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February 2019 President’s Broadcast

Hello Trakkers!

So far this season we have been blessed with good skiing conditions! It was so cold on the day of our January 20th trip to Hardwood that not a single photograph was taken – we assume this based on the fact that there was a historic non-response to the first of our series of the annual photo contest!  Since then, we also visited a club favourite, Kawartha Nordic, during white-out conditions.  A bit of cold and lots of snow is what it’s all about when skiing with Trakkers.  Love winter!

The first of our weekend trips to Woolner House in Duntroon took place over the weekend of January 26 – 27 weekend.  A great time was had by all! The next weekend trip to Blue Spruce (Algonquin Park) will take place on February 9 & 10.

Photo Contest

Trakkers have proven their great sense of humour with their literal interpretation and submissions to the latest photo contest with the theme of “forest bathing”. The winner of this theme was Florence with “I don’t take baths; I take showers!”

forest-bathing-1

Upcoming themes include:

Winter sculpture — closes noon, Saturday, February 23

In movement: a video — closes noon, Saturday, March 2

The last theme is our rule-breaker. The photo contest has opened to video for this very special theme: capture a movement in 4 to 6 seconds. Have fun and stay safe!

Check out the Photo Contest page on our website for full details and watch our Facebook page for further updates on winners!

 

Upcoming Wine & Cheese

wine-cheese

Mark your calendars for February 24th , our Wine & Cheese social at Scenic Caves.

This is a great mid-season opportunity to socialize with other members in the club and we will have the very cozy log cabin at Scenic Caves booked for our exclusive use again this year.  Remember to sign up for the trip early, since seats on the bus fill up quickly for this trip!

Festivities will begin at approximately 3:00 p.m., giving us lots of time to socialize before we board the bus back to the city at 4:30.

Update on Board Positions and Volunteer Recruitment for 2019-2020 Season

Although there is still a lot of skiing ahead, we are beginning to work toward ensuring that all of our volunteer board positions are filled for the next skiing season.  We have formed a Recruitment Committee for Trakkers Board of Directors Positions which will become vacant at the end of this season.  The Committee consists of: Florence de Lannoy, Jen Liptrott, Barb Williams and myself .  We have been steadily recruiting on weekend trips.  Board positions which will become vacant are:

Director Responsible for Ski School.  This is the position which coordinates lessons and supports our fabulous instructors in both their own training and certification, as well as in the lessons they provide for the club.  This role involves scheduling of lessons for Sunday trips.

Director Responsible for Bus Captains.  This is the position which coordinates our wonderful bus captain volunteers .  It involves training of bus captains, scheduling for Sunday trips, preparing the bus captain check-in kits for trips, and working with the Treasurer to reconcile the finances after trips.

Director Responsible for Communications. This is the position responsible for managing the club’s Facebook and Twitter accounts, posting updates and promoting the various activities of the club throughout the week and supporting the club’s blog (not responsible for generating content for blog). If you have some social media savvy (or would like to challenge yourself to become more so) this is the position for you.

Treasurer: This position speaks for itself.  Outside of managing and reporting to the board on club financials, this position is responsible for regular banking tasks.

All board members participate in 2-hour monthly board meetings (Sept through May). Average time commitment through fall, summer and spring is 6-8 hours per month (including the board meeting).

All portfolios are in tip-top shape due to the super contribution of the existing directors, Anita, Sam, Laure, Gleb and their contributing volunteers.  New directors will be fully oriented to the role by previous directors and supported by the rest of the board.

Please consider volunteering, since this is at the heart of what makes Trakkers tick.  If you are interested in any of the above positions please contact Florence, Jen, or myself for further details.  Our contact information is found at this link.

Non-Board Member Volunteer Needed:

Website Copy Editor and Assistant is a new volunteer position that is designed to help the current webmaster in his day-to-day and week-to-week responsibilities.  Do you have some understanding of HTML and the basic concepts behind websites and the formatting of web content? Do you have experience editing a website’s content on a Content Management System (WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, etc)? Do you have experience with more in depth CMS operations (template editing, CSS formatting)? If yes, this might be the position for you.  Training on the specific flavour of our CMS system would be provided.

