IN A recent survey conducted by Club 4x4, just over 20 per cent of respondents said that they were a member of a 4WD club. A number that was lower than what it could be.
I have always had a passion for 4WD clubs and have had the pleasure of being invited to talk at many clubs right across the country. The people I have spoken to all share a core ideology around safe and responsible four-wheel driving, enjoying our beautiful country and taking care of it like a much-loved family member.
Why would you join a club? The reasons are plentiful, but here’s a few that are worth considering.
RESPONSIBLE 4X4 DRIVING
CLUBS are the cornerstone of responsible 4WDing. With borders closed to international travel, more Australians are turning to experiencing the magic that our great southern land affords us.
There are many perils once someone decides to turn their motoring exploits to the dirt; and that’s if they even decide to ignore the uncertainty around it. Many people wouldn’t consider it because they don’t know where to start. Every 4WD club under a state 4WD club association has a trainer and a training program that all members, regardless of experience, must take before being allowed on club trips where these skills can be continually refined.
What a great way to brush up on skills, or actually learn them from the ground up.
KEEPING IT OPEN
All clubs have representation at the state association level, who then report to the national body. Completely made up of volunteers, these guys and gals not only support their member clubs, but are also in constant contact with various state and federal bodies including Members of Parliament and National Parks in advisory and lobbying positions.
INDUSTRY INSIDER: Club 4x4 Insurance
The work they do directly affects where you can and can’t go. They may not always win, but who else really is doing this work?
Over the last month the Four Wheel Drive NSW & ACT association played a leading role in remediating a campground in Currawong that had been senselessly destroyed by someone who must’ve grown up going straight for the merry-go-round in the playground. The area was shut off before eight delegates from association clubs meticulously levelled the destroyed land.
Recently there was devastating vandalism at the Lost City area in Newnes State Forest. A group of volunteers from the Camping With Families Four Wheel Drive Club, a state association club, spent the better part of the day cleaning and remediating the space back to its former glory. The question that needs to be posed is if these guys weren’t doing this, who would be? And without them what would the likelihood be that these areas would be closed off?
CLUBS meet at least once a month for general meetings and these are a great place to catch up with mates, grab a bite and talk about the club and its activities. As mentioned earlier, they also run and support a range of events at a club or association level. Think your short weekender club run through to bigger events like the Willowglen Challenge and Jamboree.
Given the way the world is at the moment, with the anxiety of COVID and social distancing, any opportunity to be social with care is a massive upside.
These reasons alone are more than worth the membership fee, which is usually about the same as a pub meal for the family.
READ NEXT: How to get the right 4x4 insurance