I just returned from watching a large HO train layout complete with yards and interchanges with lots of cars and engines. Layout is card operated with operators making up/breaking down trains for dispatching to next town(s). Most of the operators I know from railfan, clubs, or train swap activities. So stood/walked around, asked some questions (what do these card markings mean? is their order important? etc (answer: I'm busy, gotta get this train put together)). After about 15 minutes left as everybody was too busy doing their thing, checking cards, lists etc.
Which brings me to my topic. When newbies walks in to your basement small round and round, or huge 10,000 square foot club layout, how are they treated? Do you welcome them, see what their interest are, familiarize them with the layout and control system. If interested do you pair him/her up with another operator who is glad to show the newbie the ropes and maybe work with them making up a train, thus recruiting a new member? Or do you just let them stand there, hoping they go away? And they will, like I did, figuring this is "an old boys club" so newbies just "keepin da hands in de pockets and watch da blinkin lights".
I am sure replies will be all over the place. But something to think about.