It's almost ski season.  You're new to the sport and, maybe, new to the Detroit area. Unsure of where to go and friends aren't into snow sports. What do you do?

Think ski club.

The Metropolitan Detroit Ski Club (MDSC) has clubs not only from southern Michigan, but Indiana, Ohio and even Ontario.

Many Midwestern clubs were originally formed to provide economical commercial ski trips, including transportation and lodging for members, which are usually run by club volunteers.

"We've been around for 56 years as the Metropolitan Detroit Ski Council with a membership of around 2,000 to 2,500 people in 26 individual clubs," MDSC past president Janet Kangas told OnTheSnow. "Most of our clubs are active year-round with their own agendas. I'm not sure we always provide the most economic means for a trip. An individual might be able to go for less, but our trips are all inclusive. Everything is normally covered. The details are taken care of, and you enjoy the trip.

"For most of us, it's the camaraderie of friends that we've skied with for years. That's what makes our trips special, and new members are made to feel welcome right away," she added.

Clubs also can help in the learning curve if you're new to skiing or snowboarding. Some clubs sponsor seminars on buying equipment, and others offer instructional programs.

The Toledo Ski Club, a member of the MDSC, owns a home near Boyne Mountain where members learn how to work on their own skis the night before a Council race.

An advantage is the number of trips you're eligible for if your club is a member of a larger council. Members have first dibs on their own club's trips, but if the trip doesn't fill, it's often opened to the rest of the clubs in the council.

Clubs offer weekend trips to areas like Boyne Highlands, Crystal Mountain, Shanty Creek and Indianhead in Michigan. Other nearby areas outside the Wolverine State includes Blue Mountain in Ontario, Holiday Valley in New York, and Seven Springs in Pennsylvania. Week long trips can go around the world.

Any newcomer should check into local ski clubs. They are a great, non-threatening way to meet like-minded individuals you can have fun with year-round. Most clubs offer activities all year long.

Follow the link below to check out clubs in the MDSC.

More information