Job Opening – Great Benefits Package (Brad Stafford)
Published on Friday, November 21, 2014 in Guest Columns, News & Updates
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When I first accepted the position as president of the Bernardston-Gill-Leyden (BGL) snowmobile club I knew there would be responsibilities. One is doing the best I can to help with all kinds of requests that come from the landowners, state and town agencies, my fellow club officers, club members and all the SAM members that ride the club’s trails. Over the years these requests have come in many forms, phone calls, emails and even notes taped to my snowmobile windshield.

Deer crossing

As you may imagine, some of the messages go like this: “Where can I get a trail map?” or “Where can I park to get trail access?” Then there are others, such as, “Why don’t you just move the Deer Crossing Ahead sign so the deer won’t use the snowmobile trail?” Ummm, yeah, sorry to tell you the deer can’t read the signs very well. Yes that happened.

Today I will describe one from a few years ago, right after a fresh snow. My phone rang with a number I didn’t recognize. For the sake of this article I’ll call him “John.”

“Hey Brad, John here. Seeing you’re the club president, I thought you should know there was a tree down right in the middle of the trail by the intersection on top of Fox Hill that really needs to get taken care of.”

I thanked him for the info and then asked how big of a tree and if I needed more than two guys and a chain saw? He replied, “It’s not that big, just a dead one about three-inches in diameter. You should just be able to pick it up and just toss it off the trail.”

I asked if he could have just moved it himself. His reply, “I could have but it’s not my job, you’re the president.” I took a moment to collect my politically correct words and told John that actually, you’re right, it is my job but not because I’m the club president, but because I’m a snowmobiler.

Snowmobile trail work

The point I want to make here is, yes, there are people out there with club titles, presidents, vice presidents, groomers, delegates and more, but we are also snowmobilers. All those people that throughout the entire year go to meetings, run fundraisers and maintain the trails are all unpaid volunteers.

Every time I hear the phrase “I would love to help but I just don’t have the time.”

My answer is “IF” you have time to ride then you have time to help out.

I also remind them that when they bought that SAM pass they became an active member of that club.

I always thought “IF” all snowmobilers would remove just one fallen limb or snap a branch out of the way during every ride, the trails would be so much better.

Now, I’m not asking all of you to carry chain saws and shovels when you go out. But when you see that stray branch or maybe a rock that the groomer has knocked loose into the trail, something that you can easily and safely remove… do it!

If it’s too much for you to handle and could be a hazard for the next sled, take a moment and stick a small branch in the snow as a warning to the next rider. Then make a call to the local club and let them know its location. Remember by removing that one hazard you could be saving your own, or your friend’s, ski or helmet visor.

Enjoying the trails is a privilege and it’s every snowmobiler’s job to work together so we can all enjoy the benefits of safer trails. Until next time, ride safe and “Keep the Rubber Side Down.”

Photo by Jeff Gamelli and Craig Warner

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