Sailors enjoy camaraderie and challenge as part of vibrant retirement lifestyle
Springfield, Va. – November 22, 2019 – This month, members of the Greenspring Yacht Club gathered for their annual awards banquet to celebrate the conclusion of their 19th season. At the well-attended event, awards were presented to Don Kraft for Top Sailor, Chris Mansuy for Most Improved Sailor, and Fran Darnton for Sailor of the Year.
All members of the Yacht Club are residents of Greenspring, a senior living community developed and managed by Erickson Living. For these sailors, the friendly competition and sense of camaraderie adds to the engaged retirement lifestyle offered by the community, where the Yacht Club is one of hundreds of activities and amenities to enjoy.
And they're off!
Twice a week, on Wednesdays and Saturdays, the sailors gather at Hunter's Pond on Greenspring's scenic 58-acre campus to race their Thunder Tiger Victoria Class model remote-controlled sailboats. The official race season stretches from the first week in April to the last week of October, weather permitting.
Each race day starts with a Flag Raising ceremony in front of the boathouses before the group heads down to the Gazebo to launch their boats into the water. Six official races are conducted, each one over a different course pattern as decided by the Commodore.
First female Commodore
Mary Schaller currently serves as Commodore, and is the group's first female leader. She and her husband, Martin moved to Greenspring two years ago in April. Having lived nearby for years, they watched the community grow and upon retiring, decided to join the Priority List.
On one visit to the community, they toured a beautiful apartment home featuring the Kingston floor plan with two large bedrooms, two baths and a recessed balcony. The view overlooking the trees made Mary and Martin know it was the one for them. As Priority List members, they were able to make the apartment home their own as soon as it became available.
Shortly after moving in, they met some members of the Yacht Club and decided to give it a try, even though neither had ever sailed a remote-controlled boat before. They've been enjoying it ever since.
"It's all great fun, no matter where we all stand in the scoring," said Mary. "We have a great time just getting out and sailing and socializing."
Girl Scout Connection
This season was extra special for the Yacht Club as they had the opportunity to host a special regatta for a group of Girl Scouts from the Springfield-Franconia area. Not only was the day a unique opportunity for generations to connect, but the Scouts also had the opportunity to earn Good Sportsmanship badges and Sailing pins.
"The weather was the best we had all season, and we had wind! All the Scouts seemed to be having a ball," said Mary.
The event was so successful that it led to a new organization called the Girl Scout Connection that connects local Troops to get together for activities with Greenspring residents. In fact, Mary recently hosted a Table Manners class, followed by tea at Greenspring, helping the girls to earn their Social Butterfly badges. And next month, Scouts will visit the community to sing Christmas Carols in the lobby at Hunter's Crossing, one of Greenspring's three amenity-packed clubhouses.
At Greenspring, new groups like this are forming all the time. With plenty of meeting spaces, a library, art studios, music room, woodshop and much more, residents are able to pursue their interests and hobbies, meet new friends and never have to leave campus.
Now that the sailing season has concluded, many Yacht Club members will turn their attention to other activities in the community. But, they'll certainly be looking forward to April 1, 2020 when the Yacht Club kicks off their 20th season.
About Greenspring: Greenspring, one of 20 continuing care retirement communities developed and managed by Erickson Living®, is situated on a scenic 58-acre campus in Springfield, Virginia. The not-for-profit community of more than 2,000 residents and 1,000 employees is governed by its own board of directors, affiliated with National Senior Campuses, who provide independent financial and operational oversight of the community. Additional information can be found at www.GreenspringCommunity.com.
Photo caption: Mary Schaller, Greenspring Yacht Club's first female Commodore, and her husband Martin, prepare for a day of racing on Hunter's Pond at Greenspring, a senior living community in Springfield, Va.