Are you searching for an off road club that is active in their community and loves to explore the beautiful trails of Maine and the surrounding New England area? Then Lake Region Jeepers foots the bill. A journey that began in 2016 has evolved into a dynamic, family oriented and very active Jeep club. Lake Region Jeepers are located near Bridgton, Sebego and Windam Maine in the Sebego lake area of the Pine Tree State.
The following few sentences left by Seth Palmer, a member of the group, sums up what Lake Region Jeepers is all about:
“This group is a family. When I rejoined the military, the whole LRJ admin crew took my wife and me to breakfast to wish us good luck on the journey ahead. They also gifted us with a framed photo of my wife and me with our Jeep. It was and remains one of the most sentimental and thoughtful gestures I have received, which is why I love this group and miss them dearly.”
From The Beginnings
In 2016 Scott Roakes and his wife Bobbi decided to buy a Jeep and get back into Jeeping after a long break from raising their family. It wasn’t long after buying the Jeep that Scott and Bobbi were off attending events, other clubs hosted, to meet other like minded Jeepers. It was difficult attending because the clubs and events were over an hour drive away. Since Scott grew up in the region and knew his way around the Jeep trails he decided to start Lake Region Jeepers. Today, it has become a place where young, old, newbies and pro Jeeper’s can make friends that have their passion (Jeeps) in common.
Stephanie Rose’s commented:
“This group has been more than just a ‘group’ to me. I’ve gotten out of my shy shell and have met the most wonderful people that I now consider family. We have cookouts every month and get together to talk jeeps! We go for rides together. We also help each other out, whether it’s learning how to build your Jeep or if you’re stuck on the trails. No one is left behind. This is my favorite ‘group’ to be in because of the people I have met. I’ve become more confident on the trails and always have the support I need. “No goatn’ No glory”
(What does Goatn’ mean? Keep Reading!)
Ride Along with the Pine Tree State’s Finest
LRJ is one of the more active Jeep clubs we have come across!
With monthly rides, meet and greets, and events planned throughout the year, they take their hobby and the love of nature very seriously. Members and non-members are both welcome to ride along, provided they sign a safety waiver and agree to the club rules.
In addition to their monthly rides and Go Topless Days, the club goes on annual rides in other states where they meet extended family members. Extended family members like Scott and Eric Ammerman have attended the club’s annual ride to the AOAA Trails in Coal Township, Pennsylvania and the ride to Rausch Creek Off-Road Park in Pine Grove, Pennsylvania. In 2019 a group of four couples also drove out to Jeep Jamboree at Moab, Utah.
Lake Region Jeepers also interact with clubs throughout the New England area. Some of the clubs they have interacted with are: Maine Jeep Girls, Penobscot Valley Four-Wheel-Drive, York County Jeepers, NWOR North Woods Off Road, White Mountain Jeeps, Granite State Off-Road.
Going Beyond Monthly Rides
The members of the club are quite active outside of the annual and monthly rides. The last Thursday of every month is when the entire group gets together at Black Bear Auto Care in Windham, Maine, for a meet and greet to discuss upcoming events and get to know new members.
Lake Region Jeepers are quite active in their community. Their community involvement ranges from running fundraisers for organizations and to help support club members when their family is in need.
The enthusiasm of the activity board is what makes this club. Scott and Bobby knew they needed help because the amount of planning and organizing for these events is mind-blowing. At the time of writing this article, activity board members that stepped up are Hank & Tina Gagnon’s hosting meet & greets; Del and Dan and their wives, Dalenda and Wendy, stepping up to admin the group this year.
To show their support for one of the club member’s sons that was diagnosed with cancer. Their club family, spear-headed by Tammy Dumais, not only gave support to the family but also wanted to do their part by holding a fundraiser event led by Seth Palmer for the Children’s Cancer Center of Maine.
They also have held several fundraisers for Outdoors Again. Which is a non-profit organization created by Geoff and Mike Howe, owners of Howe & Howe Technologies. It provides opportunities that make outdoor activities such as camping, hunting, horseback riding, etc., accessible for people with disabilities. The events have been held at MacDonald Motors in Bridgton, Maine. MacDonald Motors provides the venue and food. Lake Region Jeepers organized the event and gathered locally donated items as well as items requested and gifted from MyMedic, Rough Country, JKS, Quadratec, and many others. They can’t say enough how thankful they are for everyone’s enthusiastic involvement.
Taking Care of the Land
Lake Region Jeepers dedication goes beyond the monthly rides and doesn’t stop at community service. Each member of the club is quite diligent about respecting the trails that serve their hobby. For instance, they partner with several local ATV clubs and other off-road clubs in the area to ensure everyone has access to the trails by doing periodical Trail Clean ups.
About the Land – from Club Founder Scott Roakes says it all
“We appreciate the land owners who let us go across their property. We are respectful and gentle to the land. We bring out what we bring in and we will pick up trash along the way if we see it. One member Andre is especially good at this. We want trails open for the future. We have an open line of communication between off-road groups as well as the local snowmobile and ATV clubs to insure we all continue to have access.”
The GOAT of Jeepers
One of the most interesting things about the groups is the way they rate trails. In their words, it’s called the GOAT system. When the club was new when Scott and Bobbi had just begun climbing rocks, they dubbed their New Jeep ‘GOATN’.
For better understanding, consider it a scale of 1 to 5. A rating of 1 goat means that the trail is quite easy; 2 goats mean 33’s and tow points; 3 goats mean 35’s, lifted and winch required; and 4 goats mean that the trails are technical and a good understanding of line choices and or a spotter are necessary. A rating of 5 is a “What Would Scott Do” moment and Bobbi chooses whether or not to get out and walk the trail!
Using this interesting yet effective rating system, the club also provides assistance, training, and support to newbies. From Off-Road Basics and Winching 101 to other 101 classes for beginners at Hemond’s MX & Off-Road Park in Minot, ME, the club ensures that new riders learn how to be safe and confident on the trails.
This and much more goes into this highly active off-road Jeep club in Maine. A club for the true Jeep enthusiast as it does not charge its members to join but instead encourages them to learn and support each other in their mutual appreciation for Jeep life. Experience members are always available for advice and help. Some of which have been or are trail guides for Jeep Jamboree and connected with associations such as the Northeast Association of 4WD Clubs.
If you’d like to experience and the warm welcome of an ultra-supportive Jeep club in the State of Maine, check out Lake Region Jeepers’ Facebook page for upcoming events.