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What are clubs doing about meets

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 SteveX 29 Jul 2020

As it says really.
I am in three clubs, two have not mentioned them and one has started having meets limited to 6 people.
Whats your club doing?

Post edited at 08:07
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 Fruit 29 Jul 2020
In reply to SteveX:

Both clubs (probably one in common) currently got meets on hold. Makes sense to me atm. There may be privately arranged meets happening but I don’t think now is the time to be encouraging group get-togethers.

we’ve had regular zoom socials which have been useful in keeping contact.

Post edited at 08:53
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 SteveX 29 Jul 2020
In reply to Fruit:

I would agree with that, just curious what other clubs are doing, because unless a vaccine is found I would suggest that clubs will need to reinvent themselves in the longer term.

I would have liked to go on your meet last year.

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In reply to SteveX:

I bumped into one local club recently having a low key meet, 'official' or not I don't know. My running club has restarted on a booking basis. Pre-book a slot with your pace group, max of 6 people in each, all distanced. We even managed a handicap race on the same basis last week. Lots of heats over 3 nights set off at handicapped intervals. Then best into 2 finals, same deal. Worked well!

Post edited at 12:20
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 Fruit 29 Jul 2020
In reply to SteveX:

It was small but beautifully formed ;-)

I agree with your comment re vaccine. Evidence seems to be mounting that relaxing various measures is having negative outcomes.

i fear I’ll be socially isolated for some time to come.

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 C Witter 29 Jul 2020
In reply to SteveX:

Aren't all clubs doing the same thing? Choosing a random day of the week, then booking meets for what inevitably transpire to be consistently rainy days, forcing them to cancel them when all hope of a miracle has passed? This then leaves their members to use phones, social media, and modern weather forecasting to meet up with their friends on days with sunshine?

Oh - wait, you're talking about Covid-19! 

I do think Clubs need a bit of a rethink...

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 Will Hunt 29 Jul 2020
In reply to SteveX:

Nothing official going on at the moment. The committee don't seem bothered about organising anything. A Whatsapp group with the usual suspects has been started and people are arranging to go out using that. It works heaps better than the usual system.

Normally there is a pre-ordained schedule of venues. If there is even the faintest whiff of rain at any point in the day then people will be desperate to cancel (most members seem desperate not to climb, despite having joined a climbing club). If it's cancelled because of a deluge but the following night is glorious, then invariably nobody will be interested in postponing.

If the meet is scheduled to happen at Almscliff or Ilkley Quarry then a load of people will turn up. If the drive is anything more than 5 minutes from Leeds, or the walk in anything more than 3 seconds then you'd be lucky to get 3 people turning up.

If anybody suggests an alternative venue for a meet to allow for conditions this is usually met with horror by the committee.

I do wonder whether the club will ever fully recover from being so resoundingly superseded by smartphone technology.

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 SteveX 29 Jul 2020
In reply to Will Hunt:

> Nothing official going on at the moment. The committee don't seem bothered about organising anything. 

>

Possibly the term "seem bothered" is a touch harsh, I suspect that really they are just ordinary people doing their best in strange and troubling times, even national governments with hordes of scientific advisors do not seem to be able to come to a consensus on how to deal with this situation.

However, I would suggest that Clubs will need to deal with this, because in essence they are a social grouping of people moving into a world where social grouping*, is more difficult. Even huts are not going to be worth the effort with 72 hour void periods and only small groups allowed to use them.

2 of the clubs I am in are actually worth joining purely for parking, but most clubs do not have that.

So just wondered what the future may hold, because without the social aspect and easy access to huts, I can see no point in most clubs, longer term.

* thats grouping not groping for any comedians out there.

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In reply to SteveX:

In my club we've found it quite difficult as the rules are unclear and sometimes contradictory, and our sorts of activities aren't really addressed.  At one stage it seemed to be against the law to allow unlawful gatherings (not sure if this is still the case) so we felt the club shouldn't be encouraging members to get together - what they do on their own account is their responsibility.

We are now organising local walks, but limiting them to 6 people who must pre-book.  Organised climbing is not happening as it's more difficult to herd climbers and limit numbers, but members are making their own arrangements via Whatsapp.  Weekend meets are not happening at the moment. A planned overseas trip was cancelled and another is about to be, although we're putting off making decisions as long as possible.

