Ski Trip Blues


The gusty wind whipped the air outside as the buzz of excited students waiting for the final call to board the bus filled the air. The ski trip to Okemo Mountain Resort in Ludlow, VT, February 1-3, 2013, was about to start. After Mitchell Ravitz, the trip organizer, checked the students’ bags and reminded them of the rules and the procedures to follow upon arrival, 81 students and eight adults boarded the buses and settled down for the long ride.

This year marked the 10th year of the annual DMAE Ski Trip, but this year would be remembered differently due to student misconduct on the last day. Until that day, however, the trip was business as usual.

On the six-hour drive, students watched movies, stopped to eat and stretch, and then poured out of the bus into the crisp mountain air when they reached the hotel, the Red Roof Inn this year. Students checked in, dropped off gear in their rooms, and then collected their ski lift tickets and instructions for the next day before heading off to snack and sleep.

The first day on the slope was superb. Some students were avid skiers or riders while others were new to the snow sports. Everyone had fun, whether on the steep blue or black diamond descents or the gentle “bunny hills” of Okemo.

“I fell all the time,” remarked senior Brian Kouassi, who was on the slopes for the first time. “But, it was really fun; it exceeded my expectations.”

Okemo consists of 119 trails. There are 19 lifts that allow a maximum of 33,450 persons to be lifted per hour, and there is one vertical drop of an extraordinary 2,200 feet, the steepest in Vermont.

Students loved taking a break at The Waffle Cabin for a quick bite. At the Waffle Cabin, which has even been featured on the Food Network, students enjoyed freshly made Belgian waffles, caramelized and if preferred, dipped in hot fudge.

“Every bite tasted like an angel flew into my mouth” sophomore Joseph Dela Cruz said. “They were glazed with sugar and chocolate and tasted heavenly.”

Surprisingly, students did not complain of any muscle aches after the first day on the slopes, but they did pack in the food at the Ponderosa Steakhouse with an all-you-can-eat buffet.

The next day, many students pushed themselves to try harder slopes. Building on their experiences from the day before, many agreed that the second day was more fun overall because the preliminary falling was avoided.

“The second day was much better than the first day because I actually got to go on the harder slopes” sophomore Amanda Latouche said. “The first day was sort of a warm up, because I hadn’t skied in a while.”

According to Mr. Ravitz, the trip was the biggest turnout ever. He was glad to provide students with the opportunity to have fun and try something new.

“The Ski Trip is more than exercise and the outdoors; students get to ski and ride with the adults and they get to see each other in a different light,” Mr. Ravitz commented.

However, the big turnout may also be why students took unacceptable liberties. On the second night approximately six students broke their contract putting the Ski Trip at jeopardy for next year. The Englewood Board of Education considered the students’ behavior inappropriate, and Superintendent Donald Carlisle stated that he was considering the cancellation of all remaining overnight trips.

“We don’t know if there will be another trip,” Mr. Ravitz said, “but I’m definitely hoping for one.”