FAQs / About Us

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1. General / About Us

We are a not for profit organization that’s been around since 1978. Run by a group of dedicated, hard-working volunteers, we offer a wide range of ski/snowboard trips for all levels. We are also active in the off season! You’ll find a wide range of activities, from bike rides to camping trips to concerts to bonfires.

Do I have to become a member? 
Only if you are signing up for one of our major trips. Non members are welcome at our meetings, or any of our events. There are perks to becoming a member – our annual summer picnic is free to all members, and you get a discount on our annual season end party.

Do I have to attend the general meetings?
No, our general meetings are held twice a month and we usually update everyone on what is going on – from trips to upcoming events. After Trip Kickoff, you can sign up for a trip at a meeting and talk to any of our trip leaders if you have any questions. We accept membership payments online, and if you signed up for a trip, you can send a check in the mail.

Do I have to live nearby? 
No, we accept anyone who lives in the US.

Do I have to ski or snowboard?
No, we accept everyone over 21, even non skiers.

2. Membership / Join / Renew

When is the membership season? 

The official Sanctuary Ski Club membership year is August 1st through July 31st. We start taking sign ups online starting June 1st. After that, you can sign up at meetings or the annual summer picnic. Membership is not required to participate in any of our events, or to attend any of our meetings. We usually waive the membership requirement for most of our Midwest trips.

What are the membership dues?

We have gone to a flat rate fee of $25 per person.  We have applied the discounts for early payment, couples membership, and membership renewal to everyone.  Everyone pays the same, even our President.

Can I pay with a Credit card? Yes!  You can now use your credit card to pay for membership and sign up online.

What if I want to sign up more than one person? Click on the “Log Out” link on the top left of the sign up page after you’ve paid. It will sign you out of the system and let you start a new form. You can sign up as many people as you want, but you must do this for each person and have a unique email for everyone.  

Do I have to fill out and sign a membership form every year I renew my membership? No – once you set up and pay online, next year you can just login and submit your credit card payment.

I’m paying for a trip, but I have to pay membership dues as well.  Can I just roll the cost into one check and make it easy? Strangely, no.  Trip leaders have separate payment records from the membership committee.  While it seems easier to cover all payments with a single check, it can actually cause confusion as to whether membership payment has been made since there are two separate record forms and only one check.  To be certain your membership is processed properly and immediately, you should sign up for membership online first.

Do I have to be an actual skier to join? No – But it helps if you can tolerate being around skiers.   Some members join only for bicycle outings, or just to travel with the group. It doesn’t matter how you get down the mountain, or even if you just tour the town at the bottom, it’s all about having fun.

Does Sanctuary have Family memberships? No – Sanctuary is a 21 and older club.

I’m not very good at skiing.  Will I be able to find someone to ski with so I don’t get left at the top of the hill by myself freezing? Yes – we try to accommodate all levels of skiing/boarding.  There are a number of members who can give mini-lessons to beginners or first-time skiers.  Contact the trip leader of your prospective trip if you need help making arrangements.  We of course recommend that all new skiers take a professional lesson.

I’m a good skier, do I have to babysit beginners the whole trip? No – Once you get to the hill you can assist beginners, ski on your own, or with friends.  We understand that there are no friends on powder days (your significant other might take more convincing however).

Do I have to live in the greater Chicago area to be a member? No – There are Sanctuary members both local and out of state during any given season.  Club business can be conducted through email and US Postal mail.

Do I have to come to the meetings? No – We encourage all members to attend general meetings, and all members are welcome at executive board meetings.  If getting to the meetings is not practical, you can do all your club correspondence through the mail and email.  We have several members from out of state, and trip leaders can usually accommodate travel arrangements to trip destinations from wherever you are.

I just got elected to the Sanctuary Ski/Snowboard Club Executive board – Do I get a free membership and trip now? No – Board members must pay their membership dues and for their own trips like all other members.  It’s how we keep our trip prices as low as we can.

Do I get a membership card or something? No.  Paper cards are too easy to lose or duplicate; laminated cards are too expensive.  We have decided to keep costs down and dispense with the whole card concept altogether.  If you’re lucky, we might have some stickers to pass out.

It’s been a month and I haven’t seen any email from the club, what’s the deal?!! Double check your Spam folder and if you don’t see anything after two months, send an email to the webmaster and verify that your contact information is correct.

If I put down all my information are you going to sell it somewhere to offset the cost of trips? NO!! – Sanctuary Ski/Snowboard Club membership information is only used by the club to contact club members.  Demographic information is provided to inform prospective members, and aid the trip committee in selecting trip destinations and departure locations.

3. Trips

We plan for our trips starting in the spring, and release the trip schedule during the summer (usually at the annual picnic) with final details and prices released before our trip kickoff in August. Sign ups for our major trips are at our Trip Kickoff event in August, with Midwest trip signups starting in the late fall.

We have trips open for all levels, from expert to non-skiers! You must be a member of our club to go on one of our Western, European or Canadian trips. Midwest trips usually don’t require membership. We can take payments for membership ($25) at a meeting, through the mail, or you can pay by credit card. See the Membership page for more details.

If you’re interested in a trip, you can call, email or talk to a trip leader at a general meeting to find out if spots are still available. If not, they can add you to the wait list. We accept payments at our general meetings or you can mail in payment. The trip schedule, trip applications and our cancellation policy are all posted on the Trips page

4. Events / Bike Rides

Our bike rides and events are open for everyone, you do not need to be a member (except for our annual picnic, which is free for members).


Please keep these guidelines in mind if you want to join a bike ride:

To ensure the best experience for all riders, you should be able to maintain an average speed of 12 mph.
E-bikes are encouraged for those who cannot keep pace with the group.
1. Ride leaves at the published departure time. Don’t get left behind.
2. Bring Spare inner tube for your tire size & a flat kit
3. Fill tires before you arrive, unless you come 30 min before start
4. Bring charged phone & input the leader’s phone number.
5. Wear a helmet
6. Bring plenty of water when it’s hot
7. Get on the email bike list to receive weather cancellations and ride changes. Contact: Suzi.scott@gmail.com.
The email comes from bike leader, and it is to: sanctuaryspokes@googlegroups.com

If anyone doesn’t want to go the full distance of the ride, or can’t keep up with the group, they can retrace their steps and meet us at the restaurant after the bike ride.


For questions on a specific trip, contact the trip leader. Contact us for any other queries.

Contact us

About Us

We offer a wide range of ski & snowboard trips for all levels, from never to expert. Attend one of our meetings, signup for one of our great trips, or check out one of our fun events….there’s always something to do. We would love to have you! Click the button below for information on becoming a member. You must be a member to sign up for one of our major trips.

Membership Info