Fran / N3ZHC writes " I received my first ticket in 1997 at the age of 27, although I had pondered for years before I actually took the big step. At the age of 12, a friend of my father's turned me onto amateur radio. His name was Bob (can't recall his call) and he was probably the best Elmer you could wish for. He loved the hobby with a passion, and was willing to help anybody "get into it" in anyway he could. I remeber his station was so impressive, running from floor to ceiling, and from one wall to another. This is what first peaked my curiosity! All that equipment complete with knobs, buttons, and dials galore! Hey, I was only 12...<FONT COLOR="red">hi-hi! </FONT> His shack was in his garage at his xyl's request, but that's another story all together. I remember him being the control op and basically unleashing me on the bands. I had a Ball!</P> I couldn't wait to visit with Bob every weekend! He would teach me about everything that I asked. I was very eager to learn and he was more than willing to help! This went on for about a year, and then I received the news......Bob was now a silent key. I was heart-broken. I missed him and his help so much, well.... I just gave up and quit.</P> As the years went by my curiosity about the hobby just seemed to grow, remembering all the great times and QSOs I had with Bob on his station. Till one day a friend of mine mentioned that he was going to take his test. That started the ball rolling again! Before you knew it I was a licensed no-code tech! It was my start! When I hooked my first rig up, a 2 meter FM, I was so into it! I had a couple of friends over who were interested in the hobby, help me throw an antenna up on the roof. The anticipation was unbarable! We ran in, checked the antenna, perfect! So I hooked up the rig and "fired it up!" Complete silence everywhere.......something must not be right! So we proceeded to check the entire set-up out again. Everything was 100% in working order, so I called a couple of CQs on 52. Nothing. Where is everyone at? Next I plugged in a couple of repeaters in the area, where I did manage to make a couple of contacts. We figured that it was a beautiful day and that everyone must be taking advantage of it.</P> As the weeks went on I realized that this was not the case. The 2 meter band that I remebered with Bob, well just isn't the same anymore. 6 and 70? Nothing here either! In my area, around Williamsport, PA, VHF/UHF hamming seems to have just died. Don't get me wrong, there is still a few hams in the area who are very active on the bands, but most of the time they are working a repeater 50+ miles away. There is also a few of the local clubs who still have repeaters up, they are just not utilized.</P> Recently I have upgraded my license to a general and along the way I have brought another 20+ new hams into our ranks. Now they too are experiencing the same thing as I did a couple of years back. You see, VHF/UHF hasn't improved in the area, if anything, it is still declining. Oh the repeaters are still there, even a couple of new ones in the area, they are just not getting used!</P> This brings me to my question, I know, Finally!<FONT COLOR="red">hi-hi! </FONT> First off, is this trend happening everywhere or is this just a local thing? HF is very active still, just nothing above 50MHz. I travel to Virginia Beach at least once a year and it's still the same, very little activity!</P> Our local group, both new hams and old, would like to do something about it. We would like to start a new club in our area, concentrating mainly on VHF and UHF. One who is active and will remain active. A club that participates in more than just an occasional meeting or a weekly check-in. Their is several operators, both new and old, in our area who feel the same way as our group. Our local groups and clubs are active, just not enough. So we want to take the next step. What we need to know is how to legally set the club up. No one in our group has been through his aspect before. We've all been members, and several of us have been officers in the local clubs, but this is all new!</P> Thanks to all for reading! Any info will be greatly appreciated!<FONT SIZE="+1" COLOR="red">73</FONT> Francis E. Burke II / N3ZHC N3ZHC@arrl.org"