By Grace Fitzgerald, Vice President of the Min-Aqua Bats
On a typical morning in Minocqua, I get up around 9:30 and make myself a coffee and a small breakfast before heading to work at the Lakeside Grill on Lake Tomahawk. This is my second year working at Lakeside and I have had the best time working with fellow Min-Aqua Bats there. I am a waitress and on show nights, I will typically work from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm so that I can get off and get ready to ski!
After work, I usually head home for a quick turnaround and a bite to eat. This year, I was a member of the 2021 Bat Board which meant I had to be down at the Bowl early to help get ready for each show!! My particular position on the board was Corresponding Secretary which meant that I ran the Instagram for our team (@theminaquabats) but that is now passed on to my good friend, Emma Mihas! Message her if you have any inquiries about the team!
Around 6:40 pm we have a team meeting where the board talks about things that we are doing and need to do better as a team. This meeting always ends in a bit of a pep talk and someone breaks it down for us to chant “Bats Fly Together!” This is kind of like a good luck charm for the team. After that, our lovely announcer, Luci Boyer, plays the song “Spirit in the Sky” and everyone gets into position.
The shows themselves are a little more chaotic than they may appear from the outside. With a bunch of teenagers running around trying to put on a show for a large crowd while also managing boat patterns, costumes, order of acts, detangling tons of ropes and so much more, it is easy to say the Aqua Bowl clubhouse is far from quiet when the clock strikes 7:00 pm.
The best part about skiing as a Min-Aqua Bat is the crowd’s reaction when an act is successful. I ski on an act called Ballet which is where a group of about 15 girls perform a flying dock starts and complete ballet of the arms and legs through the show course. Additionally, I also ski an act called Slalom Pyramid which is another all-female act in which we build pyramids on just one ski per person. The crowd tends to love these and I enjoy looking out to my parents, cousins and other family members as they cheer us on. The Min-Aqua Bats has a heavy tradition of being extremely family oriented. You rarely find a member on the team that is not related to someone else. For me specifically, I am lucky enough to ski with my little sister and my two older cousins.
By the time the shows are halfway over, I am usually done skiing for the night. So I tend to either help out on the dock by listening to our shore microphone, which is a walkie talkie connected to all of the boats so we can communicate during the show, or I spot in the boats. Spotting in the boats is one of my favorite things to do as it shows a new perspective of the show and tends to be a bit less chaotic than life onshore.
When the show has reached its end, it is typically around 9:00 pm and the team cleans and shuts down the clubhouse and usually makes plans for after the show. One of my favorite activities is to go out on Lake Tomahawk and link all of our boats together, listen to music and debrief after the show. This activity has been coined as a ‘flotilla’. After this, I boat into my bay and get a good night’s sleep just to do it all over again the next day!
While shows may be over for this summer season, there is chatter about possibly putting on a show for Beef-a-Rama this fall! We are willing to bundle up and ski for you all one last time if you come on out. But if we can’t catch you then, we’ll be sure to see you on the sunny shores of Minocqua in 2022. Until next time, ski you later!