What is going on? March 8th and I’m on the deck in 65 bright sunny digress watching the snow melt! It seems like yesterday that we were doing every possible snow dance to encourage Mother Nature to even let us make snow.
After a slow start with most pre-Christmas events being canceled for lack of snow, Northern Michigan Region kicked into high gear. First up was a very successful weekend of on-hill clinics for Instructors and candidates. Over 20 instructors updated and calibrated their skills on Saturday then applied those skills while teaching Alpine and Senior Alpine Candidates on Sunday. The on-hill team gathered again in January to work with 30 patrollers from Eastern Michigan and Northern Michigan Regions in full day Snow Sports and Toboggan Enhancement Seminars. These two events, combined with local patrol training, prepared 14 candidates to complete Alpine Patroller Evaluations and 8 to complete Senior Ski and/or Toboggan Evaluations.
The OEC Team conducted a Senior Candidate Clinic for 10 patrollers at Nub’s Nob in early February. Candidates participated in eight practice scenarios including dealing with drunks, a pregnant skier, a stroke patient with a developmentally challenged adult child, a father who collapses while snow shoeing with his infant child in a chest pack and two with teenagers. All did well, discovering strengths to build on and weaknesses to build up.Seven of the 10 were sent to the final evaluation at Schuss this past weekend. Five candidates successfully completed the evaluation. Congratulations to Marcy Harris of Boyne Highlands Ski Patrol who completed her last requirement and is Northern Michigan’s newest Senior Alpine Patroller.
Unfortunately we only had about half the number of volunteers needed to adequately staff an evaluation of this size. As a result evaluators and station staff were on the hill for nearly seven hours and some candidates had to wait over three hours to learn results. Next year we will try to get more Instructors and patrollers involved to address both these issues.
Despite the late start and what looks like an early demise, the 2016 Ski Year was very successful in Northern Michigan. Our On-hill Proficiency Team is at full staff and has addressed the issues we faced three years ago. They have returned the FUN to on-hill training and made the evaluations very “user friendly”.
The OEC Team is implementing the new OEC Module of the Senior Program. This program requires candidates to successfully complete four “on the snow” scenarios, analyze written scenarios, create an original scenario and review all OEC 5th Edition skills before taking the final Evaluation. The final evaluation must also be conducted “on the snow” and in a location appropriate for the scenario. Fitting all this in around the on-hill events and managements restrictions on hill use makes for more interesting challenges.
Spring Meeting and Awards Dinner
Mark your calendar, this year’s Spring Meeting and Awards Banquet is moving. Since the first weekend in May is Mother’s Day Weekend, the Spring Meeting and Banquet will be held on April 30th at Nub’s Nob. Several classes and events are planned for the day followed by a “cook out dinner” and 2016 awards presentation. Please plan on joining us.
• Thank you to all the trainers that prepared candidates at Patroller, Alpine Patroller, Senior Patroller and Alpine Senior Patroller levels this year.
• Thank you to the Patrol Administrators that honestly evaluated candidate’s preparedness and did not send candidates that were not ready to evaluations.
• Thank you to all the Instructors that attended calibrations clinics and taught Region sponsored
• Thank you to the Instructors that taught at Region sponsored snow sports and toboggan clinics, SES and TES events.
• Thank you to the evaluators that confirmed the ski and toboggan skills of basic and senior candidates,
• Thank you to the staff that planned and conducted the Region’s on-hill events.
• Thank you to the OEC instructors who conducted and assisted with the three NMR OEC classes in the “off-season” last year.
• Thank you to the OEC Instructors that conducted the required “On-the-snow” OEC MSP Clinic.
• Thank you to the patrol OEC Instructors that finished preparing candidates for the OEC Module of the Senior Program (OEC MSP).
• And finally THANK YOU to the 29 EOC Instructors, OEC Evaluators, Patrollers and Family Members that assisted with the OEC MSP Evaluation.
Finally, remember the words of an elder American Indian who said “Only white man believe make blanket longer by cutting foot off top and sew it on bottom” as we spring ahead this week end.
See you at the Spring Meeting