Tucson TFF Questions and Concerns.

Discussion in 'SouthWest Region Discussion' started by hal9k1, Jun 3, 2007.

Moderators: DieWompRatDie
  1. hal9k1 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 22, 2003
    star 4
    I'm keeping this off the CR election thread; . It is related to the CR elections but I don't want to interfere with the political process. I would like to see this resolved. Please give voice to your opinions and views the TFF can't survive without participation.

    OK, here is the low down from my point of view on the state of the TFF. Blatantly honest and sparing nobody?s feelings for sake of total clarity. I?m taking the word ?meeting? as the monthly meeting and not a few of us getting together to socialize. Please read all of it carefully as I?m not great explaining myself in text and want to be as clear as possible.

    FIRST and foremost let me clarify what the initial intent of the Tucson Fan Force was in its current conception (2005) as I understand it. A Social Club for people that get together to discuss, do games, and activities centered on Star Wars.

    Our meetings are advertised to the public as ?come and see what we are about, we have fun?. People think it?s where we socialize and have activities at meetings. This has never been what we?ve done at meetings. The reality of how a meeting is advertised as to the public vs. what really happens at meeting is quite different.

    The first few meetings centered on how to get new members and get the group off the ground. After Katrina it centered on how to maintain the members already involved and how to keep the momentum going. After that it was still getting new members but also how to continue to promote the group using our ?new? found resource, costumed charity functions.

    We never really did do any ?fun? stuff at meetings, except the one time ?Lightsaber spoon fight?. Meetings have ALWAYS been about the business of maintaining the Tucson Fan Force. We do talk and have fun AFTER and before a meeting but during the meeting the topics are always business. This may not have been what a potential new member might think will occur at a TFF meeting but that?s reality.

    I did notice several people at the meeting yesterday looked extremely bored, not wanting to hear about the nuances of the details of the costumed events we have in the future. This may not be what they came to a meeting for or why they?re part of the TFF. This most certainly has scared people off in the past that had other ideas as to what the TFF is or what occurs at a meeting. This goes both ways, some people are more into the costumed events and don?t do much of the RPG, trips, socializing, etc.

    Keeping on the costuming topic at NO point has anyone said the costumed function should stop. Reality is that?s our collective public face and our best way to attract the public and new members. You have to do business to make more business. Our business is getting new members. Our best asset to ?make more business? is the costumed events. At the same time we need to have more activities for new members that do not want to do costumed events or are too young to really participate in said events.

    I?m proposing a ?fun? activity based meeting at someone?s house and a ?business? meeting held in a public venue. People?s houses tend to be more relaxed and foster socializing. Public venues tend to foster more seriousness to accomplish the business goals. Both venues open to whoever wants to come and participate in either meeting. Some people joined to costume and some joined for activities, some for a little of both. I do not want to see anyone alienated or anyone feel uncomfortable or feel pressured into doing something they don?t want to do. Remember this is all voluntary; nobody has to do anything they don?t want to participate in.

    We have enough members now that want to do costume events and enough that prefer activities to have two separate meetings. One meeting for costumed events planning and one for activities or planning of activities. This does not mean we faction the TFF, just cater each meeting to whomever wants to do what, thus everyone is happy and we get members that do what they want to do, also retaining and attracting any new members based on their interest.

    I
  2. thatsMISTERwookiee Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 12, 2005
    star 4
    Maybe we should split up the meeting.

    Have all of the "non-costumed" activities discussed first on the agenda. When all of that is done, the meeting can break up for fun and games while the "costume committee" takes care of their business.

    Maybe that way nobody will get bored.
  3. dialswiftjustice Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 12, 2005
    star 4
    I tink that might further the factioning, especially since the costumed elements depend onthe non costumed, especially this halloween where we desperatly need wranglers, candy distributors, and security!

