The Cold Lake Fish and Game Club has experienced many challenges with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Don Mann from Cold Lake Fish and Game says, “This last year and a bit, experiencing the ravages of COVID-19, has certainly taken its toll on Canadians’ emotional, economic and personal livelihoods’. We are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel now though with the second stage reopening commencing.”
Mann says there club has undergone its challenges as well.
“We have not had any kind of monthly meetings for over a year” Mann said. “Our annual AGM did not happen. Our executive committee has dwindled to only a few bodies doing the work of many. There are several empty seats that absolutely need to be filled. I would like to remind members, at this point, that ALL exec members and ALL work volunteers, are exactly that, volunteers. There are no paid positions.”
Mann explained, “We all have busy lives with employment, and families to keep happy. I know I am probably stating the obvious here, but , my point is that three to five exec members cannot be expected to maintain the online membership purchases, continue as a Liaison with Canadian Tire, keep up the maintenance on the rifle range, maintenance on the archery range, grounds maintenance, groom and maintain the 3D archery course, navigate the intricacies of gov’t grant applications, drag our access road in the winter to keep it open, maintain the grounds in a way that keeps everyone understanding that we care what our quarter section and facility looks like. There are a multitude of tasks that are seen to, by these few, that I have not listed.”
The Cold Lake Fish and Game Club membership, as of this date, is 271 members.
“That is 271 folks,” Mann said. “When I have sent out requests for club assistance in past years, I have received offers, yes, but from members with busy lives as well and coordinating work parties has been a challenge.”
Mann provided a little history on the club.
“At monthly club meetings, through the mid and late 2000’s, membership participation at meetings was respectable at about ten to15 beside exec chairs,” Mann said. “In past years, the attendance numbers have dwindled to almost zero at most meetings in the six to eight months prior to COVID-19. Our meeting location and time is always posted on FB and the club web site. Demoralizing to say the least for the exec that try so hard.”
Mann says that the mindset of many members, unfortunately, is that “I’ve paid my membership, I just want to go use the facilities and let someone else do the work”.
“Well, I’m sorry but that must come to an end,” Mann stated. “The exec members that have held this club together are at a point where most just want to hand in the keys and say, I’m done. We need more exec chairs to be filled. We need more volunteers to step up and help take responsibility for the continuing needed maintenance. We need more interest shown in the running of the club.”
Mann says the next meeting will be an important one. Location and date will be posted on the club’s web page, Facebook page, and there will an email sent to members all ahead of time.
“It will likely be after the lifting of all restrictions,” Mann said. “Our club meetings are at the 784 Wing behind the City Hall. We all sincerely hope to see you there. Thank you for your patience and continued support.”