For many, this past Sunday was just the ending of another winter spent on the slopes, but for two members of the Boyne Highlands team it was much more. On March 20, Randy Frykberg and Dick Taylor celebrated their 50th season with the Boyne Highlands Ski Patrol. Both Frykberg and Taylor have played major rolls in the growth of Boyne Highlands Resort, the National Ski Patrol (NSP) and the safety of our guests on the slopes.
The year was 1966 when the two started on ski patrol, gas was only $.99 a gallon, straight skis were all you had to make turns, and the patrollers were signaled to the slopes via raising flags. Throughout the years, many changes have been seen at Boyne Highlands, the NSP and skiing and riding in general. In 1974, a year after Taylor was appointed Northern Michigan Region Training and Testing Advisor, Boyne Highlands Resort became the first radio equipped volunteer patrol in northern Michigan, carrying heavy CB walkie-talkies. This achievement lead Taylor to become the Northern Michigan Region Telecommunications Advisor. Frykberg was next to bring change to Boyne Highlands and the NSP. Along with Boyne Management, Frykberg created the Host Program in 1986, becoming the Host Program Director in its inception. Reaching higher, he then implemented the Alpine Mountain Host classification where hosts were trained to bring down an empty toboggan in the event a patroller was unavailable. These two programs were the first in the nation and became approved by the NSP.
One thing that has not changed throughout the years is the camaraderie, friendship and family bond of the volunteer ski patrol. Many don't realize the ski patrol at Boyne Highlands is majority volunteers who come from all over to spend their free time in service to others. Taylor said, "We built life-long friendships here. We have been in each-other's weddings, go on trips together in the off season, it's just another extended family." Building these bonds with fellow ski patrollers comes with the territory of spending countless hours on the slopes together, handling accidents as a team and sharing the common interest of helping others. On the ski patrol team the average years of service is 19.5 years. Why do the volunteers keep coming back? Frkyberg explains, "This is something we all love, we want to be here, its not like going into a work place where you are paid to be there, and I think that's what makes this team so great and why it is such a family atmosphere."
Taylor and Frykberg have dedicated much of their lives to Boyne Highlands and the ski patrol because it is what they love. Both worked their way through the ranks and held the positions of Assistant Patrol Director and Patrol Director, which remains Frykberg's position today. We extend our thanks and gratitude to these key members of our team as they continue to provide excellent service and safety to our guests while enjoying their passion for the slopes. Thank again for another great season, see you on the slopes again soon!◂ Return to News & Updates