West Hill Beach Club Policy Handbook Rev. 10-21-19
These policies are subject to revision by the Board of Directors. When substantive policy changes and additions or deletions to the Handbook are made, the Board emails the membership and posts the revised Handbook online at westhillbeachclub.com.
West Hill Beach Club is a reminder of simpler times when summers were enjoyed without the accoutrements of modern technology. Little has changed since its first days as a swimming and sailing social club in the early 1960s and we are focused on largely keeping it that way. Members of the Club come from a variety of towns and walks of life with common needs: immersion in clear, spring-fed waters, quiet kayaking and sailing, and old-fashioned socializing by the barbecue pits. As a Member-owned and operated Club, we rely on our members to volunteer at work days in the spring and fall. We believe the bonds formed while working side-by-side on maintenance and improvement projects are an essential element of what makes our Club unique and result in relationships that can last a lifetime. We encourage our members to serve on the committees that keep WHBC healthy and vibrant: the Buildings-&-Grounds Committee, the Membership Committee, and the Finance-&-Operations Committee. Equity members dedicated to lending significant energy to the backbone of the Club are encouraged to run for Board of Director positions, which are voted upon at the Annual Stockholder meeting each year.
Our club has a rich history. In 1929 the property was purchased by the Hartford Boy Scouts and was operated as a sailing camp (Camp Pioneer) by a division of the Boy Scouts known as the Sea Scouts. It was the Sea Scouts who built the distinctive white “ship” that commands the property today. In 1963, Allyn and Frances Bernard purchased the property (along with the property immediately adjacent on the south side) and formed the West Hill Beach Club, a casual social and recreational club. Eventually they passed the property down to their sons Andy & Rusty Bernard, who, within a few years, employed their sister Lyn Bernard Deloy and her husband Jeff to manage the club. The Deloy family successfully managed the club for 23 years, amassing grateful members who became life-long friends. Late in the season of 2005, the Bernard brothers announced they would be selling the club. Concerned members banded together and purchased the entity under the direction of a dedicated corps of volunteers who had the vision and tenacity to structure the deal: Henry and Carrie Withers, Martin and Robin Seifert, and Betsy Nichols. In addition, Nat Brinn worked to secure a loan for the purchase of the property and attorney Jay Weintraub devoted many hours to crafting the Bylaws and Certificate of Incorporation that guide the club today. The new West Hill Beach Club, Inc. was formed June 14, 2006 with 68 original members of the former club. It thrives today because of the enduring dedication of the Board of Directors and the helping hands of many members who continue to volunteer their time to preserve this timeless classic. Thanks to the passions of many, the West Hill Beach Club remains a rejuvenating getaway for seniors, singles, and families of all ages. Rev. 10-21-19
Core Philosophy & History Hours of Operation - Summer Season A manager is on duty and our facilities are open between 9:00 am to 9:00 pm daily, mid-June through Labor Day, weather permitting. Lifeguard hours are from noon to 5:00 pm daily, except during inclement weather. The snack bar is open on weekend afternoons during the summer, weather permitting. The Board of Directors will determine off-season rules and regulations. WHBC hires a professional manager for the summer season. However, given our long hours of operation, we also use member-managers. The Coordinator of member-managers keeps track of the hours of service. Lifeguards hired by the Club must have current certification by the American Red Cross. Jobs will be offered first to the most qualified applicants.
All land bordering the lake is private property, including the island. Please don’t trespass. Kindly behave in a way that preserves the quiet, relaxing atmosphere of WHBC. For example, please do not broadcast music from “boom-boxes” or similar devices.
Guests Guests are welcome at all times when accompanied by a host member. Upon their arrival, please log their names in the Guest Notebook located in the Ship and pay $6/person to the manager. Guest fees must be paid for children age 3 and up. If an Adult Guest visits the Club more than four (4) times in a given year, the fifth (5th) and subsequent visits will cost $24/visit. This policy does not apply to guests 30 years old and younger, whose guest fee is $6/visit, regardless of the number of visits. Long-term, non-local houseguests are charged a maximum of $25 per five consecutive days. Members shall inform their guests of WHBC waterfront and boating rules. Caregivers (for example, ex-spouse, grandparent, nanny, babysitter) may be designated to bring members’ children to the club, provided the member has given their name(s) to the Manager of the club, and provided the caregiver is at least 18 years old. Caregivers are not permitted to bring guests of their own and may not utilize the Club unless they are with the children. Members may choose to pay for caregivers on a per-visit basis using the guest rates listed above or may pay a flat fee of $150/season.
