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New Ski Club of Great Britain chat forum

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Davina Goldballs wrote:
... Gerry Aitken, a twice-serving director of the Ski Club of Great Britain informs us ...

Gerry wrote:
The pub is going on top of the BT Tower.


... no doubt with a rustic revolving wooden chalet-style construction, a ski rack outside, live yodelling and Austro oompah/Eurodisco music, and a choice of fondues on the revolving gastropub deck. Best snow on upper revolving slopes....


Iíd be up for that Toofy Grin

But I hope youíre not implying Gerry, a SCGB leader, was telling porkies!! Shocked
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Last time I checked there are 12 months in 2018, so if it has been announced that the venue is due to open in 2018 that includes the autumn.

Just to reiterate, I was until recently a member of SCGB staff, and I can assure you that the venue opening has always been scheduled for autumn 2018. I no longer work there, so have no idea if thatís still the case, but as far as I know it was still on schedule when I left. Itís not uncommon for food and drink venue openings to slip behind schedule. If it does, Iím sure everyone will survive the horror of it.
snow conditions     
 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Just for side interest ...

ALQ's post above is the 5000th posting to this thread - 'New Ski Club of Great Britain chat forum' - since it began on 18 December 2012



Over 6+ years and 125 pages, this thread has generated an average of 75 views per post. That's an almost identical hit count to another more recent thread - 'Next Season is going to be lot more Expensive!' [39 pages]

For further comparison ...
'Taking children out of school....' [17 pages] runs at 51 views per post.
'Easter Drive Down - chit chat' [13 pages] achieved 42 views per post.
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 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
Meh
ski holidays     
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
TBF, a lot of those views were posters triple n quadruple checking their grammar. We run a tight ship Ďere.

Must say, itís a pretty good turn-out, but I encourage more folks to not be shy and get stuck in with posts.
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 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
75 views per post certainly stands well in comparison with this thread in the Apres Zone ...

Brexit
Now 602 boring pages, which generate an average of only 12 views per post (against the 75 who are likely to view this one). What is the point of perpetuating threads on snowHeads that can reach so few people and achieve zero influence over Britain's exit from the EU?

---------------------------

Anyway ... back to business ...

The Ski Club of Great Britain's claimed membership numbers are always worth a ponder at this time of year. This is the current (June 2018) claim ...

Quote:
The Ski Club of Great Britain is the largest skiing and snowboarding membership organisation in the UK, with around 28,000 members ...

Source: SCGB 2018/19 Media Pack
https://issuu.com/skiclub/docs/ski_club_of_great_britain_media_pac

That word "around" is interesting, because the word "over" is also used in other places ...

Quote:
The Ski Club is the largest and oldest snowsports membership organisation in the UK, with over 28,000 members.

Source: SCGB website 'About the Ski Club'
https://www.skiclub.co.uk/about-the-ski-club

Does the Ski Club of GB really have "over 28,000 members", or "about 28,000 members"?
According to the most recent (Jan-Dec) data of the Audit Bureau of Circulation (ABC), an average of 16,048 copies of the SCGB magazine 'Ski+Board' were circulated to members last year.

The SCGB's most recent annual report (2017) quotes a gross membership figure of 27,789.

Historically (back in the 20th century) the SCGB consistently quoted a gross membership of around 1.5 times its number of subscribers or 'paying units', so one would expect a gross membership of about 24,000 from a paying units figure of 16,048 (if that's the number of subscribers). Have family units within the SCGB membership grown in recent times?

----------------------------------------------------------------

Just for reference, back in 2011-12 very variable membership numbers were being quoted by the Club ... which were reported to the Winterhighland forum on 2 Julay 2012 ...
http://www.winterhighland.info/forum/read.php?2,148384,page=1
... thus ...

Quote:
The following numbers have been published by the SCGB since last autumn [2011]: 32,000 (29 Nov 2011), 30,000+ (21 Feb 2012) 31,000+ (22 Feb 2012), 33,000 (1 Mar 2012) and currently (2 July 2012) "around 34,000".


Those figures were extracted from varous SCGB press releases etc. of that time. The quoted membership number in paying units (taken from the 2011 annual report) was 17,114.

One question to pose to the Club is: "How many membership cards have been issued, and how many members are entitled to vote?"

If any SCGB spokespersons or former spokespersons are reading this, they're welcome to comment.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Yeah, itís about 28,000
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Rosey44 wrote:
Yeah, itís about 28,000


Yep, David Goldsmith, around and about, circa, in the region of, roughly, something like, near too 28k.

