Sunday, June 10, 2012

Dragon boat practice, Full boat edition

Yesterday we had a dragonboat practice at 8am. By the time we showed up for the practice there were so many people milling about.  We had an idea that we would have approximately 34 people show up, but once everything was said and done we ended up with 2 full boats, drummers (aka coaches) and steerers and all.   Of all the people that showed up for practice we had about 1 full boat of newbies (people that have had less than 2-3 practices under their belt) and obviously then the other boat full of seasoned paddlers.  The practice started late mostly because we had so many people and we had to split them up into 2 more or less even boats.  When we got out, because of all the 1812 things going on in the harbor in the next month or so, there was a lot of water traffic so we stayed away from high traffic areas, but we also ended up having to go over a lot of fundamentals -- again with the copious number of newbies this is crucial.  This allows them not to get frustrated that we are going too fast for them, it reenforces the technique for the older members-- a win-win situation here.  The practice ended up being less of a workout and more of a technique practice.

Then once we got back from on shore we had an audience.  Some of the training staff were going back out with a team building group.  We had 34 children from a local church youth group that had requested a team building exercise.  Again, 2 boats had to go out -- but these are really novice paddlers, and they are kids, so they like to look around.  This made for an interesting paddling session --an hour of wobbling boats, the realization they left all their water in coolers on the dock, and 2 "races" later we were done.  The coaches quickly grabbed all the gear, took it all back to storage, and it was off to working on boats we went.

We have a partnership with the MD Catholic Charities group that puts together a dragonboat race in baltimore inner harbor every other year.  The partnership allows for us to borrow boats from Catholic charities to run our festival every June.  In return, we prep the  boats for them and do boat maintenance.  We have been working quite a few weekends on boat prep, paddle prep.. and now that our festival is on the horizon we're stepping it into high gear.   That was about 2 hours of team bonding, getting dirty, etc.

How's that for a Saturday of fun?

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