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OAKTON COUGAR CREW BOOSTER CLUB

2017-18 Membership Commitment

The purpose of this document is to ensure that all rowers (the term ‘rower’ means rower or coxswain) and parents (the term ‘parent’ means parent or guardian) understand their obligations to themselves, their teammates, Oakton High School (OHS), the community, and the Oakton Cougar Crew Booster Club (OCCBC or ‘Club’).  Crew at OHS is a club sport.  As such, it receives no funding from the school or Fairfax County.  It is organized, managed, and financed entirely by rowers and their families under the banner of the OCCBC, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to supporting our rowers and team.  

All parents and rowers become active members of the OCCBC upon registration for Oakton Crew.  

For the 2018 spring rowing season, total team size will be capped at 112 teammates — 56 on the women’s team and 56 on the men’s team.  Final team selection will be made in February 2018.  Criteria will be announced once finalized by Crew coaching staff in conjunction with OHS athletic personnel.

Rowers and Parents:  Attendance, commitment, and attitude are all key values of a successful crew organization, and prior to participating in Club activities, each member is required to sign this document acknowledging their understanding of the time commitments, required service commitments, financial responsibilities, and conduct expectations of rowers and parents.  Any inappropriate conduct of a rower or of a parent will be addressed and resolved at the discretion of the coaches, OCCBC Board, and/or OHS staff. Removal from the team for breach of conduct expectations forfeits the right to any refund of dues.

Expectations of Student Athletes

1. Enjoy being a member of a great sport at Oakton.  Conduct yourself with the highest degree of integrity and exhibit the highest standards of sportsmanship.  Refrain from cursing or making disparaging remarks about teammates, either in person or on social media.  Treat all teammates, opponents, coaches, officials, parents, and volunteers with respect.  Oakton Crew has a strict no-bullying policy and violations may lead to removal from your boat or the team.

2. Arrive on time and actively participate in all aspects of training, water practice, regattas, and other team activities:

  • Winter Fitness Expectations - Participate in winter athletic activities, either with the Club’s Winter Conditioning program or through other athletic/fitness programs or sports.  Each rower’s fitness level directly affects the performance of the boat once water season begins and will be part of the coaching determination regarding team membership once spring season begins.

  • Spring On-the-Water Practices - Participate fully in all aspects of spring training and racing.  During this time, practices are NOT optional.  Your development will have a direct impact not only on your personal success but also on the success of the boat line-up and team.  We practice rain or shine.  Water practices that are cancelled due to lightning, high winds, flooding, or extreme cold will be replaced with land training for the day.  Spring Break practices are not optional.  You acknowledge that your position in a boat may be lost for missing practices without notice.  See Paragraph 7, below, for the absence notification and approval policy.

  • Regattas - Attend regattas when selected for a lineup, including when selected as an alternate.  Lineups are at the coaches’ discretion.  There is no guarantee that you will return to the same seat/boat from week to week or that you will row in every regatta.

  • Fundraising - Students are responsible for actively participating in fundraising activities.  The Club will provide opportunities for students to fundraise together in order to reach a collective goal for the season and to assist in meeting individual rower goals.  Funds raised are for the benefit of all members of the Club, not for an individual student, in keeping with IRS regulations.  The Club will track donations by rower’s name to monitor participation level.  If a rower leaves the team for any reason, funds raised by that rower will not be returned.

  • Service Hours:  All rowers are expected to attend at least one service event to be completed before the first regatta.  This can be completed in a variety of ways including participation in erg rental return day and maintenance, Sandy Run work days, oar painting, equipment moving days, etc. Rowers are encouraged to attend more than the minimum for the benefit of the team.

3. Comply with all rules and policies set forth by the Club, by OHS, by FCPS including those set forth in the “Student Rights & Responsibilities Handbook” and the Student Activities Participation Policy, and by any regatta association including the Virginia Scholastic Rowing Association (VASRA).

4. Obey all VASRA officials during local regattas and all parent chaperones when traveling to and from away regattas.

5. Take measures to safeguard your person and personal property, team equipment, and resources.

6. Proactively assist with team-associated pre-and post-regatta responsibilities, such as helping with rigging, setup and cleanup of team areas, equipment storage, and hospitality tents.

