Mystic Seaport Waterfront

John Gardner Chapter: December 1, 2013 Meeting Minutes

Meeting called to order at 1:31pm

16 members and 2 guests introduced themselves.

The Minutes of the November 3 Regular Business Meeting were accepted as posted on the JGTSCA website. Reading was waived.

Treasurer’s Report.

Treasurer Karen Rutherford reported a bank balance of $5406.20 as of 11/13/2013. The opening balance for 2013 was $5091.36.

During November of 2013 Bill Rutherford gave a donation to the JGTSCA of $100.00. In addition, the JGTSCA Chapter gave $300.00 to the Artist Cooperative Gallery of Westerly, RI, in memory of Louise Pittaway.

Bruce Cresser has been given a replacement check for his expenses and the original check has been cancelled.

The Treasurer’s Report was accepted as presented.

1. Old Business

a. Reformatted Membership Form and Annual Dues

i. A majority of the members present voted to adopt the redesigned membership form submitted for member review by Karen Rutherford at the November Business Meeting. This form can be seen on the JGTSCA website.
ii. All members will be required to fill out this new form so that the information on each member will be up-to-date.
iii. The new form also gives members a chance to join the National TSCA at the same time they join the JGTSCA.
iv. A majority of the members present voted to reduce the annual dues from $20.00 to $15.00. This reduction reflects the fact that food is no longer served at the Friday meetings.

b. Outreach

i. President Behney thanked John Hacunda for arranging for representatives of Sea- Legs, Inc., to give a presentation at the December meeting.

2. New Business

a. Custom House Museum

Members present voted to contribute $100.00 to the Custom House Museum in recognition of the Museum’s hosting of the December Regular Business meeting.

b. Prescott Littlefield

President Behney announced that he has been talking with Prescott Littlefield, Waterfront Programs Director for the UCONN Avery Point campus, about Littlefield giving a presentation about the programs he runs.

c. Will Iturrino/Parade of Lights

An illustrated article about Will Iturrino’s participation in the Parade of Lights on the Mystic River, Saturday 11/23/2013, will be posted to the JGTSCA website.

d. Custom House Museum Parade Float

Rob Pittaway called for ideas and participation in preparing a parade float for the Custom House Museum. The parade will occur in May of 2014. The float might include men dressed in 19th century garb in imitation of the members of the now defunct Jib Boom Club of New London. A group of Custom House Museum members, called the “Gam”, meets monthly at the Museum and is considered quite similar in nature to the old Jib Boom Club.

The exact form of the float has yet to be determined. Shop space will be donated for the float’s construction starting in March of 2014. The Custom House Museum will pay for expenses.

e. JGTSCA Trailer rebuild

George Sprague called for recognition of Andy Strode and Jim Clark for their efforts in rebuilding the JGTSCA trailer.

f. Solstice Row

Phil Behney announced that he will be leading a row on the Mystic River scheduled for Saturday, December 21st, the date of the 2013 Winter Solstice. Participants should meet at the West Mystic Shipyard, East (located near the train station in Mystic, CT) at 3:30pm.

Those not rowing may wish to join the rowers later at The Harp and Hound located at 4 Pearl Street Mystic, CT 06355 (860) 572-7778. Music will be provided by The Intractables!

g. Sea-Legs, Inc

Richard Lathrop, CEO, and Patricia Sparkman, Board Chair, of Sea-Legs, Inc., gave a presentation on the Sea Legs programs and discussed how their programs could benefit from participation by JGTSCA members.

Quoting from a Sea Legs publication:

“Sea Legs, Inc. offers boating experience to those boys and girls who, because of their circumstances, may not have access to the water.
Since 1998, when we first got underway, more than a thousand such children have found their sea-legs aboard our boats. Some have found much more.

Each child is a member of a crew that sets sail once a week during school vacation. With increased experience and confidence, every sailor takes on additional responsibility aboard the boat. They find that history, meteorology, physics, and geometry have real-time applications to sailing. As they grow through adolescence many sailors become leaders. At age 18 they may join our group of mentors modeling for younger sailors, who are just starting out, all the things that finding their sea-legs can mean.

Sea-Legs, Inc. also offers an apprentice program where advanced sailors become skilled in the repair and maintenance of boats. Apprentices work in a 1000 square-foot shop near New London’s waterfront. The apprentice program runs year round.

Sea-Legs, Inc. remains a small, low-overhead organization with no paid administrators or costly offices. Virtually all of our revenue goes toward serving kids. Because we’re 501(c)(3), donations – including vehicle and boat donations – are tax deductible.”

Captain Lathrop suggested that there might be three immediate ways that the JGTSCA could help Sea-Legs, Inc.:

1) Restore or rebuild various wooden parts of boats donated to Sea-Legs, Inc. A box in the Avery Point boat house might contain the parts to be repaired by JGTSCA members who would do so as they could.
2) Expert advice could be given on how to properly rebuild/restore a donated George Lawley & Son built launch.
3) Expert advice could be given on the maintenance and care of a Bruce Kirby designed 25 foot cat yawl.

In the latter two cases the JGTSCA member would not necessarily work directly with the students but would advise the Sea-Legs, Inc., staff on how they should direct the students to accomplish the steps involved in the project.

The JGTSCA can work toward increasing the students time in small boats, rowing , sculling, etc.

It was the consensus of the meeting that the JGTSCA should meet with the principals of Sea-Legs, Inc. to work out the next steps to be taken.

For further information on Sea-Legs, Inc., go to:

The meeting was adjourned at 1:50pm

Respectfully submitted,
Peter T. Vermilya
Secretary, JGTSCA

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