2008 EPA Region Young Adult Patrol Advisor Report
WOW. What a difference a year makes. First, the most obvious news.... We have a
new name. After a fifteen year absence from the Patrollers Manual, National is
again recognizing a Student Patrol Program (Junior Patrol for you old timers).
It’s a shiny, new program with a new name. They are called YOUNG ADULT
PATROLLERS. YAPs for short. More about that later.
The EPA Region Young Adult Patrol program has once again eclipsed the previous
year. Our own event at Blue Mountain held the weekend of February 23rd and 24th
had nineteen Young Adult Patrollers from four mountains participating.
Represented were Blue Mountain, Camelback, Shawnee, and Alpine. Everybody had a
great time and learned a lot. An unexpected bonus at this year’s event was
finding ourselves in the middle of a reality TV show being taped for broadcast
nationally next fall. The TRUtv Network (formerly Court TV) spent a few weeks
filming routine operations at Blue Mountain for a proposed reality show for the
upcoming fall season. Our event was held during filming. This is a big boost to
the newly revived YAP program as the national exposure for such a program is
completely unprecedented in NSP history. Once again, a huge thanks goes to Megan
Eckhart, Jim Daily and the entire Blue Mountain Ski Patrol for making our group
feel most welcome especially with the strain a group of that size and their
enthusiasm puts on their facilities and staff. The hospitality of the Blue
Mountain Ski Patrol is unmatched.
The EPA Region was represented this year by thirteen YAPs from five mountains at
the Eastern Division Student Patrol Seminar at Killington, Vermont held the
extended weekend of March 14th through March 17th. YAPs from Blue Mountain, Jack
Frost, Whitetail, Alpine and Camelback all participated. An added, and
unexpected bonus at this year’s event was the announcement that all YAPs in
attendance received credit for completing the Skiing Enhancement Senior Elective
by virtue of their participation in the skiing clinic included in this year’s
When it came to the competition, as in previous years, the participants were
judged on their OEC, skiing or snowboarding, and toboggan handling skills. They
were given the choice to be scored for the competition or to clinic and not be
scored. The EPA Region YAPs put forth a yeoman's effort against some very stiff
and experienced competition. The majority of the Eastern PA Region finished in
the upper 50 percent of the pack in all three disciplines with the strongest
finishes once again hailing from Blue Mountain. Josh Wetzel from Blue Mountain
led the pack with a 7th place finish in OEC, a 4th place finish in skiing, and a
5th place finish in toboggan skills. Sarah Thom, also from Blue Mountain edged
Josh with a 3rd place in skiing with Melissa Headen from Camelback right on
their tails with scoring a 6th place finish in skiing. Overall, we had nine top
15 finishes between the three disciplines with 7 of them coming from the Blue
Mountain crew. There were 75 YAPs participating at Killington. More importantly,
the EPA Region YAPs did a superb job handling themselves in a professional
manner, they all learned a lot, made a ton of new friends, got in some great
skiing, and had a great time. The Eastern Pennsylvania Region can be proud of
their performance both on and off the snow. Next year’s event will be held at
Bolton Valley in northwestern Vermont. The contribution from the EPA Region to
help offset the event registration expense was again, very much appreciated.
This is truly an investment in the future of the National Ski Patrol that will
pay dividends for years to come.
Finally, the biggest news of the year !
Dateline: March 31, 2008—Lakewood, Colorado—
Abbadessa Named NSP National Young Adult Program Coordinator
The National Ski Patrol (NSP) Board of Directors has named Matthew Abbadessa
coordinator for the organization’s renewed National Young Adult Program.
Abbadessa will work with the NSP to provide resources to local and regional
youth patrol programs and facilitate communication, visitation and events for
youth patrollers on a national level. In addition he’ll support existing and new
youth programs, initiate national recruitment and training campaigns, and gather
best practices from around the country.
“The NSP has a long history of youth involvement, and we’re excited about the
rekindling of a national young adult program,” said NSP Planning Committee Chair
David Ginley. “Matt has important experience as a young adult patroller, and has
shown a true passion and vision for the program. He has boundless energy to
Abbadessa has been involved in the NSP Eastern Division Young Adult Patroller
Program as an alpine patroller at Pennsylvania’s Big Bear/Jack Frost ski areas
since 2005 and served on the NSP Recruitment and Retention Committee during the
2007/08 season. He’s also held numerous leadership positions as a member of the
Boy Scouts of America for six years, working with both children and adults.
“Our goal is to develop one-of-a-kind events, programs and campaigns for young
adults to take part in that will allow them to become active and involved
members and future leaders in the National Ski Patrol,” said Abbadessa. “Young
adult patrollers are the future leaders of the NSP.”
Young adult patrol programs aimed at high school students aged 15-18 are common
at the local and regional levels of the NSP. Participants receive training in
NSP programs including Outdoor Emergency Care and toboggan handling, and, under
the tutelage of adult patrollers, become working on-hill patrollers. The NSP
National Young Adult Program was reinstated during the 2007/08 ski season after
a 15-year hiatus.
In conclusion, I would like to personally thank all the respective patrols that
support the Young Adult Patrol program. For those who do not, I encourage you to
reconsider, or as the case may be, ask that you encourage your respective
mountain management to reconsider their position. With the renewed support of
National, we have our best chance in years to break some old stereotypes
regarding the dedication and professionalism our younger generation is capable
of in providing emergency rescue services to injured skiers and snowboarders.
EPA Region Young Adult Patrol Advisor