Quantcast
It is currently Tue Sep 23, 2014 2:59 am

All times are UTC + 2 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 111 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: MCSA Vision
PostPosted: Tue Aug 05, 2014 5:33 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Mar 23, 2006 11:02 am
Posts: 157
Location: Johannesburg
Real Name: Neil Margetts
I would like to hear some feedback on the debate report. what is the general opinion?

- Click here to read the report from the meeting


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: MCSA Vision
PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2014 7:45 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2007 7:41 am
Posts: 711
Real Name: OneDog
Cost of joining:
I can see that the initial fee for joining is steep for a younger person. Having said that, taking into account the costs of all other things these days (like cellphones & data, gym memberships etc., which no one is complained about as much I think), it's actually really cheap.

As an alternative, perhaps this can be offset by 2 additional work days? Younger people tend to have more time to give?

Joining procedure:
Having bitched about it myself for a long time before actually joining I have to say it's actually really not bad at all. I like the idea that it takes a little effort - if you're not willing do go to that little trouble to join a club, what will you actually ever contribute? The consumer orientated lifestyle has brought us much more pain than gain.

I realize the above statement will probably get me some flak, but my concern is how do you ensure a membership body that doesn't have the attitude of "we paid the fee, f#ck the rest, we'll do as we please" ?

Work meets:
I would love the option of being able to pay for a worker in my stead as has been the case with the Chosspile meets. As for patrols, I think that should probably rather be done by members.

All in all, I have not looked back since joining (Magalies). Thanks for all the hard work by the volunteers.
This is a great initiative, I hope there will be some positive feedback that can be used to renew the club as needed.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: MCSA Vision
PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2014 8:19 am 
Offline

Joined: Fri Nov 28, 2008 1:21 pm
Posts: 256
I always find it interesting that people place conditions on joining the MCSA, like they are doing someone a big favour.

I have been around these circles for a while and I must say all the whinging and negativity probably comes from people who do not want to join anyway and probably aren't going to do much to help the club in the long run - so I say if you are a whinger then who wants you anyway? (I know this may not be the sentiment of the club but it sure is mine)

This whole thing revolves around some observations that are made about the MCSA JHB that are simply not valid;

1. Its hard to join - frankly its BS - Neil (who is driving this) is trying very hard to make it dead easy for you to join which is good, BUT the reality is that if you cannot fill in the form then get someone who is literate to help. On the other hand if you cannot climb with an MCSA member or join 4 meets then the permit system should be good enough for you. Besides who wants a "stranger" who has joined on the web and never met another member wandering around in the Magliesberg with no idea as to where they are, what they are allowed to do in terms of access and the environment and how to not fall off a cliff.

2. That joining is about money - for a gym membership you will pay on a monthly basis what you pay for on an annual basis for MCSA membership. Hell the people I have seen joining the MCSA laugh when you talk about the fees. There are special rules for students and frankly this excuse is lame even for them - if they can afford to climb they can afford these minimal fees.

3. That the club does nothing for them. Well in that general neck of the woods almost every sport climb you climb on is populated with bolts sponsored by the club, ask Andrew Pedley - even that "little troll" Ebert benefits from the club. Then you talk about access to land and negotiated access to sport crags by people like Neil - look at Chosspile and Bronkies - they wouldn't exist without the MCSA.

I think the real question is not why would you want to join the MCSA but rather why would the MCSA want you to join the club anyway?

_________________
Really, its not that bad...I think it's my shoes...


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: MCSA Vision
PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2014 9:19 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed Oct 24, 2012 8:13 pm
Posts: 2
Real Name: Henk Appelo
I missed the evening but discussed some issues with my club friends.

Many good points were raised about the club house, activities, socials, events, relevance, volunteers etc.

Most would make very compelling arguments that the cost of the club is very cheap, yet many raise it as an issue.

- Some say they have a lot to pay at the start of the year, possible consider making the club fee payable in July or even every six months. Making it a debit order that goes off every six months is also a thought. E.g. R300 every half year or R550 once off.

