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RHINELANDER – Leaves cover the ground instead of snow, but that doesn’t stop Ben Popp from dreaming.

“Hopefully it snows soon,” said Popp.

The American Birkebeiner Executive Director visited the Northwoods Nordic Ski Club Wednesday.

“Rhinelander has just an amazing situation here. We have this great venue out here at CAVOC, the Nordic Ski Club is really strong,” Popp said.

A program that’s only grown stronger in recent years.

“The program has grown exponentially. It’s been hard to keep up with,” said Rhinelander High School Cross Country Coach Charil Reis.

Reis has seen the teams grow from seven members to more than 70 in grades two through 12.

“That’s typical of any sport really,” said Reis. “You have an ebb and a flow and we’re in the flow part right now.”

To help keep the program growing, Popp delivered a $1,000 grant to the Nordic Ski Club.

“We will use the money from the grant today to support the youth programs,” said Northwoods Nordic Ski Club Treasurer Ron Teclaw.

As the club grows, program organizers hope the interest in cross country skiing grows in the community.

“We need investment from the community into a community activity,” said Teclaw.

That could take longer than waiting for the next snowfall, but it’s a goal local skiers know sets them on the right track.

“We’re on the map and we have some great trail systems right here in Rhinelander,” said Reis.

The ski club will hold an informational meeting November 7th at Rhinelander High School at 6:30 PM.

You can also email the club at rhinelandernordicskiing@gmail.com

Posted October 20, 2016 at 12:09 pm