As I said in the first of these efforts, I have been involved with IPMS and modeling clubs regularly since the mid-70s. That is 36 years, longer than many of the folks in this club have even been alive, let alone built models or participated in a club or at model contests and shows. I’ve been part of clubs that were just getting started, clubs at their peak and clubs that were slowly on the ebb.
During those many years the one thing I did noticed was that every club has a group of members that are the do’ers; the movers and shakers, the driving force behind the club. When clubs are at their zenith that group is larger and more active, they also bring in those on the periphery to get involved and to help the club grow. As the clubs wane I saw that these movers and shakers, this driving force began to get burned out. They lost interest in pushing the club to host shows, to bring in new members and to participate in community projects. Slowly this core lost interest and drifted away from the club, not from modeling itself but from the club.
You can attend a CASM meeting and you’ll learn quickly who constitutes that group. If you can’t attend a meeting in person you can take part in a meeting on the web. You can also take a minute to check out the club forum to get an idea of who some of the members of that inner circle are. Just like the other clubs I have been part of, this inner group, this driving force, is not made up of just the officers in the club.
During my 12 years in CASM I have seen most of the original members, including those that founded the club, move on. Some have moved on because of family, while others left due to careers and others still because they thought the club was moving in the wrong direction. CASM has been lucky over the years because as that small group of leaders has moved on we have had a good group of strong-minded and strong-willed individuals that were capable of and willing to step up and take the reins tightly in hand.
I sit and watch the members at the meetings and I look at the forum and I find myself wondering more and more: Is there another group ready to step up? Or has CASM begun to reach that downhill slope?
It’s up to all of you to answer that question.