DMC Membership Details

Fossilized palm wood from a DMC field trip in Mississippi, Image credit: Beverly Pettigrew Kraft

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A Program of the Field Trip Committee of the Southeast Federation of Mineralogical Societies, Inc.

We are an association of field trip leaders within the Southeast Federation of Mineralogical Societies who have agreed to join together and share one of our field trips.

SFMS clubs that want to participate in the DMC must meet all requirements and follow all of the rules and policies below. This information is also available to download in the DMC Information Packet on this page.

How it Works

SFMS clubs that carry liability insurance take turns hosting a field trip. The hosting interval is based on the number of clubs in the program. Currently the interval between hosting responsibilities is about 2 and a half years.

Benefits of being a DMC member club:

  • There is usually one DMC field trip per month, so DMC clubs have a lot of field trips to offer their members.

  • The DMC program gives rockhounds the opportunity to visit sites to which their home club may not have access.

  • Because a different club hosts each month, there are a variety of field trips.

  • Since the DMC is part of the SFMS, trips are all over the southeast.

  • Rockhounds get to meet rockhounds in other clubs.

DMC Member Club Responsibilities:

  • Host a DMC Field Trip

  • After the trip, submit a brief report of the trip

  • After the trip, renew DMC membership by selecting a month/year from a range provided by the DMC Coordinator

One of the things people join rock clubs for is the field trips. Clubs everywhere are painfully aware of how difficult it is to find new collecting sites, plus collecting sites they have are disappearing due to construction, new ownership, management changes, etc. Being a member of the DMC field trip sharing program helps clubs provide an important benefit to their members by having field trips available. Just think of it, in exchange for hosting one trip every couple of years, your club gets dozens of trips from other clubs!

Membership Requirements

  1. The club must fill out and submit a DMC membership application form to the DMC Coordinator. The membership application form is available on this page.

  2. The club must be a fully paid and active member of the Southeast Federation of Mineralogical Societies, Inc. Only clubs in the SFMS may participate in the DMC Field Trip Sharing Program.

  3. The club must be covered by field trip liability insurance for the current year. DMC member clubs must continue insurance coverage every year to remain in the DMC.

  4. TWO or more e-mail addresses must be provided to coordinate the set-up and distribution of field trip information to the DMC Coordinator. Because all DMC communications are via email, multiple email contacts are important to ensure the club receives those communications including field trip notices, trip cancellation information, rule changes, etc.

  5. The club’s board of directors must agree in their official meeting minutes to host a rock, mineral, or fossil field trip to a location that can accommodate at least one member per DMC member club. The club as a whole must commit to the responsibilities of being a member of the DMC program.

  6. The club must agree to provide the DMC Field Trip Committee with a specific, non-conflicting, future month in which it will host its DMC field trip. The DMC Coordinator will provide an initial range or list of months from which the club must choose. Subsequent hosting month/year is determined in DMC membership renewal.

  7. When choosing a collecting location for hosting a trip, the club must agree to abide by the DMC field trip rules in the "Field Trip Hosting" section below. The rules are designed for safety, fairness, and diversity.

  8. If possible, the club should provide members to act as guides at its hosted field trip. These members should be familiar with the collecting location and should stand ready to identify specimens and to direct field trip attendees to more productive areas.

  9. The club must agree to provide the DMC Coordinator with a completed field trip form for its DMC trip. Field trip rules and trip submission rules are detailed in the DMC Information Packet. The field trip submission form is available on this page.

  10. DMC field trips can be published as an "official" field trip for the club’s own members only. A club must not invite members of the general public, clubs that are not members of the SFMS, or SFMS member clubs that are not covered by field trip liability insurance. Only clubs that are members of the DMC may attend DMC field trips. If a club is not a member of the DMC but their members attend a DMC trip, they are not contributing to the program by hosting a trip, but they are receiving the benefits of the program. That is not fair to the DMC member clubs who work hard to provide great trips. DMC trip leaders may use their discretion to invite individual members of an SFMS club that is covered by field trip liability insurance and is not a member of the DMC, but not the entire club.

