Treasure Clubs…a Dying Breed?

Over the past couple of days I worked on verifying the club websites I have listed above and was amazed at the how many had disappeared. Others were simply added to a generic site or page with little or any information offered. Apparently we are no longer interested in meeting like-minded folks face to face…just online.

FMDAC delegates, meeting 1987....greatest group of TH'ers ever

FMDAC delegates came from far and wide to organize the pastime in the mid-80s

Now having said this I will be the first one to admit that I do not attend any of the local clubs here in the DFW area. I suspect if they were down the street or around the corner I would, but getting out and about is not something that comes easy for me.

I know too that any preaching I’ve done with regards to organizing the pastime (and I’ve done a lot of it) has a been a waste of time. I mean if we aren’t going to attend the local club meeting or offer to help in its running, why would we care about tekkies halfway across the country? I mean screw them, I have better things to do with my time, and paying $50 a year to enjoy my hobby….are you shitting me? That’s $4 a month!!

What do you think…did I just describe you?

So maybe the demise of the Task Force and the slow disintegration of the FMDAC makes sense and is not a black mark on its leaders or officers. Just maybe it’s your lazy ass. Just maybe it’s you and me. Just maybe if we took time from making videos or promoting podcasts we could have that all powerful, NRA like group to represent us….to fight for us. Willing to bet too that if all you forum groupies spent one tenth of your time caring about metal detecting in the year 2025 we’d all be a lot better off, but hey I understand it’s so much more important to see what “Digging Dave” and “Relic Rat” had to say this morning. And then there’s all those YouTubes to watch…

And while this nasty individual sits in Warsaw Poland blowing hot air, it’s an indication of what’s coming to our shores if we don’t wake up.

Not sure about you but I don’t take lightly to being labeled pig ignorant and barely literate….


Enough said.  To all the clubs still going strong and to all the many club officers who bust their butt to keep them going…..thank you, thank you, thank you!

If your club is not listed above and has a website please send the link to me and I will add it….





Filed under Clubs, Metal Detecting

35 responses to “Treasure Clubs…a Dying Breed?

  1. Yo’ Ricardo
    “Lerning Abowt Th’ Past: Metal Detector Style,” our man in Warsaw writes. I’d love to see some the translations he’s committed (not written) based on his illiteracy for Unesco. Jeez, they must surely be collectors items apart from being hilarious.

    And calls us thick! Hahahahaha!

  2. John Devereux

    Barford is typical of his type hiding behind his IP address. I have experienced abuse on of all things a Volvo forum (I know!!) I said he wouldn’t insult me face to face being as how I dealt with his kind on a daily basis being in the security industry. And did he know that I could find his name & location very easily with my sniffer software? All went quiet. Got no patience with stupidity.

  3. wintersen

    Paul calls me – and my detectorist friends – Half Brains and Thugwits on his blog and belittles my command of English and understanding of ‘istry. He entitles his latest outburst Lerning Abowt Th’ Past. He thinks himself funny and a cut above the rest of us. He’s self delusional and thinks he’s some sort of superior being. In reality he’s a prat.

  4. Hi Dick;
    The club scene is going sting in some areas. PWMDAS is an excellent example. Our club the Nor’Easters does pretty good but the issue is in this area finding places to detect as a group. The rural areas make for a decent amount of hunts and membership will flourish, while in our area in the coast the population is very dense and so finding an open area to detect is not as easy. The more hunts the better the membership. The younger the membership the harder it is to pin down officers as home, work, children take priority over a hobby. We put up our website and link it to facebook as it provides for an open line of communication between all participants. News and information is always available. I do not even do a newsletter anymore because the information would be a douplicate of what is already posted online. Times have changed and the way we send out information has followed close behind. I have to admit though a strong online presence makes a big difference in club participation.

  5. Bigtony

    I agree with you Dick, those good old days are gone and I miss them too.

  6. Jamie

    Not much leisure time for the modern generation. The golden age of enjoying life has faded from American culture. Two income families and doing what we can to keep our kids engaged and off the streets has turned life into quite the grind with little excess time to do the things we love. I have a number of hobbies, perhaps too many, and they all suffer as we just try to get from A to B on a daily basis. You lived in the golden era no doubt. Maybe when the kids are off to college or I retire I will find more time for all my passions. Thanks for reminding me to make time when I can.

  7. Coin25

    I haven’t been to the club meeting in a long time but it’s because I am doing too much family stuff and haven’t found the time. Maybe next year will be better for me. I have been to a meeting at Jessie Thompson’s and I liked it – there were large round tables and no structure. You grabbed a coffee and walk around to say hello to others and yes they did talk about their finds.