So far as formal club activities are concerned I think this year will be a write-off, although some members are managing to get out while social distancing.

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 colinakmc 29 Jul 2020
In reply to SteveX:

We’re a non-hut-owning club, all our existing bookings are coming under review a month or so ahead of time but so far all then moved on 12 months. We had an enjoyable camping meet last weekend and we’re thinking we’ll do a bit more of that in the future. Also thinking about mini-meets of under 6 participants/households but that’ll be determined when we get clear dialog with hut conveyors about the specific social-distancing needs of each site. (Alpine platform sleeping anyone? Thought not)

Over the lockdown period we’ve also used Zoom instead of monthly pub meets, that’s been nice for members from far away and I think we’ll be keeping that as an occasional,feature.   Likewise the WhatsApp feed has become a bit more popular and seems to be brokering some informal getting-together outings on a small scale since Scotland embarked on our phase 3.

Post edited at 19:27
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 SteveX 29 Jul 2020
In reply to colinakmc:

On the camping meet, did you limit the numbers?

There seems to be some guidance about no more than 6 on a meet.

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 colinakmc 29 Jul 2020
In reply to SteveX:

In Scotland the guidance actually specifies people gathering from no more than 5 households. We used a commercial site (Bunroy) and since we were tackling different things in groups of 2 or 3 each day, using individual or household tents, and not cooking & eating communally, we reckoned we weren’t a “gathering” as such. In the event we had 10 folk from 8 households on the site but not assembling in a single large group, even outdoors. There were lots more people in the local pub (with quite sound social distancing) both nights. None of us used the pub except for takeaway food.

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 Babika 29 Jul 2020
In reply to SteveX:

We're due our first Club camping meet this weekend. Woo hoo! It'll be great to meet up again, I can't wait  

Limited to two pre-booked and pre-paid groups of 6 so just 12 in total and that was oversubscribed.

People have obviously been going out in dribs and drabs but this is the first organised Meet. We've had some Zoom meets as well and I'm impressed by the way Committee members have got something up and running. 

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 GrahamD 30 Jul 2020
In reply to SteveX:

Our two biggest problems with organising an official meet are suitable campsites that aren't totally rammed and, more significantly,  lift sharing.   The way liability and insurance work, we don't see how we can currently do 'official's trips.  From a very bothered about it committee member.

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 SteveX 30 Jul 2020
In reply to SteveX:

I wonder why 6 people up until now have disliked the OP, I can see nothing negative there, just a question.
Do some people not like questions.

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 C Witter 30 Jul 2020
In reply to SteveX:

Question... must... brain.... engage... dislike!!

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 joem 30 Jul 2020
In reply to SteveX:

I haven't disliked your post as I think they're valid questions but i wonder if people working hard on club committees feel that you're attacking them for circumstances out of they're control, my club have been sticking to zoom things till now, I think we'll discuss starting day/evening meetings soon but it's trick as in England I believe we're supposed to limit gatherings to 6 but god knows how that relates to climbing at a crag and how is this sensible when pubs etc are open?

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 SteveX 30 Jul 2020
In reply to joem:

> I haven't disliked your post as I think they're valid questions but i wonder if people working hard on club committees feel that you're attacking them for circumstances out of they're control,

That is possible but its a very negative view to take, and considering that many comittee members bemoan the fact that members take zero interest in the club, its rather contrarian to dislike a pretty neutral expression of interest.

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In reply to SteveX:

> I wonder why 6 people up until now have disliked the OP, I can see nothing negative there, just a question.

> Do some people not like questions.

The dislikes could be from those who perceive your question to be what work around are you using, which loopholes are you exploiting? 

This is not the question that you asked but a number of climbers have approached the lockdown with a similar cat and mouse attitude to that used by adult websites to get around filters. 

Yup, it is just below, go on, hit it. 

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 SteveX 30 Jul 2020
In reply to Presley Whippet:

I rarely dislike, if I have something to say I say it, I am not snidey.

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In reply to SteveX:

Sorry, not aimed at you, more at those who may hit dislike too assuage their guilt. 

