JJ Helm, what is there really to say? apparently a lot...

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JJ Helm, what is there really to say? apparently a lot...

So I grew up at Powder Ridge, living only 10 miles away in Annandale. Our families would switch off bringing us out there and picking us up. It seems odd now how that was achieved so easily. I think our parents loved that we were not sitting in the basement watching "Good Times" & Kid DYNOMITE! Ski Patrol helped me once when I was maybe 13, and there is a great possibility it was John Stirrat as I recall. I didn't think that much of it at the time. I was a bit of an ignorant little f**k, anyway. We probably hit The Knoll 10,000 times, I am not kidding. There was nothing like 4 people in the air at once "Training it!" 

Years past, after moving back to St Cloud, a great friend, Peggy Scott Lumbar, said: "Let's join. It will be fun. How hard could it be?" We never looked back, from being welcomed by amazing instructors to instantly having 88 people to ski with—it was a great decision. I befriended a red headed patroller named Mary and it was fantastic. Our families did things together for years until we finally decided to combine them into a very big happy one.

If you are married to Mary then you are married to the National Ski Patrol. Not much of a teacher thru my life, I knew it was going to be a challenge—but what the hell, right? I soon found out that it is truly fun teaching people new things and instilling that "I can save a life" attitude (and look great while doing it).

It's been an amazing adventure so far. So sleep well, my fellow patrollers, for tomorrow we ski!

JJ

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Becky Kinning - Mad skills in any terrain!

I joined the patrol after starting to down hill ski again after being in a near fatal car accident. My pelvis was fractured and I had a very big limp but I was not going to let that stop me. I was not going to be labeled disabled so I started doing all kinds of activities including down hill skiing to prove it. I then met my husband and he was a down hill skier and we had a lot of things in common. He was on the ski patrol and I decided that I wanted to help other skiers that had gotten hurt as well. Being able to help others with their injuries gives me a sense of accomplishment and gratitude for the help that I had received from my injuries. I love to ski and skiing with the other patrollers is great fun.

Becky & Copper

Becky & Copper

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Brenda Lott - You fall She hauls!

Two of my friends who were already on the ski patrol encouraged me to join because I was always out at the hill skiing. When I started the OEC class, I never imagined how much I would quickly start to love ski patrolling. The instructors I had for the OEC class made it the absolute best class I have ever taken, and they made learning so much fun. Joining the ski patrol is so much more than being part of an awesome organization and helping people. It's about gaining a second family full of wonderful people, creating lifelong best friends, enjoying life on the slopes with people who care about you, learning from challenging situations so if the challenge appears again it will be easier next time, sharing stories with new ski patrollers so they can learn more faster, having great chairlift conversations to make the very cold nights seem less cold, giving and receiving goodies on the free food table, feeling welcomed when you arrive for your shift, and knowing that you are making a difference especially when a guest needs your assistance.

You will be in a toboggan before you even know it.

You will be in a toboggan before you even know it.

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Mike Nies - Lifer for good

When I was 15 I got in trouble for swinging side to side on the rope tow. When I got to the top, there was this very tall man in a rusty parka. He motioned me over. Instead of the chewing out I deserved. He quietly told me why what I was doing was wrong and how it could seriously impact others. This was new. Needless to say, his quiet demeanor Impressed me. I never forgot him. I told myself someday I am going to be a Ski Patroller.

Still smiling after all these years!

Still smiling after all these years!

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