International Snowmobile Congress (Randy Toth) (video)
Published on Wednesday, November 30, 2011 in General Announcements, National, News & Updates
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International Snowmobile Congress 2011: SAM to Host ISC 2012

A highly motivated team of representatives from SAM attended ISC 2011 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada this June. Their primary mission, aside from representing SAM in the international community, was to market ICS 2012, which will be hosted by SAM at the Sturbridge Host Hotel in Sturbridge, MA in June 2012. This will be the first ever ISC in Massachusetts and also be the first to return to the longer 4-day format. The SAM ISC committee has been hard at work on this project for the past two years and intends to make this an especially memorable event.

The 15 member ISC 2011 team was led by President Dan Gould, who was supported by Paul Trova, Jeff and Marcia Miller, Scott and Rena Sumner, Randy Toth, Bill and Joyce Taylor, Herb Hilton, Dick Wolfe, Henry and Sue Gillett, and Jeff and Linda Allan. The team was later joined by two representatives from the Sturbridge Host Hotel who brought us the great news that the Sturbridge Tornado had just narrowly missed the Host Hotel – Whew!

Every member of the team was highly motivated and enthusiastically outspoken about ISC 2012 which really helped to sell the event to the ISC 2011 attendees. Our team reminded potential attendees that the ISC registration and Host Hotel costs are very reasonable. They mentioned how easy it was to get to Massachusetts via airplane (Bradfield Airport in CT, Logan Airport in MA and T.F. Green Airport in Warwick, RI), via train (AMTRAK to Springfield, MA) and via car (via Interstate 90 driving east across the country). Paul Trova even mentioned the virtues of relaxation, comfort and fun achieved by traveling via train. Approximately 91 advanced ISC paid registrations were accepted – a record! Many attendees said they wanted more of their fellow snowmobilers to attend; but just needed to get approval from their local associations before registering.

At one of the breakfast sessions, Massachusetts was invited to put on a short presentation about ISC 2012. Henry Gillet was the featured speaker and with a bit of prodding from his wife, appeared fully dressed in a revolutionary period outfit. Henry proceeded to give a fantastic performance speaking of the revolution that started in Massachusetts and the revolutionary events to be expected at ISC 2012. He had the entire crowd speechless and hanging upon his every word as he spoke. His performance was so outstanding that one might have thought he was one of the founding fathers of the American Revolution urging his compatriots to go forward and do great things. Many folks thought that SAM had actually gone out and hired a professional actor to sell Massachusetts. One member of the host country to the north tried to unsettle Henry with comments about their great hockey team, the one that the Bruins crushed in game seven. Henry definitely got the best of that exchange. If they want to see what the Stanley Cup Trophy looks like now, they’ll have to come to Massachusetts. The new SAM snowmobiling movie made its debut and played before a packed breakfast crowd, If you haven’t seen it yet, be sure to check it out below. It puts snowmobiling in Massachusetts in a new light. Dan Gould did an outstanding job managing this complex video production.

At every ISC, the folks sponsoring the following year’s ISC are expected to host a hospitality suite for all of the attendees. The Massachusetts Hospitality night was the best one I have ever attended. Everyone had a ball. Our chief organizer, Rena, did an amazing job organizing the event and the rest of the team members did a fantastic job making it all happen.

Jeff and Linda Allan were dressed in revolutionary period costumes to add to the authentic Massachusetts flavor both at the hospitality night and at our SAM sponsored booth outside the convention room. Our team members were so busy manning our booth and preparing for and carrying out the hospitality night event, that they didn’t get much of a chance to attend the various meetings held during the course of the 3-day ISC. Our hospitality team mixed up a giant batch of homebrew called “Dumb Mass Punch,” a great concoction of cranberry juice and assorted “other” secret ingredients. A number of attendees refused to leave when the event ended so we cleaned up, put the food and drink away, and turned out all but one light – and still they stayed to party.

SAM’s president, Dan Gould, did not seek re-election as the International Snowmobile Council’s Northeast Chapter Chair, a position he currently held. Instead, Dan ran for and was elected Vice President of the American Council of Snowmobile Associations (ACSA). This is quite an honor for Dan personally and for SAM. Massachusetts’ snowmobiling has now received international recognition for having a Vice President of ACSA and for its planned hosting of ISC 2012. Someone once said of Massachusetts Snowmobiling “We don’t get no respect”; but that has certainly changed now. We are firmly recognized as part of the international snowmobiling community made up of Canada, the United States, Sweden and Russia. Congratulations Dan!!!

There were two ISC speakers of particular interest. One involved the growing use of Social Media in the world of business and the other involved the debate about Climate Change. Both were fast paced and easily held the attendees interest. Other topics included Antique Sled Restoration, Canadian Avalanche Centers and Tools/Resources That Work (from the International Association of Snowmobile Administrators Library).

The Social Media session was run by the head of social media for the Mayo Clinic. He explained how vital the set of social media tools were for engaging and keeping the public informed of medical advances thru the use of Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Blogs. In the past, many medical advances took almost a decade to be spread around the world via the use of traditional media (newspapers, journals, magazines, word of mouth, etc.) whereas utilizing social media the medical advances could be disseminated around the world in much less that a year. Furthermore, individuals with less common diseases could be assigned their own Facebook page or Blog making it easier for them to communicate with other having the same medical issues.

The featured speaker was a climate expert who spoke on the subject “The Sky is Not Falling” about the world wide climate change debate. He described in detail the former glacier thaw and refreeze cycles experienced by the planet earth over millions of years before the presence of any humans. There were and probably always will be Ice Ages whether or not man is present on the earth. He also described simple techniques for man to limit his environmental footprint without drastically altering life as we know it.

Looking ahead, after ISC 2012 in Massachusetts, ISC 2013 will be in Green Bay, Wisconsin. ISC 2014 has not yet been announced but will be in the western chapter district. Meanwhile, both New York and Sweden have expressed interest in bidding to host ISC 2015.

For more information about SAM hosting ISC 2012 in Sturbridge click here.
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