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 dominic o 30 Jul 2020
In reply to SteveX:

I've recently picked up the role of Clubs Coordinator for the BMC NW area. I'm still finding my way, but certainly the Clubs I've been in contact with are grappling with this really complex question - it's not straightforward to balance ever-changing government guidelines, developing "science", and the varying needs of different outdoor activities with concerns about safety and liability. Club committees might be characterised as risk-averse, but I do think people should give the volunteers involved the credit for the time they put in, and respect a cautious approach in the circumstances.

The BMC Clubs and Huts committees have put a huge amount of (again voluntary) work into guidance about huts in the context of Covid https://thebmc.co.uk/covid19-reopening-huts and I understand that they are now turning their attention to the equally complex challenge of meets. Watch this space! 

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 SteveX 30 Jul 2020
In reply to dominic o:

A moot point now https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-53602362 , we are in for a long and rocky ride. 
 

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In reply to SteveX:

> I wonder why 6 people up until now have disliked the OP, I can see nothing negative there, just a question.

I haven't Disliked your opening post, but have to question why some feel it necessary that clubs *have* to have organised meets.
Why not just accept that formally arranged meets aren't a good idea at the moment and let individuals decide if they want meet each other 'under the radar' if they so wish.
 

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 SteveX 30 Jul 2020
In reply to FactorXXX:

Your probably correct.

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 Cobra_Head 31 Jul 2020
In reply to FactorXXX:

> Why not just accept that formally arranged meets aren't a good idea at the moment and let individuals decide if they want meet each other 'under the radar' if they so wish.

I don't know wat clubs you belong to, but isn't attendance usually optional?

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 Cobra_Head 31 Jul 2020
In reply to SteveX:

> A moot point now https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-53602362 , we are in for a long and rocky ride. 


That's only for Northerners though, if they'd had any sense they'd have moved down saaarf ages ago.

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 SteveX 31 Jul 2020
In reply to Cobra_Head:

Hour and a half to langdale

50 min Malham

1 hour hathersage

Wilton 27min, but got a quarry 7min away.

The pass is such a fag 2 hours away.

Read and weep you cockney 😂

Post edited at 17:21
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 Becky E 31 Jul 2020
In reply to SteveX:

Our club has restarted weekday evening meets, with a maximum attendance of 30 people  (socially distanced, of course). I think the 30 person limit comes from something in the legislation guidance, but I can't remember what part. Each crag has a designated "overflow" crag in case it's too busy. The usual post-climbing pub has been replaced by the Tailgate Arms .

I'm glad I'm not on the committee any more, because this will have been an utter ballache and minefield to navigate. I think they did a decent job. 

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In reply to Cobra_Head:

> I don't know wat clubs you belong to, but isn't attendance usually optional?

Of course it's optional, but reading between the lines, it's as if some Clubs feel compelled to organise meets despite the obvious reasons not to.

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In reply to Becky E:

> Our club has restarted weekday evening meets, with a maximum attendance of 30 people  (socially distanced, of course). I think the 30 person limit comes from something in the legislation guidance, but I can't remember what part. Each crag has a designated "overflow" crag in case it's too busy. The usual post-climbing pub has been replaced by the Tailgate Arms .
> I'm glad I'm not on the committee any more, because this will have been an utter ballache and minefield to navigate. I think they did a decent job. 

Why not just abandon organised meets for the time being?
People can still climb and can choose to meet up with others as they desire.  I really can't see why a Club needs to involve themselves with organising such stuff when as you say it's an utter ballache. 

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 SteveX 01 Aug 2020
In reply to FactorXXX:

> Why not just abandon organised meets for the time being?

> People can still climb and can choose to meet up with others as they desire.  I really can't see why a Club needs to involve themselves with organising such stuff when as you say it's an utter ballache. 

Because in essence a club is about social interaction, some clubs are joined for huts parking, kudos etc, but the essence of any club is its members and their interaction.

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 Becky E 01 Aug 2020
In reply to FactorXXX:

> Why not just abandon organised meets for the time being?

> People can still climb and can choose to meet up with others as they desire.  I really can't see why a Club needs to involve themselves with organising such stuff when as you say it's an utter ballache. 

