March Newsletter

 In Adult Lessons, Badger State Games, Events, Night Gliders, Nine Mile, Ski Swap, Snekkevik, Snow Striders, Wausau Nordic United
Not Done Yet – Yes, the days are getting longer and our thoughts are turning to bicycles, hiking shoes, and paddle sports. But there are always a few perfect Spring days to get out and enjoy skiing in the bright sunshine. And this is a great time to try something new, like skating, or skins skis. Nothing to lose and the adventure is all part of the fun. That bike will still be ready when the temperatures are warm and the days are long. Ellen Humberston – March 15 – Please join us on March 15 at 6:30 at Whitewater Music Hall (this is a change in venue from the previous email due to a conflict at Tribute) to hear Ellen Humberston tell of her ultra racing adventures, including winning the women’s division of the Arrowhead 135 this winter. These are unique athletes and I am eager to learn what makes them tick. Skiing the Birkie is tough enough, but these folks are on a whole different level. 

Season Ending Banquet and Awards – The board is planning to try something new for our annual end of the year event. We are looking beyond brats and potluck, for a sit down event at one of our nicer local banquet halls. In addition to the awards, we hope to have a speaker talk about an area of interest to the club. The projected date is early April. Watch for details in a coming email. 

Trail Volunteer Recognition – Trail boss, John Beatty, suggested that we recognize all the folks who pitched on on trail work this year, especially those who came together on an emergency basis to help clear the trails after the December ice storm. Without their efforts there wold have been even longer delays in opening the trails, and much more debris to ski over. Those of you who were part of the fort should see an email invitation soon. And if you were missed, contact me at or John Beatty 

Tribute Trail – We have been fortunate to have this trail available this winter, thanks in great part to our newly minted expert groomer, Paul Martin. The trail has been busy with skiers, fat bikers and snow shoers all sharing the same trail. And the response from the Tribute folks has been very positive. We have already had some discussion around creating a longer trail next year at the Trapp River Golf Course.

Wausau United and Night Gliders – Our middle and high school teams wrapped up their seasons some solid results and great participation at the State Sprint and Distance Championships. The most notable result is a State Middle School Championship for Elsa Oestreich.  The level of depth and participation at the middle school level has grown rapidly under the enthusiastic coaching of Jon Oestreich. The high school teams, under Coach Ernie Luedke, have also had great participation. Many of the kids are also active in other sports and activities, so focusing on XC skiing at the high school level has not been a priority for many of the kids. Going into the future, the board is focusing on ways to encourage greater participation in these programs, encouraging skiers who are not focused on competition to join to learn more about skiing. 

Great Lakes Team –  Wausau Nordic will be represented by the following athletes at upcoming national level competitions.
Fairbanks Junior Nationals
U20 Girls:  Eleanor BennetU16 Girls:  Margaret Bennet.
Thunder Bay InternationalCup:
U18 Girls: Tori MyersU18 Boys:  Jack LackmanU16 Boys:  Nick Johnkoski.The board voted to help support these hard working athletes buy awarding $500 scholarships to each of them to help defray travel and other costs. Good luck to all of them

Snow Striders – Andrea Larson and her team of volunteers were able to hold all four Sunday sessions this year. There were 93 participants and smiles were everywhere. Seeing these future stars on their backs in the turtle position brought back fond memories of the early days of the program when our own children participated. Looking ahead to grow the program, we know that we will need to raise funds for replacement and additional skis and boots. The board has identified this as a major fundraising effort and more details will follow.

Adult Lessons – Rick and Paula Barnes did their usual exemplary job in coordinating this program, which had 138 participants. The weather and snow conditions were not always ideal, but they were able to hold all four of the sessions, thanks to a strong group of instructors.

Wausau Area Outdoors Update – This initiative continues to move ahead. The next steps in the process will be led by a facilitator suggested by the Chamber. They would like to see progress toward cementing the Wausau area as an outdoor destination on many fronts. Their goal is to draw in visitors, and also make the area a more attractive place for families to live, work and play.

Club Financial Status – Several people have asked about our financial status, especially in light of losing the revenue from the Badger Games. Without getting into details, I can share that we have a reasonable reserve, and have covered most of our expenses through the swap, the Snekkevik and club dues this year. Going forward we will need to create a budget to ensure that we are ready for any unknown contingencies. 

Future Events – With the Badger Games appearing to be at the end of their life cycle, we are looking to replace it with a new event in collaboration with IronBull. It might be a time limited event like the Wausau 24 mountain bike event, with different time frames and the option of participating as teams. Tribute Golf Course is a potential site. Lots of planning still to be done.

Open Board Seats – Two long serving board members are coming off this year, John Burke and yours truly. John has seemed to serve for decades, and is a vast treasury of knowledge about the club and ski events. He has also built and maintained our registration system, and kept our website, FB page and email communications flowing. I will be stepping down as president and also at the end of my six year term. We have an energetic group of new board members primed to lead the club into the future and they are eager to have additional folks with vision and energy join them. If you are interested in serving, contact me at 
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