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Browsing "Notes from the President"

October ’13 General Membership Letter: A Review and Looking Forward to our 50th

Oct 24, 2013   //   by Membership   //   News, Notes from the President  //  No Comments

The 2013 season for Old Farm Swim & Paddle Tennis Club was very successful on many levels. We continued and expanded several programs including Water Aerobics and Master Swimmer training as well as the FINS program that were strongly supported and attended by our members. Additionally, we saw in increase in the number of adults using the lap lanes for individual swimming fitness. These programs will continue in 2014, with modifications based on lessons learned, and we hope to include other activities including the newly renovated volleyball, basketball, and shuffleboard areas. We also look forward to additional activities for the kids, including use of our new tot lot, paid for with donations from our members and corporate sponsors, allowing us to continue to be the place to spend our summer. Shortly after we closed the pool for the season, we installed a brick walkway from the foot-wash to the tot lot. The walkway includes the bricks purchases as donations to the tot lot. We plan to continue brick sales and add the donation bricks to the walkway every season. You can buy a donated brick via this link, which is still live: https://www.bricksrus.com/order/oldfarmbricks.

Georgetown Aquatics once again provided us pool management and guard operations this season, and we received many compliments about the quality of our managers and staff. We will continue to work with Georgetown Aquatics to insure we receive the highest quality staff to provide a safe and healthy pool environment for 2014.

We welcomed twenty four (24) new Continuing families this season including six (6) families that were temporary families last year, and three (3) families who have rejoined after retiring memberships, as well as eighteen (18) new Temporary Memberships that we hope will become full members in 2014. This healthy increase is due primarily to the tireless efforts of Board Member Pat May. Our chief priority for 2013 was to increase membership in order to offset members who were planning on retiring their memberships this season. Pat certainly got the word out. Among the innovative activities he undertook, he reached out to new neighbors as soon as the moving trucks pulled away and contacted current members who were undecided on whether or not to join, convincing almost all to continue their memberships. As part of his responsibilities this year, Pat continued his involvement with the process of following through once new members joined, ensuring that we had current contact information in the pool’s database, enabling us to validate membership payments and to ensure accurate information for both electronic and regular mailing.

A challenge we face every year is providing a lifeguard staff that is motivated, well-trained, and focused on the huge responsibility of keeping our members and guests safe. They also must maintain our facilities and equipment to the standards that make us all proud to come to the pool. To enhance the safety of our members, we added a defibrillator at the pool to the equipment available to provide emergency response if needed. Georgetown Aquatics has that responsibility, allowing Board members to focus on other aspects of pool operations. Dave Ohlrich, our Board Member for Lifeguard and Pool Operations, did a great job working closely with Georgetown Aquatics and serving as the liaison between the guards and the Board of Directors, helping to identify and correct issues so that the pool could continue to run smoothly. Our managers for the 2013 season were responsive and proactive to all the many activities and situations that we saw this summer and responded professionally and courteously in every occasion.

Among the major reasons that people join and retain their memberships at Old Farm Pool is the varied and active social programs sponsored by the pool. The strong support from our membership demonstrates that the Club is an important part of our community summer activities, with events such as the Wine and Cheese tastings, Memorial Day, Labor Day, July 4th celebrations, closing weekend events, and the extra open weekend events after the official closing of the pool. Marla Caplon and Amantha Linkie, our Board Members for Social Activities and Concessions, worked tirelessly to coordinate all the pool-sponsored social events. Marla, Amantha, and their team of volunteers made every event a special occasion, whether it was a Saturday morning swim meet – where bagels, hot coffee and an assortment of healthy foods were available, or the closing weekend barbecue. Marla and Amantha were involved in every detail, ensuring that there was plenty for everyone, and everything served was prepared within the guidelines established by Montgomery County for food service.

