Bylaws of the Rondout Rowing Club

(Last updated 3-28-15)

Article I. Name and Fiscal Year

Section 1. Name

The name of the Corporation is Rondout Rowing Club, Inc.

Section 2.  Fiscal Year

The fiscal year of the corporation shall begin on the first day of January and end on the last day of December of each year.

Article II: Mission and Purpose

Mission: The mission of the Rondout Rowing Club is to maintain an active, diverse membership who act as ambassadors of the sport of rowing and its many benefits in the city of Kingston and surrounding communities by providing education, fostering partnerships and increasing awareness of the unique natural resources of the Hudson River and Rondout Creek, while conducting activities to support this mission.


  1. Encourage and support a healthy lifestyle through the development of crew rowing programs, including physical fitness as well as life-skills’ benefits realized in participating in a team sport including respect, cooperation, collaboration, tolerance, self-discipline, humility, and confidence.
  2. Organize and support programs which focus on participation, retention, performance and improvement in rowing, and potentially allow crew teams from the Rondout Rowing Club to compete against teams within and beyond New York State.
  3. Provide coaching and equipment to the membership as well as educating youth and adults with varied levels of skill and physical fitness; to provide an opportunity to row  and learn about the fundamentals of rowing technique, etiquette, teamwork, safety and sportsmanship.
  4. Roster and sustain the appreciation and stewardship of our rowing water resources and to specifically advocate for the protection of the environmental and recreational integrity of the Rondout Creek and the Hudson River so that succeeding generations of rowers may be able to continue to safely experience the exhilaration and joy of rowing.
  5. Foster sustainable redevelopment of the Rondout Waterfront into a water-oriented tourist destination.
  6. Be active in the community, not only to contribute as a viable part of that community but also to participate in community outreach through programs designed to reach a diverse spectrum of the public, including low-income and “at risk” youth among others.
  7. Partner with other groups, such as the Hudson River Maritime Museum, Kingston School District, and other rowing clubs, to further pursue these objectives.
  8. Seek charitable contributions from public and private sources to carry out the mission, these purposes, support the club, and the community.


Article III.  Place of Business

The office of the Corporation shall be located in the City of Kingston, County of Ulster and State of New York.

Article IV.  Membership

Section. 1  Members

The membership of the Corporation is open to the public.  To become a member, a person must

  • Be at least 12 years of age,
  • Be interested in advancing the purposes of the Corporation, and
  • Pay dues, or be granted an exception to the payment of dues as stipulated by the Board of Directors.  Exceptions might include, for example, students or others who cannot afford the dues; coaches; or those who make financial or payment-in-kind contributions other than dues.

The Rondout Rowing Club recognizes two classes of membership:  rowing members  (including Kingston High School Crew) and supporting members.  Although most members would be rowing members, some members might not row or be able to row.  Eligibility of a member to row requires:

  • Proof that the member can tread water for 15 minutes and swim a distance of 900 feet
  • The viewing of a USRowing video about rowing safety;
  • Demonstrating basic rowing capability following successful completion of the  Learn-to-Row program  (including coached rows).
  • A written sign-off from a Club coach to the effect that the rower has sufficient capability to row and familiarity with the Club’s safety rules
  • Sign an online US Rowing waiver as per insurance needs.
  • For membership in USRowing and insurance purposes, rowing members will be identified separately from supporting members.

The membership shall control the Corporation through Board member elections. (See article VII, section 2).

Section  2.  Exclusion

Members and Board members may be removed from the Corporation, or prospective members excluded, by majority vote of the Board, for acts counter to the purpose of the Corporation.  Should the cast-out or excluded parties wish, a hearing of the Board shall be convened to discuss and confirm, or overturn such censure. (Also see, Article V, Section 4).

Section  3.  Dues

An annual payment of dues will be required for membership unless exceptions are made by the Board of Directors.  The amount of dues may vary depending on adult, student, school crew,  family, rowing eligibility, financial need,  or other status, to be determined by the Board.

The Board will set dues relative to the operational requirements of the club.

