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Author Topic: Letting My AKA Membership Lapse  (Read 10480 times)
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rncembal
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« Reply #45 on: July 31, 2012, 10:40 AM »

This is a reoccurring topic.
If you care that there exists a organized body to promote kiting then support it.
IF the politics were so ugly that you withdrew . How can you stand to live in the USA our countries politics are so much uglier.
The politics became personal and vitriolic as desperation set in with finances in trouble and sinking membership. I think anyone with knowledge of the inner working knows that there is no quick fix as well as no clear blame to be assessed.
We seem the have achieved more peace now but that may be because I'm less involved ( but still dues paying)
There is an acceptance that the rush doing the sport kite growth is gone and the defection of kite surfers who joined only for the illusion of insurance . Read the AMA post that was the type AKA had as well.
I state it as others have. I don't pay my dues for a magazine but I read it . I never competed but I worked events. I never saw the insurance as a strong benefit as I'd read the policy. Most big events get the AKA insurance but also have a primary policy .
 For me it's simple my life has been so enriched by the AKA from it's existence I've met people from around the world and across the country. I am luckier than most AKA member in that I've been able to travel to conventions and other events in the 30 years I've been a member. My first real exposure to the wide world of kite beyond deltas boxes and diamonds came  as the Smithsonian festival where I was signed up for the AKA as well. I hope that others can get the same pleasure I do. In the new instant communication world much of the infighting that goes on in any governing body was exposed and brought to light. I'm sure it existed before  and I was glad not to know.
Proud dues payer
Rob
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DWayne
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« Reply #46 on: July 31, 2012, 11:23 AM »

AKA membership isn't mandatory unless you compete. Maybe they should take note of the AMA. They require membership to fly at any club field.
I wonder how many card carry AMA members there are on this forum ? Maybe as many as there are AKA members ? At least 2 have posted in this thread already.

Denny
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« Reply #47 on: July 31, 2012, 12:53 PM »

I won't get into the insurance too much (I'd think it was interesting but everyone else would fall asleep) but most policies of this nature are going to be excess policies. The policy is not being issued to be member themselves... it mainly serves to be there so events can be put on. Without the AKA insurance, many events would shut down.

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DGomberg
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« Reply #48 on: July 31, 2012, 10:35 PM »

AKA has certainly been suffering lately. Membership is off by 50%, attendance is down at the conventions, and with fixed costs like insurance spread over fewer people, it is harder to balance budgets.

Politics? Even the people I like least in kiting share a bond and understanding with me and the joys I value most. But that often gets lost.

I think our kite club mirrors our national situation. Some people hate the current president and miss the last one. Some people think the current president is fine and blame the last one for everything gone wrong. And lots of other people are so frustrated with the finger pointing and name calling that they just don’t care anymore.

Times and circumstances change, and AKA has needed to re-invent itself from time to time. We broadened the leadership to involve Regional Directors; we embraced competition; we struggled and ultimately lost the ability to insure members, we shifted from a newsletter to a magazine; we created a web presence and used the internet to communicate, we created Kite Month.

Folks no longer need a club to network, share information, or learn. It is time for AKA to once again, reinvent itself. The problem is that we’ve lost the ability to build a consensus. Critical change is needed and the Board is stagnating. Can you name a major initiative or overture of the past five years?? A president is successful if they can simply keep more people from getting mad. And the time needed to respond to members in this communication-intense age absorbs all available energy and efforts. Is anyone even running for President?

All things considered, John, my advice is to simply let your membership lapse.

Few people compete so there is little need for anyone to maintain our rules.

Insurance allows smaller events to exist and clubs to schedule regular events. But if you don’t have events nearby or a local club, who cares??

FaceBook has rendered Kiting magazine obsolete. No matter that it is a repository of our history and a tool to recruit new fliers.

If the convention goes away, we can rely on kite businesses to hold an assortment of “championships” and we’ll eventually sort out who is the best. As was once the case, money will decide the outcome.

Education and outreach and maintaining publications is hard. But in the absence of our Association, I’m sure someone will pick up the ball.

And awards? Each event or club can issue their own lifetime achievement awards. The Edeiken, Toy, and Ingraham trophies are too pretentious anyway…

Seriously, if good people all let their memberships lapse, in the end, the club will be left with no one – or at least not enough people to function credibly. And what will be lost? Something really special that adds to the understanding, joy, and credibility of what we all do.

