Our most recent Trail Care Crew visit in Invermere, BC, was a great one; 29 participants came out to our Trail Building School, we collected record donations to the 2012 Trail Building Fund, and also had a great Club Care Workshop with almost twenty members from the Columbia Valley Cycling Society‘s board and executive.

Throughout the weekend, we talked bikes and trail, and also the club’s challenges. That’s pretty standard for us – and most volunteer clubs. We often focus on our struggles and challenges, but don’t spend a whole lot of time reflecting on our successes.

This is especially apparent when AJ and I arrive in a new location for a weekend visit. People show us around, tell us the history of their trails and trail community, and spend lots of time talking about the trail problems. But rarely ever do clubs or organizations shine light on their successes. We generally have to eke them out.

But as non profit organizations who often struggle to grow resources and a volunteer base, we can’t afford to operate like this!

It was Saturday night that this conversation got started as our host, Mark Halwa, reflected on the weekend. The Trail Building School attracted far more, and varied participants than the club expected. Coffee was donated by local roster, Kicking Horse, and A&W very generously supplied lunch to all volunteers. It was a great end to their productive trail building season. So when do we take stock of these successes, and give ourselves a much-needed pat on the back?

Clubs, we challenge you to stop being so [shy | passive | unconfident | preoccupied | _______ ] take your pick on the reason you don’t promote yourself fully.

Sit down at the end of your season, and take some time to talk about your successes and strengths. Take a look at the things you’ve done right, and then decide where to go next year. Goals shouldn’t just be a reflection on what challenges your facing, they should harness and take advantage of your strengths!

Check out our resources for clubs (including tips on how to tell people about all the cool things you’re doing) and also request a visit from the Trail Care Crew! And don’t hesitate to tell us about your successes on Facebook, twitter, or by emailing us.

Thanks to the CVSC for a fantastic visit and to Mark and Lori for being wonderful hosts!

Photos from Invermere, BC

Timelapse of the build, shot with ContourGPS

Invermere Timelapse from IMBA Canada on Vimeo.

Our tour of Kicking Horse’s Invermere HQ