Meet the Board introduces the Board of Directors of the Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks to NSCF members and the general public. This article features Pam Laker, who joined the board this past season. Pam is serving as a member-at-large.
I grew up outside of Detroit, Michigan. Cross-country skiing was something I saw only on postcards or knitted into Christmas sweaters. In 1993, I moved to Fairbanks on a whim. I spent my first 10 years here behind a dog team. At that point, skiers were something that just got in the way of my dogs while mushing in Goldstream Valley.
In 2009, my son began second grade at Watershed Charter School, where he was indoctrinated into skiing. The following winter, we all joined Junior Nordics in various beginning level classes. We were immediately hooked. Now, Jordan is a coach for the FXC-Devo program, Zarah skis for the FXC-Comp racing program, and I am in my seventh year of coaching Junior Nordics Orange level on Sundays.
I feel like my family embodies the mission of the NSCF and FXC club. We came to the program having no skiing experience and have grown with it. While both my kids have loved the competition side of skiing, the sport has become a central part of our lifestyle. It has also introduced us to a world of athletes and activities in Alaska our family might not have otherwise encountered. The ski community helped introduce us to Fairbanks cyclists, runners, and hikers.
My kids’ dedication to ski training does not allow for much time away from Birch Hill, but I do enjoy getting out on our local trails. My favorite trail remains the one right outside my back door on O’Connor Creek.
My interest in serving on the NSCF Board has grown over the past few years. I’ve been known to have “involuntary volunteering syndrome” and often find myself helping during practices and races. I’ve come to admire those behind the scenes that make it all possible. The club has seen changes during my short time involved. It’s easy to sit back and voice opinions about the organization; it’s a lot more rewarding to take part. With the amount of time and energy my kids have invested in the sport, and all the program has offered our family, it seems natural to want to be an active member of the club.