Dear Friends and Members of the Astronomy Club of Augusta,†††††††††††† †† †††††††††††††††††††† 20100710
††††††††††† I recently wrote to you about the newly elected officers of our club, and the general direction of the club.† I also asked for feedback and suggestions. †Thank you for your comments and good ideas.
In this letter I would like to address our challenges and the implementation of your suggestions.
The ACA challenge is membership.† We currently have only 6-10 people attending.† Most are over 50.† This is not enough people to maintain our current knowledge or skill, much less promote it.† We see in the AL Reflector magazine and elsewhere, that there are many active clubs with over 250 members, doing various projects.† Whether we need that many for critical mass, it is still a worthy goal.† Can you suggest what would spark your interest to attend and participate?† Please speak/write freely.
In addition to numbers, we need to have a continuum of ages.† Although we get new members who are still learning over age 50, we also need to have younger people who have time to dig deep into the subject over time.† This means we need more in their 40ís, 30ís, 20ís, and teens.† Inspiring each of these age groups is challenging, but I am confident that we can meet the challenges.† Everyone faces competing interests that demand their time.† We need ways to reach people and help them realize the importance of promoting the pursuit of amateur astronomy.† This is why I am asking each of you for vision and suggestion.† Collectively, we may be able to spark an interest that could spread to many others.
Although we have attracted many new members through our website, broadcast and paper media, there is nothing better than the personal touch, asking your friends to join you, and making friends with those who show a similar interest.† Every member has a big impact this way.
Much of what we can do this year will be listed in our calendar of events.† Here are some of the changes you have suggested.
1. Many suggestions requested changing our meeting time to 7PM, so we will begin in September to meet then.† If you are unable to come that early, please come when you can.††
2. It was suggested, and we have
been invited to meet at USCA RPSEC and at
3. We have been meeting at ASU for many years, yet we have no attending members from the university community.†† What can we do to improve participation?† Will someone volunteer to promote our club, provide publicity?†† Other suggestions?
†††††††††† 4. †This year we plan to include observing after our meetings.† We encourage you to bring your binoculars and some volunteers to bring their scope to some of the meetings.† Invite your friends with this in mind.
††††††††††† 5. You asked for refreshments after meetings.† We plan to reinstate them, and request volunteers to help with this.
††††††††††† 6.† You asked for more discussion time.† We plan to make more time for this at the meetings by placing minutes and treasurerís report and other administrative items online, instead of having them at the meeting.†
How else can we make our meetings, programs, and observing attractive to you and your friends?
I appreciate your time and effort to think about our future as a club as well as to write down and send your ideas.†
Hope to see you at our meeting on Friday at ASU.
†††††††† Tedda Howard