>In my mind, not having some form of long term membership says to me that >most of the people in this group are too old to worry about what is going to be >happening in a few years....... If the money is used wisely by those in charge we >should see a society that we are proud to belong to and therefore promote, so >we then get more members and the society starts getting into an upward >spiral, rather than the current situation. >OK, so I'm getting off the soapbox now,
Hardly a soapbox way of making your point Seonaid and a refreshingly different way of viewing the life membership situation. To me it was an open and shut case until I read your email - now I am not so sure. We need to make the Society (and SCD in general) more appealing to the younger generation - life membership might well be one way. Another way seems to me to be to emphasise the wonderful doorway SCD offers to young people to visit and get to know people from other countries. In our tour of Scotland this May, a major benefit was feeling we were a group of people meeting new friends, rather than a group of tourists seeing the country. A young person from Cape Town could go round the UK (and probably the US, Europe, Canada, Japan, Australia and New Zealand) and meet local friendly people everywhere they went, sharing a past-time which is instantaneously a common language. So much more rewarding than dumping down in a backpackers and meeting other Capetonians doing the same thing!! Perhaps the RSCDS needs to concentrate on promoting this benefit. A centralised directory of all SCD groups world-wide (hunt them down, offer a new form of affiliation that requires a minimal fee (₤1?) and gives a free listing in the directory? Perhaps a young person's life membership card that allows one free entry to all affiliated organisations anywhere in the world (I certainly don’t charge overseas visitors when they come to dance with us).
Got any space on that soapbox Seonaid, there is a Gentleman needing room!!