Integrity

Cal Goldsmith, Eastern Division Director

Stephanie Cox, the NSP’s CEO recently paid a visit to several Vermont and New York ski areas. Stephanie, National Chair Rich Pietrafesa, and I also traveled to Fort Drum, home of the 10th Mountain Division of the US Army. During our time together, Stephanie and I had a chance to chat. I got to watch her interact with Eastern Division Patrollers. I was struck by how she is driven to make a difference, and that she has a plan to do so. Part of her plan is to re-establish the credibility of NSP in the ski industry, to the extent that it has suffered in recent years.

I would like to draw your attention to some of the first (and in my mind) most important steps Stephanie and our National Office staff have taken. They are listed on the NSP website under Governance, tucked off in the bottom right corner, and are entitled ‘Terms and Statements.’ They may be elsewhere as well. I urge you all to find and read them. With these brief, simple statements of position and principles, NSP sets out its values. Three of these statements I found particularly interesting:

  • Bullying and Harassment Statement which sets the tone and standards of our organization, including principles of respect, inclusivity, and safety in the NSP.
  • Statement of Intent on Well-Being establishes NSP’s commitment to supporting a culture of wellness, safety, and resilience for our members and those we serve, subtly making us aware/reminding us of these priorities.
  • The Environment Statement of Intent speaks to our reliance on the natural world and our responsibility to take greater responsibility to protect and care for places and the climate, which I think is critical for us to recognize.

Collectively, these statements seem to me to be reinforcing NSP’s integrity in the world, and our recognition of the high standards and awareness of our responsibilities as a great national organization of committed, dedicated public servants. But in my mind they also speak to our individual responsibilities to act in fairness with concern for our fellow patrollers and those we serve, and to put their welfare above our own individual welfare. That’s the essence of our service after all is said and done. And we are called by these statements to recognize how we can impact the lives of other patrollers, the public and the environment we recreate in.

I like that Stephanie is leading us to recognize our collective and individual responsibilities and that she is challenging us individually to sharpen our awareness and leadership. And I believe she reminds us that our integrity as individuals is the bedrock foundation for all of these critical goals.

Program Delivery Across the Division

Kim Terwilliger, Assistant Eastern Division Director

Welcome to winter in the northeast – rain, snow, rain, ice, rain, wind, snowmageddon, or nothing. Despite our winter weather situation, the Eastern Division has delivered multiple education programs for our members with more still available. MTR programs were available in November and December. Multiple patroller schools have been held since January throughout the Division, including Sugarloaf, Elk, Killington, Plattekill, and Seven Springs. A snowboard/tele-specific event was held at Waterville Valley as well. Gore will be hosting an upcoming patroller school at the end of February. Women’s clinics have been embedded in many of the patroller schools which have been very well attended.

In addition to the patroller schools, numerous regions have hosted OET and women ’s-specific clinics. Three Level 1 Avalanche courses have been on the calendar for this winter with one Level 2 course being conducted at Whiteface. The Certified program has held their pre-test and candidates are prepping for the exam, scheduled for Sugarbush in March. Good luck Certified candidates! Most regions are holding their Senior OET evaluations during the first weekend in March with Senior OEC evaluations scheduled throughout the month as well. Good luck to all those candidates too!

Our YAPs have been very busy attending region-specific or combined region events in preparation for their YAP Summit to be held at Smugglers’ Notch, March 8-10. These events have included overnight programs, escape room games, and OET/OEC training. They are an incredibly talented, enthusiastic group.

Thank you to all the Division and Region staff members who dedicate their time and energy to schedule, instruct, and make programs accessible for our Eastern Division patrollers!

One more thing…the search is on for the next Eastern Division Women’s Program Advisor. If interested, please see the eblast announcement for details and submit a letter of interest and resume to Kim Terwilliger, skiwtb20@yahoo.com by February 28, 2024.

Building Great Instructors – OET Program

Each season, at the beginning of December the Outdoor Emergency Transportation (OET) Program gathers OET staff members from across the Eastern Division for a weekend focused on leadership and professional development. This year’s conference was aptly named, Building Great Instructors. So, what makes an instructor great? The International Olympic Committee summarized it well.

