Fall 2022 Division Director Newsletter

We are now into the Fall of our 2022-2023 season.  Refreshers, ski swaps, and resorts and patrols getting ready for that first opening day.

The Fall Division Meeting in Midland, Michigan, was very successful, and thank you to the Eastern Michigan Region for hosting this great event!

Our Rusty Parka News Editor, Katie Flanagan, has stepped down, so if anyone is interested, please send an email to Assistant Division Director Allison Lavene ( ad4@nspcd.org ).  In the meantime, it was suggested that I send out newsletters to the Division.  Speaking of Newsletters, all the Division Directors have decided to put out a newsletter, This News Update has been created by the Division Directors as a way to increase our communications with you. We meet monthly as a team to discuss Division and National business and to support and share ideas with each other.  Our goal is to provide you with a consistent message on a variety of topics as they come up. The message we send will be simple. If you want to know more about any information sent, remember I am only a phone call, text, or email away.

One of our projects, your Division Director team is currently working with several people from the National OEC Committee to revamp and revitalize the Senior Program. The goal of Seniors is to dive into the development of high‐level scene and care management by solidifying your leadership, problem‐solving, and decision‐making abilities.

This season 2022‐2023, changes in the OEC component include:

  • More focus on leadership, problem‐solving, and decision‐making
  • Less intimidating
  • Less resources/people required to evaluate
  • Renewed energy from your senior instructors and evaluators
  • Same high standards

What are NSP and the Central Division doing to serve the needs of our members and patrols?

  • We have over 120 patrols across 8 regions in 8 states, with over 7300 members, including alumni and hosts.
  • Our patrols and their members vary widely in size, and all are unique.
  • Our division program supervisors work with region administrators, ITs, instructors, and patrol leadership to provide course content to members across all NSP disciplines.
  • Our goals are to serve our members’ needs, ensure our patrols work productively and cooperatively with ski and bike area management and deliver educational content backed by solid quality assurance.

Yes, it’s another year so we have the opportunity to vote for four National Board members. One of the issues I hear every year is, “I’m not sure who the Candidates are.”  There are several avenues for you to get to know the Candidates. First, is in the same section on the National website WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW, you can find the Candidate page to read about each candidate. The second is to check the National Calendar and join the Candidate Call-in Form, (hosted by our own Jeff Olson), The first forum is this week.

I constantly get asked who should I vote for or who did I vote for.  I always answer that first, I look for honesty and integrity.  Second, institutional knowledge and experience, and finally, outside experience that brings value to the organization.  In my opinion and for me, there are only five candidates that bring these characteristics to the position.  Unfortunately, we can only vote for four, so there are choices.  I have stated when asked who I would vote for and why by disclosing my choices, but again those are individual interactions and not for this type of forum.

Finally, there is a lot of negativities floating around from both inside and outside the NSP.  What can Central Division patrols and members do to help NSP weather the current storm of criticism?  We should do what we have always done:

  • Take the high road. Stay out of the limelight, do our jobs, and lead by example.
  • Keep doing the great job that we are known for.
  • Maintain good relationships with our resorts and land management units.  Stay attuned to the needs of area management.  Be open, welcoming, and encouraging to guests.
  • Tell positive stories:  Why did you become a patroller?  What does your patrol mean to you?  What has your patrol done to make a difference in the lives of guests to encourage safe outdoor recreation?
  • Stay out of the fray.  Don’t get involved in public debates about what NSP should do differently.  If you have ideas, concerns, or suggestions, share them with your patrol, region, and division leaders.  Again, I am available to every member by email, text, and just a phone call away.
  • Be good ski patrollers and lead by example.

I look forward to skiing around the division and an opportunity to talk with each of you!


Mike Schons



New Version of the 2022 OEC Refresher Cycle C Online Modules to be Published on Tuesday, Sept. 6

The following  was distributed to NSP members on August 26, 2022

If you don’t have a skills session scheduled for early September and have yet to complete the 2022 OEC Cycle C Refresher Online portion, you may want to choose to wait to enroll until after Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2022, when the 2022 OEC Cycle C Refresher version 2 will be published.

