Sycamore Island
Meeting Minutes

March 10, 1999

Nancy and Blair Bower, Al Brown, Jack Colwell, John Matthews, Jane and David Winer, John and Judy Lentz, Brad Coolidge, Johnna Robinson, Pat Roth, John Michener, George and Marcia Loeb, Tryon Wells, Katie Holdridge, Doc Taliaferro, Gerald Barton, Bill Bays, Renee Dunham, Betty Burchell

President Tryon Wells called the meeting to order at 8:10PM. The membership approved the minutes of the previous meeting.

Membership Report:
We thank Tryon Wells for the new plastic-laminated guest cards - an improvement over the self-destructing paper version. 61 guest cards have been issued, which is a large number. Concern was expressed about the heavy use of the island and this issue will likely be discussed at future meetings. Six membership slots became open and five new members were proposed. They were accepted unanimously. The Club now has a membership of 155. An orientation for new members will be given one hour before the May meeting. It was suggested that the orientation include guest card holders as well.

Captain's Report:
An electrician was called to solve the mystery of the kitchen light remaining on, even when the circuit breaker was pulled. Circuit breaker was mis-wired. Mystery solved.

Doc described this next adventure:
After the big rainstorm last month, when power outages disabled the area, a power line along the canal and across from the island rubbed against the limb of a tree until it severed. Sparks flew, igniting the tree. PEPCO arrived with 16 people and tree climbing equipment. A special "woods wire" was installed to prevent future pyrotechnics.

Canoeing Report:
David Winer submitted several samples of decals that can be affixed to the club canoes available for use by the membership and their guests. The final design will display a club seal and wording that states that these canoes - not the members canoes - should be borrowed. Suggestions were made to clarify the wording, to put a "private" sign on the canoe shed, NOT to put any signs up and see what happens, to put canoe use directions on the guest cards. Clearly, this is an issue that needs to be resolved.

Large Parties Report:
Parties of over 35 people and other exceptions to large party protocol are subject to approval by the membership. Four such parties planned for April, May, and June were proposed and approved by all attending members except one.

Old business:
Attending members now had the opportunity to vote on the proposal for advance approval of camping. The proposed ruling was worded as follows (and I apologize to those who are weary of seeing this in the last three issues):

10. Camping Rules
The following rules shall be observed regarding camping on the Islands:
a. Camping overnight shall be for one night only unless approved by the Supervisor of Camping and Parties and coordinated with the caretaker.
b. All overnight camping, whether individual or group, shall be scheduled with and approved by the Supervisor of Camping and Parties at least 3 days prior to the date requested. Large Parties that involve overnight camping are subject to the provisions in Standing Rule 9, Large Parties and Guests.

Despite lengthy discussions in past meetings about this issue, there was still discord before the vote. At this meeting, however, a great effort was made by many to find a mutually agreeable solution - one that would respect that the island was both the caretaker's home and the members haven, and one that would not set the precedent of solving problems by making new and rigid rules. The wording that was voted on was devised by Brad Coolidge and is as follows:

10. Camping Rules
The following rules shall be observed regarding camping on the Islands:

Overnight camping shall be coordinated in advance with the Supervisor of Camping (or in his absence, another officer) and the caretaker.

The rule change was accepted with 13 in support and 3 opposed.

Point of interest:
Tryon Wells read to us the camping rules that existed at an earlier time of the Club's history (1950's??) and later dumped. It certainly debunked the notion that the Club had fewer rules in the past than now. One interesting piece of the old rules was the restriction on building permanent camping structures.

Another outgrowth of the discussion was the realization that we might want to change the present rule that allows the use of Club facilities (e.g. the pool and ping pong tables) until midnight. An earlier retirement time would be more considerate to the caretaker(s) living below.

There was no new business and the meeting was adjourned at 10PM. Thanks to the Lentz's for the use of their lovely house and for providing delicious edibles.

-- Renee Dunham. Recording Secretary