I hope that's of no help at all to you.
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 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Davina Goldballs wrote:
How many membership cards have been issued...



http://youtube.com/v/XT8hE7_8BCY
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Rosey 44 + Gerry ... plus the regular studio audience ...

If you're saying (presumably without counting them or looking at any independent audit) that the SCGB has "around 28,000 members" ... because you feel obliged to fly that particular flag on behalf of the Club ... then I'd just politely point out ...

1. The SCGB has been claiming the "over 28,000" figure for 3 years.
May 2016:
Quote:
The Ski Club of Great Britain has over 28,000 members

https://www.skiclub.co.uk/about-the-ski-club/press-centre/press-releases/2016/05/the-ski-club-of-great-britain-looks-back-on-a-snow-season-of-ups-and-downs
Oct 2017:
Quote:
The Ski Club of Great Britain has over 28,000 members

https://www.skiclub.co.uk/about-the-ski-club/press-centre/press-releases/2017/10/chemmy-alcott-announced-as-ski-club-of-great-britain-president
June 2018:
Quote:
The Ski Club is the largest and oldest snowsports membership organisation in the UK, with over 28,000 members.

https://www.skiclub.co.uk/about-the-ski-club

2. The Club is currently running another 'half price subscription offer', online, via a code. When I joined the SCGB, not only did you absolutely have to pay the full subscription fee ... you had to pay a joining fee on top. Is the Club really holding that 28,000 figure, or is it made up with 1/2 price members, non-paying members (journalists etc., who've been given freebies in the past) etc.? The Club will surely be challenged to retain its loyal full-subscription-paying members if it's dishing out much cheaper subs to newcomers.

3. According to the Audit Bureau of Circulations/ABC (which has independently audited the SCGB's data for 40+ years) ...
Quote:
Ski Club of Great Britain is no longer registered with ABC

https://www.abc.org.uk/product/15785-ski-club-of-great-britain

This, coupled with the SCGB's decision to no longer have its AGM voting verified by Electoral Reform Ballot Services, must raise questions as to whether the Club is trying to hide something or make up numbers. A national organisation of the SCGB's pedigree really should not be scuttling away from independent auditors/monitors in this way.

4. The Club claims, in relation to its 'Line-S' student membership body (is it really a club?) ...
https://www.line-s.co.uk/
Quote:
With over 20,000 members, we are the the largest student snowsports club in the UK.


As with the SCGB's "28,000 members" figure ... the same question arises: do these 20,000 students hold membership cards?
The Line-S 'About us' page is worth a gander ...
https://www.line-s.co.uk/about-us/

There's also the 'Society Support' page ...
https://www.line-s.co.uk/support/

And ... 'What we do' ...
https://www.line-s.co.uk/what-we-do/

Good lunchtime reading.
[A meaty sandwich of baloney, if you ask me!]
https://www.vocabulary.com/dictionary/baloney
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
In point 3 above, I highlighted the SCGB's apparent withdrawal - after 40+ years - from the Audit Bureau of Circulations (according to ABC).

Auditing is, of course, a vital function of any accountable enterprise (especially one which is responsible to its members/owners).
A significant SCGB financial matter which has been raised from time to time, over the past decade and more, is ...

The SCGB's 'Respect the Mountain' fund ... and the missing £10,000s

Since 2004-5, the Ski Club of Great Britain has levied 50p per subscription from each of its membership fees for environmental projects. At a rough estimate, over the past c.13 years, the Club will have raised a cumulative sum of around £120,000 from this source, and also the branded merchandise sold. In its first winter the campaign also kicked off, merchandise-wise, with the the manufacture of 35,000 green wristbands, sold at £2 each, plus t-shirts and hoodies etc, ashtrays and other items.

The key purpose of the fund, as originally announced, was to support the Woodland Trust with what was described by the SCGB as a "long-term tree-planting project". SCGB members were told that the Woodland Trust would receive approximately 50% of the funds.

The fund-raising continues, each year:
See 'Green Award'
https://www.skiclub.co.uk/news-and-events/inspire-awards/ski-club-inspire-awards

Ski Club of Great Britain wrote:

Green Award
Applications available throughout the year for funding up to £1,000

In recent years, attitudes to preserving and protecting the environment have become more and more important. None more so than the issues around the sustainability of snowsports and the mountain environment. The Green Award will offer funding of up to £1,000 towards environmental-led snowsport projects undertaken by anyone who is a member of the Ski Club of Great Britain. Whether you are raising funds to clean your local mountain, investigating changing snowfall across the seasons or filming a documentary on melting Alpine glaciers, this award could be one to consider. The money raised from the 50p membership levy will now go towards the Green Award, opening out the previous Respect the Mountain funding initiative to include green charities or projects that skiers and snowboarders are actively involved in.


