Birkebeiner 2018: Food and Good Cheer

More than a dozen Waskahegan Trail volunteers were at the Birkebeiner Ski Festival last Saturday in the Blackfoot Recreational Area. The volunteers prepared and handed out food, refreshments, and encouragement at the “Last Chance” food station at the Meadow Shelter.

We’ve been operating the food station every year since the Birkebeiner began in 1985.

According to Bonnie Guo, “The snow was perfect and the weather was not too cold.” It was a great experience, as you can tell from these pictures.

You’ll find more pictures on Flickr.

Opportunities Abound

People sometimes wonder how the Waskahegan Trail Association has managed to stay alive for 50 years.

Well, we haven’t been struggling for money. Casino funds, membership fees, and donations adequately cover our costs. But the hours and the brain power—that which comes entirely from volunteers? That’s where we struggle just like any organization.

For example, long-standing members can recall many times when we thought we would shut down because we couldn’t get people to join the board.

Why do we struggle? Because it’s hard for people to just raise their hands. Possibly, it’s humility—they don’t want to presume that their help would be wanted. Or they think that someone else wants it more.

But I believe that you want this organization to continue for at least another 50 years. In fact, you may have been willing to get involved from time to time—either on a little project or on something bigger. You just needed to know where the volunteer opportunities are.

That’s why the website now has a volunteer opportunities page.

On this page, you might find a task that matches your interests…or a task that will let you grow your skills in a friendly environment.

Or maybe you’re just looking for a way to give back to your community.

As new opportunities come up—whether it’s for a few hours or a bigger commitment—we’ll add them to the page.

Just don’t presume that we don’t need your help. If you have just an inkling of interest, we want to hear from you.

An invitation to snoop in our finances

Are you curious about where the Waskahegan Trail Association gets its money from? Have you ever wondered what it spends its money on?

If you’re a Waskahegan member in good standing, and you’re available some time in March, then we have an opportunity for you.

We’re opening our books for our annual financial audit.

Soon after February 28, Lin Keehn, our treasurer, will prepare the year-end financial report with the details of money coming in and out. On an afternoon that’s convenient for all of us, we’ll meet in Sherwood Park.

At this meeting, you’ll get to poke at a sample of transactions—you pick the sample, as big as you want—and verify that we have the invoices/receipts/bank statements to support them.

Once you’re satisfied, you’ll sign off on the report…and enable Waskahegan Trail Association to comply with its obligations as a registered charitable organization for another year.

Which means we can continue keeping our trail in good shape for everyone’s enjoyment.

If you struggle to find the time to volunteer with us, but can afford an afternoon in March, here’s your chance to help in a big way…and satisfy your curiosity about what we do with our money.

Send an email to if you are interested or if you have a question.