Don Rankl, our MARC President

On local “radio clubs”

In today’s technological world almost anything can be located, obtained, learned, figured-out, or researched within a few simple clicks of your mouse without ever leaving your home. While it’s the world we live in, and it has improved our lifestyles tremendously, one absolute truth cannot be denied, in every single case - the computer cannot replace “human connection.' While the “AI” (Artificial Intelligence) crowd may argue extensively on this capability, it still isn’t the “real” thing!

People and organizations are filled with all sorts of flaws and bruises, and no situation or human being is ever perfect – especially when it comes to amateur radio clubs... in our case- The Massillon Amateur Radio Club!

We are typically perceived to be a bunch of rag-tag folks who tend to think we have the magical answer to most everything. In reality we are a committed bunch of passionate individuals & volunteers who crave being around other like minds in a public setting, sharing the awesome experience of amateur radio.

Clubs often fill the eye-rolling, “hear we go again” mantra of a bunch of old-timers sitting around drinking coffee, munching on a donut or other unhealthy snack, all while telling the newest person the ins and outs of the perfect set-up for their shack, or arguing over the price of a connector to replace an ailing antenna.

We may hear from the naysayers, that clubs aren’t what they used to be, or it’s the same-old-same-old.

While we don’t have to do too much to fit this “cookie-cutter” description of many ham clubs in 2024, it’s hard to pretend that we are much different at times. However, in this day and time, and in our small community, we are quietly leading the pack when it comes to welcoming, learning, sharing and ENJOYING amateur radio and the way it brings people together for the common good of everyone involved!

We believe that we haven’t scratched the surface when it comes to the multitude of ways we can connect with individuals as well as our city and beyond. If you have never visited a club (any club), haven’t paid us a visit in a long time, or life has simply gotten in the way, trust us, we understand! MARC has been around since 1927 and its looking like we’ll make it to our 100th birthday in just a few short years.

You may feel nervous at first, but be assured no one is judging your experience, or the feeling that you don’t have any experience, or that you could do a thousand times better than the “big mouths” at the head table. We want you to judge the experience for yourselves.

If you’d just like to meet up with a friend you haven’t seen for a long time, possibly connect with another like-minded ham, or share your thoughts on what you’d like to see, please know you are welcome- always!

We will never force anyone to participate in any way. If being an officer or trustee is not your thing, we understand that too. What we DO understand, is that MARC is and has always been a fantastic place to “CONNECT” with real human beings!

While the newest rig that’s being showcased claims to be the best thing since amateur radio was invented, it cannot replace a warm handshake, an enjoyable conversation, or the feeling of belonging to a great cause.

We invite you to pay us a visit, grab a donut and see what we’ve been up to!

Technology allows communication, not connection” (Dr. John Delony)



Don Rankl – N8IVJ