    The fact of the matter is this, there is no way to avoid keeping everyones attention 100% of the time, for example, I get bored and lost during RPG discussions. But as the mighty wookie said in the "time of year" thread, meetings are typically for business puirposes. I agree we should do something fun, but I seemed to remeber a whole lot of laughing and joking, and watchingme trip on stage (sveral tiems) was also fun. So maybe we can have a completely fun element at the beginning of th emeeting and/or a the end (someone brings in a show and tell,plays a fan film they found online etc..) I agre the meetings shul dbe business based, and specific meetings should be created for specific large events (halloween etc), btu I so no lack of people having a good time at this meeting, even if it was ntof or 100% of the time. As far as Austan being bored, we really have never structured anything to enteratin kids but maybe we can create a "grab bag" of toys or something for those of us to bring in for the kids that attend" I know I have some stuff to throw in.
  4. Bylar Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 4, 2006
    star 1
    i must say, this thread is very insiteful. Damien, i am impressed with your perceptions of the issues. i agree with both you and Dustin about the fact that we quite possibly need a slight change in the way the meetings are not only conducted but advertized to the public as well. there should be a structured time table that is for the "business" for the group and of course a few minutes lee-way would be needed as we nearly always get off topic for a short time period and then back to business. but the idea of bringing young children really needs specific requirements, such as a confined area where they could be supervised. also the person who supervises them should be counted as attending the meeting, even though they probably will not be able to do so physically, unless we take turns for short periods, etc. i think that 2 different meetings is not the answer for many reasons already stated, but mostly that it is a fact that we are 1 group, and should stay that way. we are indeed symbiotic as stated. as adults we focus on "takin care o biznus" and that will always bore someone regardless of age. ideally the meetings would be entertaining and "fun" all the time, however matters of business are rarely fun to most, but still must happen none the less. so perhaps a specific time during the meetings for business matters, then the fun stuff. frankly at every meeting i have been at, i have noticed someone always bored, even i have found myself on occasion lettin my mind wander, but that dosent mean i was bored. these meetings are specifically to address the business issues, as they should be, and indeed we can fit some fun stuff in there as well. with all the off the wall comments i find myself extremely ammused on a regualr basis at every meeting i have attended.
  5. firstsonofsolo Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 2, 2006
    star 4
    The fact is we do advertise monthly meetings and a new comer will wlak into a business meeting. We had a very long agenda list saturday and banged through it in 90 minutes which is totally a record. We usually do show and tell before and after most meetings. Unless meetings are held at a private home there is rarely games or activities. I would say the exact opposite of Damians suggestion though activity meetings should still be held in a public place to be inviting to newcommers. We can hold business meetings at homes because if it is for business we all already know each other.
  6. hal9k1 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 22, 2003
    star 4
    I know that what I stated was harsh in its statement. I felt that I can't complain unless I point out what I see being amiss and give suggestions as to how to solve it.

    I know I?ve verbally suggested costume meetings at the end of the monthly meeting and posted something different. But my suggestion did what I expected, fostered discussion, even if I became a target (which I don?t think happened).
    I never said we don?t have fun at meetings, we always do, and I stated that.
    I do not want to see two separate meetings, that was a extreme suggestion brought up to get people thinking about other options and to make a point.

    As far as people (including under 18 crowd) getting bored, I almost passed out last meeting from the sugar high, aside from having a short attention span. You can?t please everyone but I felt it needed to be brought up.

    First a foremost my allegiance is to the TFF, beyond any other group I?m in. If what I stated and brought up is the worst problems we?re having now, it not so bad. It?s nothing we can?t remedy if people feel strongly enough about it.
  7. KickingnScreaming Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 26, 2006
    star 1
    I agree with Bylar in thanking you for posting this topic to separate it from the elections.

    I agree that our meetings are not advertised correctly to the general public. I think an easy way to fix this would be to not invite the general public to the monthly meetings. The TFF buisness stuff is going to be boring to someone no matter how you package it. You can't make people happy all the time.

