Club Update: June 26, 2020

Dear Member,

This is your Captain’s log update for June 26, 2020. Reporting from the bridge of The Skating Club of Boston at 119 Braintree Street. As I mentioned last week, and the week before that, and the week before that, the pandemic is not over. It continues to be up to all of us to now manage our own safety and that of our fellow community members. Massachusetts is now doing better than the rest of the country in managing the pandemic because we are acting smarter. Maybe we even are smarter! How to stay safest just seems so obvious…

Summer Season Week #1
It has been a fairly good week for the Club and its skaters. Thanks to all of you who have been closely following the guidelines. Thank you too to everyone helping management remind folks about the Club mask policy, both on and off the ice. As I repeat week in and week out, this will only work if we all remain vigilant and follow established protocols. The evidence is there that they work. We did increase the capacity for skaters on each session this week, and at first, we were not sure it would work out. But in fact, it did work out. Folks followed the guidelines and we were able to accommodate additional Club members on the ice. That is a very good thing!

Next Steps
They are baby steps. After spending a lot of time observing the sessions this past week, we have relaxed the guideline that coaches need to stay in distinct teaching boxes for most of their time on the ice. Now that skaters have been back on the ice and are stronger, they need to be moving more and they need their coaches moving with them. This is especially true of the Club’s younger skaters. But our observations show that coaches and skaters are moving and keeping good distance as they skate. We will continue watching and see if this continues over the next week. The next step we would consider for implementation is allowing skaters to perform their program to music without their mask. But to replace their mask as soon as they were done skating the program. And for their coach to ensure that happens. But to take that next baby step, skaters and coaches need to show that they have consistently adopted the guidelines already established and we have another good and safe week of skating.

We will also look at various sessions next week where we can add a few skaters from the waiting list. This is preferred over increasing contracted capacity so that we can adjust the numbers back if we think the sessions are too crowded and skaters are bunching up. Again, we are taking baby steps and we do not want to overcommit and under deliver. We appreciate everyone’s patience as we continue to slowly move forward.

Membership Renewals
Thank you to all members who have been renewing their Club memberships, and adopting one of our new categories of membership. It has been hard to predict who might leave the Club this new season because of our impending move to Norwood. On top of that, the ongoing pandemic might have encouraged some members to leave the sport altogether. It has been highly encouraging to see so many members back on the ice, renewing their memberships and excited to move with the Club to Norwood. Skaters and their families are proving themselves to be very resilient. It might just be connected to getting up each time they fall. It’s second nature!

The Next 100 Years Capital Campaign
Last week, I made an appeal for every Club member to join me in donating to the Club’s capital campaign. My appeal continues. If every member were to donate at least three seats in the new performance center, the capital campaign would be complete. Much like a public radio or television drive, there would be no more interruptions to your regularly scheduled programming. In making this appeal, I am asking the Club’s membership to see the Club and its history from 30,000 feet. From that viewpoint, we all now have the opportunity to repeat the foresight of the Club’s founding members and to build not only for our generation, but for the generations still to come. We have all benefited from the Club owning its facility at 1240 Soldiers Field Road, and in ways that are the envy of every other skating club in the country. Please visit thenext100years.org/seatcampaign and help us get this done for you and for the Club’s future members. Donations of three seats or more may be paid over 5 years, and all donations are tax-deductible.

What’s Next?
More baby steps. We continue to move slowly and cautiously, and to focus on maximizing member access to the ice in a safe and responsible manner. We also continue to express gratitude that we own our own facility, and that we can still more or less control our own destiny. We are open where many rinks are still closed while they sort out their hockey programs. We are planning for our future in a bold and visionary fashion while other clubs are scrounging for ice time. We are very fortunate indeed.

Last Call
Please remember that what we do outside of the Club now affects what we all do inside the Club. That includes the Club parking lot. Please be safe and conscientious everywhere you go. We want every single member to stay well. The pandemic is not over. We’ve got a good thing going with the Club’s re-opening, and it is up to all of us to keep it that way. Navigating the pandemic is a marathon, and a marathon is not an easy race to run.

Especially when you are wearing a mask. We can do this.

Sincerely,

Doug Zeghibe
Executive Director