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Langlade County News

Kettlebowl Seeking to Increase Pool of Weekend Volunteers

December 1, 2014

Kettlebowl Volunteers at Kettlebowl ski hill are ramping up for the 2014-15 season, and they’re looking for a few fresh faces to help.

The Langlade County Ski Club, which operates the popular family fun spot northeast of Antigo, will hold a volunteer recruitment meeting on Thursday at 5:30 p.m. at the Antigo Public Library. The purpose will be to add to the list of Kettlebowl faithful interested in spending a few hours on one or two weekends during the winter season helping out at the facility.

“Right now, we have had the same people there every Saturday and Sunday, and we need some new faces willing to put in a few hours here and there,” Gordie Schofield, who has been active at Kettlebowl for decades, said. “It’s time for some new blood.”

Those attending the session will learn about the hill and the various volunteer opportunities, which range from running the concession stand and selling tow tickets to getting the chalet ready before the skiers arrived, and cleaned up after they depart.

“Part of the fun of the place is all the camaraderie,” Schofield said. “People really get to know one another out there. It’s a good group.”

Kettlebowl offers family skiing and snowboarding at incredibly affordable prices, charging only $5 per day for adults, $3 for ages 13 to 18, and $2 for children six to 12. The youngest can ski free.

Schofield said the volunteer help is key to keeping those prices low, but the group, although extremely dedicated, is dwindling a bit and deserves a bit of a break now and again.

“Right now, we are never really sure who will show up,” he said, explaining that having a deeper pool of volunteers will ease in scheduling and improve the entire process.

With no snow-making equipment except Mother Nature, Kettlebowl is dependent on weather conditions for its operations. It generally opens for the Christmas school recess, and then operates on weekends and an occasional Friday, again depending on the school schedule, as long as the snow lasts.

“It gives people up here a very inexpensive place to ski and snowboard,” Schofield said. “This is just a gem of a facility, a very good resource for the county at a very reasonable price.”

Last season, Kettlebowl was open 24 days, with 4,000 skiers and snowboarders hitting the slopes. One day drew 286 enthusiasts while even the worst-attended day saw 60 hearty souls on the slopes.

“You see generations of families out there,” Schofield said. “We have grandparents teaching their grandkids how to ski and we always get feedback from people who come back and say they skied here 25, 30, even 40 years ago.”

Kettlebowl also offers opportunities for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and relaxing in the chalet or around the fire pit enjoying a hot chocolate and barbecue and visiting with friends.

“It’s a fun place to be,” Schofield stressed.

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