There’s an old saying that “Rome wasn’t built in just a day.” While the quote references the great Roman Empire’s resurrection and eventual demise, the Rome Sno Bandits snowmobile club of Rome, Wisconsin, wasn’t built in a day either. But unlike the fall of Rome, the Sno Bandits have banded together season after season since its inaugural in 1978 to keep its collection of sledheads going strong and having fun. Following are answers to our questions about their club. If you belong to a great club, tell us about it by filling out our easy online information form.
What’s the best in-season club event or activity that makes membership fun?
“Our annual club trip. We try to go to a different location in Wisconsin every year to be able to see the beauty of our state and enjoy other clubs’ great trails! One of the things that makes this trip so great every year is that our members finally get a chance to enjoy the sport we all love so much.
“Our trip usually starts on a Thursday and runs through Sunday. On average we have more than 60 riders, and we divide our group up into smaller groups that everyone feels comfortable riding in. Every night we get together to share our stories from the day’s ride. On Saturday evening we have a mixer to share stories and shenanigans of the weekend, and also to award trophies for the weekend adventures – both good and bad! There are new friendships and memories made every year and, as always with Sno-Bandit events, lots of fun.”
What’s the best off-season club event or activity?
“Our trail brushing/signing, chili dump and club meeting held every November. We meet at our groomer shed early in the morning with chili, chain saws and pruners to pick up our signs and breakout into groups. We usually have 70-plus members show up just to help brush and sign.
“The chili is taken to our meeting hall and put together into a large pot for when all the workers get back and are really hungry! With all the volunteers we are normally able to have most all of the trails brushed and signed by noon. While every one enjoys a bowl of chili and treats shared from the members of the club, we hold our monthly meeting – this is our largest meeting of the year with usually over 100 members.
“We also hold a 50/50 drawing and a door prize drawing at all our club meetings. Plus, we hold a drawing for a piece of club apparel for volunteers from our summer fundraisers – just another way we like to say ‘thank you’ to all our countless volunteers all year long!”
How has the club attracted new members?
“We put our club out in front of the community through our annual classic car, bike and snowmobile show held the Saturday of Father’s Day weekend. It also helps with the Christmas celebration in Rome, adopting a section of Highway 13 that runs through town.
“While all these activities take place, we always make sure of one thing – that our volunteers have fun and know how much they are appreciated for all the time they spend making our club one of the greatest in Wisconsin. Having fun is always our goal whenever the club is together. We feel the key to a great club is making all of its members feel welcome and that they are part of a great club. We offer a smile and a handshake, and are always willing to listen to suggestions or ideas with an open mind.”