TANNERSVILLE, PA –
Camelback Mountain Resort has partnered with the SkiDUCKS (Skiing and Snowboarding for Disabled and Under Privileged Children and older Kids) for this winter season. SkiDUCKs is a new, grassroots non-profit organization dedicated to enriching the lives of disabled and underprivileged children by sharing the joys of skiing and snowboarding.
The group will come to Camelback Mountain Resort for three sessions this winter; the first session will be February 12. The group of 24 kids (ranging in age from 7-18) will be provided a free lift ticket, a group lesson and rental. The children and teens, from the Boys and Girls Club of Scranton will build positive 1:1 relationships with peers and volunteers and develop a new sense of self-confidence and esteem through this program. They will also give the kids an opportunity to experience skiing or snowboarding, that otherwise they probably wouldn’t experience.
Tony Keller, Director of SnowSports School at Camelback started skiing at the age of 12 with a group, similar to the SkiDUCKS in Florida where he was raised. He grew up with his brother and single mother, who worked hard to give the boys any opportunities available to enrich their lives. Tony, being the curious teen that he was, heard kids playing through the woods in his back yard one day and had to find out what was going on. He ran through the woods toward the kids laughing to find a group playing “parking lot hockey” in a church parking lot. He stood and watched them hoping they would ask him to join in. His great smile caught their attention and they invited him over to join the game. After the game, they invited him into the church for their youth group meeting. His great smile and attitude won the group over and he never turned back.
Tony went on his first ski trip to North Carolina with the church youth group and fell in love with snow sports. He continued with the youth group and skiing and snowboarding and on January 1, 1999 he relocated to the Pocono Mountains to start his work in the SnowSports industry. A few days after arriving in the Pocono Mountains, he was hired at Cameback and today is a successful manager of over 250 trained ski and snowboard instructors. He is living the dream of a professional in the industry and working at a job in a sport that he loves.
“This opportunity may give a child a career path, or just give them a chance to learn something new and build their confidence.” said Charlie Knopp, Vice President of Base Operations at Camelback Mountain Resort. Knopp continued, “There is no doubt that this group can change a child’s path in life, just as it did for Tony.” This is the third season for the SkiDUCKS organization and the first season for the Camelback/SkiDUCK partnership. SkiDUCK is hosting over 50 events for disadvantaged youth at 14 resorts across 9 states (PA, CA, IA, NJ, NV, NY, MN, WA, WI). With the support of Camelback and other participating resorts, SkiDUCK’s goal is to host 1,000 youth for over 2,000 visits this season.
SkiDUCK partners with Boys and Girls clubs and at-risk youth services. If you’re interested in donating, volunteering or learning more about SkiDUCK visit www.SkiDUCK.org or call 775-287-6464. SnowEast Magazine Readers’ Survey voted Camelback Mountain Resort the favorite resort in Pennsylvania. There are 34 trails, ranging from beginners to double black diamonds with 100% of the trails open for night skiing. Camelback is continuing on the cutting edge by adding a 50′ x 50′ airbag that tops out at 12 feet tall….just like stunt persons use in Hollywood films. Guests of all abilities can ski and board downhill, hit a jump and try any trick seen at the X Games and land safely and softly!
Always true to its name and mission, Camelback Mountain Resort, ensures action, adventure and excitement 365 days a year.
Written by Megan McHugh