The 32-year-old founder of the Pond Hockey Classic, EKAL Activity Center, and new Boxscore app talks up his home state of New Hampshire.
After graduating from UMass-Amherst and living for a brief stint in New York City, where his girlfriend and now wife, Chelsea, was working, Scott Crowder felt the itch to get back to his home state – permanently. “I give all the credit to my wife,” says the 32-year-old, who grew up in Nashua, but spent every summer soaking up all of Lake Winnipesaukee’s things-to-do. “She knew my passion and love for the lake. She convinced me that living full-time here was what we needed to do.” After relocating to Meredith, together Crowder and his wife, Chelsea, opened EKAL Activity Center, a full-service recreation center offering kayak, canoe, pedal boats, and more, housed next door to Church Landing at Mill Falls. But that isn’t his only venture. Crowder is the founder of the Pond Hockey Classic, an old-style hockey tournament that draws teams from as far as away as New Brunswick, Canada, and Wisconsin to frozen Meredith Bay each January. He also recently co-founded Boxscore, a sports app, out of Manchester’s startup hub Alpha Loft that helped earn him the 2017 Young Entrepreneur of the Year award.
First Intro to NH
My family moved to New Hampshire when I was 5. My dad, a former Bruins player, was a college hockey coach and had taken the head coaching position at the University of Massachusetts-Lowell. My parents decided to buy a house north of the border in Nashua. I’ve been a Granite Stater since.
Growing Up in NH
We’re a hockey family, so I spent a lot of time in hockey rinks. But my summers were always spent on Winnipesaukee, where my parents, since 1997, have owned a “camp” on Bear Island (there are roughly 270 habitable islands in the lake and Bear Island is one of the largest). My brother, Kevin, and I were always taking the boat out, exploring the other islands, swimming, camping – you name it. Because of that, I developed a strong affinity for sports and outdoor recreation.
What NH Has That Other States Don’t
NH has an inherent diversity in its landscapes. I think this diversity translates into what some refer to as the “New Hampshire advantage.” Growing up and living in an area where you can access such a diverse range of offerings from the lakes, mountains, and ocean to a major metro area all in a little over an hour’s drive is truly unique to this state.
What “Living Free” Means to Me
To me, it means spending more time doing the things I want to be doing rather than the things I don’t. Living and working in NH is a conscious choice that provides me the access and opportunity to ensure I am able to spend more time doing those things I love.
Favorite NH Pastimes
I am fortunate to have access to a shop full of boats, so the majority of free time during the summer is spent on Winnipesaukee, paddling or cruising the lake. In the winter, I turn into a self-proclaimed “ski bum” and find every excuse to get the most out of my season pass at Loon. In fact, I can’t wait for the winter right now – I’m going to teach my 2-year-old daughter, Winsley, to ski.
Favorite NH Place to Pause
I drive around the point of Meredith Bay every day, often multiple times a day, and the view down the bay to the Belknap Mountain Range is beautiful – from busy summer days with boats coming and going out of town to cold winter days with the lake frozen and covered with snow. From sunsets to sunrises, stormy days to calm ones, that view is never the same as the day before, and I love that.