2020 has been interesting, to say the least. Since we were unable to hold our annual BBQ and Band in September, nor our annual Welcome Winter event where we typically sell memberships, the FKOC Board of Directors held two Early Rental and Membership Drives in November. What a success! Between online, mail-in, and in-person memberships, we currently have 240 members and counting for the 2021 Season!
Our members range from ages 3 to 94. So far this year, we have members from Canada (even though they can’t enjoy the trails yet), southern, central, and northern Maine. Some family memberships are brand new skiers, renting equipment for the first time. Other members and renters are students from our middle and high school Warrior Ski Teams, hoping to at least be able to compete locally this winter. Many members are our “regulars”. Our familiar faces. They are our friends that we see on the snowshoe and ski trails every winter and who have been annual members since our club’s inception in the late 1990s.
Every member is essential to our survival as a four-season, volunteer-run recreational facility. Dues from memberships make possible the grooming of the trails in the winter, and the purchasing of tools and equipment to improve and develop new trails in the spring, summer, and fall. Without membership dues, we could not maintain this gem we call the Fort Kent Outdoor Center.
Members, please display your 2021 Member Parking Sticker proudly on your vehicle, and those who aren’t members, please place your daily trail fee in the donation boxes found on the kiosks at the FKOC, Red Barn, or Violette Settlement trailheads. Online daily passes and memberships can be purchased using the QR Code at these kiosks as well.
Thank you to all members who voted in the 2021 Board Elections. We are pleased to announce our new Board Members: Danielle Reardon and Dr. Deborah Hedeen, and our re-elected members Carl Theriault and Laura Audibert. We thank our outgoing Board Members: Julie Sanclemente and David Gleich. Julie was imperative to the success of the Jalbert Ski Program and many other projects and events over the last few years. David was a pivotal player in the installation of the key-card lodge-access initiative, and spent countless hours on trail maintenance. FKOC is successful because of the dedication of fine people like David and Julie.
Finally, if you visit our website www.fortkentoc.org, you’ll notice a new, improved online look for us. This is thanks to Ben Paradis’ granddaughter Ana Paradis and her partner Brandon Goding, who are new residents of the area. We thank them for all of the volunteer hours they put into this project! Their business name is: aParadis Design and Ana can be reached at email@example.com if you need any web services.
In the spirit of healthy activity during this crucial time, we remind people that the lodge is closed to the public this season, with the exception of the downstairs bathrooms and rental shop during the open hours of 12-3 pm on weekends and school vacations. Only one family is allowed in the rental shop at a time, and facial coverings along with social distancing are required in the building.
The FKOC Board of Directors wishes everyone a happy, healthy holiday season.