- Public Relations Director Brit Milazzo
- High school math teacher Ryan Pastva
- President: Alyssa Packer
- Vice President: Logan Gettig
- Secretary: Tyler Muse
- Treasurer: Elizabeth Marchini
- Other members: Riley Clute, Shane Cronin, Logan Ellenberger and Mia Elmore
Other chaperones help with trip details and include high school Spanish teacher Emily Zimdahl-McManus, social studies teacher Stephanie Seitz, physical education teacher Josh Diehl and some parents of student members.
To learn more about Ski Club at Bellefonte Area High School, visit this link: Ski Club and Snow Sports
Ski Club provides snow sport opportunities for high school students
By Mackenzie Ebeling
Class of 2020
Many sports come to an end when winter begins, but members of Bellefonte Area High School’s Ski Club, sometimes known as “snow sports,” are just getting ready to hit the slopes. It is a chance for students interested in skiing or snowboarding to come together, make memories and have fun in the snow and on the mountains.
Ski Club starts each school year with an information meeting in September and winter trip signups by the end of October or early November. Generally, the first trip of the season is soon after the new year.
The club is led by two district staff advisers and run by student board members who help plan trips and point the club in the right direction for the benefit of its members. This year, there are about 70 ninth- through 12-grade students involved in the club – an increase from 54 in the 2018-19 school year and 39 the school year before that.
Advisers who enjoy Ski Club as much as the students is one of the reasons the club is successful. Co-adviser Ryan Pastva, who’s also a math teacher at the high school, has been skiing and snowboarding since elementary school.
“I started in fourth grade when one of my older cousins took me to Blue Knob for the afternoon,” he said. “She took me one more time before I was old enough to join Forest Hills Junior High Ski Club. I was hooked from that point on.”
The teacher advisers and chaperones also agree that one of the best parts of being involved in the club is getting to see students in a new environment outside of the classroom, witnessing some students learn and participate in something new, and getting to experience trips at places they may not have been able to go to otherwise.
According to many student members, they really admire social studies teacher Stephanie Seitz who often helps chaperone trips. She moved to Pennsylvania from California, where she first learned to snowboard when she was 16 years old. She said the temperature contrast is the biggest difference between snowboarding in the two states.
“When I snowboard in Southern California at my local mountain, Big Bear Mountain, the weather will usually be between 30 (and) 40 degrees, but by the time we make it down the mountain and back to my parents’ house in Los Angeles County, the weather will generally be around the 70s,” she said.
Ski Club annually plans four trips in January and February to Tussey Mountain in Harris Township, a day trip to a nearby resort in upstate New York and a weekend trip to Vermont. They also often team up with the Snow Sports Club at Bellefonte Area Middle School to plan combined trips.
Senior Alec Bossert joined Ski Club in seventh grade and was able to attend the Vermont trip last year. With a homebase in Rutland, Vt., the 13 students and five adults spent two days at Killington Ski Resort.
“The gondola rides to the peak of the mountain (and) the runs down to the bottom were much longer than any other place we go to,” Bossert said.
However, it’s not all about the action sports itself that make the students enjoy Ski Club. Sophomore Mia Elmore’s favorite part about the club is the Tussey Mountain trips with her friends.
“We go to the lodge after a couple hours of skiing and we all just hang out and play games together,” she said.
And for anyone new to the sport, longtime skier senior Tyler Muse, who has been a member of the school’s snow sports clubs since sixth-grade, said the lessons Ski Club teaches can apply to more than just being on the hills.
“Ski Club has taught me that no matter how many times you may fail, you just have to get up and keep going,” he said.