When I rejoined the model building after my 40 year "vacation", I joined IPMS National to support the hobby (and to get the magazine). But at the same time, I got a lot of good "bench building" and info at my LHS, so, didn't feel the need to join the local IPMS club. Also "the word' at my LHS, was as, JAYF mentioned
...put off by all the bickering and internal politics of many members, with very little modeling discussion during each session...
That is not the kind of environment I was/ am looking for.
But, very sadly the LHS closed and the other model stores in the area are retailers, and ya just don't find a group of guys standing around talkin' modeling.
So, thanks, to this thread. Maybe I should rethink the club and give it a try- can't hurt and I may learn something.