    I think that a good way to get people to come back would be to ask them a specific questions. What are you into? Costuming or "other" activities? Then followup on their answer. If it is costuming, why not tell them to check our boards and come out to our next costumed event? that would be a great way to introduce them to what we do, without making them sit through a 3 hour long meeting! The same with the people that want only to participate in RPG/Book Club/etc. This way you introduce our potential members gradually to the TFF. If they like what they see then we can bore them to tears with our meetings (joke). I would say that if we are going to start inviting "general" public to these "other" activites/events that they should be in a public place. Think safety people. I am sure Damian being webmaster extraordinare could even do something with these "fielding" questions on the site.

    I think the easiest way to split the group would be to have two meetings. I personally would only be able to go to one. I think many people would have to choose to only go to one meeting a month. Factor in work, family, TFF events/activities, etc. life is just filled with time/energy sappers. This would be unfortunate, because current members of the TFF may get interested in RPG/costuming if they hear it discussed at the meeting. I enjoyed hearing about the RPG and book club last night. I don't know if I will participate but the seed has been planted.

    As far as children at the meetings: I do not come to meetings if I don't have a babysitter. Dustin can fill me in and then I check the boards for the minutes, because my updates are usually about just the comedy that insued at the meeting. My children are very young (2+4). I do not believe that the meetings are a place for young children, because they do get bored and they wouldn't have much fun with the adults all pretty much ignoring them. Austin's age and above are a little different. They are pretty much old enough to entertain themselves. I think there could be a bag that the CR or Sec brings to every meeting with coloring books, crayons, books, toys etc. that the older kids could have fun playing with while we discuss. Ultimately I think that the entertainment of said children should not have to be a focus of the group because their parents should be providing that for their own children. If we stop inviting the general public to check us out at meetings then they would know that young children are a no no at these meetings. Pretty much everyone has a cell phone or home phone, if they are stuck and really want to attend there is always the conference button!

    Uh, I'm not going to make any friends with this but here goes.. about all this they didn't let us do what we wanted stuff. If you want something you speak up for it. If you are not heard you speak louder until you are heard. This is a fun group to belong to with wonderful people, NO ONE is trying to quite the masses! If you want to do something, like Damain said, DO IT! Don't let yourself be a doormat at a place YOU choose to be at.
  8. Mugen Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 7, 2005
    star 4
    Hi. Im Frankie, I would like to say that I wasnt bored at the meeting...I was just glad to be there. I wanted to hear about all that has transpired and the events that are coming up..hoping they are on a day I can participate. I am after the scraps of the TFF table and I will take what I can get..I know it sounds crack head like..but I work a messed up schedule, and want to spend time with my FRIENDS any chance I get..ALL OF YOU.

    The meetings that we have must take care of buisness that is up an coming. That is not always fun for adults let alone children (Cpt. Obvious..I know) but someone suggested that we have some activities for kids in a corner while buisness is done...well, I am a big kid, and why can we have the type of activities that we can do while talking about events and such...as a "test" I quietly passed around some props while the meeting went on without it interrupting the flow of the topics...it seemed to work, and you ALL fell into my trap!!! MUAHAHAHAAH!!! maybe we can do a show and tell, while the meeting is going on? Or working on a project while sitting there...I remember Marlena was quilting while a meeting took place..I can do some armor stuff, or painting...the Wook could pull someone's arms out of thier sockets...the Jawa could scavenge the site for electronics to sell to Moisture farmers and so on and so forth..

    If we must hav meetings they are not going to be fun 100% of the time..we have to get used to that. We will have fun at a meet and greet "Fellowship" after the meeting. what we did at Phil's Order 66 was awesome, and I felt that we ALL bonded very well, and were all entertained..except for Austin, who I kept trying to feed to the ALIEN.

    Lets SUM UP THE MEETINGS QUICKLY..get the buisness out of the way, and then go and do something FUN as a group after..(I hate to use a religeous memory but here it goes): Church was boaring..but Sunday morning we were forced to go..dress up and sit on an uncomfortable wood pew for 2 hours, no talking no fun. But AFTER we went to the "fellowship" hall, ate cupcakes talked to our friends, went outside and ran around a bit, climbed on rocks, whil my mom sat talking to other ladies, the teens were flirting...on an on...and it evened itself out. It would be nice if we could do that, that way everyone is thought of....

    just some ideas.. I'll be here all week....
  9. Jada Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 20, 2006
    star 6
    Back when I was the Secretary/Historian of this group I usually made an agenda and alloted time to discuss each item. I attempted to keep the meetings to 1 hour for business. I took my clue from when I was a member of a very successful Phoenix Fan Force who met every month on the 2nd Saturday of the month at 3pm at Atomic Comics. Those meetings rarely went over an hour even when there was alot on the agenda to discuss. Why? Let me give you an example.

