Amatuer Radio Operator Warning! Don’t blindly join the Batesville Area Radio Club located in Batesville, AR as we did, if only we had known…
I will try to make this short because today is my birthday !(1/31/2023). One that I would not have been here for if it were not for God answering many prayers and giving me a wonderful, caring person, Sheri, to be faithfully by my side. Side note: cancer sucks.
Sheri (AB5SC) and I (AG5CC) decided to get our amateur radio license after our niece’s home was hit by a tornado in Jonesboro, Arkansas and no one could get in touch with her for several hours. We studied, then passed our exams. We are now both Amateur Extra class and Volunteer Examiners. During this time, we joined and rigorously supported the Batesville Area Radio Club located within our home town of Batesville, Arkansas.
Yesterday afternoon I received this wonderful early birthday gift—a letter emailed to me (and Sheri) from Greg McKinney, (K5GNT), current Secretary of the Batesville Area Radio Club (BARC), and most assuredly the letter’s author, though it is “signed” by the current President and Vice President of BARC. In short, a notification that BARC has revoked our membership.
I do mean gift; I feel happy to be free from my responsibilities as a club member to attempt to hold the officers accountable for their actions. It was to the point I was ashamed to admit that I was a member of this club because of how new, longtime, and lifetime members were being treated. The shame of being a member witnessing the officers’ abuse of power has been lifted as Sheri and I did our best to do right. Some might ask, “Did you really try? or say something like “You get out what you put in.” One person even asked, “Why would you stay…?”
Let me list some of the things Sheri and I have “put in” to this club we joined July 2020:
- Net Control, calling 23 nets as a member of the club.
- Took on the responsibility of Public Information Officer (PIO) for a year, promoting the club through the local newspaper, websites, social media, and radio stations.
- Designed and created a brand-new club website, spending countless hours on design, photos, and content to promote the club in a positive way and provide members with a new way to view club information and radio events.
- Took hundreds of photos of club events and posted them on the website and social media to further promote the good will of club.
- New website was hosted free of charge on our personal web server for over a year.
- Rebuilt the Facebook Page and created a new Facebook group. Again, spending countless hours creating graphics, images, and content promoting the club in a positive manner.
- Designed an updated club logo to help promote the club that was officially voted in as a new club logo.
- Donated money, labor, and materials to the construction of the new repeater shack. We contributed over 10% of the total estimated cost of the shack.
- Designed and procured the permanent sign for the new shack and hand painted the sign for the donation of fencing around the shack.
- Designed and procured the commemorative plaque of the new repeater shack.
- Designed and procured promotional business cards for all club members to have to promote the club.
- Attended our first Field Day for which Sheri and I donated and delivered over $150.00 of drinks and ice for the whole event.
- Continued maintenance of the website including backups, preventing malicious attacks, and updates even after I resigned as PIO and during my battle with throat cancer.
- Donated time to successfully move and restore the club website to a new server and domain name after it was left inaccessible by the death of the president of the club and implemented a system to ensure it won’t happen in the future.
- Donated time and talent to the election committee and created election ballots and website pages so ALL members would be informed of the election and have the ability to cast their vote.
- Awarded a plaque of appreciation from the Batesville Area Radio Club by the past President before his death.
- Wrote an official inquiry, (soon to be publicly published) as a member in good standing, detailing direct violations of club bylaws by the officers, with supporting documentation, that needs to be investigated for the good of the club. (called “letter of disenchantment” in our notification letter)
This list is only meant to show that Sheri and I were willing, able, and willfully participating members that did invest, both monetarily and physically, in what we thought, at the time, was a club that served the community, treated ALL members equally and promoted amateur radio through teaching and events.
After all our contributions for the club in 2-1/2 years, we were “voted” out of the club without any notice, warning, or answers to our questions. We expected higher standards from an “established” Amateur Radio Relay League (ARRL) affiliated club.
This list is also for those 2/3 of the club’s ‘active’ members who allegedly voted to revoke our club membership without any representation and for those members that were not contacted at all.
All of my and Sheri’s actions have been with only “what is best for the club” in mind. We have faithfully and morally followed the truth with the good of the club and all members in our hearts. All those that have “vowed” to follow us because of our actions. Please do!
Again this has been My Personal Experience with my first Amateur Radio Relay League (ARRL) affiliated club.
A friend of mine created a group where you can
Play Radio and Have a Good Time:
White River Radio & Communications
My final unsolicited advice to any new Amateur Radio Operator, especially in the Batesville, Arkansas area, looking to join a local radio club: Ask how many events/programs they offer every month; business meetings don’t count. If it’s not more than a picnic and a field day, find another club.
Also do NOT think that because a club is affiliated with the ARRL it is any way meeting some sort of higher standard.