Safety concerns tend to fall on my shoulders - whether we're skiing, biking, or kayaking - I guess because 1) I'm dad, 2) I'm the stronger skier (or rider or paddler), and 3) I tend to immerse myself more in a sport or activity so become more aware of all aspects of it than do any of the girls (wife included).
I'd call the girls all strong intermediate skiers. The kids are starting to out-ski mom, although Mom has better skills but tends to doubt herself and get scared when things get steep.
Examples - at Winter Park my wife loves all t he stuff off of Parry's Peek, could comfortably negotiate and enjoy Gambler and Aces and Eights, had a lot of fun in the trees -- I think between Sleeper and Riflesight last year (with 10 - 12" of new snow)...but bumps challenge her, so when we hig Drunken Frenchman she kidn of froze up and struggled. At Steamboat examples of her favorites (at the top of her skill level) would be The Ridge, Triangle 3, Shadows...but only if conditions are nice and soft.
Anyway - as our trip approaches I've been thinking about how to maximize safety for the girls, especially while in the trees. I guess my biggest fear is tree wells. Skiing our small hill at home the kids tend to blast ahead (even in the woods), and I wait for my wife who skis more cautiously. I want to talk to t he kids about the need to stay together, about keeping each other in sight especially when skiiing in certain types of treed areas. Don't wnat to scare them so they won't go into the woods, but I do want to make sure they know that skiing off on their own isn't acceptable.
So my thought is that my wife, as probably the slowest, should lead - then the kids, and I sweep. I'm the one who really needs to watch everyone anyway. It might not be ideal in terms of skiing speed and flow, but I think it's the best option.
Any thoughts, input, or tips are welcome. As the title says, maybe I'm being a safety weenie, but I'd much prefer to think it out ahead of time and be comfortable with our plan, than wing it and have something go wrong. If I've thought it through and everyone knows how we'll ski and stay together as a group, t hen I wo'nt have to be playing nanny on the mountain.
Also - whistles - any use? I have four of those orange safety whistles...have had them for several years - got t hem for hiking in the Adirondacks when the kids were smaller but never really used them.
I know the kids will have a blast even if we don't ski in the trees - they've been to Stowe and Jay Peak, but besides that have mostly skied our little central NY hill (Greek Peak).