Sandpoint Nordic Youth Ski League    The Youth Ski Team is a FUN, volunteer-led 8-week program that offers kids from 6 to 18 years old the opportunity to learn and enjoy cross–country skiing.  Coaches and adult volunteers lead groups of kids in fun activities designed to teach the fundamentals of Nordic (cross-country) skiing, from fun on the snow for the youngest skiers, to technique and even racing for more experienced skiers. Younger skiers, <6yrs, are welcome to join but must be accompanied by an adult or parent during the ski session (there is no program fee for kids under 6yrs).

WHERE
The University of Idaho Extension property is our primary ski location.  When this area is not skiable do to changing weather conditions, we move the practices to the Roundabout trail (off Schweitzer Mtn Rd), Schweitzer trails or Western Pleasure.  Parents or custodians are responsible for furnishing transportation for their children to and from the ski area.

WHEN

Every Monday and Wednesday from January 8 to February 28, with the 2nd Annual Schweitzer Hill Climb on Feb 7 and the Nordic Kids Olympics on February 28th. Kids can attend both sessions each week or just one.  Sessions last one hour on Mondays and 90 minutes on Wednesdays.

Monday – 3:30 – 4:30pm

Wednesday – 2:15 – 3:45pm


COSTS

  • Sandpoint Nordic Club individual or family membership: $35 individual, $60 family (includes ski pass at U of I Extension)
  • YSL Registration First child: $100
  • YSL Registration 2nd + child: $70 each

A limited number of tuition assistance grants are available if your family needs assistance with program fees.
Email vicki.longhini@gmail.com for details.

HOW THE SKI SESSIONS WORK

Kids meet their coaches in the starting area dressed and ready to ski at times listed above. Parents are encouraged to participate in the lessons and help coaches on the snow because it is hilarious and laughing is good for your health.

Before and after class, skier supervision is the responsibility of parents or custodians. Lesson groups ski away from the parking area out on trails, and while some groups may have a range of abilities within the group, our coaches ensure that no child is left unattended on the trail.

If a skier is late to practice, we will make every effort to unite them with their group. If the group is out on the trail and not able to be seen or easily reached, the skier should wait with their parent/guardian until their group is in sight of or easily reached from the parking area.

HOW CLASSES ARE DETERMINED

In order to create the best possible experience for each child and the ski group as a whole, groups are sorted by age, skill and physical fitness. This means that skiers may be moved to a different group after the first or second week of lessons. This may be disappointing if your child wants to be in a class with a friend, but moving them will provide a better skiing experience for them as well as the chance to meet new friends.  Again, we want every skier to have the most fun possible and will do our best to deliver!

NEXT STEPS
Step 1: Join Sandpoint Nordic Club or renew your membership
To join or renew your membership, go to www.sandpointnordic.com and download and print the PDF member brochure, complete the form, sign all family member names, sign a check for $35 or $60 and mail it in.  If you are having problems retrieving the PDF from the website, email vicki.longhini@gmail.com and you will be sent a form via email.

Step 2: Register for YSL
The best learning is done with a max 8skiers:1coach ratio, thus our program participation is limited.  So, if your kids want to cross country ski this season, sign them up early.

Step 3: Decide how you want to be involved
On the registration form you can choose how you want to be involved in the program. Helping out on skis is a lot of fun and parents also receive pointers from our Coaches/Instructors.  The youth ski team is run by volunteers so we are always looking for help from our skiers’ parents. The team trains 16 times during the season and participation from at least one parent or guardian is expected at least one time.

There are a number of opportunities to volunteer:

  • On the Snow – you don’t need to be an expert, just willing to assist and have fun, you might even learn something!
  • Car Poolers
  • Schweitzer Hill Climb: help out with snacks and awards

Step 4: Get skis for your child
Kids don’t need to own ski equipment. The ski team has several sets of skis, boots and poles for skate and classic you can rent for your skiers and even yourself.  Classic “fishscale bottom” skis are encouraged for first timers, but are not required if your athlete really wants to skate ski.   All equipment is leased to the skier for the season.  All equipment must be returned by April 15th.

Bring your skier(s) to Syringa Cyclery– 518 Oak Street, across from the Heartwood Center, to be fitted for equipment.

Prices for ski equipment season leases: (prices for YSL participants)
Skate set up (skis/boots/poles) – $80
Classic set up (skis/boots/poles) – $40
Individual skis, boots or poles can also be leased for $25 each.  All skis go out the door waxed and ready to use, it is your responsibility to keep skis waxed during the season.  For questions about waxing, contact vicki.longhini@gmail.com.  Remember to mark with tape all skis and poles with the child’s name.

Step 5: Dress your child to ski
Children should come to ski practice dressed in layers. WEARING COTTON FABRICS (i.e. cotton turtle necks, blue jeans) SHOULD BE AVOIDED! When cotton gets wet, it stays wet for a long time and draws heat from the skiers’ body.

Body: Layers!  Ideally, a synthetic or silk moisture-wicking base layer should be worn next to the skin.  The next layer should be an insulating layer of fleece (or wool).  An outer layer for beginner skies is usually similar to what is worn by downhill skiers: snow pants and lightly insulated jacket or snow suit. For more advanced skies the outer layer may be a breathable windbreaker.  A knit or synthetic hat and a neck gator or buff is also recommended.  Socks should be wool or synthetic, NO COTTON!

Hands & Hydration: Mittens are much warmer then gloves. Insulated mittens work well, some mittens have pockets for hand warmers – these are great, especially for younger children.  A small waist pack or backpack with a water bottle is recommended.


QUESTIONS?

If you have any questions about the YSL program, please contact vicki.longhini@gmail.com.