Young Adult Patroller (YAP)
The YAP Program
The Young Adult Program is open to patrollers (including candidate patrollers) between the ages of 15 and 18. During the ski/snowboard season, we hold clinics throughout the region, and sometimes we visit other nearby regions. These are fun, yet focused clinics to help young patrollers hone their skills and prepare them for the YAP Seminar in March. The clinics are a great opportunity for these patrollers to meet new patrollers at other areas, share ideas and techniques and show off a little bit.
The annual YAP Seminar the culmination of the season's training. It is one of the more rewarding programs one can get involved in with patrolling. For one weekend, these amazing youths converge on a ski area in the Eastern Division. Generally it is a trip up north, but we occasionally travel west to New York. Here they showcase their skills and, well, act like kids. They demonstrate amazing maturity, leading complex, Senior-level OEC scenarios and ski/board on Senior-level terrain. It is amazing to watch them as they think outside the box to successfully solve the puzzles and treat and transport their injured patients.
The days are long and rigorous. Waking up for 7am breakfast, being dispatched to a mass casualty, then grabbing the handles of a toboggan and running outside the handles, and on tail rope down a steep, icy, bump run, demonstrating their skiing or riding skill in the gnarliest terrain the mountain has to offer. This is not for everyone, that's why YAPs have the option of enrolling in the competitive program, or the more relaxed clinic track.
There is a break in the action for a mountain tour where the YAPs can just have fun and free ski with their new friends. Each night, there is a huge buffet dinner, then fun activities, great for getting to know each other as peers and friends. The days wrap up at about 10pm, though everyone is running on adrenaline as they wind down for bed.
Making friends and networking is a natural by-product of the YAP weekend. The relationships made at the event are life-long and fulfilling. There are always lots of hugs as everyone departs for home. They will take many newly acquired skills back to their home mountain to share and improve the quality of their patrols. These young adults are often the work horses of their patrols, harnessing their energy, enthusiasm and skills to get the work done.
They are our future. They are our future leaders.