Happy New Year 2011! I hope you all had a great holiday season, even if it was hectic time. But now that it is behind us, I, for one, am looking forward for life to return to normal.
This coming Friday, January 7, will mark our first Business Meeting of 2011. And as we have done in years past, we’ll be mapping out this new year: thinking about the new activities we would like to do and adding dates to our calendar.
Our biggest problem we faced in 2010 dealt with our membership. Last March, we had 29 STARFLEET members, but in the months following, we dropped all the way down to 11 (just one shy of our minimum requirement) before climbing back up to 22. We’ve had a decrease in our local chapter members as renewals for some have not come in, and we’ve faced a difficult time in recruiting new members to our group. Attendance has been down, even for our social events.
So what’s a chapter like ours to do about all of that?
Over the past few months, I’ve been considering a brand new direction for the Continuum. The problem of the current economic crisis is not what’s stopping people from joining our renewing: chapter membership and STARFLEET membership are relatively inexpensive. Recruiting and retention within our group is just like for any other group — we are to maintain enthusiasm and provide goods and services that current and prospective members will want.
Here are some new ideas:
- Membership Packet. The packets will include a CD containing ship documents and a membership card. They should be ready by February and will be given to members when they join or renew.
- Sponsors. We would be willing to help publicize local businesses through our website and membership packets in exchange for discounts and/or free items for our members.
- Paintball: Starfleet vs. Klingons. You must enlist (i.e., pay your dues) in order to play. The idea is to have two opposing teams: one side TOS Starfleet and the other TOS Klingons. Each will be wearing “play uniforms” — simple and inexpensive to make, designed only to somewhat resemble the two sides. Team members train, develop strategies, and work together in challenging their opponents. I envision this being a quarterly event with awards being given.
- Gaming demos/tournaments. Wizkids plans to introduce new Star Trek games this year. As to when they will be released is anyone’s guess. However, when they do, we can look to do public demos and tournaments as we discuss the Continuum and what we do.
- Gaming days/weekends. This does not have to involve any of the games I mentioned above. It doesn’t even have to be limited to Star Trek games. Nor does this have to be a grand event. It’s just an opportunity for friends to get together and play.
- Public Showings of Classic Sci-fi Films. We are looking into finding a location to invite the public for a free showing of these films. This can provide another opportunity for us to publicize our group and gain new members.
- Charity Texas Hold ‘Em. For a charity fundraiser that should be a lot of fun in the process, we have a Texas Hold ‘Em match with an entrance fee. The winner of the tournament decides which charity we give the proceeds to.
- Putt-Putt Tournament: Star Trek style. “Style” as in wearing Star Trek costumes. So that means it will be best to set in early Spring or late Fall.
- STARFLEET Academy Study Hall. I’d like to have these “Study Halls” to provide an opportunity and encourage STARFLEET members to take more SFA courses.
We’ll also be taking orders forContinuum T-shirts and discussing other events — Yuri’s Night 2011, Camping trips, Lock-ins, Costuming Workshops, Conventions, Movies, the Region 2 Summit, and more. So bring your ideas and I’ll look forward to seeing you all on January 7.