Definition of a Trail Boss: Outlines, marks, and maps all trails. Organizes and supervises all trails for riders and special events for the public and society use. Scouts and collects information on new areas for riding. Liaison with Alberta Forest Services. Requires assistance. Definition from Executive Duties – 1984. That definition still stands today. Trail Bosses are the lifeline of our Club. Without them, our club does not run. We have had many great trail bosses over the years. They always go above and beyond what is expected of them. Between trail maintenance and organizing of volunteers to maintenance at the staging areas, cabins, lookouts, to signage, maintenance of equipment and to maintenance of the snow cat to grooming of the trails. The life of a trail boss is getting out there and getting things done. THEY WORK HARD. Thanks to all of our past and current Trail Bosses.
Trail Boss Members List is taken from the minutes of the Club, if you have been missed please accept our apologies as we do not have all the minutes:
Cyril Lanctot (who was also with the Alberta Forest Service at the time), George Vanberg, Nick Slootweg, Gordon Quinn, Doug Hay, Mike Pasula, Ken Bobst, Glen Kingdon, Dale Gunderson, Alex Manweiler, Mark Gray, Randy Matthews, Dave Bradley, Chet Brewster, Mitch Sharp, David MacLeod and Don Price
A special thank you to all the folks who have come out over the years to help the trail bosses clean the trails. There are so many men and a few women who have helped annually to get the trails ready for events and for riding. We know that the conditions are not always pleasant: cold, damp, wet, snowing, raining and windy. Many wet and freezing guys walking in the door after a day of cleaning. 1000’s of man hours on the trails cleaning over the years. THANK YOU, THANK YOU!
A memory worth mentioning: “The biggest day ever” was after one of our own – Dale Gunderson passed away. This is how it looked in January 2007: One day–Sunday Blitz – 62 People, 20 trucks and trailers hauling sleds, 26 chainsaws, 62 snowmobiles, Cleaned 326 kms of trails and 4 breakdowns. 379 man Hours later. We had people come from out of town to help clean the system and do it for Dale!! That will give you the shivers.
Thanks again to everyone who has helped build and maintain our trail system from a few miles to now 485kms. YOU ALL ROCK!!
Elaine’s achievements as a leader or a pioneer in snowmobiling are that she has been involved in snowmobiling for over 50 years in one way or another. She supported her husband for the first 10 years with his snowmobile dealership and NWSA Ice Oval Circuit and racing commitment. She is very familiar with all aspects of snowmobiling with owning a dealership, racing, trail riding, mountain sledding, Club events – hosting snowmobile rallies, ASA Jamborees, Invasions, fundraisers, membership drives, other events – Snowmobile Parades, Christmas parties and awards. Elaine has been on the Executive for over 20 years as Treasurer, Memberships and has been a part of the funding processes for applications, reports and filing after grants are issued.
Elaine is not only financially savy, but also has a great memory for history of the club. She knows everyone who has had a membership and who has been involved or what part they have played in the Club. Elaine has stated that she hasn’t been an individual who has promoted and developed the Club; however, that is the furthest from the truth. Elaine has been a snowmobiling pioneer from the beginning of her first ride on Dale’s 67 Nordic Ski-doo and then Dale’s ownership of the dealership. Elaine was behind the scenes for a lot of the Trailblazer’s workings, but she also became the face of the Whitecourt Trailblazers. Elaine was a volunteer at all of the Rallies and soon began organizing them. Elaine has been organizing the registrations, trail passes, prizes and volunteers for many years. She is involved in all the fundraisers from rallies to selling trail passes to raffle tickets to all the events that are hosted. Elaine has volunteered for every event that she can.
She is our rock, she is always there and has guided our group through our Club’s journey. The success of the Club financially and in a promotional sense can be attributed to Elaine’s hard work as a volunteer for our organization. So to ask the question “Is she a pioneer? YES.
