There it was a perfectly wonderful day, surrounded by family and friends as you head across the lake. As in years past, there is food and fun, and those on shore watch with envy, wanting to be part of the waterborne adventure. Then without warning, the engine dies, and suddenly what was just another in a long string of “this is how weekends work” you find yourself adrift.
It does not seem much at first; you will just take a swim or have a drink. Trouble is you are not in the cove so those activities don’t feel just right. Meanwhile you are thinking about what could be wrong, everything is the way is has always been, you did everything the same way — it does not make sense.
It does not take long for the first to abandon ship as the kids friends roar up on personal water craft. Not too big an issue, they were noisy and complaining anyway. Soon the lack of “facilities” start to wear on moms and children, and they take advantage of other opportunities that are more in line with current needs, and a few more leave the ship.
Soon, only a few remain – the last of the real “crew,” who are determined to make this work. As the hours pass, as the supplies dwindle, and all you do is drift, you realize– things are not going to get better. All of this for the lack of a spark to drive the engine – because of one of the many parts that make up the day stopped working – the spark was missing.
I am often asked if Sertoma is adrift. Are we still able to pick up new crew? Is all that is left is to abandon ship? My response is a resounding no. As with the boat, after many years of good and faithful service, we lost our spark, and needed to replace and upgrade some parts. We are excited that we will start our 2nd century with many upgrades that assure we have plenty of spark to drive our mission.
People love to be on board, even on an older boat, when the destination is clear, the activities desirable and, most important, the boat functions. Most will even endure some choppy water and bad weather to assure a place on board. If you feel your club cannot get others to come on board, if some are abandoning ship, then start looking at what is causing the missing spark. Does your crew share in meaningful and impactful activities that would make others want to join? Have you updated how you engage in the community, communicate with members, or function as a club?
If not, all is not lost. Sertoma and many clubs have plenty of spark, and as a community we are here to help others get back underway. You will find many of us at the convention in April – come join us as we set a course for our 2nd Century of Sertoma service – where the only call is “all hands on deck.”