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February 2020 President’s Broadcast

Hello Trakkers!

I would like to to start this broadcast by welcoming our many new and returning members!

Sunday Trip Logistics

We would like to review, again, our system for weekly Sunday trips communication.

With the exceptions of trips farther away, as well as our wine & cheese event, we have decided not to post a seasonal schedule, as we frequently change destination due to very changeable weather conditions.

The home page of our website will have the most recent information about the next Sunday trip. This is posted on the Monday before the Sunday trip. Our social media platforms will also broadcast the next destination starting on Mondays. Critical updates relating to weather and cancellations will also be posted.

Information about farther-away trips and our annual wine and cheese trip is posted on the Sunday Trips page of  our website. There, you will also find other helpful information about trips, followed by a list of our destinations, amenities at the resorts, trail fees and rentals rates.

We would also like to remind you to please do your best to bring cash in the exact amount for bus fare and  trail fees for you and your guests. This will make the lives of your volunteer bus captains much easier. We thank you in advance for this!

Recent Trips

We have had a couple of trips to Scenic Caves in December, which was a pretty good start to the season. On January 5th we took two buses to Highlands Nordic, where conditions were surprisingly good, given rain at lower altitude and somewhat warmer temps.

We arrived to freshly baked goods – always a huge draw at Highlands, where home-cooked foods are always prepared for us!

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We met quite a few new members, which is always great.  Many enjoyed the benefits of our various types of lessons.  See our instructor Laurel stretching with her students before heading out on the trails.

… and we never get tired of this beautiful view of beautiful Georgian Bay!

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Unfortunately weather was not kind to us last weekend.  Still, we wait for snow and here’s hoping …

In the meantime, if you are new to skiing and want to know how to dress for the occasion, or if you just want to read a fun little article, read the blog Dress for Success, written by our volunteer blogger Gillian Kranias. Thanks Gillian!

February 2nd – Trakkers Wine & Cheese

Our annual wine and cheese event is set to take place on our February 2nd trip to Scenic Caves. Make sure you join us for a fun time skiing and socializing in a cozy log cabin. Finger foods and wine, as well as non-alcoholic drinks will be provided. This is a great time to bring a friend to introduce them to the club. Do register early, as the trip sells out quickly. If you are interested in volunteering with set up and clean up of the event please contact Gina Ang at social@trakkers.ca.

March 1st Trip to Arrowhead Provincial Park

We will be going to Arrowhead Provincial Park on March 1st.  The park now has  a large new visitors’ centre which also contains the rentals service. Arrowhead also has superior grooming equipment. You can also bring your skates and skate on their beautiful ice trails which wind through the forest. The location is in the hilly terrain of our Canadian Shield which is truly  beautiful.

This is most definitely a trip well worth putting on your list.  More information will be provided on our website and through our social media platforms.

Planning for Year End Event

We’re starting to plan our year end party and need your help! Please take a few minutes to complete a survey at this link. This will help us make it an event we will all enjoy!

Weekend Trip To Blue Spruce – Algonquin Park

The Blue Spruce weekend trip from February 7 – 9 still has places available. For more information, please contact weekendtrips@trakkers.ca.

Giving Back to the Club – Are You a Future Member of the Trakkers Board of Directors?

We are looking for new people to join our fabulous Board of Directors. As you probably know, every single aspect of our club is driven by volunteers.

With many of our board members having held various portfolios for a number of years and with two departures due to job relocation, we find ourselves in the concerning situation of key board positions becoming vacant at the end of this season. Not being able to fill key positions would cause significant challenges to the club, including possibly affecting our historically good membership rates.

Aside from being in real need of help, we can also say with solid reassurance that being on our board is a good experience. Here is what some board members have to say about their experience:

“Firstly, I like working with fun, like-minded members who are passionate about Trakkers. I also like being a part of the decision-making part of the club. I thrive on systems and order so I feel fulfilled with my work-making the ski school run as smoothly as possible.”

“It provides a platform to spread the word about the club to anyone you encounter. It  feels great to contribute to an organization that you know is entirely volunteer-run and introduces you to a great winter activity.”

Board members receive free membership as a small token of appreciation for their time.  Board meetings are once a month and are productive, fun and usually involve pizza. Board members are a friendly group that support one another. The average time commitment for board members is 6-8 hours per month. We are also broadening opportunities for participating in board meetings remotely (i.e. via Skype) for the 2020-2021 season. To become a board member, it is not necessary to participate in every ski trip.

