Monday, September 28, 2020

Five on the Frontline: Young Worker Health & Safety During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Mark Ames, Director of Government Relations at the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) interviews Jennifer Maclachlan, 2020 Chair of the AIHA Teen Workplace Health & Safety Committee about managing a teenage workforce during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Shipwrecks, Pirates and Rum Tasting: An evening at the Cape Cod Science Cafe

During the summer of 2020 I had the honor of being in the Commodore succession at the Wequaquet Lake Yacht Club (WLYC). This governance structure is similar to most where there are specific duties associated with each position.  As the Rear Commodore, I was tasked with running the House Committee and daily operations at the grill. In a "normal" year this might have been manageable. In a pandemic year, it was one of the most challenging things I have ever done. With extreme pressure from the Board of Directors, I reluctantly agreed to open the club utilizing state and local COVID19 guidelines to keep our teen employees safe and our membership safe. I created a COVID19 Oversight Committee made up of club members who would have had, at the time (May 2020), special knowledge or experience including doctors, nurses, school principal, attorney, police etc., who could review the controls I was implementing. 

Having to oversee daily operations at the club for 10+ weeks in excess of 80 hours a week of my time on site, I did manage to manage a handful of safe events for the private club members and their guests to enjoy. And I organized and orchestrated one special event: 'Shipwrecks, Pirates, and Rum Tasting' held on August 1, 2020. 

Since it's a private club, we used our internal marketing channels: 'This Week at the Lake' Eblast & Events Wipe Board in 'The Fireside Room'. 

I worked with the bar manager to select three different rums, including a locally sourced one(Twenty Boats is made on Cape Cod)! We also worked out pricing for beverages which was a nice price for guests but yielded a "great" night for the bar! 

Since I was running the grill this summer with my teenage workforce, I created a 'themed' meal choice that I prepared via crockpot and had a limited menu for folks who wanted more familiar food off our menu. We charged an admission fee to cover the meal plus there were a few price tiers to choose from: One that was the meal only, one that was the meal plus the rum flight and one that was meal plus rum drink. Having the pre-order food, pre-assigned tables, and being able to put in the pre-written meal tickets when the guests checked-in made for a very smooth evening in the kitchen for my staff! It also created a relaxed vibe for patrons. This pre-order/pre-assigned seats combined with staggered dinner/coctail hour is a model that we used for the rest of the limited summer events (Comedy Nights and Adult BINGO Nights).

'Shipwrecks, Pirates, and Rum Tasting' was an adult version of the Cape Cod Science Cafe held at the Wequaquet Lake Yacht Club (WLYC) on Saturday evening August 1, 2020, at 7pm. Attendance was limited to 48 people due to COVID-19 protocols with table distancing at this establishment. Mandatory masks were worn, except when seated. Meals were pre-ordered and dinner was prepped by kitchen staff once guests
checked in and we held dinner/cocktail hour over between 6-7:30pm. What was served? A Caribbean themed dinner consisting of jerk chicken, beans & rice with less spicy options like chicken quesadilla & tater tots, chicken salad wrap or a grilled cheese & fries. 

As part of the RSVP guest could choose to order the rum flight for the rum tasting/flavor chemistry portion of the evening which kicked off the technical program led by a local area chemist. History, flavors, aromas, and fun facts were all part of the rum tasting. Rum concoctions such as mai tai's, rum punch, and pina colada's were available throughout the evening (as well as a full bar for those not inclined to imbibe rum).

Local marine educator, Eben Franks who has 45 years of experience as a sailor, seaman, sea-going technician, geological engineer, underwater vehicle pilot, adventurer, and ocean explorer shared his passion for the ocean and firsthand  knowledge of Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary which is located right here on Cape Cod off the coast of Provincetown and is home to over 200 shipwrecks! The featured honorable special guest and marine archaeologist, Calvin Mires  wowed us with tales of the sea, ocean, pirates and shipwrecks. He left us wanting MORE real pirate stories from the shipwrecks he has worked on during his career and that evening he promised us a dedicated 'Pirate' Science Cafe in 2021! 

Wielding social media for effective science communication