Through the past 20 years, she has lead our team through financial success and our Club’s well respected reputation as a snowmobile club, but also as a Non-Profit Organization. She has been a part of the expansion of our trail system to 485kms and owning assets-3 Cabins and 2 snow cats. Our Club’s Rallies host over 500 riders annually and it is because of Elaine and her team, that they are very well organized. Participants come back to our rallies annually because of the well organized and fun events we host. Elaine is now a part of the membership drive and she works hard at getting the passes out to the stores who sell them for us and keeps the passes organized. Elaine is also a big part of our raffle selling teams. She is the one person that we can rely on to set up a table and sell tickets. When you are doing those types of volunteer jobs you are talking with the people who are in the community and at the Sled Shows. Elaine is a wealth of knowledge and community folks ask her questions all the time about snowmobiling in Whitecourt and area. Elaine was also involved in setting up our History Book on our website. She and her partner Leroy Roth scanned all of the pictures and scrapbooks from day one of the Whitecourt Trailblazers. She also has collected articles and memoriabilia for many years – preserving our history. Elaine is also known to be quite funny and entertaining; she has been known to put together a skit or funny scenario to lighten the mood when volunteering.
Elaine was just recently awarded the Louise Sherren Lifetime Achievement Award. She is a humble volunteer of the Whitecourt Trailblazers and she is not looking for accolades. However, because of her years of service with the Club and her involvement in snowmobiling, she is a very well deserving recipient of this award. Behind every great snowmobile club or non-profit organization are the people who volunteer in the decision making, keeping the books balanced and supporting those who are out developing and maintaining the trails.
Elaine is a volunteer who has been involved in many community endeavors. She has volunteered for years for the Whitecourt Golf Club, Kinettes, Whitecourt Curling Club, Christmas Hamper, Repeat Boutique, Whitecourt Trailblazers, Diabetes Fundraising, Meals on Wheels, Blood Donor Clinics and her kid’s activities.
She has been recognized as: – Kinette of the Year – 1976 -Lifetime members of Kinsmen/Kinette’s – 1986 – Citizen of the Year with her husband in 1991 -ASA Star Award for support of Dales dedication to the ASA and The Trailblazers -Elaine accepted the Louise Sherren Lifetime Achievement Award Posthumously Awarded to Dale in 2007 -Governor General |of Canada – Queen Elizabeth 11’s Diamond Jubilee Medal – 2012
Elaine is a wealth of knowledge about the Club, it’s members and the history that comes with her longevity and commitments. She is not only an amazing volunteer for our organization, but many others. Thank you Elaine for everything you do!!
Thank you to Nick Slootweg who was one of the original members with the Club and was very involved for over 25 years. He purchased a Trail Pass in 1980, attended meetings and became involved right from the start. Nick started with the Trailboss position in 1982 (1st recorded minutes), memberships, Director in the 1990s and then was the Trailboss again in 1997, and 2000-2004. His bride Joan, came on board in 1990-1993 as the Club Treasurer, prior to Elaine G. She worked with Glen Kingdon who was the President at the time and Dale Gunderson who was Vice President. Joan helped her board immensely. She was the driving force, she had great ideas and plans for the Club. Joan liked to help with the entertainment and Nick would join in. Joan also became involved in the Golden Triangle Consortia with Glen, but found it too much to volunteer with the Trailblazers as well as the Golden Triangle. She later went on to do publicity for the Club. As with all Executive positions, they were involved in most of the events and activities in the Club with rallies, hill climbs, oval, drag and grass races, lots of trail cleaning, Jamborees, fundraisers, parties and rides.
Nick and Joan took a few years off from sledding, as Nick had hip issues and needed to mend. They are now back out on the trails in the winter and they enjoy riding their bikes in the summer months. Thanks Nick and Joan for your dedicated volunteerism with the Whitecourt Trailblazers. Hope to see you on the trails this upcoming season.
Make sure to pick up your ASA Trail Membership Passes – $80 until December 31/19 then $90 after. Day Passes are $25.00 at Whitecourt Service Centre, First Choice Truck and Car Wash, Kanata Esso, IGA, RPM Powersports and Adrenaline Powersports Ltd in Whitecourt. You can also pick up passes on this website in the ABOUT tab: Purchase Trail Pass/Where to Buy Passes.
Thanks to Brad's Picker Service for helping us out on our move home. Thank you for your donation of the pilot truck service. Both cats are back in the shed. Thank you Don for making that happen.
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Posted by: Cindy Brooks on April 29, 2021
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For up-to-date trail conditions, phone the Sno-Line: 1-800-313-7383