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 event schedule.

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 contribute.”

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.

Respectfully Submitted,

Wayne Eckelmann
EPA Region Young Adult Patrol Advisor


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