7. Notify your coach before practices and regattas if you will be absent for any reason.  This includes for illnesses, doctor’s appointments, tutors, or major school/academic events.

8. Fulfill academic requirements.  Do not use Crew as an excuse for neglecting school responsibilities.  If you are struggling with time management, it is your responsibility to proactively speak with your coaches about finding reasonable solutions.

9. Abstain from being around, possessing, or using illegal drugs, abuse of prescription medications, alcohol, tobacco, or inhalants, including electronic cigarettes or vaping.  Oakton Crew has a zero-tolerance policy for illegal substance use/abuse by its athletes.  You cannot be at your best if you are using any substance while training.  Use of substances will cause an athlete to be disciplined according to Oakton High School policies.  In the event of dismissal from the team for use of illegal substances, athletes forfeit the right to any refund of dues.

10. Remember that coaches have full authority in all rowing matters.  You may constructively seek feedback from coaches if you are unclear where you stand or do not understand a coaching decision, but you must accept a coach’s decision once final.

11. Recognize that team goals come before the needs or desires of any individual.

Conduct Expectations for Travel Regattas

1. Your behavior reflects on your reputation and that of your family, your team, and your school.  Rowers understand that while attending travel regattas they are bound by the FCPS “Student Rights and Responsibilities Handbook”.  Any grossly inappropriate activity shall result in dismissal from the team, and the rower will be sent home immediately at his or her own expense.

2. At the hotel, you: a) will stay only in the room you are assigned, b) will not wander the halls or cause excessive noise which disturbs other hotel patrons, c) will be in your room with lights out at by 10 p.m. (or designated time), d) will remain in your assigned room at all times between “lights out” and breakfast, e) will pay for any items you break, and f) will clean up any messes you make.

3. For your safety, you: a) will let your boat parent and coaches know of your whereabouts at all times, b) will keep your cell phone available and charged so that your coach or boat parent may contact you at any time, c) will travel with a buddy at all times, d) will not do anything that creates a safety hazard for yourself or anyone else.

4. Rowers shall not engage in public displays of affection, and no member of the Club will be in a guest room with members of the opposite sex at any time.  Violation of this policy could result in both the guest(s) and the host(s) being sent home at their own expense.

Expectations of Parents

1. Complete and submit all required forms and payments by the given deadlines.

2. Treat all student athletes, opponents, coaches, officials, other parents, and volunteers with respect and exhibit the highest standards of sportsmanship.  Be an example to your student.

3. Support and expect your student athlete to attend all practices, especially water practice.  Their attendance will have a direct impact not only on their personal success, but on the success of their boat lineup and team.  Encourage your student to contact coaches well in advance of any anticipated absence.

4. Ensure that your student meets the student athlete expectations listed above.

5. Provide support for your student and the team by actively participating in fundraising activities.

6. OCCBC families must meet service & donation requirements for the Club and for VASRA, to ensure the continued success of Oakton Crew.  For the 2017-18 year, the requirements are:

  • Crew Service Commitment - Families of rowers must fulfill a minimum of one (1) service activity for the Club per rower over the course of the season.  Examples include cooking pasta or preparing sauce for a Friday night team dinner with supplies provided by the Club, cleaning up after a pasta dinner, assisting with erg rentals or with sales of Spirit Wear, assisting a fundraising campaign, serving a work day at the Oakton boathouse or serving a shift at the hospitality tent on regatta day, or a host of other activities necessary to keep Crew running smoothly.  If you are unable to fulfill a shift you have signed up to cover, you must find a replacement and notify the Volunteer VP of the change.  Parents acknowledge that a financial penalty may be assessed at the end of the season if service requirements have not been met.

