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  1. Your perfectly clear. I've considered it. Other folks have approached the DZ about organizing and whatnot. At this point I'd have to organize myself which I don't feel I have the experience or enough time to do. I guess the heart of the issue is that I expect the DZ to be more involved.
  2. I'd love it if they organized camps. It would tremendously across the board.
  3. I've thought someone should. I don't think that person is me though. Someday I'll be more willing to step into a leadership role but with work and family I'm not ready to make that commitment and I'd rather give it a solid effort than a half hearted one. 6 years from now I'll be in a better place with work and family and I'll give it a go then.
  4. That happened at my home DZ a few years back. The guy who started it wanted it to be a progression oriented group with a minimum skill level of flying a headdown base from exit until breakoff. For those of us in the group it was amazing. But that's a pretty high bar for inclusion. Most of the DZs jumpers didn't meet the prerequisites so once the group ran its course, it was back to status quo. The staff is very good about mentoring young jumpers through the landing pattern and if you aren't protecting your handles near the door etc. Anything they see while working they point out and that matters. There is a pretty good safety culture as a result of that. The issue is that the DZ has never cultivated its fun jumper base. As a result people jump for a few years having fun and progressing and then they see the end of the progress. After awhile they lose hope and quit jumping or make the trek. My home DZ doesn't even have a Facebook page for experienced jumpers and that is not a significant effort.
  5. I'm not in the business so I don't have an informed opinion on making money versus breaking even with fun jumpers but I'm pretty sure, knowing my local DZO, that he wouldn't do it if he weren't making money off of us. Yeah I would agree with that if our events benefitted actual skydiving. My DZ is run by staff the DZO is not that active in the day to day operations so a lot of the events have a beer light focus or are fundraisers. I think the beer light focus is more for the staff's morale, which is understandable and has a place in any work environment. I suspect the fundraisers are more of a local news soundbite for a little free marketing towards the general public. There's nothing wrong with that either more tandems is more loads, more loads is more seats, more open seats for skydivers... The issue I see on this aspect is that there are few events for skydivers involved in skydiving. I've seen maybe 8 events at my dropzone that directly involved skydiving in the last 6 years. Maybe getting a load organizer, or comping the staff to jump with guys. We lose SO many skydivers after the A license and before 100 jumps. Its staggering I'd estimate 70%. A very good point except at my home dz the tandem operation and the staff is the heart of the DZ. Perhaps its a chicken vs egg kind of thing, maybe they used to try and the fun jumpers didn't really respond so they gave up, maybe they never tried and the fun jumpers just move on after awhile. I'm not really sure, I know I don't particularly want to leave my DZ for its sentimental attachment and convenience (both are equally important issues). I think that fun jumpers do more than we think to promote our DZs. We are the only eligible pool for future workers which has a direct impact on DZs. We contribute significantly to the vibe for tandems when they see us loading up with them. Calm, focused, cracking jokes, or whatever behavior which is foreign to them on their first ride to altitude to jump. I'm sure a significant part of their customer experience is our contribution to the vibe and that impacts there P2P referrals and social media presence. Anyway, great comments.
  6. Disclaimer: obviously not my real profile… not trying to troll I just don't want to cast blame on my home DZ and want to keep this to a general experience freefliers have had with DZs that don't or can't do a whole lot to grow their fun jumper base. Ever feel like your dz is a tandem mill that doesn’t really do anything for fun jumpers but give you the leftover seats on the plane? Ever feel like your dz’s events are really just fundraising booths and the day of skydiving is in no way different from any other day Saturday? Or the event is always something after skydiving like a chili cookoff? Does your DZ have a freefly load organizer? Does the experience level perpetually stay around 200-400 jumps? Do the more experienced jumpers just kind of give up on the local dz and start making the road trip to a mega DZ be around a more vibrant FF community? I feel like I’ve kind of outgrown my dz. They don’t really do a lot to promote fun jumpers. I was wondering if its my dz or if this is pretty normal for medium sized turbine DZs. Would love to hear some of your thoughts.