MCSA Vision

General climbing discussions. Climbing, Bouldering, Mountaineering. Anything!!
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Rob P
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Re: MCSA Vision

Postby Rob P » Fri Aug 15, 2014 3:56 pm

I am a member and very much agree with Colenso. Our representative bodies need to do more upfront management of land access. Trying to retrospectively negotiate access once a decision has been taken is always much harder. In the UK there is legislation called the CRoW Act which is allows everyone access to uncultivated land (slightly more detail but not for here). We need a body to push for legislative change and freedom of right to access this land. In the most of the developed world, its is a right but in SA, it's not.

If the MCSA had the funds to employ full time access managers as the BMC do and lobbyists to work with politicians we'd all be a lot better off access wise. The MCSA need to become more like the BMC and become a force to be reckoned with if we are to protect our access for future generations.

Or, we could just continue to leave access decisions with Parks and land owners and end up paying rather exorbitant fees to access the land (Wolfberg and Wolfberg arch being a great example).

Rocklands recent access issues also a good example. If the MCSA had taken a more proactive approach in land management in this area (i.e. putting in climbers toilets, access ways and rubbish bins) we might not have had the problem.

How long did the whole Redhill saga go on for? I was personally pulled up for bouldering in Redhill.

I don't mean to be critical raising these examples, the fact is that there have been issues and continue to be issues and these have not had a body (or a body strong enough) to solve them. We need to modernise and looking at other world examples like the Access Fund and BMC are good examples of where the MCSA needs to be going.

Marshall1
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Re: MCSA Vision

Postby Marshall1 » Fri Aug 15, 2014 5:12 pm

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Last edited by Marshall1 on Wed Apr 22, 2015 9:24 am, edited 1 time in total.

Nic Le Maitre
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Re: MCSA Vision

Postby Nic Le Maitre » Sun Aug 17, 2014 6:52 pm

Rob P wrote:I am a member and very much agree with Colenso. Our representative bodies need to do more upfront management of land access. Trying to retrospectively negotiate access once a decision has been taken is always much harder. In the UK there is legislation called the CRoW Act which is allows everyone access to uncultivated land (slightly more detail but not for here). We need a body to push for legislative change and freedom of right to access this land. In the most of the developed world, its is a right but in SA, it's not.


This would require fundamental changes to our current body of law and it's not going to happen. It's akin to you being forced to allow every Tom, Dick and Harry access to your back garden. It might work in UK, where crime is not such a problem but not here.

Rob P wrote:Or, we could just continue to leave access decisions with Parks and land owners and end up paying rather exorbitant fees to access the land (Wolfberg and Wolfberg arch being a great example).

Negotiations are taking place here and there is currently a "climbers permit" that costs significantly less for a longer stay. Ask at the office.

Rob P wrote:Rocklands recent access issues also a good example. If the MCSA had taken a more proactive approach in land management in this area (i.e. putting in climbers toilets, access ways and rubbish bins) we might not have had the problem.


It's not the MCSA's problem here. They can offer help to CapeNature (who are required by law to manage the land) but CapeNature don't have to accept that help.

Rob P wrote:How long did the whole Redhill saga go on for? I was personally pulled up for bouldering in Redhill.


The delays here have nothing to do with the MCSA. SANParks is the cause of the delay. They did not agree to site visit times and are taking their time to approve the management plan.

Rob P wrote:I don't mean to be critical raising these examples, the fact is that there have been issues and continue to be issues and these have not had a body (or a body strong enough) to solve them.

The MCSA is the ONLY body in South Africa with the power to negotiate with land owners and organs of State because it represents the largest group of individuals who care about these things. You want to change the way things are run? You want to get things done faster? Then join a sub-com, I know Delaney could certainly use some help on the rock-subcom and it seems close to your heart.
Happy climbing
Nic

mikej
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Re: MCSA Vision

Postby mikej » Mon Aug 18, 2014 7:03 am

What I see in the MCSA is a bunch of old farts who sit around and bitch about problems associated with the popularity of climbing without really doing anything to address environmental/access issues because of a lack of funding (and vision!!!). And that lack of funding comes because you think that there are only very narrow terms under which someone can contribute to the MCSA. Purely financial contributions are not welcome, online donations are not welcome, young people are not welcome, new ideas are not welcome.

