The Growing Popularity of Ski Club

By Laurel Bennett, Features Editor

The Gettysburg Ski Club has quickly become one of the largest organizations at Gettysburg College. Kayla Macdonald ’24 was the president of the Ski Club for the 2023-2024 academic year, and she was highly instrumental in the growth of the club. 

As president, Macdonald was responsible for directing and organizing the skiing events at Liberty Mountain. The club has a very diverse group of members, and Macdonald helped events run smoothly. Macdonald has a long-lasting interest in skiing dating back to childhood, as she began skiing when she was two years old with her dad at regional mountain resorts close to Carlisle, PA. 

Skiing has greatly shaped Macdonald’s experiences at Gettysburg College as well.

(Photo Courtesy of the Ski Club’s Instagram Page: @gettysburgskiclub)

“During the winter of my junior year, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that Gettysburg had a ski resort less than 20 minutes from our campus and as a result, I was interested in joining our Ski Club,” Macdonald explained. “In the winter of 2023, I had the chance to go skiing for two nights with a few of my sorority sisters in Chi Omega. I leaped at the opportunity to become involved in a new activity during my time at Gettysburg, as during the particular semester many of my friends were studying abroad, while I decided to stay on campus.”

A central component of Macdonald’s presidency was ensuring that the club was open to everyone no matter of class years or ability levels.

She added, “Whether a lifelong interest or a new hobby, people who are part of our club all have one thing in common: an enjoyment of the thrilling winter sports of skiing and snowboarding.”

In this academic year, Ski Club experienced a noticeable growth in size, in large part due to Macdonald’s focus on increased engagement, awareness and accessibility to the club.

The club had 113 registered members at the Activities Fair in the fall of 2023. 

Macdonald elaborated, “By creating an Instagram to advertise the club, as well as advocating for a budget that would allow us to take as many members as possible on trips, we now sit at 279 members! With an overall representation of 12% of the student body, we are one of the largest organizations at Gettysburg.”

The increasing popularity of the club has allowed students of all class years to meet and socialize off-campus on their trips to Liberty Mountain. Student Senate funding has been instrumental in allowing students to go on the ski trips, as the trips offer experiences that many students would not have otherwise been able to afford.

Concerning the future, Macdonald noted, “We hope that the Student Senate will continue to recognize this interest and support us with a reasonable budget in future years as well!”

She added, “We would not have achieved as much success and growth as we did without their assistance. Last season, the club was able to take 95 people on trips, whereas we successfully accommodated 165 individuals this year, marking a 74% increase.” 

Ultimately, Macdonald feels that the Ski Club was highly successful this academic year, and she is looking forward to the continued prosperity of the club in the years to come.

(Editor’s Note: This article was edited at 4:47 p.m. on April 2, 2024 to correct misspellings of Kayla Macdonald’s last name. – L. Franchetti)

Author: Laurel Bennett

Laurel Bennett ‘24 is the Features Editor for The Gettysburgian. She previously worked as a staff writer for the news and features sections. Laurel is a political science major and an English minor from Carlisle, PA. Outside of The Gettysburgian, she is a member of the service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega, serves as co-president of Pre-Law club, and is an avid horse-back rider.

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  1. Thanks Laurel! 🙂

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  2. This is Kayla’s father, the one responsible for getting her started in skiing. She thoroughly enjoyed being President of the Ski Club!
    If it’s possible to correct one small thing with the article… the correct spelling of Kayla’s last name is “Macdonald” (small d, all one word).
    This has been a generations long challenge for the Macdonald’s 😂

    Thank you

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    • Thank you for making The Gettysburgian aware! The corrections to the last name have been made.

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