Below are a couple of portfolios open and the skills we are looking for:

Director of Ski School

  • Good organizer and communicator
  • Comfortable with managing 9 Ski School Instructors
  • Willing to become familiar with CANSI (Canadian Association of Nordic Ski Instructors) training
  • Familiar with google sheets for scheduling instructors
  • Familiar with apps such as Doodle to schedule Instructor meetings and an Instructor workshops
  • Comfortable with creating a seasonal Ski School budget and anticipating costs for the season.
  • Maintaining Ski School Dropbox with relevant templates and schedules pertinent to Ski School
  • Liaison with:
    • Communication director for social media postings related to ski school
    • Web master for weekly updates to website or changes to Lessons page
    • Bus captain coordinator
    • Members and instructors in recruitment of new instructors

Director of Bus Captains

  • Problem solver
  • Works well in Excel
  • Has the patience and positive demeanor to teach and encourage new bus captains

Treasurer

  • Experience in finance/banking/accounting/bookkeeping/budgeting
  • Experience managing low-risk investments

Weekend Trips

  • Good communication skills
  • Organizational skills toward finding and booking resort destinations

Please contact me if you are interested in becoming a Trakkers board member at: president@trakkers.ca

We would like to thank those of you who have come forward to express interest or have confirmed that you would stand for other portfolios.  Please know that we are beyond grateful and thrilled!

Is Your Membership Profile Updated?

Last but not least, when was the last time you looked at your membership profile to see whether it is still up to date? We are asking returning members to please log in to your account and select “Edit Profile” to ensure your profile is updated.

Wishing you all well as the days get longer!

Katja Lutte,

President, Trakkers XC Ski Club

December 2019 President’s Broadcast

 

Hello Trakkers!

Welcome Back to Winter!!!

We are off to an early winter start with our first Sunday Trip to Scenic Caves on December 8th.

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This was our opportunity to welcome back returning Trakkers and also quite a few new members.  Conditions were decent and a good time was had by all! Unfortunately, at the moment conditions reported by Scenic Caves are not good for safe and enjoyable skiing tomorrow. Let’s all do a snow dance for the December 22th trip, Stay tuned for communications on both Facebook and our website, as we will give you updates on destinations and conditions.

Open House

The annual Trakkers Open House took place on Friday, November the 15th. It was great to see so many long time members and make new acquaintances! Thanks to all who volunteered. We very much look forward to seeing all of you out on the trails soon!

Board of Directors Update

Our Vice President, Laure Sabatier, has accepted a position out of province and will not be able to continue in her role on our board. This is great news for Laure and not so great for us. Please join us in wishing her well and giving her huge thanks for her contribution, not only in the VP role, but in her prior role as Director of Communications.

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Some of the Trakkers Board of Directors

In the 2020-2021 season, there will be more board vacancies (more on this in the new year), as others on our board will be moving on, both due to relocation and due to wishing to pass on the torch.

Being a 100% volunteer-run club, we rely heavily on our members to keep things going.  If you have the desire to gain experience on a board of directors, or if you already have those skills and want to give back, do let any member of the board know during an upcoming trip, or by mailing me at president@trakkers.ca with your interest. Our board meets once a month. Meetings are both productive and fun! We have great camaraderie within the group and I can honestly say that we always look forward to our meetings and working together to make it all happen.

Weekend Trips

There has been a lot of interest in our upcoming Weekend trips.

January 24-26 trip to Woolner House (Highlands Nordic, Collingwood) has room for 4-5 more people.

February 7-9 trip to Blue Spruce Cottages (Algonquin Park) has room for 4 more people.

For more information, including how to register, please visit the Weekend Trips link of our website.

Trakkers Doing Their Part

We know many of you already have creative ways of using non-disposable containers and utensils while on our trips.

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We would like to strongly encourage everyone to consider ways of avoiding the use of disposable or single use plastics and paper cups. For great ideas on ways to do this, have a look here.

Happy Holidays

On behalf of the Trakkers Board of Directors, I would like to wish the very best of this holiday season to you and yours!

Katja Lutte,

President, Trakkers XC Ski Club

Mini Vacations All Winter Long

By Gillian Kranias (Trakkers member since Dec 2018)

I keep checking the website, almost every day, in anticipation of seeing this winter’s Sunday trips begin. Summer vacations are over. Yes, fall is a beautiful season. But I am yearning for the mini vacations I can now get any Sunday in winter!

We joined Trakkers last year. It was all that I thought it could be … and more:

More long days outside….

 

More quiet trails to enjoy, at resorts I had never known of….

 

More friends who love the outdoors….

Morning ski lessons, free for members and our guests….

And more time with our feet up after a good day’s skiing – because Trakkers’ leadership always knew where to enjoy the best skiing (even when snow conditions looked poor or non-existent from Toronto).

As November finally arrives, and with Trakkers annual fall open house this evening, I will reminisce and dream with others who may be as hungry for snow and skiing as I am!

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.