- Include other activities in the club such as trail running and mountain biking. Just looking at how the chalets at Boven is being booked in advance by mountain bikers is testament that there are a lot of mountain bikers in the mountains! Many people join these sort of clubs to have a license to race or go on arranged social rides/runs. We can possibly look at providing a one stop shop. This would mean that you only have to be a member in one place and get the benefit across the board.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: MCSA Vision
PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2014 9:40 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Jun 10, 2013 8:39 am
Posts: 46
Real Name: Mike J
Until you can join with a credit card on a web site, it's not easy to join. Access Fund / American Alpine Club / etc. all welcome anyone with a credit card to join. Sure this means they have a lot of members who don't personally make a huge contribution. So what? They have way more money. You can get stuff done with money.

My first experience with the MCSA was getting bitched out by some unpleasant person about the fact that I hadn't joined and was in a kloof on a borrowed card, even though I'd only been in the country a short period of time at that point. Not exactly the most welcoming crowd. I was actually going to join before meeting that member.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: MCSA Vision
PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2014 9:46 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Aug 16, 2010 11:26 am
Posts: 81
Location: London, United Kingdom
Real Name: Stephen Martindale
The problem is neither the cost nor the bureaucracy - it is the fear of palaver.

For non-members unfamiliar with the club, particularly those without friends on the inside, "joining the MCSA" seems like some mythical rite of passage on the road from "gym belay test" to "trad. leader". Notably, an optional one.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: MCSA Vision
PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2014 11:13 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed May 04, 2005 7:25 am
Posts: 235
Location: Durban
Real Name: Russell Warren
I applaud the initiative do self examination. My two cents worth:

In my view it is about how much you want it. I have been a Cape Town Section member for quite a few years now and I must admit I also had a bad experience with a rude rather older person at the Du Toits kloof hut once, but that certainly was not the norm. It was rather worrying that the age demographic of the people doing mountain hiking was rather on the older side, but I believe that it has more to do with the present culture of instant gratification than the actual difficulty of joining the club. The MCSA has similar problems to other clubs and that is few people doing all the work and the remainder being at best participants in the events organised and at worst a bunch of whining people that expect everything to be done for them and then bitching about things if they are not exactly as they would like.

I think the MCSA needs to decide whether they want or need to become a consumerist organisation or not. That is the crux of the matter in my opinion. Better marketing in my view will attract the people that should be members of a club of this nature, not changing the ethos of the club.

To re-iterate can the MCSA survive without becoming consumerist? I certainly hope so.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: MCSA Vision
PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2014 1:46 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2009 10:48 am
Posts: 590
Real Name: Warren Gans
I agree that the club does need to change, but I wonder if taking the Unionist route wouldn't be better for users in the long run?

I unionized outdoor community with a single principal organisation representing it at a national level. This club would have to have affiliates in other disciplines like motor sports, but it remains the umbrella body. A Cosatu for the outdoors. I'm guessing Wilderness Action Group or MCSA would be the most logical starting points, but both these names are restrictive in this context because it would be dealing with more environments than mountains and wildernesses.

A group of that size would have enough power to sway entry costs at reserves and preferential treatment for sensitive activities. Like Cosatu it would work closely with the powers that be and remain loyal to them, but from the stand point of its members, rather than land management.

_________________
Sandbagging is a dirty game


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: MCSA Vision
PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2014 10:15 am 
Offline

Joined: Fri Nov 28, 2008 1:21 pm
Posts: 256
@MikeJ: So you were only trespassing and carrying someone elses card i.e. trying to decieve or lie and YOU have the nerve to complain about someone being grumpy to you.

If I had thrown every person I have found TRESPPASSING - yes breaking the law and liable to get you shot if you do it on anyone elses land -on MCSA land in jail then it would have been a lot of people. No its okay its everyones land -BS - wake up - you do that to any farmer and he will shoot at you. Its time people realised that it is simply because the MCSA allows permits and is a bit soft that people take advantage of the club without belonging. Yes that's right - what about the MCSA land you all use at Boven but never consider that...

Hmmm back to my original thoughts...who needs people who wilfully tresppass in the club. Grumpy old MCSA members - somehow I think you are pointing at the wrong person.

_________________
Really, its not that bad...I think it's my shoes...


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: MCSA Vision
PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2014 11:14 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Jun 10, 2013 8:39 am
Posts: 46
Real Name: Mike J
^ The cards exist on a sharing system between Exploratio and MCSA. If you don't like the system then get rid of it. I was operating within the guidelines and one of your goons was a major dick. Maybe it was you.

