From the Desk Of Our Club Manager:

Dear Ocean Shores Community Club Members,

Welcome

“May, with alle thy floures and thy grene,

Welcome be thou, faire, freshe, May.”

The Canterbury Tales. The Knights Tale 1.1522

Dear Ocean Shores Community Club Members,

April showers have definitely made their presence this year. And now, we welcome May! This month brings more days hosting sunshine; the buds begin their presence on our trees; the scent of fresh flowers fills the air; and one of my favorites, the aromatic smell of freshly cut grass. Living in the northwest, we truly experience the old saying, “April showers bring May flowers.”

As I look out on the bay and out my office window, I contemplated how we all welcome the arrival of May and all the beauty it brings to our lives. And, as a former English teacher, I became fixated on the word ‘welcome.’ This word has so many contextual meanings. The word is derived from an Old English word “wilcuma”, which meant that a person who’s coming is pleasing. The verb form wilcumian, derives the historical meaning from two parts; wil – meaning desire or pleasure and cuman – meaning come. Later the wil was changed to wel – ‘well’ which was influenced by the Old French bien (venu) or Old Norse velkominnn.

Today, if we look to our dictionaries (online or the old-fashioned printed version) we find the meaning has not so much changed, rather has expanded. Welcome can be used as a manner to greet another individual, as an action on how we greet an individual, or the description of one’s meeting.

As your General Manager, it is my mission to have all of our members and their guests feel welcome to our parks and facilities. When this mission falls short, it is my responsibility to identify ways to improve. My staff and I continually collaborate and share ways to create a warm welcome to those entering our facilities and enjoying our outdoor properties.

Creating a welcoming environment can and should be a part of having our facilities and parks be a safe haven for families and our guests to enjoy. Much of the safety factors regarding the physical part of the spaces are managed by our talented maintenance, custodial and office staff. Community Club members also contribute to the safety measures and welcoming environment. Whether it is adding more chairs to the group meeting or extending a lesson on the open court, members assist greatly in creating a welcoming feel. My staff and I are grateful to our members.

Our outdoor spaces, parks and playgrounds are wonderful spaces. They are welcoming to friends and families for a quick pick-up game, a relaxing fishing and fish story time, or just a fun place for young people to run and play.  Every member is welcome to use our parks. The only requirement, and, yes, I used the word requirement, is that we use the parks within the guidelines and safety measures put in place. These measures are carefully reviewed and approved by Ocean Shores Community Club’s Board of Trustees. Fences are placed to help protect neighboring properties from public access and, as you see at Damon Park, to protect our young ones from traffic.  Sadly, I am constantly made aware of how many members are not feeling welcome. When I am able to address this and correct the situation, I will do so. Today, I am asking our members to help me.

Just last evening, my team received a call from a member regarding the dogs off leash and the inability to enjoy Damon Park. Just a little over a week ago, an individual was approached by a member at Bill Ellis Park and asked to place her dogs on a leash. The individual was disrespectful and told the member ‘to mind their own business’.  How sad to know members are treating staff and other members with such disrespect. Signs are posted reminding our members of the municipal code and the requirement to leash our dogs while enjoying our parks. Keep in mind, the City of Ocean Shores hosts a designated beach area for dogs to run off-leash, just .4 miles from our Damon Park.

Now my question, how did we get here, to an unwelcoming place? And more importantly, how do we move to a better place which is more inviting, friendly and most importantly, welcoming? Truly I am personally shocked by the brazen responses people are giving when asked to follow the clearly posted rules. Working with the board and our legal counsel, an outline of how to address off-leash dog practice is being put in place. Please take note, it is not my wish to implement consequences. My only intent and longstanding hope are to help ensure that our parks are a welcoming place for all.

You Know Me!

My staff and I definitely know a great number of club members. We truly enjoy connecting with our members and their guests. Our days, and evenings, are filled with warm greetings and a sharing of moments and kindness. And, as the pandemic is now moving to a more endemic state, more members have returned to enjoy our parks and facilities. This means we are seeing more of our 17,000 plus members, their family and guests! How exciting!!!

With the large number of members, we look to ensure both fairness and accuracy with membership. While we use different colors to signify the year of membership, dates of expiration cross the 12 months. The only way for us to ensure membership is current is to look at the date on your membership card. My staff and I thank you for your understanding and cooperation.

While reviewing cards upon individual entry, we have identified some misuse of cards. Membership cards are for those individuals who names appear on the card. They are not transferable to another user. If you have family members who would like to use the club, please contact the club regarding Immediate and Extended family membership cards.

Additionally, we have been asked why we do not open membership to the public. Our licensing and non-profit status is denoted as limited use. For this reason, access and usage of the facility is primarily limited to members and guests. For further information regarding membership guidelines, please contact our office.

Your vote counts!

Our Board of Trustees have three individuals who are asking for your vote.  This year our three candidates are running unopposed. Even running unopposed, our trustees ask you submit your vote. Your vote demonstrates your confidence in our board members and their support to our staff and our mission to maintain and enhance our members’ experience. Thank you in advance for your support and feedback.

 You are Appreciated!

In keeping with this month’s theme, I would like to express our appreciation to those individuals who we honor in the month of May.

During the first week of May our teachers are honored for their commitment to our children and our future. Teachers have a huge role in helping us develop and foster our young people and impacting our society’s tomorrows. As a former educator, I wish to thank them for their long hours, patience and dedication.  

May is also National Military Appreciation Month. Memorial Day seems to culminate the month of honor to those who serve, have served and those who have given their life for the freedoms we continue to hold dear today.

Finally, it is poignant that we conclude our appreciation and honor our youth. May is also Young Achievers of Tomorrow Month. Celebrating our youths’ achievements enables our community to forge a better tomorrow for all.

Recently, while discussing May’s noted appreciations, one individual shared, “I don’t need a day or month, I honor individuals each and every day.” Such a provocative statement! Let us all try to honor those who share so much of themselves, each and every day. This is one of the true definitions of welcoming those in our lives.

A Step Back in Time

It is always educational to go back in time and review old papers. Learning more about our yesterday makes our today fun! This month, we went back to 1964. On May 29, 1964 the very first issue of the Ocean Observer was printed and distributed. The paper highlighted the effects from the Alaska earthquake along with the new restaurants joining the community.

Just five years later The Ocean Observer continued highlighting exciting happenings. Our first primary school was approved and the PBCC roster was highlighted! If you don’t know what the PBCC is, come check out a copy of the May 29th, 1969 Ocean Observer at Bayshore Clubhouse!

Summer is on the Horizon!

Summer is truly on its way! OSCC staff is fully aware of summer’s forthcoming arrival as we prepare to open our Cabana Park pool. Thanks goes to our lifeguard team: Jenny, Tom, Scott, Dan, Abigail, Colton, Keara, Noah and Gillian. With our team in place, we will be opening the pool Saturday, May 28th! Cabana Park pool will be open every weekend until June 17th. On Friday, June 17th the pool will be open every day from 12:00 PM to 6:00 PM. 

Water Aerobics will also be returning to Cabana Park pool on Monday, May 30th!

One final note as we head into summer fun and celebration. Your OSCC staff and I fully appreciate our members and their kindness. We hope your families and you enjoy a great start to the summer. On Memorial Day, Bayshore Clubhouse will be closing at 5:00 PM to enable team members to celebrate and remember those who served.

“Small cheer and great welcome makes a merry feast.”

                                                            Shakespeare: King Richard III – The Comedy of Errors

So, let us all welcome summer and feast with family and friends and together experience fun and sunshine at Ocean Shores!

See you at the beach!

Kathleen