We all benefit from the environment that AKA strives and struggles to create. At the end of the day, the question is whether you are part of the effort to make things better, or simply a recipient of your friends contributions.

David








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Kantaxel
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« Reply #49 on: August 01, 2012, 12:48 AM »

AKA has certainly been suffering lately.

All things considered, John, my advice is to simply let your membership lapse.
Few people compete so there is little need for anyone to maintain our rules.

Insurance allows smaller events to exist and clubs to schedule regular events. But if you don’t have events nearby or a local club, who cares??

FaceBook has rendered Kiting magazine obsolete. No matter that it is a repository of our history and a tool to recruit new fliers.

If the convention goes away, we can rely on kite businesses to hold an assortment of “championships” and we’ll eventually sort out who is the best. As was once the case, money will decide the outcome.

Education and outreach and maintaining publications is hard. But in the absence of our Association, I’m sure someone will pick up the ball.

And awards? Each event or club can issue their own lifetime achievement awards. The Edeiken, Toy, and Ingraham trophies are too pretentious anyway…

Seriously, if good people all let their memberships lapse, in the end, the club will be left with no one – or at least not enough people to function credibly. And what will be lost? Something really special that adds to the understanding, joy, and credibility of what we all do.

We all benefit from the environment that AKA strives and struggles to create. At the end of the day, the question is whether you are part of the effort to make things better, or simply a recipient of your friends contributions.

David









Mr Gomberg,
Just so I understand................Is the red above followed by six statements
intended to be facetious?

And the end for real?

Just want to know, I'm a bit confused Undecided
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kiteking
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« Reply #50 on: August 01, 2012, 04:24 AM »


We all benefit from the environment that AKA strives and struggles to create. At the end of the day, the question is whether you are part of the effort to make things better, or simply a recipient of your friends contributions.

David

Well said David
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RobB
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« Reply #51 on: August 01, 2012, 04:48 AM »

Oh yeah... THE CONVENTION. I was thrilled that the convention was going to be in the northeast a couple of years ago. Until I found out that it was $250 to get in the door. After years of paying dues, I have to pay that kind of scratch to come & fly with my 'kite club' ? Not not mention the other costs associated with travelling, I found that to be a slap in the face, especially because the yearly kite festival at the same venue is FREE.

I notice the convention this year is half that price... what does that reflect ? Others thought $250 was over the top, or was that just the organizers figuring that people in the northeast are used to getting ripped off ?

As far as supporting kiting, you know what I did with that $250 ? Bought another kite. Never once asked a retailer to honor my 'AKA discount'. Also, I support the forums that some how manage to get all these people together to talk about what's really going on in kiting, not what's going on with the 'organization'.
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DGomberg
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« Reply #52 on: August 01, 2012, 06:22 AM »


Mr Gomberg,
Just so I understand................Is the red above followed by six statements
intended to be facetious?

And the end for real?

Just want to know, I'm a bit confused Undecided

Facetious: adjective 1. not meant to be taken seriously or literally: a facetious remark. 2. amusing; humorous. 3. lacking serious intent;

Yeah -- I was being facetious. Thanks for asking. Wink

David
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Kantaxel
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« Reply #53 on: August 01, 2012, 06:39 AM »


Facetious: adjective 1. not meant to be taken seriously or literally: a facetious remark. 2. amusing; humorous. 3. lacking serious intent;

Yeah -- I was being facetious. Thanks for asking. Wink

David
[/quote]

Thank you then...I agree with Mike........VERY well said Cool

Jim
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DGomberg
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« Reply #54 on: August 01, 2012, 10:22 AM »

Oh yeah... THE CONVENTION. I was thrilled that the convention was going to be in the northeast a couple of years ago. Until I found out that it was $250 to get in the door. After years of paying dues, I have to pay that kind of scratch to come & fly with my 'kite club' ? Not not mention the other costs associated with travelling, I found that to be a slap in the face, especially because the yearly kite festival at the same venue is FREE.

I notice the convention this year is half that price... what does that reflect ? Others thought $250 was over the top, or was that just the organizers figuring that people in the northeast are used to getting ripped off ?

Well, to be fair, there is no such thing as a "free" kite festival. Someone pays. In the case of the Wildwood festival, most costs were covered by city grants, major sponsors, and vendors.

At the Wildwood convention, costs were covered by attending members. And that cost - including two banquets - was $250. I think it would be great if the AKA could find sponsors and grants. But with a rotating location, and an event focused on kiters more than on spectators, it has proven almost impossible to find outside money.

