Greeting to all and wishing everyone a Happy New Year. We begin 2014 with the exciting reminder that this will be our 50th year of operations at Old Farm Swim and Paddle Tennis Club.
In November we elected our new Board of Directors and they are:
*Denotes new member to the Board
Bruce Kay – President
Griff Lindsay – Vice President
Rob Follit – Treasurer
*Dan Rudolph – Recording Secretary
*John Hudalla – Membership
*Mike Morper – Technology/business development
Suzanne Stack – Special projects
*Eric Forsythe – Dive Team
*Dan Rudolph, Amantha Linkie, Griff Lindsay – Swim Team
*Katie McDermottand Amantha Linkie – Social
Dave Ohlrich and Bruce Kay – Staff and Guard Operations
Scott Speier – Paddle Tennis
Rob Follit and Bruce Kay – Maintenance
Griff Lindsay and Mike Morper – Long range planning
We have already started the budget development process and are working on several improvements that we hope to have in place for the start of the 2014 season including construction of a ramp to the front of the pool house, repair of several portions of the fence around the property, installation of additional security cameras and completion of the replacement of the deck furniture.
We look forward to a fun season and will keep you posted on events and activities as we prepare for Old Farm Pool at 50!!!!
Tonight (Friday November 8), we will have a Paddle Tennis Expo. The event will run from 7 to 9 PM. We will provide a couple of grills, so please bring some burgers, dogs, and/or a potluck dish. We will supply some drinks (left over from the final party). Whether you are an experienced or novice paddle tennis player, it will be a fun evening to launch the sport into its cold-weather season. If you want to help with the event or have any questions, please email Pat May at email@example.com.
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!!!
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.
Our ANNUAL MEETING for Continuing Members of the Old Farm Swim and Paddle Tennis Club will be held at 7:30 P.M., Wednesday November 20, 2013 at the Farmland Elementary School Cafeteria. The Board of Directors invites, and encourages, you to attend this important annual meeting.
There are two important issues on the November 20th agenda.
First is the election of new members to our Board of Directors. If you are unable to attend in person, we urge you to participate using the electronic voting system available through MailChimp (email should have arrived by now). The deadline for online voting is November 18th (by 5 PM).
The nominating committee proposes the election and/or re-election of the following candidates to fill seven Director positions and three Nominating Committee seats.
Slate of Candidates for the Board of Directors:
Eric Forsythe: 3-year term to expire November 30, 2016
John Hudalla: 3-year term to expire November 30, 2016
Amantha Linkie*: 2-year term to expire November 30, 2015
Katie McDermott: 3-year term to expire November 30, 2016
Mike Morper: 1-year term to expire November 30, 2014
Dave Ohlrich*: 3-year term to expire November 30, 2016
Dan Rudolph: 3-year term to expire November 30, 2016
*Current Board Member
Slate of Candidates for the 2013 Nominating Committee:
**Current member of Nominating Committee
The second major item for the Annual Meeting is a review of the 2013 season and discussion of plans for the 2014 season. Please join us to be part of the discussion and planning!
On Friday November 8, we will have a combined Paddle Tennis Expo and Movie Night. The event will start at 7 PM. We will provide a couple of grills, so please bring some burgers, dogs, and/or a potluck dish. We will supply some beer and wine (left over from the final party)…and popcorn for the kids for the movie. The movie will be played on the inflatable screen in the lower parking lot next to the paddle tennis courts. Whether you are an experienced or novice paddle tennis player, it will be a fun evening to launch the sport into its cold-weather season. Bring your kids to enjoy the movie, which will be: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012), rated PG-13. We wanted to show a film that older kids and teens might enjoy since the summer movie was rated G. A family review can be found here: http://www.commonsensemedia.org/movie-reviews/the-hobbit-an-unexpected-journey. If you want to help with the event or have any questions, please email Pat May at firstname.lastname@example.org.
OCTOBER 23, 2013
7:30 PM – 9:00 PM
FARMLAND ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
ALL PURPOSE ROOM
We are delighted to have the following speakers:
1. Mary E. Bliss, Principal, Farmland Elementary School
Mary is in her first year as the permanent principal at Farmland, have previously served as Assistant Principal and Acting Principal at the school. For those of you who were on the tour given to GFCA members earlier this year, you already know what a knowledgeable and dynamic person she is. Mary will be telling us about what is happening at Farmland, how our students are performing, what plans she has for the future and how our community can help the school.
2. Lindsay Hoffman, Executive Director, Friends of White Flint
Lindsay recently became the Executive Director of Friends of White Flint, a non-profit group consisting of White Flint businesses, landowners, residents and civic association that was organized to ensure that the White Flint Sector Plan is fully implemented so that the White Flint area is transformed into a walkable, bike-able, pedestrian friendly mixed use community that does not negatively impact on the surrounding neighborhoods. In addition to her duties with Friends, Lindsay is President of the Randolph Civic Foundation (the charitable arm of the Randolph Hills Civic Association), a member of the Montgomery County Commission on Children and Youth and Vice President of Viers Mill Elementary School PTA. Lindsay will talk about what is happening at White Flint, what Friends is doing and how you can get involved with Friends to ensure that all parts of the Sector Plan get carried out.
