SYC Junior Membership Program
The Squantum Yacht Club Junior's Program is rooted in the early history of the club. Although there is little mention of it in the first record books, present day life members remember an active program as far back as the nineteen twenties. The Junior's Program gives young people the opportunity to sail, socialize, and help with projects and functions for the club. Under the original By-Laws of the club, Junior membership was open to the "sons and brothers of members in good standing." Juniors were originally ages fourteen to eighteen and Midgets were eight to thirteen. It was not until the sixties that the By-Laws allowed girls to be full junior members and the age requirement changed to twelve to eighteen years old.
Junior sailing was popular long before the sailing program in the fifties. Throughout the twenties, thirties, and forties juniors sailed in club races and participated in interclub junior events. Jack Russell was a strong believer in the youngsters and helped to shape them into fine young sailors known up and down the coast for their abilities.
A favorite pastime of the juniors, from the beginning through the present, is the annual rite known as the Junior's Dance. It is an enjoyable way for the juniors to get together and at the same time make money for their fund. The dance offers an opportunity for the juniors to meet on a social basis the juniors from other area clubs. In 1984, the junior officers held a dance on the Friday night of Quincy Bay Race Week for all of the young sailors participating. This has become a yearly observance and adds another dimension to the fun of Race Week. Although they may be considered as the bane of the adult members, the junior dances are highlights for the young during the summer months.
In the seventies the juniors founded a new enjoyable and profitable way to raise funds. The Junior's Dinner was born. The menu at such functions usually consists of ziti and meatballs or franks and beans. The adult members have always been helpful and supportive of these affairs. The money raised from the dances and dinners in recent years has gone towards winter ski trips to New Hampshire. In the early eighties, with the profits from a very successful summer the juniors set off for an adventure up North.
The juniors of the past had another tradition, which has now become part of the sailing program agenda, this is the island picnic. A delightful day was planned for the juniors and chaperoning adults on one of the islands of Quincy Bay, usually Rainsford.
A definite benefit of the program is the leadership and organizational skills it teachers young people. They are skills that will help them as adult members and as members of their communities. There have been many fine senior officers who began their careers as junior officers.
The juniors have always been fortunate to have sharing and dedicated persons chairing the junior committee. Men and women who understand the benefits, the fun, and the spirit of youth have contributed much to the program over the years. As mentioned before Jack Russell was one such individual. Others who have given their time to the program are Jim Bonney, Fred Foye, Jack Spanks, Wendy Davis, Ritchie Blaikie, Chic Graff, Bud Flaherty, Jack Wilk, Fran Roche, Mike O'Connel, and from 1997 to the present Don and Roseanne Ready. (Information from the SYC 100th Anniversary Book.