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I'm a member because...
KI>Everybody needs to keep their boxers loose when having this sort of
What about us female fishophiles that don't wear boxers? :-)
This should be a constructive process, nobody should be
KI>threatened. I have the utmost admiration for the hardworking leadership of
Absolutely right. I have found the leadership to be extremely
hardworking. I have also found that they are responsive to membership
concerns and that they do their best to make the changes that the
membership asks for.
KI>Why are you a member?
I've put this on the list before, but I will do so again.
When I joined the AKA it was to get some way cool fish. I had visions of
breeding everything in sight and winning the BIG trophies at all the
shows. Three years later, my breeding success is still spotty (but
improving), have yet to win anything (hey, have only entered a couple of
pairs to date), and yet I would not give up my membership. Why?
IT'S THE PEOPLE! There's a certain camaraderie among killie folk that is
not to be found in any other club (fish or otherwise) in which I have
held membership. I have found that killie hobbyists will go out of their
way to help others get started in the hobby, with advice, with free fish
(I think everybody has a tank of GAR hidden away somewhere to give to
new members) and plants, live food cultures, or just a genuine interest
in how you're doing.
The BNL, F&E, JAKA, etc are the icing on the cake, but they would not be
enough by themselves to keep me in the AKA. They enrich my experience,
and help me to be a more involved member and better hobbyist, but I
would not want to become more involved and better a keeping fish if it
were not for the people contacts.
Now, maybe I have just been lucky, and the people that I have
encountered (GCKA, ExK, and AKA members) have just been super nice.
However, I don't think that's the case, because too many other people
have related similar experiences.
BTW, I am one of the "younger" members (a lot of you have been keeping
killies for longer than I have been alive). I am as committed and
involved as my family responsibilities allow me to be, and hope to
become more so as my daughter (she's almost 4) gets older and requires
less time (meaining when she's 20, I suppose).
However, there are some things that my local club have done that have
allowed me to be involved even at this time. First, they are supremely
welcoming to small, rambunctious children at their meetings (so I can
take my daughter with me and get her hooked on fish), and the
experienced members have been willing to take me under their wings and
teach me how to do such things as club publicity, run at auctions, etc,
etc. Now, none of this is hard, and it may not sound like much, but I
would not even be doing this much if a fellow member hadn't said "I'll
help you" or "would you like to help me." Each year I try to do a little
more, and, remembering the mentoring I received from club members, I try
to return the favor to other newbies.
I think many of us newbies have no idea where to start on how to become
active in the hobby, or feel that their skills and talents are not up to
the task because we see how competent you experienced people are and we
forget that you were all newbies once, too. With mentoring, either
formal (such as in a club setting) or informal (such as over this e-mail
list), many of us newbies will gain the experience, skills, and
confidence to develop into the next generation of AKA leadership.
Without it, I suspect that many newbies leave, and we lose new members,
our most irreplaceable resource.
I'll get off my soapbox now and get back to the fish.
schmidtcarney at ecr_net
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