The intent of the dues is to help support organizational activities without unduly restriction membership.  That is, dues should not present a significant obstacle to someone considering membership.

Section  4.  Responsibilities

Members shall keep their dues (or “other support” status) current and inform the appropriate officers of change of address and failure to receive meeting notices.  Each member is responsible for communicating safety concerns, complying with Rondout Rowing’s code of conduct, and for volunteering a minimum number of 12 hours, as established by the Board, in support of group activities, or pay an additional work hour surcharge.

Article V.  Board of Directors

Section 1.  Officers and Committee Chairs

The Corporation shall be governed by a Board of Directors of up to twelve officers and committee chairpersons.  The Board of Directors will supervise and control all Club activities.

The Board of Directors shall consist of the President, Vice-President, Treasurer, Recording Secretary, Corresponding Secretary, Equipment Chair, Coaching Chair, Safety Director, Public Relations Chair, Membership Chair, Strategic Planning Chair, and up to two board-members at large.  One of the Board members-at-large may represent youth or high school crew members.

Section 2.  Replacement of a Board Member

In the event that a Board member ceases to serve, another member of the Corporation may be elected by a majority of the Board to fulfill the unexpired term.  If more than a third of the year’s original Board members should cease to serve, a new election shall be called.

Section 3.  Removal for Non-attendance

If a Board member fails to attend three consecutive meetings, whether a Board meeting or a general membership meeting, that Board member shall, unless a majority of the Board determine otherwise, be considered to have ceased to serve and may be replaced by the Board to fill the remainder of the term.

Section 4.  Removing the Board

If members should wish to unseat the Board of Directors, they must collect signatures from no less than two-thirds of the membership expressly favoring a mid-term election.  The election shall be held no later than three weeks from the day the President or Vice-President receives such a petition.

Section 5.  Terms of Office

Terms of office  will span 2 years from January 1 of the first year through December 31 of the following year.  Officers may be elected to no more than two consecutive two-year terms of office.  Chairpersons may be elected to no more than five consecutive two-year terms of office.  An officer or chair may be re-elected after an absence of one year from the Board.

Article VI.  Duties of Officers and Chairpersons

The President, or in his or her stead, the Vice-President shall preside over meetings.  If neither is present, the other Board members shall, by means of acclamation or voice vote, indicate which officer should preside over the meeting.  The President, with assistance from the Vice-President, will provide overall guidance for strategic planning and operational activities. The President shall oversee committee activities and progress.   The President will serve as an ex-officio member of all committees.

The Vice-President will preside over meetings if the President is not available and assist the President in providing overall guidance.

The Recording Secretary shall keep minutes of Board and general membership meetings,  including accurate attendance records of participants,  and disseminate minutes to the membership.

The Treasurer shall have custody and maintain the accounts of the group’s funds and records of capital purchases and regular expenses.  The Treasurer will also participate in financial and strategic planning for the long term financial viability of the club at least in so much as to insure that expenditures are appropriately approved. The Treasurer will also be responsible for the collection of fees and dues and will make a report of the group’s financial status at each Board and general membership meeting.

The Corresponding Secretary shall be responsible for bylaws interpretation, correspondence on behalf of the Club, and, as directed by other Board members, for conveying information to the Board and general membership.

The Equipment Chair shall, with committee and Board members insure that all members are aware of their need to notify equipment committee members of all equipment needs or damages and overall to identify equipment needs, recommend the purchase of new equipment or the sale or trade of current equipment, and in conjunction with the treasurer, develop a budget for meeting equipment needs, shop for and purchase new equipment as directed by the Board, plan and organize a perpetual and preventative maintenance program (including club work sessions) , ensure that replacement parts are available, and keep a record of all pending and completed repairs.  The Equipment Chair will also plan for storage of equipment as needed.

The Coaching Chair will recruit and coordinate coaching sessions off and on the water and keep records for any races or other special rowing events that are conducted.

