WARREN – They don’t hibernate in the summer. When the snow melts, members of the Warren Ski Club, celebrating its 65th anniversary, pedal bikes, paddle kayaks, hike trails and fill plates at picnics and barbecues.
“We are active all year round to keep physically fit,” said club chairman Mark Gorse of Warren. “We are a community of people who share the same interests, with skiing on snow as a central objective.”
The organization claims to have something for everyone, skiers and non-skiers. It’s about going to new places, meeting new people and trying new things, Gorse said.
In addition to ski weekends at local resorts, the club offered week-long trips to Colorado, Alaska and Utah, as well as trips to the slopes in Italy, Switzerland, France and Canada. .
When it’s time to put away the boots and poles, the club hosts spring and fall dinner parties on Milton Lake. offers a summer pig roast with optional overnight camping; gathers in a pub of the month for parties; organizes weekly bike rides; makes kayak trips; Mill Creek MetroParks hikes and other trails; and shows up at impromptu events and get-togethers.
Last fall, members took a bus trip to Salt Fork State Park in southern Ohio, where they hiked, visited local wineries and participated in a tasting. of wines.
“We’ve been traveling the world since 1965,” Gorse said.
The Warren Ski Club was founded by Mike Lester, who owned a ski shop called Lester’s Ski Chalet in Niles. He got together with other local ski enthusiasts and they began to call themselves the Warren Ski Club, according to club historians. One of the first members was Richard Alberini, and the group held their monthly meetings in his restaurant.
Over the years, the club has grown in membership and activities, and has also experienced periods of decline. In the 1970s, there were about 200 members and four bus trips a year to a ski destination in the West.
In the 1980s the club continued with two local bus trips as westward travel increased. In the 1990s, the members became interested in ski racing and founded the Black Sheep racing team. The club continued to grow and began traveling to European destinations.
In 2000, the club peaked at 700 members and offered a New Year’s ski trip that required five buses. Since then, club membership has begun to decline, but travel has continued both locally and abroad, according to club records.
Today there are 130 members and the group is growing again. Monthly meetings are held at Giorgio’s Ristorante in Niles on the first Tuesday of each month to discuss ski trips and club activities.
Cortland’s Terry Shifflet said she and her husband joined the club six years ago. “You can always find someone to do something with. The club opens up many opportunities to make new friends and try new things.
She retired from Trumbull Career and Technical Center and then Eastern Gateway Community College, where she was involved in recruiting. The Shifflets’ social life revolved around the pursuits of their two children, and as the children grew up and moved out, she and her husband realized they needed to get out and make new friends.
Shifflet said his favorite sport is downhill skiing and they joined the club on some annual trips out west.
“There’s plenty of time to be alone as well as time to spend with other club members,” she said. “You can always find someone who shares the same interests by joining a club.”
She said that while “the club offers activities that attract a large crowd, there are also activities like kayaking, which provide a smaller group experience.”
Gorse said he was introduced to snow skiing at age 12 when his brother took him to a ski resort in Cockaigne, New York. He broke a leg. However, he did not give up.
“I am passionate about skiing. It’s my favorite sport,” he said. “Being in the West is a treat when you are in the mountains and the snow conditions are usually better. It also offers more challenging terrain.
So that beginners are not scared away, Gorse points out that in each ski area there are ski slopes offering different levels of difficulty and classified by a universal system recognized throughout the world.
The Warren Ski Club wants to be recognized as an excellent ski club that promotes travel, activity and fun in all four seasons, he said. For more information, go to www.warrenskiclub.org or visit the clug on Facebook.
The Warren Ski Club will celebrate its 65th anniversary with a social gathering Sept. 24 at the Lake Milton Yacht Club.
For more information on club activities, snow or sun, visit www.warrenskiclub.org or the Warren Ski Club page on Facebook. The annual membership fee is $25.