Uncle Russ needs YOU! (10/22/2000)
A Webmaster Editorial
(With apologies to Mr. Durkee. His new look put me in mind
of a certain well-known recruitment poster.)
Last week, I discussed the lack of
constructive participation by a large portion of the MASA
membership. I also suggested a few simple (and easy)
activities by which anyone could make a positive contribution to the
club; enhancing the experience for everyone.
Mars needs women! Errr, strike that. MASA needs
volunteers! Uncle Russ needs YOU!
MASA has three elected officer positions. Unfortunately,
over the past three years, these three individuals have ended up
doing the lion's share of the work involved in running the
club. Along the way, they have been supported by a few
long-term volunteers. In the first year, I volunteered to do
the website - a task which had previously been on Russ'
shoulders. This past winter, Art volunteered to do the printed
newsletter - a task which had previously fallen upon Damian.
To thrive, succeed, and grow, the club needs more of these
"official volunteers"; people who agree to champion a
specific task for the year and remove a little of the burden from
our elected few. To use military terms, a great general must
be supported by an effective staff of officers; he (or she) must
also be willing to place responsibilities (and trust) upon those
Here are some of my ideas for "official volunteer"
- Summer picnic organizer. A person to arrange a picnic
site, organize people to bring things, activities, doorprizes,
etc. I performed this duty last July. It was a lot
of work, but I received a lot of "thank you's" from
- Holiday party organizer. Similar sort of thing,
different time of year.
- Launch equipment wranglers. Right now, the MASA VP has
gotten stuck with the duty of hauling the launch equipment to
and from the launches and storing it between times. I
think that the ultimate responsibility for this duty should
remain with the VP, but I also think that he should have
help! I think that we should have 2 additional wranglers
to share this duty. They would haul and store the
equipment, check it over before a launch, etc. If
they took turns, each of the three people would only have to do
it a couple times per year and it wouldn't be the great chore
for one person that it is currently.
- Launch special event organizers. This person (or
persons) would propose fun competitions, special themes, etc for
MASA launches. This could also be a person who wants to
introduce official-style NAR competitions to MASA launches.
- Head LCO. Helps line-up LCO volunteers for
launches. Provide a resource to train & reassure new
- Head RSO. Similar sort of thing, different acronym.
- Newsletter contributors. We need a set of people able to
contribute items for every edition of the newsletter. If
you look at the NIRA newsletter, "The Leading Edge",
they have people who contribute to every issue. I say that
we create a list of contributors. For every new issue,
these people would be canvassed for contributions. Perhaps
they have a simple tip to pass along, perhaps they'd like to
write a regular column, contribute rocket plans, write reviews
of rocket kits, pass along great photos, write a description of
that recent trip, etc. (I could've just as easily called
this "website contributors". Hint, hint.)
- Magazine reporter. If you look in the back of any of the
three rocket magazines, there are always reports there from
rocket clubs. I think that it would be great to see
reports there from MASA launches! This could be as easy
as, every other month, collecting and condensing the launch
reports from the website and then sending them in to the
magazines. (See your name in print!)
- I'm sure that there could be many more! What are your
ideas? What could you do? (FAA liaison? Launch
coordinator? High power mentor? School/group contact
person? Junior membership representative?)
Would you be an official volunteer? How could we, as a
club, justify not doing something like what I've outlined?
Next Sunday's editorial will discuss further concepts and some of
the feedback that I've received on these editorials. And
remember, Uncle Russ needs you!
What did you do for the greater good of MASA, this month?
The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily
represent those of the MASA organization or its current
officers. They're all mine, mine, MINE! (but I'm willing to
share). If they've made you mad, perhaps mad enough to do
something, GOOD! If you wish to discuss this topic by
email. This editorial was brought to you by the letter E and
the number 4. Refreshments provided by Sprecher,
soundtrack by No Doubt.
IMHO, Alan Estenson