On every Boys Club of America trip to our property on Big Bass Lake one thing was certain. Every time the boys got into our two rowboats they were decked out in life preservers. The lone exception was when we turned over our metallic boats to convert them temporarily into bathtubs. On those days the constant companion of the boys was soap and shampoo.
This is Jesse from the Salesian Boys Club waiting by a van for a return trip to our wooded beach front after getting a few snacks. He had just been to the Big Bass Lake Store. Life preservers were needed due to the many large boats on the lake who took no pity with small rowboats. Many of their wakes were enormous. After getting by the bridge to the Big Island, the safest, albeit the longest, way to get back was to hug the shoreline all the way.
That mean for longer rowing excursions. Yet at the same time, I could better instruct the boys how to row the boats and give several the opportunity to do so. Jesse did quite well on his turn as his came as we neared the Public Landing and his task was to get us to my family dock on our northward jaunt back to our wooded beach front.
A mismatched rowing maneuver with the oars often sent water pouring into the boat to the amusement of all except for the ones most getting wet. Best of all was that the boys didn’t mind using these vests to keep them safe.