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Pine Mountain renews partnership with YMCA for ski school program

IRON MOUNTAIN, Mich. (WLUC) – Learning to enjoy winter early in life is an integral part of living in UP

Pine Mountain Ski Resort instructors teach kids how to turn, stop and accelerate at the resort’s ski school. Pine Mountain has partnered with the Northern Lights YMCA to teach young Yoopers how to enjoy the snow in the winter.

“Here is something in their backyard. It’s a great activity that gets them outside, and it’s a lifelong skill,” said Pine Mountain Ski School Principal Amy Johnson-Bracket.

This is the 8th year that the two groups have worked together. The program did not take place last year due to COVID-19.

YMCA CEO Jonathan Ringel says the Y has a strong community reach, which helps attract a lot of programs like this.

“Over 3,000 young people have signed up for programs at the YMCA in Dickinson alone. We had even more for youth programs at our partner site Y in Delta County,” Ringel said.

The Y also offered scholarship opportunities to those in need. Johnson-Bracket says the ski program is full with 40 skiers and 10 snowboarders. This is the first year that she has been able to offer snowboard lessons.

“We wanted to be able to do it, but we didn’t have enough instructors. This year we’re doing it, and I’m very excited about it,” Johnson-Bracket said.

The program is aimed at beginners to intermediate levels. 17 instructors in total will divide the class into small groups.

“We go through some basic skills, some basic drills, and then we can break them down more appropriately,” Johnson-Bracket said.

Johnson-Bracket says students will be able to apply the lessons to skiing anywhere in the world and make new friends on the slopes along the way.

The program starts on Sunday and will run for five weeks until March 6.

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