The FMDAC Fall Convention…

Today is the first day of the 2013 FMDAC Fall Convention, and this year it’s being hosted by the   Smoky Mountain Artifacts Researh & Treasure Society in Knoxville, Tennessee.  The event runs through Sunday, and of major  importance is an effort to bring together the major manufacturers & the various groups representing the pastime (see my earlier post here).

Will they all show up, and better yet if they do, what will be the end result?  I have often said that some sort of coming together needs to happen.  Otherwise we are still muddling along, status quo, one group doing this, the other doing something else.  All three organizations claim to be the biggest, the best and the most accomplished, but ultimately the answer to any unification will come down to who can leave their ego’s at the door.

The other problem of course is will relic hunters, coinshooters, beach hunters & prospectors care enough about each other to pitch in when there’s a problem not directly affecting them?  A relic hunter recently stated that his club was not interested in joining any of the national groups because they hunt on private property, and do not face the same problems as those hunting in parks.  Needless to say if this attitude prevails than any attempt at joining forces is really moot.  Only in numbers can  we make a difference.

Lastly, let me ask a favor of all three groups….  Give me a reason to visit your website.  Update them  please on a more regular basis, if only to say “hi”.  Add a photo/video gallery for members to brag a little, tell your members when and how you meet.  If you are an officer, don’t be just a name with a title. Tell a little about your background, what you are responsible for and post an email address where members can contact you if needed.  Hell, tell a joke…anything please?

“In my opinion” it all comes down to marketing yourself and your organization… so far you are doing a crappy job.



My good friend John Winter surprises me every now and then, venturing into salacious areas that border on the obscene. That happens when you get old and  lecherous (Howland & I readily admit to being in that group). Be sure to check out his recent post titled  A Tsunami Filth, and if you aren’t a subscriber to John’s great blog you are missing out big time.



Just recently I suggested that clubs save up their trash and at the end of the year take it to city hall so they know that we do more than dig holes.  Well,  apparently there are already clubs doing that and publicizing it. John Dudley, a member of the West Michigan Detector Club, recently shared the following photo on Facebook…


West Michigan members at recycling center

The West Michigan club does not have a website, but meets the third Thursday of each month at China Buffet, in South Haven, Michigan (6:30 pm). John Dudley incidentally is a magician, and hope you will check out his website here. It a fun one and also provides a method of contact should you need more info on the club.

Great job guys!



Tragic Tale Behind 18th Century Ring

Solid Gold Bracelet Goes on Display

Rude Roman Knife  from Lincolnshire

Roman Coins Confiscated

Ancient Child’s Lead Coffin Could  Make History



Saw this on Facebook and instantly thought of my very good friend in Warsaw….




Filed under Metal Detecting

13 responses to “The FMDAC Fall Convention…

  1. Bob K

    I agree with you the manufacturers & the clubs with the main four groups (don’t forget GPAA) need to talk. They need to sit down (face to face) with a little give and take. Hope they do. It would be nice that this is a start to more meetings…this is important to all of us.

    Also you are correct that the main organizations need to keep their websites updated. As always your opinion is on the ball and that it needs to be said.

  2. Linda Bennett

    Here in Knoxville waiting to be picked up by fellow club members who drove up from West Palm Beach. Cold – 40 degree difference. These events are fun.

    • Have fun and keep us posted on how things go….

      • Linda Bennett

        Saturday morning hunt was in a frosted field with temperatures in high 20’s. My fingers were so numb it is amazing I found anything. Field was seeded with silver dimes and tokens, so that helped me forget about a frostbite potential. The seminars were most interesting with my two favorite programs concentrating on legislature threats to our hobby. Ed Black spoke about his fight in Louisville to reopen the county parks to metal detecting. Somewhat frustrating since he has almost singlehanded been taking on city and state government since 2007 on his own nickel.

        The second favorite was done by the mayor of Knox County, TN where this hunt is being held. After 16 years in the TN legislature and now mayor, he gave us tips on dealing with politicians. He is also an avid detectorist. He stated that a handwritten letter followed by telephone call gets the most attention. Keep letter to less than a page and hit about 3 highlights. Of course be polite without threats or even the comment that the politician’s salary is paid by you.

        We need more elected officials like this man. He is a strait talker. His views on the future of this country is scary due to too much government and abuse of power by the majority of politicians.

        Other speakers were Butch Halcombe, Frank Coletti and local speakers on civil war in Knoxville and gold mining in SE US.

        Tomorrow is 2 more hunts. Till then.