Several reasons, I think:

- members wanted to restart organised meets

- some people have limited options of people to climb with, or are new to it, and don't yet have what they could call a regular climbing partner

- some people feel awkward asking "does anyone want to climb with me" but are okay with turning up at a meet.

Our club committee were quite proactive about canvassing opinion and reading the tone of discussions on the club Facebook group.

My comment about it being a ball-ache is because club committees seem to be coming in for some criticism: but let's remember that those committees are elected by the members of their clubs.

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In reply to Becky E:

> Several reasons, I think:
> - members wanted to restart organised meets
> - some people have limited options of people to climb with, or are new to it, and don't yet have what they could call a regular climbing partner
> - some people feel awkward asking "does anyone want to climb with me" but are okay with turning up at a meet.

We're in the middle of a pandemic where we know it's spread by close social contact with people carrying the virus and that we should all be trying to avoid situations where that is done unnecessarily.
All of your above points seem to contradict this and to some degree actually encourages it.  Should clubs as semi-official organisations be party to that?  I personally don't think so as I believe they should be carrying out best practice when it comes to doing their bit to combat Covid-19 and therefore should suspend all club meets for the time being.
If club members really feel the need to meet up for the reasons that you state, then why not set up a Facebook account for that purpose?  The members get to meet if they so wish and it's kept separate from official club business. 

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 SteveX 01 Aug 2020
In reply to FactorXXX:

So unofficial is ok, official is not, what hypercritical bollocks. I was super strict at first but saw what other people where doing and have set my own rules.

Personally I think many climbers have been pretty bad.

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In reply to SteveX:

> So unofficial is ok, official is not, what hypercritical bollocks. I was super strict at first but saw what other people where doing and have set my own rules.

It means that the onus of responsibility is on the individual and not on the club as some seem to want as that puts the club in a awkward situation regarding seemingly sanctioning/condoning such behaviour. 
I personally think that climbing in groups and in particular climbing with strangers at the moment is a bit daft.  However, it seems as if some want to do it and there's little that can be done to stop them if they so wish.  I just think that it's a little bit selfish to expect a club to arrange it for them.

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 SteveX 01 Aug 2020
In reply to FactorXXX:

Cannot argue with that, but my op was just curious what was going on in other clubs.

It's a new world that we will have to live in. It's possible that without a vaccine clubs have a very limited or no place.

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 Becky E 01 Aug 2020
In reply to FactorXXX:

> We're in the middle of a pandemic where we know it's spread by close social contact with people carrying the virus and that we should all be trying to avoid situations where that is done unnecessarily.

> All of your above points seem to contradict this and to some degree actually encourages it.  Should clubs as semi-official organisations be party to that?  I personally don't think so as I believe they should be carrying out best practice when it comes to doing their bit to combat Covid-19 and therefore should suspend all club meets for the time being.

> If club members really feel the need to meet up for the reasons that you state, then why not set up a Facebook account for that purpose?  The members get to meet if they so wish and it's kept separate from official club business. 

Well, the club committee put together a 2 page document setting out how it would be done, and ensuring that meets comply with the current guidance from the government about gatherings etc.  They certainly didn't encourage or condone anything that isn't permitted, and in fact have (IMHO) erred on the side of caution - e.g. by suggesting that people should not go to the pub afterwards as they normally would do.

I'm at the cautious end of the spectrum, and have been slower to return to climbing than some people and will not go indoors except to shops.  But I think our committee have done a pretty good job of balancing all the various demands and coming up with something that works (for our club, at any rate).

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 Andy Hardy 01 Aug 2020
In reply to Cobra_Head:

> That's only for Northerners though, if they'd had any sense they'd have moved down saaarf ages ago.

But there's no decent climbing within 3 hours of the Elephant and Karsell.

Whereas we've got stacks 😘

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 GrahamD 02 Aug 2020
In reply to Becky E:

> Well, the club committee put together a 2 page document setting out how it would be done, and ensuring that meets comply with the current guidance from the government about gatherings etc. 

Hi Becky, can you remember off hand what the advice was on transport? It's one of the biggest stumbling blocks for us.

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 BillHuggins 02 Aug 2020
In reply to Cobra_Head:

Its not for actual northerners though is it? None of those places are in what I'd call the proper north...