If you look at how international climbing organizations function (Access Fund, American Alpine Club, etc.) and how they deal with access issues, you guys are way behind because you're so closed minded. It's an ineffective organization because it discourages participation unless it is on the terms of a few cranky old men.

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Forket
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Re: MCSA Vision

Postby Forket » Mon Aug 18, 2014 7:49 am

:lol:

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Forket
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Re: MCSA Vision

Postby Forket » Mon Aug 18, 2014 7:51 am

Well phrased mike

Warren G
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Re: MCSA Vision

Postby Warren G » Mon Aug 18, 2014 10:18 am

Mike is clearly trolling or he'd have to admit most of the climbing he enjoys is thanks to the MCSA gaining access. COmments on forums are easy to make, changing perceptions and helping the only organization that can help him is hard. Mike, you are the problem with the MCSA, not because you are not a member of it helping to solve the problems you face, but because you complain from the sideline without actually helping.

The MCSA (or any club/organization) is simply a sum of those within it.
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Justin
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Re: MCSA Vision

Postby Justin » Mon Aug 18, 2014 11:31 am

Warren G wrote:Mike is clearly trolling or he'd have to admit most of the climbing he enjoys is thanks to the MCSA gaining access.


Or he may just be expressing his perception of the club (he may not even know that the MCSA own a piece of land - which he may or may not have visited)!?
He starts his post with "What I see in the MCSA"

Warren G wrote:Mike, you are the problem with the MCSA, not because you are not a member of it helping to solve the problems you face, but because you complain from the sideline without actually helping.
The MCSA (or any club/organization) is simply a sum of those within it.


Well yes. Again, mikej is not complaining - just expressing what he see's (i.e. that old fuddy duddy's run the show).
He may be under the impression that joining or complaining would not be of any use (but he may be willing to contribute financially/other)!?

Those in the know are aware of what the MCSA has done. But there are many who are not in the know.
People like mikej are prime candidates for the MCSA, but the club is not 'reaching' him.

I've mentioned this a few times: the MCSA have a committee for most things. How about a PR Committee?
I found AgentSmith's post to be of particular interest.

Since: I'm on the soapbox... how does the number of hikers to climbers compare in the club and what is the average age of MCSA members?
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Warren G
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Re: MCSA Vision

Postby Warren G » Mon Aug 18, 2014 11:53 am

Justin, you are right and I am a bit harsh above: The MCSA is a large club many of whom are old farts, but many are young and enthusiastic to use the club to gain access to places of their own interest.

To Generalize is dangerous, and it was this that had my back up, sorry Mike. I do think that every climber should contribute 5% back of their climbing time to help further climbing in this country, and for that joining the MCSA is an ideal start towards this as they have committees dedicated to the common concerns for which Mike could join.

Mike, presumably you are a young climber, have you thought about helping MCSA's outreach programs, access committees, Anchor Replacement programs, path building initiatives etc? What is it that you feel MCSA is not doing? All of these do have funds (if you go to the ARF page they have account info should you want to contribute there). Who did you talk to regarding donations? Try some of these people: http://mcsacapetown.co.za/home/contact-us.
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Nic Le Maitre
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Re: MCSA Vision

Postby Nic Le Maitre » Mon Aug 18, 2014 12:10 pm

I think you're right there Justin, the MCSA does need better PR. There are loads of things that MCSA members do on the club's behalf (and thereby on behalf of all mountain users) that don't get the recognition that they deserve.

How many people know that:
There wouldn't be sport climbing in the Cederberg without the MCSA.
Much of the sport climbing in Montagu is as a result of the MCSA either arranging access or sponsoring bolts.
The ARF in the Cape is the reason that you can happily clip bolts without worrying about SCC, that's an MCSA initiative.
This year alone MCSA members (as part of local SAR teams) participated in the rescue of more than 106 mountain users.
SANParks continually try to introduce new permits in the Cape to regulate climbers, without resistance and dialogue with the MCSA you'd need a permit to go trad climbing on TM
The MCSA is one of the largest land owners in the country, they have secured access to and ensured the preservation of countless hectares of mountain land so that our descendants can enjoy them too.
If we ever regain access to Boschkloof in Montagu, it will because of the efforts of MCSA members.

