NJ Partnership Wins National Marketing Award: Lakeland Hills YMCA Teams Up with Mountain Creek Resort and Mental Health Association
Morris County, NJ - When Lakeland Hills Family YMCA’s Youth Resiliency Series began in October 2022 it had no idea one of its main components would turn into an award-winning initiative. On May 10, 2023 Mountain Creek Resort, in partnership with the Lakeland Hills YMCA and Mental Health Association of Essex and Morris, received the “Mountains Are For Everyone” Award from the National Ski Areas Association.
The NSAA Marketing Awards are presented annually to ski resorts across the country for their successful sales and marketing programs that help grow the sports of skiing and snowboarding. These awards are designed to benefit the entire industry by raising overall marketing standards and promoting sustained growth of the industry through national recognition of the best in ski area marketing campaigns.
Award finalists were recognized and the winners announced at NSAA's 2023 National Convention & Tradeshow on May 10. “Mountains Are For Everyone” is a new award which recognizes the ski area or resort group that has made inclusion a priority for guests and/or staff. These events, campaigns, or programs incorporate authentic representation and messaging that make clear that mountains are for everyone. Entries are evaluated on their creativity, problem-solving, the existence of meaningful education and action, and overall effectiveness at making all who wish to participate in snow sports feel welcome.
The award recognizes the Ys inclusive program called “GRIT ‘n Snow” with “GRIT” an acronym for Growing Resiliency In Time. The program kicked off in early December as children learned how to snowboard or ski with Mountain Creek professionals using Burton® gear in the Ys main gymnasium before heading to the slopes at Mountain Creek Resort to learn on the snow. With a combination of classroom learning and sports training, students in Grades 3-8 immersed themselves in this 3-month, 8-session experience. While learning how to shred the slopes they also learned lifelong social and emotional skills.
After all the learning in the classroom, participants took three trips to the slopes at Mountain Creek. Sessions were held even in the frigid weather New Jersey experienced in January 2023. GRIT culminated in February with a fun family dinner where the participants and their families joined the Mountain Creek team to celebrate their skills, both on and off the slopes, that they learned through the GRIT ‘n Snow experience.
The good news just keeps getting better: GRIT ‘n Snow will be back again later this year. Additionally, Lakeland Hills YMCA is holding a “Snowboards in the Summer” Mini Camp on July 11, 18, and 25 as part of their Summer Youth Resilience Program. Partnering once again with Mental Health Association and Mountain Creek’s sister indoor facility Big SNOW American Dream, this time the adventure-based curriculum includes games and activities at the Y along with mental-health group engagement in the morning. This is followed by two hours of slope time on the snow indoors at Big SNOW, NJ’s first indoor snow dome, located at American Dream in East Rutherford, NJ.
Snowboards in the Summer is now open for registration for both Y members and non-members (all of the community) for students entering 4th through 8th grades in the Fall at Snowboards In The Summer Mini Camp, Lakeland Hills Family YMCA (lakelandhillsymca.com) or contact the Y at 973.334.2820.
This is the second award for the GRIT ‘n Snow program; Morris County (NJ) Chamber of Commerce awarded Lakeland Hills Family YMCA its Nonprofit Excellence Award for Most Innovative Program at the Chamber’s recent Nonprofit Awards.
About Lakeland Hills YMCA
For more than 110 years Lakeland Hills Family YMCA has been the leading community organization serving thousands of people in Morris County, NJ with its focus on Healthy Living, Youth Development, and Social Responsibility. For more information on Lakeland Hills Family YMCA please visit their website at www.lakelandhillsymca.com or email Rosemary Linder Day, Vice President of Marketing and Membership, at firstname.lastname@example.org. No one serves the community as powerfully as the Y does every day.
About Mountain Creek
Located in Vernon, NJ, Mountain Creek is the New York Metro area’s premier destination for four-season mountain adventure. Just 47 miles from the George Washington Bridge, Mountain Creek is easily accessible for New York, New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania residents looking for a world-class resort experience. Adventures at Mountain Creek Resort are just a few steps away and include Mountain Creek Bike Park, Mountain Creek Waterpark and Mountain Creek Zip Tours and lodging at the Appalachian hotel. For more information, visit MountainCreek.com
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