When we come up to the pool, we pay attention to items like how nice the water looks or how the guards are performing their duties. What we sometimes forget to notice are the other aspects of the pool that are important, but oftentimes overlooked, such as operational phones, wireless internet access at the pool, the website with latest information on pool events, and the tracking of new members to ensure that they are included in the “MailChimp,” “SurveyMonkey,” and website mailings. Pat May also serves as our Board Member for Business Development and Technical Issues and plays a critical part in tracking these items, helping to increase visibility of the pool in an effort to make the pool much more than just a place to go swimming during the summer. Pat’s efforts have not only provided our membership with the latest technology and comforts (like internet access), but these technologies have also allowed us to reduce our expenses by using e-mail and website notifications rather than “snail mail” to conduct invoicing and keep everyone current on pool activities.

Our swim team oversight was lead by Board Members Jay Matson and Griff Lindsay. I don’t think it is possible to count the hours that Jay and Griff have dedicated to working swim team issues. Their efforts are truly a year-round effort. 2013 was a strong season for our swim team with membership up to 120 swimmers. This year we incorporated our coaches from the FINS program, and that proved to be a great success, bringing renewed interest in the swim team and complements from our swim team parents, who were all very happy with the improvements. We are already in discussion with FINS to confirm their return for the 2014 season. We finished second in Division “K” with an impressive 4-1 record for dual swim meets and a second place showing at the relay carnival. We will be moving up to Division “J” in 2014. Many of our swim team parents have told me how happy they were with the direction we are taking with our swim programs. In addition to his duties as a swim team representative, Griff also serves as the Vice President of the Board of Directors. In that capacity he serves as a close advisor and, in my absence, has the authority to act as my direct representative. Jay also serves as the Recording Secretary on the Board of Directors, responsible for preparing and maintaining files of the minutes of the monthly meetings.

Let me take this opportunity to thank all the volunteers who support our Swim and Dive teams, whether it is helping with concessions, serving as a trained official helping with referee duties, starting, judging stroke and turns or dives, or volunteering to be a timer, runner, ribbon writer, announcer or clerk-of-course, the swim team does not work without your help. It takes lots of volunteers to help run each meet, and we encourage everyone to keep volunteering because we can’t do it without you!

Our Board Member responsible for special programs is Suzanne Stack. Suzanne is responsible for coordinating the return of the successful Master Swimmer and the Water Aerobics programs. These very popular programs were great fun for the participants, and we look forward to being able to provide them in future years. In fact, the Master Swimmer program was so successful that we again extended it for two additional weeks so that participants could continue training until the end of August. Suzanne also serves as the Board liaison to the volunteer committee raising funds through the “buy-a-brick” program, as well as several other efforts, for the purchase of the tot lot that we installed this season to improve the pool experience for our very young members. As I mentioned, we will continue the brick sales to continue to raise funds in support of programs to improve the pool experience.

Board Member Ed Rich has responsibility for Grounds Maintenance and is in charge of coordinating our lawn services and landscaping as well as arranging for spring deliveries of sand for the volleyball area, mulch for the vegetation around the pool, and many of the plants on the pool deck and hanging from the pool house.

Connie Jacobson is our Board Member responsible for the Dive Team and coordinating the dedicated volunteers supporting dive meets and practices. We had a strong season. Our dive team membership includes 23 divers, several of whom placed extremely high in the divisional meet for their age groups, including two 2nd place finishes. Our coaching staff did an excellent job motivating our young divers and keeping interest high in the team. As we look forward to the 2014 season, we look to increase the number of divers actively participating on the team.

Previously, I mentioned the large amount of behind-the-scenes work necessary to keep the pool running efficiently. Rob Follit, our Treasurer and Board Member responsible for maintenance operations, voluntarily took on several projects this past season. Rob was responsible for the expanding of the basketball court to a full half-court area. He added the new volleyball net and framing equipment and spent untold hours buffing and grinding the concrete and preparing the shuffleboard court to bring it to competition level as well as leading the effort to plant new shrubbery along the fence line adjacent to the parking lot. As treasurer on the Board of Directors, Rob is responsible for coordinating the development of the annual operating budget and holds each of the members of the Board responsible for staying within budget.

