The Eau Gallie Yacht Club is not just about the water (or adults)
The people of the Eau Gallie Yacht Club are delight to embrace their nautical heritage, which is understandable, considering that the club started in 1907. It still has a commodore and a commodore’s ball, it still has a change-of-watch ceremony and dinner each year, it still sponsors one of the area’s best-known annual year-end events, the holiday boat parade and its slips still accommodate some of Brevard’s most magnificent pleasure vessels.
But leaders of modern organizations like EGYC know that in order to serve their members, a certain amount of diversity of activity is necessary, and that means parents and kids.
“A major part of our membership mix is young families,” says Hugh Van Veen, general manager of the club. “We’ve geared our facilities and events toward families with younger and older children.”
Van Veen ticks off EGYC’s successful list of kid-friendly activities and adds that the complex has a fine playground. He also notes that none of the activities he has named has anything to do do with boats.
“It’s a common misconception that you have to be a boater to be a member, and boating was a mainstay here for many years. It still is. But the Eau Gallie Yacht Club is not a boat club that has social activities, it’s a social club that has boating. At least 30 to 40 percent of our members join because of family (activities),” he says.
“We do about 45 weddings a year. “We also host cocktail parties, business meetings . . . all sorts of functions. And the building is laid out in such a way that the parties don’t interfere with members’ dining or other activities.”
But in order to have that wedding or meeting, you must be sponsored by a member, and in order to dine there, you must be, or be invited by a member.
“It is a private club and our members appreciate that . . . young families appreciate it more and more,” Van Veen says.
The Eau Gallie Yacht Club is for kids too. It has youth-oriented:
- Pool parties
- A summer youth camp
- Holiday parties
- Tennis lessons
- Fishing tournaments
- Etiquette lessons