    When they were planning the ROTS Lineup the committee for the ROTS line up [which was basically anyone who wanted to be involved] met before the meeting and made decisions and drew up an outline to present at the 3pm meeting. So once they got there all the "How are we going to handle this?" and "Where is this going to be" was handled. They just presented it and then also hammered out further details online in the planning thread.

    After a meeting the PFF would then delve into socializing at Atomic Comics or going to someone's house for a potluck afterwards or going out to dinner or to a movie.

    With the TFF things eventually got to be longer and longer. We'd meet at Cat's and the atmosphere was more casual so we'd eat, chat, have the meeting, etc. After I left I know Cat and Kat tried to get the meetings on track but gave up because they were ignored.

    The original inception of the TFF when it was pulled out of the ashes in 2005 was to make it a social club. Our original meetings were designed to show off our collections, talk about the movie, have the silly Lightsaber spoon over the Lava Poptart fight. We were all excited about ROTS. It was after the Katrina event that we decided we wanted to do charity events. By the spring of 2006 I kept making warnings that the group was biting off more than it could chew. There would be burn out if the group kept up the pace.

    If you will properly plan the meetings and adhere to a schedule it can be done in an hour or less. It means that not every single itty bitty detail of where Vader stands will be dealt with at a general meeting. Get together before, after or another time to deal with that.

    I work with the Carolina Garrison and they do far more events than the TFF and 99% of the planning is done online. The Garrison has very few "business" meetings and the one I attended was over in less than an hour.

    This can be done, you as individual just have to agree to abide by it.

    As for children at the meetings, every fan force I've dealt with has always had children at the meetings which is why they have kept the meetings one hour or less. There are children who are interested in Star Wars and want to know more about it. To make the group meetings into something so serious that a child can't attend is to abandon the whole reason Star Wars is - to be enjoyed by the entire family. This is not a fandom just for adults. It is a fandom that welcomes everyone who chooses to love it.

  10. firstsonofsolo Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 2, 2006
    star 4
    Sorry have to pick on you guys for a second.......Its AUSTAN and not austin LOL Anyways.......I think this last meeting went very smoothly we had alot of topics and banged through them very quickly. I did try to leave most of the costumed events twoards the end of the meeting except for Phils because I wanted him to be able to speak while we still had everyones attention.
  11. thatsMISTERwookiee Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 12, 2005
    star 4
    When I mentioned breaking the meeting up into two parts, I did not mean two different nights. Go through all the non-costuming items first(and please, give them all the time they need![face_devil] ), then have the costuming events. That way, the non-costumers will be free to go have fun and not sit around with the costumers and be bored.


    The monthly meetings should not be advertised. What SHOULD be advertised are the nights for RPG, Movie Night, Star Wars Trivial Pursuit Night, Book Club Night, Collecting Night, Doll-Making Night(if Cheryl wants to lead it), Props Night, and any other night where we have FUN activities, that would give newcomers FUN things to do. Why would we want newcomers to come sit through what is essentially a management meeting to coordinate ALL the other activities? Where's the fun in that?

    And Cat,I think you do a disservice to the younger members of our group. I think, if given the choice, they would prefer to think of themselves as YOUNG ADULTS and not as CHILDREN. I would prefer to treat them as young adults. If I were in their place, I would find your ideas of entertaining and amusing them during meetings condenscending, patronizing, and insulting. They have a vote and a say in what this group does, and this means sitting through some boring stuff to get to what you enjoy.

