June President’s Broadcast

Hello Trakkers,

We’re officially in “summer hibernation mode” and hope everyone is enjoying the warm weather. A few updates re: summer events, and calls out for volunteer support for next season:

Come Paddle With Us!

Join Trakkers for an evening paddle with Harbourfront Canoe and Kayak Centre on Friday, June 24th at 6:00 p.m.  Easily accessible by public transit at Queens Quay and Reese Street, with a number of paid parking lots nearby.

Costs: Solo Kayak $40; Tandem Kayak $50; or Canoe $30

Simply go to their website paddletoronto.com/socials/ and register for the June 24th Social Paddle at 6:00 p.m.  Select your preferred boat and pay your rental fee to Harbourfront. If you have your own boat, you are welcome to join the paddle and launch off their dock.

Please RSVP to info@trakkers.ca so we can let Harbourfront know you are coming.

This event requires some paddling experience.  If you are new to paddling and would like to come out, you can partner with an experienced paddler in a tandem boat or explore the variety of courses offered by Harbourfront evenings and weekends. See their website for details paddletoronto.com

We’ll see you at Harbourfront! — and stay tuned for updates re: other summer / fall social events that are in the works!

Like a Good Party? — We Could Use Your Help!

Trakkers is still searching for a volunteer Events Coordinator to help support coordination of the club’s 3 main social events during the ski season (open house in November, wine-and-cheese in January, and year-end dinner in March), as well as a few off-season events (pub night in early fall). Participation is also required at Trakkers’ monthly board meetings (September through April). Average time commitment is approx. 6 hours per month.

Trakkers has a very dedicated crew of volunteers who help out with the actual running of the events, so this is largely an organizational and volunteer coordination role.

If you’re interested in this volunteer position, please contact us at info@trakkers.ca.

Social Media Content Coordinator Volunteer Opportunity

Do you enjoy reading skiing, snowshoeing and outdoorsy articles online through Facebook, Twitter and the larger blogosphere? Have any experience with writing articles or social media content? Why not consider volunteering as our Social Media Content Coordinator?

Key duties for this non-executive volunteer position include:

  • identifying relevant online content that would be of interest to Trakkers members;
  • acting as the club’s “roving reporter” to develop brief original content for the Trakkers blog— this could include anything from writing articles about the club’s social events, developing profiles of Trakkers members, recipe ideas, book reviews — we’re open to ideas and this is a great way to meet other members in the club!; and,
  • supporting the club’s Communications Director to cross-promote relevant online content through Trakkers’ social media presence (Facebook, Twitter)

Time commitment is approximately 1-2 hours per week. Optimally we’re looking for someone who is online/social media savvy, and training will be provided on the specific social media tools used by the club (WordPress, Tweetdeck, etc.).

Email info@trakkers.ca if interested or you want to know more.

AGM Report-Back

The club’s AGM and year-end dinner were held on Friday, March 31.

Steve - Punch

Steve Favell, our Ski School Coordinator — and master punch maker!

We had a good turnout of old and new members to hear about the club’s activities this past year, to review the club’s financial statement, and to elect the board for the 2016-17 season.

As part of our season wrap-up we were also delighted to present awards to:

  • Barb Williams, one of our retiring ski instructors, for her many years of volunteer service with the club as an instructor — thank you, Barb!
  • Gina Ang, recipient of the Ski School Award for her enthusiasm and dedication to achievement in taking Trakkers lessons
  • Steve Favell, recipient of the Bernie Award for “outstanding contribution” to the club
  • Jen Liptrot, recipient of the Broken Ski Award

The club’s annual report and financial statement, as well as draft minutes from the AGM, are now available online in the Club Operations section of the web site. Simply log on to your member account and click on the Club Operations link in the left-hand menu to access.

Keep on trakkin! And don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest updates!

Jen Liptrot
Volunteer President
Trakkers — LOVE Winter!

Help Plan Trakkers Parties

Trakkers is looking for a new Social Coordinator to help plan social events.  We interviewed our current Social Coordinator, Michelle to find out more about this opportunity.

