Benefits of Membership Go Beyond A Ride To The Mountain

My early years of skiing were with the Troy (NY) Ski Club. At 11, I was the youngest member, attending Thursday night meetings at the YWCA to sign up for the Sunday bus trip to southern Vermont or the Adirondacks. Instruction by an older member was part of the package. I’ve since learned that others in the club went on to prominence in the world of skiing. It was a good beginning, and it was there I learned the value of ski clubs.

70+Ski Club Gathers At Snowbasin, UT. Clubs are a natural magnet for senior skiers. Credit: DailyHerald.com
70+Ski Club Gathers At Snowbasin, UT. Clubs are a natural magnet for senior skiers.
Credit: DailyHerald.com

For many, ski clubs are still at the center of their skiing lives. Snowskiclub.com lists five reasons why:

Friendship—Meeting new friends with common interests and great networking

Convenience—The trip leader makes all arrangements. Members simply “pay, pack and participate.”

Economy—Group purchasing results in better lodging, lift, and airline prices, often at premier resorts that have “bid” on attracting them. Some clubs own lodges, making accommodation costs extremely economical.

Camaraderie—Trip prices generally include parties, mountain picnics, après ski events, and a meal or two. Off-season, ski clubs gather for a host of summertime activities.

Ski clubs serve many interests and ages. We asked leaders of several leading clubs about the value of ski clubs to the 50+ skier. Here’s what we learned:

NSCF organizes councils in each state. Credit: NSCF
NSCF organizes councils in each state.
Credit: NSCF

“Ski clubs encourage older adults to keep active,” says Jo Simpson of the National Ski Council Federation and President of the Sierra Ski Council. NSCF represents 29 councils comprising hundreds of clubs and thousands of members across the US. The group works with the ski industry to promote skiing and boarding to members and to provide them with discounts on goods and services. Click here for a good place to find a club in your area.

Ski clubs help people connect—especially if divorced, widowed and/or not comfortable getting back in the social scene. “Ski clubs can be a safe outlet for developing lasting friendships,” says Debbie Rima, VP

LSS is also an "adventure" club. Credit: Lone Star Skiers
LSS is also an “adventure” club.
Credit: Lone Star Skiers

Trips, Lone Star Skiers & Adventure Club, Dallas, one of whose members is 95 and still racing.

“Many of our members are retired and their children grown,” explains Ann Lawson, VP Special/Travel, Grindelwald Ski Club, Pasadena. “We’re attracting people who fit that profile. It’s a growing area of opportunity for other ski clubs around the country.”

Of the clubs responding to our request for information only one indicated an insurance benefit.

Snowbounders offer liability insurance. Credit: Snowbounders
Snowbounders offer liability insurance.
Credit: Snowbounders

Snowbounders, Orange County, CA, maintains liability insurance for all members as part of the membership fee. According to Bill Houck, a member of the Snowbounder board of directors, the club takes après ski to an entirely new level with activities such as dog sledding and hot air ballooning.

As for my après ski philosophy? Remember that recent T-shirt?

Cruise. Booze. Jacuze. Snooze.

Do you belong to a club?  What’s your experience been?

One Comment

  1. Nancy Madson says:

    I’m interested in group for seniors. Dallas area.

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