May 2014 Northwest BOA Meeting

This month’s meeting was at the shop of Ron Wells in Mt. Judea. If you’ve never been out to Ron’s shop, it’s quite a beautiful drive in from 65. I feel it is one of the nicest areas in the Ozarks, but I can’t figure out how he manages to get out in snow and ice! Fortunately the weather was great, and we had an enjoyable meeting.

Unfortunately, only 8 members were present at Saturday’s meeting. That’s not a great turnout, but there are likely several causes. The perception of it being a long drive, when it’s really not too far from Harrison, combined with having just had our April meeting, the hammer class, and Mother’s Day falling this weekend, the odds were against us. We would like to have more members show up at Ron’s in the future. The subject of trying to host regularly in different areas, not focusing in one place, came up during the business meeting. We visited the possibility of creating an annual calendar that designated the area we would meet that month, but the challenge to that is finding a host and getting a commitment. This has been an ongoing struggle for the past 6 months. We would prefer to publish meeting dates and locations two months in advance, but that has not been possible recently. If you’ve thought about hosting, but are concerned that you don’t have the room or equipment, keep in mind that we have a BOA trailer that is fully equipped for demonstrating. We could meet in an open area or local park near your location, with owner permission.
Another piece of business that was discussed is our ad rate structure. We are planning to charge 50% of what similar publications charge, and see how successful that model is. We also discussed how member classifieds might be handled, and there will be further discussion on that topic in the near future. Part of the reason we would like to sell ad space in the newsletter is to help cover the cost of printing newsletters. Due to printing in color, the 16-20 page length, and the higher cost of postage for the large size, the cost for the members that prefer a hard copy currently exceeds their annual dues. We’ve only ran two prints, but we will continue to research alternative printers. Selling some ad space would help alleviate these additional costs. We would like to have a few hard copies on hand at meetings to show visitors, new members, and potential advertisers.
Ron Wells gave us updates on the sandwich signs for both BOA chapters, and we hope to have those completed soon. We also discussed getting a vinyl sign for the trailer, and Sam Hibs agreed to assist us in printing the sign, as he is equipped to do so. Ron also requested that he be relieved of all t-shirt ordering related duties. Hopefully we will be set up for ordering t-shirts through our website in the near future.
Bob Lock expressed an interest in having a raffle at next month’s meeting at Rusty Wheels. If you have an item you would like to raffle off for BOA, in addition to the railroad spike knife and sheath Bob donated, please bring it with you next month to Rusty Wheels. We would also like to start another toolbox raffle, and possibly set the end date for next spring, so please begin thinking about tools you could donate to the toolbox raffle. Last year’s raffle was a great success and a fantastic assortment of tools for the winner.
Our final piece of business was a discussion of a fall conference between all 3 BOA chapters. We are still in the early planning phases, but we will hopefully have more information soon. If anyone has suggestions on demonstrators or central areas to host the event, please email me at president@blacksmithsofarkansas.org
Justin Jones
BOA President

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