Once the pool closes in September, it is time for Board Member Scott Speier to swing into action with his responsibilities for Paddle Tennis. Scott initiated an effective e-mail campaign to encourage use of the courts, and we are registered with the American Paddle Tennis Association in an effort to encourage league play. Due to Scott’s efforts, we have recently completed a replacement of the paddle tennis lighting that will improve the quality of play, and he is coordinating for other repairs to the facility to keep our courts competitive with other courts in the area. Additionally, we plan to increase paddle tennis activities and paddle-only memberships in order to encourage more league games. We also hope to eventually activate our under-deck heaters and incorporate a warm-up facility to make us more competitive with the Country Clubs that include paddle tennis. We have arranged a Paddle Tennis Expo/Movie Night event on Friday November 8 (starting @ 7 PM), so come on by to check it out and enjoy the party. Scott also works closely with Rob as part of the tree removal/power lawn tool committee!

With the long hours involved in volunteering to serve on the Board of Directors, there comes a time when you need to step back and let others step in and take charge. We will be saying good bye to several long-serving members who will retire from the Board in November. Our retiring Board members are Marla Caplon, Jay Matson, Pat May, Ed Rich and Connie Jacobson. Each of these people have dedicated untold hours to supporting the pool. We will miss their active participation on the Board, but we know that they will all continue to support the pool…and will be able to do so from the comfort of their lounge chairs as they enjoy the summer activities at the pool. Thank you all for a great job!!!

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In recent years we have renovated the patio area, purchased replacement tents, and continued the process of replacing our aging umbrellas and chairs. We received many complements about these upgrades and will complete the deck furniture upgrade with new “sand chairs” around the baby pool for the start of the 2014 season. We installed a handicap access chair lift and added access stairs to the shallow end of the pool, allowing those with difficulty full access to the main pool. We completed a white-coat of the entire pool surface that should last for up to ten years. We are also beginning the planning process for the construction of a ramp from the parking lot to the front entrance of the pool building, enabling easier entrée for our members pushing strollers or for those who are challenged by stairs.

As we look forward to the 2014 season, we will be focusing on the fact that Old Farm Pool opened in 1964. 2014 will be our 50th year of operation!! We will be planning several events to recognize this milestone, and we are looking for volunteers to help us plan and participate in events.

To close, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for the privilege you have provided me to serve as the President of the Board of Directors for another year. I continue to be impressed by the increasing number of volunteers that offer to step in to participate and lead in pool activities. Each of us serving on the Board has asked for volunteers to help run the many activities, and we always have people offering to do more. It is this volunteerism that the members of the Board look for as we look ahead for future members to serve on the Board. The true meaning of “community” is displayed by each of you, and it is an honor to be part of such a wonderful group of neighbors and friends.

Thank you again,

Bruce

Bruce G. Kay, President

Notes from the President – End of the 2012 Season

Sep 9, 2012   //   by President   //   News, Notes from the President  //  No Comments

Dear Old Farm Swim and Paddle Tennis Club Members,

Labor Day marked the close of the very successful 2012 swim season at Old Farm Pool. Many people enjoyed the closing day events, including fund raising for the tot-lot (please consider purchasing a brick as part of the fund raising efforts for the tot lot (https://www.bricksrus.com/order/oldfarmbricks), barbeque lunch for all, adult liquid refreshments and our four-legged friends dip in the pool. I want to thank all members who helped store the deck furniture for the winter – we finished quickly and locked the gate by 7:15 pm.

We are now opening our Platform Tennis Season. There has been a great amount of interest in the sport. Please watch for announcements in the near future about upcoming paddle tennis events, including exhibition matches, lessons and league opportunities.

In the upcoming months the Board of Directors will be working on many projects that will help provide our members an improved experience at the pool in 2013. Our major projects include:

  • Installing a new white coat in both pools
  • Installing stairs and handrails in the shallow end of the main pool for easy access and to allow parents to comfortably sit and watch their young children in the pool

Our smaller projects include:

  • Cleaning up/replacing shrubbery
  • Tree work
  • General maintenance of the pool house
  • General maintenance of the pool facility

Many of our projects are performed by volunteers from our membership. Volunteers allow us to avoid using your membership dues to perform routine tasks and help to stretch our budget as far as possible. We are always looking for help from our membership, and your hard work will directly benefit you, your family and your friends. Please consider donating a couple of hours to benefit everyone at the pool.

