Re: is mineral collecting a dying hobby?
If anyone really believes rockhounding is dying, I challenge you to visit our club, the Northern Virginia Mineral Club in Arlington, VA. Our website is www.mineralclub.org. We are one of several active, vibrate, family friendly clubs in the Washington DC region that have been growing steadily for several years. Why? Because we are 1) family friendly, and 2) we collect year round in the many mines and quarries of the greater Washington DC region. I set up our field trips, and with few exceptions, we have so many choice collecting sites available to us within a 200 mile radius of DC that we simply can't visit them all in the same year. Our last field trip was April 12th to Mt. Pleasant Mills, PA. 25 collectors participated, nine of whom were first time novices, five of whom were kids under 15. In March, we visited the Vulcan Quarry in Manassas, VA. 35 participants on that one, 11 of whom were new members, six of whom were kids.
We also have an annual show in November that attracts hundreds of people, families, and children. Folks visiting the show can purchase minerals, jewelry, and fossils of course, but I think our biggest attractions are the club member displays and the children's activity section where kids play educational games for mineral/fossil prizes.
Bob, the hobby is not dying. What is dying are 1) clubs who don't actively recruit new members and provide fun activities for kids such as field trips (our club) or a clubhouse (like the Charlotte Club), and 2) collecting sites that were abused by selfish, inconsiderate collectors. I don't know where you live, but please check out Rockhound.com's US Club List page and find a club near you that still sees all the exciting possibilities rockhounding still offers people with a sense of adventure and love of nature's wonders.
Field Trip Chair
Northern Virginia Mineral Club
From John Boyer - April 15, 2008 at 23:18:24