What makes an instructor great?
1. Understands the sport and leads by example.
2. Sponge for knowledge.
3. Shares the knowledge with others.
4. Highly energized and a motivator.
5. Knows the student, values, and respects the relationship.
6. Is an effective communicator and teacher.
7. Is a good listener.
8. Is disciplined, strong in character and integrity.
9. Leads by example very high attitude for hard work.
10. Displays commitment and clear passion for the sport.

The OET program’s mission is to create an environment of learning that elevates the skills, ability, and techniques needed to safely and efficiently transport guests to a higher level of care. Delivering on this mission begins with building great instructors, and leaders, within the OET program.

The Learning Connection
During this year’s conference, OET leaders were introduced to the Learning Connection model developed by the Professional Ski Instructor Association (PSIA). The Learning Connection emphasizes that great lessons rely on the instructor’s ability to offer a blend of people skills, teaching skills, and technical skills. This approach creates informative, fun, and personalized experiences that keep students engaged in the learning process. To learn more about the Learning Connection, check out this write-up by PSIA.

OET Teaching Philosophy uses FIVE Essential components:
●  Lesson Progressions that chain together “snippets” to facilitate incremental success as a pathway for mastering skills.
●  Snippet-sized lessons with manageable objectives are designed to simplify guided practice, leading to quicker student success.
●  Ongoing Monitoring and Evaluation to re-teach skills, customizing faster student success, known as ADAPT.
●  Six-Pack Lesson Planning with an emphasis on creatively re-teaching and re-designing student activities, more ADAPT.
●  Individualized Positive Immediate Student Feedback is used throughout all learning activities, practiced as PISE.
●  Teach OET Instructors how to structure on-snow lesson activities.

To learn more about PISE and ADAPT, check out this Toboggan Instructor Refresher summary.

Bringing It Home – Building Great Instructors
An essential function of an OET Staff member is to build great instructors in their home region. The learning activities and professional development that Staff members access at the OET Conference help provide them with the tools to bring that knowledge home to their regions, where the Regional OET Advisors can leverage their conference experience into training their Regional Senior Training staff as well as influence training improvements for local mountain Toboggan Instructors. To learn more about the OET Program, visit PatrollerSchool.org.

What’s Ahead…Calendar Reminders

The Eastern Division and the NSP offer a variety of events, programs, and opportunities for all patrollers. The following are calendar reminders of some of the opportunities available in the next few months. Click on the links for more details.

WOMEN’S PROGRAM EVENT
Gore, ENY – February 24-25

PATROLLER STRESS AWARENESS FORUMS
Begin March 13, 2024, at 7 p.m.
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 872 9811 1272
If you have any questions, please contact Melinda Mingus, MD, Eastern Division Patroller Stress Awareness Advisor by email or phone 646-522-1451

WOMEN’S PROGRAM SCHOLARSHIP
The application and additional information can be found on the Women’s Program Scholarship page accepted through March 15, 2024

YAP SUMMIT 2024
Smugglers’ Notch, VT – March 8-11, 2024

CERTIFIED EXAM
Sugarbush, VT – March 14-17, 2024

POWDERFALL
Vail. CO
APRIL 10 – 14, 2024
Register Now

 

Monthly Stress Awareness Zoom Forum Starts March 13

Melinda Mingus, MD, Eastern Division Patroller Stress Awareness Advisor

Melinda Mingus, MD, Eastern Division Patroller Stress Awareness Advisor

Want to learn more about stress awareness and patroller wellness? The Patroller Stress Awareness Team (PSAT) will begin hosting monthly zoom forums to promote stress injury education offered to all Eastern Division patrollers. Starting March 13, 2024 at 7 pm, a recurring zoom forum will be held the second Wednesday of each month. If you’re interested in patroller stress, recovery & wellness, please attend. The forums are free and open to everyone in emergency.

• Learn about patroller stress & wellness.
• Network & share ideas with colleagues.
• Discuss topics with PSAT, Region & Division Leadership.

Please be aware that:

• The Zoom forums are for patroller enrichment and education only.
• Attending these forums may trigger a prior traumatic stress event.
• They are not intended for treatment of any condition or professional medical care.

Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 872 9811 1272

If you have any questions, please contact Melinda Mingus, MD, Eastern Division Safety Team Advisor and Eastern Division Patroller Stress Awareness Advisor by email or phone 646-522-1451.

2024 Women’s Program Events Schedule

Kristen Russo, Women’s Program Supervisor

Once again this year, the Eastern Division Women’s Program has a variety of events happening across the Division. Whether you are a long-time patroller wanting to improve your skills, a candidate looking to learn new skills, or even an aspiring instructor, all women patrollers are welcome to attend one of these upcoming programs.

Events Around the Division
Women-specific groups will be available in the following Patroller Schools (check out www.patrollerschool.org for more details)

• Sugarloaf, ME – January 20-21
• Elk Mountain, EPA – January 20-21
• Plattekill, SNY – January 27-28
• Killington, SVT – February 3-4
• Seven Springs, WAPP – February 10-11
• Gore, ENY – February 24-25

In addition, women’s clinics are being planned in most regions. Check the Eastern Division Calendar or the specific Region Calendar for more information on these events:

• EPA – Elk Mountain – January 19
• WNY – Buffalo Ski Center – January 21
• WMASS – Bousquet – January 21 (Toboggan)
• CT – Mount Southington – January 28
• NH – TBD – February 4
• CNY – Song Mountain – February 10
• WMASS – Bousquet – February 11 (Skiing/Riding)
• ENY – Gore – March 23
• NVT – Jay Peak – TBD
• EPA – Blue Mountain – TBD
• SVT – Saskadena Six – TBD
• GV – Location & Date TBD  **Nordic/MTR Adventure

National Events
If you love to travel, like meeting new people, and want to experience patrolling in other areas of the country, check out some of the other events happening throughout the US:

POWDERFALL – April 10-14 – Vail, CO: NSP’s premier education event. Held every other year, it includes three days of educational sessions and program roundtables.
PSIA/AASI WOMEN’S SUMMIT – February 25-28 – Solitude, UT: PSIA/AASI hosts three days of skiing and riding with some of the top female educators and instructors. Focus on your skills, teaching, and even run a few toboggans.

Other Division Women’s Clinics – Various clinics being held in other Divisions around the country and more being announced soon:

SOUTHERN DIVISION – Timberline Mountain, WV – January 19-21
CENTRAL DIVISION – Nub’s Knob, MI – January 26-28
CENTRAL DIVISION – Wilmot Mountain, WI – February 3
FAR WEST DIVISION – Northstar, CA – February 9-11
FAR WEST DIVISION – Mount Shasta, CA – March 2-3 email: dlarson65@comcast.net for more info
ROCKY MOUNTAIN DIVISION – Winter Park, CO – March 3

If you have any questions, please email Kristen Russo. We look forward to seeing everyone on the slopes this season and welcome all to join!

2024-2025 Eastern Division Women’s Program Scholarship

We are happy to announce that once again this year, the Eastern Division Women’s Program will be sponsoring three $300 scholarships for women patrollers to attend an Eastern Division Patroller School or Women’s Clinic. In memory of Western Appalachian Patroller Deborah Stitt, the scholarship was established to provide more women the opportunity to attend a Patroller School or Women’s Clinic and support the development of leadership skills within the NSP.

Applications are being accepted through March 15, 2024. The application and additional information can be found on the Women’s Program Scholarship page on PatrollerSchool.org.

The Eastern Division NSP Women’s Program Mission is to empower patrollers by advancing skills and developing leadership in a women-focused program. It was funded anonymously in memory of Western Appalachian Patroller Deborah Stitt. Deborah had the opportunity to attend an Eastern Division Patroller School. She was empowered to continue her patrol journey and support other women patrollers in developing their leadership skills within the NSP.

Applicants must be current and active female Eastern Division National Ski Patrol members. We encourage all active women members to apply no matter their category: Alpine Patrollers, Nordic Patrollers, Patrollers, Young Adult Patrollers, Candidates, and active Alumni.