With training from and working with our webmaster, this volunteer would perform timely edits and updates to the website content using our CMS system and a Richtext Editor; occasionally edit content in HTML; respond to requests for copy changes from other board members; make appropriate copy edits to fit our website format when necessary; perform occasional other tasks such as resetting a member’s password and responding to email enquiries from the general membership; post images and other file updates (such as the winners of the photo contest or the minutes of the AGM); and provide suggestions on how to improve the experience of our members when using our website

Most of the work will be required during the main part of the ski season and take no more than 3 hours per week.  A huge bonus for Trakkers would be your interest in eventually taking over the Webmaster position.

Save the Date for our AGM and Year End Event

This year’s combined AGM and Year End Event will take place on Thursday, April 11th.  This will be your opportunity to hear the annual report of the club’s operations and finances,  vote on any key issues, as well as your board of directors for the 2019-2020 season.  There will be food, fun and drinks at very reasonable pricing.  It’s our chance to celebrate a great season and connect one more time before we sally on into the off season. Particulars on location and ticket pricing to follow.  Information will be posted on our website.

 

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January 2019 President’s Broadcast

Hello Trakkers!

Happy New Year Everyone!

Well, we’re off to a good start having already been blessed with two fantastic trips in December.  Our first trip of the year has solid sign-up and is going to Highlands Nordic.

Room for More People on our Fabulous Weekend Trips!
January 25-27 (Friday/Saturday nights):
Woolner House, Highlands Nordic (about 22 km south of Collingwood)
This is a newly-renovated building (no winter pics, sorry!)
There are several spaces in a dorm-style room (sleeps 3-4) at $75 pp.
There is also still one space in a loft (sleeps 3) at $60.
The house has large common rooms, two kitchens, a fireplace and a wood stove.
There is skiing or snowshoe right outside the door, connecting to the Highlands Nordic trail system.
The Trakkers group rate for trail fees applies.
Bring your own food (good kitchen facilities for cooking).  The Country House restaurant is nearby for dinner on Saturday night.  Henry, the weekend trip organizer, will make reservations.
GUESTS ARE WELCOME!

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February 8-10 (Friday/Saturday nights):
Blue Spruce Cottages, near West Gate, Algonquin Park
Price, $150pp
There are still spaces in rooms, max 2 per room.  These rooms are in two and 3 bedroom cottages.
There is a fully equipped kitchen in each cottage. Larger cottages have 2 bathrooms.
All have a nice living room area and wood fireplace.  There is a BBQ outside.The resort has its own well-groomed and track-set trail system.  There is ice skating on the lake in an area that is been cleared, flooded, and lit.  There is also a toboggan run.  The resort has a games room for indoor fun.
Participants are able to purchase a special day pass for the Algonquin park trails for only $10/carload.  There is an excellent trail system within the park, also groomed and track set, which is never too busy.  Part way around the trails there is a heated cabin for your lunch.

Blue-Spruce-1Blue-Spruce-2

Please sign up for these trips as soon as possible.  This really helps us with planning.  For more information on how to sign up, please visit our website at this link.

This Year’s Photo Contest is ON!

Submit you best photo taken at a Trakkers Sunday Trip or Weekend Trip during the 2018–2019 season on our Facebook page following a specific theme to get the chance of winning a total of $50 in MEC gift cards.

The photo contest showcases members’ creativity while out of the trail, and inspires appreciation of cross-country skiing and winter outdoors. Each week’s winner of the photo contest is selected based on the most number of “likes” which their photo receives on the Trakkers Facebook page.

The first contest starts January 20 with the theme «Winter Sculpture »: take a picture of what you would consider a winter sculpture during your Trakkers trip and share it on the Trakkers Facebook page with a description. Interpret the theme as you wish and let your creativity soar! This contest will close on Saturday, January 26 at noon.

Great examples of previous “Patterns in Nature” theme submissions:
Photo-contest-1Photo-contest-2

Find details about the contest on our Photo Contest page.

XC Ski Lessons

A reminder to everyone wanting to improve their skills, we now have Advanced Classic lessons for skiers who have mastered their intermediate skills and want to up their game, or who are thinking about teaching.

