• 21 Sep 2015 by Donegal Wilson

    As I sit here reflecting on the first day of this conference it is apparent that we have many common challenges as other motorized recreation organizations across Canada.  How do we attract new members, how do we improve the image of our sport, and how do we improve safety.  But there are some differences as well.  The BCSF is celebrating 50 years this season and other Provincial Snowmobile Associations will be celebrating this milestone soon.  So the other motorized sectors are much younger and are a different point in their organizational life.  

    On the snowmobile side we are instead more focussed on how do we sustain what we have built.  Nationally there are 1,000’s km’s of trails, huge groomer fleets, signage, and bridges/infrastructure.  How do we support our volunteers on the ground and stay relevant to our membership after 50 years.  The funding model for us is much different as we are still grass roots and work from the bottom up.  The people on the ground are still volunteers within clubs. Those volunteers got together and started working together as Provincial Federations and Associations across Canada.  These Associations then got together and created a National Body with the Canadian Council of Snowmobile Organizations.

    On the Summer motorized side they are replicating this in reverse.  They created the National office, then they created the Provincial and then went to the ground collecting members to create clubs.  They are working to create their trail networks and are young organizations as a whole.  They have been able to do this top down model because of a one-time fee built into the purchase of your summer motorized equipment.  This money is distributed directly to the National office and then out from there. 

    It will be interesting to see how the difference in creation and funding model plays out long term.  Funded top down or grass roots up… I guess we will have to watch my blog in 40 years to see the answer.

  • 11 Sep 2015 by Donegal Wilson


    I would like to start by thanking all the amazing people at SilkStart Technologies that helped us get to this point.  This was all new ground for us and some of it for you.  Launching a multi-level membership platform is not new but like all things snowmobilers just do it a little different.  So adapting their technology and our processes to find middle ground has taken a lot of patience.  I can say finding and working with a BC based company was amazing and the immediate support we have received to date has made this much easier.


    So what does all this mean to our clubs and members?

    Well for our clubs it means that they can now offer an online method for their members to join and renew their memberships.  It allows the club to streamline their paper processing and focus more volunteer hours doing the important work of keeping their club thriving.  It offers them a front facing website for them to be able to share their activities, events, meetings, and news with the rest of us.  It also provides them with assorted reports to streamline their bookkeeping, an email suite to use for club communications and the ability to keep all of their members in one place.  Finally, it eliminates the need for paper to travel back and forth between the clubs and the BCSF office and the lag that some members have experienced.

    For the members it means that you have one more option to support your local club.  You will still be able to buy on paper directly from your club or you can embrace the new technology and go digital with us.  If you choose to go digital you will be able to login to your club’s website and update your communication preferences, your contact information, participate in members only forums, and keep up to date on what your club is doing.  Any way you join you will now receive a personalized member card, decal and welcome package directly mailed to you with a great bunch of member benefits from our partners such as Capri Insurance, Best Western Sicamous, BMO Mastercard, etc.  For a full list of member benefits please go to

    Please have some patience as we all learn something new this season and grow together.