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The Blue Ridge Voyageurs

Update from Rick Koller 4-13-22


Greetings all,

The Blue Ridge Voyageurs (aka BRV) has a proud tradition of paddling and having fun while
paddling. The Club had experienced new growth in 2019. Then Covid appeared. The pandemic
made it very difficult to have in-person meetings and to co-ordinate club trips with the close
proximity associated with shuttling.

The Board met at the end of March to discuss the status of the Club and whether/how to reboot
the Club. This letter is seeking your input.

The Club is financially sound.

Going forward, Club membership dues will need to be collected again on a regular basis to
support the meetings, programs, and parties.  Dues are collected annually on a calendar year
basis, i.e., January through December.  Send the dues to Ginny DeSeau (1105 Highwood Road,
Rockville, MD 20851) as you have done before.

The Clara Barton community center is open again for meetings. Beth Koller will have National
Paddling Film Fest Videos to show one night of June, July, and August. Court Ogilvie will
present material from one of his adventures in the Fall. He is going to Alaska, again! The Club
will need people to set up and take down the room.

The Club has a new draft website.

The formatting permits the site to be viewed on phones as well as computers. The drag-and-drop
formatting is easier to use and change. Membership and Club swag will be available by PayPal.
There is a members-only section that will be accessed by a password. A photo gallery is being
added. Mike Martin and Beth Koller will assist with the transition and Beth will serve as backup.
A screen shot is attached to this email.

The Club can send bulk e-mails for communication.

Zofia Kosim has improved her internet access to assist with this task—especially while the
website with its listings of trips and meetings is under development.

The Club has been working to develop a trip calendar.
---Lisa Fallon, Kathleen Sengstock, and Henrik van Oss have already coordinated trips/activities.
---Dean Geis is on deck this weekend for his annual Blue Bells warm-up trip.
---A variety of folks have volunteered for activities already:
May 12-15: Greenbrier Festival at John Duke’s property
Mid-May: Pending Details. Bob Whiting
May: Bloomington or Casselman Dave Cooke
June 18-25: New River (Hinton to Thurmond (not the Gorge). Mark Wray
Pending date: Easy trip for scenery/nature. Patuxent. Alan Dickerson
Pending date: May or August: Ocoee. Matt Anderson (currently lives in Alabama)
Pending date in June: Antietam Creek Beth Koller
Pending date: September or October 7-10 Gauley Matt Anderson (currently lives in Alabama)
Pending dates: Series of Lehigh trips. Phil Dawson and Leah Dawson.
Pending dates: If you are traveling to TN or NC Matt Anderson (currently lives in Alabama)
Pending dates: Flatwater local (Laurel area) with social aspect. Temmy Kimes
Pending date and destination: John Finley (sometime after the mid-May Cheat races)

Pending dates and destinations: Possibly Lower Yough in early June or August. Court Ogilvie
Pending dates and destinations: Fred Dalauro
Pending date and destination: Anna Normand
Pending dates and destinations: Jay Robbins (paddles C-1, OC-1, and tandem)
Pending Summer Party: Music possible. Mike and Daryl Martin
---Beth Koller 240-506-0417 will be twisting arms at WV Week of Rivers (April 16-24) or you
can call directly.

---If you are leading a private trip, please consider making it a Club trip to help develop new
members. They may be the ones fishing you out of the river

Some folks are already contributing material for the newsletter.

Dean and Lori Geis traveled to South Carolina and Florida to paddle. Ed Evangelidi has
developed more puns/jokes for us.
The Club depends on volunteers. It can only survive with you—not just one “you”—but many
“yous” all chipping in a little bit.

What the Club needs:
Because I am stepping down after many years of service, the Club needs an Acting President
until the late Fall elections. Then the Club will need a President. The President serves as a
contact person for the Club and handles many administrative tasks such as sending out messages,
scheduling programs, meetings, and post-meeting refreshments, making sure that the Treasurer
receives the necessary bill, and coordinating the different aspects of the Club. Being a Class 4
boater is not a requirement.

Because Mike Martin is stepping down as master of HTML and the website (including the
calendar) after many years of service, the Club needs a Webmaster. The new website is more
Plug-and-Play. Mike and Beth will assist with the transition and Beth will serve as back-up.
The Club needs a Trip Wrangler. This involves getting folks to coordinate trips/events for the
Club with some advance notice. The trips need to be posted on the website and/or
announcements made through bulk e-mail blasts. (Wrangler access to the website can/will be
arranged.) It helps to compile list of releases, festivals, or other events to help potential
coordinators pick dates and destinations. It also helps to walk around meetings with a calendar to
buttonhole members. The Club is off to a decent start with an event/release calendar and a
preliminary listing of trips. It will be important to circle back to those coordinators to finalize the
destinations and dates.

Board Members New blood with fresh ideas is always good. People who are actively leading
Club trips can bring new perspectives. The job is not onerous. Expect to attend meetings three to
four times a year and to respond to questions to require the Board occasionally Henrik van Oss is
our most recent new Board Member.

Members who volunteer for various events (programs, conservation, party planning),
administrative activities (selling memberships, compiling/fact checking member rosters/e-mail
lists), newsletter contributions, and trip coordination are very important. Trips especially are the
life-blood of the Club. Expand that private trip to a Club trip!

Without people stepping up to volunteer, the Club will dissolve. We all know the fate of the
Monocacy Canoe Club.

I hope that we can keep the Blue Ridge Voyageurs (BRV) going for another 60 years.
Thank you all.

Your soon to be retiring (again) President, Rick Koller