We also now offer Hills Lessons which focus on the skills required to master going up and coming down hills, with the level of instruction depending on the skill level of people who sign up.

Important: Ski lessons will now start 45 minutes post arrival at the resort.  It would be really helpful for our instructors who are always concerned that no person is left behind if you would  let them know if you are delayed for some reason beyond your control, such as being held up in a ski rental line up.

Information on assessing your skills, what you need to know to get started and about all of our lessons can be found at this link.

To everyone who makes all of these activities work, thank you! Happy sliding and snowshoeing one and all!

Katja Lutte
President, Trakkers XC Ski Club

December President’s Broadcast

Hello Trakkers,

First Trip!!!

Well, it’s that time again! We are very excited for our first Sunday ski trip planned for this Sunday, December 16th to Highlands Nordic! Please register early for the bus, so we know you are planning to come. Advance registration always opens on Mondays and closes Thursdays at 9pm. Please review the Sunday Trips policy on the website to refresh your memory the procedures. If you wish to join a lesson, please sign up when you register for the trip.  Please remember to check our website and facebook  for regular updates on trip status, including any destination change.  Better yet, follow us on facebook for the latest updates.

highlands-nordic1

Lessons

Speaking of lessons, Trakkers offers various types of lessons for skiers at all levels: Junior Trakkers (for kids), Beginners (both Absolute Beginners and Experienced Beginners); Intermediate; Advanced; Skating and Hills lessons (for new and experienced skiers).

Hesitant to make the leap or unsure of your technique? Try our new Advanced Lessons in both classic and skate technique, offered by Xavier Lambert and Sylvia Crowhurst, both CANSI certified level 2 instructors. These lessons are for skiers who have mastered their intermediate skill and want to up their game, or who are thinking about teaching. Students will receive on-snow video feedback throughout the lesson.

For more information about our lessons, go to this link on our website and keep your eye out for more updates to come.

Ski Lessons

Saturday December 15 – CANSI Level 1 Instructor Preparation Course

The CANSI Level 1 Instructor Preparation Course takes place this Saturday, December 15th at  Highlands Nordic ski resort, near Collingwood

If you’d like to share your skills with others, becoming a ski instructor is a great way to do it. This course will prepare you become an assistant ski instructor, and to pass the exams required to become a CANSI certified Level 1 instructor.

Trakkers pays the tuition in return for your teaching. Instructors and assistants also get free bus fare and trail fees on the days they teach. (See our Poster for more info)

Trakkers Open House

We had a great turn out at our Open House on November 16th, where we met many new people interested in the club.  It was also wonderful to see many of our members.  Thanks to everyone who came out, especially the many volunteers who helped with set up!

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MEC Snowfest

On November 18th a few Trakkers represented the club at MEC’s Annual Snowfest.  Again, thanks to all who came out!

Calling all Volunteers

If you have a skill that might be of use in the running of a not for profit, entirely volunteer-run club, please speak to our bus captains or one of the board members on an upcoming trip about how you might be able to help.  At the moment, we could use the help of a graphic designer to assist with updating some of our promotional display materials.  If you have the skills and desire to help out, please let us know!

Ok, folks, the countdown is on!  Conditions look promising and our Sunday Trips Coordinator, Liane MacGregor, is all over the weather reports.  Here’s to shaking our snow globes between now and Sunday!

Katja Lutte, President

 

September President’s Broadcast

Hello Trakkers!

The end of summer is bitter-sweet and all the more sweet because we know we have skiing to look forward to!

We have had a busy summer as many Trakkers were able to join in our off-season outings.  The enthusiasm surrounding these outings made it clear to all of us that Trakkers is a club where friends are made around our common love for being active and  enjoying nature!

This summer we had three interesting and scenic bike tours, organized by Jannette Porter and Jim Girling.  Many thanks for your generous offerings!

Bike tour.jpg

We also managed to hike an entire section of the Bruce Trail in 3 fantastic hikes, with many thanks to Doug Seaborne, Florence DeLannoy, Anita Elash and all who came out to make these hikes so much fun!

 

Hikers 3.jpg

Important Events, Dates & Times

We have now held our first board meeting of the 2018-2019 season and are well on our way to planning for another fantastic season.

