Respect

Good kids doing good work

Things are changing rapidly in this world. Some for the good and some no so good. One of them is respect. Respect for people, respect for property and respect for the environment in which we live and play. Take our local ski area for instance. Most of us love to be in the mountains and love it when the slopes are blanketed in snow and the sun is shining brightly. We understand what it takes to maintain that opportunity both with the management of the ski area and what they do for us, and also with all of us who ski there. We all have a responsibility to respect the area and keep it clean so that we all can enjoy the pristine, cold crisp winter days of skiing.

That is why when I boarded the chair lift this weekend, I was disheartened and downright infuriated to see beer cans and beverage cans carelessly strewn below the lift and lying on the ground. I thought to myself, ” What kind of person drinks a beer in the chair lift and then just carelessly, and with no respect, tosses it to the ground?” People with no respect who are ignorant of all that we love about the outdoors. Enter Rocco Lorence, Ali Bruno, Elise Wadas, Juliana and Mariella Contini to the rescue- pictured in the photo above. These kids were raised right and appreciate the opportunities given to them every weekend at Seven Springs Mountain Resort.

It touched a nerve with Juliana, Mariella and Ali when they saw the garbage lying under the North Face lift and they decided to do something about it. Along with the other kids in their WPRC posse, they got garbage bags from the Contini household and began to ski down under the lift and pick up all the eyesore beer cans and eventually place them in the resort garbage collection bins. Not only were they an example to all the other kids in the local ski programs, but people in the lifts saw them and marveled at the consideration of these young kids who no doubt were taught to respect all that has been given to them. The conversation spurred comments on social media and also started a movement among the ski school. Lou Marshall and Eric Tolbert and their ski instructor groups picked other lifts and began the same process of cleanup. The kids started a movement and the resort also noticed with a nice reward for the kids and the ski school members who participated.

I don’t know about you, but I thought it was pretty cool that these good kids started to make people think about litter. About how it scars the places that we love. Sure, the area will no doubt put up receptacles and maybe signs to try to encourage people to discard their garbage in the proper container. But the tougher job is to change the mindset of people who just don’t give a damn. Maybe if we see that behavior taking place, we all can join together to make a comment to that person or persons and ask why they don’t use the proper disposal containers? Trying to change behavior doesn’t need to be confrontational but maybe positioned as a question to make the person think about what they are doing. It might change the behavior- one person at a time. There will be some people who just don’t care, but like the movement that we saw this weekend, maybe some kids and their respect for the mountain will change behavior- one violator at a time.

If nothing else, I tip my helmet to Lou and Eric and their teams. And I also tip my helmet to Rocco, Ali, Elise, Juliana and Mariella and their parents who raised them right and gave us all something to think about. Thanks for reading and thank the kids if you see them.

Scenic photos courtesy of Rhonda West.

17 thoughts on “Respect

  1. Bill Day says:

    Amen Pat, we have to many people with a entitlement mentality! I see so many non- handicap people using the handicap parking spaces. My mom is 91 and wouldn’t be caught dead using one of those spots! She has to much pride, the greatest generation! It is disturbing what the country is becoming!!

  2. Bill Day says:

    Amen Pat, we have to many people with a entitlement mentality! I see so many non- handicap people using the handicap parking spaces. My mom is 91 and wouldn’t be caught dead using one of those spots! She has to much pride, the greatest generation! It is disturbing what the country is becoming!!

  3. Lynne H says:

    Good work by those kids and others that have cleaned up our slopes. Changing the mindset of those guilty is a huge task.

  4. skimeister says:

    Pat, thanks for highlighting this. These kids are great, they deserve a hearty thank you from all of us. I hope their example rubs off on others, especially those who litter.

  5. Michael McCloskey says:

    Excellent. Not sure if you saw one of my comments on FB. I did witness someone dropping a can over at HV. I calmed down by the time I got off of the lift and did not say anything. Now that I have thought it over I have come up with what I will say next time. “Excuse me, I’m sure you just dropped that can by accident and you are going to ski down and pick it up”

  6. jh says:

    ….great kids paying forward by keeping the mountain cleaner for all of us to enjoy. Obviously these young rippers come from good parents and they belong to a great organization (WPRC). Regardless of how fast these kids are on race day, most may never stand on a podium…however, they will all develop a love and respect for winter and the mountains. No matter where life takes them, in their own way, they will kindly share this infection for sliding on snow with others…just like you do Pat!

  7. Meg Alarcon says:

    Great article! Not to be cliche, but, … ‘Be the change you want to see in the world’ comes to mind.

  8. Joel Rosenbaum says:

    This is a great story. I came across it after cross-checking my experience yesterday. I wanted to see if my experience (litter, out of control drinking, aggressive riders threatening younger/vulnerable ones) matched what others had seen or if it was just a one-off. Unfortunately, it seems to be a persistent issue. I have to report that there were more beer cans under the lift lines, along the runs, etc. than I’ve ever seen in my 500+ days of skiing. And that was just a symptom of the place, the rot runs way deeper. Suffice to say I won’t be coming back.

    Until management fixes the source of the problem no number of good deeds can correct it.

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