As a large astronomy club serving a major US metropolitan area, HAS in a very real way has a schizophrenic identity. On the one hand, we have members who have spent much of their adult lives in the hobby and have been a part of HAS for decades. On the other, we attract many new members every year, who are mostly younger, and many are just entering the hobby.
If you look at the demographics of HAS, nearly 50% of our members have been members for two years or less, and 80% have been members for less than 8 years. Yet it seems that our more experienced members (those with 5 or more years as members) seem to be our most active members. Looked at from this perspective, one could view our membership in terms of two main groups – the Old Guard and the Newbies.
It also naturally leads to the question, with such a dichotomy in our membership, is HAS serving our members? In order to answer this question, we need to understand our members and what membership in HAS means to each group.