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Advice For Starting A New RC Model Club
Starting a new RC Model Club
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Widdog
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January 9, 2013 - 9:01 am

Hi,

I am starting a Local RC Model Club. I have a Facebook Group Page at https://www.facebook.com/MorgantownFlyers?ref=stream . Anyway I’m new at this and I want to do a good job. Basically I worked out a deal with the Senior Center to use their indoor Gym. They will allow my Group to fly RC Helicopters there. I am doing a presentation at the SeniorCenter to recruit new members. Also I have invited all my friends and family to join. I would appreciate any advice to help make my Group a success. Also if your ever in West Virginia your welcome to come fly with us.   

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CPD
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January 11, 2013 - 2:31 am

Who you really need to get in touch with is SuperNova. He's in a few rc clubs, including a good sized rc boat club.

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Widdog
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January 11, 2013 - 8:40 am

Thanks CPD...Well I did the presentation at the Senior Center Gym. A Hot Topic was the Grandchildren’s RC Helicopters. It is kind of hard work starting a club but flying my WL Toys V911 in the Gym made it worth it. I still have things to work out like how to cover the $ 25 per hour gym rental fee.  I am determined to get this club off the ground so to speak.

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Syma Freak
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January 11, 2013 - 4:35 pm
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@Widdog $25 an hour is a little steep on price-great idea but you need to keep the cost down -see if you can bust them on price,maybe by telling them you are bringing people to the club that might join for the gym--just an idea

"Fly like a butterfly sting like a Syma" http://syma107.com

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Widdog
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January 11, 2013 - 5:39 pm

Thanks for the comment Syma Freak. I may have given the wrong idea by calling it a gym. Maybe I should call it an indoor basketball court. As a member I can use the court for free anytime during business hours as long as nobody else is using it. I will rent the court for my group to use and pay for it myself the first time. Hopefully I will have a good enough response to get more interest. The court has a nicely finished wood floor type gym floor. I was wondering if by allowing soft rubber type tired RC cars would be ok for this type of floor?

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CPD
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January 12, 2013 - 6:44 am

Thinking it through, for larger rc cars and outdoor helis, is there a park with a nice outdoor basketball court or something like that around you?

I'm guessing that with a club like that, you're probably going to be meeting and flying for a few hours, so probably $50 to $75 to rent out the gym, which would spread out to $5 to $7.50/member if you had 10 members. That's not too bad for monthly meetings and flying sessions. That said, what you could do is while you're small, designate somebody's house to meet at for building/repair sessions or regular non-flying/racing meetings. If somebody has a house with a nice big room, or owns a buisness with a decent sized warehouse then it might be worth it to have smaller more frequent meetings there.

Another thing I'd think of is to get in touch with any local hobby shops. See if you can set up something where you advertise eachother or something like that. If they're smart, they should realize that RC guys are a main part of their buisness and it would benifit both of you. (people would say "hey, there's an rc club!" join get more involved, break more stuff, buy more stuff off of the shop, get more friends involved, so-on and so-forth) I wouldn't suggest asking them to sponsor your club, persay, they're likely to be skeptical and not want to do that, but asking if they could post something about your club and have flyers, and in turn have something with their logo or name on it, like maybe e-newsletters having their name on the bottom or something.

To be honest, you probably should have started smaller than a senior center gym, but you shouldn't have too hard of a time after a while. Get a few guys to help get the word out, maybe see what other clubs are in the area, (I think there's at least one kinda like that in Pittsburgh, PA) where you can get together every now and then to have "fly-ins," car/boat races, etc. every now and then. Not too often, maybe an anual or bi-anual fly-in/drive in where your group meets with another group in their home base, then they come to your home base and have a few competitions or something. That would work well as a recruitment tool and be very good for group bonding. (if you're renting out the gym, and have somebody that can get a bunch of boxes and stuff like that for markers/obsticles then it would probably cost $10 if you had a whopping 20 people between two clubs for a full 8-hour long day, and at that rate, you could probably charge a little more for pizza for lunch, and t-shirts wouldn't be that much more. (probably $5-7.50/shirt if you did it single colored print) You're talking probably a $20 event and t-shirt. Take a couple of dollar-tree document frames, print out a few certificates for things like "best flyer," "most skilled racer,"(both freestyle competitions where you just show off what you can do) "fastest obstical course-heli," "fastest obstical course-car," (both with 2nd and 3rd if there's enough people) and 1st/2nd/3rd for flying/driving through a rally-style course.

