Tiny Tots Learn to Ski at Smugglers’ Notch Resort

By AlpineZone News |
Jan 11 2006 - 10:52 AM

SMUGGLERS’ NOTCH RESORT, Vermont ??” Smugglers’ Discovery Dynamos Ski Camp is well known for teaching children to ski at age three. But what about tots who are a little younger than that and who need a bit more personal attention and aren’t quite ready for the rigors of an all-day experience? Smugglers’ offers them the Little Rascals on Snow program.

Treasures child care center is the home base for this program which is designed for toddlers aged 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 who may not yet be potty trained.
It introduces children to skiing in small doses, allowing them to have fun on the snow and get the feel of skis and ski equipment. Every youngster registered at Treasures in this age category is eligible if the parents want to let them have a go on the snow.

Children in this program spend a portion of the day in Treasures, and a portion of the day on snow. Before heading outside, the kids have fun playing “dress up” in their ski equipment, and when they are ready head out for some sliding. After lunch they usually nap to recoup their energy expenditure.

Ramsey Brown is the lead for this program and is a “natural teacher,”
comments Elizabeth Skypeck, Treasures’ director. “There is great collaboration between the Snow Sport University and Treasures. Instructors from SSU come and help because the ratio is so low: two children to one instructor,” explains Elizabeth.

The goal of this experience is to develop a trusting relationship with the counselor, to have good fun and enjoy being outdoors. When such a young child is dressed in his or her ski suit, (overalls, jacket, gloves and helmet) plus the boots and skis, it can double their body weight. “This can inhibit their movement and be a bit scary,” explains Elizabeth. “It’s like
an adult being dressed for skiing and then wrapped up in duct tape! When
you add the fact that the children are being left with strangers to teach them, this presents a big challenge,” says Elizabeth.

What Ramsey and her crew try to do is observe the child and use their observations to connect with the youngster. They build up trust in little layers until the youngsters are enjoying their outdoor experience on skis, learning to adjust to the motion of the WonderCarpet lift and the feeling of sliding.

Can toddlers this age actually learn to ski? Yes, they can, and they can also learn to ride the chairlift. For a short video of the Little Rascals on Snow, visit www.smuggs.com/pges/winter/kids/2-half-3-years.php.

The Little Rascals on Snow program includes: age appropriate lessons and fun in the snow with their equipment [weather permitting], lunch, rest time and indoor fun. It costs $95 per day and is offered daily. Advance registration is required at Treasures.
To schedule an interview with Little Rascals on Snow manager Ramsey Brown or the parents of children who have participated in this program, to visit Smugglers’ Notch for a personal view of the Little Rascals in action, please call 802-644-1156 or email [email]mediarelations@smuggs.com[/email]