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Old 09-27-2006, 09:31 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Columbus Club?

I know this sounds weird and probably a bit counter productive to even mention this, but has anyone thought about starting a Columbus area "Plant Club"? I know you have CAFE in the area but I don't know how involved their "plant side" is. If it is like most Fish Clubs, plants are pretty much an "afterthought" and enough time is not devoted to the planted side at monthly meetings.

In no way am I trying to decrease the membership in SWOAPE (the more the merrier as far as I am concerned) or make the Columbus folks feel unwelcome (you are all more than welcome in SWOAPE) but I am a "realist". The time and expense involved with you guys driving to the Dayton or Cincinnati area (about a 90 minute drive) for monthly SWOAPE meetings may be a bit cost prohibitive for some and may not allow many of you to attend our meetings. Having your own club in the Columbus area may be a good idea and would help get our hobby growing even more! Besides, the more planted tank clubs we have, the better it will be for the hobbyists and the hobby itself! We may even be able to hold an "Ohio Planted Tank Club" meeting once a year or so!

Getting folks involved in a “Local Plant Club” only helps the hobby grow as a whole. If the folks around Columbus have a shorter drive to attend meetings, I think that more folks would be willing/able to attend on a monthly basis allowing you to share your experiences more often.

As much as I hate to see the SWOAPE membership decline, I would be more than willing to lend a hand in helping those from Columbus (or Toledo or Cleveland) start their own club if there is enough interest. At least one person would need to have some time on their hands to handle the aspects of the club such as scheduling meetings, planning for discussion topics, etc, etc.

Everyone feel free to respond to this and give your opinion. I would especially like to hear from the Columbus folks, specifically anyone willing to put forth the effort of starting a club.
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Old 09-27-2006, 09:58 AM   #2 (permalink)
 
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That sounds like a great idea it sure would be a lot closer
and in a city the size of Columbus I'm sure there would be a
lot of intrest and maybe every once in a while we could
have a meeting of both clubs
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Old 09-27-2006, 10:11 AM   #3 (permalink)
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My thoughts exactly Eric! With six members in the Columbus area and probably a whole lot more who would be willing to join a "local" plant club, a Columbus club seems like it may be a good idea.

Who knows, if clubs eventually get started in the Toledo and Cleveland areas, Ohio could have a statewide "convention" each year where all of the plant folks could get together! Columbus would be the "natural" location due to it's size and central location.
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Old 09-27-2006, 10:39 AM   #4 (permalink)
 
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A columbus club sounds like a good idea, I know I'm extremely new to SWOAPE and haven't been to a meeting yet but I know as a new member the drive to the meetings is probably going to be one of the biggest things holding me back from attending, other than my busy school/work schedule. A local club that had occasional meetings with SWOAPE would probably be something to consider, if there is enough interest.
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Old 09-27-2006, 10:42 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I'd certainly be interested.
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Old 09-27-2006, 03:14 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Good riddens! Especially that Sean guy.
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Old 09-27-2006, 03:18 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Who would we get to cook for us
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Old 09-28-2006, 02:15 AM   #8 (permalink)
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it's going to take a ton of work. CAFE is either a dud or there is little interest in FW aquariums as more than just an oscar or guppy tank. that sounds rude, but there really isnt much going on as far as "advanced" hobbyists.

There will be a lot of teaching, recruiting, and the like to get this going and keep it going. I'm a member of CAFE... and it's got potential... just no one does the limitless legwork to make it good. I wish i had the time, I'd love to start a plant club. i am, though, still concerned that there may just not be enough interest to keep it going.

How would you go about starting a club...? a membership drive? i'd personally get some pet store employees to join first since they can spread the club's existance through word of mouth.