Just a few ideas that might help!

(ps. also liked the page, so don't be suprised if you see me liking stuff or comenting on stuff)

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Widdog
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January 12, 2013 - 8:31 am

      CPD thanks much and is great to have you in the group. Please feel totally free to post away on Morgantown WV RC Model Club FB page. It would be great to have you attend one of our get-togethers. Also thanks much for the great advice.

    This is MorgantownWV a suburb of Pittsburg Pa. The closest thing to a Hobby store we have is in FairchancePa and is technically a Drugstore that has a corner set up for model railroad stuff.

     Since I’m a Micro RC enthusiast that’s where the indoor gym stuff came from. My church will allow me to have none equipment meetings in their facility.

      As far as the members here in Morgantown they will probably order there gear from me. Note I have a club discount at Xheli.com.

      I hope you don’t get the wrong idea I didn’t have anything planned out in advanced. Actually the group started out as a Rubber Powered Model Airplane Group. When the weather gets nicer we do have a outside field. Although to be honest nobody was really interested in the wind up models. The group dynamics changed to RC and now this is where we are at.

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CPD
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January 12, 2013 - 12:54 pm

Well then... that's a bit of a pickle for you guys...

 

Thinking about it, I think I've heard of the Fairchance drug store/train shop before. Never been there, but I do remember it from somewhere.

 

I'd start doing stuff like posting stuff around town or something then. You don't want to grow too fast and collapse, but you also don't want to be too small either. The larger you are, the easier it is to divy up costs on the gym and whatnot. You get 25 people there, and everybody's paying a mere $1/hour for it. I'd still think one of your best bets for starting out would be meeting at so-and-so's house this week, (or maybe every other week) then that person's house next week or the week after that, and so-forth for usual meetings and building/repair sessions. Maybe if somebody has a nice garage with the types of tools you need to repair and build rc stuff, along with a few fold-out tables, (and a wife that's crazy enough to let you guys in their garage) then you could hold building/repair sessons there, where the guys can go to get some help fixing their broken stuff and build/mod without having to buy any special tools. (like soldering guns/irons, heat guns, etc.) I wouldn't do that for every meeting, maybe just a monthly thing on say, the third monday evening of the month, or something like that. Then somebody out of 20 people has to have a nice enough house with a decent size room for regular cold-weather meetings, and you could go to a local park for warm-weather outdoor heli/car meetings. (I would contact the local park and rec before making it a regular event to make sure you're not interfering with anything or breaking some ordinance against people tying up pavillions for club/organization meetings without prior reservations or anything like that) Then what I'd do would be have a once-monthly or bi-monthly indoor flying/racing meeting in the gym.

I'm assuming you don't really want to get into dues and stuff like that, since anything where you have official income can be kinda tricky, but it wouldn't take much to say "hey, we need a new soldering iron for the club, if everybody pitches in $1, then we can buy it" or "we should invest in some plastic sheeting and a heat gun to help make and repair rc car boddies, heli noses/bodies and boat hulls, and if we all pitch in this much, we can get it" It's one of those things were a club could have its own stuff like that, and then people don't have to spend as much of their own money to buy things like soldering guns and heat guns.

Thinking about the rc cars, it probably woudln't take too much with heat-form plastic a heat gun and some knowlege of how to make a male mold out of high-desnity foam to make your own vacuum-formed bodies for stuff. AHA! Yep, $20 you can make a vacuum former adapter for a shopvac and make your own custom car bodies, boat hulls and heli fuselages, although I personally wouldn't use the oven, I'd opt for just the heat gun on high.   Get some foam and polystyrene, and your club could have a lot of fun turning out custom-made vacuum formed bodies that would otherwise cost the price of the home-built vacuum former. (I'm sure that would incude custom fuselages that could be attached to s107's as well. ;) )

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JamDJ
Lancaster, PA, USA
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January 12, 2013 - 5:26 pm
Member Since: February 14, 2012
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Widdog, Allow me to add a few comments here...

