You have to get the balance right in a club so people have time to work on there own trees with advice and opinions from other members along with a number of 'experts' in the program that educate and fire up the enthsiasum in the club with talks, demos and assited workshops etc.
Any club show i feel should be for all members not just for the few that have been doing Bonsai for a number of years so have six trees in each to make up the show. A new comer should be able to show his or her trees to make them feel part of the club and the standards they can reach.
Hey Tony, I been doing Bonsai for about 7 years, or at least I thought I was until I joined a club about 2 years ago. The wealth of knowledge I've received by going to meetings is like night & day compared to reading a book or the Internet. I went to my first Bonsai show this past April and let me tell you it's just amazing what I learned over that weekend. I belong to Pennsylvania Bonsai Society and won the ticket for that weekend at our raffle we have at our meeting. That weekend changed the way I look at Bonsai and trees. Plus I met other members of the Brandywine Bonsai Society which I joined at their next meeting. Both clubs are fantastic. The members go out of their way to share information, they have awesome guest teachers, Boon Manakitivipart, Chase Rosade & David Easterbrook just this past year. I can't get enough. After going to my first show I wanted to throw away most of my trees too, but just can't part with them. A lot of them will go into the landscape, and then maybe I'll pull them up in a couple years. Sorry about the clubs in the UK, but our clubs on the East Coast rock, I would join more but there too far away 50 miles or more. Love your emails & look forward to them every week.
Interesting Tony to see 'my club sucks' as the lead voting sector. Thank YOU though for taking the time to write what you have!