Parties In order to utilize the party room or any other privileges of the Club, the host must be an active (dues-paying) member. If a member plans a party of 20-29 guests, s/he must email the Club’s Party Coordinator with the event details so the manager on duty can be given a heads up and so that an additional lifeguard can be hired for the event, if deemed necessary. Additional lifeguard costs will be borne by the hosting member. In deference to our members, the Club controls the dates of larger parties so we don't have too many events at a single time. If a member’s guest list is 30 or more, the party will require prior approval by the Party Coordinator and must be set up in the Party Room (at the top of the hill) and adjacent picnic area. The Party Coordinator will work with you, as the host, to set a date and will also review fees and expectations. Fees Family-&-Friend Events and Non-profit Organizations: $6/person. Office Parties: Monday-Friday: $10/person; Saturday & Sunday: $12/person Additional expenses such as Port-a-Potties or extra lifeguards will be borne by the hosting member. As the host, it is up to you, along with additional volunteers, to assist the Manager in preparing for the event. Generally this entails a light cleaning of the Party Room, moving a few extra picnic tables into place (if necessary) and making sure trash cans have liners in them. After the party, you are responsible for cleaning up so that the room and adjacent area is left ready for the next event. For the safety of your guests, and in order to be mindful of Members using the Club during your event, please be sure to inform your guests of WHBC waterfront and boating rules. In addition, please review these practical considerations: Parking Pioneer Drive is a public street, but we don't want to block any driveways or abuse our neighbors' patience with us. As a general guideline, unless the party is unusually large and/or the weather is unusually hot, parking for parties held Monday through Friday does not pose much of an issue. For large parties and weekend events, we will need to address offsite parking and perhaps even request that guests carpool. Lifeguards After determining the size and type of event being planned along with the anticipated normal Club use on the day of the event, the Party Coordinator will schedule appropriate Lifeguard coverage. For groups of 30+, we generally add a lifeguard unless the weather is expected to be cool, the group will not be swimming much, or Club activity is expected to be minimal. The host is responsible for the expense of extra lifeguard coverage.
Safety Precautions Parents/surrogates/guardians must remain at WHBC with children younger than sixteen (16) years of age and must supervise their children, especially in the swim area whether or not the lifeguard is on duty. Please respect the lifeguard’s need to give his or her undivided attention to the roped-in swim area and to enforce Red Cross swim protocols. Please be aware that swimming before or after lifeguard hours or outside the roped-off swimming area is at your own risk. The following items are not allowed in the roped-in swim area: boats, fishhooks, glass, and flotation devices larger than a kickboard. Diving from the cement wall or cement lifeguard platform is extremely hazardous and must be avoided at all times. In addition, please refrain from roughhousing on and swimming under or behind the swim rafts. Life jackets are required by State law for each person in a boat and must be worn by children under age 12. Members may use WHBC jackets or furnish their own. Off-season note: from October 1st through May 31st, state law requires all persons to wear life jackets, regardless of age.
Boats and Docks WHBC is a sailing, rowing, and swimming club. We do not allow motors with the following exceptions: Owners of sailboats larger than Sunfish-style boats may use an electric motor to maneuver to and from the WHBC docks. Gas motors may be used to get boats into the water in the spring and to remove them from the water at the end of the season. However, during the season the motor must be removed from the boat and stored away from WHBC grounds. Canoes, rowboats, and kayaks labeled WHBC are available for member use and must be returned to the WHBC docks no later than sunset. Please try to be considerate of others when using the boats and return them within a reasonable time so others can share in the fun! Sailboats are privately owned by members. Space for moorings and for dock slips is on first-come, first-served basis. Please contact the Waterfront Director to ensure space is available. The fees are as follows: Summer Docking: $175 Summer Mooring: $150 Summer Paddlecraft Storage: $110 per slot Winter Boat Storage: $150
Please tell the manager the location of your boat and leave your home phone number in case of an emergency. If docking your vessel, please be sure to secure it fore and aft and to use side bumpers to protect adjacent boats. Write your name on all boating equipment and other personal property. The manager has labels for your use. The ends of the docks are used for launches and landings by many boaters, so if you are relaxing in this area, please be sure to give them the right of way. Boaters: please do not “park” your craft at end of T-dock as this may block incoming boaters.
