Month
after month the clubs cash accounts slowly but surely leak away. We
are in a situation now where we will run out of working capital in a
few months time, if we keep spending the same amounts. It is a very
simple calculus; more money out, less money in, will mean zero money
to operate the club in the very near future.

Month
after month the single biggest line item on our budget is the Eddy
Line, our venerable newsletter. We spend around $1000+ for printing
and mailing costs every month. Unfortunately, we don’t take in
enough money to cover that cost, even with the recent rise in dues,
and with quite a few of us receiving the electronic version only, and
voluntarily forgoing our right to the printed version. We are simply
running out of funds.

Let
me repeat that: many GCA members take only the electronic version,
and we have not missed out on paddling trips, timely information, or
club activities. We have a new and evolving website created by
Matthew Crawford that members can go to and get information about
upcoming paddling trips, timely information, or club activities. This
new website is not a static brochure, but a living document of the
club where members can get timely information, post stories, photos,
and video and connect with the other members of club. Check it out
and plan to stay for a while. It’s a big place, it is our presence
on the web, and I am proud of it.

At
the board March board meeting the question of what we are going to do
about our financial state again came up. A proposal was made and
approved by the board for the club to publish the Eddy Line on a
bimonthly basis. We also decided to de-emphasize time-sensitive
announcements, meeting minutes and repetitive information, which can
be announced on the website, and go to more entertaining, educational
content. We are making this change to improve the Eddy Line. Our
printed newsletter is a document that can last for years. Printing
the minutiae of daily operations quickly makes it stale, while
putting in information that has no time limit will keep it fresh so
that someone picking up the Eddyline a year later will find it
interesting.

When
I get the electronic Eddy Line, I glance at the trip list, go skip
the next 5 or 6 pages of information that we repeat month after
month, and go directly to the small bit of room that is left for trip
reports, educational articles and stories about my fellow club
members, and what ever lunatic ideas and adventures they come up
with. That is what the club is about. Never once has someone come to
me and said, “Boy, those meeting minutes were sure an interesting
read. We should have more of that!” (sorry Bill) or “Wow! That
financial report had me on the edge of my seat!” (apologies Ed) But
I have had many conversations about the varied and interesting
articles that have been published in the Eddyline, from the
incoherent musings of Vincent Payne, to the fantastical fiction of
Debra Berry, and the reports of exciting Wildwater success from John
Pinyard, as well as all of the trip reports that members have
contributed over the years; that is what makes the Eddy Line.

The
idea is to make the Eddy Line a more readable, interesting, and in
general, a better newsletter that is more representative of the
interests of our club. Something we can point to and say yeah, my
club published that, and I’m proud of it.

Certainly
some of you will not like this decision. The one thing I can count on
as President is that there is always someone willing to criticize,
someone willing to rant, someone willing to be outraged, someone
willing to quit. The board will be accused of being out of touch,
lazy, negligent, and not addressing the real problem. If you wish to
have input then attend the meetings. Most anyone can rip out a
one-sided email and complain. It is much harder to make a positive
contribution. Please remember that we are all volunteers here, we are
all genuinely concerned, none of us particularly want to go
bimonthly, and we are forced to take this action out of necessity.
Last time I looked printers want to be paid, and the post office does
not deliver on credit. Print media of all kinds are reducing their
size, cutting staff, and disappearing from the publishing landscape.
We are not immune to this trend.

I
wish all of you good health and better paddling!