January 2006

Chapter Survey



In January 2006 our Chapter conducted a survey of active and previously active members of our Chapter or the Foundation who reside in California or Nevada.  We also included previously active Chapter members residing in Illinois and Texas.

The objective of this survey was to gather information about member and non-member interests to help us develop Chapter events, projects and products that would be both useful and interesting to our current members as well as prospective members.

Questionnaire packets were mailed to 247 residences, 232 in California, 13 in Nevada, and 1 each in Illinois and Texas.  Within California, 133 (~57%) were active members of the Foundation but not our Chapter; 24 (~10%) were active members of both the Foundation and our Chapter; 6 (~3%) were only active in our Chapter; and 69 (30%) were not active members of either the Foundation or our Chapter.    Figure 1 below illustrates these demographics:

Six (2.4%) packets were returned due to undeliverable addresses.  Fifty (50) completed questionnaires were returned (a response rate of about 21%).  These 50 respondents were distributed geographically as follows (1 respondent did not provide his location):

  1. Southern California                     16    (33%)

  2. Central California                          4      (8%)

  3. Northern California                     27    (55%)

  4. Nevada, Texas, and Illinois           2      (4%)

They indicated the following membership status, in either the Foundation (LCTHF) or our Chapter (CALCTHF):

  1. LCTHF Only                                24    (48%)

  2. CALCTHF Only                            0      (0%)

  3. Both LCTHF and CALCTHF      23    (46%)

  4. Neither LCTHF or CALCTHF      3      (6%)

Eighty-one percent (81%) of these respondents said they were retired and 8% indicated they had elementary school children living with them.  Several indicated they had grandchildren in elementary school.

Our survey questionnaire contained twenty questions.  One question focused on the Lewis and Clark experience in general.  Thirteen questions focused on three categories of Chapter activities and products - Chapter events and projects, our newsletter, and our website.

The following paragraphs provide an overview of the preferences provided by the 50 respondents.  As indicated there, all 50 did not answer every question contained in our questionnaire.

The questionnaire we used is provided in Appendix A.  A table of the responses to each question  is provided in Appendix B.  Charts of this data are provided in Appendix C.   In filling out the questionnaire, many respondents provided written comments.  These are provided in Appendix D.  However, respondent names, where provided, have been deleted to preserve the anonymity of the respondent.

The Lewis and Clark Experience

Question 6 of our questionnaire asked people to tell us what interested them the most about the Lewis and Clark experience.  They were asked to select up to 8 aspects from a list 18.  They were also give the opportunity to provide other aspects if their particular interest was not listed.

The top five aspects for the 47 respondents who answered this question, were as follows (two aspects tied for second place):

  1. 1)traveling the Trail and visiting interpretative centers (79%)

  2. 2)learning about the Expedition and its legacies (64%)

  3. 2)protecting and preserving the physical, historical and cultural aspects of the Trail (64%)

  4. 3)learning more about native people and their cultures (45%)

  5. 4)educating young people about the Lewis and Clark story (43%)

No significant geographical difference with respect to these top choices was evident.  The results for all 18 choices listed in Question 6 are provided below in Figure 2.

Chapter Events and Projects

In this preference category we wanted to know how frequently we should have a Chapter event, what part of the week is the most preferred, and what types of events or projects are the most appealing.

Regarding the preferred frequency, the preferences of the 37 respondents (out of 50) who answered this question were distributed as follows:

  1. monthly                  5%      (2)

  2. quarterly               46%    (17)

  3. semi-Annually      49%    (18)

On the question related to the preferred part of the week,  42 respondents answered it.  Their preferences were distributed as follows:

  1. on a weekday                9%       (4)

  2. on the weekend            48%    (20)

  3. any day of the week     43%    (18)

With respect to what types of Chapter events are the most appealing, Question 9 of our questionnaire asked respondents to select their top six types from a list of 12.  The top four choices, for the 45 respondents who answered this question, were as follows:

  1. (1)listening to a knowledgeable speaker or scholar discuss

  2. some aspect of the Expedition (87%)

  3. (2)listening to a Lewis and Clark scholar discuss

  4. his/her research (78%)

  5. (3)visiting Lewis and Clark related historical sites or interpretive centers (60%), and

  6. (4)either watching a movie or slide show about some aspect of the Lewis and Clark Expedition (49%) or visiting state or local historical sites, societies or museums (47%).

No significant geographical difference with respect to these top choices was evident.  The results for all 12 event types listed in Question 9 are provided below in Figure 3.

Another set of questions focused on book discussion groups.  We wanted to know if there was  interest in attending such a group, if it were convenient to do so.  We also wanted to know how far people would be willing to travel and how many would be willing to lead one.

Of the 43 respondents who answered the first question, 54% (23) indicated they were interested.  Of these, 46% (13) said they would be willing to travel up to an hour and 36% (10) indicated they would be willing to travel up to two hours.  Five people (1 in central California and 4 in northern Californian) indicated they would be willing to lead a book discussion group in their local area.

Our questionnaire also asked how far one would be willing to travel to attend a Chapter event featuring a nationally known speaker such as Gary Moulton.  Of the 46 respondents who answered this question, 54% (25) said they would be willing to travel a distance that required an overnight stay.

Chapter Newsletter

In exploring priorities related to our Chapter’s newsletter, our questionnaire contained a set of questions which focused on content, publication frequency and method of delivery

Question 14 of our questionnaire dealt with newsletter content.  In that question, respondents were asked to identify their top six choices from a list of 8.  The top four choices were as follows (46 respondents answered this question):

  1. (1)information about our Chapter’s events, activities,

  2. and projects (83%)

  3. (2)information about Lewis and Clark community events, activities, and projects (70%)

  4. (3)articles about some aspect of Lewis and Clark history (67%)

  5. (4)little know facts and tidbits of information about the Expedition, the Foundation, or other Lewis and Clark Community related topics (57%)

The results for all 8 choices listed in Question 14 are provided below in Figure 4.

With respect to preferred publication frequency, respondent preferences were distributed as follows (45 respondents answered this question):


  1. once a year       7%      (3)

  2. twice a year    29%    (13)

  3. quarterly         62%    (28)

With respect to preferred method of delivery, all 50 respondents answered this question.  Their preferences were distributed as follows:


  1. by regular mail                        70%    (35)

  2. by email                                   26%    (13)

  3. view/download from website    4%      (2)

Chapter Website

The final set of questions in our questionnaire dealt with our Chapter’s website.  We wanted to know how many people had Internet access, what the speed of their connection was, and what their priorities were for online capabilities.

Regarding Internet access and connection speed, 81% (39) indicated they had Internet access and of these, 54% (21) indicated they had a high speed connection (46% (18) indicated they had a dial up connection).

Question 19 dealt with website content and capabilities.  The top three preferences, selected from a list of 10 choices, were as follows (37 respondents answered this question):

  1. (1)access to information about our Chapter’s

  2. events/activities/projects (90%)

  3. (2)access to information about Lewis and Clark

  4. community events/activities/projects (81%)

  5. (3)links and references to useful resources to learn

  6. more about Lewis and Clark (68%)

The results for all 10 choices are provided below in Figure 5.


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(updated 11/1/18)

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