As we enter a COVID-19 critical planning period, we want to keep our membership informed. Please find below a recap of all that our Club leadership has been working on to keep our membership, staff and community safe.
This past weekend, we held our April Trustees' Meeting. For the first time in LEHYC history, it was a virtual meeting with over 40 attendees. The agenda focused entirely on COVID-19 considerations and the summer ahead.
In order to prepare for the 2020 season, the Trustees formulated an Ad Hoc COVID-19 Committee. The Committee will meet weekly to stay on top of the ever-changing situation. Members of the Committee are the Flag Officers (Laura Darling, Bob Kiep, Caroline Flagler, Scott Lowry and Denick Herrin), House & Property Chair Henry Vare, Finance Co-Chairs Tom Cox and Derek Stoldt, Senior Trustee Kevin McGlynn and Jr. Sailing Liaison Mike Reynolds.
Governor's Murphy's Executive Order #107 declares that all NJ social clubs will remain closed until further notice. As such, the LEHYC Clubhouse, the Molly, the Pavilion, the barn, all bathrooms, tennis/pickleball courts, and the bocce court will remain closed until further notice. Although walking through the grounds is permitted, no one shall congregate on the property until further updates from the State of New Jersey.
As of May 1st the LEHYC marina will be open to LEHYC slip holders and boat owners. This week Governor Murphy, along with the CT and NY Governors, announced private marinas are allowed to be open. Slip holders may launch their boats and any boats in winter storage on our property may be worked on by the owners. Strict COVID-19 polices are in effect and must be adhered to. These policies are in addition to all the previously existing rules and regulations for usage of our docks and grounds.
The Opening Commissioning Ceremony and Reception is cancelled…or not really cancelled. Plans are in the works for a 'live' virtual Opening; same date, same time. Stay tuned. As in everything this summer, life will be different. We have to embrace the change with a smile and a bit of creativity. As of this printing, all May events are cancelled. June events will be decided on throughout May as we monitor the COVID-19 situation.
The traditional calendar will not be printed. It seems silly to print a calendar that will be totally inaccurate from the start. Instead an electronic calendar – that can be printed - will be available online. We will update the electronic calendar weekly and it will reflect changes in real time. Eggstras will provide weekly communications and the Egg Beater will continue to recap the activities of the Club. The COVID-19 Updates logo will be used for more urgent messages. Our Communication Committee is also developing a mobile app that can push messages to our membership in real time. We understand that by not printing the calendar, we will not have the historical collection of 2019 summer pictures and other Club listings usually printed in the calendar. We are considering ways to share these memories. Stay tuned.
Junior Sailing and Scrambled Egg registrations are open. It is vitally important that you register if these programs are in your summer plans. We understand change may happen, but we need to plan for all possibilities. If the program changes, or is cancelled, refunds will happen. No fear in registering. If it helps with your decision, yacht clubs with a Junior Sailing Program from Maine to Florida and from California to NJ are planning their programs exactly the same way; planning for the best scenario and preparing for changes.
Even though the Clubhouse and grounds are closed, we are preparing for the Club to be opened as soon as state mandates are relaxed or lifted. Our office staff, Eileen and Ruth, will work from home until further notice. Signage will be placed on the office door indicating the office is closed; however, both Eileen and Ruth will be available by phone during normal working hours. Office hours and contact phone numbers are on the signage. We are working with our Steward, Joe Ryan, to make sure his work environment is safe. The Steward shop will be restricted to Joe and his staff. Masks will be required. We are following the CDC guidance on preparing an employee-safe, physical distanced workspace.
I also think it is worth noting that no yacht club is dealing with the impact of COVID-19 alone. I have been on national calls with over 600 yacht club representatives discussing best practices. I've participated in BBYRA, NJYRA and LBI Yacht Club Commodore Zoom meetings discussing Junior Sailing Programs, Senior Sailing, finance, adjusting club calendars, and how our community of yacht clubs is meeting the challenges of COVID-19. Doctors, lawyers, assemblymen, and mayors are all chiming in as we decide how best to stay healthy and enjoy our summer season.
In closing, we can be certain the summer of 2020 will be different. A good friend of the Darlings wrote in his daily blog, "We nervously step forward into the unknown—with a bar of soap (antibacterial) , common sense in our pockets, grace in our hearts, courage running through our spine..... and the tenacious hope that God will show up repeatedly and unexpectedly."
I look forward to seeing, in some capacity, our membership this summer. Embrace the change and let's make the best of what lies ahead. Thanks to all for your support and always feel free to contact me if there is something you would like to discuss.