The roots of the Bromley Outing Club can be traced back to 1947. Sally Pabst, wife of Bromley founder, Fred, envisioned providing a skiing experience to local school children at the new Bromley Mountain. Relying on a core of dedicated volunteers to transport and teach these children, the tradition of the Junior Instructional Ski Program (JISP) began. The original name of the program was Junior Recreational Ski Program; due to the strong emphasis on recreational skiing and not the racing component. However, this name would change as the years progressed and the sport evolved.
In 1951, Sally and Fred, along with other skiing enthusiasts met to formally organize the Bromley Ski Club. While a strong social element did exist for early club members, promoting and providing a skiing experience for children at all levels became the main Club focus. Initially, race training was available from volunteer coaches, to anyone who showed up on a Saturday. At the time their were around 170 members many being involved with the JISP program. In the late 50’s around 58’/59′ the club purchased its first alpine racing equipment for the Junior Ski Team.
At the start of the 1960’s Sally asks to be relieved of the program duties and the Club takes over the organization of JISP with the help from town coordinators. In 66’/67′ the name officially changed to the current Junior Instructional Snowsports Program. During this time the numbers in JISP had reached around 450 junior skiers from 7 area schools. In the mid 60’s, privately ‘sponsored’ Austrian coaches were hired to support an organized race program. The Bromley Ski Club soon gained a reputation for running quality races along with developing quality racers. A Nordic program was also active with participants racing in the Torga Tokle league.
During the early 1970’s the JISP fees were split between Bromley and the Bromley Ski Club. At this time as well Ruth Stewart, a long standing member of the Club took over coordinator responsibilities for JISP. In 1972, JISPers were offered exchange days over at Stratton Mountain. This was the first time that this option was offered to those enrolled in the program and is still a partnership to this day. For many years throughout the Club’s history it has supported biking, tennis, horse shows, soccer, and balance/skate boarding. Due to the variety of support the club offered its members prompted a name change to the Bromley Outing Club in 1976. Throughout the 70’s a variety of head coaches/directors were hired to lead the racing program; including Dave Kerwynn, the brother of current U18 coach Mike Kerwynn, first stint with the club in 74’/75′.
At the start of the 1980’s Bromley Mountain was sold to Stratton. In 87’/88′ JISP, along with the assistance from Rudy Kugler, introduced a program to provide a skiing/riding experience to those local children with disabilities; although, there was already a history of the Club working with two blind JISPers. With the opening of the Bart J. Ruggiere Adaptive Sports Center, the Club and Bromley Mountain had become one of the few eastern ski areas offering a program for persons with disabilities. JISP which was originally supported just for skiing; however, in 88’/89′ snowboarding was introduced with the help from Burton Snowboards to meet the demands of the evolving winter sports scene.
The 90’s were meet with many changes in both the club and Bromley Mountain; in April 1996 the strong support of Betty Clayton was missed with her passing. For many years she lead the charge of organizing the various race events, the race program, office duties and being on the Board of Directors serving as the Treasure. During this era was the leadership of Sumner Erbe who was the director of the club from 93-98. In the late 1990’s a change over for equipment for JISPers went through a major change as Bromley Rental Shop took over the responsibilities of providing equipment to those registered in the program. Previously, the equipment was donated or purchased and stored at various locations in the area during the off-season. The club also took another dramatic change as the construction of the new clubhouse was completed during the late 1990’s and into the 2000’s.
With the new century beginning things took a turn in great success for the club. Lewie Dean became the director of the club in 1999 and served until 2004. During 2002, the hiring of Amy Wetzel Zimmer was announced as administrative assistant to the club and has such been at the club since. Since its inception over 50 years ago; where there were a total of 165 Junior skiers, the JISP program has grown throughout the years both in individual numbers and participating schools. JISP had reached over 600 local area students with just celebrating it’s 50th anniversary in 1997, with a large population receiving instruction in snowboarding (350 snowboarders : 250 skiers).
At the start of the 13’/14′ season the club was re-recognized by the IRS as a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization, which was a great accomplishment for the club. In 11′, a change of leadership was also made with the hiring of Dave Pinder as Program Director. In 11′, one of the long term coaches in the program, Mike Kerwynn, was recognized and awarded the prestigious title of VARA Coach of the Year. Many of the athletes that served under Mike have gone on to ski in college and be awarded for their own accomplishments.
The philosophy and dedication to those in the Southern Vermont area still are the driving points of the clubs success. With a strong mission to promote a life-long appreciation of snow spots while developing the values of sportsmanship through recreational, educational, and competitive skiing and snowboarding programs. Throughout the past few years the clubs membership numbers have increased both in the weekend program currently at around 125 members and the JISP program at around 650 members. This due to alumni returning with their families wanting their children to experience the joyful experience that they received during their time at the club. Many of the membership has also been long standing members of the club, some have been here for over 40 years.