Thoughts from our President…
Welcome to January 2019!!!! I’m not going to talk about snow for fear I’ll jinx this winter. As I have done the last couple of years. Anyway, my trailer is loaded and ready to go when I feel the need. Which can be often!
On to Another Subject
As I start my term as MSA President I must reflect on what is important to MSA’s Membership. I know SNOW. The snow will be what it will be and sorry, I can’t do anything about how much and when. When I used to do trail reports, about mid-week, I would start getting emails asking how the trails would be for the weekend and how much snow we had received and how much would we get? Answer. Not sure, but according to the professional forecasters it will be such and such. Sometimes I was a hero and other times a real idiot! I’m very sure there will be incidences the next few years when I’ll be questioning my decisions, but I am confident that we have a strong board of officers backed by an Executive Committee, Board of Directors from all around the U.P. and Lower Peninsulas and a great Office Staff that I intend to successfully serve turning issues into positive results
When you consider 68 Grant Sponsors responsible for maintaining 6500 miles of snowmobile trails on State, Federal and Private Land and the amount of volunteer hours it takes, I find it truly amazing that year after year the same volunteers step forward to make our trails great. Each year we hopefully pick up a new volunteer to replace a lost volunteer. Why do they do it year after year? Most of it is pride along with being a part of a team creating satisfying results. Unless you have been a part of a brushing & signing crew, trail grading, groomer operator, Equipment & Property maintenance you probably don’t know what is involved. Not to mention submitting grants to DNR to get paid for expenses incurred in all the previous mentioned activity from the State Snowmobile Fund and all the accounting for funds coming in and going. BIG UNDERTAKING. Grant Sponsors are made up of people from many backgrounds and thankfully different thoughts that gel together to form decisions and make things happen.
Let’s talk MSA! The Michigan Snowmobile Association is only as good as its membership. The last couple of years as Vice President I quickly became aware that there are members who are involved, members who are loyal and applaud the organization for its efforts and yet others who complain about perceived issues but refuse to become involved to make a difference. Most of the members and yes non-members complaining are actually asking for help. If they are to ask for help, please come with suggestions on how to correct the issue. MSA is made up of volunteers other than 3 dedicated staff personnel in the office. The Officers, Executive Committee, and Board of Directors are all volunteers who pay their own expenses attending as many events and meetings as they can all over our State. They do it because of a passion and desire to make snowmobiling in Michigan the best they can be and a voice in Lansing.
I am not naïve enough to say MSA can make everyone happy, but I believe with a few tweaks, MSA as an organization can improve and become closer in tuned with Clubs and their Membership.