Since the release of the current refresher, the Center for Learning support team, the NSP OEC Program Director and the NSP OEC Refresher Committee have created a 2022 OEC Cycle C Refresher version 2. Based on user common questions and feedback received regarding the current refresher, the navigation of the new course will be simplified while the material covered will remain the same. Our new Learning Management System allows us to make modifications based on member feedback.

If you have begun the current version of the refresher course, you may continue with it. It will not be removed from production, it will only removed from visibility in the catalog when the new refresher is published in early September. Another detailed announcement will be made when the new version is available.

We’d like to thank all of the patrollers who have completed the Refresher and taken the time to provide feedback on the process.


Central Division Ski Patrol Festival – Save the Date

The Alpine Skill Development Workshop is now The Central Division Ski Patrol Festival

This unique opportunity to receive training exclusive to members of the National Ski Patrol will be held on four dates throughout the 2022-2023 ski season.

More information will be published in the upcoming weeks but the key information is as follows:



Division Supervisors and any patroller who would like to learn the skills.

While we would love to see everyone at all four weekends, the intention is that each patrol sends 1-3 people to one weekend, whichever is closest or has the best date. Naturally, anyone seeking certifications will need to attend the March sessions.


  • December 2-4, 2022 – Wild Mountain  (MN)
  • December 9-11, 2022 – The Highlands  (MI)
  • March 10-12 2023   – Crystal Mountain (MI)
  • March 24-26, 2022 – Granite Peak  (WI)


TENTATIVE Training Workshops:

  • PSIA/AASI  L1 Exam
  • OET IT Prep Clinic
  • Movement Analysis Clinic

TENTATIVE Certification Programs:

  • ASE Certification  (March only)
  • New OET Instructor Sign-Off (March only)
  • QA Clinic  (March only)
  • TES for Senior Candidates  (March only)
  • SES for Senior Candidates  (March only)
  • Final OET Instructor Sign-Off (March only)

Additional topics which we would love to offer a workshop on if demand allows and instructors are found:

  • Mountain Travel/Rescue
  • Avalanche
  • OEC
  • Young Adult Program group activities
  • Women’s Program group activities
  • Pre Certified Event Certified Modules Education
  • Alumni group activities
  • Tele groups

If you wish to lead one of these workshops please notify Anne Blaedow, Guy Day, or Les Robinson.

How Much


Hotel, Lift Tickets, Registration Fee’s, Food, etc.


Central Division Fall Meeting 2022 Registration and Agenda

This event has been completed. We encourage you to attend the next Central Division Fall Meeting! Details will be published as they become available.

The Central Division Fall Meeting is the annual opportunity for all of the patrols in the Central Division to come together for a weekend and participate in training and fellowship as an organization.  The evening consists of a banquet with an awards presentation. To make the most of this opportunity, your patrols Patrol Director, IT, OEC Instructors, and others actively involved with your patrol should attend.

Date and time

Fri, Sep 9, 2022, 11:00 AM – Sun, Sep 11, 2022, 2:00 PM EDT


H Hotel Midland, 111 W. Main St, Midland, MI 48640

Friday, September 9th:

11:00AM Golf Midland Currie 9 holes https://www.curriegolf.com

1:00PM Kayak from Tridge /Ike’s Mobile Kayak

7:00PM Dinner Academy Lounge

Saturday, September 10th:

9AM-12PM General Session/Academy Lounge

12:30PM-4PM BOD/Gold Room

12:30PM-4PM Adaptive First Aid and Chair Evac Seminar/Chippewa Pavilion. Presented by Ty Damon, Co-Author OEC-6 Chapter 32, Adaptive Athletes

12:30PM-4PM Awards Advisors Face to Face/Copper Room. Led by Mike Husar, Division Awards Advisor.

12:30PM-4PM OEC recertification (by invitation)/Silver Room Kim Zambole and Rae Ruddy

12:30PM-4PM MTR Face to Face/Titanium Room. Led by Jon O’Dell

12:30PM-4PM Mountain Bike Ride/Midland City Forest. Led by Jon Mehl.

