Camelback Mt. Resort helps handicapped through new SkiDUCKS program | Professional | -- Your State. Your News.

May 27th
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Camelback Mt. Resort helps handicapped through new SkiDUCKS program

adaptiveSnowbaord020112_optBY BOB WILLIAMS

TANNERSVILLE, Pa. – The Ducks have come to Camelback. SkiDUCKS, that is.

Camelback Mountain Resort here in the Pocono Mountains has partnered with a new, grassroots non-profit organization dedicated to enriching the lives of disabled and underprivileged children by introducing them to skiing and snowboarding. The name of the new group is Skiing and Snowboarding for Disabled and Under Privileged Children and Older Kids – Ski DUCKS, for short.

“This opportunity may give a child a career path, or just give him or her a chance to learn something new and build their confidence,” says Charlie Knopp, vice president of base operations here at Camelback. “There is no doubt that this group can change a child’s path in life.”

Here’s the story behind Camelback’s relationship with SkiDUCKS.

Seems that Tony Keller, now the director of Snowsports School here at Camelback, started skiing at the age of 12 with a group, similar to the SkiDUCKS in Florida, where he was raised. He grew up with his brother and single mother, who worked to give the boys any opportunities available to enrich their lives. skiing_opt

One day, Tony, being the curious teen that he was, heard kids playing through the woods in his backyard and had to find out what was going on. He ran through the woods toward the kids laughing to find a group playing “parking lot hockey” in a church parking lot. He stood and watched them, hoping they would ask him to join in. But they didn’t. His smile caught their attention, and eventually they invited him to join the game. After the game, they invited him into the church for their youth group meeting. Again, his smile won the group over – and he never turned back.

This is the third season for the SkiDUCKS organization and the first season for the Camelback/SkiDUCKS partnership. With the support of Camelback and other participating resorts in eight other states, SkiDUCKS’ goal is to host 1,000 youth for more than 2,000 visits this season.


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