Since last year we started playing around with giving out some awards to users here on the forums (wards are a little badge that shows up in your forum signature). It started with the Image of the Month Contest that started running last November. We've had some suggestions to expand the use of awards to recognize contributors who provide excellent content. Obviously these aren't meant to be taken too seriously, but they're a fun way to recognize contributions made by the community. Starting this month we're going to start handing out a few more awards either at specific times or month by month.
This badge will continue for the image of the month contest. The winner gets to keep the badge for a year.
This is the badge for the guess who will open first contest. The winner keeps the badge for the season.
User with the highest rated (most thumbed up) post at the end of each month. This will be slightly subjective; comments that are just images (like image of the month contest) and such will not qualify; the post should be helpful or insightful about skiing rather than about general discussion topics. This badge will last for a year; in the case the winner already has won in the previous year it will be given to the second place person for the month.
This badge will be for anyone who makes a trip report thread or posts a trip report as a post within a thread that receive 5 or more thumbs up. This is a life time badge.
This badge will go to whomever starts the thread that is the most active through the month. Like the Exceptionally Helpful Poster badge I will use my discretion with this one, for example it won't go to who started the roll call thread for the gathering or something like that; it has to be an actual discussion. This badge will last for a year; in the case the winner already has won in the previous year it will be given to the second place person for the month.
Now I realize some people think this is cool, others are indifferent, and some people aren't a fan of awards, but please keep in mind this is meant to be fun and light-hearted. Any suggestions for future awards or how to fine tune this are welcomed.