Membership Renewal

Remember to renew your membership as soon as possible and before September 30th to benefit from our early-bird rate:

Before September 30th – $70

After September 30th – $75

Winter’s Not Far Off Pub Night

Thursday, October 18 from 7 pm to 9 pm at The Mugshot Tavern, 1729 Bloor St W. (Bloor & Keele)

Get together with your fellow Trakkers for a fun and friendly time.  Come for the whole time or stop in. If you are a card or game player, bring your toys and let’s enjoy!

Trakkers Annual Open House

Friday, November 16th, from 7-9 pm at Swansea Town Hall.

This is a great time to reconnect with your fellow Trakkers, meet some potential new members and share with them your love for skiing.  This is also a great time to register for weekend trips, which are wonderful, popular and can sell out quickly.  You can also talk to us about various volunteer opportunities, be it to help with events, to become a bus captain or ski instructor.  We will be serving snacks and refreshments, including some nice wine.  Bring your friends and spread the word!

Speaking of Weekend Trips …

Hold these dates for affordable two-night (Friday, Saturday night) winter getaways.

  • January 26-27, 2019 – The Woolner House, Highlands Nordic, Duntroon
  • February 9-10, 2019 – Blue Spruce Resort, Algonquin Park area

More information about these weekend trips can be found at this link: http://www.trakkers.ca/weekend.html

Bus Captain Boot Camp – Calling all Trakkers Ski Club Bus Captains! 

Date: Saturday, December 15th – 10 am to 1 pm at Swansea Town Hall

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 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.

The club is holding our annual Bus Captain Training Boot Camp for all returning and potential new bus captains on Saturday, December 15th.

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

Very much looking forward to seeing you all soon!

Katja

 

 

 

 

President’s Broadcast June 2018

Hello Trakkers!

Summer may be ramping up slowly, but our off season cross-training opportunities are moving full steam ahead!

On May 29th we had a great hike through the Scottsdale Farm and area with Trakkers and new friends. Thanks Doug Seaborn and Florence de Lannoy for leading a great hike.

On June 9th another hike took us on our first of 3 hikes through the Dufferin Highlands, toward completing the Dufferin End-to- End – one full section of the Bruce Trail.  Thanks to Anita Elash for leading us at a very solid pace! With everyone’s fitness rapidly improving it felt doable despite the terrain being hillier than on our first hike. Yes, that’s how quickly we find our legs, which we hope to keep moving until we can slide again!

 

Here you can see Doug keeping up his poling skills with ski poles and Trakkers and friends having a bite.

The Dufferin E2E hikes will continue on July 7th and August 11th, with details to be found on our website and further information to follow on Facebook.

Jim and Jannette’s bike ride offerings also continue with the 7th Anual Spokes and Spigots Niagara Winery Bike Tour on Sunday, July 15th.  This is a guided bike tour with fellow Trakkers to wineries and a lavender farm near Niagara-on-the-Lake, with an optional supper at restaurant en route. This is a new route with new destinations not visited on previous tours. Further information can be found on our website and by following this link.

Jim and Jannette are also offering Sites and Cycles: the August Bike Tour, a guided bike tour encircling Hamilton and Burlington, with stops at historic sites such as the Hamilton Lift Bridge, the Beach Canal Lighthouse, H.M.C.S. Haida, and Dundurn Castle.  Options also available include driving a Go Kart and a post-tour supper. Further information can be found on our website and by following this link.

Keep on Tracking!

Katja Lutte, President, Trakkers XC Ski Club

 

Sites & Cycles: The August Bike Tour with Jim & Jannette

Sunday, August 26th* 10:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Event Description

A guided bike tour encircling Hamilton and Burlington, with stops at historic sites such as the Hamilton Lift Bridge, the Beach Canal Lighthouse, H.M.C.S. Haida, and Dundurn Castle. This is a trip designed for Trakker members with at least moderate cycling experience. Options also available include driving a Go Kart and a post-tour supper.

Route

This moderately-paced bike tour will travel on both pavement and hard-packed trails as well as on paved roads and streets, many with designated bike lanes. The total distance is approximately 40 km., broken into 7 segments. Although much of the route is relatively flat, there are 4 uphill grades which can be walked if need be.