Environmental Smoking is not permitted on the grounds of WHBC. Help keep the water clean! Please do not use soap or detergents in the lake or dispose of food, trash or other pollutants in the lake or in any area draining into the lake. Due to environmental and safety concerns, lighter fluid and similar fire accelerants are not permitted to be stored at WHBC. If you use this type of fluid, please adhere to our “pack-it-in, pack-it-out” policy. Better yet, consider using a fire chimney to jump-start your barbeque briquettes. If you don’t know how to use one, just ask! Members are responsible for carrying out their trash and recyclables to the bins in the parking lot. Please sort trash and recyclables according the labels on the bins. Pets are not allowed at the Club during the summer season.
Lockers Each membership (family, couple, individual) comes with a locker. After selecting a vacant locker in the Ship or ping-pong room, kindly label it with your name (see manager for labels). By Labor Day we suggest you take home any contents you don’t want to “over winter” in your locker.
Parking Parking spaces are at a premium. Please park at a normal distance from adjacent cars.
Liability WHBC is not responsible for loss or damage to boats or other private property resulting from fire, theft, accident, or other cause beyond the control of WHBC.
Campouts Equity members may request the Board’s permission to camp out on the property so they can enjoy stargazing and the beauty of waking up early on the lake. On occasion, the Board may schedule an all-member campout provided it has located an Equity member to be responsible for the event. Tents must be erected only at the top of the hill and only between the hours of 7pm and 11am so as to best maintain the view of the lake by members and guests.
Communication Events and announcements are posted during the swim season on the bulletin board on the deck of the ship and can also be accessed via the Members Resources page of our website, www.westhillbeachclub.com. Occasional emails provide additional updates to members.
Membership The Board of Directors has set a limit of 140 active memberships, with a maximum of 100 Equity Members. As covered in the Bylaws, persons claiming family status must reside together at the same address. Until a child reaches age 3, membership is free; a family does not need to count infants in their dues obligation. After a child reaches age 3 (by January 1 of the current membership year), and until the end of the summer after his/her high school graduation, the family must include them in their dues obligation. In addition, prospective members must be sponsored by an Equity member, seconded by another Equity member and receive an affirmative vote from 3/4 of the members of the Board. Each membership is assigned a membership priority date, which is the date the membership is approved by the Board of Directors and therefore becomes “active.” Membership priority dates are used to establish priority if the Club reaches maximum membership, with memberships bearing an earlier date having priority over memberships bearing later dates. Each season, all members are asked to sign a volunteer pledge in which they agree to spend at least four (4) hours volunteering at the Club. Members also have the option of paying $50 per adult member if they are not able or willing to volunteer.
Seasonal Memberships Seasonal members pay annual dues as well as any applicable boat storage or docking fees. While they have use of the Club, they do not have voting rights at Club meetings and are excluded from serving on the Board of Directors. Seasonal members have the same access to the club as equity members. The Annual Dues are as follows: Single Member: $575 Family of Two: $775 Family of Three: $875 Family of Four or More: $975
Equity Membership Priority While the Board will make every effort to accommodate all persons who meet membership requirements, our highest priority is to ensure that the Club is not too crowded, so it has set a cap of 140 memberships in a given season. Seasonal members have the opportunity to re-join each season based on the number of available memberships left after current and new Equity members commit by paying their dues by the due date. If needed, the Seasonal member’s priority date will be used to determine who will be granted membership for the summer. If a spot is not available for an existing Seasonal member, they will be added to the wait-list and given priority above new Seasonal membership applicants.
