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Developing & Executing the Action PlanKnitting together the components of a successful sailing program involves a range of activities, from curriculum planning to record-keeping, boat selection to top brass.
Committee of Directors or Trustees
Creating such a committee should be a first step for developing a boating program. Give care to the selection of its members to ensure that they will be willing to act, not just give advice. As a body, the committee should include much of the expertise needed to get the program going, so it must be composed of members who are willing to serve and have access to people, equipment, facilities or skills of use to the program in its early stages.
Some suggestions for the committee:• It should have a distinctive name, such as Community Boating Committee. Appoint one person as chairman. Appoint a secretary to record decisions and send out notices of meetings. Occasionally, the chairman and secretary will be the same person. Plan meetings at regular intervals and far enough in advance to ensure good attendance. Your particular circumstances guide you as to the length and frequency meetings.• Have an agenda for each meeting so eve one knows exactly what will be discussed.• Assign committee members specific tasks responsibilities.• If you have deadlines, give the commit enough lead time. If the committee members are volunteers, they have other committee and time constraints.• Don't reinvent the wheel. If you are start a new program from scratch, search out organizations in the local area to help you; and reference Section 6. Case Histories and Section 7, Program Resources.
Whether you are launching a new program or maintaining and enhancing the quality an existing program, give yourself plenty of time to organize. If your program is seasonal, start to plan in the fall for the next summer. If your program is year-round, plan four to five months in advance for the next session.
Community PartnershipA community partnership will vary with the community and type of program, but this concept for organizing a community program was employed most effectively in Oswego. Here are some of the lessons gained from the experience:o Lead Organization/Agency: Can be an existing one or one established specifically to coordinate the project. Usually, a "lead" which is not politically connected or obligated to any contributing partners can be most objective and credible with others involved.o Non-Profit Status is essential for the "lead" organization. This is necessary especially when "crediting" commercial private partners for their services and contributions.o Leadership has to be strong, tactful and unrelenting.o Community Involvement (broad people-base) is essential for long-term success.o Communications: Everyone involved must be kept informed at all times. Only informed parties can make meaningful contributions.o Optimum Use of Available Resources: Do everything possible with what you have before requesting more.o Reward and Recognition: Everyone involved must feel important, because they are! Be sure the type of recognition is appropriate -- not every individual wants his/her name in the paper.o Be Diplomatic: Don't "step on toes." Whether you like it or not, you're dealing in "politics.'' Think before speaking!o Have a Good Plan, both short and long range. Programs should meet essential community needs. Generate a "shopping list" containing something everyone can plug into.o Don't be in a hurry: Progress is often agonizingly slow, frustrating and exasperating. Use your imagination! One of the objectives of the partnership is to obtain operations and services by means other than "cash purchase." Who Are the Partners? Almost anyone who can offer materials or services. Participants may include:• City Departments• Building Supply Houses• County Departments• Contractors• College/School District.• Local Industries• Chamber of Commerce• Small Businesses• Port Authority• Naval ROTC Unit• Marinas• Military Reserve Unit• Marine Dealers• Youth Agencies• Vocational Schools
Make a list for your own community. You may be surprised at the wealth of resources available. If you can arrange to have most of the "big ticket" items donated, the cost of services to your community residents will be reasonable, more people will be able to participate, which in turn will generate the cash flow to sustain the program. Don't overlook private donations of money, boats, supplies and other tangibles that can be used directly or turned into ready cash. Oswego's "lead" organization is the Oswego Maritime Foundation, and participating "partners" are:o Port of Oswego Authority: waterfront location, ($1 per year lease) and free inside winter storage of foundation-owned vessels.o Oswego: main office space (with utilities, m building near waterfront.o Oswego County: personnel. Legislative Intern Program provides two full-time summer employees at no cost to the Foundation (assistant sailing instructor and office/maintenance person). Also provided is liability insurance coverage for annual Sport Fishing Expo.o School District: meeting space for large gatherings (public seminars and programs)o Power Company: daily classroom/meeting spaceo College: Academic intern program provides two or three part-time persons for special projects, i.e., Sport Fishing Expo publicity, the Foundation's membership campaign, computer sciences. Has provided facilities for Sport Fishing Expo and boating safety courses,o Community in General: More than 100 volunteers actively serve on working committees that conduct service programs.o U.S. Army Reserve: major excavation project and relocation of donated buildingo Vocational school: Built original docks.o County Highway Department: grading, fencing. haulingo College technology classes: construction and maintenance of waterfront buildings.o Contractors: electrical installation, dredgingo Manufacturing firms: materials, labor serviceso Local businesses: all kinds of support (door prizes, lumber, cement, printing, copying, grass seed, etc.o Marine dealers: boats and equipment at cost In total, nearly 100 agencies, organizations, businesses and industries have been involved with helping the Foundation since its beginning. The success of this involvement is attributed to community spirit and applying the basic principles listed earlier.
Typical gifts to the Foundation have included: Office furniture boats of all types copy machines engines computer system boat racks files and cabinets boat lift (two-ton capacity) chalkboards masts clock sails sand depth sounders topsoil horns flag pole fishing equipment coffee urn carpet trees radios VHF RDF fencing building materials.
Nearly 100 partner agencies, organizations, businesses and industries have helped Oswego since it began operation.