The current 100 Mile House Snowmobile Club president is planning to step down at a meeting on Oct. 9, citing a hefty workload and lack of enthusiasm from the public.
Al Reichardt will stay on as a director, however, and emphasizes the family oriented direction of the club in an appeal for new members and volunteers.
“We’re just sustaining ourselves right now [as a club goes].”
Membership numbers have slowly dwindled throughout the years, from a peak of more than 200 in the early 1990s to between 30 and 40 today, Reichardt says, adding the club had more resources to put on larger events in the past.
“There’s only a handful of people who have time to do that [now], and to call on those people all the time is kind of unfair.”
Still, Reichardt organizes a number of group rides throughout the winter, something he maintains is the essence of enjoying the trails in the region.
“Throwing a backpack on with two dozen hotdogs and some buns and going out and having a wiener roast on a lake is a good way to meet people and you learn a lot about the area and a lot about snowmobiling.”
Membership does have its perks, he adds. A discount on liability insurance, full access to the clubhouse (located on Ainsworth Road south of 100 Mile House), full access to trails, participation in clinics for new riders and voting rights at club meetings.
Along with the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and the Arts, the Green Lake Snowmobile Club and Williams Lake Powder Kings, the 100 Mile House Snowmobile Club is responsible for maintaining sections of the Gold Rush Snowmobile Trail.
“People don’t have to buy a membership to volunteer. If people want to come help clear a trail on a Sunday afternoon, if they show up, great. If not, that’s OK, too.”
Snowmobiling remains a very popular winter activity in the 100 Mile House area regardless, says Reichardt, who lives in 108 Mile Ranch.
“When there’s snow on the ground, there’s a constant flow of snowmobiles going by my house. Guaranteed none of them belong to the snowmobile club.
“A change is needed. It’s always the same old dogs doing it.”