The Future of the Young Amateurs Radio Club

Pretty ominous title, but I promise it’s not going to be that bad.

Before this new block of mods came in, it was always the old mods/YARC Board’s intent to dissolve the legal US nonprofit entity known as YARC. It had never been maintained properly, it didn’t benefit the community in any way (in the end), and I’m announcing that we’re ceasing to pretend it ever existed. However, there’s no need to worry – YARC isn’t going away. We are shifting to a looser community model for a couple of reasons, namely:

  • We want to be as inclusive as possible
  • We want to focus on the discord community, as that’s what we’re best at
  • There aren’t any strong benefits to being in YARC, except our wonderful community
  • Lots of leadership burn out
  • Not really in the business of wanting to collect or store personal data

With that in mind, we’re dissolving the non-profit and the formal board structure.

We’re still keeping around YARC as a club and as a discord server, and we’re also keeping around the YARC callsign, WY4RC. You’re still welcome to tell people you’re a member of YARC, and if you remember your member number you’re welcome to use it. However, we have deleted our database of members (including numbers), and will not be handing out anymore. From now on, the criteria for YARC membership are simple: Are you in the discord? If yes, then you’re a member. As an added benefit, we’ve received blanket permission from the club trustee AB3NJ for all YARC members to use the club call, in accordance with local laws and regulations, and as long as you are a club member and following our community rules (found in #rules in our discord). We’ll be working on getting a paper document you can print out and use soon.

We also are decentralizing YARC and want to encourage a shift from a central mod team running things to something that is community-led. For example, feel free to run a net or a contest under the YARC banner. (for example, #WAYZ-Worked All YARC Zones ) Feel free to have local meetups and put them on Meetup under the YARC banner as long as you’re following our in-person event rules (coming soon to a #rules near you). We do ask that if you do these things that you coordinate on the discord so that other members can see and participate, but you don’t need the mod team’s permission to do these kinds of things. With that being said, if you intend to register a local YARC club call, please reach out to the mod team so we can coordinate that – we do want to take an extra level of care when it comes to callsigns.

I’m also happy to announce that the moderation team will now be chosen by the community, starting with re-affirming our current mod team. This is intended to prevent the “old boy’s club” effect from happening. Inactive moderators will be removed by the moderator team themselves, and new ones elected by the community to fill their place. I don’t have a timeline on when this will happen yet, but it’s something we intend to do. More on this coming soon.

There is also internal discussion on altering the name of YARC – we want to keep the acronym and branding, but “Young Amateurs” sounds a bit racy. It made sense when the server was called “Young Hams” and we grew from that into a club, but it doesn’t seem to fit very well on its own. Ideas/suggestions/comments are much appreciated – please visit #suggestions with your feedback, even if it’s just “Young Amateurs Radio Club sounds ok and you’re being dumb.”

With all of this, I also want to express how grateful I am to our community for being so wonderful and pleasant to work with. You are what makes YARC the awesome place it is, and all these changes are intended to enhance your experience and give you more power to help us grow the club and resources around young people in amateur radio. YARC has had a special in my place from the start, even when we were just the “Young Hams” discord server. I love to see the creativity and scrappiness that YARC brings to ham radio, and I hope these changes make it even easier for us to be the best version of ourselves.

Caleb, KZ0P