Best Midwest ski resorts

Life as a Local Ski Resort Employee

IMAG0364When I first started snowboarding at the age of 13, I was confident I would one day be the best snowboarder in the Midwest. That might not have happened, but this dream was definitely the start down a path that would lead me to some of the most exciting places and greatest times of my life. For my first couple of years, ski club hooked me up with a ride to Boston Mills and Brandywine here in Ohio so that I could learn how to ride. Let’s admit it, ski club was never all that cool, and when you turn 16 it’s time to make a change. 16. I was finally free with my license and my own car, but I needed a job if I was going to pay for gas – especially to make the 30 minute drive out to Brandywine. So I came up with an idea that I never knew would have so many benefits for so many years: I got a job at my local ski resort.

I had never had a real job before, and a friend knew somebody who worked in the rental department at Brandywine Ski Resort, so I used that as my in to secure a job and free season pass. At first it was intimidating. Everyone was older and seemed to be a part of a group that I had to earn my way into. My first year I struggled a little bit with the technical side of adjusting ski tensions, and also with proving to everyone that I could fit in.414662_10150564226973488_693533487_10971076_680303223_o-1 First year must have been initiation because it was all downhill after that.

As I returned my second year, I had a new confidence and a ton of new friends. The best part was, all of my friends either skied or snowboarded so we could all go out on the hill after work (did I mention I also had limited free passes to give out friends who didn’t work with me?). As time went on, new classes of kids came in to work and I became the go-to guy in the department. I was so close with everyone that work became more of a place to hang out with friends more than it was actual work. We made up games to stay entertained like screwdriver bouncing, ski pole balancing, and pencil breaking. We talked about our snowboarding trips, our favorite videos, and I didn’t mind talking to all the cute girls that came through – not to mention the ones I worked with. Even my manager seemed to have the reckless attitude that I did, which definitely made work more interesting.

I have too many great high school memories working at Brandywine to possibly share, but college was also a new and exciting chapter. I became closer with my boss on a friendship level, and I miiiight have earned a little preferential treatment. Working with the younger kids was not something I liked doing anymore, so I put together a crew of my closest Brandywine family and we all started working the late-night shift. I still work just that one 10 pm to 3 am shift to this day, and I haven’t paid to go snowboarding in Ohio since I was 16. Ohio… yeah, that’s never been the best place to ride, and some of my best stories come from the trips I’ve been on with all the people I’ve met over the years.

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