    It's like eating an orange. You've got to go through the process of removing the rind(boring) to get to the meat of the fruit(sweet). Welcome to Life 101, people. Things are not going to be handed to you for the rest of your life. You've got to put some effort into it. And some of the effort IS boring, such is life as an adult. Just make sure to enjoy the rewards for your efforts.

    And for the record, there are ONLY two people I have heard using the terms "meetings not kid-friendly" and "banning kids from meetings", and that is you and Hope. I have never suggested banning kids from meetings, nor do I think that would be proper.

    The monthly meeting is boring for a reason; we are trying to get through it as fast as possible so that we can END the meeting and do some fun things. You mentioned that this last meeting reminded you of the old meetings. WRONG!! What reminded you of the old meetings was not the meeting itself, but that AFTER THE MEETING WAS OVER we all went and hung out together. The meeting WAS OVER, NOW IT WAS FUN TIME.

    Anyways, them's my thoughts...
  12. mmmothman32 Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 2007
    I don't know where to post this but I found out Access Tucson helps non-profit groups.

    http://access.tucson.org/forgroups/
  13. dialswiftjustice Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 12, 2005
    star 4



    WORD




    Seriously, Cat I remember the pre-Katrina meetings, and they were just business as well. Honestly what made them fun was that we managed to make it fun despite talking business. The meeting last night reminded me of those. We had alot of BUSINESS, and STILL HAD FUN!

    If the meetings did dissolve into straight up business, Id have ditched the group for the Godzilla Fan Force.....

    [image=http://i14.photobucket.com/albums/a322/TucsonFanForce/Random%20TFF%20Pictures/GFF.jpg]
  14. padumavati Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2007
    star 1
    I agree that inviting the general public to monthly meetings might be a bit misleading. When I was looking into the meeting thread last week, and there was talk of "well, I can't be there so it's not really a meeting" or something like that, I was like "you can't all just get together and hang out?" But that was before I really understood that it was a meeting meeting, and not a let's eat oreos and talk about how Palpatine totally killed Padme meeting. I also think that voting on whether or not to have private social events is a little silly, but I don't know if that's actually occurred. Alls I know is, I want to get my mini on. Oh, and also I'm currently working on some Star Wars knitting patterns if anyone is interested (already have a logo wristband complete). And yes, I'm currently in the running for Queen Dork. :-B
  15. dialswiftjustice Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 12, 2005
    star 4
    either way she's DEAD!!! [face_skull]

    No we're not voting on social gatherings, just Fan Force event type gatherings as a whole. Alot of us get together socially frequently.
  16. firstsonofsolo Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 2, 2006
    star 4

    Hey you havent met most of us and dont know how geeked out we get!
  17. padumavati Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2007
    star 1
    Likewise. :p
  18. hal9k1 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 22, 2003
    star 4
    I think we are all geeks in one form or another. Not that it's a bad thing, at least I've never thought of it as a bad thing.
  19. thatsMISTERwookiee Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 12, 2005
    star 4
    More thoughts(which could be good, could be bad)

    QUESTION OPEN TO ANYBODY: Is there a way to reserve a meeting room, at Bookman's/H&V/Library/etc., at the same time every week? Example; say, every Saturday from 2-5/3-6. If this can be done, then THESE ARE THE "MEETINGS" we should be advertising.

    "Hi. We're the Tucson Fan Force, a local Star Wars fan club. Come see what we're doing THIS week."

    (just as an example, these selections are NOT etched in stone, how it would be arranged we could decide on later)
    FIRST SATURDAY (of each month): Board Games, card games (like MAGIC), RPG games, including Star Wars Minis, Warhammer, D&D, etc...
    SECOND SATURDAY: Arts & Crafts, model building, props building
    THIRD SATURDAY: Movie day, Star Wars and other Sci-Fi/Fantasy films
    FOURTH SATURDAY: Book Club

    I've listed a number of non-STAR WARS related activities to try to lure the crossover crowd in. There is a large Sci-Fi/Fantasy population in Tucson, and they are the ones we need to attract. We could have child-oriented games, puzzles, coloring books, and adult(NO, I DO NOT MEAN "MATURE ONLY"[face_shame_on_you] )games.

