Where are all the young collectors?

By Jeff Fournier

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the future of our hobby and whenever I start thinking about this subject, I always end up asking myself the question, “Where are the kids?”

You’ve all noticed it – the lack of kids who collect coins nowadays and the lack of kids at coins shows, club meetings and so forth.

I’ve heard collectors talking about it, lamenting about it and complaining about it, forever, it seems.

“Kids today are too busy playing video games to collect anything.”

“Kids have got their ears glued to the cell phone most of the time. They have no interest in collecting coins or anything else!”

“When I was a kid, I got up in the morning, ate breakfast and then went outside to play for the rest of the day…….I had to find ways to amuse myself.”

Well, if you have ever found yourself saying or thinking anything like this, maybe that’s part of the reason why kids are not getting involved in the hobby anymore.

I read this quote the other day, which speaks about the problems with youth:

“The world is passing through troubled times. The young people of

Today think of nothing but themselves. They have no reverence for

Parents or old age. They are impatient and have no restraint. They talk as

If they know everything, and what passes for wisdom with us is

Foolishness with them…… They are forward, immodest

And disrespectful in speech, behavior and dress……”

Who said this and when? Was it Donald Trump along the campaign trail or Ann Landers in her column from bygone years? Maybe it was Winston Churchill who said it during the war years?

I’m not sure myself, nor can the scholars, who study this type of thing, agree who said it. In fact, similar quotes have been attributed to Aristotle, Socrates, Plato and even to Peter the Hermit in A.D. 1274. That’s hundreds of years ago!

Who said it, is irrelevant. What is important, is the fact that this quote and others like it, help show us adults that we have been complaining about the behavior of young people for eons.

Kids, will be kids, will be kids…..always have been, always will be. They haven’t really changed all that much since the dawn of time when you get right down to it.

The answer to our hobby’s dilemma has a lot more to it than kids’ fascination with computers, Netflix, YouTube, and cellphones.  It’s more complex than that; but one thing’s for sure, kids will always be curious. And this is the key to the survival of our hobby! Let’s stop worrying about how kids have changed. Let’s focus on how kids have stayed the same. They’re still curious.

We are not going to change anything by complaining about what’s wrong in our hobby or the world, for that matter. The hobby and the people now in it (that’s you and me!) will have to think differently in order to bring newer and fresher ideas to the fold to get kids using their innate curiousity once again – curiousity that just might bring them back to our hobby. We all have to be instruments to make change, if we hope for change to occur.

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