I would sooner not trad climb than deal with people like you. It's no wonder the organisation is in the ineffective state that it's in.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: MCSA Vision
PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2014 1:41 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Jan 16, 2006 8:21 pm
Posts: 354
Mikej, if someone behaved like a chop then its probably because they are a chop (or were having a bad day), not because they're an MCSA member. I've met many great people in the club, and yes - a handful of chops. Just like any other organisation. I think you're doing yourself a disservice foregoing the kloofs because of one or two bad experiences.

My reasons for becoming and remaining a member:
• They taught me to climb before I had a car, gear or experience
• They own a lot of good rock – most of the worthwhile Magaliesberg crags, plus Wilgepoort, plus parts of boven
• Membership gets me discounts on climbing gear
• Big trips / expeditions are easier - I’ve borrowed gear, got funding and advice, and found it easier to organise permits in strange countries because of club affiliation
• Arranging access to obscure local crags is easier when I say “I’m from the MCSA”
• There are annual meets to places like Magageni, The Hell and Hanglip that the club painstakingly maintains. I wouldn't get to visit these spots otherwise
• I’ve used MCSA bolts to open new routes at no cost to me
• I've clipped hundreds of MCSA bolts placed by others
• I like getting and reading the journal every year
• The MCSA has done amazing conservation work, particularly in the Magaliesberg - buying up all that land ten or so years before the big developers woke up was pretty visionary (and took a lot of hard work - hardly ineffective)

As someone who climbs a lot of trad being a member is a no-brainer. It would be much harder to access the places I love if I weren't. There's less incentive for the average sport climber - not because the club isn't making a contribution, but rather because all climbers enjoy the benefits, not just members.

I'm in favour of making it as easy as possible to become a member. The only risk I see is uneducated members messing up access arrangements, or causing damage to the more sensitive MCSA properties. Its a pretty small risk though - its unlikely that an open door policy will significantly ramp up the traffic in the kloofs.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: MCSA Vision
PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2014 8:36 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2011 11:13 am
Posts: 151
Location: Benoni
Real Name: David Wade
Almost every bolt you clip is MCSA sponsored and almost all access arrangements are the work of the MCSA. R600 a year is nothing in comparison to the benefits.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: MCSA Vision
PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2014 9:03 am 
Offline

Joined: Fri Nov 28, 2008 1:21 pm
Posts: 256
@MikejL: Sorry I did not clearly understand your reference to the borrowed card. I also think you are an unpleasant person because of your attitude so the feeling is mutual, but my point is not:

Whether you like me or not TRESPASSING remains trespassing - and yes everyone who is nice in the club won't point it out so it takes people like me to state the obvious - YOU -and a lot of other people are happy to take advantage of the club and contribute NOTHING!

Why on earth should some random person be allowed to go on someone elses land, climb on their bolts, benefit from access arrangements provided by these people and many other things like Search and Rescue and then you get to complain about THEM. WTF? Who has the attitude?

Let everyone else be nice. My logic dictates that no one needs people like this to join a club - online or not. One the biggest problems in this country is a sense of entitlement - why do you get to enjoy the benefits a club like this provides - which I will bet you do - and at the same time get to whinge about it?

There are plenty of nice people who will be welcoming - look at Hector trying to make up for me.

But from my side growing the club just to get increased funds and admitting people who have no clue about the club and will put nothing in is wrong - it smacks of modern business practice (mindlessly getting up the numbers without asking why) - lets rather have the people who want to belong to a club and not the users.

P.S. I know that that is not the clubs attitude but it certainly is mine!

_________________
Really, its not that bad...I think it's my shoes...


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: MCSA Vision
PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2014 9:13 am 
Offline

Joined: Fri Nov 28, 2008 1:21 pm
Posts: 256
On another tack and hopefully not getting into another spitting match with a resentful brat;

The Unionise idea is interesting. From what I have heard in the States they have the Sierra Club which is an organisation that bands all sorts of different ecological and outdoors agenda's. What my point is that we should probably have an outdoors organisation that liases/ combines efforts between the various outdoors activities and ecological organisations, so that the trail runners, mountain Bikers, adventure racers, 4x4 ers and fly fishermen etc. can all help each other in preserving land and making outdoor activities work together.

I would not propose the MCSA takes that role but would suggest it be a participant. I am sure that some form of co ordination would result in a great outcome for everyone. In the Magaliesberg in particular there is a great danger of everyone vying for the same land and this may result in overuse, but imagine if combined strategies could be developed.

