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Winter is Coming...Gulp

Jackie Carpenter 10/12/20

In mid-September, we had a week where it rained for six days straight. (Seriously, we got 10 inches of rain in a week.) Cold temperatures and constant rain meant we were “trapped inside” for six days. Because of COVID, we literally didn’t go anywhere and because of the weather, we couldn’t leave our house. This eye-opening and brutal experience left me with anxiety! What in the world are we going to do in the winter!? I’m sure I’m not the only person who is thinking about what colder temperatures and lack of outdoor activities means during these COVID times.

If you haven’t started planning or implementing activities for your members during winter months, you better get started. Moms like me are worried about entertaining their children and keeping their sanity this winter. It’s the reality of the times we are living in! However this new reality might finally push clubs to truly become year-round facilities. Industry experts like The McMahon Group have been saying this for years: “Members pay dues 12 months a year, so they expect activities year-round.” While it can be challenging to provide outdoor activities in the winter, it is still possible with adequate thought, preparation and communication.

What kind of activities can you implement December through February? Get creative! Try a digital cooking series and have members sign up for Zoom cooking classes with your culinary team. Create “games” with members such as scavenger hunts or trivia where they can play and compete virtually. Start an indoor pickleball, ping pong or bocce ball league…or start all three! How about building an outdoor sledding station, an ice skating rink or creating snow-shoe cross country trails? With a little brainstorming, you and your team will likely come up with dozens of ideas that would be fairly inexpensive to implement yet provide quality entertainment hours for members this winter. If you need more ideas, just ask your members! 

Whatever you do, don’t sit back and expect members to be okay with an “off season.” This year members expect more and need more out of their clubs than years past!