I'm pretty busy with work and school... but id love to help get one going. some friends and i were thinking of starting a different FW club in columbus since CAFE isnt really running all that great ,IMHO. maybe a joint club would be beneficial.
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Old 09-28-2006, 07:36 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Six View Post
it's going to take a ton of work. CAFE is either a dud or there is little interest in FW aquariums as more than just an oscar or guppy tank. that sounds rude, but there really isnt much going on as far as "advanced" hobbyists.
SWOAPE hasn't been that much work really but I think it has been easier since we did it on our own and did not have to follow any "rules" or "regulations" by combining with another club, such as GCAS or CAFE. Starting a club can be as easy or difficult as you make it So far we have chosen to make things fairly easy on ourselves....we are a very informal club, no elected officers and no set agenda for most of the meetings. We do have a discussion topic at some meetings but mostly we just get together and BS for an hour or two and trade plants and fish. Most members also donate plants or fish to the club and we then sell them to each other cheap!

A forum like this makes it easy to communicate with members. We still don't have an operational website yet so things are very simple for us and will probably stay that way for a while. Try not to complicate it too much in the beginning and just have fun

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Originally Posted by Six View Post
There will be a lot of teaching, recruiting, and the like to get this going and keep it going. I'm a member of CAFE... and it's got potential... just no one does the limitless legwork to make it good. I wish i had the time, I'd love to start a plant club. i am, though, still concerned that there may just not be enough interest to keep it going.
The first couple of meeting will require some "teaching" or information sharing. There are plenty of articles on this site you can reproduce for a club, you just have to ask the author for permission to reprint them. I have yet to be turned down since most plant people are more than willing to help out. This side of the hobby is much friendlier in my opinion.

As far as advertising, there is plenty of that right here on APC and it benefits both the local club and APC. Folks interested in plants seem to find this site pretty easily. In my opinion, the best way to get people into planted tanks is to hold a meeting at someone's house who has a nice planted tank. There is no better advertising than that to get someone "hooked" on planted tanks. Holding your first meeting on "neutral" ground like a restaurant is also a good idea.

I was concerned about the interest in starting a plant club also. Some of the GCAS members espressed that concern also (see the link in my first post). I think SWOAPE is off to a nice start and it has exceeded my expectations so far

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How would you go about starting a club...? a membership drive? i'd personally get some pet store employees to join first since they can spread the club's existance through word of mouth.
You already have 5-6 folks in Columbus, that should be plenty to get a club started, SWOAPE started with three people and an idea! Start simple and host a meeting and advertise a little. If things work out right, Sean may be willing to host our SWOAPE meeting in November. I'll bet everyone from the Columbus area on this forum would be willing to attend and I will be there also.

By not having any "dues", people are more likely to attend a meeting to see if it is something they would be interested in. The initial three SWOAPE members doubled after I posted a thread on GCAS . Each person ends up telling another person about the "club" and it slowly grows. At our first meeting we had about 8 members, 2 of which have never returned. Word of mouth from the first meeting brought us several more members by the second meeting. Quite a few more have joined from this site since then.

Most Pet stores will let you put up a flyer in the store for people to see, especially if you have a good relationship with them. Since I was new to the area, I did not know anyone at any of the LFS. Other club members did though and I guess word of mouth spread that way also. I don't think we have ever put up a flyer in a LFS. If you know some LFS employees who are knowledgeable in the "planted side" they will be a big help also!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Six View Post
I'm pretty busy with work and school... but id love to help get one going. some friends and i were thinking of starting a different FW club in columbus since CAFE isnt really running all that great ,IMHO. maybe a joint club would be beneficial.
I am more than willing to lend a hand to help you get a local planted club going. Most of the SWOAPE folks were members of GCAS before finding SWOAPE. I believe all are still GCAS members. GCAS has the fish side of the hobby covered (if you like Cichlids) but the plant side is lacking. They have a fairly active online Horticulture Awards Program but there is only about 5-10 minutes devoted to the planted side of the hobby near the end of the meetings. Most plant people want mroe than that I think
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Old 09-29-2006, 08:51 AM   #10 (permalink)
 
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I would certainly miss seeing those Columbus folks myself (you guys are OK ) but at the same time I have to admit I can't see myself making it up to Columbus for a meeting. If someone is willing to take the lead on this, I imagine it would be better for those of you in Columbus. Otherwise I hope you all continue coming down south a bit to see us! At the least, I think an annual get together of the 2 clubs (or all Ohio clubs) is one of the best ideas I've heard!
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