The Big Plan
FROM Rt. 84 E or W
Exit 39 for Rt. 4 WEST! (Stay straight off exit ramp). This is a left exit from 84E. Follow Rt 4 around S curve to first major intersection. Get in Left lane.
LEFT onto Rt 10 S. Follow to 2nd Traffic light for Meadow Road.
RIGHT onto Meadow Road. STRAIGHT at fork onto Red Oak Hill, across fields. RIGHT into Tunxis Mead Park (Green sign on road).
Follow paved road to end, past baseball and softball fields, onto gravel road through gates to wide parking area. Please have all spectators park here.
Trailers may proceed down to boathouse and park along side of road. Rigging can take place in “field of weeds”’ next to boathouse.
There are flush toilets and water fountains near the basketball courts and playground in Tunxis Mead. There is no running water at the boathouse, and only one port-o-pottie, so please plan ahead and make a pit stop if you need it.
Please have all spectators park in the open area past the 2nd gate on the gravel road. Common Table supplies may be dropped off near the river, but please have all vehicles moved back to the parking area before races start.
All rowers and spectators should be in some type of shoes (not flip-flops) due to rocks, broken glass, and construction debris that is near the boathouse.
The Food: A Message From Our Parents
Greetings HHS Crew Families:
Welcome to the first in a series of “HHS Crew Food” emails. A group of parent volunteers has stepped up to coordinate the food for the team’s upcoming regattas. Our first outing is scheduled for Farmington, CT, on April 23th for the Varsity and JV teams.
When it comes to feeding your rowers, we work hard to be a well oiled machine and many hands make for much lighter work. For those of you who are new to rowing, it might be helpful to give you a picture of a typical race day. When racing away, your rower will typically leave fairly early in the morning and ride the bus to the race site. They should bring a water bottle and healthy snacks to eat on the bus and throughout the day, as well as warm layers, and other personal items.
Once the rowers arrive at the race site, a group of parent volunteers will have a tent set up, and will be prepared to feed the rowers healthy snacks and lunch (and/or dinner, depending on the race timing), and provide them with water to refill their water bottles. We will also provide them with an extra canopy under which they can store their bags, and take shelter from rain or sun.
We have a team of families that has agreed to coordinate the food lists, water, paper products and set-up for each race.Your help is needed to make this work well for your rowers and any parents that plan to attend races. Thanks to a very generous donor, we have a beautiful new food trailer to help us to transport our tents, food, paper products, etc. It will make the process of feeding kids more efficient and really
upscale — this trailer is sharp!!
But wait! There’s more! Thanks to another generous donor, we have a beautiful new canopy to protect our rowers, parent volunteers, and tables of food from the elements. You may have noticed some of our canopies were held together duct tape, so this is a wonderful gift. We are enormously grateful for both of these beautiful additions to the HHS Rowing program.
To make this HHS Crew Food effort work, there are a few things we need from all of you:
Weekly food contributions for each regatta. Each week, about five days in advance of a race, you will all receive an email inviting you to click on a link to Sign-Up Genius, a wonderful (free) online sign-up tool we use to organize the food and supplies for each race. Here is the link: http://www.signupgenius.com/go/60b0e4faaa628ab9-first The more food items HHS Crew families sign up to contribute, the less work your food volunteers must do to shop for, prepare, and transport the remaining food on the list. You can send your food contribution along with your rower to each race, bring it yourself, or arrange to send it on the food trailer….we will take food any way we can get it! Some email clients may filter Sign-Up Genius invitations to your junk mail. If you don’t receive the email with the Sign-Up Genius invite, the link to the current week’s Sign-up event will be on the FOHC website.
A suggested donation from each family of $20 for the season (not per race!!) will help cover the cost of supplies needed to feed everyone. You can drop it into the donation jar that will be on the table at each race or hand it to one of the volunteers when you see us. We use these funds to purchase water in large returnable containers, paper products, special main courses for some of the races (like 6 foot long Subway sandwiches, pulled pork and chicken, pots of hot soup, etc.) and supplement the food list as needed.
A willingness to offer your help at one of the regattas, whether helping to set-up tents and tables or standing guard over the food in the face of marauding hungry rowers who tend to eat too much before they race until they learn the hard way that rowing on a full stomach does not work well, and helping to serve or clean-up. We love seeing parents under the HHS tent and we absolutely rely on your help to feed our athletes, coaches and volunteers.
Make sure to send your rower with at least one reusable water bottle, preferably filled with water when they leave your home. We buy water for the team in 6 gallon jugs from BJ’s to minimize waste and ask all water and gatorade drinkers to fill up their own water bottles from our main source rather than expecting individual bottles of water.
When sending your rower off in the early morning for a day-long racing, plan to send breakfast/snack items with him/her. We will have lunch and snack items, but they are generally looking for some light breakfast snacks on the bus and before they race. Providing that food for them from home, reduces the burden on your volunteer parents. Every year, every race, we have at least 5-10 rowers who come to the tent and say, “I haven’t eaten anything yet this morning…” or “I didn’t eat breakfast…” And while we are prepared to give them some snacks, we need to make sure that food is available to rowers AFTER they’ve raced too, including the rowers in the last boat to race in a regatta.
A few extra notes:
We cannot be as attentive to food allergies or special dietary needs as we would like to be, simply because on a typical race day we are feeding 150+ rowers and the food is provided by many different volunteers. If your rower has severe food allergies or special dietary needs (for example, gluten free), please send along food that your rowers can eat. We try to have nut free baked goods and other options for rowers with sensitivities, but we just cannot pay attention to lots of special diet details, nor can we guarantee that any food on our table is allergen-free. For the safety and well-being of your rowers, if they have food allergies, please send them with whatever they will need for the duration of the day.
Please encourage your rower to follow the recommendations of his/her coach, with regard to eating before a race. Many rowers are tempted to eat a lot of food, or to eat the wrong kinds of food, before they race. Talk to your rower about making good pre-race choices (fruit, trail mix, etc., which we will have available). Overeating before a race is usually regretted!
Our main priority is to fuel and hydrate your rowers. We often have extra food and drink available for volunteer parents, but our first and most important job is to have that nourishment available for the athletes. We encourage to you attend the races, to cheer on all the boats, and to make a day of the event. Bring a picnic lunch for yourselves, some comfortable chairs, and a pair of binoculars. Race days are long days, but they are also a great time to support your rower, your team, and your school.
If you have any questions, please let us know. Watch for your first Sign-Up Genius email which will go out to all of you around April 18 for the Saturday, April 23rd, Glastonbury race. Novice parents need not worry about the first email, as your rowers will not be rowing until April 30 when they will join the JV/V boats in NMH.
If the weather continues to cooperate, this season is off to an unprecedented early start! And for those of you who are Novice parents, you may find it is hard to believe that they will be ready to race…….but by the end of May, they will look like old hands. It is amazing what this wonderful group of coaches does to transform this rag tag band of student athletes into a very competitive team.
Photo: Kristine Newbold.