kemp mills pool

A (Summer) Labor Of Love: Kemp Mills Swim Club

As we near the conclusion of another delightful summer season at our beloved clubs, it’s a perfect moment to ponder what motivates club leaders to embark on their roles as pool board volunteers and why they persistently dedicate their time and energy season after season to serve their community by keeping the pool “afloat” (pun intended).

Fortunately, Member Splash has significantly streamlined this process for those customers who sought to optimize their pool operations and resources, reducing the future time demands of their already demanding volunteer positions, particularly as the summer season draws to a close.

As clubs wind down their summer pool operations, begin the search for end-of-season closing volunteers, lay the groundwork for the off-season, and scrutinize current pool processes, it’s undeniably gratifying to witness the indelible mark that club leaders have left on their communities. Notably, the joy and laughter they’ve brought to their neighbors stand out. Perhaps, amid the countless selfless hours spent in board meetings and on pool improvement projects, they have unintentionally crafted an altruistic legacy—making things more manageable for themselves while simultaneously improving the experience for future volunteers who will one day carry on the torch. Some may call it progress, but it also underscores the virtues of pride and forward-thinking.

An exemplary embodiment of such progressive and generous leadership is found in the story of Noam and Alyssa Parness of Kemp Mill Swim Club in Silver Spring, MD. Both valued Essential plan Member Splash customers, Noam serves as the Swim Team Director, and Alyssa as the President of the club. Although one might say their journey began with a simple desire to “assist with their daughter’s pre-swim team,” they soon found themselves at the helm of the entire pool. As Noam puts it, “It has all been a labor of love,” a sentiment that has continued to flow for more than 7+ years at the pool.

“I do it because of the pool, but I also love my wife… and daughters. I do it for them; it’s a labor of love,” Noam affectionately explains.

So, let’s take a moment to chat with the Parness Family and delve into what inspires them to keep their neighborhood pool running smoothly, how they’ve harnessed the power of Member Splash to enhance their roles at the pool, and hear their insights on the seasonal advantages of using Member Splash as the scorching summer days give way to the conclusion of the pool season, knowing that their work is far from over.

Question & Answer:

How did your journey to oversee a community pool for your members begin? What has it been like serving as President, and could you share some highlights and challenges of this role?

Alyssa: “Well after volunteering for my daughter’s pre-swim team, she got elevated to swim team. The following year the swim coach was like “now you’re the Swim Team Director” and so I was in charge of that. And then when the President retired after Covid, nobody wanted that position, so I decided to step in because no one wanted the job and I thought someone sitting on the board who understands the pool should be in charge. But I still love the swim team, so I said only if I can be in charge of the swim team too. And I’ve been sitting on the board now for the last 7 years.”

So you were essentially drawn into it?

Alyssa: “Definitely. I love to swim, I was a swimmer growing up, and my daughter got sucked in too. She would spend nights at the pool until 10pm and it got kinda ridiculous. We fell in love with Swim Team. Then I got my husband, Noam, to help out with the board and we got him to be the Swim Team Director and myself as President because I can’t have 2 votes on the board. But I still kinda wear both hats.”

Noam: “It’s all been a labor of love..and for our family”

How has everything been going at the pool this year?

Alyssa: I think overall this year’s been good. We’ve had some challenges with getting in as many members yearly as we sometimes do, but we’ve been working on some partial memberships. August is a little quieter time for us with swim team being over, and folks on vacation.”

Noam: “By the time we figured out [how we wanted to do] partial memberships this year—we had tried some partial week trials last year—it was a little late in the season to get much traction and market it. But we’re going to try a partial summer August membership next year and maybe try separate June and July monthly membership options, just for a trial for people to come out and try out the pool.”

Alyssa: We just want to offer some different options to see what sticks.”

This month’s feature revolves around the end of the season and how Member Splash can simplify processes and enhance preparations for the next year. This includes reviewing pool procedures, recruiting volunteers for pool closure, conducting end-of-year surveys, and developing next year’s budget.

Noam: “I kinda became a defacto Member Splash advocate after getting involved and needed to step in and make things kinda work “like they need to” [after learning the platform and seeing a lot of things still on excel spreadsheets]. I’m a kinda an IT guy. I just reworked everything completely. We didn’t need certain tags for certain things, we could do things better internally and we could leverage new Member Splash features to make our lives easier.”

What are some of the new elements that have helped or that you’ve discovered?

Noam: “We used partial payments to separate the bond fees over two years to make things easier for our members. We have a new member deal to get 50% off your first year. We have product and accounts separated with better tags so everything is kind of organized into the right bucket. And I was able to streamline it. I’m a computer guy. I deal with data management all the time. I mean this [old pool membership organization] worked but there are definitely better ways to do it.”

And that is indeed a benefit of organizing your club with Member Splash. What Member Splash features do you find most valuable for simplifying your tasks? Personally, I’m a big fan of the digital picture check-in – no cards, barcodes, or extra work!

Noam: ”We had a homespun check in system system before. We moved to Member Splash in 2021, and it helped to have check out for Covid as well. I’d have to say that the [Member Splash] check in system was probably the easiest transition. The training was pretty simple. It was easy for the guards to learn. It allowed our members to go in [to their Member Splash portal] and enter their own information, their own picture, instead of trying to decipher handwriting and forms—there were a lot of errors. The fact that members can really do all that on their own was really helpful. They can do that all for us! The fact that they can do that on their own has taken a lot of the burden off the treasurer and membership positions. We can also send the [Mailchimp] emails and pull that info right out of the database so you don’t have to let the treasurer know you have an email change. You can just go in and do it yourself and its automatic, which is really nice. ”

Alyssa: “So many things were in Excel spreadsheets and not connected together, so it was nice to have everything in one place.”

Is there anything specific within Member Splash that you utilize at the end of the season, or any tips for others?

Noam: “Reports. I’ve found it personally easier and faster to just dump out that raw data from the platform [exporting sorted data report from the MS csv button], dump it into Access, build in any queries I need for it and sort it anyway I need it for report. But more and more Member Splash has been building that reporting into the platform.”

Absolutely, data empowers you to make informed decisions and plan for the next year based on real information, rather than relying on estimates. Thank you both for your time and dedication to your club and community, Alyssa and Noam!

Make sure to visit and support this wonderful family, pool, and team at Kemp Mill Swim Club. They’re often found cheering on the swim team or just a stone’s throw away next door. It’s truly a “family-run pool” and a “labor of love.”