By Beth Eller
Things remain busy in the off-season, planning for the next season! As of this writing, our 2019 billing cycle is almost closed out and our renewals are up by more than $7,000. That’s a testament to the membership and orientation volunteers and Quick Start instructors who welcome our new members so graciously (approximately thirty new members this year). It’s also a tribute to all the committee chairs, trip leaders and planners and instructors who have kept our calendar full of activities and gotten people out on the water in kayaks, canoes, sailboats and sculls, both at Jamaica Bay and at the lake. And we wouldn’t have collected any money without the efforts of those who generated and tracked invoices, reviewed work hours and helped to resolve any open invoices. So, thank you all – I am looking forward to finalizing budgets and planning our next on-water season over the next few months.
We also owe a thank you to the mowers, painters, weeders, builders and cleaners who keep our grounds and clubhouse in good condition, as well as sprucing the lake cabin. This year we want to honor one of our all-star volunteers, John Wright, and name him an honorary member, a well-deserved recognition for his long years of service. Please be sure to come to the Frostbite Regatta on January 1st so we can name John a honorary member by what I am sure will be unanimous proclamation! When I first joined, John was vice-commodore and he along with Phil Giller, then Commodore, were instrumental in negotiating our lease with Parks, raising money to build our dock, as well as planning improvements to the grounds and clubhouse. It would be impossible to overestimate John’s contributions to Sebago!
We have some ambitious things planned for in 2019, including a refresh of the clubhouse. Already two dumpsters worth of stuff has been removed from the clubhouse in preparation for building a new dressing room and replacing cabinetry. Every time I look at Jim Luton’s clubhouse sketch I am motivated to take another wheelbarrow of stuff to the dumpster. I have also been working with the gardening committee to come up with a plan to share the tasks of ground maintenance more widely, as well as a creating the opportunity for interested members to have access to a garden plot. Sometimes we have not enough weeding and other times too much weeding, with native plants being mistaken for weeds! We are planning a series of First Sundays in the Garden that will be put on our calendar. These sessions will be led by someone from the garden committee who can provide direction to volunteers. One of the first questions we get from new members is, “what can I do to volunteer”, and we think these First Sundays will give people the opportunity to fulfill their volunteer hours. More details to come! Thank you to the gardening Marys and others who have stepped up to help develop a plan for better management of the garden plots and the grounds!
And one last thank you to the Board for their continued support as we continue to address some of the administrative issues involved in managing the club, including working on better financial reporting and management procedures, and reviewing opportunities to invest some of our cash more wisely. I have read and made other people read things ranging from insurance contracts to tax documentation! Paddling (and sailing) is more fun.
Wishing everyone a happy and healthy 2019! Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or suggestions.