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 Dave Ferguson 02 Aug 2020
In reply to GrahamD:

It makes sense to travel with your climbing partner (your chosen bubble) but not with anyone else. Not exactly environmentally friendly but probably sensible at the moment. Our club is suggesting members organise their own days out between each other. The weather hasn't been conducive for organised evening meets of no more than 6 recently and people seem to be happy organising their own days out when the weather plays ball. We've cancelled all weekend meets away but members have arranged their own trips away. At the moment the club is merely a vehicle for members contacting each other to arrange days out which has been useful for most. Our hut is open to 2 family groups with 72 hours between bookings. Members have very different views on acceptable COVID risk so I cant see organised meets as we know them happening anytime soon.

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 GrahamD 02 Aug 2020
In reply to Dave Ferguson:

That's pretty much our situation,  but of course many people's 'bubble' isn't their climbing partner so in that case it's still everyone 'officially' has to make their own way.

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 Becky E 02 Aug 2020
In reply to GrahamD:

> Hi Becky, can you remember off hand what the advice was on transport? It's one of the biggest stumbling blocks for us.

I think it says not to share transport , and to be aware of parking due to the extra cars that will inevitably result. 

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 radddogg 15:50 Fri
In reply to FactorXXX:

> I haven't Disliked your opening post, but have to question why some feel it necessary that clubs *have* to have organised meets.

Meets are the life blood of our club, its USP. It's why we've seen many new members joining from other less active local clubs.

If we don't run meets, what's the point of joining the club?

It is now legal to meet up and play 11-a-side football then go the the pub afterwards yet a club can't arrange for 4 pairs to climb at the same crag?

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 GrahamD 12:57 Sat
In reply to radddogg:

People join climbing clubs to help with lift sharing.   Lift sharing is the biggest stumbling block for us. 

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In reply to GrahamD:

Why is it a stumbling block? I agree there will be no "one size fits all" solution as every individual will have a different assessment of risk. We're just letting members decide for themselves. Some are happy with 4 in a car. Some are happy with just their immediate climbing partner and some want to travel singularly. There will never be a consensus on risk so dont bother trying to accommodate everyone.  It's more important that people get out, how they get there is very much up to themselves.

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 GrahamD 19:31 Sat
In reply to Dave Ferguson:

Fine if individuals make that choice.  Not fine if "the club" is going against official guidelines 

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 SteveX 21:03 Sat
In reply to GrahamD:

People join climbing clubs for many reasons, meets is one.

In my opinion a weakness most clubs have is they focus on getting new members, but seem to forget existing non active members. Year after year these members pay their subs, and say nowt, sometimes for more years than they were active, and possibly they are taken for granted.

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In reply to SteveX:

Any suggestions what clubs could be doing for said non active members Steve. We have almost 100 members only 30-40 who remain active. I know some join for use of our hut but interest in other activities or gatherings is always very low. They keep paying their subs though so we must be doing something right.

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In reply to GrahamD:

But the club doesn't have to go against official guidelines. All you've got to say is there are six club members meeting at x crag at so and so o'clock. If any other groups of six happen to be at the same crag that would be a happy coincidence. For those that are happy to car share, meet at y at whatever time. Otherwise see you there. You then put the onus on members to sort themselves out into groups of 6 and to car share if they feel comfortable doing so. 

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 SteveX 21:33 Sat
In reply to Dave Ferguson:

No idea, but I do not think you are doing something right, it's more like the business model of many gyms and relying on people not cancelling.

Many clubs have moved to e newsletters now so not even a proper news letter to read.

On the other hand the main beneficiary of this is the BMC as they get the lions share of many clubs subs, for people non active in the mountains.

How about speaking to the older members, ask if there is anything they want, or are they just happy to be supporting the club.

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In reply to SteveX:

We have. And most are happy to keep supporting the club. The agm  is lucky to get 12 attendees. I sort of agree with you as it seems very strange that members keep paying subs for no obvious benefit but if they (or you) don't tell us what we can change to give value for money, myself and the rest of the committee are a bit stumped.

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 SteveX 06:37 Sun
In reply to Dave Ferguson:

I think a benefit that many get is a connection with some of the best times of their lives. It’s why I think newsletters are so important, it’s the club speaking to its members. 

i am not criticising anyone in what I said, just making an observation.

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