  8. I structured the Noreasters differently. Very little structure. I find that people today are involved in too many activities that require structure and not enough Camaraderie. No one wants heavy structure after all it is a hobby. Their are so many regular hunters out their that do not belong to clubs but have the NRA. While the NRA is member supported it is also the manufactures that support it. No one has yet ever published a list of how many detectorist are out there maybe if we knew we could have an idea of how to proceed. We need a international group and well it seems that no one wants anyone else in their sandbox.

    • “No one has yet ever published a list of how many detectorist are out there maybe if we knew we could have an idea of how to proceed…”

      Jessie I put those numbers out there a while back. Will need to see if I can find that post and add a link here. They were numbers that were pretty much accepted by the industry….

      • Here’s that link and the number mention. I forget the basic formula but it’s pretty well thought out.

      • Dick:
        The problem facing US detectorists as we both know, is chronic under-representation in that no lobby group exists to put forth the hobby’s views.

        For example, were Capitol Hill to consider implementing – for the sake of example – a license system – and wanted to canvas hobbyists views on the subject; who, or what lobby group or organisation would they ask?

        So what’s the answer? Someone, and soon, has got to take the bull by the horns and put a lobby group together; the manufacturers can be invited to come on board in an advisory capacity. Capitol Hill is duly informed that the lobby group now exists and the contact spokesperson given.

        Launch a third-party hobby insurance on the lines of the UK’s Federation of Independent Detectorists to include a photo ID card. These can be presented to prospective landowners when seeking search permissions.

        Initial set-costs might come from commercial interests such as manufacturers in the form of gift aid. One has to admire the ferocity of the NRA in protecting hunters’ interests.

      • Understand but we can’t find the worker bees here in the US needed to accomplish something like that. Likewise everybody is suspicious of everyone else, everything is a conspiracy and if you ask for a buck to attempt to do something like this you’re called a ripoff. Just the American way anymore.

  9. Coin25

    That isn’t a bad idea because folks talk more freely in a bar, you included.

    I wouldn’t be posting the numbers of detectorists because the powers that be might be enticed to tax it.

    If you want to talk to folks start with a phone call, email is too impersonal. It’s obvious that we don’t play together well, clubs have this problem since as long as I can remember. The original folks who started the FMDAC were a very likeable group (at least from what I recall, including you Dick). Clubs have their own opinions about how things should go and probably need a good leader that they will listen too.

    You can’t compare this hobby to the NRA, they have constitutional rights – that alone draws folks to it without having a good leader.

    I said too much, please don’t hang me out to dry. I like this hobby and I am really just a coin shooter. Heck I talk about searching for real treasure or a cache but don’t do it, so it is like my fishing pole, it comes out when I need to relax and get the hook wet. I bet that is the same for many folks. I would bet that the people who really hunt for treasure don’t metal detect often, just when it is needed for a particular project.

    I’ll see you in the field (not in the bar) while I dig up a few nickels.

    • Have to wonder how many fights might arise in a bar setting? I can hear it now….”you didn’t find that, you bought it” or “that’s the same damn coin you said you found three months ago”….

      Hmm, might clear the air though?

      Tony we may not be mentioned in the Constitution but in the Declaration of Independence there’s a line that reads “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” That’s good enough for me.

      You make good points here Tony and I would never hang you out to dry. Just when you’ve had too many…

      • “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” That’ll do for me. The hobby brings happiness and we/you have the right to pursue the liberty to do it.
        Now lets get the organisation under way. There’s an untapped vein of talent out there. Sure there’ll be those who moan, whinge and whine, and suspect a scam. Some will oppose because it steals thunder. We don’t need them, let ’em go.
        Seeing as how you colonial rebels fought and won against the British Empire for your freedom, what’s the problem now?
        C’mon, let’s see the American Metal Detecting Association wheeled out onto the runway ready for take-off. Where some lead, others will follow.

      • Well don’t look for a stampede when it comes to someone to take on such an effort.

  10. Coin25

    Yes we all have rights and we do enjoy our freedom. All I am saying is that this hobby is different than others and should be – it is mostly recreational. There are some who are professional but that is few in numbers.

    We probably need to approach someone who has a good following or a very large club to start with if we are looking for a leader. That would be a start in my opinion. Maybe that is the key – where do we start? Find a leader, call the groups on a conference call, write down a list of actions we need to take before we start out? Too many questions for a simple coinshooter.