      • Thanks Linda…appreciate the update.

  3. The Task Force was represented by our VP, Avery Marder at the FMDAC convention meeting via Skype.

    The meeting was held this past Thursday at 10am. I could not get the time off work to attend, but fortunately, the session was recorded the session, and the Task Force will be reviewing it together.

    The Task Force is not opposed to working with the FMDAC, and the two groups have been discussing ways in which to make this possible.

    I do not believe the Task Force claims to be the biggest and the best. The Task Forces focus is driving membership and raising funds. Both of which are necessary should situations arise where litigation and the voice of membership is necessary to protect the hobby.

    The Task Force board meets weekly (on occasion more frequently), via gotomeeting, which is an online conference service where members can see and speak to each other through video or telephone. This is cost effective, and allows for more frequent meetings as members can meet from home in front of their computers rather than travel great distances.

    The website was updated twice in October, I know this because I did it myself, most recently this week.
    Unfortunately the “website last updated on…” icon only reflects updates to the “Current Situations” tab. I will look into the reasons for that.

    More updates to the website are scheduled, and a short bio of board members along with their photos is currently in process.

    The carousel photos on the website are also on the “to do” list for replacement.

    The current challenges in NY and Chicago are ongoing, and updates will be posted as they become available.

    I understand the frustration when information is not available. If you remember, I was one of the folks publicly complaining not too long ago; and rather than continue to complain, I got involved.

    I have seen first hand what a slow process this is, but I can assure you, even though it may not appear as such, there is always a lot going on behind the scenes.

    I ask that you and everyone else be patient as these tasks and challenges are being met. We are all volunteers, and working diligently to get things done.

    Allyson Cohen

    • Thanks Allyson…

      I apologize if it seems like I am prodding the Task Force, but honestly if I hadn’t got on them earlier this year, I doubt anything at all would have happened. The website was dormant for almost a year.

      I suspect my being overly critical comes from my efforts putting together the FMDAC years ago. I can remember doing the newsletters on my typewriter at home, taking them to work, reducing them in size so I could save on postage, and then sending them to all the clubs (making sure that “each individual member” would receive one).

      I also wrote article after article promoting the FMDAC, sending them to the all the TH’ing magazines, and coin publications. I gave talks to clubs two or three times a week, sometimes traveling close to 200 miles roundtrip (and yes I worked a full time job as well).

      We had dedicated officers and delegates who put in hours and hours of their own time, and we promoted the FMDAC every chance we got. We made a point of staying in touch with each and every club on a regular basis, knowing full well that we had to prove our worth and gain their trust. Eventually we represented over 160 clubs across the country.

      I say all this because back then we didn’t have a website, video conferencing, Skype, the internet or cell phones, yet we were very visible. I believe you when you say there’s a lot going on behind the scenes…..just that no one can tell by clicking on the website, and this, in my opinion, will cause detectorists to lose interest.

      Lastly….I know I stir the pot, and I know I have made a few enemies as a result. I do it because I think there’s a big need for ONE national group representing all TH’ers here in the states, and see no reason why that can’t happen. I would love to see it before I leave this planet….

  4. Waddya mean, “May be” ?

  5. We (American Digger Magazine) were representing the media at the “Summit” meeting Thursday held by the FMDAC, which included representatives from the Task Force (Avery), Fisher/First Texas (Mike Scott), Minelab (Garry Schafer), and Garrett (Rusty Currey). Others were invited, but could not make the meeting wither via SKYPE or in person. This was not an open meeting per sey to the public or rank and file, but rather a chance for the heads to meet, and to then pass on the info to their rank and file. This was done to keep order; even as it was the meeting lasted 3 hours.
    As a rep, I was quite encouraged by the outcome. It is my understanding that in the future, the FMDAC and TASK Force will share all info on what issues they are tackling (to ensure some sort of coordinated effort) and also to show a larger front. The groups will still remain separate in membership, but individuals will be encouraged to join both groups.
    Those reps who could not attend will be sent a recording of the meeting, and the Summits hopes to bring them on board as well. The Industry reps, meanwhile, along with both groups, will work towards a group effort to look out for the hobby that keeps them all (including us) in business.
    I think the idea is sound, and believe this was groundbreaking in the hobby groups bringing their numbers and efforts together. Let’s hope for the best!

    • Thanks Butch, guess we will have to see how all this plays out…

      I hope they will find a way to keep members informed and on a regular basis. Thank you for all you are doing to make this happen…

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