Canadian Ski Patrol Greater Vancouver Zone- Youth Ski Patrol Program
White Rock Christian Academy
After Emily Kehler came to school to find several of her peers injured from an incident skiing out of bounds, she was determined to find ways that other teens could learn about safe skiing & snowboarding practices, which led her to initiate the Youth Ski Patrol program. The Canadian Ski Patrol (CSP) is a volunteer organization of over 4500 who provide first-aid services at ski resorts across the country. In BC, the age requirement to join was 19, which made the program inaccessible to one of the highest risk age groups: teens. Over the next several months Emily wrote letters and worked with the management of Manning Park Resort, the board of directors of the Greater Vancouver Zone, and eventually the CSP National Board of Directors in Ottawa, explaining her rationale for why teens would benefit from having a Youth Patrol. After lots of hard work, she successfully launched the first Youth Ski Patrol program in the Greater Vancouver Zone in over 30 years. Emily’s hope for this program is to reach more teens so they can learn how to safely engage in skiing and snowboarding, while also learning incredible life skills.
What Makes Your Project Remarkable?
In spite of numerous challenges faced in the initiation of this program, I was able to make it happen. I believe that what makes this project remarkable is the determination and effort that went into creating it. When I first proposed the idea of getting teens involved in the ski patrol, many people told me that it was a bad idea; teenagers were irresponsible and couldn’t be trusted with mountain safety and first aid. I pitched my idea to everyone who would listen, and I eventually found several people who were willing to help me make my goals a reality. I spent hours writing letters and emails to the National Board of Directors of the Canadian Ski Patrol and our local Executive Team and Board in Vancouver. I was faced with opposition, but ultimately I gained support for my initiative, which led to the 2021-2022 season being the pilot year for this program. Throughout this season, we proved that teens can make an impact, and when given responsibility and a goal to work towards, can work incredibly hard to reach that goal. Something that makes this even more worthwhile and remarkable is the interest shown in the program. We’ve received several applications for the 2022-2023 season already, and have also been contacted by other ski hills and patrols across the country expressing interest in implementing the program in their community. At the end of the day, knowledge is power. If you know better, you will do better, and teens working together can make an incredible impact that ultimately could save a life.
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