The future of the club

Hey all, Posted this here, as it was on Chatter and I know lots of you don’t get that. Feel free to debate the issue!
Lee

Hi Adam and all,

Thanks for the mail. However some of your facts are incorrect!

By my calculation there have been 9 trips in the first 4 months of this year – Scotland Winter Walking, Kayaking to the trwyeryn, Ski trip, North wales trip, kayak trip to mid wales, caving trip, portland trip, Italy road cycling and the easter trip.

To me that seems pretty good!

To have 6 trips in May is amazing – look what opportunities we are offering our members! It’s also not surprising there are lots of trips in May, with a long month, 2 bank holidays and the better weather! Quite a few of these trips have been planned recently, whilst some have been on the calendar for some months.

As we saw from Richard’s Trip survey last year, some members prefer knowing about trips a long way in advance whilst some only know their availability at a later stage, so this seems to me a very good mix.

The fact that there aren’t that many trips planned for June & July yet, doesn’t mean there won’t be and do feel free to organise one (or more)!

It’s very easy to criticise from the sidelines, whilst some people give up lots of their personal family/home time to help run the club. As you are aware we are looking for several committee positions for the AGM on Thursday, so please do feel free to stand and then you will find it much easier to set policy! We all have busy lives, I really don’t have time to stand for chair again, but have offered as no-one else has put themselves forward but am happy not to if someone else would like to do it!

On a slightly separate issue, I’ve asked that people post this information onto the Forum as well as Chatter, as a fair proportion of the club are excluded by using Chatter. To the extent I’ve copied this email chain there, so could any further debate be carried out on the forum, please.

Many thanks and apologies for any typos but I’m not in front of my computer!
Lee

On 2 May 2015 at 10:35, ROGERS LEE wrote:

Hi Adam and all,

Thanks for the mail. However some of your facts are incorrect!

By my calculation there have been 9 trips in the first 4 months of this year

On 2 May 2015 at 09:45, mark day wrote:

Ruth,

I said “many” people can’t commit that far in advance and was talking about the person organising the trip, not those signing up. Obviously there are those that have the luxury of knowing what they’re doing a long way in advance but unless they are the ones organising the trips then they simply won’t be planned that far in advance. In your case you could which meant that your trip got organised and lots of people benefited which is great. If you hadn’t organised it there’s a very good chance nobody else would have done and everybody would have missed out.

Cheers,

Mark

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From: Ruth Finlay
Sent: ‎02/‎05/‎2015 09:23
To: mark.day50.md@gmail.com
Cc: ; BEC Chat
Subject: Re: [bec-chatter] The future of the club

Hi

I agree with the points Adam has raised and in particular would also like to see programme planning brought back. Mark, whilst I respect the fact you run many trips (and as a non-climber I enjoyed a great week-end in the Peaks on a trip you organised) I don’t agree with your point that most members can’t commit to trips in advance.

I recently ran a trip to the Yorkshire Dales. 24 people came on the trip. 20 of those people committed to coming more than two months in advance, with the majority committing more than 3 months in advance.

I think it is also helpful for newer members to know what is coming up in advance in case they need to borrow or buy kit.

Yes people’s plans change, they fall ill, life gets in the way but on my recent trip only one person couldn’t make it. People can organise themselves and plan ahead.

Cheers Ruth

Sent from my iPad

On 2 May 2015, at 08:38, mark day wrote:

Adam,

I agree with the sentiments but there is a flip side to much of this.

The reason why there are more trips now the sun has come out is because more people want to go away when the sun is out. The reason there are more trips currently planned for May than July is that we are in May and for many people their diary is a mystery two months in advance.

There may be times when there are two trips on one weekend because they are either limited by the diaries of the organisers or may be tied to activities which will inevitably be in different places.

You mention multi-activity trips which are great. From my point of view most trips have the potential to be multi-activity. It’s just down to whether people want to come and join in. If you read the post for next weekend’s Peak trip I think it probably mentions climbing, biking walking and caving. The fact that there’s a caving trip on that weekend means that it should probably be 3 options not 4 but still, there’s plenty for people to join in with if they have the will. Sadly, despite writing the same thing on just about every trip I’ve ever organised the vast majority have been populated entirely by climbers, seemingly because of a worry that a trip organised by a climber must be a climbing trip. We’re not that antisocial.

As for activities which take place off the books you have a choice. Either people advertise what they’re doing as a club trip for all to share or they keep it off the books. The reason we have two trips next weekend is that what could have been done off the books has been opened up for all. Is more choice bad?

What we need is more trips open to all to come and make the most of.

Cheers,

Mark

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From: Adam Eyre-Walker
Sent: ‎01/‎05/‎2015 22:43
To: BEC Chat
Subject: [bec-chatter] The future of the club

As we approach another AGM I wanted to raise a couple of problems that I think the new committee might want to think about. The first is weekend trips. I will start by saying that it is great that people are getting out and organising trips and we should all be thankful to them. Many of my best experiences have come from weekend trips. However, there is currently no organisation. So far this year we have had one trip to Scotland in january, one to North Wales in february and one trip to North Yorkshire in April. So just three trips in four months, and none of them within 6 hours on Brighton. And now in May we have not one, but 6 trips – this weekend there is a trip to Portland, then the following weekend we have two trips, one to the Peaks and one to the Mendips. After that we have a trip to the Wye valley and then the following weekend, two more trips, one to North Devon and one to Scotland. In june and july we so far have just one trip each. This is clearly not an ideal situation. Ideally we would have trips spread throughout the year.

The club used to have a meeting at which the committee and other club members organised the schedule for the forthcoming months. This has many advantages. First, the club could organise a balanced programme of trips visiting different environments – e.g. seaside and mountains – which were varying distances from Brighton. Furthermore because the programme was published several months in advance people could plan their trips. There was an emphasis on multi-activity trips which allowed members to do a variety of activities as well as encouraging members from different parts of the club to get together. It was also a chance for the committee to spread the organisation across the membership; the committee often had to approach members to organise a trip and there was an understanding that this is something you should do if asked. I believe the club needs to reintroduce planning in the next year as a matter of some urgency.

The second problem I want to raise is something Richard alluded to in his speech at last year’s AGM – the amount of club activity that occurs off the books. While there are a modest number of events that are circulated to the club membership, it seems that the vast majority of club activity is never advertised. One might argue that it is fine that most activity occurs privately – people are getting out and doing the activities they enjoy with their friends. However, to me a club is more than just enjoying activities with your friends, its about offering opportunities to other people – afterall how do you meet those friends in the first place? Its also a very tenuous arrangement. Very few people are responsible for the vast majority of official club activity. If they stop organising then we will very quickly find ourselves without a club. I don’t think that all activity has to be advertised, or that activities can’t carry conditions (e.g. participants must be at a certain level of competence), but I think the club would be a much dynamic and interesting club if more was offered to the general membership.

Finally, you may wonder why I am commenting from the sidelines and not standing for the committee. I would actually like to be part of the committee, but unfortunately family committments preclude this.

Cheers
Adam

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