# The Future of this hobby.....

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#### rklapp

##### NAR# 109557
TRF Supporter
And the women's underwear section.

Not that I ever looked at it, of course, never, no... but I knew others that did... but not me, no way...
Yeah, that's not the kind of feelings I was thinking of.

#### dr wogz

##### Fly caster
And the women's underwear section.

Not that I ever looked at it, of course, never, no... but I knew others that did... but not me, no way...

ya know.. about 23 years ago, at the company I worked for, I was looking for a bit of a distraction, so I went to chat up the receptionist (we were about the same age, and were friends..) The mail came in. A box of mail (typical of a business with about 250 employees). So I helped her out, helping sort the mail into their assigned 'cubby' holes. The amount of Victoria Secrets catalogs that came in!! And to a business address!! A few of the female employees after that.. well.. they looked a little different!

#### rklapp

##### NAR# 109557
TRF Supporter
How did we get from rocket catalogs to Victoria Secret?

##### Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Well, you’re wrong. Catalogs are one way that kids get interested.
I donno, Steve, maybe 20+ years ago that was the case.
These days, the ONLY paper product my kids get to work with are school textbooks. Thus the association with handing them a printed catalog in NOT positive.

Estes keeps sending me the paper catalogs, and I can't get my kids to touch them. They do browse the web site to pick rocket models they like (when I order a batch), but not the paper catalog.
So, I took the few paper catalogs to our fall Scouts launch event, and tried to hand them out. One parent took a booklet, the rest came home with me.

Older folks, myself included, like sitting comfy and reading paper products (magazines, catalogs, books).
Kids, not so much.

YMMV.

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#### RoyAtl

##### Well-Known Member
I got pretty excited for the Tooth and Nail Records catalogs when was about 13-18. After that the internet made them irrelevant for new record releases.
I've not heard of it, but was it more of a 'zine than a catalog?

#### RoyAtl

##### Well-Known Member
How did we get from rocket catalogs to Victoria Secret?
insidious, ain't it?

#### NateB

##### Well-Known Member
I've not heard of it, but was it more of a 'zine than a catalog?
Just a catalog for their record releases with a few sentences about the record and what it sounds like.They had a few aspects of a zine, like when they introduced someone new for their label, but mostly just a catalog with records, stickers, and T-Shirts.

#### Ez2cDave

##### Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Rocketry, or any other "building" hobby, requires work, dedication, and concentration . . . That is outside the "sphere of experience" for most children and teenagers, nowadays !

Dave F.

#### deangelo54

##### Well-Known Member
I disagree. Estes in particular is hyper-focused on schools and first time buyers. I do buy your major premise however, that we need to get more young people interested. And I don't really have an answer, but I think I know the roadblocks. Allow me to practice some amateur psychology:

When I was young (in the 60's and 70's), the mass of model rocket flyers was between the ages of 10-14 and we did NOT see them as TOYS, but as a hobby, something we would stick with, try new things, etc, at least for a few months. Attrition was pretty much because of girls (because we were almost always boys) and cars.

The "only boys" part of the problem seemed to be somewhat solved in the 2000's but the past five years I'm seeing fewer girls at our events. maybe that's just a local anomaly.

Now, the initial market for rockets seems to be parents buying rocket sets for their 4-6 year olds. These kids are developmentally capable only of seeing these products as toys, and when they lose interest they will compartmentalize their experience as "playing with toys." Note: I realize there is a tiny sub-set of these kids whose parents are themselves involved with rockets as a hobby and those kids will see things differently.

A little later, we introduce kids through Scouting, but this is as a checkmark activity to a badge. not as a hobby.

Thanks to TARC, there is now another intro to the hobby at around 14, but it is introduced primarily as a team project as a means to a specific goal, not as an ongoing hobby.

In our clubs now, we're mostly adults and many of us feel that *our* hobby is high power and we give short shrift to model rockets. How many of our adult flyers have even flown a model rocket (other than to fix something up for one of their kids) in the past couple of years? How many adult flyers have you met who react dismissively towards model rockets, or that they're only toys for kids? So what happens? The kids that do show up to fly rockets are partronized, or at worst, ignored.

