Before been serious about our CODE OF ETHICS… let’s humour ourselves!
From Cottage Life
You will probably recognize someone or even yourself….
Part of the joy of cottaging is hosting friends and family—relaxing with those you hold nearest and dearest, and showing off your little slice of paradise.
Except, sometimes, your nearest and dearest turn out to be whining, insufferable freeloaders who make you want to spend the entirety of their visit in a boat. On the lake. Alone.
To avoid that scenario (and we’ve all been there), here’s a field guide to some generic guest types you want to look out for. You know, the ones who will turn your precious weekend at the cottage into an inescapable stress-fest.
Call: “Wow, it’s really small.” (Also: “How do you put up with no air conditioning?” “What do you mean, the bathroom’s inside?” and “You should really consider installing heated floors/a hot tub/a saltwater pool.”)
How to recognize: The Princess (who, despite the name, can be male or female) will be wearing wildly inappropriate shoes and generally carries a suitcase exclusively dedicated to hair-styling tools (which will blow at least four fuses over the weekend).
If encountered: Do not attempt to engage in traditional cottage activities. Ply gently with alcohol to maintain a minimum degree of mellowness.
Call: “Oh, sorry—the grocery/liquor store was closed.” (Also: “What do you mean the nearest store is two hours away?”)
How to recognize: These seemingly hapless folks show up at your door with nothing of any value for the cottage collective and often lack basic personal items like sunscreen and bug spray. A familiar, more irritating variant is the Empty Hander who has dietary restrictions and fails to provide substitutes for standard cottage fare.
If encountered: Send to town with a list of needed items if a store is close. If not, stretch planned meals with pasta. (Curse quietly if guest is gluten-intolerant.) And, just for sanity, always have a healthy supply of wine/burgers/chips on hand.
Call: Mostly recognized by the incessant droning of your Sea-Doo or the continuous splashing of shower water. (Also: “I could use a refill!”)
How to recognize: Guzzlers have little sense of proportion, leading them to indiscriminately use gasoline/water/beer without regard of cost or dwindling supplies. Sometimes seen augmenting existing stores with inferior substitutes (replacing your craft microbrews with Coors Light, for example).
If encountered: Do not offer unlimited use of gas-powered watercraft—suggest that use be confined to afternoons so as to “fully enjoy the sunshine.” If necessary, invoke a “no noise before noon and after 4” policy. If Guzzler is hogging the shower, turn on the kitchen sink tap, briefly. Repeat as necessary. Learn to drink bad beer.
Call: “Oh, they’re fine. Just let them run.” (Also: “We don’t believe in restricting their expression.” “Just ignore them.” “Aren’t they creative?”)
How to recognize: Free-rangers are selectively blind and deaf, so expect to see smiles and relaxation even in the face of wanton destruction/ear-piercing noise. Offspring are frequently loud, inquisitive and energetic, seeming to take up far more space that their small size would indicate. (Variant: fur-parents who smile as their enormous/elderly/socially maladjusted four-legged child mauls your one-room cabin.)
If encountered: Distract offspring with outdoor activities like scavenger hunts, science experiments and sporting contests. Indoor activities like colouring books and jigsaw puzzles may also be effective. Quietly discuss cottage rules — which, of course, are in place in the interests of safety — with Free-rangers.
Call: “I hope you don’t mind that [insert name of someone you’ve never met] tagged along!” (Also: “You won’t even notice they’re here.”)
How to recognize: Extra Guesters are most often spotted with their extra guest, who is frequently a) sullen teenage son’s even more sullen girlfriend, b) a heretofore unknown significant other or c) a close relative recently out of rehab/prison who needs a “nice getaway.”
If encountered: Try to be polite to (possibly unwitting) extra guest. Stretch planned meals with pasta (see “Empty Handers”). Keep an extra sleeping bag on hand. Be scrupulously explicit with next year’s invitation.
Have you met up with any of these guests-from-hell? Share your stories on our FACEBOOK PAGE
With a smile to something more serious…
OUR CODE OF ETHICS:
This CODE shows our willingness as members of the Association to protect our natural environment and promote understanding between all members such as:
Respect toward the natural environment;
Mutual respect and cooperation between all of the lake’s users;
Respect with regards to the diversity of the nautical activities safely practiced here.
This code of ethics arises from several consultations with different associations and members. It contains all of our goals and rules. In other words, our code of ethics is the purpose of our association. Some would have wished for more coercive measures but that is not our choice. It is necessary to know that a code of ethics does not have force of law. Everyone is encourage, to adhere to it and, is responsible for ensuring that our common rules are knowed by all including your guests or renters on a daily basis.