Past Social EventWhat are some responsibilities of this role?
The Social Coordinator role is all about planning parties!  Throughout the ski season Trakkers has three main events to plan:
Open House – The open house is a chance for members and the interested public to come out, socialize,  and sign up for the upcoming ski season
Wine and Cheese – This event is yet another opportunity for members to connect and socialize while out on trip. Ending your ski day with a simple afternoon cocktail party is nice bonus. It’s also a great way to meet new friends and catch up with old friends.
Year End Dinner – And lastly the dinner provides members a chance to close out the season while enjoying some delicious food.
All events are successful because of the teamwork that goes into the planning and execution. The Board members offer amazing support and assistance and there is a great group of volunteers that pitch in as well.

What have you gained from having the role?
As a new member of Trakkers and a new resident of Toronto, this position was an excellent way to expand my network in the city. Having met like-minded people that were interested in XC skiing and other outdoor activities was a huge win for me!

Please describe something you enjoyed about being on the Executive.
Since I’m a big fan of activity and spending time outdoors, participating in a club that creates opportunity for people to step outside the city and connect with nature was a rewarding experience. I think what I enjoyed the most was being an advocate for Trakkers and it felt good to contribute my time to an organization that I felt a strong connection to. That feeling is sometimes hard to find in my day job so I was glad to have found it with Trakkers!

If someone is interested, who should they contact?
If you are interested in the social coordinator position please contact Jen by email at president@trakkers.ca

March President’s Broadcast

Hello Trakkers,

Our ski season is officially a wrap — but we have one more fun event before the club goes into hibernation over the summer: see details below for the April 1 Annual General Meeting / Year-End Dinner. We’re also still looking for a dedicated volunteer for the club’s Social Events Coordinator position for next year’s board.

Come Out for the Annual General Meeting on April 1….

All members are invited the Annual General Meeting:

Friday, April 1, 2016, 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Swansea Town Hall
95 Lavinia Avenue

This is an important meeting to support the club’s overall governance — and it’s also one final opportunity for us to get together and socialize at the end of the season! (We also hear that Steve Favell will be ladling out a batch of his world-famous punch!)

Operational and financial reports for the 2015-16 ski season will be presented, we’ll elect the board for next year, and we’ll also take time to present some awards! Agenda and proposed board slate are available in the Club Operations section of the web site. (Simply log in to your member account and click on the Club Operations link on the left-hand menu, below My Account.)

If you wish to nominate yourself for a position on the Trakkers Board of Directors, please complete the Nominations and Consent Form and submit to info@trakkers.ca.

If you can’t come to the AGM, but want to have someone vote in your stead, please complete the Proxy Form and provide to the person charged with voting on your behalf, to present at the AGM.

Any questions with respect to the AGM can be directed to info@trakkers.ca.

…. And Stay for the Year-End Dinner!

After the AGM, we’ll celebrate with a lovely catered dinner by La Brehandaise Catering, with lots of opportunity for socializing.

Tickets ($50) can be purchased online through your member account. We still have quite a few tickets left so please feel free to bring a guest! Tickets are still on sale until Thursday, March 24.

Simply log in to your member account to reserve your ticket and pay online — just like booking a spot on a Sunday trip! Check out the yummy menu here.

Like Throwing a Good Party? — We Could Use Your Help!

Trakkers is still searching for a volunteer Social Events Coordinator for next year’s board of directors.

This position involves overseeing coordination for the club’s 3 main social events during the ski season (open house in November, wine-and-cheese in January, and year-end dinner in March), as well as a few off-season events (pub night in early fall). Participation is also required at Trakkers’ monthly board meetings (September through April). Average time commitment is approx. 6 hours per month.

Trakkers has a very dedicated crew of volunteers who help out with the actual running of the events, so this is largely an organizational and volunteer coordination role.

If you’re interested in this volunteer position, please contact us at info@trakkers.ca.

Send Us Your Ideas for Weekend Trips!

If you were on our final bus to Arrowhead on March 6, you may have met Henry Furlott, who is our incoming Weekend Trips Coordinator for next year, and who distributed a survey to members to support planning for our weekend trips next season.

If you didn’t get a chance to fill in a survey, but have thoughts about possible destinations or what’s most appealing (or not) for our trips, please send Henry a note at weekendtrips@trakkers.ca.

