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Volunteer Spotlight: Kris & Laura of Mt. Crescent Ski Patrol

Join us as we shine a light on Pottawattamie Conservation volunteers to thank them for their time and talents and recognize the difference they make in our community. Our volunteers ROCK!

​Below, take a moment to meet Pottawattamie Conservation volunteers, Kris and Laura:

Kris & Laura, directors of Mt. Crescent Ski Patrol.

How long they’ve been volunteering as Mt. Crescent Ski Patrol (MCSP) members: 

Kris has been serving as a patroller for 22 years. As a child, Kris says he basically grew up at Mt. Crescent where he was able to connect with previous owner Russ Linderman. As a self-proclaimed mischievous kid, Kris said Russ was very good to him and taught him valuable life lessons including how to respect the hill. For those reasons and more he decided to join the patrol to help Russ and give back to the ski hill and community.

Laura has been on the patrol for 15 years and was originally connected to Mt. Crescent by joining a committee focused on building the ski hill’s business plan. However, the call of the outdoors was too strong and the patrol offered a great way for her to utilize her first aid skills, so she soon found herself as part of the team.

 

What they do as patrollers:

The three Ts of Mt. Crescent Ski Patrol are: Train, Treat, and Transport. The ski patrol is the first on the hill to check safety conditions and mark or shut down dangerous areas and the last off the hill at the end of the day. As directors of the patrol, Kris and Laura are passionate about ensuring public and skier safety, providing medical care, and educating fellow ski patrollers during their annual Outdoor Emergency Care class each fall.

Mt. Crescent Ski Patrol is a resource for visitors and is able to assist with medical emergencies and injuries that may occur at Mt. Crescent, so please be sure to let them know if you need help. The Ski Patrol shack is located just north of the lodge and patrollers regularly make their rounds on the hill as well.

 

What they say makes volunteering at Mt. Crescent special:

“The ski hill is a big part of my life.”

More than anything, the people who patronize Mt. Crescent each season are what makes volunteering special for Kris and Laura. There's just something special about a place that attracts outdoorsy, kind-hearted, and adventurous types like those we see at Mt. Crescent every day! Beyond the people and “regulars” they have built relationships with over the years, both Kris and Laura also really appreciate the opportunity that Mt. Crescent Ski Patrol offers for them to educate and help the public.

 

Why is Mt. Crescent Ski Patrol important? 

Patrollers are first responders who are highly trained to assess injuries and provide medical care to visitors at Mt. Crescent Ski Area. Injuries may be minimal or quite serious, but one thing is definite: there’s always a risk of injury with outdoor recreation (especially when you add slippery snow and ice to the equation!). Because of this responsibility, each ski patrol member takes part in regular, rigorous training and maintains certification in ski skills, toboggan transport, fitness evaluations, medical support and more to ensure the highest level of care is provided to visitors.

 

How can someone join the MCSP?

The first priority for joining the patrol is having great ski skills.To inquire about joining the MCSP team, please send an email with more about you to: crescentskipatrol@gmail.com.

 

Something interesting about Kris and Laura: 

Kris started skiing at age 12 and is an avid hockey lover, playing in leagues most of his life. He is also a drummer and a guitarist and writes music on the side, too. Kris also once had the pleasure of skiing with Glen Plake who is in the National Ski Hall of Fame!

Laura is a former Outward Bound instructor who guided groups on experiences around the world that pushed their personal and physical limits. Laura also loves to go backpacking and is an avid rock climber who has climbed all over the country—most notably the Dolphin in Joshua Tree National Park. Laura also had the privilege to climb with Gary Neptune, a legendary climber! In her spare time, she also helps her parents run their shop in west Omaha, Pilcher's Indian Store.

Volunteers like Kris and Laura make a huge difference for our small organization by keeping our parks beautiful, providing a great experience for visitors, and supporting local conservation efforts that protect wildlife, pollinators, and us humans, too! Their dedication, along with all of our other amazing volunteers, allows us to reach more people about the importance of natural spaces and be good stewards of the land. We truly couldn't do it without our passionate volunteers and can't thank them enough for everything they do to support conservation work.

 

Explore Volunteer Opportunities & Apply Today

We are always looking for new faces to help us keep Pottawattamie Conservation parks beautiful and educate the public. Whether you prefer outdoors or indoors, our volunteer opportunities provide impactful ways for you to make a difference, connect with nature and support our community.

Regular volunteers have the option of setting their own schedule and are rewarded with educational opportunities and other benefits. Volunteers also receive an annual park permit and a discount on gift shop merchandise as a thank you for their efforts.

For more information on volunteer opportunities or to schedule a private volunteer project please contact Dana Kruse, Volunteer and Facilities Coordinator at (712) 545-3283 or email him at dana.kruse@pottcounty-ia.gov.

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