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High Energy at Organizational Meeting for Young Adult Program

Posted in: Shilshole Programs, Young Adults ♦ Wednesday, September 29th, 2010, 11:10 AM ♦ Comments Off on High Energy at Organizational Meeting for Young Adult Program
High Energy at Organizational Meeting for Young Adult Program

David Barnes

On Wednesday evening, September 29, over 32 members and prospective “Young Adult” members got together at the CYC clubhouse to discuss developing a Young Adult program aimed at providing club functions and membership initiatives which meet the needs of young adults. Young adults are d]efined as recent college age graduates to 30 or more years old.

Rusty Lhamon ran an efficient and engaging meeting which yielded a number insights into this target segment. The aging membership challenge that the club faces and that was brought up in the September 10th general meeting was reiterated. If you missed the July “From the Helm” article, one key point of it was that there are more members over 80 years old than under 30. Rusty started off the meeting orienting the group to some of the thinking that had come from surveys and feedback the club has received, and then the Young Adults themselves were asked to discuss their relationship with the club and what the club could do better to keep, attract and maintain their membership. In short they responded that they value the club’s superior racing programs but expressed an overall low perceived value for their membership dues. The ensuing hour or two thereafter offered up some terrific ideas for the club to consider.

A couple of observations and considerations that emerged from the meeting include:

  • Membership fees don’t currently provide access to boats. Several other clubs to including the University of Washington and Sail Sand Point were cited for their low membership fees and access to boats. On this topic there was also good discussion on how to link the efforts underway for the youth programs both in thinking about the boats that are available as well as how to connect the programs such as through mentoring and coaching in an effort to build a community around the club.
  • Young adults seek to participate in excellent sailing coupled by social activities sponsored by the club. The Clubhouse with its relatively large gathering spaces, scenic location on Puget Sound with the Olympic Mountains as a backdrop has great potential and of course the notion of expanding the length of bar was volunteered. It was noted that many other clubs competing for membership with this segment would have a difficult time competing with CYC.
  • A lack of weekend racing was cited and it was agreed that this should be explored especially given how challenging it can be for some people to make weekday racing with work schedules and rush hour commutes.
  • Many other topics were discussed among them Team Racing, Match Racing, hosting a collegiate regatta, and finding better ways to connect Young Adults (such as transplants) with members and boats to sail and race on. On this front it should be noted that Bob Ross graciously volunteered to make available five J-24’s for a weekly evening sail or race that would help provide Young Adults with opportunities to participate and learn about sailing alongside an experienced CYC member.

All in all the energy level of the meeting was high and the participation was broad. A group of seven volunteers is currently taking the input from the meeting and developing a formal proposal to be presented to the CYC Board of Directors at the October meeting. The meeting concluded just after 9 PM and discussion continued into the social hour thereafter. For more information or interest in participating in building the Young Adult programs at CYC please contact Rusty Lhamon. (

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