January 2010

From the Incoming Coordinator

I sit here and write my first Coordinator’s Column for the Chesapeake Paddler I want to express my profound thanks to Dave Biss for his many years of service to the Chesapeake Paddlers Association as a member of the Steering Committee and the past three years as Coordinator. Dave has provided countless hours to the club and in that time, our club has provided more opportunities for new and experienced paddlers alike to learn skills to enable them to be better paddlers. I sincerely hope to continue that tradition.

One of the themes that Dave had emphasized over the past several years was participation by the members of the club. Essentially, we cannot have such a wonderful club without members volunteering their time to make the club better. There are many ways that you can volunteer with the club; you can lead or plan a trip. Plan or lead a class on skills such as ‘Fall out of your boat day’, navigation, trip leading workshop, or many other such events. You can volunteer as a safety boater for one of the many swim supports (Bay Swim, Iron Girl Triathlon, National Triathlon, etc.), or demo days (EMS, REI, CLC, etc.). There are many ways for members to get involved with the club. There is no shortage of opportunities for all of our members to get involved. You can contact me or any other member of the Steering Committee to get involved.

I want to update you on one of the bigger issues discussed at the annual meeting, the Club’s By-Laws. Several members volunteered to assist in the revision of the By-Laws to reflect changes that are necessary for the club to be more responsive to the membership. One of those ways is to provide a mechanism for on-line voting of officers and steering committee members. These changes are being drafted now and will be sent out to the membership shortly and a special meeting will be held in February (the trip-planning meeting will coincide with this special meeting) for approval by the membership.

Happy New Year – As the New Year is now upon us, we think of the things that we wish to accomplish as individuals. We have new projects and new goals for the coming year. The CPA is no different. As a club, we have goals and objectives for the coming year too. First, we will be holding our Maryland Trip Planning Meeting on February 6, 2010 in the Thurgood Marshall Room, at the Adele H. Stamp Student Union, University of Maryland, College Park (next to Cole Field House) – parking is in the garage next to the Student Union. As usual, there will be food – CPA will be providing pizza and beverages. Desserts are welcome.

Another of one of the club’s goals is the updating of the current By-Laws. A few of the reasons for updating the By-Laws are to reflect the changes in the club itself and to take advantage of new technologies that make the club more responsive to the club’s members. For instance, when many of you joined the club, it was an informal group of paddlers. Now, the CPA has grown as an organization to more than 600 members and is now incorporated as a nonprofit corporation in the State of Maryland. As part of this growing process, the club needs to make several changes to the By-Laws so that it is in compliance with certain tax laws.

Other changes to the By-Laws will allow for electronic voting in future elections of officers and Steering Committee members. Some of these changes were discussed at the CPA annual meeting on November 1, 2009. Based on those discussions, a committee was formed to review the current By-Laws and propose changes to the Steering Committee. The Steering Committee reviewed these changes and voted to accept the changes. In order for any changes to the By-Laws to be accepted, the changes must be voted on and approved by a vote of the general membership. Therefore, the CPA will hold a special annual meeting that will be held concurrently with the trip planning meeting on February 6, 2010. A redlined version of the changes is posted on the club’s website at

link to the redlined version of CPA By-Laws changes…

I am hoping to see many of you at the combined trip planning and special annual meeting in February. This is a great opportunity for you to participate in planning and/or leading a trip for the CPA. There are many places in our area where we can paddle and it doesn’t matter if there is a trip already planned for a date that you might want to lead a trip. There are often many trips planned for the same weekend or day.

Lastly, I want to remind everyone that although it has been bitterly cold outside recently, you can still practice your skills such as wet exits, re-entries, rescues and rolling at one of the pool sessions that are held at either the Fairland Pool in Laurel or the Fairfax County Lee District Pool.

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