Membership Renewal

  1. Renewal is due upon completion of the club’s hosted trip. A hosting reminder with the latest month/year the club can choose will be sent at least one month before the club’s hosting month.

  2. Hosting month/year must be a non-conflicting, open month/year i.e., only one DMC trip is allowed per month. Exceptions may be granted depending upon individual circumstances.

  3. The club must choose an open month from the next available month through the latest month provided by the DMC Coordinator. Details for calculating the month range are in the membership application form and are based on the number of DMC member clubs at the time of renewal.

  4. Any member club that has not renewed within six (6) months of completing their hosted trip will be suspended from attending DMC field trips and will not receive DMC field trip notifications until it renews.

  5. Any member club that has not renewed within twelve (12) months of completing its hosted trip will be dropped from DMC membership. The club will not receive DMC field trip notifications and cannot attend DMC field trips. The dropped club cannot re-apply for membership in the DMC field trip sharing program for at least 1 year after being dropped. After 1 year, the club may submit a membership application and must meet all current DMC membership requirements to rejoin.

Renewal Month Limit Calculation

Last hosting month + Number of DMC Clubs + 6 months = latest month/year allowed

Example for a club that hosted in January 2018 with 31 member clubs active:

January 2018 + 31 months = August 2020 + 6 Months = February 2021 (latest month/year the club can choose)

To renew, the January host club would simply choose an open month between the next available month and February 2021, then send their choice to the DMC Coordinator.

Optional Field Trip Report

Following completion of a hosted trip, an optional field trip report is requested from the hosting club. The field trip report must be sent to the DMC Coordinator who will prepare the report for submission to the SFMS Lodestar newsletter. Besides letting the SFMS know the trip was completed, field trip reports encourage other clubs to join the DMC. The more clubs in the DMC, the longer the interval between hosting responsibilities. A report can be just a paragraph or two. Pictures are optional, but highly recommended.

Field Trip Hosting Rules

  1. The location must be within a radius of 300 miles (400 miles if located on a coastal border) of your club's home location or your club is the only organization that can obtain exclusive access to a desirable collecting site outside the 300-mile range. This ensures a wider dispersion and a better diversity of collecting sites. It should also limit the number of duplicate trips to more frequently visited locations in the southeast. We all want to visit NEW places to collect minerals and/or fossils.

  1. To ensure the diversity of trips, the location cannot be a location where another club has already hosted a DMC trip in the calendar year. Exceptions may be granted depending on individual circumstances.

  1. If the location is a commercial site, your club should request a discount and exclusive access for the day of the trip. It is acceptable if a discount cannot be negotiated, but a discount should be requested. Exclusive access should also be requested so that the general public and other clubs cannot collect on the same day. These terms make the site more desirable as a DMC trip versus any other day.

  1. The general public, clubs that are not members of the SFMS or AFMS, and clubs that are members of the SFMS but are not covered by liability insurance are not allowed to collect at the hosted location on the same date as the DMC trip. The general public and members of clubs that are not within the SFMS or AFMS are not bound by the AFMS Code of Ethics. This rule is to help DMC field trip leads manage large groups and ensure the safety of all involved. Liability insurance is required for all SFMS field trips, so people who are not covered are not allowed to attend DMC field trips. Note: Because of this rule, easily accessible public locations are not suitable for DMC field trips, but exceptions may be granted depending on individual circumstances.

  1. DMC field trip details, whether for the host club or another hosting club, must not be published publicly before or after the trip. These details include the name if it is a commercial site, directions to the site, and pictures that have GPS coordinates embedded in them. Before and after the trip, dates and generic descriptions can be published without specific details about the location of the site. Clubs are encouraged to promote the fact that they offer field trips, so after a DMC trip, reports without detailed information about the location of the site as well as pictures without GPS coordinates embedded can be published. Websites, newsletters posted on websites, Facebook pages, Twitter, Instagram, and all other social media must be carefully managed in this matter. This is to prevent the general public from visiting a trip site before, during, or after the trip. When in doubt, please contact the SFMS Field Trip Committee.

