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Club’s Community Service
by Lee Wiese

Most metal detecting clubs are internally focused, meaning that all the club activities are geared towards the club’s membership. This aligns with a club’s main objective which is to provide a meeting environment that supports the club’s mission with activities to gain new membership and generate member participation. However, a club is part of a community (city, county, state) and the membership may want to achieve greater community recognition by taking responsibility for some type of community service project.

The traditional way a club has contributed to the community is to offer a couple of services. These services revolve around assisting local law enforcement authorities by searching for crime scene evidence at a specific crime investigation. Another service that is offered to the public is to locate a lost item for people who have lost a piece of jewelry or some other very important item.

A major reason for a club to assume a boarder community involvement is to capitalize on the members’ broad range of skills, talents, capabilities and interest. By choosing to become more involved in the community the club can identify opportunities that may best leverage the members’ capabilities.

Once a club’s members have become involved in a community service project the opportunity exist for the club to leverage this community action into strengthening the public opinion of the club. Every effort should be made to gain recognition though a local newspaper, radio or TV station. The club should also advertize its community service projects on their website and monthly newsletter.

Money is always an issue for any club activity and some community service projects may take funds away from the club treasury. One way to raise additional funds is ask the members to donate part of their finds each month. This could take the form of donating all pennies & nickels recovered and assign these funds to a special community services account. At the end of the year the club could provide membership recognition by presentation the top donors with a Certificate of Appreciation.

Here is a list of club community service examples practiced by a number of hobby related clubs across the U.S.

Amarillo Prospectors & Treasure Hunters Association This club chose to adopt a park in their community. Two of the club board members went to the City Parks and Recreation Department and presented their idea. The City Parks and Recreation Department accepted the club’s offer.

Dayton Diggers This club Adopt A Highway trash removal program. The results are that they get a sign placed on the interstate displaying their club’s name.

Eureka! Treasure Hunter’s Club The Eureka club has four community service programs. They are: Michigan Treasure Hunters This club supports two community service projects: Mother Lode Goldhounds The Goldhounds adopted a community 16 years ago in the gold country of the Sierra Mountains. At Christmas time the Goldhounds provide food, gifts and gift certificates that are shared by the residences of this small isolated community.
Mt. Diablo Blind Camp
Mt. Diablo Metal Detecting Club This club for 17 years has offered support to a blind camp. This involves going to the camp to provide a metal detecting experience for the blind camp participants. All are assisted by a club member during the detecting activity; they get to keep everything found and at the end of the hunt can pick a nice prize from the gift table. The typical number of participants is 40 with about 8-10 club members providing individual assistance to each participant.

Author’s Comment: I had the opportunity in 2010 to be part of the Mt. Diablo Club Blind Camp Event and witnessed firsthand the excitement of the children and adults during their metal detecting experience. The camp staff was also very appreciative of the club’s dedication in providing the metal detecting experience to the camp.

Old North State Detectorists This club has received three Letters of Commendation for Historical Site Preservation.

Council of Clubs Disabled Children EventTexas Council of Treasure Clubs, Inc. The council supports the Texas Lions Camp for Disabled Children. Foreign coins are hidden for them to find with metal detectors. They learn there is an outdoor recreational hobby they can enjoy even with their disabilities. Working with the children is great and a life changing experience!

The Indian Territory Treasure Hunting Club, the Eastern Oklahoma Cemetery Preservation Organization and the Oklahoma Cemetery Preservation Association has been working on cleaning up and preserving the historic Old Cemetery North of Muskogee.

IIn summary: Each of the club’s listed in the examples above have their community service projects highlighted on their website and in many cases also in their newsletter. This type of community service can become a valuable asset for the club should the club ever need to work with public authorities about any metal detecting issue. The recommendation is to discuss this topic in your club and give priority to a community service project. There are many other types of projects in which a club could participate; these examples are just a short list of opportunities that are out there to consider.
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