/ Clubs and new members

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Anyone on the committee or even a member of a small local club.

How do you get or manage new members? Do you have a aspirant type membership status and how do you manage that process (And who manages it).

We are wanting to formalise the process a bit and looking to what other smaller clubs do?

Feel free to pm me if that is easier

GrahamD 06 Oct 2019
In reply to idiotproof (Buxton MC):

We used to do an aspirant type of arrangement but it got awkward to administer. Now we just ask people to join if they come away on trips.  We do offer half year membership.   Cambridge Climbing an Caving Club

lithos 06 Oct 2019
In reply to idiotproof (Buxton MC):

we ask them to come on a  weekend meet or a few evening sessions just so they can se if we are as they expect and we can check they are not an axe-wielding murderer.  The committee then has a quick vote via email and they are in.

cant remember ever refusing someone.  we are a small 40..50 person club, not hut or anything.  (York Alpine Club)

Andy Hardy 06 Oct 2019
In reply to idiotproof (Buxton MC):

We run a "turn up and tie on" meet, for people who can belay indoors (at least) and are interested in joining  the Mynydd. They've been really good to get to meet prospective members. Following that they are encouraged to just turn up at our Tuesday nights (usually outside), or weekend meets. We don't do associate membership etc, it's all or nothing (as the faces so memorably put it)

Robin Montaigne 06 Oct 2019
In reply to idiotproof (Buxton MC):


I don't know if this could be of interest?

One of several areas covered is:
Supporting your members - both existing members and potential members



These, free to attend, 'Training Days' are aimed at committee members and officers of BMC-affiliated clubs and will provide lots of information to help you in your role.

When and Where - the next courses will be...

Sunday 13th October 2019, time 10.30am - 3pm, Plas y Brenin National Outdoor Centre, Capel Curig, Conwy, LL24 0ET

Sunday 8th December 2019, time: 10.15am - 4pm, Tricorn House, 51-53 Hagley Road, Birmingham B16 8TP


Further questions?
Contact Jane Thompson, BMC Clubs Officer, via jane@thebmc.co.uk or 07885 910606 if you have any questions about this training event.

spenser 06 Oct 2019
In reply to Robin Montaigne:

I can definitely recommend those days, they cover a bit about bringing in new members but also about various legal aspects of running clubs.

The Oread MC has an "Associate" member status (I think that is the correct word, it used to be prospective and I keep getting the wrong word whenever it comes up). This can be applied to members for the first 1-2 years of their time with the club and doesn't need proposers or seconders to enable someone to become a member but it is intended that they will get people to propose and/ or second them to become full members of the club within this period of time. We encourage people to come out with us a couple of times to see what the club is like before then applying for membership of the club as this gives both parties a chance to check the other out, we limit this to 3 occasions to ensure that everyone on meets is covered by BMC clubs insurance.

If you send me a message I am happy to discuss our new members meets with you too, we run something which is a bit of a mash up between the CC's Aspirants Meet and the NMC's New Members' Meet which are both excellent in their own rights.

Post edited at 22:53
PaulJepson 06 Oct 2019
In reply to idiotproof (Buxton MC):

We have a pub meet first Tues of every month. The 'New Members Secretary' is there to meet any interested persons. 

Misha 07 Oct 2019
In reply to idiotproof (Buxton MC):

The reality is most local clubs struggle for new members these days as it is. Introducing some kind of formal proposer and seconder system could put people off, so that’s something to consider. Obviously it’s a good idea to get to know the prospective member and vice versa but it need not be a formal process. My local club (Solihull MC) is happy for people I come along to the weekly indoor sessions without having to join. If people come back, they tend to join after a few weeks, especially if they’re interested in the outdoor meets. There’s a simple form to fill in with some personal details which are needed for the BMC. Think this now incorporates whatever statement / confirmation is required for GDPR. 

Andy Clarke 07 Oct 2019
In reply to idiotproof (Buxton MC):

We might grudgingly take them out, as long as they do all the driving so the rest of us can have a drink. They need to demonstrate a willingness to carry all the gear and ropes on the walk in. If we eventually let them in it's usually because they've volunteered for one of the thankless  Committee roles no one else wants to do.

More seriously: attend three scheduled meets as a prospective member, then apply for full membership. (Wolves MC: approx 100 members, hut in Snowdonia.) 

GrahamD 07 Oct 2019
In reply to idiotproof (Buxton MC):

Should have added: a beginner's meet is always good either for potential new members but also less experienced existing members to get paired up with more experienced climbers.