Yes, the club has a lot of older members, so what? These guys are the heroes of yesteryear. Names like Mamacos, Cheesmond, De Klerk, Scott and Fatti - do you think that because they are older they don't care in the same way you do? There are also lots of younger members, just come to any first Tuesday of the month slideshow at the club in Cape Town and see.

If you want the club to change and register your voice, join us. Don't piss on us from the outside, that achieves nothing.
Happy climbing
Nic

clickbutt
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Re: MCSA Vision

Postby clickbutt » Mon Aug 18, 2014 12:52 pm

I joined the MCSA earlier this year - only because I started Trad climbing.
Before that I was told many times that the MCSA is just a collection of old climbers and I had no idea what the MCSA really does.
I can tell you after one night around the camp fire with these old farts I instantly regretted not joining sooner!

The MCSA has a PR problem. The majority of sport/young climbers does not understand why they need to join the MCSA.
The mantra of a "club is what the members make it" is very valid - but prospective members first need to know what the club can do for them and what they can potentially do for the club.

The MCSA is this ghost entity that sport climbers are aware off - but many do not realized the bolts they climb on, the areas they visit and the access fees (or lack of access fees) are mostly thanks to MCSA.

Listening to the old farts talk about the good old days it is clear there was a time where the youth was a big part of MCSA. I really feel it is important to get back to that place...

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Justin
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Re: MCSA Vision

Postby Justin » Mon Aug 18, 2014 1:04 pm

Nic Le Maitre wrote:If we ever regain access to Badkloof in Montagu, it will because of the efforts of MCSA members.


Bad Kloof is open!
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mikej
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Re: MCSA Vision

Postby mikej » Mon Aug 18, 2014 1:06 pm

^ Absolutely agree Louis!!

I'm not trollling. Let's be real. A lot of the older guys on this forum do go out of their way to piss off sport climbers and/or boulderers and accuse them of shitting all over the place, etc. The real issue is not sport vs. trad but of a much larger number of participants in climbing than a few decades ago. And a lot of the new participants to climbing are into sport climbing and bouldering. Numbers have an environmental impact, and with more funding the MCSA would be in a better position to address those issues.

Also, all of my interactions have been with the JHB MCSA. When I showed up at the Tuks wall one night on an MCSA night instead of being offered a belay, they asked me if I had made a mistake and showed up on the wrong night. So I just left. That was after I had been chewed out in a kloof despite, as far as I could tell, following the rules. Then you have people tell you that you can't join unless you are interviewed by them and they decide you are worthy enough to be one of them. I have heard much better things about the cape section.

Just let people join with a credit card on the web site. No mandatory labour days. No interviews. No minimum number of meetings per year. If someone wants to give you money why make it difficult? Some people have time. Some people have money. Some people can design web sites. Some people can bolt routes. Some people can go to trail days. Just try to get people involved however you can.

I would like to see the MCSA have money to build education initiatives which help younger people be good stewards of the land, build toilets in areas where shit (literal shit) is a problem, and.... basically have more money than to just buy Andrew Pedley bolts. :D

Nic Le Maitre
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Re: MCSA Vision

Postby Nic Le Maitre » Mon Aug 18, 2014 1:23 pm

Justin wrote:
Nic Le Maitre wrote:If we ever regain access to Badkloof in Montagu, it will because of the efforts of MCSA members.


Bad Kloof is open!


OOPS :lol: I meant BOSCHkloof.

Will edit
Happy climbing
Nic

mikej
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Re: MCSA Vision

Postby mikej » Mon Aug 18, 2014 1:58 pm

By the way, I don't even know how accurate my perception is of the way the MCSA actually functions. But it doesn't even matter because that's the perception, and that perception is an obstacle to growing membership. Numerous people told me not to join the MCSA because it's too difficult.

I really encourage you all to look at organizations like the American Alpine Club, Access Fund, Friends of Indian Creek, etc. Take donations online at various levels. Why simply have a R450 (or whatever it is) membership fee? Have a student level, a regular membership level, and patron levels. SA is a diverse place. R450 is a lot of money to some people. Others won't think twice about giving you R5000 a year. Seriously. There are a lot of doctors, engineers, business owners, and all types of successful people who would support you financially if you made it easier. Let them. Take their credit card details. Give away t-shirts to higher membership levels. Sell t-shirts to anyone who wants one. Use that money to address some of the issues associated with the growing popularity of climbing.

andrew p
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Re: MCSA Vision

Postby andrew p » Mon Aug 18, 2014 2:05 pm

Hey, funny that Mike, I was climbing on MCSA bolts in the weekend! And I even placed them! You are right!
But also the whole whole crag is owned by the MCSA, we were at the Wonderland, half of SA's best sport climbing is on that land.
And last year we spent some millions on a huge chunk of land on the Wilge for the tradsters.
Conservation at its best, locking up the land so that it is never built on.
But I do agree there needs to be some new initiatives and psyche.