Members have also asked about joining the Board of Directors in order to participate in our club’s management. We welcome those of you who are willing to dedicate time and experience to the Board. If you are interested, please contact me by e-mail at president@oldfarmpool.org or call me at 301-980-9378. Elections for new Board Members will be held at our General Membership meeting in November.

Lastly, I want to thank all of our current members of the Board of Directors. Each of them has done a magnificent job this season balancing work, family, and pool events to make Old Farm Pool the great place that it is.

Thanks again to everyone for a great 2012.

Bruce

Notes from the President – Closing week of the Old Farm Swim and Paddle Tennis Club 2012 Pool Season

Aug 25, 2012   //   by President   //   Notes from the President  //  No Comments

It is hard to believe that the pool closes a week from today, on Monday, September 3rd.  This has been a very good season for Old Farm Swim Club and to make sure that we end on a really high note, we have several important scheduled notes and we want to make sure that everyone marks their calendars.

Pool Hours:

Monday August 27th through Thursday August 30th – 3:00 pm – 8 pm.

Friday August 31st – 3:00pm – 10:00pm

Saturday September 1st – 11:00am – 6:00pm (Pool closing early to prepare for Adult End of Summer Party)

Saturday September 1st – 7:30 pm – 11:00 pm – ADULT END OF SUMMER PARTY.  Last chance to spend a relaxing and fun evening at the pool – Book the Babysitters now!!! Please sign up early for discount on entrance cost ($28 per person in advance – $30 at the door).  Urban BBQ food, Margarita Machine, water races, dive and kayak competition and fun for all.  We need to have advance sign-up of at least 40 people for us to have this event, so please let us know if you plan to attend.

Sunday September 2nd – 11:00 am – 9:00 pm

Monday September 3rd (LABOR DAY) – 11:00 am – 6:00 pm Final whistle.  Picnic lunch with “cocktail hour” for adults.  After the water is cleared of members at 6:00pm we will have the annual doggy dip.  Bring your pets up for the final swim from 6:00 until 6:30.  We ask our members to stay after the doggy dip and help us clear all the furniture off the deck and store it for the winter.

Looking forward to seeing everyone at the pool this weekend!

 

Bruce

Message from the President – Summer 2012

Here it is, mid July and we are already winding down the swim team and dive team seasons.  I would ask that as many of us prepare to take family vacations in early August and may be away for a few weeks, that you please check the Lost and Found bins at the entrance to the pool building.  We are gathering quite a collection of items.  As we have done in previous year, unclaimed items, especially towels are cleaned and then are donated to local animal shelters by Mary Woytek.  We will do a donation shortly and then will do another when we close for the season in September.

Bruce

 

 

Summer Notes #2 From the President

It is hard to believe that the pool has already been open for one month for this great 2012 season.  Membership is strong with many new families joining us and actively participating in the many activities available for members of every age.

For those who were unable to attend, this past Saturday evening was the Adult Wine and Cheese event.  A wonderful evening for all attendees with perfect weather.  Special thanks to Board Members Scott Speier, (and Mary Jo), Marla Caplon and Debbie Labonski for all the hard work.  Also thanks to the Gaultier family for arranging the great live music.

We have several more social events coming up in the next few weeks including the Adult Luau, we would certainly like to see everyone join us for that on Saturday July 14th.

One quick reminder to all that if you or your kids are playing in the volleyball court, please make sure you shower all the sand off of you before entering the pool.  The foot shower is conveniently located between the volleyball court and the pool!

Thanks, and see you all at the pool!

