1945 - The war was over, and all over the country young people were putting interrupted lives back together and enjoying the company of others who loved to get out and enjoy the things that made life worthwhile. In New England, that meant skiing! The ski industry was growing up with them, and skiing outings quickly morphed into ski clubs.
1946 - In Hartford, Connecticut, a group of like-minded snow enthusiasts formed a ski club of their own, and called it the Mountain Laurel Skiers, in honor of the Connecticut state flower. The friendships they enjoyed during their early weekly bus trips from Hartford to the ski slopes in Massachusetts and Vermont were the beginning of what has grown today into the strong, vibrant and active organization that we have become.
Through the late forties and fifties there were weekly rolling bus parties to the slopes (remember, this was before there was I-91). There were some long and rousing trips up and back with great skiing in between.
The first season for the newly formed club was 1946-47. As the years went by, strong friendships (and some romances) were formed, families founded, and newer generations introduced to Winter sports that now includes cross country skiing, snow shoeing and snowboarding. Some members became PSIA & ASIA certified instructors, offering fellow members opportunities of all ski levels lessons to develop their technique.
1946 – 1970 - Mountain Laurel Skiers became known for their competitive spirit, engaging in friendly racing competitions with other nearby ski clubs. From this core group of clubs, the Connecticut Ski Council was formed, and now includes 43 clubs in and around Connecticut. Collectively, we use the buying power of the Council to gain deep discounts in skiing for the 30,000 members of these clubs.
Over the years, the Club made several attempts to either buy or lease a winter property that could serve as a seasonal Lodge for the Members, and several properties were leased during that time.
1980 – A group of four Mountain Laurel Skiers members found what they thought would be the ideal winter home for the club. But owning a lodge was not something the membership wanted to do at the time. So … they bought the property themselves and renovated it to lease to the club during the Winter months. This 38 bed Lodge in Proctorsville, Vermont served us well and created a lot of fond memories during the winter months until 2013, when we bought our current lodge.
During this time, Mountain Laurel Skiers grew to over 400 members.
Continuing in the vein of its early founders the club continued to stay active and engaged in outdoor (and indoor) fun. We developed a year-round schedule of sport and social activities that included hiking, partying, biking, kayaking, partying, trips out West and to Europe, picnics and…. oh – partying.
2011 – It became increasingly apparent that the club had outgrown our Proctorsville location, and a group of members began to explore other properties that could serve as a year-round home in the Ludlow area.
2013 – Our ideal property turned out to be a bank owned, abandoned, 150-year-old former bed and breakfast in Ludlow, Vermont formerly known as ‘The Jewell Brook Inn’. Nothing says more about the Mountain Laurel Skiers than the time, treasure and effort by so many members in making this a truly welcoming, cozy and safe Vermont home for members and their guests.
2020 – Our journey continues with year-round fun and great times for all.
We enjoy staying in touch with one of the most informative websites that you will ever see, weekly activity updates on Sundays through the Mt. Laurel Squall Membership e-blast, a safe and comfortable home in Vermont, a new Board of Directors and just over 500 members!
We are currently monitoring re-opening safely regulations for both the states of Connecticut and Vermont as we all deal with the Corvid 19 pandemic. We all look forward to the time in the (hopefully) not too distant future when we can once again resume our activities in both states.
We are extremely fortunate to have a large core of active Members who know that having a good time in the great outdoors requires a certain amount of teamwork. We have concluded elections for Officers and Board and have a strong leadership team in place for the 2020 / 2021 season.
The Lodge, Finance and Membership Committees are fully staffed, meet regularly and have provided the Membership with frequent updates on the status of the condition of the Lodge (excellent) and the over-all financial status (also excellent) of our Club.
This Fall, we enter our 75th year as a club, and our 7th year in the lodge in Ludlow. Mt Laurel’s dedication to making Winter sports more affordable for our Membership is reflected in the annual Club trips, Lodge rates and discounted activity pricing that we enjoy year-round.
If you think that you might enjoy being a Member of the Mt. Laurel Skiers and want to share the activities and camaraderie that we enjoy, please take the opportunity to explore our website.
Better yet, we invite you to introduce yourself at a Club meeting.
As we follow the Corvid 19 guidelines set by the state of Connecticut, we will once again plan on meeting twice monthly at 7:30 pm on Wednesday evenings at the Back 9 restaurant at the Stanley Golf Club in New Britain when we are able.
Resumption of our meeting and activity schedule will be promptly posted on our website
Whether your interest is snow sports, hiking, biking, traveling or just socializing, we look forward to meeting you!
Additional History Information