Clearly way down the list, maybe even off the thoughts of many in CO-VID times, but having got involved accidentally with a small fairly new group, it got me thinking :
Most of those in this fairly recent virtual radio club are either those who never were part of either existing one, or did a Colditz and fled out of frustration or got expelled for having untraditional views.
Personally, I avoided the AR specific one which quite frankly was both legs in concrete down the Marianas Trench ‘stuck in their ways’ and highly unwelcoming to anyone with vague or diverse radio/wireless interests.
The other, made up of CBers and MARTS escapees/expelled representing the original Ham operators proportion, was the total opposite back in the day but has (in the ten years or so I was absent) become as bad because whilst I suspect some openness exists, their motivation has become as ‘legs in concrete’ as MARTS was motivation wise.
So, you can sum up the flaws and future generally of formal meet & greet/club night groups as very much needing to evolve or become legacies of what’s becoming a very phantom hobby here in the UK (at least on analogue 30mhz+) and quite frankly with the conditions these days, even restricted situation HF has become daft level hard if you’re into multi band ops.
So maybe, current CO-VID conditions considered, maybe the idea of virtual radio clubs actually may now be more than an extended interest and be the future of radio clubs.
I mean, as long as someone’s prepared to host regularly or on a rota, setting up a conference style meet is very achievable and virtually free, so club night lectured and talks are definitely doable and we’ve always had IRC type options for the social nights as well as many more recent options.
As for the actual events and in person gathering aspects, well I guess we’ll have to work on that as the CO-VID situation evolves and progresses.
But unless club culture takes a bit of a Darwinian shift, I’m pretty certain the few that remain will only be so as legacies rather than open doors to the like minded.
But irrespective of what happens, no force on earth or beyond could get me into a committee role - been there, would rather endure aggrovated malicious and “delivered by a sadist extreme” eternal damnation than be on a group or club committee again - I still have nightmares about my short committee member times and clubs in general.
Clearly your experiences and insight will bring you to own conclusions on such things, but whilst things are quiet and uncertain, a bit of thought about how things can and maybe need to change is worth at least 5 mins of thought between endless YT brain death content…