Why is Enid cheaper? First, the city there waived many of the typical costs. Guess they want us more than more popular destinations on the Coast do. And second, AKA has decided to run the event with volunteers rather than a paid manager. With low attendance, a manager really drives up the per attendee cost. But I can tell you that years ago, I was one of the last volunteer convention managers. And it was a full-time job! On top of that, how do we feel about volunteers handling $50,000 in registration fees. Folks probably don't remember the fiasco in San Diego over that very issue.

Attending any convention for any sport/hobby costs money. I think reasoned conversations about the amount are fair.

Sorry to divert the thread, but he question was asked.

David

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red sweater
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« Reply #55 on: August 01, 2012, 11:40 AM »

I was on vacation for the past week, including from the internet (mostly).

I don't know if anyone here wants my opinion, but here it is. We're not short on pixels, are we?

I once saw a guy flying a two-line kite on the drill field at college. A good while later, while perusing a hobby shop, I saw cheap (~$50) two-line kites. I bought one. I liked it, though I have trouble finding the wind to fly a non-UL kite. A year or two later, I got a Quantum, which I saw as a big investment. I've had it for a few years, but haven't flown it except for the annual beach trips. Inland sucks, but I only felt like I was missing out on occasion. Life flies by.

I've never met with others in a group to fly, and I've only once seen the DC Kite Festival at the National Monument, only briefly, and only because I happened by chance to be there that day already. I've not traveled to a festival, and only this year caught the freestyle bug and gotten really anxious about tricking kites.

I've not joined the AKA or any club. It might be nice, but being a husband and father severely limit my time and budget. I get the rush of buying new kites now, and adding a trick to my repertoire, but I could probably be okay with my new std and UL for years to come. Of course, I want all the kites I see on this forum now. But I wouldn't know what to do with them anyway.

I get that the AKA needs members to do anything. I wish I lived closer to where the events were, and I'd be happy to support it. But right now, I don't, and I won't. I'm pulled at least a dozen different directions in life, and I prioritize as best I can. I wish I had the ability to devote more time and money to this hobby. C'est la vie.
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rncembal
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« Reply #56 on: August 06, 2012, 09:48 AM »

For those that have not yet  heard. John Barresi has stepped up to helm the AKA an run for president. He is running unopposed but needs your support by being a member. I'm very confident that John can unite some of the faction at least to the point of civil discourse. If your first thought is "well I'll see what he does and then maybe rejoin" Think harder like "here is a guy I can see moving things positively but he's going to need some help. I may not be able to offer much but 40 bucks a year to share kites is not too much "
Rob
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« Reply #57 on: August 06, 2012, 10:02 AM »

While I've heard and discussed the "politics" in the AKA they have never affected me in anyway. The solution is simple... don't include yourself as part of the problem and it won't exist for you.

Politics only exists when you allow it to exist. At that point you become part of the problem.

It really does not matter to me a whole lot who is President of the AKA... it does not change what I get out of it or what I put in. As someone once told me at a kite festival... at the end of the day, it's just kite flying.
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« Reply #58 on: August 06, 2012, 10:43 AM »

For those that have not yet  heard. John Barresi has stepped up to helm the AKA an run for president. He is running unopposed but needs your support by being a member. I'm very confident that John can unite some of the faction at least to the point of civil discourse. If your first thought is "well I'll see what he does and then maybe rejoin" Think harder like "here is a guy I can see moving things positively but he's going to need some help. I may not be able to offer much but 40 bucks a year to share kites is not too much "
Rob
I agree, John will be a game changer. He needs all our support!
The AKA is in the process of mailing out ballots.
Region 10, my area is being sent out today.
John has brought kiting into the world view with the formation of iQuad.
They have been ambassadors to the world and attention to our televisions.
Join or renew now.
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RonG
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« Reply #59 on: August 06, 2012, 04:49 PM »

For those that have not yet  heard. John Barresi has stepped up to helm the AKA an run for president. He is running unopposed but needs your support by being a member. I'm very confident that John can unite some of the faction at least to the point of civil discourse. If your first thought is "well I'll see what he does and then maybe rejoin" Think harder like "here is a guy I can see moving things positively but he's going to need some help. I may not be able to offer much but 40 bucks a year to share kites is not too much "
Rob

You're saying that Barbara isn't running for another term, I take it.

John is running for AKA president?
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