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Alumni News Updates


Alumni Update 2014

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Why Become An Alumni


PERCEPTION: The stereotypical Ski Patrol Alumnus is a Patroller who feels he/she has become useless to the Patrol. He/she is retiring due to age and/or medical conditions, or can no longer perform adequate first aid or haul a toboggan. This once dedicated ex-Patroller is now destined to be “put out to pasture” and pretty much forgotten about. The only solace now is to look forward to the possibility of getting together with other crotchety old “has-beens” maybe once a season to mumble something about…How it used to be! (provided the once photographic memory isn’t failing worse than the once Olympian physique). NOT!!!

Hi – For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Don Cirkot. I retired from active Patrolling at the end of the 208-09 season after 40 years with the Mount Southington Patrol, became an Alumnus, and have just recently taken over the position of Connecticut Region Alumni Advisor.

The NSP Alumni Program has evolved tremendously since the days of the “perception”. Alumni are no longer only those who feel they are not capable of active duty. Each Alumnus joined this program due to a circumstance unique to that individual. Many Alumni wish to remain active members of the NSP organization. AND…the extent of participation is up to the desire of each Alumnus.

Here is a basic list indicating the things that an Alumnus CAN NOT DO:
1) Go on active duty as an NSP Patroller.
2) Wear an official duty uniform (including pack) that displays the NSP cross and/or any other official duty related patches or badges.

The partial list of what an Alumnus CAN DO gets a bit longer:
1) Participate in virtually any and all registered NSP seminars, clinics, courses, refreshers and other events, as a pupil, helper, or Instructor (if the appropriate instructor credentials are up-to-date). The Connecticut Region Staff and Program Advisors wholeheartedly welcome Alumni into their programs.
2) Become an Instructor or maintain Instructor credentials by completing the appropriate courses or refreshers.
3) Become or remain part of the Region as a Staff and/or Committee Member.
4) Remain affiliated with your former Patrol by being put on their secondary registration roster(through mutual agreement with your former Patrol Director).
5) Change back and forth from alumni to Active Patroller by following Patrol requirements.
6) Membership dues may be tax deductable.

A partial list of Alumni BENEFITS include:
1) Years of Service with NSP continue to be added.
2) NSP, Division, and Connecticut Region voting rights are retained.
3) Retention of the same basic NSP member number and member profile information.
3) All NSP, Division, Region, catalogs and other mailings continue.
4) Continued access to NSP websites.
5) Access to NSP Winter Catalog (expect for duty related insignia etc.
6) Continued eligibility for most Pro forms, including the Subaru NSP discount.

And…Yes, participation in (hopefully) at least one Alumni Day each season to ski/ride and reminisce with old and new friends.

Eligibility: Minimum of one year registered as a Patroller or Auxiliary (not counting Candidate Season). There is no time limit requirement to make the decision to go from Active to Alumni.

Cost: $27.00 per year to NSP; of which $10.00 is returned by NSP to the Eastern Division, who in turn return $5.00 to the Connecticut Region. These funds are put directly into the yearly Connecticut Region Alumni budget.

This is merely an overview of the ever evolving Alumni Program. If I’ve planted just an iota of interest in your head, go to www.nsp.org, go to PROGRAMS, select the ALUMNI photo block, and check out all the other things that you can do, and benefits that you retain as an Alumnus. Be sure to click on Alumni FAQ for additional information. The level of involvement is up to you. You can also download the application form and instructions should you decide to join and stay connected. If you do not have access to the website, I can send you the NSP pamphlet/registration application form. Let me know.

In the event that you DO decide to become an Alumnus, I will be happy to welcome you over to the real DARK SIDE (For those who still remember, Yes I still have some well aged Fireballs for Alumni Day. For those who haven’t “been there”, welcome to a Connecticut Region tradition.)

Questions, queries, concerns? Contact me…please. Don Cirkot
203 888-1787 (please leave message and return number)
Regards,
Don

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How To Become An Alumni


Before registering with as an Alumnus with NSP, access your personal profile info on the NSP website to make sure all your information is correct and up-to-date. After registering, as a courtesy, please email the Connecticut Region Alumni Advisor and let him know that you have registered.
Send the email to Don Cirkot

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Questions and Answers


Question 1: What is an Alumni Member?
Answer: An Alumni Member is a special registration category for Patrollers who, for various reasons, decide to no longer actively provide emergency care or rescue services, but wish to continue their relationship with the National Ski Patrol. The NSP created the Alumni Membership category in 1977 as a way to facilitate contact with former Members and keep them informed of NSP events and activities. Today there are over 2,000 Alumni and Secondary alumni members affiliated with the NSP.

