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Posted in response to is mineral collecting a dying hobby? from bob johnson on April 14, 2008 at 08:19:36:

Re: is mineral collecting a dying hobby?

As far as the kids, it is up to us older folks and local clubs to see that this does not happen. This past month the Charlotte Gem and Mineral club held our first junior rockhound meeting on a Saturday morning. We only had space for eight kids and we had to turn kids away. This month, we are holding two back to back meetings in order that more kids can be exposed. I can tell you that if you would have been a fly on the wall and seen the looks on those kids faces you would know that our hobby is definitely not dead. If you would like to read more about this program, go to www.charlottegem.com and read the latest newsletter. As far as the availibility and access to good collecting sites, we will continue to loose locations as long as some rogue collectors and non affiliated collecting groups do not respect owner's property causing sites to be closed forever. It happens here as it does all over the country. Collectors dig holes in a cow pasture and walk off at the end of the day. Cow breaks a leg, end of collecting at that site forever. I drove 200 miles with my grandson to a famous wood site on a farm in Oregon. I knocked on the farmer's door and told him that I was from North Carolina and could I look on his land. He told me that no damn rock collector would ever step foot on his farm again. I told him that I did not even have digging tools and could we just walk his land. No way! Some clubs have aging membership and therefore declining memberships. Ours is an exciting hobby. It is about sharing and about being proactive to build upon what we do. Start by reaching out to scouting organizations or church youth groups. Offer to give a talk at a local school's science class. If you have a local street fair or festival, why not get a booth and show the public the kinds of things that rock clubs do. You may find a person that is attracted to seeing a wire wrapping demonstration who is suddenly facinated with the stone and wants to learn more. Simply, I do not believe that what we do is dead. It just needs an infusion of energy sometimes.

From jack king - April 15, 2008 at 08:13:08
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Message: 66385

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