_________________
Really, its not that bad...I think it's my shoes...


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: MCSA Vision
PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2014 9:29 am 
Offline

Joined: Fri Nov 28, 2008 1:21 pm
Posts: 256
One last point: Who said the MCSA is ineffective?

Lets look at those stats - they imply that the ratio of sport climbers to trad climbers is massive, but they are not good stats because where do they note that the sport climbers at the one venue are in fact the same ones at another venue, or for that matter that the trad climbers are also the sport climbers at all of the other venues. If those stats used individuals names as the means of determining the numbers it may well be a different story. So maybe the number of sports climbers is double that of trad climbers in Gauteng or even 3 times...

Next thing - the club belongs to its members. Who says the membership wants to grow massively and incorporate masses of random sport climbers? Its a big assumption to just think that a bigger club will benefit the members. Yes the MCSA would like to represent the bulk of climbers in the country so that it can further all climbers agenda's, but does that mean it should just let anyone join online over the internet? Personally I don't think so. In fact the concept may not even be in line with the orginal concept of the MCSA.

Funny how in this consumer orientated society everyone feels that they are entitled to join and shout the odds. Maybe its time that the membership look at what the club stands for and decides that in fact it does not want certain people as its members and that it is not a "service provider" but in fact is rather a club where membership is valued - even if it is seen as exclusive.

Personally if someone does not contribute effectively to the club - like patrolling and ejecting trespassers :thumright - then why should they belong to the club. So I am not one of those who believes the club needs to go around begging you to join or making it super easy because you refuse to fill in a form - join if you want the privileges and responsibilities of membership or not - why should I care?

_________________
Really, its not that bad...I think it's my shoes...


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: MCSA Vision
PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2014 8:47 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Nov 30, 2010 2:18 pm
Posts: 38
Real Name: Arnold de Beer
A good article and a view i share that MCSA needs to get involved in gyms and invest money in them! Join gym and msca at the same time and ensure new members are properly educated all in one go. Thats the future of climbing! Also R600 is dirt cheap :thumleft:

http://www.rockandice.com/lates-news/tnb-the-outsiders


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: MCSA Vision
PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2014 10:12 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2005 3:49 pm
Posts: 554
Location: Waterval Boven
http://www.climbing.co.za/wiki/MCSA

Quote:
The objectives of the Mountain Club of South Africa are to further the interests of mountaineering in South Africa and elsewhere, and in doing so inter alia to:

Organise and facilitate mountaineering
Procure and protect real rights in and access to mountains and mountain areas
Initiate and support actions towards protecting the natural beauty and wilderness character of mountains and to promote their effective conservation management
Promote the safety and training of mountaineers
Organise search and rescue parties
Promote the study of mountains and their environments, the preservation of historical and archaeological sites on them and the dissemination of information on mountains and mountaineering.


Just saying...

_________________
Gustav
Roc 'n Rope Adventures
Waterval Boven
013 257 0363
climb @t rocrope dot com


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: MCSA Vision
PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2014 11:10 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2009 10:48 am
Posts: 590
Real Name: Warren Gans
For benefit of conversation I'd like to continue this idea a little:

Berea Rovers and MCSA HQ both have bouldering walls that predate commercial walls in the country. Before they were built those communities would make plans with bridges or university walls, and the local chapter of MCSA would have a finger in that pie to allow their members access. Mr February and Mr de Klerk met at one of these walls- as did thousands of other good partnerships that got people outdoors more. We need gyms for the body and to socialize at, we need mountains and nature for the soul. Even in the name of the Mountain Club of South Africa implies a social/human aspect of the situation in the word "Club". The MCSA is battling to stay connected with climbers not because they aren't concentrating on the needs of mountains, but because they aren't concentrating on climber's needs. MCSA had such a monopoly over the social and physical and technical aspects of climbing/mountaineering, but by not remaining on that cutting edge of this need they have limited their perceived value to climbers.

I hear the argument Gus has put above, but its flawed because one it is not complete: we must value climbers needs in order to attract climbers, and the fact of the matter is the vast majority spend about as much time in the gym as on rock. That doesn't make us less loving of rock and the outdoors, but rather more real to the limitations of life.

For MCSA to ignore the interests of climbers for the sake of the interest of mountains is flawed: they are equally important because without either the other will be harmed.

