Snowmobiling is addictive. The more you do it, the more you want to do it. It’s also contagious. The more family members you introduce to the sport, the more will want to join in on the fun. If you follow the addictive and contagious nature of sledding, you could even end up with an award such as the Alberta Snowmobile Association (ASA) Excellence Award for Outstanding Snowmobile Family like the Kiland Family.
“I rode with my parents as a kid, but hockey cut into the riding time,” said Mitch Kiland, recipient of the ASA award and patriarch of the Kiland family. “I got back into riding later in life and got involved with the Edson Sno-Seekers club. Once I got my wife, Joyce, out a few times and she saw the valuable family time that can be spent while out riding, that got her hooked.”
As any family man can attest, getting the wife on board with a fun hobby is only half the battle. Convincing the kids to take part in and enjoy the sport can be a challenge. To get the whole family involved and loving sled days, Mitch Kiland has three simple rules:
- Ride with friends and take the kids’ friends along
- Let the kids drive
- Just spend time together as a family
Another way to bolster kids’ enthusiasm: hooky.
“Sometimes, we have such a great Sunday ride with friends that we ride Monday when the kids should be in school,” Mitch said. “We chalk that up to teaching them stuff in the bush that they don’t learn in class.”
Of course, there’s more to winning the ASA Excellence Award for Outstanding Snowmobile Family than just shredding pow on Monday afternoons. There’s a whole lot of dedication and volunteering involved as well.
“We make it a family outing anytime we ride and put time into clearing and grooming trails along with other volunteers,” said Mitch. “I operate the groomer for the club. If I’m working out of town, friends call Joyce up and tell her to get ready to go riding.”
Apart from giving into the addictive, contagious spirit of snowmobiling, be sure to include the fam along with a few selfless deeds to truly have a remarkable sledding season this winter. You might even pick up an award while you’re at it.