The Bigger Picture…

My last post about the Farmers Insurance commercial garnered quite a few responses, and while I am happy so many noticed, took offense and responded, I think it says a lot about our perceived image.

It’s important to remember that while we know who we are the majority of people do not.  They haven’t a clue!  To them we are still ‘those old people on the beach looking for loose change’.  We need to change that and we need to promote what it is we do!

So how do we do this?  Well, first and foremost we need to do it by getting more involved in our local communities.  We not only need to be visible when we are complaining about a park being closed, we need to be out there helping our town, city and county be a better place to live.  It always baffles me how we all can come together as group to bitch, but somehow can’t come together to do anything else.

Consider adopting a park or roadside area to keep clean, or why not come up with a program like the Wheat State Treasures Hunters did. They’re now part of the local adult ed program and they are teaching Metal Detecting for Beginners.

If you belong to a club why not donate your time and participate in a forthcoming community event or project?  Why not share your expertise with the local scouting groups, or put together a talk and demonstration for the seniors in the community.  The possibilities are endless and the PR is priceless.  We also need to do a better job of responding when we are faced with opposing points of views, bans and restrictions.  We not only need to choose our words carefully, we need to back them up with proof of our value to the community, as in ring returns, partnering with local law enforcement agencies and other community group efforts like those mentioned above.  We also need to be proactive and not sit back waiting for problems to arise.  It much harder changing rules and regulations “after” they are enacted.

Now having said all this I predict not much will change. Why?  Because unfortunately we are inherently loners, not inclined to go out of our way to get involved in extra curricular activities.  Because we typically show up at club meetings to bullshit, eat the food, win a door prize but never volunteer to help run it.  Because we would rather spend hours on forums extolling our expertise, our brand of detector, than compose an email that might help that club halfway across the country fight city hall.  I mean, come on, other than that who gives a rat’s ass, right?

Now I know what I just said was a generalization and it probably pissed you off, but if our image is to improve and if we want to be known as something other than that “old guy on the beach looking for loose change” we need to shape up and yes, it’s just MY opinion…

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8 Comments

Filed under Metal Detecting

8 responses to “The Bigger Picture…

  1. Dennis Morrison

    LOL, Right on Dick!! I know what you mean by clubs and folks who attend them. Being the president, vice president and newsletter publisher, I know where you are coming from. Our club only has around 5 folks that really do go detecting and that’s out of 25 people. Makes it kind of hard to put together a newsletter.

    I for one give many metal detecting talks around my area. I started out doing them for free, but with gas prices so darn high I had to start charging just to get my gas fee back. But, that doesn’t stop public libraries. Heck last year I gave 5 talks in 3 days for a local library and I hit all the outlying libraries as well. Man that was a lot of driving. It was bad though because the talks were in the summer and most of the folks were either working or going to some sporting event. A couple of places I made the janitors listen to my talk, LOL.

    The local police department knows that I metal detect and I have on occasion been asked to look for a bullet or some other metal object! One time at a local library I gave a talk in the evening and a local paper reporter showed up. I usually don’t like my face plastered all over a newspaper showing my finds, but the lady insisted and she took my picture with some of my finds. You wouldn’t believe the full page and a half she did on my talk. I am still getting calls about doing metal detecting talks, LOL.

    I also volunteer at local FFA ( Future Farmers of America ) meetings and give talks about our hobby. You would be surprised at how many farmers come up to me and ask if I would like to hunt an old house site or other place on their farms. Heck Ya man..I do!

    Keep the faith Dick, some of us are doing our part. Now if we can just get others to follow the lead… Wow, wonder what would happen!!

    Denny ( Ringfinder )

    • Denny, your reputation precedes you. I remember writing about you when I was doing the column for WET, and thats been a while. If only we had few hundred more of you. Thank you for all you do…know that you are appreciated by this old guy.

  2. Bob K

    Well said. You hit the nail on the head. Wish that the National groups would take up your comments.
    Dick Please keep up your comments like this .
    Thank you for what you try to do

    • Bob, once again I don’t do anything but offer suggestions (and yes irritate the hell out of some people). I do wish the national groups would be more public and have “something” to say on a regular basis.

  3. I agree 100% Dick. Back in 2008 everyone wanted a detecting club in our area but nobody had the guts to start it so I did. Today we have about 40 members and we are still gaining new ones every year. This year I was finally able to talk our Vice President to take over my spot as President to give me a break so I can get my business going, (Ground View Metal Detectors).

    Since we have put this club together we’ve detected a National Historical place in our city. We had the newspaper and television on scene. We donated everything we found back to the museum. I do talks for the history classes at the middle school, the library, the Optimist club, Earth Day, Northern Wisconsin State Fair just to name a few. We’ve had an “Adopt A Highway” for the last 4 years that we clean up.

    I take new people that come into this hobby out and teach them how to detect. Out of 40 members, we have maybe 10-15 people that get involved. I wish more would but you can’t make them come to the meetings and other functions of the club. We keep plugging along as a group and show a good image. In 2013 members found 5 different lost items and returned them to the owners. We also had our local television do a short story on metal detecting and what we do. They tagged along on a hunt and filmed one of our members finding a necklace with a religious medallion. We were able to get some good tv coverage together as well.

    I wish more people would get involved but there are those that want to keep everything secret and not tell anyone. It is “THEIR” spot even if it is public property, and of course you have those that go to places that are off limits giving us all a black eye. Fortunately they are few and far between.

    Kenny Briggs
    Three Seasons Treasure Hunters LLC (Founding Past President)

    • Thanks Kenny and thanks for all you do. Thank the members of the club as well.

      When the FMDAC started out back in the early 80’s we had delegates come from all over to attend the monthly meetings. Some over 200 miles. They were the most dedicated and caring people I’ve known, and I used to think to myself “what a helluva club this would be”…..

  4. Last comment…. Look at the replies to my last post about Farmers Insurance and then look at the responses here. Will tell you volumes about who we are and why we are constantly fighting city hall.

  5. You only get the representative body you deserve. Make of that, what you will!

    Maybe, some might think that Task Forces or FMDAC’s cut the mustard; problem is, some of you guys are in deep doo-doo and there’s no-one with the balls to get you out!

    Now, while you guys were keen to kick the shit out of British Colonial Rule, how come the same spirit, nowadays, for the same fight has evaporated? I’m a Limey, yet, faced with what you fellas in the colonies went through, I would have fought on your side. Tyranny NEVER wins.

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