The trip to Biosphere 2 that was scheduled for yesterday (Sat April 20) was cancelled. Originally we envisioned renting a tour bus to go to Biosphere and the Pima Air and Space Museum. Poor response made it uneconomical to hire a bus, so we scaled it back to a car pool to the Biosphere 2 facility. But as the week went on and into early Saturday, it came down to Chuck Lesher and myself and our spouses as the only people interesting in going. So we decided to cancel the trip for now until we can actually make it a group outing. (Note: if you sent in a check, it will be returned to you.)
This was disappointing. A main reason we attempted an excursion was the difficulty in getting people to come out to meetings. We had some discussions among the membership and decided an outing might be of more interest and Biosphere 2 kept coming up. So we gave it a shot and the result was not much different. So if we can’t get people to meetings, despite interesting speakers, and if we can’t get people to commit to an outing, despite an attractive destination, I’m not sure what options that leaves us.
Sure, there are the excuses that a trip to Biosphere was going to take too long on a Saturday when people have plans for the family. Our initial concept that included the Pima Museum was admitted lengthy and not inexpensive and perhaps that put some folks off. Maybe Saturdays are just too precious time-wise. But there is never going to be a perfect time to do some sort of excursion that meets everyone’s schedule. On a random day in April we should have gotten more than the five or so people who still seemed interested. Maybe a closer, shorter, cheaper trip (an ASU space science lab, for example) would attract more people.
I could dust off my theory on the impact of the internet on fraternal organizations, but I will save that for another time. I’ll just say that an on-line virtual tour of some place is not the same experience as getting on a bus with 20 like minded friends, seeing some place interesting with your own eyes, and then having a meal together. The on-line experience doesn’t replicate that at all.
Moving on and looking ahead, our next monthly meeting is scheduled for Saturday May 18. I have a conflict that day and will not be available, and we don’t have a program yet. I’m open to ideas or volunteers to pull something together. I am also looking for comments in general and ideas for future meetings and excursions.
President, Phoenix NSS and Moon Society chapters