Field Maintenance – 2022

One of the least visible, yet most essential activities in BRCM is field maintenance. I have no illusions that I, and many on the Board, could drop dead tomorrow and things would soldier on more or less untouched. But field maintenance is not like that. If they missed one week of grass cutting this time of year, the grass runway would be unusable. Two weeks and the field would turn to hay. Three weeks and you wouldn’t be able to see the runway when landing. And the ticks would have a ball.

Well, this year we have had an even bigger crisis than usual. While we have lots of volunteers, mostly old pros, to run the lawn mowers, until recently we had no one to do the weed trimming. So in desperation, I made a whiny plea for help at last week’s meeting, and to everyone’s surprise, 3 people stepped forward. All are new recruits who just joined BRCM.

Here’s the cast of characters:

Grass Cutting Members
Ken Sisler, Don Belbeck,
Ashley Armstrong, Tony Madge,
Peter Foto, Steve Waterfall
Ross Gosling, Dominique Binckly
Trimming Members
Marty Field, Robert Christie
Geoff Norman, Mike Penney

I have to point out that the new recruits – Marty, Robert and Mike –are just that. All joined in the past few weeks – all except me, of course. (And Mike Penney, who rejoined). The Club owes them all a huge debt. Without them, we would be grounded. For that matter, we also have a debt of gratitude to the guys on the lawn mowers, some of whom have been doing it for many years. And while I‘m on the subject, thanks to Ken Sisler, who has the thankless job of organizing the whole thing, as well as doing the grass cutting.

This is not to suggest that others don’t contribute to the Club activities by volunteering. Where would the Wings program, our pipeline to renewal, be without dedicated volunteers? Others contribute time and energy to running special events or looking after necessary administration like membership applications or maintaining the webpage. Still, I suspect that only about 20% of our members engage in volunteer activities for the Club. In theory, membership brings with it the responsibility to donate time to the Club. Sadly, it may be a good theory but it’s not working in practice.

Back to field maintenance. If some of you were ready to join but fearful of the time commitment, let’s be explicit. Grass cutting is a weekly affair, with 2 cutters, and takes about 1.5 hours early Thursday AM. With 8 cutters, that amounts to a commitment of 1.5 hours/ month. Weed trimming takes place every 2 weeks with 2 cutters – again, 1.5 hours per month. I have trouble believing that we’re all so gosh darn busy that we can’t give an hour and a half one morning a month.

Finally, let’s not be complacent. Just because we kept the wolves from the door this time, we should be thinking about spares who can step up and learn the ropes. I know for a fact that two, maybe more, of the grasscutters are packing it in this year. We’re going to need more volunteers. So step up to plate — please!

And if grasscutting just doesn’t appeal, there are lots of other ways to help out. Ian Brown could use some help organizing special events like Maidenfest. Don Irvine needs good fliers to instruct our new members.

Hope we’ll hear from you.


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