I think you would be a good committee member, we need someone with energy and time, seriously, will you? Have you got time?

Cheers, Andrew

Marshall1
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Re: MCSA Vision

Postby Marshall1 » Mon Aug 18, 2014 2:08 pm

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Last edited by Marshall1 on Wed Apr 22, 2015 9:24 am, edited 1 time in total.

mikej
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Re: MCSA Vision

Postby mikej » Mon Aug 18, 2014 2:28 pm

^ F' off Derek. You're exactly the kind of asshole that is killing MCSA with your putrid attitude.

slowlaner
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Re: MCSA Vision

Postby slowlaner » Mon Aug 18, 2014 3:13 pm

Let's get Snapscan for the club, free to sign up as a vendor... get your money in 7 days and anyone can do it if you have the app on your phone.

Just post the QR code on the website and anyone can pay money.
http://www.snapscan.co.za/

Marshall1
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Re: MCSA Vision

Postby Marshall1 » Mon Aug 18, 2014 3:17 pm

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Last edited by Marshall1 on Wed Apr 22, 2015 9:25 am, edited 1 time in total.

Warren G
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Re: MCSA Vision

Postby Warren G » Mon Aug 18, 2014 4:03 pm

Marshall is making a couple valid points:

- the MCSA is so large with enough local chapters that one can avoid certain people: He lives in Eastern Cape while Mike lives in Gauteng.
- One can be a one-eyed king in one area, and be perceived as a one-eyed monster in another. Find a place that you feel comfortable with, and work from there.
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bergie
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Re: MCSA Vision

Postby bergie » Mon Aug 18, 2014 4:14 pm

Yaaaaaaawn!!! Thanks Derek...after following this discussion and this overall topic for a few years now, you have finally made up my mind for me! People like you are the only reason I don't join clubs.
I've been in two minds about joining ever since I heard of the mcsa. I want to join because I commend the immense work and effort that is done (by people I don't even know) so that little old me can enjoy some time outdoors, but then now and then a post like yours comes by and makes me think "why the hell would I want to spend my weekends with someone like this?"
Like Mike, my 'outsiders' perception is that it's tough to join and a little intimidating. I'm kinda shy and approaching a club full of people that have known eachother for a while is not something that comes easy to me. And i'm certain that there are many other climbers out there with the same idea. Of the +-50 young climbers I know of, whom all climb on mcsa land and bolts, not one is a member!!

Thanks mcsa for all the amazing work being done, but sadly there are some sour apples in the bunch that are keeping (probably) 100s of people from joining. I would gladly sponsor some $$ for bolts, eventhough I'm a trad climber for the majority of the time.

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Stefan Smeda
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Re: MCSA Vision

Postby Stefan Smeda » Mon Aug 18, 2014 4:40 pm

I think the club has a marketing problem more than anything else. As an outsider I didn't "get" what it was all about, but once I joined there was so much I didn't expect. Amazing properties, kloofing, caving, rescue, fire fighting, climbing, informative social evenings, excellent huts to stay in and great people with a lot of expertise and more than willing to help.

I've been a member for almost 10 years now and for me the benefits have far outweighed the costs. There are a bunch polarising people in the club, but these are the same people that contribute immensely. These people stand up for their principles, rather than stand back in fear of offending someone. There are a lot of old ballies in the club, but these guys look like a piece of biltong and can out-walk most people a third their age. They have years of adventures and experience behind them. You can learn a lot from these people provided you're not too stubborn to try and see their viewpoint.

So I think a better representation of the club needs to presented to the outsiders with proper marketing. But the aim should be to attract like-minded people. The club is not for everyone and shouldn't be either. There are lots of landowners who allow only MCSA meets to access their property because the club will be held accountable by the actions of its members. It would suck if it opens the doors without checking if prospective members care about conservation and potentially disrespect the trust that has been built up over time with these land owners.

