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Pool Sessions

How to Join a Pool Session

  1. Check ArchivedMinutes, ClubCalendar, or PoolSessions to find out when the next session is happening.
  2. Contact the organizer to reserve a spot and find out the fee for the session (usually $5-10). Bring exact change with you to the session.
  3. The organizer of the session will send detailed instructions about when to show up.

How to Organize a Pool Session


  1. At the beginning of each semester (or the end of the previous semester) contact Theo (email: clt4), at COE to organize pool time. Theo kindly allows us to purchase some of COE's class time and employ their lifeguard at a rate discounted from Helen Newman's normal rates. Theo has requested that we assign one person as her contact with the Outing Club so she knows who to discuss problems with and who has the authority to make decisions regarding pool sessions.
  2. Check the calender at to make sure Helen Newman is open during the times Theo gives us.
  3. Call or e-mail Debbie Gatch (email: dag7), to tell her which times COE has assigned to the Outing Club. Debbie keeps the master schedule for the Helen Newman pool and has requested that we let her know which times we receive from COE. Debbie can also sometimes alert you to times where there is a scheduling conflict.
  4. Find a leader and co-leader for the pool session. Recruit as many experienced paddlers as possible to help instruct and distribute/size gear.
  5. About a week before the pool session post a message to the list serve (see attachment A) announcing the pool session and stating that people need to sign up to get on the list.
  6. After you have fifteen people signed up send a confirmation e-mail (see attachment B) directly to each participant. Give priority to those on the waiting list from last session. Usually, there are several cancellations or no-shows, so we end up with about ten people in the session.
  7. Send an announcement to the list serve (see attachment C) that the pool session is full.
  8. Create a list of participants (see attachment D) for the pool session leaders.
  9. Provide the following instructions to the pool session leader and co-leader:
    1. Print out a list of participants. Note that COE staff can also come for free.
    2. Bring $10 to $20 in small bills for making change. But also strongly emphasize in all your e-mails to participants that they should bring $5 exact change.
    3. Stop at Helen Newman to make sure the front desk is open.
    4. Arrive at Japes 15 minutes before the meeting time. It will take about 45 minutes to get everyone geared up and moved to Helen Newman.
    5. Tell each participant to sign up with the co-leader before getting gear.
      1. Have each participant list themselves on the trip report and participant list.
      2. Verify that each participant is a member.
      3. Sign up and collect membership fees from non-members.
      4. Collect the pool session fee from each participant.
      5. Send each participant into boating room to get gear.
    6. Tell each participant to get gear with help from the trip leader.
      1. Find a boat, spray skirt, helmet, life jacket, and paddle for each participant (helmet & PFD are mandataory in the pool).
      2. Verify each person can fit in their boat.
      3. Verify each person can fit the spray skirt onto their boat.
      4. Bring a couple of extra skirts to the pool just in case.
    7. Tell all participants to carry their boats to Helen Newman and wait on deck outside glass doors.
    8. The life guard (or leader) should go to the front desk and get the pool key.
    9. Let the participants in through the glass doors.
    11. The participants can go into the locker rooms to change into bathing suits.
    12. Do not let anyone into the life guard room or risk getting yelled at by the chief lifeguard the next day.
    14. Seal launches are not allowed because they knock tiles off the side of the pool.
    15. The leader and co-leader should teach wet exits, paddle strokes, and rolls as needed.
    16. Make sure to emphasize proper shoulder position to prevent dislocations especially when practicing hip snaps off the side of the pool.
    17. Have participants spend the last five minutes cleaning any stray leaves/dirt out of the pool.
    18. Hose off all boats and gear. Replace lane lines, if requested by the lifeguard.
    19. Tell participants to change into dry clothes in the locker rooms.
    20. Carry all boats and gear back to Japes.
    21. Lock up Japes.
    22. Return participants list, pool session money, membership cards, and Japes key to Boating Chair. CORNELL EMS CAN BE SUMMONED FROM THE HELEN NEWMAN FRONT DESK IN CASE OF SERIOUS INJURY
  10. Instruct club treasurer to pay Helen Newman for the pool time ($75 for three hours).
  11. If any problems happen such as dirt in the pool filter, an accident, or other issue make sure to personally contact Debbe Gatch at Helen Newman and Theo at COE to apologize and explain how you personally make sure the situation improves.

General Guidance

  1. Make sure to keep Debbie Gatch of Helen Newman and Theo of COE happy as both could cancel our pool time.
  2. Typically we schedule pool time from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM. COE has the pool reserved until 10:00, but it usually takes some time to get boats and gear hosed and people changed back into dry clothes.
  3. In recent years we used a lifeguard hired by COE which has been easier than hiring our own life guard.
  4. Having one Outing Club contact person for Theo/COE is essential.
  5. The participants' fee will be determined by the O & C at the annual budget meeting. $5 is an appopriate fee if we do not have SAFC funding. Interest seems to drop off rapidly for sessions costing more than $5 per participant.
  6. Joshua Wanagel (joshw at twcny dot rr dot com) and John Fereira (email: jaf30) are still in town and have led many pool sessions in the past.

Additional Info from Theo (COE contact to reserve pool time)

Date: Wed, 07 Sep 2005 13:32:30 -0400
To: Matt Stillerman
From: Theo
Subject: Re: COC Pool Sessions for kayaks
Cc: Beth Karp

Hi Matt- I spoke with Beth and Debbie Gatch at HNH and think we have the wires uncrossed now.

Here's the scoop. COC contacts COE to see if we'd be willing to relinquish any of our scheduled pool time. We agree on dates. Helen Newman bills you for pool time, which includes lifeguards, at a rate of $25/hr. You do not pay COE anything.

Its quite likely that in the past, COC was flying under the HNH radar screen and simply paying COE directly to cover our pool/guard costs.

Hope this info is helpful to you in your budgeting. If you have any more questions, or would like to talk dates, drop me a line.

Thanks. -Theo

Description For the Budget

Here is a short description that has been used in our budget request.

During the winter the Outing Club schedules time at the Helen Newman pool to practice kayaking. These pool sessions are a great way for beginning paddlers to work on basic paddle strokes and rolls so that they can enjoy paddling outside in the spring. The cost of pool sessions includes renting pool time and paying a lifeguard.

Note: In order to receive SAFC funding for pool sessions, we must present evidence that we have scheduled the sessions in advance. I.e. when we make our budget presentation to the SAFC, they want to see an e-mail from Theo confirming that we have reserved the pool for particular nights and confirming the cost.