Question 2: How much does it cost to register as an Alumnus?
Answer: The annual dues are $27 paid to NSP, of which $10 is returned from NSP to the Eastern Division. The Connecticut Region may then request $5 of that refund to be returned to it. There are no additional NSP, Eastern Division, or Connecticut region dues for a secondary Patrol registration. Active Members who are Lifetime Members retain their status upon changing their membership to Alumni Member. Alumni Patrollers who wish to become Lifetime Members can do so for a one-time fee of $550, which helps support the NSP endowment fund. Lifetime Alumni Members receive a Lifetime Membership Pin and a walnut framed certificate.

Question 3: Upon receiving my initial Alumni registration card, I noticed that all my previous accomplishments (with the exception of my National Appointment Number) are no longer shown.
Answer: Currently, Alumni Cards do not show y complete credential history, however on line everything is still listed. Go to your printer friendly profile to view.

Question 4: The Alumni membership card indicates combined years of membership. This adds both active and Alumni years (e.g. 40 + 5). Therefore the Alumnus would have 45 cumulative years of service and therefore qualify for a 45 year service award. Does the same thought hold true for cumulative years of service as an Instructor?
Answer: NSP does not track Instructor years of service. Check with the Connecticut Region or Eastern Division for that information. You may recall that as an Instructor you have certain obligations to fulfill. The person you had to hand in your Instructor information should be the one who tracks years of Instructor service for that discipline.

Question 5: If an Alumnus is currently an Instructor that requires him/her to perform on-hill instruction at various ski areas (i.e. Toboggan Instructor, Senior S&T TE, Toboggan IT, etc.), can that /those Instructorships also be retained? Keep in mind that Toboggan Instructors routinely train Candidates and “local” Patrollers at their home areas and the season-long training /recertification is not necessarily part of a registered NSP course such as a Toboggan Enhancement course or a Senior S&T clinic.
Answer: If you continue to keep up the requirements to retain your instructorship(s) with NSP and the local area wants you instruct there is no reason why you can't. An Alumni Membership does not limit what you can do with the local area's permission. Your local Patrol may be the deciding factor here on what you can and can't do.

Question 6: What are the limitations regarding the types and levels of Instructors, IT’s, TE’s, which an Alumnus can become or retain?
Answer: I don't believe that NSP has limitations. You are welcome to attend NSP classes and other NSP functions as a member of the National Ski Patrol. You paid dues to do so. Any limitations, I believe, may/would come from your affiliated Patrol or the Patrol hosting the particular functions. Sometimes there are limits on the number of participants, etc.

Question 7: P&P states that Alumni are authorized to wear sweater pin #126; it does not state the authorization of National Appointment Alumni to wear pin #136. Was this an oversight?
Answer: Changing your status to Alumni Membership does not remove any of your NSP accomplishments. Please see section 7.10.4 E of the National Ski Patrol Policies and Procedures 2009-2010 Edition (available on line). It specifically states, "Awards and honorary appointments, e.g., Merit Stars, National Appointments, will continue to be recognized..." Yes you may continue to wear your National Appointment pin and any other pins and patches to show your accomplishments.

Question 8: P&P states that Alumni are not authorized to wear the official NSP uniform. Am I correct to assume that the term UNIFORM means duty parka/vest (whether it is the NSP approved red in its various iterations, or whatever style/color a particular ski area/Patrol has authorized), and an approved aid belt or pack? If this is correct, I must also assume that the term UNIFORM does not apply to other items which may carry the NSP logo such as sweaters, turtlenecks, gloves, caps and hats, luggage, decals, sunglasses, and any of a number of miscellaneous items found in the NSP catalog. May the Alumnus in fact wear/use those types of items?
Answer: Alumni may not wear the "official NSP uniform" that your area uses to designate an active Patroller. Any costume or form of dress that may confuse the public and make them think you are an active Patroller is not allowed. The NSP shield may be worn on miscellaneous items.

Question 9: A number of NSP registered events that require on-hill participation (e.g. Toboggan Enhancement Clinic) mandate that both participants and Instructors wear their patrol parkas and packs. This is for two reasons: a) running inside the handles of a toboggan with a bulky pack or belt adds more reality to the actual discipline, b) wearing the patrol parka is often a method used to get a Patroller on the hill for the clinic without the necessity of buying a lift ticket and having to go through the lift line. Any thoughts on how an Alumnus can overcome this potential obstacle (i.e. wearing an Alumni chest patch)?
Answer: Check with the person in charge of the specific event to find out what you should wear.

