Small by comparative standards, the BNC has managed to accomplish a lot for a nonprofit its size. What’s important in all this is you, the member or supporter or partner who makes the BNC an institution capable of turning lots of little individual contributions into shared benefits. Following is a brief summary of what’s been done and what’s going on with the BNC.
The BNC has pre-ordered and/or made deposits on both a snowmobile and a grooming implement for CU South for winter 2014-15. These are the two main components of a functional grooming rig for CU South. Raising funds for the entire rig is still not a completed process but thanks largely to a great group of newer board members, fundraising has been going well. You can donate funds towards the last $2000 or so of need at http://www.razoo.com/story/Boulder-Nordic-Club.
Specific thanks go to Joel Kimmel who has sustained the CU South initiative. Among many of his efforts has been the securing of a set of three volunteer groomers for CU South. It may sound like fun to drive around a snowmobile but what it really means is that these three guys just became the de-facto owners of a piece of power equipment that requires maintenance, skill, preoccupation, and occasional grief in order to operate. It never fails to snow when you are going out of town and all your kids are sick and your spouse is otherwise obligated too.
Remember to give credit to the City of Boulder and The University of Colorado – Boulder. Each has generously partnered with the BNC on grooming operations. The City recently enthusiastically renewed the agreement to groom North Boulder Park. In 2014-15, grooming at North Boulder Park will return to normal and have a dedicated grooming rig and set of volunteer drivers.
The changing climate poses an element of uncertainty, even as we invest in more grooming equipment. The BNC continues to cultivate a cautious investigation of alternative grooming sites at higher altitudes. This is a delicate balance between over-reaching operationally and diversifying areas for groomed skiing near Boulder.
Eldora has been going through a lot of changes. This spring when nordic pass sales were not offered, I did speak with a senior Eldora staff person who assured me that nordic will operate in 2014-15 but that the passes for nordic will not be sold until the autumn. The BNC is working on keeping open channels of communication with Eldora and doing what is possible to support nordic skiing there.
On a related note, a very large piece of private property often known as “Tolland” and on which much of the nordic trail system at Eldora lies is in the process of being converted to a conservation easement. The easement allows for the continuation of groomed nordic skiing. The BNC has officially supported this conversion which buys out the future rights for development on the land while leaving the Toll family as the owners. First, the BNC’s support is intended to preserve the existing nordic skiing on the land. Two, after researching the conversion, it makes good sense and it is what the Toll family prefers. For years the Toll family has generously allowed skiing on its property. The BNC hopes to reciprocate in some measure by urging public entities involved in the conversion to support it.
The BNC re-did its website. https://bouldernordic.org is meant to serve BNC members and skiers better by offering clear, timely, and relevant information. Tremendous thanks go to newer board members like Kyle Kuczun, Ingrid Alongi, Mark Leffers who collectively brought expertise, connections, and–more than anything–a greater ability to raise and handle funds. Some of those funds have been used for professional web development and support.
The cycle of a volunteer organization is that volunteers come in, offer to help, get over-commited and under-supported, and then burn out. In the last few years, BNC volunteers like Kyle, Ingrid, and Mark have helped ameliorate this cycle of burnout by, instead, doing a better job raising funds and then using those funds to pay for needed services. The difference is like night and day.
As for volunteers, I also thank Steve Cann who has avidly taken on more grooming related work, especially around the administration and maintenance routines of grooming. Andy Hunter, who is in the middle of a busy time of his life, has persisted when it would have been easy to fade away as a volunteer. Long time volunteer Michael Robson may only show up once a winter but he remains vital in diagnosing and servicing engine problems on the machine. All of this often occurs in the cold and dark when you need a special person to be working outside.
Risa Booze administers our membership. It’s a good thing that she seems to like this solitary and clerical job because that’s what it is.
Nathan Schultz’s presence on the board has improved the BNC’s relationship with and understanding of industry’s role in nordic skiing.
One of my main preoccupations is volunteer happiness. When I ask the volunteers how they are doing, they always reference the ability to give back to their community. Please, when you interact with them, remember, they are volunteers and thank them for what they do.
New board members like Dorota Porazinska have diversified our thinking which can easily fall into a rut otherwise. Long time board members like Clark Edwards, Mark Flolid, and myself have not indicated that they are about to leave but, sooner or later, there comes a time. Clark and Mark embody significant legal and business expertise, if you have either of these, you could consider researching service on the BNC’s board.
As for me, my main goal is to conserve and pass on the organization in a condition as good or better than the state in which I found it. That is a tall order considering the decades of volunteers who have come before me.
Thanks for supporting the BNC and have a great summer.
Matt Muir, BNC