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Jack Frost Created A Program For Seniors 20 Years Ago And It Is Still Going. 

Jack Frost Geezers line up for a Wednesday program.

Editor Note: About 20 years ago several Jack Frost PA ski area skiers put their heads together and decided that they should have a brand name. A vote was taken and “Jack Frost Geezers” was the winner.  Every Wednesday from January through early March the Geezers get together and spend the better part of the morning with several pros and review the latest techniques.  The following article was written by Jennifer Learn-Andes of the Wilkes Barre Times Leader. She discovered that Jack Frost offers free lessons to skiers of all abilities from novice through expert and decided that she will join us one Wednesday morning to discover the joy of being in the outdoors in the winter, enjoying the freedom that skiing will add to winter time fun.  Thanks to Bill Runner for bringing this story to SeniorsSkiing.com

Mountain Top resident Felix Rushinski had a post-workout glow last week after participating in a skiing program for older adults sponsored by Jack Frost Mountain and the Luzerne/Wyoming Counties Area Agency on Aging.

“You’re out in the fresh air and get to meet people,” the 74-year-old said. “It’s very relaxing.”

Geared for anyone over 50, the program at Jack Frost on Route 940 near Blakeslee provides free lessons for those new to skiing and tips and pointers for the more experienced.

Aside from bringing or renting skis, participants must purchase a lift ticket, but it costs a discounted $25 instead of the usual $40 or $55, depending on age.

The program is at 10 a.m. on Wednesdays through March 4. Participants sign up at the Jack Frost ski school desk around 9:45 a.m.

A Nanticoke resident, Yozviak said the program draws many regulars seeking outdoor winter fun and exercise.

“You don’t mind the cold if you are properly dressed because of all the activity,” Yozviak said.

Hazleton resident John Hidock, 56, said he participates every Wednesday.

Hidock taught skiing at the complex until 2014 and said he embraces the opportunity to socialize and keep up his skills on the slope.

The sport is great for both physical and mental health, he said.

“It’s wonderful. It can be exhilarating and a thrill to be outdoors and enjoying the scenery this place has to offer,” he said.

Agency on Aging representatives brought lunch for participants last week and spoke about healthy eating and programs offered at active adult centers. The agency is a sponsor and it promotes the program, Yozviak said.

“You guys really rock,” Harley Bobby, the Aging Agency’s senior center services director and health and wellness coordinator, told the group at the luncheon.

Bobby said she was impressed with their skiing and pleased a program is available for make the sport financially accessible for seniors.

“I think it’s amazing that they stay so active,” Bobby said.

Shavertown resident Bill Runner has provided skiing instruction for years and said the program started about 20 years ago.

He stopped to chat with participant Jacki Olsen, 77, of Pocono Lake. Beaming with rosy cheeks, she said she only hits the expert slopes.

“I’m skiing better than ever. This program makes it more affordable and nice to ski with others,” Olsen said.

Rushinski said he has been skiing for 40 years and started regularly attending the Wednesday sessions about five years ago.

Like Olsen, he sticks to expert slopes but said he continues to pick up pointers for improving his technique.

He encourages novices to give it a try. Jack Frost is accessible from the Wyoming Valley via Route 115, the Pennsylvania Turnpike and Interstate 80, he said.

“It’s really in our backyard,” Rushinski said.


  1. Kelli Majiros says:

    I had the privilege of teaching a clinic for two beginner/intermediate skiers the day this article was written. Bill Runner has done a great job keeping active seniors active in the Wilkes-Barre Scranton PA area. He even got me into Pickleball – my new off season passion!

  2. Been working on it for over 20 years…..many thanks for your comments !!

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