Toerag 07 Oct 2019
In reply to idiotproof (Buxton MC):

We just let them turn up for 3-4 weeks then ask them for annual subs. During those 3-4 weeks we make them pay wall fees if we're indoors.  We normally make novices wait for the winter indoor season, but established climbers can join anytime.

In reply to idiotproof (Buxton MC):

Thanks... I may PM some of you.

jimmccall 07 Oct 2019

Will pm you.

Regards Jim

Rog Wilko 08 Oct 2019
In reply to idiotproof (Buxton MC):

My club Lancs Climbing & Caving has attracted a good number of new members recently and this is largely due to a Facebook page which when I last looked had over 400 followers (some think this makes them a club member). Another factor is that we have so many meets that there is always something new on the FB page and  plenty of friendly banter. As a result we get a steady dribble of people deciding to join the club having frequented the FB page for some time.

Not sure of the details about induction as not on Committee any more, but you could make contact via FB or the club website.

Howard J 08 Oct 2019
In reply to idiotproof (Buxton MC):

Our club (Innominata) doesn't have an induction process.  New members seem to find us via Facebook or our website.  We invite them along to one of our pub nights, let them come out with us a few times, including one weekend meet if they wish, and then if they still hang around we pester them to join.  

We don't see the point of a formal aspirant member process, which can only serve to put people off.  If people find they don't fit in or we're not what they're looking for then they'll drift away anyway.  There have been only a couple of occasions in 25 years or thereabouts when we've had to ask people to leave, so formally vetting them before they join seems unnecessary.

mattrm 08 Oct 2019
In reply to idiotproof (Buxton MC):

When I was on a committee of a smallish club (SWMC) we just let anyone join.  We didn't really check if the people who were turning up on a 'club' night were members or not.  If we found out for what ever reason we'd ask them to join.  People who came along to club trips got asked to join, mainly cause they were organised via a members only forum.  They have a hut in Deiniolen.

As others have said no idea why you're making it hard to join.  Just let anyone join.  I always find it odd when clubs in any sport do that sort of thing.

As a side note, it was amazing how some people would happily pay £100s for kit and travel, but increase the subs by £10 and you had a revolt on your hands.

eb202 09 Oct 2019
In reply to idiotproof (Buxton MC):

We ask prospective members to attend one meet within a three month period. If they attend, then they become a full member unless there is a good reason to deny them membership. All membership requests are reviewed by the committee, and we ask the meet coordinator to confirm the prospective member’s attendance, and whether there is any reason to not offer them membership. We are a local club of around 100 members, located 90 mins drive away from the Peak District, with a hut in North Wales. There are no crags in the local area.

Generally, new members are recruited via our small local climbing wall, or by word of mouth. They don't usually have any / much previous experience so are encouraged to complete a basic skills course in belaying at the local indoor wall. We hold 'new members' meets twice a year, where novices can come along and either second routes or learn to lead. We emphasise that this is on a 'mentorship' basis and that we are not qualified instructors. Other than that, those who are keen end up coming out with us on a more ad-hoc basis and develop from there.

We have discussed introducing staged membership such as 'aspirant membership', or having a proposer / seconder, but have not implemented it because most of our new membership base is relatively inexperienced and we are within a relatively small catchment area where climbing / mountaineering is not an obvious activity. For our location, we are a reasonably large club with a strong base of engaged, participating members aged from 20s to 70s. With more members being introduced via indoor climbing, we do need to encourage and support people ‘transitioning’ to outdoor activities, which sometimes new members can see as a ‘big step’. We tend to emphasise level of engagement over number of members. Meets are held frequently throughout the year, mostly in the UK, with the occasional trip abroad, and are generally well attended.

A more complex membership arrangement could potentially work for clubs with a larger catchment area in a more ‘desirable’ location, where there are greater numbers of potential members to screen. We would perhaps consider this if the club's experience base struggled to cope with a large influx of inexperienced new members. 

NigelHurst 10 Oct 2019

Blimey, some very formal processes there.

Can join my local club simply by going to website, putting your details in and paying your money. You are then encouraged to go along to a monthly pub meet and if you go to one of the organised indoor sessions a member will watch while you belay the first few times to make sure you're safe and off you go. Same for outdoors and weekends away, it doesn't take long to figure out if someone is safe or not, and word spreads fairly quickly if you're not.

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