a little thinking about whether your kids are really interested in rocketry, or if it's YOU who are really interested and hope your kids get into it too. If you pitch the club as oriented mostly for kids and then it turns out the kids aren't that interested, the whole idea runs out of gas.
I, personally, don't have any kids. :sad:

I'm not going to pitch it as such, but I think it's often that the kids get the parents into rocketry.

I'd like to see our local high schools represented at TARC.

I think I would try to cast as wide an umbrella as possible -- make it clear people of all ages, income groups, sexes, etc etc etc., are all welcome to take part if they have the interest. If a lot of kids get fired up and some of them drag their parents along, it could expand your potential membership. And you don't want to shut out any lone-adult BARs either.
Everyone can join.
 
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