   First of all, thank you for trying to set up an R/C Club and good luck! I'm in the

process of setting up a fly-in here in Pa. up at State College and I feel your pain.

The difference is that I am planning on hosting a fly-in for Syma heli owners on

this forum, but will plan on leaving the rest of unused time for "Idle Banter".

  I've been in touch with CPD and SymaFreak about it and it seems all-systems-go,

except my fly-in will be dedicated to helis. This has been in the works since November,

however working in retail at Christmas, followed up by home health care for my wife

pretty well grounded out my planning for awhile.

  Anyway, here's my thoughts as of now:

     Use the old-fashioned yellow pages for resources in your area. I'm trying to get

local hobby shops on board here to set up a table or booth to sell related products,

if nothing else, batteries! My initial thoughts are to not charge them anything except

a door prize they might contribute for a game or contest among the attendees.

If 2 or 3 hobby shops are in, then we can at least advertise that they will be there,

selling and possibly demonstrating their wares. In the State College area there is a

Hobby-Lobby and and a bunch of Mom and Pop stores, plus a few here in Lancaster.

Just do "cold-calling", the worst they can say is "no".

   Look EVERYWHERE for a site to host your meeting. I like your idea of a Senior Citizens

Center, something I hadden't thought of. Locally here, we have a youth-group building and

staff, just need to see if they have a branch up in State College.

  Admission to cover expenses. Seems like $7.00 to $10.00 is the agreed-upon charge

according the our admins! I was in a quandry here, also. I wasn't favor of this,

but was brought to my attention that this would at least guarantee people whom signed

up would actually show up! If not, we've got a whole gym to ourselves!

 Follow what CPD said above to a "T" and also let SF in on your idea. Seems like 2013

will be a good year for fly-ins and meet-and-greets! Too bad the owners of this website

live on opposite sides of the oceans, both of them, but maybe someone here will have

live-skype and a good digital cam.    Good luck! 

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Widdog
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January 12, 2013 - 10:56 pm

Thank you, CPD and JamDJ. Wow great advice. I really appreciate the advice. I really have learned quite a bit from this Forum.

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Syma Freak
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January 13, 2013 - 5:51 pm
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Guys-I am in awe of your ideas-Unfortunately not that blessed with heaps of money-however I am prepared to buy two Syma 107 G helis for your fly in each for you-one thing that would be neat is maybe I get my son who has a printing business is to create like a plastic banner for you both with say a link to our forum or website--would that sit ok with you guys-then as Widdog suggest have a flying competition and offer the helis I will send you as a prize..then take some good photos and videos and I will create a special fly in page on our site and forum to show the action day!!-feel this could be exciting and good advertizing for your clubs-which any time you are having a meeting will post on forum and web page-give me your views guys-here to help--also will approach the Syma company direct once you have some proof of the fly in,like flyers,etc- and see if they want to get involved-you know what will contact them to day to get their feed back-I am excited with this idea.. ssig_cool2

"Fly like a butterfly sting like a Syma" http://syma107.com

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Syma Freak
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January 13, 2013 - 6:00 pm
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CPD that was a brain mind video- going to try that-thanks mate!

"Fly like a butterfly sting like a Syma" http://syma107.com

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Widdog
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January 13, 2013 - 8:35 pm

Syma Freak Wow Great Stuff!   I’m speechless. Awesome stuff... The idea of a ‘World Fly In is fantastic.

How about we make it a found raiser for Charity? Instead of a Banner I would really like a stand in poster of a pretty girl advertising the event/forum… For charity we might be able to get a awesome babe to do it. I believe in the UK there is a female spokes person for RC stuff that is sort of famous that might even do it.

I was thinking if we made the charity for children. Well anyway I just don’t have it all figured out. The poster is definitely something I want. I just can't get that just anywhere. And I really really really want one of those!

 My group has a sponsor Century 21 Real Estate. I will get them to pay the $25 Gym fee and buy a Syma contest prize. The poster is something we just can not buy. I would rather the extra effort be put into the Cut Out Poster instead of the contest prize.

      See a Stand In Poster would be very Convenient for me to set up at the doorway. Everyone would have to look at it by putting it at the front doorway.

