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Meeting Minutes

Executive Committee Meeting
James Raboin, Dan Beideck, Tony Shaw, Rich Larson, Will Bucossi, Kim Thomas
Old Business:
ACA information
Letter to the Editor
Website/Database Updates
BOD Insurance
Dan's Trip Insurance Proposal
Dan's Trip Criteria Proposal

New Business:
Novice Clinic Wrap-up
VPC Picnic
Rescue Course
This meetin was called to order by James Raboin at the Beideck household in Colchester, VT with Will Bucossi as Secretary.
2.) New Business
a. Novice clinic wrap up
i. Went well, 24 participants, 11 staff
ii. $660 of VPC profit once last few checks clear
iii. president would like to encourage board members to participate as safety boaters
b. Class 2 clinic wrap up
i. Went well, less carnage, more development
ii. 12 paddlers, 4 from novice clinic others had prior commitments
iii. made $300.00 profit
1. special kudos to volunteers
2. Rich proposes giving volunteers $20.00 for their troubles
a. Tony amends to $25.00
i. 5 yes, 2 abstain
b. 5 yes
c. Gear update / rental liability discussion
i. One person from class II course rented gear
ii. Liability release is all set
iii. Dan knows of a “White Elephant Sale” and thinks we need helmets and skirts
1. James proposes $100.00 + all gear rental income ($25.00) for the purchase of skirts, Dan thinks that’s ok
a. All in favor
iv. Dan proposes a gear swap at the VPC Picnic with 10% of proceeds going to VPC
1. all in favor
2. James volunteers his wife
d. VPC Picnic: August 19th
i. Kim to print postcards and Tony to print labels for James
ii. Dinner @ 3:00pm – 4:00pm, ending @ midnight
iii. BYOB
e. Rescue course
i. Mark is in for the rescue course, Norm to head up
1. $200 for club members only
2. $600 for an open clinicf.
1.) Old Business:
a. ACA information:
i. we can merge calendars as long as there’s distinction between ACA and non-ACA sanctioned trips
ii. Rich to come up w/risk management plan and send to group
b. Letter to the Editor: Respect the dangers of paddling moving waters

Yesterday, June 7, another two paddlers were killed in Chambly, Quebec
after their canoe capsized above a dam. They were unable to swim to shore
and were swept over the dam into a deadly recirculating hole. These were
the fourth moving water related deaths near our area in the last week, and
the fifth this boating season.
Four out of five of these deaths were potentially avoidable with proper
gear and precautions. The fifth was an unfortunate accident that occurred
to a paddler with all the proper gear and skills.
While much was made of the lack of PFD wearing (personal flotation
device) by the first victim in the news reports following the incident,
there is much more to safely paddling moving water than putting on your
life vest. These include:
1. Know the river on which you are paddling and what is downstream. Never
paddle above a dangerous hazard such as a dam or visual fallen tree.
Guidebooks are available that describe nearly every local river.
2. Proper training - know your abilities, know how to control your craft,
be able to paddle to shore when needed to portage a hazard. If a flip
occurs and it is necessary to swim, NEVER STAND UP IN MOVING WATER!
3. Proper gear - Always wear a PFD for any paddling, and a helmet in
class 2 and above whitewater. Also wearing proper clothing can be a life
saver. In cold water, hypothermia can set in very quickly, especially when
wearing cotton. Always dress as if you are going swimming instead of
paddling. Good choices are wetsuits, wool, polypropylene, silk, fleece,
and synthetic materials.
4. Paddle with others - If trouble occurs it is essential to have others
there to assist you.
5. Carry safety equipment - bring a safety rope, whistle, first aid kit,
and an extra paddle.
6. No drinking alcohol - paddlesports and alcohol are a lethal
The Vermont Paddlers Club has a large amount of experienced boaters who
go out on the local rivers regularly, both in kayaks and canoes. We take
the proper precautions, gear up appropriately, and then go out and have
some fun. It is a very rewarding sport to be on the river enjoying nature,
but we must not forget the dangers that exist.
James Raboin
President, Vermont Paddlers Club
i. James wrote one but Burlington Freepress refused to print
ii. Maybe we should try 7 days…
c. Website / database updates
i. Everybody should use VPC news liberally. Don’t forget about the option to post a message board message in the VPC news….
ii. Megagirl has found VPC website, Tony’s stumped…
iii. If any of the officers want to have access to “unbless” messages on the board contact Tony
iv. Tony still working on new webpage
v. Tony to do monthly VPC database backups
vi. Should we have a member only section so members can maintain a profile and we can restrict certain areas in the site?
d. BOD insurance
i. Lowest it might be $400 - $600 per year
e. Dan’s Trip Insurance Proposal: With your indulgence, I would like to try and re-make the case for the trip proposal that I tried to make at the last meeting. In an effort to get something complete in the time remaining, we greatly slimmed down the proposal and agreed to try and create a single calendar with ACA sanctioned trips along with unsanctioned trips. I think this was a positive step. However, we never voted down the full proposal, although there seemed to be objections because there were concerns that it was fraudulent. So I’m interpreting this as it’s not necessarily being dead, but maybe on life support?! While it may be legitimate to ultimately reject the proposal, I think it’s a mistake to reject it because of a fear that it is supporting fraud. I did a poor job defending it the other night, and am going to take another shot at it here. I’m not looking to start an email debate. Rather, I think I might be better able to communicate via this written medium and don’t want to necessarily take up too much more valuable meeting time verbalizing these ideas. I would ask that you please consider this, give it some thought, and maybe we pick up the discussion at the next meeting if enough of you believe it worthwhile???

