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It seems like just yesterday that Leslie and Chris Kehmeier were training us on how to be a Trail Care Crew (there’s more to it than meets the eye), but that was 19 months ago and now it’s our turn to train the new crew, Jenny Abraham and Jake Carsten. They hail from Austin, TX and are an awesome addition to the Trail Care Crew program.

Jenny and Jake’s first training visit was in Rochester, NY with the Genesee Regional Off-Road Cyclists (GROC). This was the perfect visit to show them how a successful and productive visit is hosted: targeted marketing to land managers, club members and different user groups; plenty of social events to keep the fun flowing; a trail project that provided a good educational opportunity; and of course, a club that effectively balances social, physical and political advocacy. An exemplary model!

One of GROC’s notable accomplishments is how they manage technology. First, they have a website that offers all the info you need to know in a concise and pleasing-to-the-eye way. Second, all of GROC’s free trail maps have QR codes that, when scanned, send you to the GROC website. Also neat is there interactive trail map (i.e. never get lost again!): GROC trails are overlayed on a google map, and when you hit the locator arrow button on your smartphone, it shows you exactly where you are on the trail. Innovative, especially for the kind of trail systems we rode which can be confusing if you don’t know your way around.

They have a mobile device-friendly website and market their rides and social events through, which we are noticing lots of clubs doing these days. Their president, John Brown, works in web marketing, so he knows a thing or two about how to reach people. Which brings up another lesson: involve people in your club who have professional skills that make your club more sophisticated and savvy, like a web designer, accounting professional, grant writer, political strategist or GIS mapper.

Thanks to GROC leaders for putting up with double the Trail Care Crew trouble this weekend with wonderful accommodations, top-notch event planning and kind people.

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