Vermont Kids Learn Skiing Fun-damentals

The view from high atop the Pacific Crest was killer. This is looking west over North Cascades National Park. The peak on the far left is Glacier Peak, one of Washington's most active volcanoes.

Burlington, VT Mar. 24--The Vermont Ski Areas Association and Cabot Creamery have sponsored a program to put school children on the hill for free. Their program called "Skiing Fun-damentals" is a school enrichment program designed to demonstrate to young kids around Vermont how skiing impacts their lives.

"Our overall goal is to educate kids about the Vermont ski industry," said Bill Scheer of the Vermont Ski Areas Association. "We focus on teaching them how skiing economically supports our state, how a ski resort works, and most importantly, we get the kids to try the sport."

The program explains to seventh and eighth graders how skiing is used as an economic engine, a steward of the environment, a future employment option, and a fun and safe recreational opportunity.

"Skiing Fun-damentals" contains three areas of focus, the Curriculum, the Brochure, and the Field Trip. Each area uses skiing as an example to teach basic concepts and is designed to demonstrate how classroom lessons, such as math, science and English, relate to the ski industry and to the real world.

The areas of focus include a field trip where an area representative shows a video and speaks to the students about the industry and the sport itself. A tour of the area allows the students to see different jobs, meet the people who work at the area, and to participate in hands-on demonstrations. The trip wraps up with free lessons and rentals for the kids.

In its fifth year, the Skiing Fun-damentals program has touched over 5,000 kids with the skiing bug. Over 75-percent of the kids who participate in the program are first-time skiers.

"We see a great increase in self-confidence in these kids who are at a very awkward age," continued Scheer. "It's tremendous to see the positive changes in the kids' attitudes. It's great to reward hard working kids with ski privileges."

The program is offered at no cost to seventh and eighth grade students from any school in Vermont without an existing program. For more information, contact the Vermont Ski Areas Association at 802-223-2439.