We have heard from many of you that you would like to attend our meetings but that you have little ones at home. We listened! Therefore, we have reserved a room recommended by Ms. Bliss that will accommodate your kids and are arranging for responsible childcare. If you know someone that is experienced (high school student or later) that would like to help out (and make some money) please let me know as soon as possible.
As an added bonus, Farmland will be holding its annual Scholastic Book Sale that night in the media center. There will be books for children of all ages and book readings by Farmland Teachers. Therefore, if you have kids who do not attend Farmland, this will be an excellent opportunity to see the school in action, find books for your young readers and support the school’s PTA. For the hungry, there will be pizza and drinks for sale.
The other meeting GFCA meeting will be a Board Meeting on October 14, 2013 at 7:30 pm at my house, 11703 Hitching Post Lane. We will discuss the draft budget for next year, membership and the results of our recent neighborhood survey. All are welcome to attend, but please let me know in advance if you plan to come.
For more information on the Greater Farmland Civic Association, please visit greaterfarmland.org, contact our co-president Eliot Applestein, myself or one of the directors.
We look forward to your attendance and your valued input.
Edward J. Rich
Law Office of Edward Rich, PC
11703 Hitching Post Lane
North Bethesda, MD 20852
Thanks to all for a great 2013 season and a great extra weekend to enjoy the pool. For the many of you who were able to attend the Adult end-of-season party Saturday evening, it certainly was a fun evening with great food, drink, kayaking and some brutally competitive shuffleboard and cornhole action!
Having the pool open on Sunday was also special as the weather was perfect and we had a nice crowd to get in that last lap as well as enjoy the “Happy Hour” followed by the doggy dip were the first dog to jump in, braved the water and did a great rescue of a water noodle that was stuck in the deep end!!!
Thanks to all who helped store the deck furniture and validate how easy it now is to stack and store everything for the winter.
The Board of Directors will keep in touch with our plans for 2014 as we celebrate the 50th year of Old Farm Pool.
The weather forecast is excellent! We already have very high RSVPs, so let’s make this the biggest party in years! Party is for adults only. Finger food, adult beverages and other drinks, music, and fun…corn hole, kayak races, and more. Wear your suits since pool will be open for use until 10:00 pm!
Cost (Advance payment available until 5 PM Saturday):
Members: $15 if paid in-advance, $20 at the door.
Guests: $20 if paid in-advance, $25 at the door.
You can still pay in-advance via PayPal or by dropping a check (“Old Farm Pool”) by 5 PM Saturday through the mail slot at:
Greetings everyone. With the pool season starting to wind down, it is time to remind you to please check the lost and found area and claim any lost property. Any items remaining after we close will either be thrown away or donated to an animal shelter.
Below is the schedule of events for the pool:
Monday August 26 – Thursday August 29: 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm – hours of operation.
Friday August 30: 4:00 – 10:00 pm – hours of operation
Saturday August 31: 11:00am – 10:00 pm – hours of operation
Sunday Sept 1: 11:00 am – 9 pm – hours of operation
Monday Sept 2 – LABOR DAY: 11:00am – 8:00 pm – hours of operation
Labor Day Bar-B-Q lunch/concession sales – 12:30 – 2:00 pm
Saturday Sept 7: 7:00 – 11:00 pm – Adult End-of-Summer Party (more details to follow):
Party is for adults only. Pool will be open for use by adult paid attendees until 10:00 pm, so wear your suits!
$15 entry fee per Member if paid in-advance (either via check dropped off at the pool during operating hours or using PayPal below). Payment at the door will be $20 per Member. Non Members may come as guests of Members, with an additional cost of $5 per person. If you have any questions, please send them to email@example.com.
Thank you to all who responded to our short survey about activities to close the pool season. The feedback was very helpful for planning purposes. The key findings:
A Sept 7 party works better for more of our Members: Roughly 47% could likely or definitely attend on Sept 7 (versus 35% on August 31).
The Movie Night concept has broader appeal than a Raft Night. We got very strong response by many parents, and we will want to have a committee of parents help plan and run this event. We are tentatively looking to do the event Friday August 23. Look for information in an email this week with details.
Make sure to save the date for our Saturday Sept 7 closing party for Adults only (starts at 7 PM). The cost will be $15 per person, and you should come in your bathing suits as the pool will stay open for party goers until 10 PM.In terms of the pool season, the pool will close on Labor Day (as normal) at 6 PM, but we will leave many tables/chairs out for the final party in Sept 7. The pool will open again on Sept 7 for our adult pool party. We will need help from volunteers to move the final furniture into the club house after the party.