It Takes a Village


Q: Why can we ski on groomed trails at Cabin Creek weeks before there is grooming at other snow-parks?

A: Because volunteers carve a precious weekend day out of their busy fall schedules to head up to the trails and cut back the brush, clear out the rocks, clean the culverts, and trim back the overhanging branches, allowing Nick and his crew to groom on a thinner snow covering.

But what if you don't care for trail work, if cutting and clearing and cleaning and trimming don't sound like fun?  Guess what; that's okay!  Trail work is only one of a multitude of ways KSCers can contribute their time and energy to making the club a better place, and putting in X hours of trail work is NOT a requirement of club membership.  

Our mission is pretty simple -- support nordic skiing, especially racing -- but the execution of that mission is actually quite complex and multi-faceted, and requires a range of skillsets and interests and experience levels from a lot of different people.  We have people putting considerable time and effort behind the scenes into dealing with other non-profits and state and federal agencies to improve funding and trail access, making sure non-motorized snow users have a voice that isn't drowned out by the motorized crowd.  Racing, of course, is a focus, and putting on ski races is one way we address that, but races don't just magically happen.  We have a crack timing crew that manages registration, timing, and distribution of results -- without these people, we'd just be skiing fast around the course.  Race directors are the ones who herd the cats, making sure race dates are set and all the volunteer roles are filled; that means people who work with the grooming crew, ferry supplies from the parking lot, fill the feed station and finish line duties, serve as a public liaison, prep the bibs and bib handout, act as course monitors, supervise the parking lots, procure the awards, and MC the awards ceremony.  We have a fantastic kitchen crew, from our master chefs to the day-of-race helpers, all working to keep racers warm and fed and and happy.  Beyond racing, myriad other activities are taking place: people are designing and building brand new trails out of the forest on top of Amabilis; people are maintaining and operating the snowmobiles; people are picking up trash and painting the outhouses and improving the outdoor lighting and chopping and splitting and stacking firewood.  Master carpenters built our cabin long ago, and the cabin is still being kept in its pristine condition by people with skills as carpenters, electricians, mechanics, and house cleaners.  There are opportunities for new activities, given the skills of many of our members: maybe a waxing clinic, or a pre-race workout group, or traveling race teams.  The possibilities are endless; they require only your imagination and your time.

So if you think mucking around in the forest clearing trails is fun (and it is!), then go for it.  But if you don't, think about what does make you smile, what brings you satisfaction, where your joy is, and go for that.  You are valuable, and we welcome your participation, your energy, and your ideas!


  1. Wow! Thank you, Debbie, for such a wonderfully written post. I couldn't have said it better myself.

    I hope that you had a lovely time at the trail work event on Saturday😊

    1. Yes! Thanks to Joe McNulty, I learned how to use the scythe thingy without cutting my leg off!


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