Marshall1
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Re: MCSA Vision

Postby Marshall1 » Mon Aug 18, 2014 5:02 pm

Bergie, good! Glad to assist. It takes a few years for you to make up your mind to join or not join a club...hehehe along comes me & makes your mind up for you. At least you cut the wavering in your head. Stiffen up old chap.

You talk about sponsoring bolts...so find the bank details & do it. This task could be done in a morning. I mean, it shouldn't take a few years. It would give your post a real boost if we could see who I chased away. Obviously the size of the sponsorship would directly relate to how much scorn I would deserve.

bergie
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Re: MCSA Vision

Postby bergie » Mon Aug 18, 2014 6:02 pm

Wow! You seem to be going all-out to damage the mcsa image as much as possible. This mud-slinging contest is totally off the original topic. Well done mcsa for making an effort to move with the times and look at ways to better the club.

Marshall1
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Re: MCSA Vision

Postby Marshall1 » Mon Aug 18, 2014 6:30 pm

Ja sorry...nice to chat off topic. So still off topic, did you transfer your bolt sponsorship already? Talking about giving before it takes place is off-cool. We should hasten to make deeds match words.

The internet abyss is full of muddy words. Deeds are real world.

SNORT
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Re: MCSA Vision

Postby SNORT » Tue Aug 19, 2014 8:21 am

I thought I would pm each person individually but that is too onerous.

The MCSA is a volunteer organization and as such those people that volunteer usually call the shots, often have assertive personalities and do not take kindly to criticism when they are putting in time and effort to do stuff that benefits the members. Occasionally one of the "doers" is a "nice guy" who says the "right things" in a nice way. For example I cannot recall Andrew Pedley ever being controversial or offensive on climb.co.za.

As Jeremy says the rest of the world of climbing is by and large managed by representative organizations. There is a fundamental difference in that people are paid to do the job, and are held accountable.

In defense of Derek and others like him, (and I include myself), we spend much of our lives, our time and free cash ploughing it into climbing and our efforts are often under the radar and only occasionally appreciated. We open routes, publish route books, organize things, sort out access to farmers land and so on. All for free. And we are generally extremely kind and generous to people who show some interest and respect and are prepared to put in a bit of time and effort themselves. We have a somewhat jaundiced view of anyone that seems to want a lot for little.

I cannot personally remember meeting Derek but he has agreed to show me around some farmer sensitive climbing areas in the Eastern Cape where he is a self-styled custodian. Good for him and for me and for all MCSA members. He has also read my vitriolic and obnoxious posts but he understands why I do so.

His message Mike and Bergie, is that like anything, you got to buy in to the ethos of a place and an organization which is extremely well run, always been financially sound and is growing its land asset base and its route asset base (if not its membership) all the time. And we want people to have the same values.

If you do not know me and you read my past posts you will probably think I am an arse-hole as you think of Derek. But get to know Derek (and me I would like to think) and what we stand for and you will almost certainly appreciate what we do and why we have the attitude that we do. We value and care deeply for our land access and climbing in general

Just this year I have done 12 new multipitch routes at Yellowwood for all members of the MCSA to enjoy for free and written them up on the WIKI. Most of the routes are moderate grade and well protected. I have been up there 30 time or so this year already and climbed the easier climbs with lots of people who otherwise would not be able to do those routes. Also have sorted out a water reservoir system and done trail maintenance and helped fund the Leopard Camera. If this is what you want, then suck it up, do the "9 yards" of membership, send me an email, and I shall gladly take you there. But make sure you learn the ropes first. There are plenty of commercial avenues for you to do so . If you find it too onerous and the only way that you will join is with the swipe of a credit card, then no, the MCSA is not for you.

You may know that I am a co-owner in CPT of CityROCK a business that I have never drawn a profit check from or been paid salary in 12 years. There you can swipe your CCard, and rub shoulders with CCard swipers too. And yes our staff are trained and paid to engage you, be nice to you and so on. If you don't believe me come to CityROCK in CPT and try it out. I like going there as an owner and find it very friendly and easy-going. But that is the nature of commerce.

However, with a bit of luck the lines between ccard swiping business with "paid to be nice staff" and a volunteer organization like the MCSA seemingly full of arrogant obnoxious unfriendly people can and will blurr.