For the moment, let’s consider the situation where everyone on the trip is an ACA member and has signed a waiver that year. I’ll discuss the situation where that’s not the case next, but let’s start under this more simple situation to begin. In this case the trip is sanctioned by the ACA if the trip is submitted to them ahead of time and the requirements of appendix A are followed etc. However, it is not INSURED unless there is also paperwork submitted to them AFTER the trip is complete. I believe this distinction between sanctioned (or pre-approval) and actually being insured may have caused some confusion in our prior discussion.

Now I’d like to consider what it would be like if car insurance were done in a similar fashion as ACA liability insurance. Those who are insured would still need to pay ahead of time for unlimited driving (i.e. trips) for a specified time period (e.g. 6 months or a year) and fill out some initial paperwork similar to what is done with the ACA. However, they would now be required to pre-submit any planned trips using the car, and after the trip is over, would need to fill out additional paperwork indicating who was on the trip etc. Thank God auto insurance doesn’t work this way! Assuming I did everything by the book prior to a trip in my car, I believe I would be perfectly in my right to decide not to submit the paperwork to the insurance company afterwards. I might choose to do that if for example the trip went smoothly and was accident free. That trip would therefore not be insured even though I had met all requirements for it to be insured prior to departure. I paid for the insurance and followed all the rules prior to and during the trip. Choosing not to complete the paperwork after the trip is NOT fraud. It is voluntarily waiving my right to something I have paid for and am entitled too. The car insurance company made it’s money and I have decided that they don’t need to insure me for that trip. I haven’t defrauded them. I’ve saved them from some paperwork and potentially some money and effort if there were actually to be a claim later on. For example, maybe that pothole I thought I hit was actually someone’s pet!! I’ve just done the insurance company a favor and let them off the hook!

Now let’s consider the more complicated situation where one (or more) of the paddlers, passengers in my analogy, are not insured. Again, I propose that all pre-event and event activities are done by the book. However, I now have someone who has come along that is not covered. My car insurance company, in this example, allows me to accommodate for this by having that passenger sign a waiver and pay $10. If they do that, the insurance covers them and me for the drive. If not, I’m not covered for anything that happens to that person but am covered if anything happens to any of the other insured passengers . I as the driver have to make a decision if I want to expose myself to a potential liability or maybe risk alienating my passenger. If I decide to not insure the extra passenger, I again decide at the end if I want to submit the paperwork and thereby insure the trip. Again this is not fraud. However, I do need to submit the paperwork and pay the $10 to the insurance company if I decide to collect money and get a waiver signed from the passenger. To do otherwise would be fraud, and was never my intent.

Hopefully, I’ve done a better job of explaining the proposal. Basically, everything is done “by the book” prior to and during the event. Afterwards, the burden of submitting the paperwork can be at the option of the trip leader (driver?  ), assuming everyone has prepaid his/her insurance. I hope I’ve convinced you that this isn’t fraud but rather voluntarily giving up something that one has paid for and is entitled to have.

Assuming I have convinced you on the fraud issue, the question remains if this is the better path? To be honest, I go back and forth on it myself. On the one hand, it has the potential to eliminate a lot of the risk for both the leader and the board of directors with fairly minimal effort. Those of us who are ACA members have paid for the insurance. Why not use it? On the other hand, it still runs the risk of turning off the members that don’t want to deal with the “liability mumbo jumbo”, even though it is a little less burdensome than fully committing ahead of time to an insured trip for all paddlers. This is the hard decision that we need to make. However, we should reject it for the right reasons if that’s ultimately what is decided.

f. Dan’s Trip Criteria Proposal:
i. A schedule will be put together for the Spring and Summer/Fall seasons. Individuals that submit trips prior to that schedule being assembled will go into the list of trips to be considered.
ii. Trips that are submitted after the schedule is put together will be added to it if they met the following conditions:
iii. The leader is a VPC and ACA member if leading an insured sanctioned trip.
iv. The leader is capable of safely leading the trip proposed.
1. One of the following conditions is meet
2. No other trip is scheduled for the date proposed
3. The difficulty of water is different by 1.5 classes or more from one already scheduled for that date.
4. The number of days involved with the trip is different from an overlapping scheduled trip by 1.5 days or more.
v. The proposed trip or one it is in conflict with is not in New England, Quebec or Ontario.
vi. Any trips not meeting this criteria must be approved by the BOD before added to the schedule.
vii. Motion to change VPC and ACA member to VPC member and ACA member for ACA sanctioned trips
1. passed
viii. if the trip doesn’t meet the criteria then person submitting can appeal the board
ix. criteria passed unanimously
Next Meeting:
Executive Committee Vacancy Update
Chase Mill Access
Will Bucossi
The meeting minutes below date back to 2003. Prior year meeting minutes generally appear in the 'Bow and Stern' Newsletter Archive.
Minutes still in 'draft' form are omitted from this list. Thus, the minutes below have been 'released' for public viewing. The VPC secretary will typically post minutes from recent meetings once they have been finalized/approved.
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