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Have you ever dreamed of learning to cross-country skiing?  Being out in the woods, enjoying the snow crunching under your skis, returning to a warm fire for hot drinks and friendly conversation?  

Are you a seasoned skier who wants to share your love of this Nordic sport and accompanying culture? Are you visually or physically impaired (a VIP in our vocabulary!) and want to get outdoors and have fun!  Would you like to offer assistance to MSFL as a worker bee or guide?

At Michigan Ski for Light, we have been focused on bringing this love of skiing, snow, and fun to those with Visual or Physical impairments for nearly 5 decades.  For years we have hosted our event on the north shore of Higgins Lake at the Ralph A. McMullen Conference Center with the help of the Roscommon Lions Club.  This year, we are excited to announce that this long-time partnership is growing even tighter with the Roscommon Lions agreement to Co-Sponsor our event!  

animated art - cross-country skier

What does this mean for MSFL?  For years the Lions have provided volunteers and support to enable many of our logistics.  Transportation to and from the ski trails, warming areas at each trailhead with a bonfire, hot drinks, and great conversation.  In addition, they have hosted our Friday night meal and Saturday social along with financial support.  All of this remains, but now are able to expand our recruitment activities through all of the Michigan Lions Club chapters.

We have been blessed for years with many committed guides who are able to teach skiing to those who have never been on skis all the way up to chasing our most competitive skiers.  We are now focused on growing our participant numbers so more people, from more communities, can share in our love of skiing.  If you know of someone who may be interested, please encourage them to check us out at MSFL.ORG

Registration for the MSFL 2024 event will open on November 1, 2023.

If you have participated with us in the past, we will be offering discounts for anyone who is responsible for bringing a first-time VIP skier to attend the 2024 event. More details will be on the website by the time registration opens.

We are looking forward to another fun year of food, fun, laughter, and enjoyment while celebrating winter activities in the great outdoors! Hope to see you there!

Ted Ellickson
President, Michigan Ski for Light

There will be changes to the 2022 annual event based on the COVID policies of the RAM Center and the Michigan MSFL chapter. Please see the requirements below.

Ram Center COVID policies:

  • Face masks are required for RAM Center Staff and guests
  • RAM Center is pre-packaging all meals 
  • They are regularly cleaning and sanitizing the facilities
  • Sanitation Stations are available throughout the grounds
  • Social distancing is required in meeting rooms, so we anticipate using the education center for the majority of our indoor activities
  • As a State facility, the RAM Center is following all state protocols so if things change come January we will have to change with it

Michigan MSFL Board COVID requirements for attendance:

  • Participants for the 2022 MSFL event shall be fully vaccinated for COVID-19   -OR-
  • Must be tested negative for COVID-19. The test must be taken within 72 hours before the start of the event, which officially begins Friday, January 14, 2022, at 6 p.m.

There will be no exceptions to the above requirements. Thank you for your cooperation.

Hello to my MSFL family and those considering joining our life-changing organization.

My Father Jim Ellickson, who was one of the founding members of this great organization, included his kids in everything he did. This allowed my sister Kim and I to literally be raised within our MSFL community. Having started with this group more than four decades ago, it was one of the greatest honors of my life to be selected as the new President of Michigan Ski for Light. When I look at some of the incredible leaders this organization has had and the impact they have left on not only MSFL, but my personal life as well, I am humbled to have this opportunity to continue serving.

I certainly never expected one of my first acts as President to be the cancellation of our January 2021 event, but that is exactly what I am faced with doing today. The Executive Board reviewed our safety options and our financial obligations. The more we tried to look at ways of modifying our event to conform to the social distancing and safety protocols the more we realized it just would not work for our group.

We also asked the Executive Board to research the financial obligations we would have to meet if we tried to delay this decision. Unfortunately, we quickly realized these financial risks would be well beyond the means of our group to absorb.

I'd like to thank the board members, especially our Treasurer John Peiffer, for the work they put in to find all the facts and allow us to make an objective decision.

In true MSFL fashion, the story does not end here. In a typical year, we all invest a long weekend in this group. Even accounting for sleep (and who gets much of that when we are having that much fun) we all spend around 36 hours skiing, dancing, playing cards, sharing talents and catching up with life long friends.

I would like to challenge all of us to do the same this year, just not at the RAM Center. To support this goal and improve our organization at the same time, we are going to undertake a few actions at the Board and Committee levels to come up with opportunities to make our return in 2022 the best event we have ever held.

I will be working with a sub-committee to review the organization of our committees and their duties. We will then ask each of the Committee Chairs to compile a list of their duties and their current committee members. We plan to post all of these to our website so everyone can see what it takes to make this organization run and more importantly, where people can contribute their talents to help accomplish these commitments.

We want this organization to continue running in a fully transparent fashion and empower all of us to take ownership in this group we love so much.

As we work to prepare this information, I'd like to challenge everyone to start "participating" in your MSFL family now. Call some of your friends just to catch up, write a story about past experiences or keep a journal about this year's alternative activities. Most importantly, make sure to get outside and enjoy the outdoors.

Until we can slip and slide again,

Ted Ellickson
President Michigan Ski for Light