The Merritt Snowmobile Club (MSC) is gearing up for another season on the trails this winter, and a number of recent donations and upgrades will make life easier for volunteers and trail users alike. The club is preparing to host its annual general meeting, install new communications equipment, and launch new online membership features, all while planning for a season in the snow.
The MSC is a non-profit organization focused on promoting the sport of snowmobiling, as well as maintaining a provincially approved trail system in the areas of Thynne Mountain, Stoyoma Mountain, Honeymoon Lakes, and Hooshum Ridge, just a few kilometres south of Merritt. Club member Simon Rizzardo says recent upgrades by the MSC, allowed for by donations, will improve riding experience and trail grooming safety in these areas.
“We’re working on a webcam for our Honeymoon side,” said Rizzardo. “We’ve had the webcam on Thynne Mountain for just about a year now, and we’ve had great success with that. The club wants to move forward with putting another webcam together. Valley Helicopters donated a communication shell for us to be able to use in the Honeymoon area, or really any of our areas, and it’ll hold the solar panels and gear for the camera.”
The communications shell will be used to house a new camera, but could also be used to aid the MSC’s Automatic Packet Reporting System (APRS), a radio-based tracking system for managing trail groomers. The public can currently track the position of trail groomers as they work to maintain the club’s trail system on the MSC website, but additional equipment would mean improved connectivity.
In addition to their physical technical upgrades, the Merritt Snowmobile Club’s membership system has received a digital refresh. Using an online service, memberships can now be purchased fully online. Members also have the ability to donate half or full days of trail grooming via the website to help fund maintenance efforts.
“We’ve gone to a new system called Amilia for our memberships, and it’s province-wide through the BC Snowmobile Federation. It allows people to buy their membership passes 100 percent online. We also have an online store presence, so we’re working on t-shirts, hats, and things like that,” added Rizzardo.
“As of September 1, the Amilia program is live and our membership page has that store. We’d really love to break through the number of members we had last year, which was 105. We’re trying to make it super simple, it’s like going on Amazon and buying your favourite thing.”
To become a member of the club, or for more information, visit www.sledmerritt.ca, or call Adam at 250-315-3673. The MSC’s 2022 annual general meeting will be held on at 7pm on September 16th, at 3398 Wildrose Way.