For the past thirty years I've heard one major excuse about the missing 10-14 segment: they've got more sophisticated activities such as video games and computers, and organized sports. I mentioned TARC earlier; this program has been successful, for teams. For individuals 10-14, a similar initiative could be useful. NAR's NARTREK and NRC could be that, but clubs need to get behind it and put a little work into it, and maybe some add some proverbial "carrots on sticks." Prizes for NARTREK achievements and local NRC prizes. Maybe some prizes could be coordinated and sponsored nationally. An ideal place for Estes and Quest to assist.

That's my thoughts for now. Talk amongst yourselves...
My first launch was with the CMASS NAR section in 2003. I had purchased an E2X kit at the assistance of my two children. After my second launch, I had a problem with my rocket. Three CMASS members came over to assist me and told me how to repair my kit. I was amazed that among all these fancy kits and HP rockets, three knowledgeable members stopped what they were doing to help me, like my kit was the space shuttle. That encouraged me to join CMASS and I have been with them since. I enjoy flying BP and mid power engines. I have not launched HP since my L2 flight in 2018. At CMASS, we do not patronize anyone flying an an A8-3. They are treated with as much respect and with as much attention as an L3 flier.

#### Banzai88

##### Lvl 1,Wallet....Destroyed
TRF Supporter
Rocketry, or any other "building" hobby, requires work, dedication, and concentration . . . That is outside the "sphere of experience" for most children and teenagers, nowadays !

Dave F.
....and also for no small number of adults, too.

#### Ez2cDave

##### Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
....and also for no small number of adults, too.
Agreed . . . Frankly, in the 21st Century, the definition of "Adult" is, seriously, in question.

Dave F.

#### Bowman

##### Well-Known Member
I was looking through a new Estes catalog yesterday and it brought back feelings as a child that I don’t remember having with the Sears catalog. Maybe it’s because the rocket catalog offered explosives in it, and the only thing the Sears catalog had of interest was an Atari 2600.
True, but did you ever see how many special market catalogs Sears once had.
They were fascinating to look through.
There old slogan "Sears has everything" wasn't too far off. Probably also contributed greatly to their demise.
That and K Mart.

#### Ez2cDave

##### Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
I was looking through a new Estes catalog yesterday and it brought back feelings as a child that I don’t remember having with the Sears catalog. Maybe it’s because the rocket catalog offered explosives in it, and the only thing the Sears catalog had of interest was an Atari 2600.
The "Sears Catalogs" were okay, but the "Sears Christmas Catalog" ( aka - the "Wish Book" ) was "Magic", as a kid !

http://www.wishbookweb.com/FB/1968_Sears_Wishbook/index.html#2

Dave F.

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#### dr wogz

##### Fly caster
Sears went belly-up in Canada recently..
Target bought out Zeller's (a low-cost everything store) and also went belly up (see article, many others written about its demise - now a business school example)
Eaton's also went "7-9-0" a few years ago..
We have 'The Bay' left, and it's on borrowed time. (despite it's purchase of Sak's)

Walmart Wins!!

("7-9-0" meant you're done, gone, kaput, no longer needed.. was a slogan of a local radio talk-show host who would: "7-9-0" then cut you off / hang up on you..)

#### ewomack

##### Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Most, if not all, of the Sears stores in my area have closed. The last time I went into a Sears it was a pretty sad event. It would not have surprised me to see a tumbleweed roll across the aisle. I barely saw any staff, much less any customers. I only went there because they had a DMV office with extended hours in its upper story. It was sad to watch such a once solid institution crumble like that so quickly, but many accused them of arrogance in the face of the changing online economy. I guess that would do it.

I walked through a "The Bay" in Winnipeg not too long ago and I remember them having nice elevators, but, just like Sears, I didn't see a lot of people inside parting with their hard-earned plastic money. I was just passing through from their parking lot to a place across the street, so I didn't linger too much. It had the feeling of a potentially stuffy old department store. Doesn't their logo say "founded in 12 BC" or something to that effect?

