The 4th Chicks in the Sticks event was held April 23-25 at Southern Missouri Offroad Ranch (SMORR) in Seymour, MO. The event was structured to educate, inspire, and empower women wheelers. The traits for this event align with the mission statement of The Jessi Combs Foundation (www.jessicombsfoundation.com, founded in 2019, after the untimely death of Jessi Combs. There was no debate on the decision to have JCF as our partner charity for the event and we are proud to carry on the mission.
The event is open to all wheelers; however, our focus was on women. Out of the 12 guided groups, all featured either a woman guide, gunner or both! Group sizes were kept to a minimum and additional mild groups were added based on the quantity of wheelers wanting in that level of difficulty.
We believe communication is key during our wheeling events. FRS radios were used as the mode of communication within each group and this was communicated in advance of the event to allow attendees adequate time to prepare by acquiring the proper radio. This allowed clear communication between the guide/gunner and the wheelers in their group. We received excellent feedback on the communication from within each group.
Pre-determined trails were shared between all the trail groups which helped to alleviate traffic on the more common trails. Since the park was open to the public, there was no control over traffic from others visiting the park that were not part of the event. Luckily, there was little congestion on the trails and the upfront planning and communication between the group leads caused for some great wheeling with very little congestion.
An all-inclusive food option ticket was offered to the attendees which allowed them to purchase their meals for the weekend with Up In Smoke. All meals were included with the exception of breakfasts; however, the SMORR Snack Shack was open and serving for the duration of the weekend.
The event offered some fun activities outside wheeling, including the game Candy Land. Numerous stations along Ranch Road were set up that held several different types of candy. Each participant was instructed to visit each of the stations and mark the type of candy they selected from each bag using the scorecard that was included in their swag bag. Friday evening, a point value was randomly given to each type of candy by rolling a set of four dice. Participants were then requested to tally their score and the winner received a cash prize.
As an effort to get to know each other better and to strike conversations with people outside your normal friend circle, a Scavenger Hunt was also included as part of the festivities. Questions pertaining to the Jeeps in attendance, club history and pertaining to the JCF were included with the Scavenger Hunt. Those who were able to complete the hunt in its entirety were included in a random drawing for a prize.
Tech talks with AxleBoy and Full Throttle Parts were part of Friday evening’s festivities where several questions were posed to the performance shops in hopes to answer some of the questions that were asked by participants ahead of the event. The AxleGirls presented on recovery for the group and offered some great suggestions regarding tips, tricks and tools. They offered a pamphlet that included all the topics of discussion for those interested.
The highlight to the evening was the Expo Night held under the tent that included several vendors who set up booths to display their products and talk to participants. It was a huge success and an enjoyable part of the event for both participants and vendors.
Saturday morning started off with some rain; however, it only lasted until lunch time. The creeks of SMORR were filled with water which always makes for a fantastic day on trails such as Pee Wee’s Crossing and Cavern Creek. Once again, groups hit the trails and enjoyed another fun-filled day of SMORR trails.
The event concluded with the highly anticipated raffle that included numerous prizes donated by MWJT and a few other sponsors to the club. In addition to the raffling of prizes, trivia was intermixed to allow participants another way to win free prizes such as JCF swag, gift certificates, t-shirts and other fun prizes!
We would like to thank our numerous sponsors of the event for the support with a monetary donation or the donation of their time. We couldn’t have chalked this event up as a success without your assistance and support!
Blue Beast Jeep
Cassens & Sons
Troy Produce Patch
St Louis Auto Detail
Old Time Finds
Hair by Deana
Tony Mellinger LLC
Up in Smoke
Photos from Chicks in the Sticks Facebook community
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