Thunderbird Ski Club
Who We Are
Membership Information
and Member Responsibility

Fourteen employees of Ford Motor Company established a Ford Ski Club in 1949 as a recreational activity of the Ford Employees Recreation Association.  Later they changed the name to the Ford Thunderbird Ski Club.  Eventually the Club became an independent nonprofit corporation of the State of Michigan, adopted a new name as the Thunderbird Ski Club, and became known on ski slopes as "The TBirds." 

The Club is the largest ski club in Michigan and one of the largest in the nation.  Our members are professionals, merchants, businessmen and businesswomen, and employees of many companies and organizations. Many are married and many are single. 

Members enjoy a friendly and sociable atmosphere for athletic activities like skiing, snowboarding, golfing, canoeing, biking, bowling, and rollerblading, and social activities like picnics, dining, theatre, boat cruises, and attending horse racing events, the Detroit Tigers, Detroit Red Wings, and the Plymouth Whalers.  

Summer picnics during June, July, August, and September attract two hundred members and guests who enjoy a summer evening with BBQs and refreshments.  A "Walk In" Friday Night Golf League at local golf courses enables playing any or all weeks as you choose.  Evening bike rides, weekend golf trips, boat outings, theater outings, wine tastings, a weekend canoe trip to Northern Michigan, and other social gatherings happen all summer long.  We go as a group to ball games, sample beer brewing at a microbrewery sometimes in Windsor, and visit Toronto, Chicago, and Mackinac Island.  The Club has even been hang gliding, hot air ballooning, and bungee jumping.

An Open House in the Fall provides displays for members and guests of new skiing equipment and schedules of ski trips for the upcoming season along with dancing and socializing. The Fall Season also frequently includes a Road Rally, a Halloween Party, a night at Northville Downs, a hayride/square dance, a used equipment sale, a motorcycle ride, and a night of Whirlyball.

The winter season returns us to our raison d’etre and is filled with selected western ski trips to Aspen, Breckenridge, Keystone, Heavenly, Kirkwood, Squaw Valley, Mammoth, Park City, Steamboat, Vail, and Winter Park.  In Canada our popular destinations are Whistler, Blackcomb, Banff, and Lake Louise. Interspersed are weekend and long weekend trips to Boyne, Schuss, Searchmont, and Blue Mountain, and day trips to Mount Brighton, Alpine, and Mt. Holly.

Occasionally an adventurious Club schedules trips to Europe where favorites are Innsbruck, Zermatt, Courmayeur, and Chamonix.  We also visited locations in, Greece, Norway, New Zealand, Japan, and South America.

Our club is one of a few in the country that boasts its own SnowSports School.  Our instructors are members of the Club and follow PSIA and/or AASI Guidelines.  Instruction is offered on some of our local day trips and on longer trips.

A Thunderbird Race Team is an active group of approximately fifty racers of all skiing ability levels, from novice to expert, who participate in downhill ski racing on slalom, giant slalom,and even Super G courses in the Michigan Alpine Competition[MACC] ski race program.  The program consists of teams from twelve to fourteen ski clubs in Michigan and Ohio that compete in twelve races over five weekends, primarily at Boyne Mountain in northern Michigan, with one weekend at Searchmont Resort just north of Sault St. Marie, Ontario.  Men and women of the race team also enjoy many organized social functions throughout the race weekends.

The Club is a member of the Metropolitan Detroit Ski Council (MDSC) and the Chicago Metropolitan Ski Council (CMSC).

A website,, provides schedules of local social events and trips and ski trips, photos and articles of prior events, names and emails of the Board of Directors and activity leaders, and other organizational information.  Members also receive a monthly newsletter, the“TOWLINE” where announcements,photos, articles and other club information are presented in electronic or paper format as desired. 

General Business Meetings are held usually on Wednesdays from October through May.  We have a HOTLINE at (313) 438-6148.

A new Membership is a modest $35 for the first year and is renewable for $25.  Joining the TBirds is easy as membership applications are available at picnics and meetings and on the website.  Membership is required to attend any overnight event sponsored by the Club.

The Directors of the Club have email accounts and phone numbers that members and others can use to ask questions, offer suggestions, and obtain special information about events, trips, and club operations.  The club operates by its Constitution/Bylaws and Guidelines.  Copies of the Constitution/Bylaws and the Club Guidelines are available to members and can be obtained by contacting the Club President.