24 November 2014

Want to start a skijoring club?

So you want to start a skijoring club!  Great!  You got some things to think about!  I borrowed this template from Snow Shoe Magazine.    Check them out here:  http://www.snowshoemag.com


What are your goals? What is the purpose?

To teach lessons? To promote the sport? To race? To organize? To commune with nature, mushers and dogs?  Know where you are going, or have a general idea before you start out. 


Contact Potential Members

Contact other skijorers.   Look on Facebook, ask mushing supply companies.  Get a group of enthusiasts together who are interested in organizing a club. Set a time and place for the first meeting or event. Send out emails, contact rescue allumi groups and Humane Societies.  Dog training places are another great source of potential skijorers.  Be all over Social Media, and they will come!    

Create Rules and an Agenda

Create a set of informal rules for general group operations and establish membership criteria and benefits. Establish a regular schedule for get-togethers.  As this is a winter sport, think about how often you will be out, and have another part where people can meet up for a coffee or something after a run.

You might decide to elect officers: President, vice president, treasurer, and secretary.  If the club is collecting money or dues, it's important to have a person in charge of collecting and keeping track of this! 


Schedule Meetings

Scheduling events and meetings in your area can quickly increase participation.  How will you deal with new members wanting to join?   Will you be holding a workshop?  Or will you be looking for people who already know how to do the sport?  


Communicate with club members!  Allow them to communicate with each other as well.  This will encourage the group to be strong, and support each other.  A Facebook group is a great way to do this, as people don't have to be getting a ton of e-mails from the active members.   Some of us type faster than others, and some people simply don't want their e-mail inbox filled up!  Be open to  new ideas and suggestions from group members. .


This sounds super scary and formal, but examine the by-laws of other skijoring clubs for examples.  They rules should be clearly stated on their websites.   For a new group, start with something short and simple. Include the following:
  • The name of the club
  • Purpose and goals
  • Benefits to the members
  • Responsibilities of the members
  • Responsibilities of the officers
  • Procedure for becoming a member
  • Procedure for becoming an officer (elections)
  • Schedule for official meetings (monthly? annually?) for the purpose of conducting elections, amending bylaws, determining the budget, and other official business
  • State non profit status (unless otherwise desired)