Finally — Congratulations to our Photo Contest Winners!

We had a great response to our photo contest this season, with 38 photos submitted by our in-club artistes! Winning photos for each week are on our web site.

Congratulations to all our winners:

  • Han Zhang
  • Natalia Vorsyna
  • Steve Favell
  • Celeste Koon
  • Mary-Jane Owen
  • Lesley Stevens

Thanks again to Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC) for sponsoring the contest and providing such great prizes!

Keep on trakkin’!

Jen Liptrot
Volunteer President
Trakkers Cross-Country Ski Club — LOVE Winter!

Destination Georgian Nordic

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Northern Landscape

Located just off Highway 400 south of Parry Sound, Georgian Nordic’s granite outcroppings and mostly coniferous forest remind visitors that they are entering Northern Ontario. The terrain is dotted with small hills and pretty little streams. Great for photos!

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Club Atmosphere
Some of the resorts we visit have a definite commercial style with a range of tempting services and products to spend your money on. Not here! Instead, visitors are welcomed into a comfortable, volunteer-driven enterprise which operates as a mountain biking and canoe club when there is no skiing. The roomy chalet is warmed by a wood stove and while there is no formal food service, you may find muffins and cookies available (leave your money in the box) and you can help yourself to the kettle and microwave.

Animal Theme
All the trails have animal names like Otter, Rabbit, Beaver and Cottontail. The chalet is called “Borrow”. Trail details can be found here.

Goergian trails

We are watching the weather and keeping our fingers crossed for a spring skiing trip to this special destination.

Destination Arrowhead

Arrowhead Provincial Park takes a little longer to get to than most other destinations we visit, but for many Trakkers, it is well worth it. This destination has a special, northern remote feel.

Arrowhead SignWe asked Xavier and Sylvia to share some reflections and to suggest trails for different levels of skiers.

Special Memories
“We brought friends from France a few years ago – a mum and her two children plus our daughter Alice, aged 13. They all came on the Trakkers bus. The French kids were new to cross-country skiing but had a great time falling and laughing. It was a unique, very remote experience for them and they did find it cold! Whenever we see them they still talk about their good memories of a true Canadian winter!”

Arrowhead trailTrail Choice Suggestions
“For a beginner, we suggest taking the 5k Arrowhead Lake Trail. It is lovely with many views of the pretty lake. There is one big climb and a downhill, but otherwise it is mostly flat.”

“More advanced skiers should try the Hardwood Hill Trail loop. It’s worth the climb to the upper parking lot with the charming little Mayflower Warm-up Chalet at the start and finish of the trail. This is one of our all-time favourites with rolling downhills where you can stay in the tracks for a thrill! “

Other Tips
“This is a remote location, so ski with a buddy. And don’t forget to bring snacks, water and a map with you on the trails.”

Sunday Trip – The Inside Story

For many Trakkers, a Sunday trip is an easy getaway where all you have to do is sign up by Thursday evening and show up before 9:00 am to board the bus. So simple! Members may not know how much goes on behind the scenes to make it all run so smoothly.ski busesHere’s a peek at some of what happens each week leading up to, during and after a trip along with some of the people involved.

Announce the destination
On Monday, Sunday Trips Director Katja confirms a destination. Gleb (Website Director) and Florence (Communications Director) post the information on the website and social media. The team continues to monitor weather and snow conditions, checking with resorts to see how well they can accommodate us and to make sure we go where the skiing is best. If there is a change, the new destination is posted.

Collect registrations and payments
Members register and pay through our recently automated online sign-up process.

Confirm trip details and standby seats
By Thursday evening, we know the number of registrations and how many spaces will be available for standby passengers. On Friday, Katja confirms the number of buses and destination with the bus company.

Prepare Bus Captains and Instructors
Steve (Ski School Director) lines up instructors and lesson groups. Sam (Bus Captains Director) downloads the registration lists and prepares kits for the Bus Captains. On Sunday morning, members arrive at the bus and are checked-in efficiently. Bus Captains give updates and announcements to their passengers and deal with any questions during the trip.

Reconcile payments and participants
After each trip, Christina (Treasurer), Sam and Gleb reconcile payments with participants before opening registration for the next trip.
Now that’s a team effort!

