An update message appears once or twice a month on the SKCC mailing list that introduces the newest members. I’m always impressed at the continued growth and note this month that Straight Key Century Club membership is approaching 24,000 worldwide. Those who run the show have done a fine job of maintaining a high-level of interest in group activities, but I think a lot of this growth is due mainly to a latent interest in CW.
It may be that a straight key seems a safer path to Morse usage given the typically slower speed of operation induced by manually creating code. It might be that the segments of the bands where SKCC members congregate are always populated. Or it could be that the group is a friendly lot always ready to lend a hand to those working toward mastering the key. These are all true.
But I think a lot of hams simply want to add CW to their resume. Sure, many try it and drop out along the way. But others, driven by the determination to acquire this skill, hang tough and find their place among those who testify after the ritual is complete that they now prefer Morse over any other mode.