Winter Pandemic Playbook….Will there be a ski season?
From the Desk of Mary Ellen Whitney, CEO
In a normal year I would already be planning our winter training schedule for the instructor coaches of our STRIDE athlete avid skiers and snowboarders for the upcoming season. But this winter, snowfall and snow-making will not be the biggest concern. Instead, I wait for the direction and status from our 3 state mountain ski areas as to how we will proceed in the era of the coronavirus pandemic. What sorts of ski activities will be available and advisable? Will there be limited capacity? Will education and lesson programs operate under new guidelines with limited staff? Will our adaptive programs be part of the planning process? And so many other operational questions beg answers.
I’ve been following along with current events in the southern hemisphere, where ski resorts are in the dead of winter. I’ve read articles, talked to ski industry management professionals, listened to Ski Area Management pod casts , and am assisting PSIA in writing on-line learning opportunities for ski instructors. Coming down the mountain and even riding the chairlift are low risk. While skiing inherently involves face covering and social distancing and is itself a low-risk activity for COVID-19 transmission, a lot of things people do related to skiing pose risks. Using the lodge to be prepared for the cold, restroom use, food service, and finding a space to sit in a crowded lodge to warm up all are the major concern. Most ski-related employees work together in close quarters indoors. Enough said about the negatives, as we have been reminded all summer and fall through on-going news.
STRIDE has successfully demonstrated that there are ways to adapt. In early July, 2020, we successfully opened our summer season to a few in-person, limited activity programs amidst the Covid-19 pandemic. Golf, dance, individual fitness sessions, and family camping in groups was permitted. Rules included maintaining physical distancing, masks were mandatory; temperatures were taken. All family/household members who attended were expected to play an active role in assisting the athlete with special needs in place of 1 to 1 volunteer to athlete ratio. We will approach the winter cautiously optimistic as well. It will be different…no doubt. My winter pandemic playbook is mostly drafted and continuously being edited. There will be many expectations, smaller staff, new registration process, and probably limitations with equipment and indoor use, but if permitted by regulatory bodies, we WILL be on the mountain this winter!
Virtual Program Resource: Adapt in STRIDE Resources – CLICK HERE!!!
3rd Annual BBQ & Brew (Covid-19 Re-invented!)
Thanks to all who came out to support us at our HQ parking lot pick-up party. we sold over 275 dinners. And raised close to $10,000 with great thanks to our sponsors , including: Girvin& Ferlazzo law firm, Lavelle & Finn law firm, Pioneer Bank, Stewarts Shops, State Farm Insurance, Jaeger & Flynn, and Braverman & Greenspun
June 20 weekend was a huge success!!!!! Over 200 people showed us how to keep living a healthy, active and fun lifestyle no matter what COVID throws at us! Thank you for helping make a powerful statement that sports and fitness are for anyone at any time, no matter what the disability or state of the world!!! We surpassed last year and raised over $22,000. Thank you!