A rare post from Jen...
On Saturday night we attended the annual Windjammers Winter Dinner. Usually it's at the Captain's Inn in Forked River, close to where our boats all live, but since it's January and we're all coming from our homes, the club thought we might try to find a more central location. Chip used some magic mapping software and found something like the average center point of all our addresses (you won't find any high tech computer speak in my posts), and we ended up at an Italian joint in Hamilton. The Captain's Inn has been great to us, but it was nice to change it up and also shorten the drive a bit.
Our Commodore said his thank yous and passed the torch. New flag officers and chairs were announced. I am now the newsletter chair. I've never been in charge of a creative project before, so I'm excited to push my limits; my creative abilities kind of stopped with heart-shaped construction paper Mother's Day cards. I think this will be fun, though, and I already have a few ideas in mind.
The big news of the night, for us, and the reason I'm writing this: Chip won the Walt Spratford award, which is awarded to the club member who best exemplifies the ideals of the club through his devotion of time and energy. I have watched Chip work countless hours on the Windjammers website, from the complete overhaul in the beginning, to the constant tweaks he makes when he sees room for improvement. He's straightened up the photo albums (this club loves photos!), scanned in old newsletters, conducted interviews and compiled a history of the club, and taught himself computer programming to do all the technical stuff.
In addition to his work as Webmaster, Chip also made the suggestion that the club have a race practice weekend before the Tall Oaks Challenge Race, in order to promote both skill and cohesion. As any of our readers know, he loves racing, and he really wanted to win against our rivals. We enjoy pretending to hate Tall Oaks, but in all seriousness, he wanted the Windjammers to get that damn trophy back. We hadn't won against Tall Oaks since we'd become members, but this year we did it! This win not only made Chip feel like our presence is no longer a curse on the club, but it seems to have given him a sense of community spirit.
I'm proud of Chip for the effort and dedication he's put into the club over the past few years. He doesn't think he's done anything that's a big deal, but when he talks about how great it was for the club to win the race together, or he stays up late at night figuring out how to perfect something new on the website, I see that as dedication and effort to be proud of.
Sysadmin's Note: No, I did not put Jen up to this, and I'm not entirely comfortable with it, but I appreciate the sentiment. I also appreciate the recognition, even though I feel like I get as much out of doing the work as I put into it. - chip