  • VASRA Service Commitment - All families must fulfill a minimum of one (1) VASRA service shift per rower.  This means one shift over the course of the season, not one for each regatta, although families are encouraged to sign up for more than one shift.  Service options include working in a concession stand or selling t-shirts, sweeping docks and directing teams with boats, driving launches for coaches or refs, starting line or parking lot assistance, or VASRA-required work days in the fall and spring.  If you are unable to fulfill a role you have signed up to serve, you must find a replacement and notify the Volunteer VP of your change in plans. VASRA assesses financial penalties to the Club if volunteers do not fulfill roles.  Should a penalty be assessed, or if the Club must find a replacement for you on short notice, parents agree to financially reimburse the Club for time and penalties.

  • Other Support - Parents must donate food & supplies for the hospitality tent and additional side dishes for pasta dinners upon request and according to a schedule set by the Hospitality VP.  This is a recurring, weekly need for donations during the regatta season to keep our athletes fueled.

7. Parents acknowledge that coaches have full responsibility in training and rowing matters.  Coaches seek to create the fastest lineups possible, which is a higher priority than team seniority.  Parents acknowledge that decisions are not personal, but are based on what the coaches believe is best for the team as a whole.  Coach-related questions and team concerns are to be directed to the Parent/Coach liaison.  Parents should refrain from contacting coaches directly; it is a rower’s responsibility to seek feedback on performance, seat selections, attitude, etc.

8. Enjoy your child’s growth and development through commitment, dedication, and teamwork!

By registering for Crew, parents and rowers agree that photos and videos of their likeness may be used by the Club to promote the successes of the team and for promotion and recruitment and agree that from time to time rowers maybe identified by name.  You may opt out of this agreement by submitting a written Photo Opt-Out Form.

Expectations of The Club

The Club provides all equipment, coaching staff, rowing facilities, and services related to the administration of a rowing program to Oakton High School Crew club members for the express purpose of encouraging the sport of rowing by student athletes.

Financial Commitment & Payment Schedule for the 2017-2018 Season

Each team member is responsible for a financial commitment for the 2017-18 season, consisting of: 1) a $1,000 fee and 2) a $400 fundraising goal, or collectively “dues”.  These funds are required to meet our budget needs for retention of coaching staff, maintenance of equipment, insurance costs, etc.  The Club will organize fundraising campaigns for the team, and rowers are encouraged to seek additional outside fundraising opportunities where appropriate.  Dues do not include the cost of uniforms, spirit wear, transportation, or out-of-town regatta travel expenses.  

Payment of the $1,000 fee may be made in one sum at the time of registration, or in two installments:

  • First installment of $500 due by November 15, 2017

  • Second installment of $500 due by January 31, 2018

Fundraising Requirements:  Each rower has a goal of raising $400 by April 30, 2018; families may pay that sum in advance and excuse the rower from fundraising.  Any funds donated by a rower’s family as part of fundraising will not be refunded if the rower leaves the team for any reason.

Financial assistance is available to families who may be unable to meet the financial requirements of the Club.  Oakton Crew seeks committed, motivated athletes regardless of financial resources.  Rowers seeking assistance should contact their head coach for application details.  Additionally, financial assistance is available to high school rowers via the Julia Shew Memorial Rowing Scholarship Fund.  Applications for the Shew Fund must be received by December 1st, and rowers will be requested to seek financial assistance through this Fund prior to seeking assistance from the Club.

Refund Policy

A refund of all or a portion of the fee may be requested upon a rower’s withdrawal from Crew.  All withdrawal requests must be submitted in writing to membership@oaktoncrew.com and president@oaktoncrew.com. Requests for refunds are processed at the end of each month.

If a rower withdraws:

  • by January 31st, a full fee refund will be provided.

  • between February 1st - February 19th, a partial fee refund will be provided, less assessment of a $200 fee.

Should a student voluntarily leave the team or become ineligible to participate for any reason after February 19th, no fee refunds will be provided, with the exception of a student who does not meet the team selection criteria as determined by the coaching staff in February.  Those rowers shall have the fee refunded in full.  

Contributions collected by a rower as a result of any individual or group fundraising effort, including fundraising donations made by that rower’s parent, will not be refunded if the rower leaves the team for any reason, without exception.


As part of registration, all team members and one parent/guardian are asked to print and sign the membership commitment form.