_________________
Sandbagging is a dirty game


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: MCSA Vision
PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2014 12:10 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2005 3:49 pm
Posts: 554
Location: Waterval Boven
Makes perfect sense to me Warren. As memebers of an organisation, you should refer to the constitution/objectives/mission etc. for guidance. We joined the club under that constitution. If the members feel that the objectives differ from the current constitution ... change it!?

_________________
Gustav
Roc 'n Rope Adventures
Waterval Boven
013 257 0363
climb @t rocrope dot com


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: MCSA Vision
PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2014 1:20 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Feb 24, 2014 9:39 am
Posts: 12
Real Name: Greg Dobbins
Maybe I don't have enough experience on the topic, or maybe I do have as I have just joined as a prospective member of the MCSA.
Joining is not so hard - go to club house on first Wednesday of the month and fill out forms.
Listen to what the club has to offer and realize that there is more than what one hears from word of mouth. Events pretty much every weekend, I did not know this and maybe it is the fault of MCSA not to public announce it or maybe they have their reasons for not wanting every monkey and his dog to be at the events.

I am wanting to do more outdoors so joining a club seems to be the best option and why not one that owns the land.

It was rumored that it was only beneficial to join MCSA if you were into Trad climbing but reading comments it seems that people want the MCSA to be affiliated to or own a Climbing gym. If one looks at this from a sport climbers point of view it makes sense but for a non profit organisation not so much sense. Membership fees would have to drastically increase to make this viable and then non climbers or even Trad climbers would say that it is only beneficial to join MCSA if you a sport climber and live close enough to the gym. Just looking at it from another point of view.

What would you want from a Club that would make you join it?


Last edited by Gregory on Mon Aug 18, 2014 3:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: MCSA Vision
PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2014 10:50 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2009 10:48 am
Posts: 590
Real Name: Warren Gans
Greg I hear you about proximity problems- this is the principal challenge with all gyms/clubs. For this reason there are many local MCSA clubs around the country- 3 on the Cape peninsular! The club house should be a focal point of any club as a basis for future activities. For this reason its location is vital.

The big problem with anything like what I am proposing is financing the walls, but this is a function of demand, and time. Historically (as stated above) the club has been involved in other gyms to allow their members access, and this relationship still stands in many places

_________________
Sandbagging is a dirty game


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: MCSA Vision
PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2014 10:59 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2013 6:12 pm
Posts: 12
Location: Randburg
Real Name: Shaun Smith
Hi all!

Firstly let me state that I have been a MCSA member for nearly a day now, so I am still very new to the organisation but proud and excited to be part of a much larger climbing community. My girlfriend and I have joined to have access to some new areas as well as meet new people and learn new things. So far I have been most impressed by what is offered by the club and the level of professionalism displayed. In particular, the trad orientation --> viewtopic.php?f=12&t=11992

That being said, I would like to offer my opinion on the membership application, orientation and induction.

I don’t think the application process was too tedious and it really wasn't a problem. Getting the 4 meets signed off was a great way of encouraging introductions and we have already met some awesome people. Regarding cost, we can definitely see the value so far. The only way to ascertain whether the costs are too high is to scrutinise the financials and I am sure that this has been done and there are competent people doing so.

I think the induction process could use a little improvement. I come from a relatively large organisation and I can state unequivocally, that the induction process is one of the most important processes at the start of a new employee’s tenure. It is sometimes the only time where the employee catches a glimpse of what the company actually does and what the relevant departments do. This also gives the department heads the perfect opportunity to showcase their business and articulate their objectives as well as vision. We take this so seriously, we even solicited the help of a third party. MCSA should not be any different.

First impressions are so important and mine was underwhelming. I received an unfinished membership piece of paper (Apparently my photos I had sent a few weeks back could not be found, therefore the card could not be laminated). This is such a minor issue and I managed to do it this morning, but surely something like that should be rectified before handover? We also received a two page document detailing guidelines for land access. I would have expected some sort of welcome pack with information on the MCSA, places I can visit, activities I can participate in and perhaps a route guide or something relevant like a technique and/or knot handbook. Apparently there is a handbook in the making but again, perhaps it should have been ready before the induction. Consideration should also be given to those who do not have day to day access to the internet.

