How did we get to July already? We have had a great inaugural season so far.
The goal of the Minnesota Dragon Boat Club for this first year is to be ambassadors of the sport and welcome new people through the season. Our members are committed to service within the club and in the broader community, to support our club’s message of compassion, challenge, community, and competition. Here are the club’s accomplishments so far:
Open Paddle Participation
Despite having to cancel some of our open paddles due to weather, the club hosted five open sessions, giving at least 82 people (we kind of lost track) one or more chances to join us on Aurora and try out the sport. We plan to schedule further open paddles for September.
As a result of the open paddles, the club gained dues-paying members enough to reach a total of 49 so far, exceeding our target of 37 by the end of the summer paddling season. This has led us to add extra practices on our Tuesday and Thursday nights, and extra practices on some holiday and weekend days.
Relay for Life
The club’s boat, Aurora, traveled to East Ridge High School in Woodbury for the South Washington County Relay for Life. Members of the club and their families cleaned, transported, and showcased the boat at the overnight event July 7-8. One club member’s balloon creations were a big hit with kids of all ages, and many people had fun taking their photos with the boat. Relay for Life is the American Cancer Society’s signature fundraiser, dedicated to decreasing the incidence of cancer and improving the quality of life for patients and caregivers.
Dragon Festival at Phalen Regional Park
Club members and their families also attended, provided timing assistance, and filled out several competing teams for races at the Dragon Festival held at Phalen Regional Park on Saturday July 13 and Sunday July 14. This was a wonderful opportunity for members to help those who organize the festival and to interact with the American Dragon Boat Association (the regional governing body for dragon boating) at the lake where our club keeps its boat and holds its practices.
August will bring our first competition, rostering two boats for the Lake Superior Dragon Boat Festival. We still have some open spots, so if you’re thinking about joining the club, there is room for you! September, we will continue paddling and are working on a plan for more open paddles, hoping to whet everyone’s appetite for the 2020 season, and a community outreach event still in the works… Thank you to everyone who has helped support us in our inaugural season!