But most recent summary of how these funds have been allocated is now ancient. The latest official account I can find (the data now seems to have vanished from the SCGB's website) dates back to 2014, and the figures were extremely old even then ...

Quote:
INCOME
£6,816.22 was raised from the sale of Respect the Mountain wristbands
£27,538 was raised from the Club's membership environmental levy of 50p per subscription


Quote:
DONATIONS
- Woodland Trust tree planting scheme - £7500 donation to plant 600 indigenous forest trees in Britain. A further £1500 donated this year.
- Research project by James Lewis, entitled "Sustainable Alpine Tourism: the British Ski Industry's Role in Developing Sustainability in the French Alps" - £4250 download the full report as a pdf
- Eco-boxes through Summit foundation in Verbier, Switzerland - £816.22
- Makesnowsportsgreener campaign and snowsports sustainability and resort makeover - £4000
- "The Big Spring Clean" - Scottish resort clean up day. This year's cost was £2600
- The Eco-guide to Mountain Gear - £1788
- Ski Club Leaders Train Travel subsidy of £100 each to encourage travel by train has been popular. 23 Leaders took it up this year. Cost £2300.
- Freshtracks is including train travel options to Les Arcs for members in this year's holiday programme. The EWG is allocating £1600 to help keep the travel costs comparable with plane travel.
- Disposable ashtrays have been handed out in resorts by Club Leaders - £1500
- The Chamonix Lac Blanc Refuge hydroelectric project has been approved in principle. This project is to replace an aging and polluting diesel generator. Cost £7500.
- The historic Britannia Hut near Saas Fee was built many years ago with the help of the Club. Solar panels have been installed to help save fuel, water supplies and environmentally intrusive heli lifts - £3000
- Researchers at Bristol University are looking into the role of micro-organisms in snow, and how snow longevity and possibly snowfall is affected. The Club has given a grant of £4000.
- We have commissioned snowcarbon to provide the Club with ongoing information on 'green travel'. This will be included in the Green Travel section and help members to plan journeys by rail. Cost £850
- Contribution of £4000 towards the University of Bristol's research into the biogeochemistry of snow in the Alps and the potential impacts on the snowsports industry and ski resorts.


So, the expenditure the SCGB has publicly accounted for - £34,354.22 (with the £4000 figure above possibly declared twice) - compares with that total raised of over £120,000 (with the money accruing at a rate of £8000 to £9000 per annum based on the Club's claimed subscriber numbers of around 16,500 households).

The SCGB Environmental Working Group, established at the outset (in 2004-5) to advise its Council on the distribution of the funds, advised that approximately half the fund should go to The Woodland Trust - a distinguished national tree-planting charity - to finance a "long-term tree-planting project". As The Independent newspaper pointed out in 2007 ....

https://www.independent.co.uk/travel/skiing/ski-club-of-great-britain-ace-of-clubs-398722.html

Quote:
I saw that the Ski Club's Respect the Mountain campaign was taking a multi-pronged approach to tackling the receding snowline. Changing consumer behaviour was only the tip of the sinking iceberg; more impressive was the club's best-practice guide for resorts themselves, as well as its ever-growing resort-ratings database, which details every step taken on a resort's path to greenness.

By the next ski show, it was getting harder to hold on to my preconceptions. The Ski Club booth was covered in green wristbands. Respect the Mountain T-shirts were everywhere. Gone were the garish blue-and-yellow ski jackets of old; in their place were smart green Gore-Tex numbers.

"As a ski club, we're acutely aware of climate change issues," said Caroline Stuart-Taylor, the club's chief executive. "How long until there's not enough snow for us to do the thing that we love? But we feel that our responsibility is to raise awareness; we're not a major campaigner."


However, according to its own accounts, the Club says it has only ever paid £9000 to The Woodland Trust - well under 10% of the funds raised. They were allotted the £7500 in the first two years of the project (to 2007), and then merely an odd amount of £1500 in 2013. Where has the rest of the Woodland Trust's money gone, exactly?

That information was, by the way, requested from the Club's then treasurer in 2012 ... but an up-to-date financial summary has still not appeared ... 6 years later.

----------------------------------------------
Additional links on this:

August 2015:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/SKI.HUB/permalink/1674410129512419/
[With comments below from British ski journalists Patrick Thorne and Neil English.]

October 2015:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/SKI.HUB/permalink/1698311653788933/
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
I think it would be obvious to even the most dim witted that the kind of expenditure they list could easily exceed the @ £9,000 per year you suggest the scheme is bringing in.

rolling eyes
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