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It's more than a meetup - We love the outdoors

20 Apr, 2024 23
Claire kicking off the outdoor meetup
 
I just got back from an awesome meetup of the local outdoor industry at J Ski and Ski The East Burlington headquarters, and let me tell you, it was a blast!
 
The event, powered by VOBA (Vermont Outdoor Business Alliance), was born from a rainy-day coffee chat I had with a business buddy back in March. We were lamenting the loss of snow after the rains and reminiscing about the VOBA Summit we attended last November. We both agreed, "Gosh, why don't we have more events like that?" 
 

The VOBA Summit last November was a hit! Over 200 folks from all corners of the state showed up, and the vibes were electric. Beyond the awesome programs, the networking was next level. Everyone left feeling stoked, included, and hopeful—exactly the kind of feelings we all need after a grey, damp winter! 

At the meetup, about 30 outdoor enthusiasts turned up, and the energy was off the charts. I swear, at one point, I could barely hear myself over the buzz of excitement! It was fantastic catching up with old friends and making new connections. Seeing fresh faces, especially young ones, at the event was super encouraging. Showing them the magic of our outdoor community is key to keeping the industry thriving here in Vermont.  

 

Meeting folks I've admired from afar was a highlight. Whether they're retail store owners or brand founders, everyone was genuine and open-hearted. Sure, it wasn't the easiest winter for business, but coming together to share challenges and solutions gives us all hope and courage. As Zander Wheeler from Ski Rack wisely said, "There are always tough times, we just need to be patient and crafty." 

 

I’m so proud that the outdoor industry isn't like any other. When times get tough, we don't bail for an easier path. We're a unique bunch of tough cookies, passionate about what we do. And that's exactly the mindset I want to pass on to my kids and every kid out there. Life's an adventure, just like a hike—unexpected rain showers and scraped knees included. But hey, that's how we build confidence and resilience. With a dash of patience and a sprinkle of creativity, everything's gonna be just fine. Cheers to the wild ride ahead! 

 

Claire

 

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