Summer 2017 | 5 A message from VAST President Tim Mills NEWS NEWS What exciting times these are for us all right now! This year marks the 50th anniversary of VAST! From its humble beginnings in a home in South Burlington, to what this organization has grown into now. At that time, a day-long excursion may have only totaled 10 to 20 miles. Now we can easily cover over 150 miles in a day. The comforts of the original snowmobiles left something to be desired. There were no heated hand grips, heated seats or heated face shields. The option of your snowmobile having electric start and reverse were only hopes and dreams. Fuel economy and oil injection were inconceivable on today’s terms. We have come a long way in 50 years. There was no such thing as an established trail system. The original trails really had no dedicated path. They were mostly guided by ease of topography and choice of destination for the day. There weren’t any stop signs at road crossing and driveways. There were no official junctions or junction numbers with destination directions to guide you on your way, other than knowing the direction from the landscape or previous trips. There was no funding for a trail system, to say nothing about bridges and culverts. I recently spent some time reading over some old issues of VAST News. One of the things I noticed were the similarities between then and now. The subjects going across the desks really haven’t changed. Broadly talked about most were the efforts to pass legislation to stay recognized and organized on all levels and volunteerism. These topics are still regularly on the agenda at both the trails committee meetings and the monthly board of directors meetings. I also came to realize how well our founding fathers fought to stay on top of everything. They were extremely dedicated to making this organization stay on task and become what it is now. Who could have guessed that in 50 years this little organization could have transformed so much and still stay true to our roots. We have gone from crossing the neighbor’s field with no particular destination in mind, other than to go out and see how far these machines could travel. They wanted to see how deep the snow would have to be to get stuck, to see how steep of a hill they could climb and so on. It really didn’t matter what the reason was, snowmobiling in Vermont had begun. The differences from day one to today, 50 years later, couldn’t have been farther apart except for one thing: camaraderie. Snowmobiling remains a wintertime activity that can be done collectively with your friends and neighbors. Our founders had found another way to beat the winter time boredom and it was called snowmobiling. This little-known anomaly would forever change the way we all beat the wintertime blues. Who would have guessed that snowmobiling would become an activity that would bring us all together and span the generations of our first 50 years. We have been given a lot to be thankful for and most of the thanks belongs to our founders. Tim Mills, VAST President COUNTY MEETINGS We have recently been reaching out to Bennington and Windham counties who have not yet elected county directors and officers. These counties are missing out by not having county meetings. Counties that hold active county meetings have the most successful clubs because they share information and efforts. As we move ahead to continue to try and help our two most southern counties, we need you to volunteer to be a part of your county leadership if your county is not holding official meetings. Cindy Locke at VAST would be happy to speak with anyone interested in learning more. VAST News SINGLE CLUB EMAIL In an effort to streamline email correspondence with the clubs, VAST would like to have ONE club email address for each club. We are currently given several different email addresses for the people handling TMAs, treasurer, trails coordinator and so on. When those duties change, we must change them in several different systems and it gets confusing and time consuming. Please contact VAST Finance Manager Sheila Fenoff-Willett at sheila@vtvast. org with one single club email address and we will make the changes at our end. Thanks to all of you who are currently doing this! WANTED: VINTAGE PHOTOS & STORIES The next several issues of Snowmobile Vermont magazine will focus on the 70s, 80s, 90s, 2000s and 2010s. We need your historical photos and stories of VAST’s history from these decades to make it happen! Do you know or are you someone who was instrumental in the organization? We want to hear from you. Send ideas, articles and high resolution images to