Meet our Volunteer of the Month, Chuck Seekel.
Chuck Seekel is the Sno-Trails Volunteer of the Month for March. Chuck has been a dedicated, hard-working volunteer for 25 years, and has served as Trail Captain for almost 15 years.
As Trail Captain, Chuck is responsible for grooming, equipment maintenance, signing and brushing, and paperwork. He pulls an 8-hour grooming shift at least two days a week, and on average puts in more than 100 volunteer hours per season.
Chuck and his wife Julie moved to their home on Grindstone Lake in 2000. Before that, they lived in Stillwater, MN and worked at Andersen Windows. When the company started offering voluntary layoffs in the winter, Chuck was more than happy to volunteer and so he could spend more time snowmobiling.
When Chuck first got involved in Sno-Trails, the club was strictly business owners. But he loved snowmobiling, and was happy to help out. It was also a way to forge strong friendships with the restaurant and bar owners in the neighborhood.
Chuck enjoys going out brushing with the group of guys in the fall. He also enjoys the grooming aspect of the job. He says he could do without the early season ice storms that require eleventh-hour trail clean-up.
He has plenty of stories to relate about snowmobilers whipping around a corner and then slamming on the brakes when they see the groomer. He recounts one incident when the lead snowmobiler was frantically trying to signal the sleds behind him, hit the groomer, and then blamed the ensuing pile-up on the groomer operator. (He thought the groomer should only be out at night, not in the daytime.) Chuck says a lot of people don’t understand what’s involved - grooming runs are 8 hours or more, and it’s strictly volunteer. Chuck is one of the few groomers willing to do an all-night shift when necessary.
Chuck and Julie get out and ride about 3 days a week, and enjoy the uncrowded trails on weekdays. He is also a NASCAR fan, and will be traveling to a race in March. During the off-season, he enjoys ATV-ing, “trying” to play golf, and cruising around the lake on his pontoon.