With open arms

Jamie-Shinkewski.web“Nice to meet you!”

That has been by and far my most used phrase in my short time as the newest member of the SPIN team.

I have witnessed first-hand truly how quickly word travels in a small community and I have been absolutely floored by the reception I have received as a new member of it.

People have gone out of their way to say hello and to make me feel welcome. From people stopping by the office to introduce themselves to receiving a hand shake nearly everywhere I go before I can introduce myself. Working in the media tends to get the opposite effect.

These interactions with the local personalities have opened my eyes opened to a side of the Sun Peaks community I never knew existed.

Community. That word has constantly surfaced in conversations around the village.

There is a common selfless effort made simultaneously by the residents of this small mountain town that has allowed Sun Peaks to transform to the second largest ski area in Canada.

In a recent conversation with Mayor Al Raine, he pointed out that his job is made easy because it’s a community with “so many people pulling in the same direction.”

If you take a look at all the growth the resort has seen in the recent past a large portion of it is thanks to volunteer efforts.

The events that have become household in Sun Peaks wouldn’t be possible if not for the volunteers. From the firefighters providing first aid at summer concerts to people setting up the netting at various races on the mountain, the generosity of the local community is a large part of what has made events a success.

Take the Velocity Challenge as an example. The event has been a part of Sun Peaks (and Tod Mountain) since the 1980s and was slated to not run this year if it were not for a trio of volunteers.

“Last year was supposed to be the last year of this race because nobody was here to organize it so we’re volunteering vto organize it, keep it going,” new organizer Scott
Coleman explained.

It’s this sense of community that has already made me feel right at home on the mountain. Now I’d better step up and volunteer.