To Enjoy Winter – Go Outside & Play With Friends


By Sue Freeman

Rochester sits in the snow belt. We get pelted by lake effect snow – dumping on average, 100 inches of snow per year. There are two strategies you can adopt. One is to hole up and only move between your heated house, heated car, and heated office on a daily basis as necessary. Some time within the six months of winter you’re likely to feel the creep of a general malaise and restlessness called cabin fever. Another option is to go outside and play.

One group that really knows how to play outside in winter is the Rochester Nordic Ski Club (www.rochesternordic.org). They meet the first Thursday of each month at 7 PM, at Carmen Clark Lodge in Brighton Town Park and enjoy an educational or entertaining program. Visitors are warmly welcomed. But, it’s the outdoors adventures of this group that really shine through the white-out of winter.

They offer cross-county ski outings – both day trips close to home and multi-day trips far afield, with discounted group rates. Sure you can go out skiing by yourself, but it’s much more fun with a small group of like minded folks. This is a club for recreational skiers. If you’re new to skiing, or just want to improve your skills, they offer lessons by experienced skiers.

This club gives back too –by providing community outreach opportunities. For instance, for several years, through the Nordic Ski Club, I helped with the Winter Para-Olympics. We fit snowshoes over the boots of challenged kids and let them race across the snow. It was a feeling of pure joy as they crossed the finish line and fell into our arms for a warm hug, just brimming from ear to ear with big smiles, proud of their accomplishment. At the Mendon Ponds Winter Festival this club lends equipment to families to allow them to try the sport.

With gas at a premium, the last thing you want to do is drive to a trailhead and find there’s not enough snow to ski or snowshoe. This club offers an email list for updates on the most current snow conditions. So, not only will you know where to go with the maps they provide, or the trips they lead, but you’ll be assured of a good snowy time once you get there.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a cross-country ski enthusiast who has recently moved to the area, someone who is thinking about trying the sport, someone who is a novice and wants to be more active, or just someone who enjoys attending meetings with great programs. All are welcomed to join the camaraderie of the Rochester Nordic Ski Club. It’s a sure fire cure for cabin fever.



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