Clubhouse Chronicles: ASK is Gearing Up with Gratitude
This article was originally published in the Aspen Times by Meredith Elwell as part of our column, Clubhouse Chronicles.
Last season, Aspen Valley Ski & Snowboard Club wrapped up our Aspen Supports Kids programs in early March, the week before our community shut down due to COVID-19. We had a beautiful, sunny spring day on Snowmass, Buttermilk and Highlands, where we held fun races where athletes put their skills to the test followed by an incredible end of season celebration. While I appreciated it at the time, I had no idea how many times I would look back on this great day in the coming months.
Saturday, we will open registration for our Aspen Supports Kids programs. This is a very exciting moment for us. While we’ve remained excited and hopeful about the winter ahead, especially on the tails of a vibrant and fun summer of outdoor activities with our athletes, the presence of the pandemic has created a lot of uncertainty around recreational programming.
The potential of not being able to run programming is something we could never predict or comprehend. We turned this feeling of possible loss into motivation to study return to play guidelines, join conversations regarding safety on the local and state level, and creatively re-work logistics necessary to make our mountain recreational opportunities happen for our kids.
I didn’t think my pride for our community could get any stronger, but it did. Every partner that helps make AVSC’s Aspen Supports Kids possible stayed steady, optimistic and open minded! No one said no. Everyone said, ‘Yes, this is going to happen!’ Starting with Aspen Skiing Co., from the ski school division to mountain operations to ticketing and sales, creativity boomed and realistic programming came together.
From Gorsuch and Four Mountain Sports not hesitating to rework the plan for our incredibly special equipment nights during which they gift equipment for the season to hundreds of eager young athletes.
To the RE-1 School District transportation department saying yes, with guidelines and limits, we can continue to provide bus service to AVSC’S ASK participants.
To the team at AVSC that has worked tirelessly on behalf of our athletes to not skip a beat and be a source of comfort and structure to our kids. Giving them the opportunity to challenge themselves, build friendships, and have a ton of fun in the outdoors. Something we know that they need now more than ever.
It all came together, and while I’ve always been grateful for what we provide to local families, I truly realized the value in what we have. We have something amazing and we are very lucky! There is no better feeling!!
Here’s to a fun, safe and awesome season together. I can’t wait to see everyone on the mountain, even if from a bit more of a distance than usual. If you have a young skier or snowboarder that might be interested in joining us, please reach out. You can learn more about what Aspen Supports Kids is up to this winter at http://www.teamavsc.org/ask-programs.