Bretton Woods Adaptive Ski School Seeks Volunteers

By AlpineZone News |
Oct 17 2005 - 10:14 AM

BRETTON WOODS, New Hampshire ??” Want to get involved in changing lives, have a great time with a terrific community, and be inspired by helping children and adults reach the mountaintop? Join the volunteers at Bretton Woods!

As an integral part of a premier family resort, Bretton Woods Adaptive Program serves the whole family, making it possible for everyone to enjoy the thrill of skiing, regardless of disability: spinal cord injury, post polio, amputation, Downs, Autism, Multiple Sclerosis, Cerebral Palsy, hearing impaired or blind, to name a few.

The Adaptive Program is a department of the Bretton Woods Ski School and a chapter of AbilityPLUS and Disabled Sports/USA. Instructors are trained in the American Teaching System, PSIA (Professional Ski Instructors of America) Alpine, Snowboard, as well as Adaptive teaching techniques, providing qualified instruction in various adaptive specialties such as blind guiding, developmentally delayed, mono-ski, bi-ski, 3-track and 4-track. Some instructors are adaptive skiers and know first-hand the challenges and triumphs faced by students and families.

Volunteers are the heart and soul of the adaptive ski school. The program is mostly run by volunteers that give of their time, energy and talents. 20-year veteran volunteer Janice Lamm writes, “As volunteers we share our enthusiasm for the sport and provide the adaptive equipment and instruction necessary to empower our students to use their abilities to temporarily overcome the limitations of their disabilities in order to experience the freedom of fluid movement. In other words, we adapt their wings and teach them to fly. We witness firsthand their struggles and frustrations, the triumphs and the tears of joy. However you define it, at some point during the flight we realize that we are getting much more from the experience than we are ever capable of giving.”

On-snow volunteers are intensively trained to learn how to work with students. Additional volunteers are needed for off snow activities, including running the office, assisting in fund-raising events and adapting equipment to accommodate the needs of special students.

Ski School Orientation is October 29th at the Bretton Woods Base Lodge. Adaptive training takes place every Saturday and Sunday throughout November and December. Clinics focus on the techniques and technologies that allow persons with any disability to ski. New instructors are always paired with an experienced lead instructor qualified to teach that disability.

Following training (six days for new instructors, three for experienced instructors), volunteers are given complimentary passes for each day they volunteer.

Thanks to the generosity of World Cup Champion and Bretton Woods Director of Skiing, Bode Miller, who donates the proceeds of the BodeFest Ski and Golf Challenge to Bretton Woods Adaptive, the program is closer to the vision of a full-time, four-season adaptive sports and recreation program, so that anyone with a disability can enjoy the beauty and wonder of the White Mountains and the Great North Woods.

“The motto of Disabled Sports/ USA, ‘If I can do this, I can do anything,’ expresses the feeling of students who come to Bretton Woods to learn to ski,” says Cris Criswell, Adaptive Program Supervisor. “Come be part of a remarkable community that inspires children and adults to reach the mountaintop and look down on the red roof of the historic Mount Washington Hotel and the great Presidential Range. It changes their lives. It can change yours.”

Bretton Woods Adaptive will be present at the Bretton Woods Job Fair at the Base Lodge, October 22, from 10 am to 2 pm.

For more information about the Bretton Woods Adaptive Program, contact Cris Criswell, Adaptive Supervisor, at 603-991-3133 or [email][/email]. For more information about Bretton Woods Mountain Resort, please call 603-278-3320 or visit