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Team Black-Cat
WGA Webmaster
WGA Webmaster

Joined: 2007-09-13
Posts: 6096
Location: Somewhere in Central WI

PostPosted: Wed Jan 15, 2014 8:47 pm Reply with quote Back to top

First of all, thank you all for accepting your nominations and running for a spot on the WGA board of directors.

In the past five years, the number of WGA members has gone from nearly 900 to just over 400. There have been plenty of new members, but the lack of retention of members has severely and significantly impacted the organization.

What do you think the is the reason for the drop, and if elected, what would you do to change this devastating trend?

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WGA Member

Joined: 2008-04-12
Posts: 1928
Location: The Grassy Knoll, WI

PostPosted: Thu Jan 16, 2014 10:18 am Reply with quote Back to top

No idea. Of the people who drop off, are most of them still caching? Does anyone around here still know them? Did anyone ask them?
I guess that also answers the second part of your question: research.

There is no point in driving yourself mad trying to stop yourself going mad. You might just as well give in and save your sanity for later.

What\'s life? Life\'s easy. A quirk of matter. Nature\'s way of keeping meat fresh 
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Run N Search
WGA Member

Joined: 2010-03-07
Posts: 160
Location: Darboy WI

PostPosted: Thu Jan 16, 2014 7:15 pm Reply with quote Back to top

While each organization may have fluctuations in membership, I was in fact, surprised by TBC's figures of a 55% drop off in membership over the past five years.

It is possible that the general membership has a different opinion, or has different expectations of what benefits that a WGA membership holds.

One idea would be to solicit comments/input from the membership via an online survey to find out what their expectations are. That may in turn require a revised mission statement and action plan. If you don't know what the target looks like, it is hard to hit. Right now it would be difficult to come up with an action plan because the target is well cammo'ed

Hey, look under that thing over there for me, will ya? 
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WGA Board Member
WGA Board Member

Joined: 2006-05-11
Posts: 204
Location: Madison, WI USA

PostPosted: Fri Jan 17, 2014 12:31 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Soliciting from members at the annual meeting is a good idea or even online but an e-mail request might also work.

My idea for board members to have a local meet and greet to get a feeling of what is going on in the community may also work.

Another possibility...although I'm not advocating this at this time just thinking outside...would be to divide the WGA into North and South or some other division so there is more geographic continuity. I have cached in all 72 counties but many have not and don't intend to. This North and South division would make it possible for members to attend events closer to home and with the cost of gas and everything else, it would make it more economical.

Steve Biedermann
Honor, Courage, Commitment
If you don\'t stand behind our troops, feel free to stand in front of them!

Disclaimer: My Posts are not the opinion or policy of the entire BOD but are solely my opinion! 
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WGA Board Member
WGA Board Member

Joined: Dec 19, 2011
Posts: 60

PostPosted: Sun Jan 19, 2014 7:35 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Hi Team Black-Cat, Maybe alot of people just lost the interest in Geocaching. Another idea that hits close is the price of gas. The price is always going up and many people cannot afford to keep up with the sport. Being on the board would not stop me from keeping people from not going Geocaching. Like for me living in such a rural area, to travel to find caches is a long haul it is not like I live n a big city where there are tons of caches available or alot of bike trails to ride.
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WGA Vice-President
WGA Vice-President

Joined: 2007-05-19
Posts: 6121
Location: The Wildside

PostPosted: Sun Jan 19, 2014 10:16 pm Reply with quote Back to top

In my opinion, I believe many have left geocaching behind due to any number of the following factors.
economic - gas prices, equipment
personal - jobs, family, health
enjoyment or lack thereof - "hey, another film canister/signpost..."
changes in geocaching in general - no longer a secret society.

Not having any way to influence the economic or personal factors, I can only look to the last two factors I listed as something that the WGA could have any bearing on.

I fully understand the necessity to have easier caches for those who cannot seek the higher terrain and that there are those who would rather grab a signpost cache every 0.1 to add to their smiley collection versus taking a scenic hike to gain a single smiley. Geocaching has grown and gained so much attention, both good and bad. There are still those who haven't heard of this sport/hobby but it is much wider known now than when I first started in 2006.

Geocaching used to be like a secret society where you were known by your geo-name more than your given name. You had your circle of caching friends and only they knew your real identity. Now with >6 million cachers worldwide, it has truly blossomed.

When I started caching seriously in Dec 2006, there were just over 341,000 caches worldwide, now there are nearly 2.3 million caches worldwide. All I can do is to encourage our current cachers that place caches to do so in a way that advances the sport and makes it stronger. And in regards to WGA membership, educating them about the organization and that there is a solid group of folks willing to assist and answer questions they may have.

Operor vel Operor Non , Illic Est Haud Tendo

All forum posts are the thoughts and opinions of the poster and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts and opinions of the WGA Board of Directors 
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WGA Board Member
WGA Board Member

Joined: 2010-05-04
Posts: 1299
Location: Madison, WI

PostPosted: Mon Jan 20, 2014 10:17 am Reply with quote Back to top

I can't say for certain, but have to believe that economics & spare time are the two biggest factors in the decrease. This hobby can be quite time & $$ intensive especially for those of us that are "addicted". I feel like the core membership have similar traits in that we like to travel and explore and the WGA provides a network of friends and contacts spread across the state.

I agree with Steve, local "Meet the BOD" type events would hopefully generate interest and allow those cachers that don't have the time, energy or money to travel across the state to get involved more. Another idea I've kicked around a bit is some WGA-sponsored adventures. When I think of some of the best caching trips I went on the last year or two, most of them included other active WGA members, but all were organized outside of the site. We have tons of great caches that have 10, 20 or more people watching them. Maybe something like this would motivate people to come and make a day or weekend of it.

I think of the GONIL group organizing a group ride along the SPPT power trail that included probably close to 40-50 people including dutchlandian (Ans is from The Netherlands), or zuma's Power Island trip which was practically a WGA event in MI, or Road to Camelot series in Iowa. Why shouldn't we facilitate caching trips along with events and CITOs?

WARNING: Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult!

This post is purely a \"hippie\" point-of-view and in no way, shape or form reflects the BOD as a whole. 
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WGA Board Member
WGA Board Member

Joined: 2006-10-23
Posts: 973
Location: Sheboygan, WI

PostPosted: Wed Jan 22, 2014 7:34 pm Reply with quote Back to top

The decline in membership could be from many factors such as a loss of interest in Geocaching, or economic reasons. I have had a number of people that I have talked to while out caching tell me that they didn't even know that there was a state caching organization. So perhaps one possibility to help with membership is better or more promotion of the WGA. A good example of this is the WGA State Park Caches, these will help get the name of the WGA out to more of the public.

The post above is purely the opinion of the poster and is no way connected to the opinions of the WGA Board.

Bushwhacking Unnecessarily Since 2006!! 
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