Say you’re young, beautiful, and baby, you snowboard. But, you’re really young-like under the legal driving age. You have a few friends you can catch a ride with to the mountain. Maybe you don’t have any friends, parents, or older siblings who shred, or they’re all too lame to give you a lift-the whole thing is so expensive! By now your sled is gathering dust in the garage all winter. What can be done?
Start a snowboard club at your school-it’s simple. You’ll ride, meet people you never knew, and snowboard with them, ride, share the trip in a van or bus, be eligible for group discounts, ride, shoot spit wads, tell jokes, maybe take in some videos-in short, have a blast. Let a little legwork open a winter wonderland of possibilities.
1.) Raise some interest. The best way of finding a fun posse is by organizing weekend outings with classmates-the more, the merrier, and the better the split of costs. If you’re the only rider you know, look around: who looks like they might ride, has a T-shirt or folder plastered with snowboard logos, thumbs through snowboard mags at lunch, or has posters up in their locker? Involve everyone, not just your friends. Include skiers-you might find them fast and fun to ride with. Most schools near mountain resorts already have ski clubs, so you could start their snowboard branch. It’s like a party. Invite 100 people and 50 might show. If it’s the bomb, 200 will be waiting for the next time.
2.) Find a teacher or supervisor who agrees to take on the adult responsibilities. You can even have parents or big brothers and sisters go along as trip chaperones, but you’ll need school personnel on hand to make this trip a school function. Once you have that person/persons, divide up the chores. The more people involved, the easier the workload.
3.) Call your friendly neighborhood resort to see what group discounts are available on rentals, lift tickets, lessons, and overnight accommodations if need be. Remember-you’re bringing lots of customers to them, so the deal had better be sweet. Don’t forget to look into sponsorship for your snowboard club by snowboard companies or shops, local or otherwise. Many of them would jump at a chance to get people on their product, in their T-shirts, or displaying their stickers.
4.) Arrange group transportation for your snow trip. Some school budgets allot for extracurricular field trips, so have your teacher/sponsor find out. Have a rough idea of how many people will be going before calling private bus companies. If your club is small, four to five people, see if a parent or older sibling can provide transportation in the family minivan.
5.) This can be the hardest part-take all the information you’ve just accumulated and arrange some snowboard-club package deals. For the excursion, price out the full-meal deal of lift ticket, rental, lesson, bus ride or transportation costs, and any combination therein. Have many combination options that will enable the most people to go. Have everyone bring their own lunch or lunch money and snacks to keep things simple.
6.) Once you figure out the costs, set a date and spread the word: make flyers, get in the school paper or newsletter, and try intercom announcements. Have school sponsors announce your tip to their students.
7.) Make a sign-up sheet. There can be more than one, just be sure you keep track of the total number and have a way to get a hold of each student. Talk to the people on the list and get firm commitments to avoid any bailers when you get down to your date. The easiest way to prevent this is to collect the money, or at least a deposit, in advance. Take that same opportunity to get parent signatures on an insurance waiver. Most school policies don’t cover such outings, but again, have your teacher/sponsor check. The group’s rights are usually waived, like when purchasing a regular lift ticket. But a parental consent form will enable anyone in aan accident to receive emergency treatment.
8.) Take the money and open a checking account for your snowboard club. Have your sponsor help find one that’s good and convenient, maybe with the school’s regular bank. This will allow you to pay for everything in advance to cut down on stress and wasted time the day of the trip. You can also fund last-minute emergencies without needing to have cash on hand, and use any surplus dues gathered toward the club’s next trip or to buy the club pizza or some other treat at the end of the season.
9.) It’s a good idea to firm up all your plans by holding a short meeting. Make a final count of the people, confirm your transportation and any reservations. This is a good opportunity to let newbies/inexperienced snowboarders know what clothes to bring and remind them to stay hydrated to avoid the effects of high altitude. Also clearly inform attendees how much money and/or food they should bring along.
10.) Have fun!