Think "ski clubs" and you automatically think "snow." But it might surprise you that many of the clubs have a full calendar of activities throughout the year.
Ski club members enjoy an active lifestyle, which is reflected in the events they plan on the snowy slopes and off. Golfing, rafting and cycling often figure into the picture. Beer and wine festivals can be all the more fun when attended en masse, so these are on their calendars, too. A favorite summer outing among the clubs is a trip down the Isar River on a log raft while being entertained by a Bavarian oompah band. That’s on the agenda for the Heidelberg International Ski Club, Tannenbaum Ski Club and Patch Ski Club. On the long Memorial Day weekend, the Bavarian and Tannenbaum clubs head to Area 47, perhaps best described as a playground for grown-ups, nestled in Austria’s Ötztal Valley. Visitors can choose from a high ropes course, a zip line or canyoning, so there will be no excuse for boredom.Clubs always try socking away a bit of cash for a snowy day. The Bavarian Ski Club’s big fundraising opportunity comes with Grafenwöhr’s German-American Fest, where club members offer up homemade chili, tacos, nachos, soft drinks and American beer.
Joning a ski club involves membership fees, but signing up in time for summer activities offers savings. Heidelberg International Ski Club, for example, now offers 50 percent off membership fees, meaning adult singles pay just 10 euros and families pay 22 euros for the remainder of the year. The Bavarian club offers similarly reduced rates for membership through September. In August, clubs typically organize social events such as picnics or pizza parties where anyone new to the community or interested in joining can meet club members and learn about past and future trips. If it feels like the right match, join the club. Club websites: • Bavarian Ski Club: www.bavarianskiclub.com• Heidelberg International Ski Club: www.heidelbergski.com• Kaiserslautern-West Pfalz Ski Club: www.kwpskiclub.com• Patch Ski Club: www.patchskiclub.com• Tannenbaum Ski and Social Club: www.tannenbaumskiclub.com