We’ve had quite the winter searching for the ever-elusive snow, dodging ice and rocks, and doing our best to get the Ski Cubs out on cross-country skis this season. The 2016 program wrapped up with a final session out at Bolton Valley Nordic Center on February 20th. Although low snow cover denied us the opportunity to spend our last day out exploring the trails on skis, a dedicated crew of 11 stepped into snowshoes and made our way up to Bryant Camp for a geocaching adventure. In a way, I think this final day embodied the essence of this season-a perseverance on behalf of all of the volunteers, chaperones, and kids to get outside and enjoy winter, as well as a little flexibility and creativity to ensure the program provides a positive experience for all.
2016 Ski Cubs in Review…
This year, the Catamount Trail Association partnered with Bolton Valley Nordic to provide a weekend ski program to Burlington area youth, with Brewster Pierce Memorial Elementary School in Huntington, VT to teach cross-country skiing to 3/4 classes, and lent out gear to the State Street School in Windsor, VT to facilitate a community organized and run youth ski program. In total, Ski Cubs programs provided 110 Vermont youth the opportunity to get out on cross-country skis, resulting in over 550 hours of participation. New skiers and veterans alike practiced downhill turning and speed control techniques, uphill climbing, balance and stance, and spent the majority of time exploring trails and fields!
Burlington area youth from 5 schools and organizations participated in the Ski Cubs weekend program at Bolton Valley Nordic Center. Over the course of four Saturdays in January and February, 29 participants ranging in age from 8 to 20 joined the program. The CTA Ski Cubs program provided bus transportation from Burlington to Bolton Valley, cross-country ski gear, and instruction at no cost. Alongside CTA program coordinator, Laura Koloski, volunteers and chaperones delivered instruction and supervised small groups. Bolton Valley Nordic Center offered reduced priced day passes that were paid for by Ski Cubs, and complimentary passes for adults.
Participating Schools and Organizations:
- City of Winooski Youth Programs
- Folsom Elementary School
- Integrated Arts Academy
- Rock Point School
- Sustainability Academy
Youth Participants | 29
Total Youth Hours | 264
The CTA partnered with Brewster Pierce Memorial School in Huntington, Vermont to provide Ski Cubs as part of the physical education curriculum. Three classes of 3rd and 4th graders spent Friday afternoons learning cross-country skiing basics and practicing these skills on a groomed track around the Brewster Pierce School property. On Friday afternoons (Jan. 22, Feb. 12, Feb. 19) 47 students participated in the Ski Cubs program led by CTA program coordinator Laura Koloski and Brewster Pierce Phys. Ed. Instructor Kelly Spreen. The CTA Ski Cubs program provided cross-country ski gear and instruction and no-cost to the students.
Youth Participants | 47
Total Youth Hours | 138
This winter, Donna Ewald from the State Streeet Elementary School in Windsor, VT incorporated a cross-country ski program into the physical education curriculum for 4th, 5th, and 6th graders. The CTA’s incubator program, which included lesson plans, administrative support, and a lender-kit of skis, poles, and boots helped Donna get the program up and running. In January and February, 34 State Street students received cross-country ski instruction.
Youth Participants | 34
Total Youth Hours | 149
A fantastic team of volunteers and chaperones helped keep all three programs running smoothly and provided expertise instruction. Many thanks to the 35 people who gave over 200 hours of their free time helping out with Ski Cubs this winter. The success of Ski cubs is due largely in part to their commitment. The Catamount Trail Association would like to also thank Northfield Savings Bank, which has generously supported the 2016 Ski Cubs Program.
Based on the kids’ increased confidence on skis, peals of laughter accompanying downhill runs, and the tired smiles after each session, Ski Cubs had another successful season in 2016. As always, we’re looking forward to fresh snow, winter adventures with friends, and making cross-country skiing an accessible sport for all Vermonters. To learn more about Ski Cubs check us out on the web at: www.catamounttrail.org/programs/ski-cubsabout/about/
With special thanks for support from Northfield Savings Bank