Snowmobile club celebrates successful collaboration

1 year ago

The Chapman Ridge Runner Snowmobile and ATV Club held an Appreciation Get-Together Dinner at the clubhouse on Town Hall Road in Chapman. The purpose of the dinner was to celebrate the arrival of the club’s new trail drag that will be used with the club’s new groomer.

After an unsuccessful effort to find a commercially built trail drag meeting the club’s specifications for the drag, the club turned to NMCC for the school’s help in the construction of the club’s new drag.

 Through this collaboration, the new drag was built by the combined effort of the Structural Welding and Auto Collision/Repair classes at Northern Maine Community College. By committing to this project, the students in these classes received an authentic applied education experience.

According to Mickey Maynard, club president, the process of building the sled was coordinated by the Chapman Snowmobile Club Vice President Mark Brown, who oversaw the design and set the drag specifications. Brown, who has experience working with metal projects, visited the construction process on an almost daily basis.

The Chapman Ridge Runner Snowmobile Club held an Appreciation Get-Together Dinner between club members and Northern Maine Community College Structural Welding and Automotive Collision Repair students to say thank you for their work constructing the club’s new trail drag shown here. Students and instructors attending the event were, from left, Damin Harris, Rick Taggett, Structural Welding Instructor Kaleb Bell, John Cumming, Kyle Sperrey, Rylan Masse and Jason Sargent, Automotive Collision Repair instructor. Not pictured welding student Jason Maynard. (Contributed photo)

Providing considerable support to the classes, Brown worked with NMCC’s Structural Welding Class taught by NMCC Instructor Rick Daggett and Automotive Collision Repair taught by Jason Sargent. The construction of this drag allowed students the opportunity to enhance their skills in welding, metal machine work and painting doing live work on an actual machine to be used by the club. All materials metal, electronics, hydraulics, other gadgets and paint needed for the project were supplied by the club.

The Chapman Ridge Runners Snowmobile Club has spent two years working to acquire the new groomer and replacing the old drag. They have been acquiring grants, doing fundraisers and borrowing funds and in January the new groomer and drag was in place and ready to start the club’s work of grooming 42 miles of trail here in Central Aroostook County.  

To celebrate this achievement, the Appreciation Get-Together Dinner on Jan. 27 was held for the NMCC students who worked on the construction of the trail drag. This was a chance for the students to see the completed project in use and get a ride in the new groomer. They had the opportunity to see their newly constructed drag in operation.  The students and their instructors were excited to see the groomer and their drag in action.

Maynard explained, “The club is most appreciative of the high quality work these students put into the drag, which is critical to proper trail grooming and maintenance. This dinner is a simple thank you to them for their commitment to building a beautiful and functional major piece of equipment needed by the club.” He went on to say, “This work between the club and the school is a Win-Win for them and us.”

Two breakfasts at the snowmobile club

On Saturday, Jan. 28 and Feb.  11, the Chapman Ridge Runners Snowmobile Club held two experimental breakfasts at their clubhouse on 94 Town Hall Road. Through the efforts of Sue Johnson, these breakfasts were held to see if snowmobilers would be interested in regular breakfasts put on at the clubhouse. So the breakfasts were held from 7 a.m. to noon at the clubhouse. The menu consisted of variations of French toast, bacon or sausage, eggs, home fries, toast, coffee, juice. The breakfasts were managed by Sue Johnson, an experienced caterer in the area.

The Chapman Ridge Runner Snowmobile Club held two trial breakfasts on Jan. 28 and Feb. 11 to determine if regular breakfasts at the clubhouse would help handle the costs of operating and paying for the club’s new groomer and drag. Shown here is Sue Johnson who managed the breakfasts and also worked as the waitress and cashier. Later this season, the club will determine the possibility of having a regular breakfast schedule next season.
(Contributed photo)

The club saw a considerable turnout for the breakfasts and will be reviewing the success of the two events. Members have heard from many trail riders that a breakfast stop is needed. Based on the club’s review, these breakfasts may be regularly scheduled next season. Funds from the breakfasts will benefit the new groomer and drag.  The intention is to open the breakfasts to everyone whether they are riding a sled or not. As Maynard has said, “The Chapman Ridge Runner Snowmobile Club was built to serve the community, so everyone is invited to attend breakfast by either sledding in or driving out to the clubhouse.” They are hoping these breakfasts will be away to help cover the costs of the new groomer and drag.

Terry Sandusky is the Star-Herald correspondent for Mapleton, Chapman and Castle Hill and can be reached at 764-4916 or at