Before I say anything about building EAA Chapter membership I have to talk about men. I’m not leaving women out because they aren't important to an organization; it's just that women don't seem have the same issues that men do when it comes to being a social animal. Women have an inherent ability to "join in" and become part of any group they show interest in.
My wife, who was a research scientist for many years, used to work with a team of Nobel Prize winning scientists, who at times, drove her nuts. Sometimes she would come home at the end the day, steaming and yelling "ARRRGH! Those MEN! They are a bunch of stubborn Neanderthals!" Although I often took offense to some of her comments, I knew it was probably best to just lay low and not throw fuel on the fire.
Having had been an EAA Chapter President in the past, I soon gained a better understanding of her frustration.
For quite a while, before joining an EAA Chapter, I would visit a chapter meeting here and there hoping to get in with a group of fellow aviation enthusiasts and share my love of flying with them. What I typically found was a tight knit group that didn't take a shine to "newcomers". This, combined with my shyness was a recipe for rejection. I usually left disappointed and in a huff, vowing to never return.
Although I was as much to blame as these chapter members were, I decided that if I ever get a leadership position in an EAA Chapter, things were going to have to change.