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Houston, Texas

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HomeNL-2013-07 Composing the Newsletter

Composing the Newsletter
by John Rich, Newsletter Editor

Composing the HCC Newsletter every month is a moderately easy task for the editor, but requires the input of many different people pulling together to make it happen.  Members give me a gratifying round of applause at meetings for credit as the newsletter editor for getting the issue published each month.  But I want to spend some time here to highlight all the other people behind the scenes that feed me all that information that gets published.
The top half of the newsletter contains some fixed categories of business that remain the same every month, but the content within those entries varies. 

Phil Matticks

Next Meeting Announcement: This article announces who the featured guest speaker will be for the next general membership meeting, and the topic of their presentation.  Vice Commodore Phil Matticks is responsible for coming up with this entertainment, and he is out beating the bushes every month to find new and interesting speakers for everyone's enjoyment.  This is no easy task, and past Vice Commodores have told me it's the most difficult part of their job.  Once he's done his searching and come up with a commitment from someone to appear, he lets me know about it and I plug that information into this line item.  

Tisha Matticks

Last Meeting Minutes: This entry comes from the Recorder, Tisha Matticks.  She dutifully attends each meeting and sets out a tape recorder to record the entire two hours of the meeting.  She also takes photos to go with the recording.  Later, in her office, she transcribes the recorded action into printed words, a process which I'm sure is quite time consuming, and downloads the photos from her camera.  Once her transcription is complete, she e-mails that and the photos to me, and I insert them into this newsletter entry.  This is valuable to keep members informed of what happened in the meetings, for those who are unable to attend, and as a historical record of club activity. 

Honey Leveen


Bob Naeger

Membership Report: Honey Leveen is the Boatswain, or membership director.  She spends much time every month taking in new member applications, as well as renewals from existing members.  She gets the membership fees to Purser Bob Naeger for the club bank account, and Bob updates the club membership database with the new names and new expiration dates.  With all this done, I just run a computer report provided by our web site host, Club Express, which gives me the names of new and renewing members during the previous month.  I then plug that data into the membership report.

John Rich

In the News: This standard feature highlights selective news stories from around the nation and the world, featuring canoeing and kayaking.  I come up with most of these entries myself, from my own internet browsing and from various canoe/kayak web sites to which I've subscribed.  But I also receive tips from other people to good news stories.  If you run across something interesting in your own online reading, send me the link and I'll take it from there.  These can include amazing feats, human interest stories, safety reminders, or whatever.
And then comes the bottom half of the newsletter.

Dave Kitson

Upcoming Paddling Events: Fleet Captain Dave Kitson diligently posts notices of upcoming trips on the club calendar of events, to keep everyone informed of paddling opportunities in which they may participate.  I'm sure this takes a lot of Dave's time each week to stay on top of this dynamic information.  This newsletter item is simply a link to that ever-changing calendar, a feature provided by our web host Club Express, and maintained by Dave. 

Group photo

Trip Reports:  And finally, there are any number of fine articles and trip reports submitted each month by a wide variety of club members.  They detail upcoming events, news of local interest, and reports of recent excursions, among other things.  Many of the reports come from a core group of active paddlers, and occasionally from new contributors.  I encourage everyone to put pen to paper, digitally, and send in their articles.  We owe all these folks our thanks for providing the meat and potatoes of the newsletter, letting everyone know what is going on, and what their trip experiences were like.  These reports help other people learn of places to paddle, how to plan for their own future trips, know where to put-in and take-out, what conditions to watch out for, and other vital information for safe, fun trips.

As you can see, publishing the newsletter is a collaborative effort involving a great many people, all doing their part for the Houston Canoe Club to keep things running smoothly.  I certainly could not publish this newsletter alone, and all of those people I've highlighted above deserve equal credit for their contributions to making the "Waterline" happen each and every month.


The author, John Rich