As you may or may not know, our dear friend Chris Joiner started this organization many years ago and has singularly maintained it through the years with little or no help. Chris has done an amazing job with the GSWA by basically running it by himself, bringing us the journal, taking awesome photos at each event to share with us all, and helping to sponsor fly-ins. Chris has had some health issue that is making it more difficult to maintain this pace and run the organization. We (Jim Weems and Mike Chilson) have stepped up to help out and take over the organization relieving Chris of this burden.
While we want to continue to keep Chris’s vision alive and well, we also recognize a lot of changes have occurred to our hobby. This has caused us to think hard about what it will take to move forward the organization and we have come up with some changes we feel with help the organization survive another 20 years. Let’s take a look at these now.
First, while the peak of our hobby was years ago and there were so many different interests that we needed to segment it into groups this is no longer the case. The organization’s membership has dropped substantially. The only way forward here is to OPTIONALLY allow smaller warbirds at events. This is not mandatory, but an optional way for events to increase participation. “Giant Scale Warbirds” is but a tiny segment of this hobby where there are literally thousands of modelers flying 60-78” wingspan warbirds. There is no reason not to include these modelers also. However, if a CD/Event director/Club wishes to only allow Giant Scale Warbirds this is totally their decision.
Secondly, to help promote the entry of theses smaller models into the organization we will be slightly modifying the name from the “Giant Scale Warbird Association” to simply “Scale Warbird Association”. This is simply to make this untapped group of modelers feel more welcome and integrated into our great organization.
Next, we are setting the yearly membership fees to only $10.00 a year. We are currently streamlining our processes so they don’t need things like postage and copying and such. All communications will be digital except our event packet (see below).
Also, we will be doing a yearly drawing for a nice hobby related prize each year. Each member who registers or renews gets one ticket each year. Then, every SWA event you attend scores you an additional ticket in the drawing! We will announce the winner at the end of December each year. One other benefits members will receive is vendor discounts. We are currently negotiating discounts for SWA members with select vendors.
For clubs, we are putting together an Event Packet this month for CD’s / Event Directors / Clubs who wish to host an SWA Fly-in. This will include a handy checklist, and an SWA event form that will have to be submitted, SWA sign-in sheet (see below), and SWA membership applications to give out at your event. We want your event to be successful.
Last but not least we have launched our new website so be sure to check it out at https://scalewarbirds.org Thank you for taking the time to read this and we hope you will continue to participate in the organization.