December delivered a good amount of snow to our mountain providing us with an early opening date of December 6th. Currently, and as we move into the early days of January, the DRNSP calendar is filled with Alpine Candidate training days, Senior SEM training days, Toboggan Refreshers and Enhancements. The season has indeed gotten off to an awesome start.
Prior to December DRNSP OET instructors met in November to “calibrate” by studying and analyzing videos of trainings of various candidates from the prior year. We discussed skiing drills to address, certain skier tendencies and issues, and in general mapped out a training plan of attack for both the growing number of Candidates and Senior Candidates. This is a good problem to have!
Under the leadership of Amy Lindblom, past Patrol Rep., current Region Director and DRNSP OET Advisor, and Daryl Whitcher the current Far West OET Advisor, and former DRNSP Patrol Rep., our patrol has been flourishing and is blessed to have such rich resources available to pass on what they know to our younger and not so young aspiring OET instructors, and Senior and Alpine Candidates.
For the past three years DRNSP leadership has been pushing forward with a “collaborative” approach to teaching Skiing and Toboggan skills and that sustained effort appears to finally be furnishing DRNSP with some tangible results measured by the success of two Senior Candidates last year. These successes are the first in several years at DRNSP. The patrol now has seven more Senior Candidates at various stages of their Senior Program with all but one of those going for Alpine Senior and close to ready in acquiring the Senior patch.
Additionally, the “collaborative” teaching pedagogy facilitates the Mentoring program as well insuring that DRNSP will have more instructors to pass on their skills to new patrollers as they come in. A positive and inclusive program that nurtures and encourages members to participate. A program that attracts and recruits triggered by the success of others who in turn, look back and give back.
It should be noted, and we are excited to have, a YAP candidate this season, and he is doing quite well thus far with his Ski and Toboggan training. We are hoping, and have seen already, that his presence on the mountain attracts other young people’s interest. I continue to receive emails of interest and have several folks “online” to be ski tested as potential Patrollers in the coming weeks.
On the OEC side, Sonja Borelli, DRNSP’s current OEC Advisor, has combined her efforts with Chris Petersen, current 1st assistant to DRNSP and Motherlode Region OEC Advisor. Collaboratively they have created a calendar filled with SEM Sunday training dates at the resort and midweek training dates at Chris’s home to help ensure the success of the Senior Candidates SEM components this coming season. These Senior Candidates, for the larger part, are the same ones working towards their OET component, as well.
Other notable news for DRNSP is that during the Summer Board meeting, the board drafted language in the P & P to facilitate the first steps in the organization of a NSP Mountain Host Program. While this program is still in the works between DRNSP and Mountain Management, I am confident that going forward, we will see some Mountain Hosts at Dodge Ridge in the near future.
From this Patrol Reps point of view, I am very pleased and happy to report such high levels of enthusiasm and involvement from so many of our Patrollers, and interest by potential Patrollers. It signals that we are doing some things right at many levels. Those things include, but are not limited to advertising and social media, inclusive Senior and Mentoring programs for existing members, and leadership by example from our Board members and others.
While our membership has followed the national trend of less in total numbers, I am very excited to see the results of hard work by several to “press” training targets into the weekly agenda of what a DRNSP Patroller does as a “matter of course” rather than an occasional occurrence in the last three to four seasons. Training weekly is now the norm. Nearly 35 plus percent of our patrol is currently enrolled in a “program of advancement” such as a Candidate, Senior Candidate, OEC and OET instructorship as a Mentor or Mentee!
Thus, while we are smaller, we have a much higher percentage level of involvement of Patrollers within our Patrol contributing to the development of others and all the while developing their own skill sets above and beyond the minimum. I am witnessing a lot of smiles on a alot of Patrollers faces on any given day. This is exciting! And, makes us more viable and valuable to the Dodge Ridge Resort.
I am extremely grateful and humbled to be able to work with so many passionate people. They are the key to this patrols success and I thank you all for what you do and allowing me to be your Patrol Rep.
William J. Borelli
DRNSP Patrol Representative