Dear NENSA Members and Community,
As we are being whiplashed to change our routines and way of life during this global crisis, I hope you are staying safe at home and keeping your health. Or if you are in the front lines of providing medical care and essential services, a heartfelt and grateful thank you for all that you are doing.
Yesterday, like many states, Vermont Governor Phil Scott instituted a stringent Stay Home/Stay Safe order with only essential businesses like grocery stores and gas stations to be open. My hometown of Stowe, usually bustling with locals and tourists alike enjoying the finale of spring skiing is eerily quiet. Restaurants are in high gear to ramp up take-out, retail stores are closed and/or upping online sales and service. Though there is no lawful penalty for leaving your home, the governor stated people are only allowed out for procuring groceries, medications, gas AND for outdoor health pursuits like walking and CROSS COUNTRY SKIING.
The governor endorsed what is NENSA’s mission: to sustain a vital and active cross-country skiing community throughout New England. And that is what we want to keep on doing. With the bombardment of 24/7 negative and anxiety-provoking news, the hour or so each day when I get outside is a joyful and calming respite. I encounter other people sharing that pursuit and socially connect from a respectful 6 feet away.
So how does NENSA plan ahead for the next year with so much uncertainty? Well we are still making plans to offer our programs and events but with full awareness that we need to be nimble and ready to adapt to changes both at home, nationally, and at the global level. In the coming weeks, the staff will be creating fun challenges and video messages for the NENSA community to engage in. And as with every non-profit: membership dues, fundraising and sponsorships are how the organization survives, so there will be communications asking you to renew your membership and to participate in our annual fund drive.
Why NENSA? The year 2020 marks our 25th anniversary since first incorporating in 1995. The growth, influence and impact the organization has had over the past two and half decades is remarkable: from the success of developing Olympians, Super Tour racers, and college standouts to nurturing beginning skiers to overseeing the popular Citizen and Marathon series.
NENSA for me is hope for the future when I see BKLers mature into amazing adults with solid core values. NENSA for me is the relationships I have developed with mentors and heroes. NENSA for me is the conduit that I can use to provide what I have learned to teach others. NENSA for me is the privilege of working with our supremely creative and smart staff people. NENSA for me provides incentive to do the best I can with my ski interests because there are other people there to share commitment and support. As we commemorate the past 25 years, let us celebrate what the pursuit of cross country skiing means to all of us.
Carol Hillman Van Dyke
NENSA Board President