  1. The field trip location should be large enough to accommodate at least one person per DMC member club. It should have adequate parking for a large group of collectors and enough potential material for a large group. If such a location is not possible, the club may limit attendance to no less than one person per DMC member club and require pre-trip registration. Attendees should provide the host club with their name and the name of the DMC club of which they are a member. In this situation, the host club must provide a registration contact phone number and/or e-mail address on the DMC field trip form.

Field Trip Submission

  1. The DMC field trip form must be used for the trip details. The trip form is available for download on the Field Trip Form page. The form provides a consistent format for all trip details and has useful instructions for filling out the form, including suggestions as well as the rules for choosing an acceptable field trip location. Remember that this form will be sent to all of the other DMC clubs, so put the kind of information someone who has never been there before would need for a safe, fun, and successful trip. The Field Trip Form page has a simple online form for submitting your trip details with a place where your completed form must be included as an attachment in .doc or .docx format. Forms in pdf or any other format will not be accepted.

  1. The host club is required to submit its field trip form before the first of the month prior to the month of their hosted trip, e.g., the April hosting club must e-mail the completed field trip form to the DMC Coordinator before the first of March. This allows time to distribute the trip notice to the other DMC clubs for inclusion in their club bulletins.

  1. IMPORTANT!!! If the field trip form is not received by the 10th of the month prior to the hosting club's DMC field trip, the trip will be cancelled and the offending club will be dropped immediately from the DMC field trip sharing program and will not be allowed to attend DMC field trips. For example, a club hosting an April DMC trip must submit their field trip form by March 10th. If a club is dropped for not providing a scheduled trip, it may re-apply for DMC membership only after at least 1 year and must meet all current membership requirements to be accepted.

  1. The DMC Coordinator will evaluate the submitted trip to ensure that the location and date for the trip are acceptable. If a proposed trip is rejected, the hosting club must provide an alternate proposal (or proposals) until an acceptable date and location are agreed upon. This is to ensure that DMC field trips adhere to the DMC field trip rules.

Field Trip Attendance Policies

  • Only members of DMC clubs may attend DMC field trips.

  • Do not publish DMC field trip information where the general public can access it.

  • Do not send or share DMC field trip information with a club that is not a DMC club or anyone who is not a member of a DMC club.

  • All sites visited by the DMC field trip sharing program are not to be revisited unless they are on public property or on privately owned land with the owner's permission. This is the quickest way to lose access to a field trip location. Therefore, if a DMC club or one of its members breaks this crucial DMC field trip policy, their future DMC field trip information will be forfeited!

  • Please do not visit a site immediately before a DMC field trip. Also, do not go to a site ahead of the group on the day of the field trip. Meet and caravan with the rest of the group so that everyone will have equal access to the site.

  • By attending a DMC field trip you agree to comply with the property owner, field trip leader, and anyone designated as a field trip official. Inappropriate behavior can result in dismissal from the field trip site.

  • If a liability waiver or other form is required for a site, you will not be allowed to participate until you have properly completed the document(s) required.

  • If a fee is required for a site, you will not be allowed to participate until you have paid the fee.

  • Make sure to bring all safety equipment required for a trip or you might not be allowed to participate or even enter the site.

  • Be on time.

  • Do not park your vehicle where it is blocking a road, gate, or another vehicle.

  • Always fill in all your holes.

  • Don't litter.

  • Never disturb buildings or other facilities at a collecting site.

  • Only take home what you can reasonably use.

  • Be sure to remove GPS information from pictures taken on DMC field trips before posting them publicly, especially if the field trip site was private.

  • PLEASE keep your vehicle locked at all times.

  • And above all -- PLEASE HAVE FUN!!!

(Contains all of the information above and can be downloaded)

For clubs that would like to participate in the DMC Field Trip Sharing program, click the Membership Application form icon.

About the image on this page

Fossilized Palm Wood

The Mississippi Gem and Mineral Society hosted a DMC field trip to a gravel quarry where this gorgeous piece of petrified palm wood was found. Long thin structures within the wood can be seen as distinctive dots on top and long markings on the side of this piece.

Image Credit: Beverly Pettigrew Kraft