This sounds great Saul - especially collecting a donation. You go way above and beyond the 'call of duty' to make sure everyone is having a good time....we who borrow from you thank you!
From: [address removed]
To: [address removed]
Subject: [seakayaking-35] Welcome to the new members
Date: Tue, 21 Dec[masked]:59:17 -0500
A welcome to the new members and a thank you to the long timers for helping make this group what it is. We topped 1000 members a few weeks back, so welcome to the group.
We still had quite a few events last year even with my getting buried at work and needing others to step up and organize events and trips.
We did a much better job on reducing our "no show" rate, this is very important when we are talking about people volunteering to coach our members or when borrowing gear, bad performance in this area lost us a volunteer instructor the year before.
A special thanks to Bob, George and Barb at the Kayak Academy for the assistance that they have provided the group in learning how to be safer kayakers, if you are thinking about taking a course, they have the best ones. Also a thanks to Roy, Ken, Michael Cline, Martin and Lara for showing up at almost every paddle to help out. A Thanks to the people at Sea Kayaker Magazine for adopting one of our members (Melissa) and helping her smooth her entry into the sport and sharing her expereinces with their readers.
In 2011 I plan on having at least 2 trips and 2 day or evening paddles every month. I will balance my paddling, my hiking, my biking to keep all of us busy ;-)
I'll continue to provide loaner equipment, but will change the way I manage it a little bit.
I am trying to figure out ways to have lots of events but make them simpler to put together and manage, my ideas so far are:
split the events so that loaner gear is managed in it's own event (managing RSVP's so that I have enough loaner equipment takes a crazy amount of my time).
Figure out a way to collect donations that cover the expense of maintaining the loaner equipment, I spend a little over $5k per year on gear for the group, it makes it easier to get new people to try the sports that I love, but at times it pinches my pocketbook.
The best idea that I have come up with is to post the paddles as two events, one for people with their own gear and one for those that need to borrow gear. I can usually deal with a bigger headcount for the bring your own gear crowd, so managing RSVP's will be easier. I will probably ask for a $5 donation from the borrow gear people to cover maintenance and replacment of equipment.
So once again, welcome to the group and I'll look forward to seeing you on the water soon.
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