By Mary MacLennan
The Barriere Outdoor Club (BOC) is a non-profit organization in Barriere with a mandate to provide outdoor recreation programs and facilities to our local citizens.
The BOC is managed by volunteer executive, directors, and approximately 60 members, (many of them over the age of 55) who have provided many programs over the years for seniors, adults and our youth. These activities include cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, youth swimming lessons, soccer, yoga, a fitness program for dogs and their owners, hiking, biking and most recently Pickleball.
In addition the BOC constructed a warming hut and built ski and snowshoe trails for many of these users up at Barriere Forks park on East Lake Road, with namy events and functions held there year around.
Some years ago the BOC partnered with the Barriere high and and elementary schools to provide a ski and snowshoe program for the students. The program is now a regular part of the school’s curriculum and is a fun and wonderful way to bring seniors, adults and students together for a positive and educational outdoor experience.
Along with student lessons, we also offer senior and adult ski and snowshoe lessons by certified ski coaches at the Barriere Forks trails. This is also the location where we organized and hosted the Amazing Race, which was a family fun timed event that included individuals from the ages of five years right up to 85 years of age .
In the summer one of our enthusiastic senior volunteers plans a variety of adventurous hikes for club members to enjoy that vary from easy hikes in the countryside to more challenging ones in the mountains.
One of our more recent programs being offered is Pickleball, which started out as a senior’s game. Pickleball is a sport almost anyone can play, from age eight to 80, and because of its tremendous flexibility, pickleball is played at many levels of skill and is now cited as one of the fastest growing sports in America. We play this sport outside at the old tennis courts in Barriere in the summer and at 4936 Barriere Town Road in the gym during winter months. Note: we have not been playing in the gym lately due to the COVID-19 virus.
The BOC is continually raising funds and applying for grants to purchase sports gear, grooming equipment and pay for general maintenance so we can keep on with these winter and summer programs. Our dedicated volunteers spend many hours clearing, maintaining and grooming these trails so they are safe to ski and snowshoe on in the winter and bike and hike in the summer. Right now the Barriere Forks park is being logged for removal of danger trees, falling hazards and wildfire risks. We hope the logging to be done soon, and then the trails will require clean up to be ready for our upcoming ski and snowshoe season. For more information about BOC call Mary MacLennan at 778-538-2796.