Question 10: I have heard talk of the possibility of allowing Alumni to maintain their registration with their former Patrol. Personally, I like the idea. However, please be aware that some areas limit the number of members of their patrol. I doubt that they would prefer to use an available opening for an Alumnus rather than for an active Patroller. Are alternatives/options being addressed?
Answer: As an Alumnus, you are not registered on your former Patrol’s primary roster as an active Patroller and should not be included in the number of active NSP Patrollers for that Patrol. If you are interested in maintaining an affiliation with your former Patrol, you must be approved by your former Patrol Director. Your primary or first Patrol registration is with the Connecticut Region Alumni, and your former Patrol becomes your secondary Patrol.

Question 11: Although this is my first season registered as an Alumnus, I have been active with my Patrol, the Connecticut Region, and the Eastern Division for quite a few years. I have noticed that many retiring Patrollers initially register as Alumni. However, most (not all) have little to do, other than to attend “Alumni Days” at the various areas (usually held on weekdays when those who are retired or have extra time can attend). Few if any advisors, staff members, etc. seem to think of, or ask to utilize the Alumni’s knowledge, skills, and experience in their programs. Many do not even know that his type of assistance is available to them. Alumni are more often than not just “put out to pasture” like old thoroughbreds, once very active Patrollers who aren’t really thought about much anymore. You know – out of sight, out of mind. I haven’t seen any methods developed to keep the names and expertise of these Alumni exposed. Hopefully this can and will change.
Answer: This situation differs widely across the country. Many Patrols encourage Patrollers to become Alumni when they are making stay or go decisions. Some retain Alumni who make great contributions to their former patrol. Some Patrols also allow the Alumni to pick and choose how and what they want to do.

Question 12: My previous active NSP ID number was E-202-123456. My current NSP Alumnus ID number is E-602-123456. Why was my number changed?
Answer: Your NSP ID number did not change - your ID # is still 123456. The preceding E is for the Eastern Division and the 202 and 602 are the patrol numbers (602 standing for Alumni). It is just a series of letters and numbers for NSP to track your location. If you go on line at www.nsp.org and go to member services use your 123456 number and just explore. You will find all of your information is there!

Why should you join

By joining as an Alumni Member, you can continue your involvement with the largest winter rescue organization in the world and support the NSP on a new level. If you wish, you can continue to contribute to your patrol. As an alumni member, you won't be required to fulfill any skill or educational requirements; however, you may decide to keep your instructorships current and serve as an instructor or in another capacity to local units of NSP. Several ski areas have already incorporated alumni patrollers in their operations and taken advantage of their alumni's local knowledge and experience. Alumni often attend ski patrol PR events, help recruit new members, provide administrative help, give safety talks, participate in other community service activities, and are a valued force within NSP.

Regardless of the scope of your involvement, becoming an Alumni Member enables you to contribute to the success of ski patrolling at both the local and national level. If at any time you decide you want to return to patrolling, simply follow the registration requirements with your patrol.

As an Alumni Member of the NSP, you will recieve:

      
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Getting Involved

As a Connecticut Region Alumnus, your level of participation is completely up to you. The Advisors of virtually all NSP Programs have indicated their agreement and desire to have Alumni participate in their events as, pupils, helpers, or Instructors (if credentials are current). If you wish and are not already one, you can still BECOME an Instructor in a specific program by going through the same training that you would have as an Active Patroller.

Simply go to the Event Calendar on the Region Website and find the name / email address of the person in charge of the event that you wish to participate in. Upon contacting that person, find out the particulars, and either indicate how you would like to participate, or ask where you would be most helpful. That’s all there is to it.

NOTE: Activities which are NOT registered as an NSP event (e.g. local Patrol training or functions) are under the auspices of the local Patrol. Alumni participation must therefore be approved by the host Patrol Director and/or area management.

Contacts
If you have any general Alumni related questions or concerns, or need any additional information, you may contact any of the following:

Connecticut Region Alumni Advisor – Don Cirkot
Eastern Division Alumni Advisor – Al Pels
NSP Alumni Coordinator – Josie Elting


You may also contact any relevant Connecticut Region Staff Member – see the Region Contact List on the Website.
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