For many of us in NER, the winter months bring downtime, a chance to recharge our batteries, and an opportunity to prepare for the coming summer when racing activities again take center stage. There are a core of folks in NER, however, who continue on with activities in the club throughout the winter months. So let’s take a few minutes and talk about what’s been happening since October from a competition standpoint, as well as other club related activities.

How many of you miss the competition after the summer season concludes? Do you realize that we have a whole discipline that continues on through the winter? The Rally / RallyX folks have been running events and will continue to run them through February and March. Check out their schedule and make some time to enter or at least see what they’re doing. They have a great time and would be happy to see you. Who knows, maybe you catch the bug and start to cross over into a new area of Fun with Cars!

But competition is not the only thing happening. This past month marked the start of SCCA’s 75th Anniversary, and NER’s 70th Anniversary. Over a dozen of our members traveled to Las Vegas for the National Convention in January and attended many highly informative sessions. The information they were able to garner will serve our region well in the future.

A primary focus of the Convention was on how to create a welcoming environment. There is a perception from many people that the SCCA is not a group that is especially friendly if you’re not a part of the “inner circle” of the club. As a relatively new member of the SCCA, I can tell you that this is really not true. But, the perception is out there. We need to battle it at every event we attend. I would like to ask everyone to make it a priority to create an environment where new folks will want to come back. We participate in NER because it gives us pleasure, or because we care about racing in general. The number of reasons is as widespread as our membership. But one thing that we need to make sure comes across is that it is fun. That means smiles. It means saying Thank You to people. It means stepping out of your comfort zone to talk to folks that you don’t know. Little things, that when taken as a whole, show people that “this is a place that I want to be, and you should too”.

So as you volunteer to staff an event, as you compete, as you attend car shows, and when you talk to your friends, remember – The attitude that you wear, the expressions on your face, the words that you use, all paint a picture to the people around you of how much FUN things can be. So when the stress builds up, when your car is trashed, because you goofed or someone else goofed for you (***wink***), take a minute and think about how your reaction will appear to everyone around you.

Remember, after all, it is about having Fun with Cars!

See you at the track (or Rally, or Solo)!