Bruce

Summer Notes #1 From The President

Jun 11, 2012   //   by oldfarmpool   //   General Announcements (pool closings, events), Notes from the President  //  No Comments

The 2012 season is underway and in full swing with a high percentage of renewals and a huge surge in new memberships, especially among young families. Opening weekend weather was perfect, the pool was very well attended and we sold out of all the food we had to sell at the Café Old Farm Bar-B-Q.  Swim and Dive teams are preparing for the first meets, and we continue to receive complements on the new deck furniture and umbrellas.  Our members and guests are enjoying some of our “extras” including the grills, Friday night pizzas, volleyball, basketball and ping pong.  Just a few quick reminders and notes to help make everyone’s pool experience enjoyable.

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2012 Dues Update

Mar 8, 2012   //   by oldfarmpool   //   General Announcements (pool closings, events), Notes from the President  //  No Comments

Who can believe it is already March and the pool opens for the 2012 season in about 11 weeks! Your Board of Directors has been working hard on finalizing the operating budget for the upcoming season and I am pleased to report that regular dues will remain the same, as they have since 2009. You will be receiving your invoice in the mail for the upcoming season shortly. As with previous seasons, we ask you to take advantage of the Early Bird rates in order to reduce your dues payment.

Despite not having increased dues, your Board has been diligently working to provide you with increased services and equipment to make your pool experience more enjoyable. We have completely repaired and replaced the flagstone in the picnic area, repaired the volleyball court, upgraded and repaired the paddle tennis courts, begun replacement of our aging deck furniture with new lounge chairs, upright chairs and umbrellas, purchased a new sound system and upgraded the website to keep everyone informed of events and important information.

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Old Farm Swim and Paddle Tennis Club February 2012 Update

Feb 14, 2012   //   by oldfarmpool   //   General Announcements (pool closings, events), News, Notes from the President  //  No Comments

Here it is, the middle of February and we are already well on our way thinking about the 2012 swim season at the pool. As a quick recap of what the Board of Directors has been doing since the last update, first and most important is that during the General Membership Meeting conducted in November 2011, our members elected the Board of Directors for the 2012 season. We welcomed Suzanne Stack to the Board and said farewell to Jill Ray, who retired from the Board after many years of service.

The 2012 Board of Directors includes the following members:

  • Bruce Kay – President (Pool Operations, Guard Liaison)
  • Griff Lindsay – Vice President (Swim Team, Pool Operations, Special Projects)
  • Rob Follit – Treasurer (Maintenance)
  • Jay Matson – Recording Secretary (Swim Team)
  • Scott Speier – (Paddle Tennis, Special Projects)
  • Dave Ohlrich – (Guard Liaison, Pool Operations)
  • Marla Caplon – (Social Activities, Concessions)
  • Ed Rich – (Buildings and Grounds, Special Projects)
  • Debbie Labonski – (Social Activities, Merchandise)
  • Pat May – (Membership, Information Technology/Website)
  • Connie Jacobson – (Dive Team, Buildings and Grounds)
  • Suzanne Stack – (Pool Operations, Special Programs)

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Good Start for the 2011 Season

Jun 9, 2011   //   by oldfarmpool   //   General Announcements (pool closings, events), Notes from the President  //  No Comments

The 2011 season is underway and we have certainly gotten off to a good start.  Swim and Dive team practices are held in the afternoons until Montgomery County Schools close and then we start morning practices in addition to afternoons.  Our swim team has close to 125 swimmers and we have 45 registered divers.  Those are great numbers!

Membership is is on track and right now we have almost the same number of members as we ended the 2010 season.  Several of our returning Temporary Members have joined us as full Continuing families and we continue to look for our friends and neighbors who might be interested in joining.  Just a reminder, that if you recommend a family that joins, as a “thank you”, we will give you a Guest Pass good for 10 guest visits.  Purchased individually, that is a $50 value.

In the next few weeks there are many social activities coming up including the Wine & Cheese on Saturday June 11th.  Pool closes for preparation at 5:30 pm on Saturday.

In only three weeks is our busiest day of the summer, July 4th!!! The committee is already starting to work of preparations for another fun-filled day of activities for our members and guests.

The Adult Luau is Saturday July 16th.  More to follow as we get closer to that event.

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