“My sister & I joined a community team in 2014. It has been by far one the best and most rewarding decisions of my life. We went from a community team to a competitive team and quickly thereafter the premier team. We have competed on a National level twice and are now training to compete at the 11th IDBF Club Crew World Championships in Szeged, Hungary in July 2018. At 50, I am in the best shape of my life. This club and dragon boating with them means the world to me.” –Debra Bray
“I spent the last 25 years taking care of my family-two boys and a husband who travelled extensively. I spent what felt like an eternity running my kids to soccer matches and volleyball tournaments in the family minivan. This was my team and I was their coach. It was my full time job and I loved it. I woke up one day and I’d been laid off. I know they love and need me, but it’s more of a consulting position now. I felt bad for myself for exactly 2 weeks and started looking for another team to belong to. I tried a few things that didn’t work and then I found BCDBA. I had never been on a dragon boat before but knew as soon as I met the founding members of BCDBA that I found a home. They are kind, generous, funny and devoted to the sport and every member of the organization. I hopped on the boat, grabbed a paddle and fell in love, hard. I came to love the girls on my Team Force and I won’t let them down. I give everything I have every time I’m on the boat with them. And as soon as I get off the boat, my first thought is when can I get back in again. I am hooked.” –Bonnie Gepner
“Bucks County Dragon Boat Association came into my life 3 years ago and I was new to the sport in general. Dragon boating has quickly become an important part of what I do. Aside from the competition, commitment and doing something good for myself, I also have fun while doing it. The people in the organization are all top notch and the feeling of camaraderie within the teams have made this a very enjoyable experience for me. I am also involved with the American Red Cross. BCDBA has donated a team building event to my team every year which is only the beginning of what the organization does for the community. Members of my Red Cross team look forward to the experience every year. I personally look forward to being part of BCDBA for many years to come.”-Ken Dickerson
“Something was missing from my life but I did not know what it was until I found dragon boating with BCDBA. As a full-time physician and mother of five, I rarely made time to do something special just for me. Fortunately, dragon boating has brought an exciting new dimension to my world. Not only do I enjoy the physicality of this really cool sport but maybe even moreso the reward of belonging to a group of kind, interesting and like-minded adults. BCDBA made me feel welcome since day 1 and I look forward to getting together with my new friends both on and off the boat. I highly recommend dragon boating for anyone who needs to awaken their inner dragon!”-Chip Ryan
“Being a member of a Dragon Boat Team means participation and dedication to an unusual sport in that it emphasizes the importance and necessity of individual members working together as one unit to achieve success, but at the same time it allows room for setting and achieving personal goals. The practices are tough and the races are an experience that results in a broad range of emotions. BCDBA has become an important part of my life. It allows me to pursue a challenging athletic program and at the same time it has given me the bonus of meeting new people and forging new friendships and continually provides a series of opportunities to participate in events and social programs that have an effect on our community. My Dragon Boat experience is something that is still evolving and I’m looking forward to the next challenge.”-Jim Maxwell
“I always had a love of the water and I have looked for ways to enjoy it with my busy work schedule. I finally found my ‘passion’ after attending a Dragon Boat clinic. I couldn’t wait to join Bucks County Dragon Boat Association. Not only is paddling a great form of exercise and body conditioning but it increases your fitness level while you are making lasting friendships. BCDBA not only coaches many teams and attends races but it supports the community by holding fund raisers to support local food banks and also supports community events by volunteering to help where needed. I am very proud to be part of this organization. Paddle on!”-Linda Cooper
“I first learned of Bucks County Dragon Boat Association through its annual Bucks County Dragon Boat Festival, which I first participated in two years ago. I was “bitten by the dragon” and haven’t looked back since. Having played competitive sports my entire life I was looking for an outlet and dragon boating has completely filled that void. I have never been associated with a sport that can take men and women from all walks of life and have them work together as equals. All twenty people in the boat have a job to do and everyone has to pull their weight or the boat won’t reach its potential. Racing is a humbling, amazing, adrenaline filled experience and I have never met a more welcoming, genuine group of people. The organization accommodates everyone from young to old, beginner to National Champion and to top it off, donates hundreds of thousands of dollars to charity through its festival. I could not be more proud to be part of this amazing organization.”-Erik Clare
“Who would have thought that at age 59 I would find a sport, yet another challenge in this thing we call life, that has so profoundly changed MY life and allowed me to meet so many amazing people? Imagine being a girl who grew up in the 60’s and 70’s where there were no organized sports available to women, only to find dragonboating in my later years and go from novice to competitive to coaching to Gold Medal Senior A Nationalist. I am an athlete and have an opportunity to compete at the World Club Crew in Hungary 2018! Dragon boating has strengthened me physically, mentally and emotionally and has allowed me to find my kindred spirit in so many men and women sharing the same passion. I cannot imagine my life without my dragon boat family.”-Peggy Beamer
“One of the best things I ever did in life was form Bucks County Dragon Boat Association with Laurie McHugh in 2012. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I could dragon boat let alone run a club and race nationally and internationally. My teammates are absolutely amazing and one of my best memories to date with BCDBA was racing in Szeged, Hungary with the ladies of Fusion in July 2018. I will never forget the strong racing we did and just how perfect our time together in Hungary was. I am so proud of Bucks County Dragon Boat and all of its members and am looking forward to what the future holds for us.” -Jacquelyn Wetzel, co-founder of BCDBA
“I joined BCDBA two years ago after participating in the introductory Lightning program. By the time the program was over, I was hooked and immediately joined the competitive mixed team. This is no leisurely paddle down the river! This is fierce competition, and I have to work hard in team practices and work out hard at the gym to have the strength and stamina for it. Since dragon boating has competition in every age category, you don’t have to worry about going up against people much younger than you.
“If you prefer competition that’s less strenuous and with less time commitment, you can join one of the “community” teams. You can then race other community teams at various festivals.
“But what’s especially great about BCDBA is the people. These are the best teammates you would ever want to have. There are no stars or prima donnas and nobody has an ego. Everyone contributes in their own way.” -Bob Flisser