Fallen Tree

Steps for Scheduling a Large Party

Club rules define a Large Party as a party or event on Sycamore Island, that must be hosted and attended by a regular or senior member in good standing, with a guest list of 10 or more participants who are not members. (Children 5 years or older are counted as individuals.)

A Large Party does not reserve the Island for exclusive use by the party. Other members may visit the Island during a Large Party (and often do).

Step 1. Make Sure You Are Eligible to Host a Large Party
In September 2000, the club voted to require that a member participate in club activities above a minimum the previous year to be eligible to host a Large Party.

    Standing Rule 3B:
    A regular member of the club may host a large party during a calendar year ONLY IF the regular member, in the period of time dating back to January 1 of the preceding calendar year, has performed at least three activities, selected in any combination, from the following list: (1) done a shift as a relief caretaker; (2) participated in at least one of the two workfests; (3) participated in a club-approved work assignment; or (4) attended at least one of the monthly meetings of the club.
         A senior member of the club may host a large party during a calendar year ONLY IF the senior member in the preceding calendar year has performed at least ONE of the four tasks listed above.
         Upon petition to the club at a monthly meeting, a member may be granted an exception from this rule if the member can show compelling reason why he/she was unable to participate in the preceding calendar year in the manner described by this rule.
         Current Officers and Supervisors of the club, and Officers and Supervisors of the club in the preceding calendar year, are not subject to this rule.
Step 2. Plan Your Party Date
The club places date restrictions on Large Party scheduling to try to balance Island use between large organized groups and smaller groups of individual members with friends:
  • Weekend Large Parties may only be scheduled on an odd-numbered day of the month. They must also be announced in advance in the Sycamore Islander, so a weekend Large Party must be scheduled considerably in advance!
  • Weekday Large Parties must be scheduled one week in advance but need no Islander notice.
  • Large Parties with 35 or more guests must be approved by the membership at a Monthly Meeting.
  • Only one large party may be scheduled at a time.

Step 3. Get Large Party Application Form
Contact Molly Newberry, Supervisor of Parties (Tel: 703-918-0187, e-mail: mollynewberry@verizon.net) to schedule your Large Party. Obtain a Large Party Application and any liability release forms as may be necessary. (You may print out a Large Party Application or Child Liability Release Form from these links if that is more convenient.)


Step 4. Send in Forms
  • A. Fill out the Large Party Application, sign it, and send it to: Molly Newberry, Supervisor of Parties, 8214 Hunting Hill Lane, McLean, VA 22102. If two members both request the same day, the member whose paperwork and payment is received first will be awarded the date.

  • B. If your party includes children, a Child Liability Release Form must be signed by a parent of each guest child and provided to the caretaker at the time of the party or before. The caretaker may turn away any child for which no liability release has been obtained.

  • C. All adult guests must also sign an Adult Liability Release Form. This is most easily accomplished by signing the sign-in sheet when coming over on the ferry. The host member is responsible to see that all guests sign in on the ferry or otherwise sign a liability waiver.

Step 5. Some Rules to Remember

      Rules Specific to the Conduct of Large Parties
  • The member host must attend the entire party.
  • The member host is responsible for the conduct of their guests and any rule infractions their guests may commit.
  • The member host is responsible for the conduct of their guests and any damage to club property their guests may cause.
  • Large parties cannot be longer than 6 hours.
  • Overnight camping groups must leave by 11am the following morning.
  • The Party Supervisor may require hosts to appoint assistants for large parties with children.
      General Conduct Rules (don't forget these!)
  • No alcohol.
  • No dogs.
  • No guns.
  • No archery.
  • No amplified audio equipment.
  • No cutting of trees, shrubs, flowers, etc.
  • No taking out canoes from the canoe shed except your own.
  • No setting of fires except in stoves, fireplaces or grills.
  • No staying past dark unless it is an approved camping event.
  • If you are camping, don't make any noise in the clubhouse after 10pm or before 7am the following morning.
  • Pack your trash out.
  • Leave the Island, clubhouse and kitchen as you found it. Put everything away in its proper place.
  • Children under 12 not permitted to use the pool table unless directly supervised.
  • The emergency canoe near the swimming dock is only to be used in a real emergency.


It is considered a courtesy to the caretaker, and/or fellow-member weekend caretakers, to provide some or all help with operating the ferry during a Large Party.