The Safety Director shall develop and maintain emergency action plans, coordinate safe rowing practices with all members of the club, and ensure that records are kept about safety education, utilizing US Rowing PASS Guidelines.

The Public Relations Chair shall work to inform the community of Rondout Rowing events and achievements.   The Public Relations Chair will keep records of all publicity about the Club and a general history of the Club.

The Membership Chair shall keep a list of current and past members and their status, and  periodically coordinate a survey of their interests and preferences.  The Membership Chair will assist members in  waivers on line as per US Rowing insurance requirements.

The Fundraising Chair shall organize projects to raise funds for club expenditures, including, but not limited to, the purchase of crew boats and their maintenance.

The Strategic Planning and Physical Plant Committee shall determine boat and equipment storage, operating and program needs of the club and devise a short, medium and long term plan including a financing strategy to meet those needs, and make recommendations to the Board.

Board members at large may be given special assignments by the Board as deemed necessary.

Other standing or ad-hoc committees and chairpersons may be appointed by the Board.  Such will be the case, for example, with regard to a Nominating Committee when terms have elapsed or positions vacated.

Only chairpersons of one the committees mentioned herein and Board members at large may vote as a Board member.

Article VII.  Meetings and Elections

Section 1.  Regular Meetings

Regular meetings of the general membership will be held at least biannually (2x/year) at a  location convenient to most members.  All members will be given at least one week’s notice of a regular or ad hoc general membership meeting.  At general membership meetings, a quorum shall be a minimum of seven (7) members including Board members and a motion can be passed by a majority of those present. Unless specified in these bylaws, all meetings will be governed by Robert’s Rules of Order.

Section 2.  Board Meetings

The Board will meet as it deems necessary.   All Board members will be given at least one week’s notice of the meeting.  A quorum at a Board meeting shall be a simple majority of the current Board members and a motion can be passed by a majority of those present.

Section 3  Elections

Elections shall be held biennially (2x/year)  as called by the Board, or through the takeover mechanism described in Article V, section 3.  Members shall be informed of the time and place of the election at least 10 days in advance.

Section  4.  Conduct of Elections

Elections shall be by voice and/or hand vote unless the majority of the membership present at the election should call for the use of simple paper ballots.  Nominations must be seconded by at least one member.  A plurality of votes shall elect.  Ties shall be broken immediately after tabulation by a repeat vote.  If the repeat vote fails to break the tie, a coin shall be tossed.

Section  5.  Eligibility to Vote

At any meeting or election, any current member, whether rowing or supporting, is entitled to vote.  If a member is a part of a family membership, each family member is entitled to vote.  Voting shall be by a show of hands unless otherwise specified in these bylaws.

Article VIII.  Code of Conduct

Rowing members are expected to observe safety and decorum guidelines as set forth by the Board. Rondout Rowing will not tolerate any form of discrimination or harassment of any individual, whether based on race, color, creed, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, veteran status, disability,  or age.

Article IX.  Fundraising and Spending

Article IX.  Fundraising and Spending and Tax Filing

Nothing herein contained will preclude Rondout Rowing from raising revenues through fundraising activities other than membership dues, such as community capital drives, fundraising events, government or foundation grants or loans, and solicit other community support as the Board and membership see the need.

Spending of revenues can be authorized by a majority of the Board members and will be accounted for by the Treasurer.

Spending of revenues can be authorized by a majority of the Board members and will be accounted for by the Treasurer.

In order to ensure that the Not-for-Profit status of the club be maintained, the executive officers will consider the impact of all  financial decisions on that status.  The executive officers will ensure that federal and state tax forms with regard to 501(c)3 organizations be filed correctly.  If the officers cannot do this themselves (not enough time or expertise) they agree to contract a licensed bookkeeper/accountant to file these forms with the correct authorities as early as possible in the tax year.

Article X.  Amendments

Amendments to these bylaws may be proposed by a petition of any member of the Board or one-third of the membership.  If such an amendment is approved by the Board, it shall be submitted to the next full membership meeting for confirmation.  The amendment shall be rejected if more than half the membership votes to do so.

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