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Of Ski Clubs, Councils And Convivial Affordable Fun

mammoth_1_orig-South-Jersey-Ski-Club South Jersey Ski Club (SJSC) has been one of South Jersey's leading adult ski/snowboard and social clubs for over 50 years. (South Jersey Ski Club)

“Going with the club is great because we ride on a luxury bus with Wifi. You can sleep, use a bathroom, snack or just relax the whole ride.  On the way home, we watch a movie, eat cookies and stop for dinner.  You get to ski a lot of different mountains, and we see people we know sometimes during the day of skiing,” 15-year old Ryan Dvorak, who typically skis with a parent on weekends through trips with the Norwich Ski Club (NSC), told SnoCountry.com.

His mother Alison Dvorak, who occasionally serves as the leader for a NSC trip, added, “Our trips are a great deal and much easier and less expensive than driving — $65 per person for skiing and transportation. Morning muffins, coffee, cookies, movies, a drawing for a free trip, a stop for dinner, and meeting new people make motor-coach travel fun.”

With annual dues $30 for a family, she said club trips are “the best thing and doable for families. Plus we have a ski swap sale, weekend and weeklong trips, and appreciation days,” she noted, stressing the convenience, camaraderie, and appeal for her family and those without skiing partners. 

Alison and Ryan Dvorak ready to head out after lunch at Okemo's Jackson Gore. (Karen Lorentz)

Based in southeastern Connecticut, NSC offers membership to those residing east of the Connecticut River or in Rhode Island and organizes six day trips to Vermont and New Hampshire mountains, one overnight weekend to a northern area, and a week trip — this year to Italy — along with the ability to purchase discounted Connecticut Ski Council (CSC) tickets. 

Ski Council Offerings 

The CSC consists of 40 clubs with 30,000 members and organizes a pre-buy ticket program for clubs, appreciation days (when some ski areas offer deeply discounted tickets to club members on select dates— tickets can range from $26 to $54 including at major areas), and several events, past president Jonathan Houck told us. 

By purchasing ski lift tickets in bulk in advance, “the council passes on discounted prices to member clubs that make skiing very affordable,” he explained. CSC also organizes a Snow Ball fundraiser, a race series, a free learn-to day for ages 5 to 18, and a three-day spring trip attended by 250 to 300 members.

The River Hills Ski Club visits Vermont's Pico. (River Hills Ski Club)

Each member club offers trips that vary from New England day and overnight trips by motor coach or car to weeklong trips to western areas and other countries. Some clubs own lodges with overnight cost of $35 per person Houck said. Other benefits include discounts at shops, lodges, and businesses as well as club trips that are often open to all clubs.

With lift tickets nearing or topping $100/day, the purchase power of ski councils and clubs is significant. In addition to offering trip planning and lift ticket, ski school, and rental discounts, many clubs organize club competitions and boast warm weather activities and a social schedule of parties and events like swaps and fundraisers. 

These and other benefits can be found whether one joins a club in the New Jersey Ski & Snowboard Council (46 clubs), San Diego Council (12 clubs), Texas Ski Council (13 clubs), Ohio Valley Ski Council (16 clubs), New York Capital District Ski Council(13 clubs), Eastern Inter-Club Ski League (21 clubs), or any of the other 23 nationwide councils. And some councils offer membership regardless of where you reside, making snowsports, travel, a social life and fun available to kindred spirits. 

The Fire & Ice Ski Club from California, the NBS Western Region 2018/19 Club of the Year at Sundance Mountain Resort in Utah. (Facebook/Maxine Jensen)

To find a club near you check out the National Ski Council Federation which boasts over 300,000 snowsports enthusiasts in 10 eastern councils, nine central councils, and 10 western councils with over 600 member clubs. Membership means not having to ski or ride alone and finding the affordability, camaraderie, convenience, and fun the Dvoraks commend.

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