Patrollers may not be awarded more than one scholarship for each ski season. Patrollers may apply each year for the scholarship, but recipients may not be awarded more than two Eastern Division Women’s Program Scholarships in their patrol career.

Recipients will be selected based on what they wish to gain by attending a women-focused event, how they will encourage and develop other women at the local mountain and region, and how patrolling has influenced them.

The Eastern Division Women’s Program Supervisor will notify selected recipients via email and phone by April 1. Those not chosen for the 2024-2025 ski season will be notified by April 15.

Recipients may register for an Eastern Division Patroller School or Women’s Clinic of their choice. Attendance at a Fall Patroller School, typically held each August or September, are also eligible.

Scholarship funds may be used towards the registration fee, lodging, tickets, meals, and mileage. In the event of a program cancellation, the recipient can carry the scholarship over to the next ski season.

For more information, visit the Women’s Program Scholarship page on PatrollerSchool.org.

Schedule Announced for Patroller Celebration

Excitement is building for the first Eastern Division Alumni and Patroller Celebration at Mount Snow Ski Resort, February 11-16, 2024. The Eastern Division Alumni Advisors have announced the schedule of events for the week, as well as updated information about lodging and lift tickets.

There is no fee to attend the celebration. However, all costs are the participant’s responsibility.

Registration

If you are planning to join us for any part of the week, please provide the following:

Your Name
Others with you
Arrival date
How long you are staying
Former/present Patrol/Region
Cell phone
Email

Email to: Allan Miller
Questions/ideas/suggestions? Allan’s phone 518-441-3899.

Lodging

Lodging at a preferred rate has been arranged for us from February 11-16. To reserve rooms at the group rate, call Group Reservations at (855) 948-0698. Reference Group Code: SSNSKI24 or the group name (Ski Patrol Alumni Ski Event). The reservation line is open Monday-Friday from 9 am-7 pm EST and Saturday/Sunday from 10 am-7 pm EST. We have a 20% discount on all rooms at the Grand Summit.

Lift Tickets

The best lift ticket prices are available by purchasing Epic Day Passes prior to the event.
Here’s the link: https://www.epicpass.com/Passes/Epic-Day-Pass. Also, there is a senior rate.

Schedule

Sunday, Feb 11
Welcome Get Together at Harriman’s Pub, 5 pm
Dinner at Harriman’s Pub, 6 pm

Monday, Feb 12
Breakfast at Grand Country Deli, Main Base Lodge, 8 am
Skiing and riding at mountain tour at base of Grand Summit Express, 9 am
Lunch at Main Base Lodge, 11:30 am
Meet-up at Harriman’s Pub and Kitchen, 5 pm
Dinner at Harriman’s Pub and Kitchen, 6 pm

Tuesday, Feb 13
Breakfast at Grand Country Deli, Ground Floor, Grand Summit Resort, 8 am
Skiing and Riding & Mountain Tour at base of Bluebird Lift, 9 am
Lunch at Main Base Lodge, 11:30 am
Yoga 4:30 Grand Summit, 1 hr. $20
Meet at Harriman’s Pub, 5 pm
Dinner at Harriman’s Pub, 6:00 pm
Discussion: NSP and the 10th Mtn. Division led by Scott Launt, Grand Summit, 8 pm

Wednesday, Feb 14
Breakfast at Grand Country Deli, Ground Floor, Grand Summit Resort, 8:00 am
Skiing and Riding at base of Bluebird Lift, 9 am
Lunch at Main Base Lodge, 11:30 am
Meet at Harriman’s Pub, 5 pm
Dinner at American Flatbread, 6:30 pm

Thursday, Feb 15
Breakfast at Grand Country Deli, Ground Floor, Grand Summit Resort, 8:00 am
Skiing and Riding at base of Bluebird Lift, 9:00 am
Lunch break at Main Base Lodge, 11:30 am
Yoga 4:30 Grand Summit, 1 hr. $20
Meet at Harriman’s Pub, 5 pm
Dinner at Local restaurant TBD, 6:30 pm

Activities

We are not specifically scheduling these. If you are interested, please let us know the day and your time preference, and we will work to get the groups coordinated.