Once again Great Stuff Syma Freak

      

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Syma Freak
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January 14, 2013 - 6:52 pm
Member Since: November 26, 2010
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All about connections and helping our hobby-more than willing to help here-with guys like CPD,Jamdj,myself and Supernova,hell we can create a fly in for say start off your states in the USA-keep us posted-will pin this topic SF

"Fly like a butterfly sting like a Syma" http://syma107.com

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Widdog
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January 14, 2013 - 9:23 pm

Thanks Much Syma Freak. Do you think you can get the poster stand up of a Model RC Girl? And or figure up a cost of such a thing for me? Also others may want to order one as well.

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CPD
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January 14, 2013 - 11:37 pm

Yakow, I thought of the same kind of thing a good while ago. One of those things, "If I ever hit the power ball, I'd fly in SF, SN and invite a bunch of other guys to come where I'm at, first day would be visit the 'Wings Over Pittsburgh' airshow (HUGE airshow with all kinds of cool stuff there. Never got to go to it yet, but it looks AMAZING) then the next day tour the area, looking at the beautiful landscape around here, then fly some outdoor helis in our farm fields, then rent out a warehouse or something for the day to fly smaller birds." (of course, all while wearing s107 forum t-shirts)

Obviously, I didn't win the powerball, or I'd be driving a refurbished UH-1 Huey to school, not a 2000 Rav4, and you guys beat me to the punch.

Sounds like it should be a lot of fun! I wish I could go, but as I was telling JamDJ, you have to remember, I'm just a college kid here, and I'm not going to go a couple hundred miles and a few hours to be with people I don't really know. (as the old saying goes, it's not that I don't trust you, it's that I don't trust anybody, especially people you meet online--there's been too many crazy people doing too many crazy things, and I don't want to be found under 4 inches of dirt in the middle of the woods or in the bottom of a lake with cinder blocks tied to my neck.) That said, I hope it goes well, and everybody enjoys it when you get it up and running!

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Widdog
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January 15, 2013 - 2:03 am

http://img812.imageshack.us/im.....irlsph.jpg 

Good points CPD. All is what I’m asking for is a full size stand up poster of a beautiful woman that I could attach a word bubble to that gives out the forum and my group info. Is this too much to ask for?  

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CPD
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January 15, 2013 - 3:10 am

I have no idea why, but sometimes it won't let me use the "add reply" button :/

Anyway, look around at a movie/entertainment/music kind of store like FYE but not really like FYE, more like a little, local kind of thing like that. Where I'm at, there's one store that's a bunch of used movies, used games, used memorobilia, and a TON of carboard cuttouts. They're not that cheap, online they're like $35 +shipping, and in-store, they're even more, but you should be able to find one there that you could use. Probably a scratch-and-dent one that would have some flaw you could cover up with a speech buble or large printout of a s107. Then just take a chunk of a cardboard box that's getting thrown away anyway, take some posterboard, make it say "Welcome to the world-fly in, sponsored by syma107.com and the Morgantown RC Club." or something like that.

Yaknow the more we get into it, the more it sounds like this is going from the Morgantown, WV RC club to the Morgantown VW International RC Club, with honorary members from as far away as Austrailia, the other side of the pond and as close as the other side of Pittsburgh. Lol. Had to know that by posting it on here, it's now become almost like a figurative meeting place and figurative real-world version of the forums, at least from the perspective of us on here, and not there irl.

Hope it all works out for ya!

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Widdog
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January 15, 2013 - 7:05 am

I followed the advice I got here very closely. Thanks everyone. I think my local group may make it.

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Syma Freak
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January 15, 2013 - 8:00 pm
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Widdog said
http://img812.imageshack.us/im.....irlsph.jpg 

Good points CPD. All is what I’m asking for is a full size stand up poster of a beautiful woman that I could attach a word bubble to that gives out the forum and my group info. Is this too much to ask for?  

Wow,maybe you should hire a real woman,and I will supply t-shirts-just like formula1,you can walk around with her following you with an umbrella lol - I do have some t-shirts and can get some made-maybe better than banners?

 

"Fly like a butterfly sting like a Syma" http://syma107.com

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