Your Camera Club experience echoes mine 100%. I spent many years in the club, held every position, won every award and was very involved. I was even invited back on a number of occasions to judge at my former club. Perhaps like you, that experience helped shape how I view and appreciate images in a group setting. For example, I’m one that can be very nit-picky by pointing out things that can be improved - like the term “border patrol” where I always run my eye around the border looking for distracting elements. Or another one, “If it’s not helping the image, it’s probably hurting it.” And now “make the image the best it can be.”
For me, it was never about getting 1st place, but it was the process, and in some way, the competition, that drove me to improve my own photography. More importantly, it also taught me to appreciate the works of others. Not only appreciate, but also recognize the efforts and results of others. That’s partly where the sense of community comes in here at NPN.
In end, I echo the words of @Keith_Bauer and support retaining the weekly picks. Very well said Keith. If the consensus is to not have them anymore, I won’t complain though. One thing, if no picks, then it probably makes sense that each gallery only have one moderator… since there won’t be a need.