#ORCvolunteerlove for Jennifer Shortall!

#ORCvolunteerlove for Jennifer Shortall!

The Ottawa Rowing Club is home to so many amazing, motivated, selfless volunteers! We feel really lucky to know and have them in our community – we want you to know them too.

Here’s another edition of Project #ORCvolunteerlove, where we ask volunteers a series of questions. We’ll post new volunteer Q&As each week. Their answers may surprise you, make you giggle, or motivate you to live the best day ever, or to pay forward what you’ve received too.

Meet Jennifer Shortall, one of our many volunteers who make the ORC go and go fast and furiously each year.

Jennifer first became a member of the ORC in 1990, rowing with the University of Ottawa.  Jennifer spent many years volunteering on the ORC Executive Committee, most recently as Vice President of Recreational and Instructional programs.  Jennifer is also very active in and is organizer extraordinaire of our popular Adult Rowing League.  She is the positive, organizational force that gets all of our ARL crews on the water and manages the team of volunteers that make ARL so much fun!  Jennifer is also a valued teammate in the ORC’s masters women’s program.  Your day is guaranteed to brighten up when greeted with a smile from Jennifer in the boathouse or on the docks.

THANK YOU, JENNIFER!  Sending you so much #ORCvolunteerlove!

Q: What is your education in and what’s your day job?

A: I have a Bachelor of Arts in Geography from the University of Ottawa and a Master of Arts in International Development Studies from St. Mary’s University.  I work at the Public Health Agency of Canada as a policy analyst focused on children and youth rights.

Q: How long have you been a member and volunteering at the ORC?

A: I first came to the ORC in 1990 to row with the University of Ottawa.  I returned in 2006 to take ARL and the rest is history. I have been volunteering since I joined the ORC…back then it was BINGO nights.

Q: How did you first discover rowing?

A: In Grade 10 I did an exchange to Australia where we had sports afternoon each week.  I chose rowing in my first semester and have loved the sport ever since.

Q: What do you wish other people knew about rowing and the ORC?

A: That our adult learn to row programs take place in the evening not at the crack of dawn.

Q: What might someone be surprised to know about you?

A: Every time I have joined a rowing team I have ended up introducing at least one new person to the sport.

Q: You’ve volunteered for a number of years at the ORC.  What do you most love about volunteering at the ORC and what keeps you engaged?

A: I love providing people with the opportunity to challenge themselves by learning a new skill/sport.  Not only does it help improve their physical and mental health but they have fun.

Q: What would your perfect day look like?  How would you spend it?

A: I would wake up to a gorgeous sunny day with little wind. I would make my way down to the club for a row with friends. There would be no other boat traffic so the river would be ours. We would follow our row with a delicious ‘second’ breakfast.  After that I would make my way home to enjoy the afternoon sun in my hammock.

Q: What is one of your happiest memories while being at the ORC?

A: Wednesday night dinners at the club.  Being able to wander upstairs after practice, to enjoy whatever awesome food Brian had made with people from all programs was the perfect way to end an evening.

Q: We know you like to be Julia Childs in the kitchen ;).  Who would be on your dream dinner party invite list and why?

A: For me, one of the most enjoyable parts of a meal is the time spent in the kitchen with friends preparing the food.  I would love the opportunity to cook with Jamie Oliver and Bobby Flay. Both bring an innovative approach to their food and the cocktails that accompany each meal.  Being able to spend time in the kitchen with them, learning and having fun would be a dream come true.  Who would be sitting down to enjoy this delicious feast? The names are too numerous – friends and family who enjoy good food and wine and maybe a few of Jamie and Bobby’s  foodie friends!

Q: If you could hop on a plane to anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?

A: I would go to Australia to enjoy the sun and heat, visit with friends, go rowing and sample all of the amazing food and wines they have to offer.

Q: List 3 things on your bucket list

A: 1. To be able to do a full pull up

2. To take cooking classes in as many countries as possible

3. To go trekking for mountain gorillas in Uganda/Rwanda

Tulip Regatta – Enter by May 4

The ORC will be hosting it’s annual Tulip Regatta on Dow’s Lake on Saturday, May 12, 2018. This regatta is open to experienced, competitive junior, senior, recreational and masters ORC members. The entry deadline is Friday, May 4, 2018.

You must be a 2018 registered member of the ORC to participate in the regatta.  ORC members can sign up here.

The course from the start/finish line to the turn around point is approx. 250 metres on Dow’s Lake. Crews race 250 metres, navigate around a buoy and race 250 metres back.

Two teams consisting of a coxed four, double, and single will race head to head. The coxed fours will race first, passing off to the doubles, and then the singles. Each team will be made up of a combination of juniors, seniors, and masters. Teams will be determined by the ORC lead coaches and Technical Director.

Each rower/coxie pays an entry fee of $20. $10 will go to the ORC Equipment Fund, and the remaining $10 will go to the pot. The winning team takes home the pot.

The Relay teams and schedule will be circulated and posted after May 5!

VOLUNTEER CALL OUT: Dock Installation and Club Clean Up on April 21!

Good news! The ORC docks are scheduled to be installed this Saturday, April 21.  The docks will be put back in the water and the club will be cleaned up and prepared for us to start operations on Monday, April 23.

Work on Saturday, April 21 will begin at 8am.  We need as many helping hands as possible to get this giant tasks done.  Jobs may vary on the 21st, depending on needs, but here are the general job assignments.  There will be a check list posted in the ORC office if you’re looking for a job to do.

Junior Men and Masters Men – install docks

Masters Women and Junior Women – clean up the second level of the big boathouse, put coach boats together and check safety supplies in coach boats, clean and organize ergs and weight area

Senior Men and Senior Women – rig boats, put boat racks up and move boats to proper racks

Recreational – organize and put together outdoor work bay (including work tent), clean shoreline and pick up debris, sweep paths

There will be no running water on Saturday. Bring full water bottles. Portable toilets will be on site.

A very big THANK YOU to everyone, in advance, for contributing some time and effort on Saturday.  It’s much appreciated. We’re looking forward to being back in our second home.

Although docks will be installed on Saturday, programs will be transitioned to the water gradually to ensure safety.  Further updates will be provided via program coaches about on-water practices. A reminder that rowers are not allowed on the water until properly registered and have completed the mandatory safety training.


The Ottawa Rowing Club would not be what it is today, or have thrived for 150 years, without dedicated, amazing, passionate volunteers.  Not just this National Volunteer Week, but everyday, we thank our volunteers for every little bit they contribute to our rowing community and to keeping our historic rowing club standing proud on the Ottawa River.  Sending you all so much #ORCvolunteerlove!!