Eastern Division NSP's News Magazine
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<<< In our last chapter, alpine skiing gains a toe-hold in North America and the Amateur ski club of New York is formed.
While sidelined from skiing due to an injury in 1931, Roland Palmedo, president of the Amateur Ski Club of New York, wrote a letter to the Postmaster in Stowe, Vermont. He had been to Stowe in the summer and knew that Mount Mansfield was a significant landmark, but was there life in Stowe in the winter? Did the town have the facilities to host the ASCNY if they arrived in the winter to ski? The reply came not from the Postmaster but from the Secretary of the Stowe Civic Club, and the response was very positive. Stowe and Mount Mansfield became regular destinations for the club. The response from the town would also eventually lead to the biplane flight in 1939. Our story, the story of the creation of the National Ski Patrol, falls in the intervening years between those two events.
The history of the Eastern Division newsletter, Trail Sweep, stretches back a long time. I have copies going back to Volume 29, No. 4, Spring/Summer of 1986. Looking through the issues, I am amazed at how far we’ve come and all the changes that have been made. We used to publish four issues a year, then three, and finally, we were down to two, although as we reduced the number of issues, they gained in size. We removed some information, like the division and region rosters and event calendar, and the list of awards and obituaries increased. We are an aging organization.
But even though we’re aging, our members are savvy and connected. An electronic survey sent to Eastern Division patrollers in late February asked their opinions about Trail Sweep and how information is…
Stephanie Cox was hired as the Executive Director of the NSP just over a year ago, in October 2022. She is the third Executive Director of the NSP in the last few years. Trail Sweep asked Stephanie if she would agree to be interviewed to discuss the challenges of the job and her plans for the future. We asked her about what skills she brought to the job, how she felt about the turnover of her predecessors, her plans for the growth of sponsorships and fundraising, and her plans to help resolve issues with the NSP website.
What experiences and skills do you bring to the NSP as Executive Director?
My prior leadership roles, where I had to manage large, diverse teams, make critical decisions, and motivate others – especially in difficult, changing, and complex environments…
The 2024 Patroller School schedule has been posted on the Eastern Division’s EVENT website, along with many other training events. Please use it to find division-based educational events. The four programs that actively utilize Patroller School are:
The concept of offering high-level training opportunities taught by Division staff Instructors originated with Outdoor Emergency Transportation (OET) twenty years ago
The Eastern Division Alumni Advisors are planning to hold the first-ever Eastern Division Alumni and Patroller celebration. It will be held at Mount Snow Ski Resort, February 11-16, 2024. It will be a week of connecting with old friends, skiing, and special alumni and patroller events. Please join us for excitement and fun as we celebrate our shared passion for skiing and patrolling. You can come for the whole week or as many days you would like.
Mount Snow Ski Resort:
One of the very first ski resorts on the East Coast, Mount Snow continues to thrill visitors with varied terrain, a powerful snowmaking fleet, and a thriving après scene with live music and exciting events. Mount Snow provides 1700′ vertical, 83% snowmaking coverage, 19 lifts and 86 trails.
Lodging at a preferred rate has been arranged for all of us from Feb. 11 – 16. To reserve rooms at the group rate, you must call Group Reservations at: (855) 948-0698 and follow the prompts. Reference Group Code: SSNSKI24 or the group name (Ski Patrol Alumni Ski Event). The Reservation line is open Monday – Friday from 9am – 7pm EST and Saturday/Sunday 10am – 7pm EST. We have a 20% discount on all rooms at the Grand Summit. The rates vary, so please make reservations as soon as you know you’re coming.
The first article of the season for the Certified team is an opportunity for the newest members to thank all who have helped, influenced, and driven their hard work and determination. Certified has a three-year completion window, so hard work is mandatory, travel is necessary, and help is always appreciated.
Each year, I have the pleasure of presenting newly minted Certified members their pins and numbers. This takes place at the end of the annual exam at our banquet. This past season, the Certified team added two new members to our ranks: Kevin Hartka, #859, and Jessie Miller, #860.
Of note – Jessie Miller #860 is a legacy Certified member; her father is Dave Ronald #171. Unfortunately, Dave is no longer with us, but the Elk Mountain Certified team members presented Jessie with her father’s pin. In addition, Jessie Miller completed her Certified candidacy in one year. It has been 27 years since the team has had a member complete all components in one season.
It had been five years since I first sat at a seat at the certified annual banquet dinner. Five years since I entered into the certified program, drawn to the group of passionate patrollers and their camaraderie, and this was my third and last test year.
It was a long road of hard studying, training, and stressful, sleepless nights, broken by two years of COVID cancelations that stole my wind and faded my memories of my first year such that my second felt much like my first. But this was it; it all came down to this last year. I had to make it happen.
Though I felt well prepared and anxious to complete the three modules I had left, the thought of going down that road again began to feel awfully daunting.
Growing up in a patrol family, first on, last off is what we did. I first heard the phrase “train to be above the bar” as a child, listening to my dad’s conversations about Ski and Toboggan training. Later I heard it as a patroller preparing for my own Senior and Trainer Evaluator exams. As I considered the goal of Certified, I knew the bar would be higher; I would need to train harder than ever to be above it. I also knew this would also be an emotional journey for me. Although my dad, Dave Ronald Certified #171, has been gone for more than 20 years, his coaching and mentorship left a lasting impact on many patrollers; quite the legacy to follow.
I set out on a mission…
The Patroller Stress Awareness Team (PSAT), led by Melinda Mingus, MD, is a team of highly dedicated and experienced professionals, including those in healthcare and mental health. Working together with the Safety and Medical programs, PSAT also collaborates with the NSP Wellness Task Force to help develop a national initiative on patroller well-being.
Our mission is to provide and promote continuous physical, mental and emotional well-being for our patrollers, candidates and staff, and to support the NSP Statement of Intent on Well-Being: “National Ski Patrol is committed to creating and supporting a culture of wellness, safety and resilience for all our members and those whom we serve. Honoring NSP core values, we will provide our community with the awareness, leadership, guidance, education and…
I still wake up from time to time wondering what’s happened to John. He probably doesn’t remember me, but I’ll never forget him and that night while sweeping the mountain 17 years ago when I found him in the trees off the side of the trail.
He was wedged like a folded multi-tool between two trees, unresponsive, with very shallow breathing and a barely detectable pulse. I called in to send everything to my location and to put the helicopter on standby.
It still replays in my mind . . .