It’s not too often that a snowmobile club is so connected with its hometown that local high school students can get graduation credit for helping with its duties.
But that’s exactly what happens at the Osgoode Carlton Snowmobile Trail Club, where more than 900 members work together to maintain the trails they ride and grow the sport they love.
What’s the best in-season club event or activity that makes membership fun?
We’re proud to participate in as many community events as possible. We have a season-opening dinner in early December and host spaghetti dinners during the season. We also have a float in the Santa Claus parades in Osgoode and Metcalfe, Ontario.
We host a number of events at our clubhouse, including Yamaha’s Snowmobile Power Tour demo day where we ride new Yamaha snowmobiles. Last year we held our first annual drag race next to the Rideau Carleton Raceway with almost 100 entrants and more than 1,000 spectators arriving on snowmobile to watch (cars lined the streets for miles). We raised almost $6,000 for the club and $2,400 for charities.
What’s the best off-season club event?
We wind down the season by hosting a memorial fishing derby to support the Ottawa Heart Institute, dedicated to founding member Wayne Swales. This year we raised $1,509.
What’s the best way to find new members?
Hosting fun events! We have dinners and weekend BBQs to get members out and participating. We try to keep snowmobiling in a positive spotlight. At the same time, we attract volunteers by demonstrating we are a fun bunch of hard-working members of the community.
Besides safety training, does the club do anything to get and keep youth involved?
Teens can get mandatory volunteer hours needed for high school graduation by helping with trail work or volunteering in the clubhouse. Many continue to help out once hours are complete.
We also attract youth by having events they enjoy. We have BBQ days and bonfire nights at the clubhouse, which they love. Hockey nights with spaghetti dinners are a hit. We try to keep it interesting and fun, which keeps them coming back.
One interesting thing the club does for the good of the sport is…
Continually support other community organizations. We use trail groomers for sled-dogging activities in Osgoode and support local charity events hoping that the community sees we are an important part of rural communities, not a bunch of speed-crazed maniacs!
Total Members: 903
Miles of Trails Maintained: 118
Ken Smart, President, 613/445-8082
Editor’s note: We’re creating a new feature on snowmobile clubs for both our magazine and website. If you think your club is an interesting one that we should consider, please read more about the program here and then submit your information.