July 1986

[These survey results are from the July, 1986 issue of the Sycamore Islander.]


As of the last accounting, 44 of our 250+ member units (Applicants, Temporaries, Non-Residents, Regulars, Seniors and Honorary Members) have sent in their answers to the Questionnaire. What follows is a brief synopsis of their comments.

Who Are We Sycamore Islanders?
Our answers show that we are far more diverse than our founders -- and more disperse. I've found no one listing carpentry as a calling or that of restauranteur or saloon-keeper. On the other hand I've found lots of of government employees, active and retired -- a minority, nonetheless, in the total membership.

We range from housewives to ambassadors, from school teachers to city planners, to senate staff members. We work in museums and nursing homes, the Forest Service and law offices. We are, indeed, cosmopolitan.

Club Use And Meeting Attendance
Of the 44 families answering the form, 7 "frequently" visit the Island and 11 "frequently" come to meetings. 30 visit the Island "occasionally" and 9 claim the same on meeting attendance.

For the most part the lack of Island visits appears to spring from inertia or conflicting programs. In addition, however, there is the sense of a lack of close ties with other Islanders. The Canoe Pool members -- some of them -- of course, have the enviable record of near perfect attendance, morning and evening, five days a week.

As to meetings, it appears that most members find them long-winded and boring. With speakers and programs, announced in advance, many would be pleased to come.

Our Workfests
Almost without exception, responders called for greater advance planning -- descriptions of jobs to be done, the setting up of teams. The old pattern of telephone teams to call and remind members of plans is urged.

Social Activities
Almost everyone called for more integrated social activities on the Island -- games, parties, canoe trips, Sycamore regattas, nature walks, volley ball, pot-luck suppers, informal canoe classes for brushing up on strokes and coming to know our river better.

At least one member suggests that we follow the Park Service plan to issue liquor permits for special occasions, as it does at Carderock.

On the other hand, at least two of our answerers urge that nothing be done to stir up things. The Island, a quiet unused wilderness sanctuary, is perfect as it is -- "I'd be upset if it was overrun with kids and adults."

Clearly, there is a call for our President, Captain, Camping, Canoeing, Swimming and Parties Supervisors and our Entertainment Committee -- in fact, all of us -- to get active and bring life to the Island.

-- John S. Thomson