Thomas Jefferson

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A Positive Downhill Experience

Posted 03/08/2016 by Evan Anderson

photo courtesy of Betty Richmeier

TJ Ski Club offers Spartans great opportunities to hit the slopes.

Thomas Jefferson Ski Club has gained praise as they continue to provide students with incredible opportunities this winter with various trips to Winter Park. Both beginners and experts have enjoyed skiing with the club this year, and all students are encouraged to join as tickets are only $6.00.

For the second year in a row, former TJ nurse Betty Richmeier and junior Eric Stolz led the initial trip on January 11th. Both have a profound love of skiing, and wanted to share their motivation with the Spartan community. Richmeier shared, “I’ve been skiing since I was 5 years old; it’s a part of me. I enjoy being outside and getting the fresh air. My whole family skis and it is great to bring family and friends together.” Stolz agreed that sharing the enjoyment with others makes for a better day for everyone, which motivated him to continue the Ski Club at TJ. Before Spartans went on Winter break, Stolz worked to promote the club in order to excite students and to attract more members. As a result, over 20 Spartans geared up to hit the slopes, many for their first time.

Members unanimously agreed that the larger crowd made for a livelier atmosphere, and ensured that everyone could ski with a close group of friends. Senior Jeffrey Josephs mentioned that while snowboarding alone or with a small group can have its benefits, it is difficult to compare to what Ski Club offers. “Boarding with friends is more enjoyable because you have people you already know to have fun with, push you, and try to do better,” he explained. Richmeier added that she enjoys watching students bond with each other, and having the opportunity to get to know them as well. “It has been so rewarding to me as a school nurse,” she elaborated. “I actually get to meet students and develop a connection with them. Unfortunately, in the school setting I do not get an opportunity to meet most students like the teachers do and this is why it is worth it.  I have enjoyed the students and their families, and I think the students look forward to going skiing.”

Following their initial venture, Ski Club once again traveled to Winter Park on January 24th, bringing even more students with them. Stolz, as well as the rest of the club, plan on holding more trips throughout the year. Ski Club’s next venture was on March 6th to Winter Park, marking their third trip of the year. Anyone is encouraged to join the club, and no previous experience is required. Students are expected to carpool with friends to save gas and money on the way to Winter Park. Furthermore, tickets for just a few dollars makes it even more difficult for any student to deny the opportunity.

Life-long skiers and new skiers alike agree that it is tough to beat a good day on the slopes, and encourage anyone to join the club.  It is Richmeier’s belief that students who ski or simply spend time outdoors are more connected with nature and their community, stating, “The hope is that youth participating in this program will become the future stewards of our natural playgrounds.” Many members agree that skiing is an intensely fun and challenging sport that can provide a fun time for many, and recommend that Spartans take advantage of this resource. Although the club doesn’t hold meetings often, students who wish to join future trips throughout the year are encouraged to speak with Stolz, or contact Richmeier via email at