By Bob Campbell

Your ESLA board was determined to bring back the annual membership meeting we all missed in 2020 due to concerns about in-person gatherings during the worst of the pandemic.  We have. And it’ll be different. But still interesting and fun and a chance to chat with old friends.

We won’t assemble at the venerable Historic Elk Rapids Town Hall. We won’t be drinking ESLA-supplied beer and wine or munching the fabulous hors d’oeuvres and desserts that Ruth Bay, our legendary social director, arranged each year. (They’ll return next year, we promise!) But it’ll still be ESLA’s social and business event of the year. Please come!


Where: The beautiful bayside pavilion of the Elk Rapids Grace Harbor on East Bay next to the boat launch.

Time: Doors open at 5 p.m. The business meeting — electing officers and board members, hearing reports on membership, finance and our new Facebook page and revamped web page — begins at 5:30.

Featured speakers: For the first time, ESLA this summer has contracted for a complete  photo-enabled environmental assessment of all 42 miles of the near-shore waters and shorelines on Elk and Skegemog lakes and the Elk and Torch rivers. Our speakers will be (1) Dennis Wiand, a veteran photographer who does drone photography of lakeshores to rave reviews from northern Michigan lake associations, and (2) Kelsey Froelich, a high school science teacher and field biologist. Kelsey, the daughter of longtime ESLA contractor Ron Reimink of Freshwater Solutions, LLC, will analyze the visual data.

What will the meeting be like: Different. Continuing Covid-related restrictions will limit indoor seating to 60 people, but the pavilion has a long wall of glass doors looking out to the bay that we can open up. If lots of members come, we can seat another 60 people in chairs and dozens more at picnic tables. There are outdoor speakers connected to the AV system inside the building.

No drinks, no fancy food: Sorry. But we’ll provide water bottles and salty snacks for all in attendance. Members will have an opportunity to ask questions of board members or the speakers.

Masks: The fully vaccinated don’t need to don masks, but may certainly do so. We’d ask that the unvaccinated please wear a mask.