An Edmonton family has been creating lasting memories this winter by continuing a long-standing family tradition.
Paul Turnbull, his 15-year-old twin daughters Rory and Camilla, as well as his step-father Marcel Claveau and mother Vallery Claveau, are all working as ski patrollers at Marmot Basin ski resort this winter.
“I’m always excited to have an opportunity to ski with my family. It’s also fun too that it’s working with them,” Paul said.
Ski patrolling has been a family tradition for four decades for the family. Vallery and Marcel met in the earlier 1980s as patrollers shortly after both started volunteering.
“There’s a lot of pride in the fact we’ve been serving the public and have been part of the volunteer patrol for all those years and all those generations,” Marcel said.
“It’s really neat because a lot of the new patrollers don’t have that history of being in the patrols that our family does,” Camilla said.
After stepping away from ski patrolling for several years, Marcel and Vallery recertified this year to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Canadian Ski Patrol (CSP) program, and to have the unique opportunity to patrol with their son and granddaughters.
“It’s an organization that we’ve come to love very much. Marcel and I were both very involved in our first round ski patrol,” Vallery said. “To have Paul and the girls there involved as well is really very special.”
“It’s been a lot of fun having them up there,” Paul said. “Actually even more fun has been some of the younger patrollers who are up there seeing us all together and seeing the looks on their faces when they realize there’s three generations of patrollers skiing together.”
“We’ve grown up with the patrols and have always had it part of our family,” Rory said. “So it’s quite special to have our grandparents rejoin and all working together.”
Paul patrolled alongside his parents as a child, then started up again at Marmot Basin in 2004. Rory and Camilla started skiing at three years old and the twin sisters have been part of the CSP Junior/Safety Patrol program the past three years.
“With my kids it’s amazing because I get to see them learning responsibility. They’re on the radio system with 100 other people who are paid to work there,” Paul said.
“It’s awesome to know our son and our granddaughters are moving through the organization because it really is a wonderful organization,” Vallery said.
The family says ski patrolling has not only allowed them to serve the public but it has allowed them to build relationships that have lasted a lifetime.
“We gained many good friends, many of which we still have today. Paul grew up with all of those people and he now patrols with people that have become very much a part of his life,” Vallery said.
“Even though it’s our family, we almost developed an extended family with the friends that we’ve met and skied with over the years.”
And ski patrolling is a family tradition the Edmonton family plans to continue for years.