Since 1938, the nonprofit National Ski Patrol has dedicated itself to – and has become the preeminent authority on – serving the public and outdoor recreation industry by providing education and credentialing to emergency care and safety services providers.

NSP’s Vision is to be recognized as the premier provider of training and education programs for emergency rescuers who serve the outdoor recreation community.

The National Ski Patrol is a member-driven professional organization of registered ski patrols, patrollers and others, both paid and volunteer. The NSP supports its members through credentialed education and training in leadership, outdoor emergency care, safety and transportation services, which enables members to serve the community in the safe enjoyment of outdoor recreation.

The National Ski Patrol (NSP), founded in 1938, has followed its creed of “Service and Safety” since the establishment of skiing as a popular sport in the United States. As snowsports and guest services at areas have evolved over the years, so has the NSP, from a service organization to a modern-day professional education association. Other snowsports such as snowboarding, tubing, and snow-skating introduced new equipment and new terrain, which in turn required developing and teaching new safety and emergency care training methods. Increased access to the backcountry, beyond ski area boundaries, has also meant new training regimens for member of the NSP.

Today the organization is composed of more than 26,000 members serving over 600 patrols. Theseindividuals include alpine, nordic and auxiliary patrollers who are paid or who volunteer their time throughout the United States and at certain military areas in Europe. The organization’s members are engaged in the promotion of safety programs across the outdoor recreation community. NSP members work on behalf of local ski and snowboard areas to improve the overall snowsports experience for outdoor recreationists. The National Ski Patrol has worked closely with other countries in outdoor emergency care education and has assisted in establishing patrol associations in Canada, Korea, New Zealand, Israel, Turkey, Argentina, and Chile as well as the Victorian Rescue Service in Australia.

The National Ski Patrol is a nonprofit organization, deriving its primary financial support from membership dues, donations, user fees, and corporate sponsorships. The national office is located in Lakewood, Colorado, and is staffed with full-time employees to handle administrative duties.

The NSP was organized and directed by Charles Minot “Minnie” Dole as a committee of the National Ski Association (now the United States Ski Association). Through his efforts as the first national director of the NSP, the organization spread its effects and esprit de corps across the nation. Upon his retirement in 1950, Dole had built the NSP into an organization of 4,000 members serving 300 ski patrols. During World War II, Dole was responsible for the establishment of the famed 10th Mountain Division of the US Army. Applicants for this remarkable military unit, which saw much of its fighting activity in Italy, were screened by the NSP. Many individuals who were responsible for the establishment of many ski areas in the United States served in the 10th Mountain Division and have contributed significantly to the sport.

Thanks to this distinguished legacy of altruistic service, the National Ski Patrol was recognized with a federal charter by the United States Congress in 1980. This is a coveted endorsement that only a few other American institutions have earned, including the American Red Cross, the YMCA, and the Boy Scouts. The federal charter stipulates that the NSP continue to promote safety and health in skiing and other outdoor winter recreational activities. Accordingly, the NSP annually reports directly to Congress.

1963 was the first year that the Ski Patrol was active at Boyne Highlands. It was organized under the direction of the National Ski Patrol. Currently the Boyne Highlands Ski Patrol has approximately 75 active patrollers and approximately 50 hosts. We are essentially comprised of a volunteer group of individuals from all walks of life coming mostly from Michigan, however, we also have members from Ohio, Indiana and Illinois.

Boyne patrollers share a common bond with their love for skiing and patrolling, but come from diverse backgrounds such as:  architects, building contractors, business owners, EMTs, engineers, fire fighters, lawyers, mechanics, stock brokers, salespeople, teachers, tool and die workers, truck drivers and physicians. All have undergone rigorous training in Outdoor Emergency Care first aid treatment as well as skiing and toboggan handling skills.

The Boyne Highlands Ski Patrol is always looking for new patrollers and/or hosts. If you are interested in finding out more about our Ski Patrol please contact our Patrol Director Mike Longfellow-Jones or our Assistant Patrol Director Jeff Cripps.