  • Yoga, 4:30, Tuesday and Thursday at the Grand Summit, $20/participant
  • Snowmobiling at Snowmobile Vt. A 25 min drive from the mountain. 2-hour tour, 1 rider rate $241, Tours at 10,12 & 2 PM.
  • XC skiing and snow shoeing is available at Grafton Trails and Outdoor center, about a 45-minute drive
  • Vermont Distillers, Hogback Mountain Tasting Room and Country Store, 21 minute drive

Please print this flyer and post it.

Contact

If you plan to advise please let Allan Miller, the Eastern Division Alumni Advisor, know including your name(s), planned arrival date, old/present patrol/division, cell phone number, and email. If you plan to stay offsite, please let Allan know what meals and/or events you will be participating in.

You will receive additional updates about planned activities during the week.  For questions, contact Allan Miller at 518-441-3899.  Mark your calendars and be part of this unforgettable gathering.  We can’t wait to see you there!

Help us promote this event!

The Alumni Regional Committee would like your help promoting this Patroller Celebration event.  Please click the poster link below to print and post in your patrol room.

Beyond the Numbers: Your Input on Stress Awareness Impact

The Patroller School online course, Stress Injury Preparation for Patrollers or SIPP, launched in September and profiled in the December issue of Trail Sweep, has had a greater than anticipated impact both in terms of response and reaction.

Response

Since the course was launched in September, more than 150 patrollers and mountain hosts have requested access to it. Granted this isn’t a viral number but, for Patroller School, it’s quite significant.

According to Orest Ohar, Eastern Division’s Online School Administrator, “the SIPP course has become the division’s fastest growing online course. It has the highest student count, more than double any other courses taught by the MTR, Avalanche, or OET programs.”

More than half of these students have started the course and more than a third have completed it, while many others are still working their way through it.

Many patrols and every region are represented. Some more than others:• Ski Sundown (CT) 6 students

• Okemo (SVT) 5
• Mad River Glen (NVT) 5
• Camelback and Spring Mountain (EPA)  5 each, and
• Gore (ENY) 4

There’s even been interest from the Central, Far West, Rocky Mountain, and Intermountain Divisions.

Reaction 

The ED Course Improvement Questionnaire, used for all Patroller School courses, is built into SIPP. And students are strongly encouraged to use it to provide feedback.

40% of the students who have completed the course, also provided feedback via the Improvement Questionnaire. This too is quite significant: a good survey response rate ranges between 5% and 30%. An excellent response rate is 50% or higher.

As noted below, student reactions are very positive. All responses average in the “Agree” (good) to “Strongly Agree” (very good) levels. Indeed, there have been no negative survey responses whatsoever. (Scoring Levels: 3=Neither Agree or Disagree 4=Agree 5=Strongly Agree)

4.3 – I enjoyed the program
4.6 – Recommend to others
4.3 – Feel I benefitted
4.1 – Felt involved in the event
4.3 – Well organized
4.5 – Well-prepared teacher

When respondents made the effort to provide narrative feedback, what they had to say was also overwhelmingly positive.

For example:

• Well organized, full of factual info at just the right level.
• Was extremely helpful in understanding this issue that so often goes undetected until it is too late. The use of the videos was very good.
• Self-paced. Appreciated learning about various stress responses and reflecting on my own. How to stay or return to “green.”
• Overall the course was well presented and covered the material well. The course made the important points and repeated them enough to have the student understand the goal of the program and when it is important. This is a difficult topic, and each person will react differently to what is presented.

The course is important and should be appropriately worked into the basic training of all patrollers so that it gets to every new patroller in some way.

What It Means

The better-than-expected response to SIPP and the very positive feedback is more than just numerical values and percentages. They represent the voices and opinions of those who matter most to our organization – our members.

Each student registration documents the importance of the topic of stress injury. Each respondent to the feedback survey represents an individual perspective. Collectively, they paint a mosaic of opinions and experiences. Together the metrics demonstrate the success of Stress Injury Preparation for Patrollers and advocate for wider use of the course throughout the Eastern Division.

To sign up for SIPP click: Stress Injury Preparation for Patrollers.