What can members do help it work well?
According to Katja, it really helps if people can sign up as early as possible. This allows the opportunity to make extra coach arrangements if need be. Payment online also really helps.

Katja, can you tell us about a Sunday trip challenge that worked out well?
“One Sunday last year we had a big decision to make about whether to proceed with our trip to Georgian Nordic near Parry Sound. The temperature in Toronto was -28. We did not cancel the trip. Upon arrival at our pick up location, we found a bus full of people who were prepared and excited about going. We checked with people on the bus about whether they were OK to proceed and the reaction was pretty much unanimously one of, hey, that’s what we’re here for. So off we went. When we arrived at the destination, the temperature was -30!

Brian and Jovana at Georgian NordicFortunately, it was not windy. People were very well-equipped with masks, hand warmers and other and warm gear. We made a pact to only ski in groups, watch for frostbite and to stop skiing if we felt it was risky. The experience built camaraderie and yielded some of the best photos of the year. Everyone’s lashes, hair and beards were frost-tipped. Trakkers were determined to have a good day, no matter what. And they did!”

 

February President’s Broadcast

Hello Trakkers!

See updates below re: our fab photo contest, annual wine and cheese, and upcoming AGM and Year-End Dinner.

Warm Weather Wine and Cheese

It’s not every year that we get such a treat of warm temps for our annual wine and cheese. For this year’s event at Scenic Caves we were blessed with two full buses of members and guests, sunny skies in the morning, and even the rain which had been forecasted held off until we were on the bus headed home!

Wine and Cheese - Doug

Trakkers members congregated for our annual photo in front of the log cabin and we had a lovely time socializing!

Trakkers Group Photo 2016

Tickets Now on Sale for April 1 AGM/Year-End Dinner

Trakkers Annual General Meeting (AGM) and Year-End Dinner will be held on Friday, April 1, at Swansea Town Hall. The AGM is open to all Trakkers members. Tickets for the dinner are $50 and are now available for purchase online. Simply log in to your member account to reserve your ticket and pay online — just like booking your spot on a Sunday trip!

Catering for the dinner is being provided by La Brehandaise Catering and you can see the full menu here.

We’ll have a brief ADM/business portion of the evening to start, and then lots of time for a leisurely dinner and socializing! Agenda and materials to support the AGM will be posted to the Club Operations section of the member-only area of the web site at the end of February. We’ll a separate email out to all members with instructions for access, once materials are available.

And the Winners Are….

Boot Buddies (Lesley Stevens)

Boot Buddies (Lesley Stevens)

The Trakkers Photo Contest is off to a great start and we’ve already had some wonderful winners in the Show Us Your Gear (above), We Love Trakkers, Amazing Style, and Show Us Your Lunch (below) categories:

We Love Trakkers (M-J Owen)

We Love Trakkers (Mary-Jane Owen)

Keep your photos coming — there are still 4 weeks left to enter and win a prize! To participate, Trakkers members can post one photo each week on the Trakkers Facebook page. Members and their friends can vote on any photo by “liking”. Winning photos will be determined based on the number of “likes” received that week.

Detailed rules and weekly prize schedule can be found on the Trakkers web site. Thanks go out to Mountain Equipment Co-Op for sponsoring us again this year with some great gear and gift cards!

Amazing Style (Celeste Koon)

Amazing Style (Celeste Koon)

Valentines Apples

Valentines Apples (Steve Favell)

We Still Need a Few More Bus Captains!

Want to meet more people in the club and get a free Sunday bus fare? Why not consider becoming a Trakkers bus captain?

Our bus captains are responsible for registering all skiers as they board the bus, purchasing and distributing the club’s trail passes when we arrive at the resort, and acting as all-around ambassadors on each Sunday trip. It’s a lot of fun, the club provides full training, and as an extra incentive, if you volunteer as a captain the cost of your Sunday bus fare is covered by the club. We require two bus captains per bus for each of our Sunday trips.

If you are interested in volunteering as a bus captain please contact Sam Tosaria, the club’s Lead Bus Captain, for more details.

Keep on trakkin’ — and don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest updates!

Jen Liptrot
Volunteer President
Trakkers — LOVE Winter!