The VCKC Board met virtually on December 5th, 2023. Below are the minutes from this meeting’s report from the Board Secretary, Drew Story:
The club lost one of our second year paddlers. She stopped paddling as she was struggling to find time to do the workouts and take the sport seriously. This paddler has many other interests and we’d welcome her back in the future should she ever want to paddle again — she has talent and was fun to have around. Other than that, we’ve remained steady with five adults and two youth paddlers, plus Lynn and Claire coaching with me. While our size is small, the atmosphere and culture of our club is positive and inclusive; everyone seems to like one another and support each person’s growth.
While we had several youth (or the parents of youth) express interest this spring, and four attend multiple classes, none of these four decided to keep coming to workouts and join the club. As noted above, we’ve gained three adults this past year and also had more interest from adults wanting to come try paddling than youth.
I did limited advertising with Facebook, and I had posters put up in each of our local middle schools and Ventura High. I’ll continue to share posters in the coming year, and will again seek to do some presentations to the middle schools in Ventura. However, I believe word of mouth and connecting with just a few “keystone” families and individuals is likely going to be what makes the growth of our club really happen. Even if we remain small, so long as we are moving in the right direction we are sustainable.
Equipment / Facilities
We have had a few donations this past year. Two Olympic K1s (a “Hunter” made by Mike Johnson that’s in great shape, and a Plastex “Masters” K1 that is in good shape but needs some resurfacing of epoxy to last longer), and two recreational kayaks that I have quickly passed along to two of the new adult padders in the club. We’ve also purchased a lightly used Hody Sport K1 that is a “touring” model and will be excellent for our beginners and adult paddlers. It should arrive in California this month and we picked it up for a good price.
Several club members (and all three coaches) raced in the “Off Da Couch” race in Newport Beach a month ago with great success overall. There will be another race on the same distance course in February and we hope to get everyone there to race it, comparing the times of those who did the first race. We will also have a week-long training camp the first week of January for anyone interested in gaining more time on the water during the “off season” and while school is on break. Our youngest paddler has said he wants to race at Nationals this coming summer, and all three coaches and his parent are very supportive of this goal.
The club’s finances are quite solid. Our rental space for the trailer has had an increase from $88 to $95 effective as of last December, and our insurance and American Canoe Association dues have held steady at less than $200 for the year. All in all, club dues and donations have covered these expenses and fundraising covered the cost of the boats and transport fees we’ve incurred.
We currently have $5,655 in our account and no outstanding obligations. Since I’m closing down my freelance business, I’ve had to move the club’s website to its own hosted account which will cost the club about $100 a year including domain name registration. (I was doing an “in kind donation” for hosting prior.) Overall, our financial outlays remain low and our donations of equipment and funds remain steady.
The club is healthy and continues to benefit from community and volunteer support. No concerns at this time.