    Maybe a gathering at one of those large western bars – the likes that hold conventions of folks. The first step is the hardest, the rest is easy.

    • Tony any effort at all at doing this needs someone who can devote a hundred percent of their time. Not somebody who holds down an 8-5 job. That’s always been the excuse when it came to those who oversaw other efforts (and it was indeed a legitimate one). Likewise the manufacturers would have to step up with financial assistance to get the ball rolling.

      • I don’t mind serving behind the bar BTW!

        The salient point is registering a viable lobby with Washington. Forget what’s gone before and start with a fresh canvas.

  11. Coin25

    Dick, you are entitled to your opinion too, after all this is your web site. Do you really think there is that much work to do, 8 to 5 Mon to Fri?
    The manufactures are doing government contracts, that is why new bells and whistles are coming out. They pay for research and developement for military advancements. The space project created the ball point pen and we paid for it, (bunch of crap because we the american folks didn’t get any royalties on that one).Now they are paying MD companies to invent new stuff and we pay for it then purchase the new product too. Don’t get me wrong just having a different view helps folks see different things and come up with different answers. That is where our numbers will help us – plenty of ideas out there to tap into.
    But your concept would be fun, if you think about it – working a job that is your hobby and dream is fun thing not stressful at all. I would enjoy it and I am sure there would be many who would too. I wait to hear form some other Stout Standard followers with their ideas because I am just a simple coin shooter whose favorite coin is a 25 cent piece – they fill up your pouch quickly…..ha ha ha.

    • Tony, yes I do think it should be a full time job and I got real tired of the “I work a full time job and have a family life too” excuse every time someone questioned why the so called national groups disappeared for months.

  12. Coin25

    So what you are saying is something we need in the search for a good leader, one who will commit and be willing to do the job full time. No problem, now how do we search for that person? Newspaper add, word of mouth, phones calls to club presidents? FB want add page?

  13. Good post, Dick, and a little kick-ass in your own inimitable way! Our club, the Central Florida Metal Detecting Club is still going strong, since 1972. with anywhere from 6 to 10 new members every month, and attendance of anywhere from 100 to 120 members at every meeting.The club has managed to garner a following of police officers, historical society members, and young and old club members.

    We try to keep the club in the news, participating in police evidence hunts for local police departments, often as not, finding the evidence they have sought and putting a lot of bad guys in jail. We’ve assisted the U.S. Navy in locating a 1943 plane crash, a WWII dive-bomber downed in the middle of swampy nowhere, while finding the ID plate, identifying the pilot who died in the crash.

    We spend a lot of time finding personal items lost by the general public, and are successful, again garnering positive publicity for the hobby. Years ago, our club’s efforts were central in quashing Florida Senate Bill 868, deceptively titled “Archaeological Sites and Specimens,” with the underlying purpose to make metal detecting a severe crime throughout Florida…ALL of Florida! Penalties were draconian; confiscating your equipment, your CAR, BOAT etc, with no legal recourse to recover them. We gave them so much grief, that Senator Alan Hays, who sponsored the bill came to a club meeting and apologized!!!

    Senator Hays said he had been somewhat confused as to what had happened according to the state archaeologists, and realized (after getting 14,000 emails clogging up his office computer) he made a mistake. Currently, we are the largest metal detecting club in the state, and getting bigger. So, I agree, we will have to create an effective organization to represent the interests of treasure hunters. Everybody filling in their dammed holes would be a good start!


  14. Coin25

    Dick, this is a good start. I applaud you for keeping the fires burning and hopes up high. Please keep us posted James!

  15. Ken Rastatter

    Ecrda has a big membership because it is a great club because of the officers and the great comaradry.Joe Jorgeson is a big contributor to keep this hobbie on track. All clubs should take a page from his book to promote the hobby. Thank you Joe !

    • You will get no argument from me Ken, Joe is indeed a great guy, and I am familiar with the East Coast Research & Discovery Assoc.. Joe in fact messaged me a couple of days ago about this topic….

      “Hi Dick, You are right on with your post ( Treasure Clubs – a dying breed ). I am going in to my 15th. year as president of ECRDA and we are lucky to have a very active club. We just had 93 folks celebrate at our annual Christmas party. Getting young and new member to join as been our success. Regards, Joe….”

      I responded “Congratulations Joe…that’s no small feat. How do you entice new members? Advertise? If you have any suggestions or tips please share them in the comments section of the blog. Might help others….”

      Maybe we can coax him to comment further here on the blog…. Thanks Ken

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