Get full access to Outside Learn, our online education hub featuring in-depth fitness, nutrition, and adventure courses and more than 2,000 instructional videos when you sign up for Outside+ Sign up for Outside+ today.
The National Brotherhood of Skiers is everywhere. With 50 member clubs and thousands of skiers across the country, the coalition of black skiers represents one of the broadest groups of skiers in the country from the Ski Jammers out of Houston, to Jazz Matazz in New Orleans, Sno Gophers in Chicago, Four Seasons West in L.A., Jim Dandy in Detroit, to the South Florida Ski Club.
Every year since 1973, when 13 black ski clubs from across the country got together in Aspen for what was then called “A Happening,” the National Brotherhood of Skiers unites for a week under a shared mission: to identify, develop, and support athletes of color who will win Olympic and international winter sports competitions and to increase participation in winter sports.
And a side goal: to have fun. If the segment of the annual Summit in Warren Miller’s latest film Daymaker is any indication, NBS has that one on lock. We caught up with Deanna Carroll of Missouri’s Show Me Skiers about why their mission is so important.
When was Show Me Skiers founded?
The Show Me Skiers ski club was founded in the 1970s. The name was created because Missouri is the Show Me State.
How many members are in the club?
Currently, the club has 40 members. We’ve had as many as 80 in the past. We are made up of a wide range of ages from as young as 5 up to members in their 70s.
Where do you typically ski?
We typically ski at Hidden Valley in Missouri or Sundown Mountain in Iowa. The group also attends the National Brotherhood of Skiers’ national meeting each year.
What’s the purpose of your club — why is it important?
The purpose of our club is to provide opportunities for our members and guests to experience the sport of skiing. Each year, our trip to Sundown Mountain in Iowa allows us the opportunity to introduce new people to the sport of skiing. We also strive to support the mission of NBS by recruiting young student-athletes to become members and [prepare] them to become involved in skiing or snowboarding at a higher level.
What’s the best part of the NBS Summit?
The NBS Summit is networking with a purpose. It is an opportunity to bring all the clubs together in one place to enjoy time on the mountain together. We also get to experience a wide variety of ski resorts as a group all while raising funds to support the NBS mission. The week is full of opportunities to learn and grow our skills on the mountain while also having the chance to network and have a good time together in the evenings at social events.
Why is more recognition and representation of black skiers in ski and outdoor culture important?
It’s important to have the imagery and examples shown to our younger generations so they will know that skiing and snowsports are inclusive and available as an option to everyone. We hope that it will spark an interest in people of color to see others that look like them enjoying skiing. With that interest, we hope to bring more skiers of all diverse backgrounds to the mountain and therefore increase the number that will also ultimately compete nationally in the snow sports arena.
The Summit looks like a big dance party, too. Which NBS club dances the best?
Show Me Skiers of course!