It really is not that hard to join the MCSA. Yes, people can be intimidating when they are in a big group and know each other and you are a newbie. But you will find someone kind and generous and engaging if you just endure a little. Just remember that once you become a veteran that you keep an eye open for the newbie and make it easy for them….

Old Smelly
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Re: MCSA Vision

Postby Old Smelly » Tue Aug 19, 2014 9:10 am

Well said SNORT and nicely put!

Mikej I think for my part I echo what all the nice people said (but I am a bit like Marshall and don't generally see value in beating around the bush) but the reality is that Pedley may be right - maybe you are the right person to go along and engage with someone like Neil about the way you see things could be better.

All this banging on about the old farts is not actually justified in any section though, its just a smokescreen. Most excuses I have heard are just smokescreens. The club clearly wants the opinion of non members and members alike on how to IMPROVE. The nice guys have got it right - if you believe it would be helpful to contribute then do so. If however the objective is just to tear down then that probably won't help anyone.

For my part I believe the club wants to welcome anyone who wants to join the club and make it as easy as possible for them to join and became active members. I hear you about passive membership and I am sure Neil or someone like that can tell you how to make donations or contribute to youth work or anything else. I also still believe that for people to value their membership and get to know club members they need to integrate and you don't get that if you can just join on line - and reading between the lines it hasn't really made the BMC in to a club we would want to be - vastly commercialised and with no real grip on its membership - but then that's my understanding.

So yes, I think Neil and the other guys involved will welcome your input and I will stand by my assertion that people who really want to join the club (notwithstanding if there are a few people they may not like) will join the club.
Really, its not that bad...I think it's my shoes...

BruceT
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Re: MCSA Vision

Postby BruceT » Tue Aug 19, 2014 10:01 am

Meanwhile, here in KZN, we just get on with it - nice, not so nice, young, old, passive, active, members, not members, loners, groupies - not talking much, just doing stuff in gyms, on cliffs, up mountains. Seems to work OK?
Must be the heat...
LCD SCUM

BAbycoat
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Re: MCSA Vision

Postby BAbycoat » Tue Aug 19, 2014 10:07 am

Wow! pretty cool conversation - and surprisingly constructive, despite the best efforts of some.

Joining this party a little late ... but here's the view from an MCSA member who's currently overseas (but still finds time to effect an online transfer of his annual subs ;) )

Just as a company's actions affect more than just its shareholders, so the MCSA's actions affect more than just its members. Kudos to the MCSA for recognising this, and initiating a broad engagement of its stakeholders.

(Additionally, there's some enlightened self-interest here: encouraging younger members supports club sustainability. If existing members want to change the club's direction materially, they can change the constitution).

Colenso has, IMHO, made a profound contribution by highlighting the contradictions between members' club and representative body. Perhaps the MCSA can be both: here's a straw-man suggestion:

1) "Affiliate Membership" : Open membership available online to a representative organisation which lobbies for climbers' needs, negotiates commercial discounts, maintains climbing areas, etc
2) "Full Membership": Access to specialised resources: land, huts, sponsorships, etc.

( Additionally, there may be a mandate for the MCSA to initiate an umbrella wilderness users' lobbying organisation including mountainbikers, trailrunners, regional hiking associations, etc as suggested by others ... if that's not being done already ).

(I) What do prospective members feel about the suggestion? If you find members too grumpy and hardcopy too hard, would you accept easier application for a limited membership?
(II) What do current members feel about the suggestion?

There is a low perception of the club; it needs to publicise its work better. How about more signboards like the one at Hallucenogenic, advertising that the land is club-owned? What about washers stamped with "MCSA-sponsored bolt"? etc etc

Non-members frequently criticise the club for not immediately solving the latest access problem: get off your arse - if you're not a member, you can't complain!


What do non-members have to say about the club? As Gregory so aptly put it, What would you want from a Club that would make you join it?

Mikej has ruffled some feathers, but at least he's the only non-member to have ventured an opinion. (No, a smilie doesn't count as an opinion). Mikej wants a club which is easier to join, and correspondingly has more $$$ to do more stuff. (No, a smilie doesn't count as an opinion). ( To Derek, Smelly and the rest ... I understand, and possibly support, your robust defence of the club. But such robust defence of the status quo is unlikely to encourage the new ideas).


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