1st principle: Navigation and sharing of our body of water
Knowing that the water level is low in Newton Bay and at the Bowman boat launch. Knowing, also, that large waves are eroding the banks, stirring up sediment, activating aquatic plant growth, damaging wharfs and can contribute to accidents (kayaks, canoes and swimmers). We ask you to be responsible for your waves.
Technically, we are asking all members that have recreational crafts, high performance motors that create strong wakes and those wishing to undertake nautical sports such as water skiing, wake boarding to:
1.1.Always verify if the water level of the lake is not high or above average;
1.2.Respect areas that have «NO WAKE» signs;
1.3.Go out on the big lake when there are line-ups of boats playing in the Newton bay area;
1.4. Always navigate slowly (5 km/h) when you are at or within 50 meters (170 feet) of the shore;
1.5.Yield to swimmers and non-motorized watercrafts. Consequently, the driver of a motorized craft must always manoeuvre in a respectful manner especially within the bays;
1.6.Swimmers are asked to remain within the 30-meter protection zone.If they wish to go outside of this zone, they are responsible for clearly signaling their presence;
1.7.Rafts must be safely installed within the 50-meter limit of the shores;
1.8.Four stroke engines are favoured as they pollute less;
1.9.Respect signage on buoys.
Be aware of your waves and their consequences on the shore of your neighbor!
2nd principle : Sound level and other noises
On water, sound and noise carry much further than in an urban setting. Everyone is invited to take this into consideration during his and her activities especially during July and August.
2.1 Motorized crafts and vehicles must have a properly working muffler;
2.2 Erratic driving with recreational vehicules near your neighbors (racing, speeding, riding back’n forth etc) or on the water (tight turns, wave jumping, tricks, etc.) is a source of noise for several members;
2.3 The sound level of all sound systems should be adjusted so as to not disturb people around;
2.4 In order to promote a harmonious coexistence, we are recommending to limit noisy activities (cutting the lawn, using a chainsaw, minor renovations, etc.) to between the hours of 9 am and 7 pm specially on weekends.
3rd principle : Respect of environmental rules from our municipalities
In order to take full advantage of our environment, it is of the out most importance to respect certain regulations :
3.1. Septic systems must be emptied and inspected every four years for seasonal cottages and every two years for residents. These systems must be installed at over 30 meters from the lake’s maximum level;
3.2. Ban on cutting grass or deforesting in the 15-meter zone of banks (from the water level’s maximum height) except one or two corridors toward’s the lake). A mandatory agreement will need to be negotiated with the old residents (those that were built within this limit) and new residents (that apply the new regulation) in accordance with the municipality and COBALI;
3.3. In order to avoid aquatic plant growth, do not use any fertilizers (even organic) within 100 meters of the banks;
3.4. Spreading pesticides is banned in all of Poisson Blanc’s municipalities;
3.5. The use of soaps and cleaners containing phosphates is prohibited in all of Poisson Blanc’s municipalities;
3.6. Do not fill your garbage bags with recyclables. Use small blue or clear bags to identify your recyclables to the sanitation workers and in doing this, helping the municipality reach it’s recycling quota;
3.7.Always clean your craft if you have used it in another body of water so as to not contaminate our lake with invasive plants.
4th principle : Good neighbouring and cooperation
4.1.Voluntary participation in chores organized by our association in order to make our environment more secure and comfortable to live in;
4.2.Participation in our neighbourhood surveillance. It is important that each member show solidarity toward his neighbour in order to avoid theft or vandalism. A few tricks: 1) remember the make of your neighbors’ cars and also exchange your telephone numbers 2) have apencil and paper available in your car in order to take down a suspicious plate number or other information 3) take note of emergency telephony numbers: SQ: 310-4141, SOS Poaching: 1-800-463-2191, Urgence-Environnement (environmental emergency service) : 1-866-283-2333, SOPFEU (forest fires): 1-800-463-3389 and that of your municipality. 4) Always be vigilant in the face of suspicious situations during hunting season and during the off-season;
4.3.All domestic animals must remain on your property and must not constitute a threat to your neighbour;
4.4.Respect the municipality’s meter with regards to camp fires. Not making any fires on the shore or banks since the ashes are a choice fertilizer for aquatic plants;
4.5.Always inform your immediate neighbours if you are planning on having fireworks, major renovations or large celebrations;
4.6.Avoid lighting up your property excessively in order to allow your neighbours to enjoy a starry sky.
We ask you that you explain our Code of Ethics to any renter or visitor on your property!