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November 2019 President’s Broadcast

Hello Trakkers!

It looks like we may be in for an early season, given some pics friends have shared from north of the city.

Trakkers Open House

To kick off the season, come join us at our Trakkers Open House, this coming Friday, November 15th from 7 – 9 p.m. , Rousseau Room, Swansea Town Hall, 95 Lavinia Avenue.

You will have a chance to win a door prize from your favourite resort, including trail passes and ski rentals. This is your chance to join the club, learn about our ski school and Sunday trips. It’s also the time when registration for our  weekend trips begins.

Consider bringing someone new to XC Skiing or even new to Canada to introduce them to our wonderful winter activity!

Winter’s Not Far Off Pub Night

We had a fun time at our recent Winter’s Not Far Off pub night.  Thanks to all who came out!

Bus Captain Training

A reminder to all bus captains, new volunteers and those who will return as bus captains, Bus Captain training takes place on Saturday, November 23, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.  We will be at Swansea Town Hall  for this as well.  Take the stairs up to the second floor and find us in the first room on your left.  There will be food and beverages.

Membership

For insurance purposes, a member of Trakkers must be of age of majority.  We would like to clarify our membership age, participation requirements and corresponding fares for the upcoming season:

  • To become a member, you must be 18 years of age or older (age of majority in Ontario)
  • Those under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult at all times and present a waiver signed by a parent or guardian
  • In addition to membership fees, anyone 18 years of age or older will pay the adult member Sunday trip bus fare
  • Those under the age of 18 (17 and under) pay the child bus trip fare

Do stay tuned for notifications about our first trip by checking on our website and following us on Facebook and Twitter.

Webmaster Assistant

Do you have some technical ability or interest in web development or maintenance? Our Webmaster, Pascal Ethier, is looking for help with simple tasks, such as updating content on our website. If you have these skills and are interested or willing to learn, please contact Pascal at webmaster@trakkers.ca.

We very much look forward to seeing you at the Open House and out on the trails!

Katja Lutte

President, Trakkers XC Ski Club

 

September 2019 President’s Broadcast

Hello Trakkers, One & All!

September means back to school, and soon to skiing. After a nice hiatus, your Trakkers board is feeling energized to get the ball moving for the new 2019-2020 XC skiing season!

Welcoming New Board Members

We are pleased to welcome two new Board members and let you know about some role changes. Sylvia Crowhurst is the new Director of Ski School. Lindsay Royston has assumed the very front-facing portfolio of Director of Bus Captains. Jen Liptrot is now in charge of Communications and Laure Sabatier took the position Vice-President. We are in good hands indeed!

Off-Season Events

Bonds between Trakkers go beyond the tracks. It also happens when wheels hit the roads, especially around Niagara. Jim Girling & Jannette Porter organized the 8th annual Spokes & Spigots tour of the Niagara wine region; a bike ride enjoyed by all participants. Big thanks to Jim & Jannette for their contribution to Trakkers’ spirits! 🍷🍹

Membership Renewal

It’s that time again! Registration is now open. Take advantage of our early bird renewal rate! Here are the 2019 – 2020 Membership fees:

Until September 30 (early bird) $70
Until November 30 $75
From December 1st $80
After February 15 $50

Save the Date: November 15, 2019, Trakkers Open House

We will be holding our annual Open House on Friday, November 15th from 7-9 pm at Swansea Town Hall, 95 Lavinia Avenue.  Reconnect with your fellow Trakkers and bring friends to discover our club.  This year, we encourage you to reach out to people within your community who may know little about cross country skiing, or even about the joy of Canadian winter altogether!

Volunteers Bus Captain Needed

Why would you want to be a bus captain?

  • A fantastic opportunity to meet pretty much each and every Trakkers member.
  • Free transportation to the resort and pay only half the trail fee once there.

If you like meeting people and are somewhat comfortable with electronic check-in – training and support provided – email our Director of Bus Captains, Lindsay Royston at buscaptains@trakkers.ca

Interested in being a Ski Instructor?

Trakkers has a long history of ski school. We are always interested in recruiting experienced skiers to become potential instructors. Come and see us November 15 at our Open House or email Sylvia at lessons@trakkers.ca.

