A club is defined as 'a group of persons possessing common or similar interests or occupations, who unite as an organized society' (Universal English Dictionary). But one's ideas of those interests should not be too narrow. Indeed, the aim of this book is to show kite-craft as a many-sided pastime. The focal point of attention, of course, is flying kites, but there are also opportunities for various activities within the framework of club life and organization. In making the most of these opportunities a club provides for the special aptitudes of the individual member, and it becomes a means of creative self-expression. It follows from this then that a club, to be successful, must have a full and varied programme, which is carefully planned and carried through. The importance of this cannot be overemphasized. It is a safeguard against the aimless, what-shall-we-do-next attitude which creeps in where there is no plan of action. And this is definitely not the way to progress.
Therefore a special meeting or meetings could be called for the specific purpose of discussing and planning a full and varied programme, covering a fixed period of say six or twelve months. As the club became established the matter could be dealt with at the annual general meeting, which at least might decide what things should be done, and also appoint members to get them done. Suggestions for various activities are now given and for the sake of convenience are listed under separate headings.
Club Kite MakingThis could take place during the winter months or at any time when flying was not possible. The work could be done to a plan with regard to the number, sizes and styles of the kites. Chapters 1-6 will be a considerable help in this matter, and Chapter 9 may also be taken into account. Kites might be decorated with an emblem or a monogram - something simple, bold and finished in bright colours. For example, suppose the name was the Kingsford Kite Club. It could be called the 2-K Club, and a monogram - two K's intertwined - could be used as a distinguishing mark. The cost or part of the cost of all materials used by the members might be made a charge upon club funds. More will be said about the latter later.
Club FlightsThese entail such matters as, first the choice of a site or base from which to fly the kites. Preliminary investigation would be needed in this respect, to find suitable and convenient places, which could be used in turn, and which could be marked on a base map, as described in Chapter 10. Secondly, with regard to the actual flights, this may be said. Although it is recommended that these be planned in advance, and not carried out in a haphazard way, it is obvious that certain details such as cancellations or alterations of places, days and times would be attended to on a week by week basis. Thirdly, at the start of a club's life, practice sessions would have an important place. By means of them, members could gain skill in handling different kites in varying weather conditions. And further, rehearsals could be held for the competitions which are suggested later in the chapter.
ExhibitionsIt might seem at first that this is too ambitious a project where there are only a few members. In reply it must be said that enthusiasm is always more important than mere numbers. By planning well in advance it is often surprising how much the enthusiastic few can achieve. In an exhibition, members' work, for example, may be shown. The many sizes and styles which are available in this book provide a means for staging a varied and interesting display. Another feature might be on the theme of kites through the ages (see 'Brief History', Chapter 12). This could be executed by means of posters briefly relating some of the interesting facts and figures which belong to the theme. Besides this, a large diagram might be drawn to illustrate how kites fly. Chapter 8 provides some useful information on this point. Another suggestion deals with the weather factor in kite flying.
The idea is to have on show large copies of the following: the Beaufort Scale, the list of main cloud types, a specimen weather map with explanatory notes on the symbols used, and perhaps a base map (see Chapter 10). This exhibit might also include a barometer, thermometer, compass and anemometer. (Instructions for making the two latter are given in Chapter 7.) On the subject of exhibitions, a few general comments may be made. One is that on such an occasion refreshments could be provided and some form of entertainment given. In passing, these two, of course, might make a separate social evening. Another point is that an exhibition might be an inter-club venture, or a means of co-operating with other clubs, such as model glider or aeroplane. Lastly, an exhibition, if it were carefully planned and carried out, would do much to increase knowledge of and interest in one of the oldest pastimes in the world.