Wait-List Process for Prospective Seasonal Members If the Club has reached its maximum member capacity, or if a prospective member expresses interest in the off-season, the Chairman of the Membership Committee* shall maintain a wait-list for use by the Committee and the WHBC Board of Directors. To secure a position on the waiting list, a Prospective Member must contact the Chairman of the WHBC Membership Committee,* who will provide a current application and any other necessary materials. The prospective member must also have the sponsorship of two Equity (stockholding) members and must have taken a formal tour of the club or, in lieu of a tour, must have met with a member of the Club’s Membership Committee to review Club policies and operating procedures. The prospective member must mail the completed application and a non-refundable wait-list fee of $50 to the WHBC Treasurer, P.O. Box 42, West Simsbury, CT 06092. The check should be made payable to West Hill Beach Club, Inc. If the wait-listed persons secure a membership, the $50 will be applied toward the member’s Club dues or other fees in the first year. The Treasurer will inform the Chairman of the Membership Committee* when a membership opening becomes available. The Membership Chairman* will phone the applicant at the top of the Wait List and email the applicant a current Membership Application and any other materials deemed necessary for review. The applicant will have ten (10) days from the emailed notification that an opening is available to mail a completed Membership Application and provide necessary payment to the Treasurer. The postmark on the envelope will be used to determine whether the deadline has been met. If no other persons are on the wait-list, the Membership Chair* may extend the deadline. Wait-List Priority Seasonal members who have been “bumped” from membership will take priority over other persons on the wait-list, provided they send the Club a written request to be placed on the list. The request must be mailed within 14 days of being notified that his/her membership slot is no longer available to WHBC Treasurer, P.O. Box 42, West Simsbury, CT 06092. If there is more than one former Seasonal member on the wait-list, priority will be established by the date of a former member’s original Club membership. For all other prospective members, priority on the wait-list will be established by the postmark on the envelope containing a completed application and the wait-list fee. If the application is incomplete or the wait-list fee has been omitted, then the priority date shall be the date the Treasurer has received both the completed application and the wait list fee. The Treasurer will notify the Membership Chairman* of an applicant’s priority date. “Second Chance” Policy If an applicant does not wish to join WHBC at the time of the first offer, he/she can refuse the offer of membership for the current year and will remain at the top of the priority list to be contacted for the next available opening that occurs after the close of the current year. If applicant does not join on the “second chance” notification but still wishes to remain on the waiting list, his/her priority shall shift to the bottom of the list.
*Or designee appointed by Chairman of the Membership Committee.
Leaves of Membership Seasonal Members, upon notice to the Treasurer, may take one season off and be inactive while retaining their membership priority date. If the member does not re-activate the following year, they will have to re-apply for membership and be accepted for membership as described above. Their membership priority date will be the date their latest membership application was approved by the Board of Directors.
Equity Memberships Please refer to the Bylaws for full details about Equity Memberships. Equity members are those members who own a minimum of 25 shares of WHBC, Inc. stock and have applied to and been accepted as members of the Club. Equity members are eligible to serve on the WHBC Board of Directors (“the Board”) and to vote on WHBC issues at stockholder meetings. Equity members pay annual dues based on the scale below, however, their dues are discounted by $4 for each share of stock they own. Single Member: $575 Family of Two: $775 Family of Three: $875 Family of Four or More: $975
Equity members may become members of the Club during the calendar year they join, regardless of the membership limit, by completing the standard application process.
Re-sale of Stock Shareholders set their own price when selling stock and negotiations between Buyers and Sellers are private. Shareholders may sell their shares to whomever they please. However, please be aware that ownership of stock does not guarantee membership in the Club. As covered in the Bylaws, all prospective members, whether Seasonal or Equity, must be Equity members are guaranteed membership for any season in which their dues have been paid within the timeframe prescribed by the Treasurer. If their dues are not paid within the timeframe, they may join by paying their dues if there is space available. New stockholders sponsored by an existing Equity member, seconded by another existing Equity member and receive an affirmative vote from 3⁄4 of the members of the Board. Prospective buyers and sellers are expected to deal directly with each other. As a convenience, the Board maintains a list of persons wishing to sell their stock as well as a list of persons wishing to purchase stock. To be on the list, prospective buyers and sellers must email the Vice President of the Board, who will respond by emailing an Acknowledgement Form, which must be completed and returned before parties can be added to the Prospective Buyers List or the Prospective Sellers List. The Acknowledgement Form gives permission to the Board to provide your name and contact information to persons who are interested in buying or selling stock, depending on the appropriate case. The form contains a great deal of important information and reminds prospective buyers and sellers that all stock transfers must be approved by the Board of Directors. Once a stock transfer has been completed, the sellers’ names, buyers’ names, number of shares, and date of transfer will be added to the brief Transaction History that appears at the bottom of the Prospective Buyers List and Prospective Sellers List.
Junior Membership Children of current members who no longer qualify as dependents of their parents may join the Club as a Junior Member, regardless of where they reside. To qualify for this type of Seasonal membership, the applicant must: Be unmarried Be age 30 or younger on January 1 of the current membership year Be sponsored by a parent who has joined for the same season Submit a Junior Membership Application, along with a $150 fee, for review and approval by the Board of Directors Special notes about Junior Memberships: This is a Seasonal membership, which means the Junior Member is permitted to be on the grounds only when there is a manager on duty. If a Junior Member owns stock, the stock equity discount will not be applied to his/her membership. Locker and Boat storage is not guaranteed for Junior Members, but will be accommodated as space allows. To obtain locker and/or boat storage, please contact the Club’s Membership Chair.