Weekend Trips

As weekend trip planning is well underway, those interested in carpooling will be using a dedicated app this year. Stay tuned for details in future communications.

 

Katja Lutte, President

May 2019 President’s Broadcast

Hello Trakkers!

Well, folks, it’s a wrap!  After an amazing skiing season we had the opportunity to connect one more time at our AGM and Year-End Event and to wrap up the operations of the club for the 2018-2019 season.

AGM and Year End Event

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Pascal & Gina

This year AGM and Year End Event marked a special occasion 40 Years of Trakkers!!! The events were, once again, held at the Madison Pub.  Turn out was healthy.  We were able to get through the business at hand, specifically presenting our Annual Report and finances, as well as take questions from the floor relating to both.  Most importantly, we confirmed our board slate for the upcoming  season.

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Most Board Members. Thanks to Claude, our photographer!

Your Board of Directors for 2019-2020 is:

President-Katja Lutte; Vice-President-Laure Sabatier; Treasurer-Gleb Jegaline; Secretary-Brigitte Balle; Director responsible for Membership-Florence de Lannoy; Director responsible for Communications-Jen Liptrot; Director responsible for Ski School-Sylvia Crowhurst;Director responsible for Sunday Trips-Liane MacGregor; Director responsible for Bus Captains-Lindsay Royston; Director responsible for Web Site-Pascal Ethier; Director responsible for Weekend Trips-Henry Furlott; Director responsible for Social Events-Gina Ang.

Much gratitude to outgoing board members, Anita Elash and Sam Tosaria for their huge contributions to our club.

Many thanks to Karen Olsen for being an excellent Chair! All materials relating to the AGM can be found at the Club Operations tab of the Trakkers website (accessible once you have logged in).

For all materials relevant to the AGM, such as the Annual Report, year-end financials, and draft minutes, please log into your Trakkers account and visit our “Operations” page.

After the meeting, long time member John Webb presented awards and anniversary recognition to Trakkers members.

The Bernie Award was presented to Henry Furlott, who was honoured for his

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Henry

organization of our weekend trips. It is on these trips where we relax, we socialize, and we tell all those war stories about the hills, the bends and the successes. Usually over a bottle of wine and with somebody’s family recipe cooking in the background.  The Broken Ski Award was presented to yours truly, for my role as President.  These awards will be retired as of this year, with Swansea Town Hall having agreed to showcase the trophies in one of their display cases.

 

These Trakkers received Membership Anniversary Awards:

 

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John, Ursula, Bogna & Hanna

35 Years Lawrence Rennie

25 Years Hanna Balakier, Sylvia Crowhurst, Ursula Nocon, and Bogna Pinkowska.

10 Years Alison Naughty and John Van Nostran

5 Years Nadia  Chenier-Yacoub, Huw Sangster, Patricia Jarosz, Julie Anderson, Sonya Bourgeois, Doug Seaborn and Jennifer Leavitt.

Thank-you, John, for your contribution to member recognition.  Thank you, also, to John and Xavier Lambert for offering to work with the club during the next season to create a historical archive of club members’ contribution.

Off Season Event – Save the Date!!!

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Annual Winery Bike Tour on Saturday, June 22, 2019

Join fellow Trakkers for a guided bike tour of 4 Niagara wineries and a chocolate factory. All you need is a multi-speed bicycle, a bike helmet, bike lock, and a pannier or backpack, and you are ready to go!

We start cycling from the Niagara Falls train station which may be reached by either car or by GO Transit’s special bike train. We will travel down to the vineyards below the Escarpment and will spend the afternoon visiting select wineries before returning to Niagara Falls for an optional after-tour supper.

The registration fee is just $10 in advance which is refundable on the day of the tour (wine tasting and winery tour fees cost of the supper are extra).

For more information or to register, please e-mail Jim and Jannette at jannette_jim@yahoo.ca or phone us at 416 921 7737.

For more details of the tour, visit the Trakkers website

For an overview of how these tours operate, click on https://vimeo.com/335345966 (Password: Pedalfun).

 

Have a great summer, One and All!

Katja Lutte (President, Trakkers XC Ski Club)

 

 

 

 

 

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!”

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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

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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.

 

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.

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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:
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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.

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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!

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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!

 

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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