Nevertheless, these are all issues that can be rectified relatively quickly and I do believe there is a great team running things. My impression of all the people I have met so far has been fantastic! All very approachable and extremely helpful. Really looking forward to climbing with all of you.

See you on the rock face.

Blue Skies!
S


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: MCSA Vision
PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2014 1:34 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2005 3:49 pm
Posts: 554
Location: Waterval Boven
Welcome to the club Shaun. When I joined (1994, I think), I was told that the club would give me double the value back that I put in. Well, this was definitely not the case. I would put that figure way up there into the tenfolds that I got back! And all I had to do was to donate couple of bucks yearly and the odd patrolling weekend on MCSA properties. It is not always a tit for tat thing that is quantifiable but when you least expect it, you realise what the club is doing for you and have done for you in the past.

It's not a perfect club, its run by people who are not perfect and who tend to agree to disagree. If you feel it needs a more active sport climbing / bolting / wild flower / mushroom committee, get in there and start it up? And run with it...

As far as your comment, Shaun:
Quote:
Consideration should also be given to those who do not have day to day access to the internet.

Really? I say save some paper and make the whole application process with welcome package an online affair. Just mail in a mugshot & your ID docs? The only printing that should be needed is your credit card sized membership card.

"When in doubt, shut up & climb!"

_________________
Gustav
Roc 'n Rope Adventures
Waterval Boven
013 257 0363
climb @t rocrope dot com


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: MCSA Vision
PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2014 1:41 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2013 6:12 pm
Posts: 12
Location: Randburg
Real Name: Shaun Smith
Thanks bud. Catch you guys in September!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: MCSA Vision
PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2014 6:07 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Sep 29, 2009 1:20 am
Posts: 8
I used to be a member of the MCSA. Ironically the only reason I resigned is because I am based in Europe and the cost and hassle of manually transferring my subs into the MCSA account cost more than the subs itself - if only there was a simple online method of paying it!

For what it is worth I think the MCSA seriously needs to decide whether it wants to remain a ‘club’ or become a realistic representative body for mountaineering in South Africa. Sorry this is a bit of an essay but I have personal experience of the various options which may inform the debate:

In the UK you have the Alpine Club (which I think the MCSA models itself on) which has a couple of South African members (myself, Rob Powell and Sibusiso Vilane included). It is your archetypical specialist organisation catering strictly for the needs of Alpinists, mountain writers and mountain artists. Membership is by nomination and you have to have climbed X number of mountains in the Alps to qualify. I like being a member because I can obtain information about obscure bits of rock and glacier and get outwalked (and climbed) by men in their 60′s who climbed the Eiger in their 20s, which gives me inspiration. It isn’t everyone's cup of tea, but happily, as a club, it is a member of a much bigger organisation called the British Mountaineering Council.

The role of the BMC (of which the Alpine Club and a myriad of other clubs, commercial climbing walls and private individuals are members of) is to work at government level to promote the interests of mountaineers within the UK and abroad.
I had dinner with Nick Colton (Deputy CEO of the BMC) 2 years ago in Chamonix. Anticipating then that the MCSA was rapidly approaching a crossroads I actually asked him specifically how the BMC had got to the point it was at now i.e. had it been a conscious decision at a specific point in its history to start selling travel insurance, open its doors to everyone, develop online shopping etc etc. I didn’t get a particularly straight answer but that is because I think he genuinely thought it was not a specific decision, at a particular point in time, by the people in charge. He emphasised that it has been very much a gradual process (20 plus years) driven by the various regions and clubs that make up the BMC. Knowing how slow change can be in the UK, and how organically organisations solidly develop, I have no reason to doubt his reasoning that he had inherited, and was the now current custodian of a continually evolving process to keep up with the times.

The problem, as I see it, with South Africa is that there isn’t the luxury of the same amount of time to change. This debate has been left too long and the future direction of the MCSA is actually now a crisis precisely because it has done very little to embrace the changes in the world we have seen in South Africa and world in the last 20 years.

If you ask me I would say that the most critical outcome of this inertia within the MCSA, and the one which now really affects outdoor enthusiasts in South Africa the most, is access. The fact is, that recreation in the outdoors only exists as an activity if it is accessible, free and hopefully safe from criminal activity. All I see happening in South Africa is more and more red tape and a supine Mountain Club that has carved out various land and permit deals for a small clique of membership who will gradually whither away as they run out of volunteers. I think the MCSA needs to grow some testicles, massively increase its membership base and become a realistic force at a government level to ensure reasonable access to uncultivated land for outdoor recreation for all South Africans.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: MCSA Vision
PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2014 10:39 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Jun 27, 2008 8:38 am
Posts: 719
Location: Port Elizabeth
Real Name: Derek Marshall
Eish I couldn't read this BS twice without commenting.