    It would give people a place to go each week, and would be a better introduction to the group than the monthly meetings areI-)

    It's just an idea. Does anybody think it has any merit? Opinions? Pros, Cons? Whaddaya think?
  20. hal9k1 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 22, 2003
    star 4
    Only thing I can think of is RPG is run by John. It's based on his work shedule.

    Cons? Scheduling the people to run this.

    Pros... everything we've ever wanted out of this group. Something for everyone.

    Overall it's a good option if it comes to that.
  21. thatsMISTERwookiee Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 12, 2005
    star 4
  22. hal9k1 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 22, 2003
    star 4
    Understood, good point.
  23. Bylar Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 4, 2006
    star 1
    awesome suggestions Jack, but the hardest thing is to reserve the same place same time every week at anywhere except private property such as the Galactic Empire. eventually i will build a Jedi Temple here in town somewhere and i will gladly give any time the group needs reserved. an open invitation if you will to have every day of the week if needed reserved and available at a moments notice if necessary. this i would do for the Group now if i could, but it may take me a while to get the Temple built. until then finding a place to have every week at the same time could be quite difficult. i do love the ideas though, well done
  24. Bylar Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 4, 2006
    star 1
    imagine that the Tucson FanForce meetings and events held at an official Jedi Temple that would rock the house for sure
  25. cathiecat Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 24, 2005
    star 4


    Further reading of this thread and I think I could/should have skipped posting a majority of this post as the group seems to have moved on and I seemed to have drug backwards... so feel free to just skip most of this post if you want.. except for the colored part at the end.. I just had a lot going on at home and I missed a lot of what was posted due to my negligence at getting on line for a day or so due to stress at home.. my apologies.. though Jack I do hope you understood I was not arguing with you I was just hoping I could get you to see my point of view as I wanted you to at least understand my point of view even if I could not change your mind. The issue of the younger members is really near and dear to me because of my son and because he will be 13 this fall and he will be a posting member soon!! :) which makes me both happy and sad.. I want there to be something for him in our group to share with us. and I saw him so hurt last year that the group had changed so much from it's conception to what it became in the year he left.. he struggled all summer to find a way to belong and I honestly tried to discourage him from speaking up at meetings because I felt he just got in the way of the meetings discussion of events in the direction the group was going.. and then after talking with people at CIV and seeing Steve's kids and Chris and Amber and then Dustin and Michelle and Mike and Brandon and Alex I just wanted us to really be sure we remember and reach out to the kids.. young members.. young adults.. all ages.. so please forgive me if I stepped on anyone's toes.. I did not intend too.. I just want us to share all that we have in our group with as many people out there as we can and sometimes I guess I get too zealous in my pursuit.


    I will be leaving for Arkansas in the morning and will be back on Monday God willing. :) Love to all of you. I so do love being with all of you and I am so grateful that I have all of you in my life [:D]


    your going to have to explain where I called them children?? I used the word children one time.. only when I jokingly mentioned the carnival that I thought you feared I was suggesting.. which I wasn't.. beyond that I never once used the word children.. I said "young members" and yes I did say "kids" .. I have to admit.. for better or worse I call anyone in their early twenties kids these days.... I also posted that the "younger people" (13 yrs and up) would want their vote in the group as well.. so I was giving them the respect they deserve.. that is in fact was my whole point.. that I feel they are not getting as much attention and respect as they deserve in the group.. I think they deserve some catering to.. and some direct attention to their specific interests.. whatever those interests might be we should be finding out about them and promoting those interests to get them involved in TFF, that would then be part of the activities we are lacking.. speaking of.. activities.. I said we needed the activities to keep them interested in being a part of the group and so they would not be bored (sadly.. I can't not say bored.. people do get bored at our meetings because they are so long and drawn out with items that don't include everyone in the discussions).. I think people are still just reading only part of what I am writing and then drawing conclusions that I have not said. The activities I mentioned by name were books, trivia and sketch pads.. which I find hard to believe could offend anyone at all.. it
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