With the nearest ski resort being an hour away without traffic, the new skiing and snowboarding club at Atholton is a double black diamond adventure. On Wednesday November 1st, Atholton High School hosted their first ever meeting in room F186 for the school’s skiing and snowboarding club. Junior track star Ryder Neal founded the club, and wrestling coach Mr. Billups sponsors it.
“I thought it was a great idea,” said Mr. Billups. Neal said that he came up with the idea from his parents and was “surprised there wasn’t a ski club here already.” Commenting that it is “a great way to organize students that have a common interest,” Neal stressed that the club was for “all skill levels” and that “for people who want to start skiing, this is a great way to get into it.”
Currently, the trips will not be overnight, although it may happen next year, according to Ryder. He said that most of the trips would be planned “in the moment.” The trips will take place either after school on Fridays or on the weekends. None of the meetings or trips will be mandatory. Prices, however, may be a problem. For the Roundtop Ski Resort in Lewisberry, Pennsylvania, the minimum price for one person to go skiing and snowboarding (without personally owned gear) is a whopping $104 for just one, five hour night go around, and this can jump to $123 dollars for an extended day. However, Neal said that “calling ahead and being in communication with the ski slopes you can definitely get group discounts.” Coach Billups and Ryder said that they will likely be using either the Whitetail Ski Resort, or Ski Liberty, since they are both under two hours from here. Ryder said that they would choose a resort “based off what everyone wants to do.”
Although most people might guess that the high cost of the resorts would be the most difficult part of the club, club president Ryder Neal disagrees. He said that the hardest part of the club is not the prices, but coordinating the rides to the ski resorts since the club cannot travel in official capacity.
Atholton junior Nick Weber, an experienced snowboarder, said that he is excited to join this club because it would give him an easy way to go snowboarding with his friends. He said that the club would open up an outlet to plan big trips. Weber added he likes how they “can push each other to do new tricks.” He said he loves snowboarding because he “can go really fast” and it pushes him out of his comfort zone, because once you start a run, “there’s no turning back.”
Although most people would see this club as being incredibly difficult to pull off, Neal and Mr. Billups seem to have a handle on it. This seems like it will very unique, fun, and well organized club, perfect for those who want to go skiing or snowboarding with their friends. In the future, Neal said the club might try to “expand into helping special olympics.”
If anyone reading this is interested in joining the club, you can go see either Ryder Neal, or Coach Billups for more information.