Ja, it's easy to think "the MCSA needs to grow some testicles, massively increase its membership base and become a realistic force at a government level to ensure reasonable...blabla"...when you are not the one to do any of this. Eish, you aren't even prepared make the effort to transfer your subs. That's inertia! Perhaps your essay would be more valid if you had paid your subs & were still a member. Only speak if you are prepared to do.

The MCSA is a club. C stands for Club. SA = South Africa(not UK). SA has plenty of land issues. Opening access for mountain recreation is not one of them. Maybe after forcing farmers to part with half their land, the government will realise the importance of mountain recreation.

MCSA is not actually in a crisis, there is no cross roads. The MCSA is the only "realistic representative body for mountaineering in South Africa". What ever is or isn't happening in the MCSA is truly a realistic representation of mountaineering in South Africa & reflects what its members (volunteers) find important.

The MCSA is the only permanent mountain/climbing body relevant to the whole of South Africa (& Namibia).
There are all sorts of also-ran organizations that may have existed or still exist but cater for specific areas & groups. Eg:
a) South African Climbers Club – defunct today
b) SANCF – basically only indoor comps++ & caters for kids .
c) Various university climbing clubs – cater for students & staff during their time at that varsity.
d) Various climbing gyms – serve a small area, exist for the life span of the business & mostly concentrate of indoor.
e) Various regional hiking clubs.

MCSA is truly national, with sections in most provinces. MCSA is more than 100 years old & still at it. Read the old journals, these fears that the MCSA is terminal re-occur with each passing generation. We don't need to beg people to join. Its a club, join / don't join. All are welcome.

If we(MCSA members) want to effect change, we should do it properly, not on a negative public forum, with allsorts of non-members pissing on the club, many of whom are to snoep to fricking pay a measly sub. Or to lazy to do 3 meets & complete the form.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: MCSA Vision
PostPosted: Fri Aug 15, 2014 12:56 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Sep 29, 2009 1:20 am
Posts: 8
By way of background, for those who don't know me I was a member of the MCSA for 26 years, and paid my subs for 15 of those years whilst based abroad, receiving no benefit apart from the satisfaction of knowing that I was contributing to the objectives of the club. I also served as the MCSA's Access and Conservation representative on the UIAA for 5 years, travelling to various meetings - all paid for out of my own pocket. I was South African in-door Climbing Champion in 1993, 1994 and 1998, have climbed numerous 8a sport routes in South Africa, as well as 29 on trad. I could go on and on, but I think I am qualified by my contribution both in South Africa and abroad to contribute to a debate on the future of the MCSA.

If I didn't care deeply about South Africa and think that I had some understanding of the differences between South Africa and Europe (particularly when it comes to land tenure) I wouldn't bother to write on this forum. A previous poster might characterise my views as 'BS' but this is a debate that is currently going on or has already happened in many similar clubs to the MCSA around the world. So whether you agree with it or not, Neill is right to open it up in South Africa. My 'BS' views about access are actually the official view of the UIAA, of which the MCSA is a member.

I really believe that the MCSA has to make a decision about whether it remains a 'club' or becomes a representative body. There is a really strong argument for it to become a representative body of the various clubs/climbing walls/individuals that have an interest in outdoor recreation.

I say this because logically, if it is agreed that without 'reasonable access to uncultivated land' (the UIAA view), there will be restricted mountaineering/hiking/tradding/sport climbing in the future, then it follows that the number one objective of the MCSA should be to promote access. An obvious way to do this is to have the biggest mandate possible and that means representing more outdoor enthusiasts than the MCSA does at present. I think it is fair to say that historically the MCSA has not been representative of the demographic that makes up all outdoor enthusiasts in South Africa, and I can't see that it has changed much in the last 20 years.