What to Bring

  • A multi-speed bicycle (road, touring, mountain, or hybrid style) in good condition,
  • A bike helmet, bike lock, and a pannier or backpack for your food and drink,
  • A picnic lunch,
  • A water bottle and sunscreen are highly recommended.

Start and End Point

The bike shelter in the South Parking Lot of Aldershot GO station.

Getting There

If you don’t have a car, our tour is scheduled around the GO train leaving Toronto’s Union Station† at 9:13 a.m. and a return train departing Aldershot’s GO Station at 6:31 p.m. Most of the train’s coaches have places for two (and sometimes four) bicycles.

Cost

The deadline for registration and payment of the $10 registration fee is August 10th, but if you participate in the tour, that fee is fully refunded to you. On the day of the tour, there are additional fees for those who wish to take the following options:

  • Guided tour of H.M.C.S Haida: $5 ($4 for seniors),
  • Guided tour of Dundurn Castle: $12 ($10 for seniors),
  • Go Kart rental.

Contact & Register

There are fourteen (14) spots currently available. If you are interested in this trip and would like to join us, please e-mail us at jannette_jim@yahoo.ca or phone us at 416 921 7737. We look forward to spending an enjoyable day out in the fresh air with you. Jim & Jannette

Important Notes:

* In case of a heavy rain forecast for Sunday, August 26th, our alternate date is Sunday, September 9th.

† Please note that this is the regularly scheduled train which may be boarded at stations other than Toronto’s Union Station. For full details of train times and station stops, see the schedule and for the cost of the return train fare, see GO Transit’s fare calculator.

Participants will be asked to sign a waiver.

Spokes & Spigots: the 7th Annual Winery Bike Tour with Jim and Jannette

Sunday, July 15th*

Event Description

A guided bike tour with fellow Trakkers to wineries† and a lavender farm near Niagara-on-the-Lake, with an optional supper at restaurant en route. This is a new route and new destinations not visited on our tours.

Route

Starting from St. Catharines GO train station, this moderately-paced bike tour will be on flat terrain, mainly on paved roads and streets, many with designated bike routes and lanes. We will be visiting 4 wineries and a lavender farm, before returning to our starting point. The total distance is approximately 40 km broken into 6 easy segments.

What to Bring

  • A multi-speed bicycle (road, touring, mountain, or hybrid style) in good condition,
  • A bike helmet, bike lock, and a pannier or backpack for your food, drink and any purchases that you may make,
  • A picnic lunch,
  • A water bottle and sunscreen are highly recommended.

Start and End Point

The bike shelter at the south end of the St. Catharines train station.

Getting There

If you don’t have a car, our tour is scheduled around the GO Bike train leaving Toronto’s Union Station‡ at 9:00 a.m. and a return train departing St. Catharine’s train station at 7:41 p.m. This special excursion train has at least two dedicated coaches with bike racks on the lower level. Most of the train’s other coaches have places for two (and sometimes four) bicycles.

Cost

The deadline for registration and payment of the $10 registration fee is July 6th for the bicycle tour itself, but if you participate in the tour, that fee is fully refunded to you. And, of course, if you want to indulge in any winery tours or tastings, each winery levies its own charge. The fee for the optional lavender farm tour is $5 per person.

Contact & Register

There are fourteen (14) spots currently available. If you are interested in this trip and would like to join us, please e-mail us at jannette_jim@yahoo.ca or phone us at 416 921 7737. We look forward to spending an enjoyable day out in the fresh air with you.

Jim & Jannette

 

Important Notes:

* In case of a heavy rain forecast for Sunday, July 15th, our alternate date is Sunday, July 22nd.

† Some wineries on route: Small Talk Vineyards, Palatine Hills Estate Winery, Strewn Winery, and Southbrook Vineyards.

‡ Please note that this is a special excursion train, so it does not stop at all stations along its route. If you wish to use a station other than Toronto’s Union Station, please confirm that it is a station serviced by this train. For full details of train times and station stops, see the schedule and for the cost of the return train fare, see GO Transit’s fare calculator.

Participants will be asked to sign a waiver.