Every New Year’s Day, dozens of bold (crazy) people flock to the shore to join members of the Coney Polar Bear swim club and plunge into the frigid ocean, all for a chance to feel what it is like to have ice cold water lap against their private parts. What a lot of people don’t know is that the New Year’s Day swim, which anyone can participate in, is only one in a series of otherwise exclusive icy swim outings undertaken by the Polar Bears all winter. Amusing the Zillion is reporting that the Polar Bear’s are accepting new members and are employing a lottery system to divvy out the open spots.
While the media makes it seem that the Polar Bears are out only on January 1, the club has an active schedule all winter. Every Sunday at 1 p.m., from November 3 until April, enthused Coney Polar Bear members gather to brave the frosty waters of the Atlantic, refusing to deny themselves ocean splendor until the hot summer months.
If this sounds like your idea of a great time, you can join them by registering for a lottery that will select 10 lucky people. Amusing the Zillion broke down what is expected of selected new members:
To register for the lottery, you must sign up here and will be notified of the results by November 9th. Selected applicants are required to pay a $25 application fee (non-refundable), participate in 12 swims within a single season between November and April and be voted in by a majority of the membership. The club has approximately 150 full-time members with about 100 coming out for weekly swims…
You can also join the Coney Polar Bear Club for one guest swim. Just show up at the Bears “Clubhouse” at the Aquarium’s Education Hall on the Coney Island Boardwalk at West 8th Street by 12:30 pm with your bathing suit, a towel, surf boots or an extra pair of sneakers, and some warm clothing.
On the registration page, I found the last perk to be the most interesting one promised to members:
The privileges of membership:
- Participation in our weekly swims and other Club activities
- Use of our changing facilities
- Full voting rights
- The right to own and wear the official Club patch
- Bragging rights to your wimp friends
Yes, your wimp friends will have no choice but to bow down to your official Polar Bear club patch all while you brag about the time you flung yourself into 12 degree water last February.
Anyway, their swims on New Year’s Eve, which are open to all, are done to raise money for Camp Sunshine and other charities for children with life threatening diseases. According to Amusing the Zillion, the Polar Bears pull down $20,000 annually for their causes, which is amazing and should be applauded.
Anyway, the Polar Bears are announcing their new members on Saturday, November 9, so if you want a shot to join them, you best register quickly. Good luck!