Don Cirkot

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#5           Donald Cirkot

Mount Southington Ski Patrol

Joined NSP - 1969

Inducted - June 6, 2009

Don Cirkot has been a patroller since 1969 only a few short years after his home Patrol Mount Southington was formed. Don quickly became active by taking all the NSP courses he could. He challenged the Senior program and became a Senior quickly followed by becoming a Senior Examiner. Don was an instructor before there was an Instructor Development Class. He went on to become a Section Chief and an Assistant Region Director for our Region. Don also completed most parts of the Certified Exam despite the difficulties of being a “flat lander” Don is well known and liked throughout the Eastern Division. Don’s significant contributions to Ski Patrolling were recognized with National Number 6224 awarded in 1983. Don has been the ski and toboggan handling trainer and the trainer who taught policies and procedures for almost every patroller on the Mount Southington Ski Patrol when they were candidates. His easy style and comforting and reassuring approach has made candidate years successful despite the usual stress involved. Once the candidates were successful at becoming Patrollers, his favorite line was “now the training and education begins”. Don has always been a strong supporter of the Senior Program and other programs to educate patrollers. As a Senior Examiner and more recently a Senior S&T Trainer/Evaluator, Don has taught hundreds of Connecticut Region Patrollers ski techniques and toboggan handling techniques. Don would never criticize a candidate. Rather, he would tell them they are doing an outstanding job then suggest that when they have some time to try a technique he has been playing with. He would outline the technique. Then more often than not, the candidate would come back to the next clinic and explain to Don how when they practiced the technique he suggested, they learned something very interesting about their skiing style and technique. Don would never take any credit. Don has also been teaching at American Red Cross, Winter Emergency Care and Outdoor Emergency Care refreshers for so long that his helper “Hap” has become a fixture at the refreshers. Don never makes anyone uncomfortable but he always gets the point across with a calm and reassuring approach.