by Dave Mathewson, AMA President
We’ve all heard the saying “You only get one chance to make a good first impression.” That holds true no matter if you’re meeting someone in a causal setting for the first time, in a job interview, or maybe even when you’re at the field getting in a couple of flights and a spectator or two stop by to watch.
Most all of us want our clubs to be active, viable, and thriving organizations. We want that new blood—and the enthusiasm that comes with it—found in new members. It’s that enthusiasm that supplements and compliments what the more longtime members of the club bring to the table. For a club to reach its potential it takes the guidance of its experienced members coupled with the zeal and passion found in its newer members.
Many spectators who stop by the field already have an interest in model aviation. After all, they’ve taken the time to stop by to see what’s going on. Sometimes all it takes to turn that spectator from an interested observer into a new modeler and member of your club is to simply take a few minutes to walk over and say hello. Chances are the spectator will have some questions about model aviation. And, since we all like to talk about our hobby, my bet is that you will enjoy the conversation.
Many of us have been in the hobby for so long it’s hard to remember what it was like when we first decided we were interested in modeling. But I’ll bet for many of us we got involved after visiting a local hobby shop and then taking a trip to the local field. And I’ll also bet, for many of us, when we visited that field, we were befriended by one of the club’s members and that’s what really sparked our interest in becoming modelers. For many it was that first contact that resulted in a lifetime of enjoyment as modelers, and the friendships and camaraderie that resulted from belonging to a club.
The next time someone stops by your field to watch the action, why not take a moment to greet them? That one simple act may result in gaining a new member of the model aviation community, a new member of your club, and quite possibly a new friend. All of this is possible with just one simple act of outreach. You only get one chance to make a good first impression.