When Mike Chait was managing the snowboard school at Smugglers’ Notch Resort a few years back, he encountered a father who was dropping off his two kids for an all-day camp program. It would be their first-ever snowboarding experience and their dad, a skier, let slip his misgivings.
“He made numerous comments along the lines of, ‘I can’t believe I’m trusting my kids to a bunch of snowboarders,’ ” Chait recalled.
In typical Smuggs fashion, Chait found a way to put the dad completely at ease. He lined up his snowboard instructors and introduced them one-by-one. “This coach works part time here, and the rest of the time, she’s a nurse,” Chait told the anxious dad. “This coach works as a teacher full time. This one is a nuclear engineer. And this one is an architect. They all teach snowboarding part time because it brings them joy. Together, they are responsible for the safety and futures of millions of people. Your kids are in good hands.”
Chait, now the public relations director at the Jeffersonville, Vt., resort, says he enjoys telling that story because it shows the commitment the Smuggs staff has to its guests. “None of them really needed the money they were making teaching snowboarding one to two days per week,” Chait said. “They were doing it for the experience of sharing something they love with others.