Everything You Need To Know
One question we hear from readers on a regular basis is, "How do I start a 4x4 club?" Sometimes it's one individual looking for some like-minded folks to go 'wheeling with. Often, it's a group of friends and families who have already assembled a band of enthusiasts, hit trails together regularly, and want to include others in the fun by hosting trail rides and events. Whether individual or group, it's a great idea to establish a 4x4 club in your community. It isn't really very difficult, either.
When you begin the quest of establishing a 4x4 club, first make sure you aren't re-inventing the wheel. There may already be a group of people in your area who are a few years ahead of your idea. You can find a listing of regional 4x4 clubs and associations on the United Four-Wheel Drive Association (UFWDA) website at ufwda.org. While visiting the UFWDA website, please take the time to become a member as well.
Starting a 4x4 club is kind of like starting a business; the more organized you are about it, the more successful it will be. Here is the short version of what needs to transpire: First off, find some members and establish who's in charge and who falls in line after that (president, vice, officers, and so on). Set some goals about what you hope to accomplish with the club or your general purpose. Then decide on a name for the club, draft some member bylaws, schedule some meetings, establish member dues, incorporate as a non-profit organization in your state, make up some T-shirts and stickers, join or contribute to your regional and national 4x4 associations, then go 'wheeling together. If you plan to host trail rides and events open to non-members, you will need event insurance, which is available through the UFWDA to its member clubs.
There are many great reasons for establishing or joining a 4x4 club. First and foremost, it gathers like-minded people together to have fun in the outdoors in their 4x4 vehicles. It also fosters discussions on topics, such as land-seizure, closed trails, and how to keep this sport we love so much alive and well for all to enjoy. Finally, there is the strength in numbers factor. If we are all united in support of our passion for exploring remote destinations in our own backyards, our voice is much louder and much more likely heard by those in Washington. Legislators are being constantly persuaded with campaign contributions and lies about our co-culture from those who desire public lands to be closed to public use. For more information about land issues, and how clubs and individuals can join the efforts against trail closures, check out ufwda.org. 'Wheel on.
National and Regional 4x4 Associations
California Association of 4WD Clubs, Inc.
Middle Atlantic Four Wheel Drive Association
Midwest 4 Wheel Drive Association
Northeast Association of 4WD Clubs Inc.
Pacific Northwest Four Wheel Drive Association
Southern Four Wheel Drive Association
Southwest Four Wheel Drive Association
United Four-Wheel Drive Association
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4Wheel Drive & Sport Utility Magazine
Attn: Christian Lee, 1733 Alton Parkway, Ste. 100, Irvine, CA 92606 or