How is Tim Horton's doing these days north of the border? A few recently opened, and subsequently closed, in my area. They didn't even last a year.

TRF Supporter

#### Ez2cDave

##### Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
I know. I would sit on my bed browsing through the catalog as a holiday ritual. Didn't have the same excitement as going through the Estes catalog where I could build rockets and put explosives in them.
Sears used to sell GUNS !

Dave F.

#### rklapp

##### NAR# 109557
TRF Supporter
Yeah, everyone used to sell guns. My grandmother said I was gun obsessed because I was always asking for more BB guns.

#### Michael L

##### Random Pixel Generator
TRF Supporter
My grandson's (two of 5 and 1 grandaughter) and I snapped together a simple Estes kit and flew it on A, B, and C motors a few days ago. Hopefully this is the future of this hobby. This was their first rocket launch. The Estes launch controller that came with the kit failed so we made do with a 9V battery.

#### Ez2cDave

##### Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
The Estes launch controller that came with the kit failed so we made do with a 9V battery.
Call Estes and tell them about the Launch Controller. They will replace it .

Dave F.

...

#### Howitzer

##### New Member
Hey guys, new member here. I made an account just to throw my .02 in.

I'm 31 and I rediscovered model rocketry in August of this year. I was at HL with the lady and saw the Alpha 3 starter kit I had as a kid and bought it, little did I know how deep I would get within 4 months time. In that short 4 months I went from that cheap nostalgic Alpha 3 to joining a club (MARS Section 136), joing NAR, and getting Level 1 certified with a 4" LOC Patriot with an H100W in early November. Having a longtime interest in space travel, military history, and an engineering background really contributed to my rapid growth in the hobby.

I will address my personal experiences here from the last 4ish months.

1. Launch Areas: I am very lucky in this respect, I have a local town park that has acres of mowed grass with very little trees (large soccer/baseball/football/rugby fields) and a local PD that is pretty lax, I have launched F's with no issues. I also have the club which is full of great people as is only an hour away. Once a month I get to launch everything I own.

2. Catalogs (I dont get the issue here, get it?): Its 2020 and my generation and every generation after me grew up with the whole wealth of human knowledge at our fingertips. I remember the catalogs and oohhing and ahhhing over them. Frankly its nostalgia speaking. I have access to so much more and can access it way faster, look up reviews, build videos, all kinds of neat stuff. I throw away any estes catalog I get. They way inventories change and internet sales work, catalogs get outdated quickly and its a waste of money to print them.

3. Interest: Its there 100%. Every month since I have been attending MARS launches at least 1 person gets their level 1 done, when I did mine 3 others were getting theirs as well and all of them were around my age or younger. I tell people that the best thing about this hobby is that there are so many things to get into, I honestly cant get enough and want to try it all.