6PM Cocktail hour-cash bar/H Hotel Courtyard.

7PM Awards Dinner/ H Hotel Courtyard.

Sunday, September 11, 2022

9AM-11AM NSP Bike Patrol Round Table/TBD. Led by Jeremy Verbeke NSP Program Director and Mary Dunphy CD Bike Supervisor

Event Contact:

Allison LaVene
(810) 938-7930

Meeting Link:



Conference Hotel: The H Hotel Midland


Fairfield Inn & Suites Midland

506 East Buttles Street Midland, Michigan 4864

Map showing distance between the two hotels


Meeting Registration                      $10

September 9th Dinner                      $45 – H Hotel-Academy Lounge; 7PM; Cash bar

September 10th Awards Dinner      $55 – H Hotel Courtyard; 6PM Cash bar ;  7PM Dinner


Break Out Sessions Details:

Saturday Afternoon

Adaptive First Aid and Chair Evac Seminar
Session Overview:

We will do several interactive group activities:

  • Cognitively Impaired patient empathy exercise
  • Blind/V.I. patient “leading” scenario
  • American Sign Language communication practice
  • Outrigger removal hands-on practice
  • Sit Ski removal hands-on practice
  • Lift evacuation for sit skiers dry-land practice
  • To increase awareness of the wide variety of Adaptive Athletes, and the many forms of
    adaptive equipment they utilize
  • To provide you with strategies you can utilize to better care for injured Adaptive Patients:
    • Deaf/Hard of Hearing
    • Blind/Visually Impaired
    • Cognitively Impaired
    • Three/Four-Track Skiers
    • Boarders
    • Sit Skiers
  • Give you an awareness of the added challenges in performing lift evacuation of Adaptive
    skiers and riders
  • Create advocates for the integration of Adaptive Athletes at your local resort and into
    your patrol

Presented by Ty Damon, Co-Author OEC-6 Chapter 32, Adaptive Athletes

Senior Trainer/Evaluator Recertification Course

This recertification course is designed for trainers and evaluators that are also region administrative
staff of the OEC and Aid Room Modules of the Senior Program. At the end of this course,
participants will:

  • Be current as an OEC and Aid Room MSP Trainer/Evaluator
  • Be trained to use an enhanced training program for OEC MSP candidates
  • Be trained in the Aid Room Module training program for candidates

What to bring with you:

  • Pack/Vest with normal materials
  • Dress comfortably (we will be completing senior-level scenarios)
  • Working watch/timer (you will be evaluating!)
  • A great sense of humor – let’s have fun!!
Space is limited to Region OEC Administrators, Region Senior Training Coordinators, or their
designee that are current Trainer/Evaluators of the OEC and Aid Room Modules of the Senior

If you have any questions, please contact Kim Zambole at OEC@nspcentral.com
Region Awards Advisors are invited to meet with Mike Husar, Division Awards Supervisor.
Further, Region MTR Advisors are also invited to meet with Jon O’Dell, Division MTR

Sunday Morning

NSP Bike Patrol Round table

Join the National Bike Program Director, Jeremy Verbeke, Central Division Bike Supervisor,
Mary Dunphy, and Region and local patrol leadership in a roundtable discussion about NSP
Bike Patrols. Learn what is out in development, come up with bike patrols, and have the
opportunity to network with other patrols to share information and best practices. If you are in a
bike or ski patrol looking to transition into year-round patrolling, this is the session for

Let me know if you have any questions,

Presented by: Jeremy Verbeke, National Bike Program Director https://nspserves.org/bikes/

Other area attractions:

Dow Gardens 1809 Eastman Avenue Midland, MI 48640

Whiting Forest of Dow Gardens 2203 Eastman Avenue


Alden B. Dow Home and Studio-An Oasis of Architecture and Inspiration

315 Post Street Daily Public Tours


Chippewa Nature Center 400 Badour Rd. Midland