I am sorry to say it, but until it does so, I don't think it has any chance of being taken seriously by those who make the legislative decisions. The consequence is likely to be an increase in permit systems used by the government (or even worse, a permit system which is so poorly administered that you can't even buy a permit) which is just another form of taxation. Outdoor pursuits on private land are another matter and I accept that attitudes in South Africa are different to those of land owners in Europe. I recently worked with an MCSA member to produce some academic research on this topic but more needs to be done to engage with land owners and to shape their attitudes in our favour. This takes time, and money, which is increasingly in short supply but could be overcome if the MCSA was a bigger organisation and could afford to pay for some full time staff.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: MCSA Vision
PostPosted: Fri Aug 15, 2014 8:46 am 
Offline

Joined: Fri Jun 27, 2008 8:38 am
Posts: 719
Location: Port Elizabeth
Real Name: Derek Marshall
Colenso, I am fully aware of who you are & could name at least 10 hard classic lines you opened from my head, I have read your wife's book (one of the best mountain books I ever read), I remember your slide show at our club house (+-)15 years ago. I saw your interview on Discovery Channel.

Me; I'm here, a member, committed to do & long term.

The MCSA is a democratic organisation. Its members elect a committee at sectional level, who do its members bidding. The section committees send delegates to the national committee. How The MCSA runs, is representative of it's body(members) wishes & commitment. Any change can only take place from within (members) & would need folks (members) to dedicate freely their time & resources. If we cannot or will not dedicate freely our time & resources to make the changes, then we should try not to tell others what they should be doing.

Why should non-members have a say in the running of our club? I'm not a member of the BMW Cycle Club, thus I don't get to say how things are run there or even make suggestions.

This forum "debate" while a bit fun & possibly somebody in The MCSA may take a few notes is just pissing into the internet abyss. Most of the complaints are a tad petty & don't add any thing to the Vision of the club. I truly hope that the Magalies Section & central committee have the sense to follow the normal democratic course of decision making that has worked for a >100 years.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: MCSA Vision
PostPosted: Fri Aug 15, 2014 10:50 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Feb 24, 2014 9:39 am
Posts: 12
Real Name: Greg Dobbins
I just ask again:
Gregory wrote:
What would you want from a Club that would make you join it?


I am wanting to spend more time outdoors.
I am looking towards joining MCSA because joining the club gives me more options be it on MCSA land or Access to specific areas. I am willing to contribute to this be it fees and time.

I am wanting to climb more outdoors.
I am looking towards joining MCSA to find other people to climb with, possibly learn from and mostly because I want to climb with people who have a passion for the sport.

So what would you want and add it to the forum and then possibly the MCSA committee could look into it. If it is viable and would increase membership then it benefits all involved. Who knows maybe some of these benefits are already available and you didn't know purely because you didn't take the time to go and find out about being a prospective member of the MCSA.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: MCSA Vision
PostPosted: Fri Aug 15, 2014 11:10 am 
Offline

Joined: Fri Nov 28, 2008 1:21 pm
Posts: 256
Wow this is actually working (to an extent)!

Colenso's comments are interesting and may relate to what I was saying about having a body that represents all mountain users and I agree the MCSA must decide if it wants to be that body OR remain a club that represents its members.

Oh boy Marshall! Wow I am so relieved that I am not the only one who thinks it is a priviledge to belong to the club and not a right. Of course people know who you are and so that colours their viewpoint of you and your comments. Fortunately they do not know who I am and so I can be brutally honest.

I agree that the MCSA is not necessarily in crisis. What people see is that there are supposedly a lot of sport climbers (most likely read gym climbers) who are not members of the MCSA and they believe they should be drawn in. How do you draw them in? By making it possible to join online? Nah. By giving them exciting social interaction and a place to gather and climb? Likely that will work a whole lot better. By dropping the fees...oh come on...we all know what climbing gear costs...so no chance...

So what is this all really about? Do we need every Tom Dick and Jane to join the club? NO. Should they want to? Yes
Will a guy from Middelburg struggle to join - not really - because he wants to.

Seems like the proposed changes are once again misguided approaches to dealing with the symptoms and not the core issue. Maybe the members should stand up and say how worthwhile it is to belong instead of worrying about a few lazy and negative people. If the membership feels the club has value then say so and people will join anyway.

_________________
Really, its not that bad...I think it's my shoes...


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 111 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4  Next

All times are UTC + 2 hours


Who is online

Registered users: Baidu [Spider], Bing [Bot], Exabot [Bot], Google [Bot]


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group