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
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
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
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
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
Metropolitan Ski Council
A website, www.TBirdSkiClub.com, 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,
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 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.