Club-level considerations for engaging young collectors

By Jesse Robitaille

This is the final story in a two-part series exploring how to engage young collectors during and after the pandemic.

While COVID-19 has changed much about the hobby, its impact on young collectors remains to be seen.

Many of today’s collectors have returned to the hobby in retirement – after their families were raised and careers completed – but most of them were also exposed to numismatics at a much younger age.

As discussed in the series’ first story (“Engaging young collectors begins with fostering emotional investment,” CCN Vol. 58 #23), the depth of a young collector’s emotional investment into his or her collectibles can mean the difference between a fleeting hobby and a life-long obsession.

But aside from individuals appealing to young collectors’ emotions, what role do clubs play in spurring children to collect?

SPECIAL PROGRAMMING

One approach often used by clubs across the country is co-ordinating specific programming aimed directly at young collectors.

When James Williston joined the Calgary Numismatic Society (CNS) in 2002, the club was in transition from its more traditional roots. Half a decade later, he served a two-year stint as the club’s president, and in that role, the CNS began focusing more on the next cohort of collectors. Club members began staffing a “Coin Kids” table at both of the group’s annual shows, and they also launched a youth club, “Coinivores,” open to children aged six to 17.

“Because of that, we’ve had some really good kids that grew up to be collectors in our club,” said Williston, who referenced Daniel Anderson, Mark Mogen and Garth Wright as former junior members who have remained active in the CNS.

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