4. Expense: This is where people my age scoff. The amount of money it costs versus the amount of time you can enjoy it is not very good. Between the cost of the kit, epoxy, paint, retainer, motor, etc, launching 1 HPR can be in excess of $300 for minutes of enjoyment. Personally I love building them and to me that justifies the cost, but many of my friends want instant gratification. I would say above all else that is the biggest thing that keeps people out of the hobby. Even launching BP Estes rockets can get expensive when anything under a D12 bores you. Its really the same for any other hobby, except here you add in math, physics, and problem solving. Guess what doesn't have any of that? Yep, video games. There is also this reluctance to do something that seems nerdy, and if you cant show off your rockets or flights on social media and get tons of likes whats the point of doing it? Sad, but thats the mindset out there of many of my peers. Anyways, thanks for reading. If any of you want to pick the brain of a young B.A.R. just ask away. #### firemanup ##### Well-Known Member Never once launched a rocket as a kid, your assumption that growth has to come from childhood to adulthood is arguably incorrect and definitely not an absolute. #### Antares JS ##### Well-Known Member @Howitzer, Just wanted to say hello and it's nice to meet another guy here who's also in his 30's. My thoughts on our generation are pretty similar, though I don't want to knock video games too much since I like them too, but there's no real accomplishment without effort, and video games are designed to be beatable by the average joe without leaving his couch, while rocketry and other hobbies require real-world effort to do well in. Too many people these days seem to balk at the idea of putting effort into something. #### Howitzer ##### New Member @Howitzer, Just wanted to say hello and it's nice to meet another guy here who's also in his 30's. My thoughts on our generation are pretty similar, though I don't want to knock video games too much since I like them too, but there's no real accomplishment without effort, and video games are designed to be beatable by the average joe without leaving his couch, while rocketry and other hobbies require real-world effort to do well in. Too many people these days seem to balk at the idea of putting effort into something. I see it often. I play video games too but I see them as a factor in most negative things related to our age group. I play World of Warcraft lol, so patience and effort are required things to do well. COVID really put a damper on things too, but thats another subject. #### rklapp ##### NAR# 109557 TRF Supporter Hey guys, new member here. I made an account just to throw my .02 in. I'm 31 and I rediscovered model rocketry in August of this year. I was at HL with the lady and saw the Alpha 3 starter kit I had as a kid and bought it, little did I know how deep I would get within 4 months time. In that short 4 months I went from that cheap nostalgic Alpha 3 to joining a club (MARS Section 136), joing NAR, and getting Level 1 certified with a 4" LOC Patriot with an H100W in early November. Having a longtime interest in space travel, military history, and an engineering background really contributed to my rapid growth in the hobby. I will address my personal experiences here from the last 4ish months. 1. Launch Areas: I am very lucky in this respect, I have a local town park that has acres of mowed grass with very little trees (large soccer/baseball/football/rugby fields) and a local PD that is pretty lax, I have launched F's with no issues. I also have the club which is full of great people as is only an hour away. Once a month I get to launch everything I own. 2. Catalogs (I dont get the issue here, get it?): Its 2020 and my generation and every generation after me grew up with the whole wealth of human knowledge at our fingertips. I remember the catalogs and oohhing and ahhhing over them. Frankly its nostalgia speaking. I have access to so much more and can access it way faster, look up reviews, build videos, all kinds of neat stuff. I throw away any estes catalog I get. They way inventories change and internet sales work, catalogs get outdated quickly and its a waste of money to print them. 3. Interest: Its there 100%. Every month since I have been attending MARS launches at least 1 person gets their level 1 done, when I did mine 3 others were getting theirs as well and all of them were around my age or younger. I tell people that the best thing about this hobby is that there are so many things to get into, I honestly cant get enough and want to try it all. 4. Expense: This is where people my age scoff. The amount of money it costs versus the amount of time you can enjoy it is not very good. Between the cost of the kit, epoxy, paint, retainer, motor, etc, launching 1 HPR can be in excess of$300 for minutes of enjoyment. Personally I love building them and to me that justifies the cost, but many of my friends want instant gratification. I would say above all else that is the biggest thing that keeps people out of the hobby. Even launching BP Estes rockets can get expensive when anything under a D12 bores you. Its really the same for any other hobby, except here you add in math, physics, and problem solving. Guess what doesn't have any of that? Yep, video games.

There is also this reluctance to do something that seems nerdy, and if you cant show off your rockets or flights on social media and get tons of likes whats the point of doing it? Sad, but thats the mindset out there of many of my peers.

Anyways, thanks for reading. If any of you want to pick the brain of a young B.A.R. just ask away.
Also a BAR that I fell back into as a distraction from the pandemic and the election.

I’m hoping to avoid HPR for the cost. I know that if I moved back to Las Vegas, I’d go bankrupt. I lived there for 5 years avoiding the gambling bug but fear the rocket bug in the desert would be too alluring.

I’m trying to improve my build skills. If I measure based on how close to the rocket before I can spot the flaws, I’m about the 4 foot level now.