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Lessons for the kids - which way to go?

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
This question is really specifically for the 7springs Folks --

I talked my girls - ages 13 and 9 - into coming with me to have a girls' ski bunny weekend next weekend 17th and 18th. It will be their first time on skis, and I want them to get the most positive intro possible. They are never-evers.

I want to spend time with them - not just dump them off at the ski school and then pick them up many hours later. So I was wondering what the best way to go might be?

Should I schedule a family private, so I can be there WITH them while they learn? Should I do morning group age-level lessons for them, meet for lunch and then do afternoon group lessons? or what?

The 9-yr old is usually game to try almost anything, while the 13-yr old has a lower frustration/giggle level and a lower "I'm going to make an idiot out of myself" threshhold. Both play basketball and are pretty coordinated.

Any other suggestions?

Also, can I rent them helmets there, or should I arrive already armed?
post #2 of 23
Frau,
I'm not at 7 springs, but I suggest they take a 2 person private in the morning and you could attend the lesson as much as you like (or they like). Have a nice lunch together and ski with them in the areas suggested by the instructor in the pm.
As for the helmets, call the area and reserve the lesson and ask if they are available. Also, try to reserve the rentals if possible.

Watching them learn to ski is a wonderfull experience that you will not want to miss, so the 2 person private gives you the flexibility to either obsurve or join in.

Enjoy!

RW
post #3 of 23
Personally I would let them buy helmets they will actually want to wear. Nothing will ruin a 13 year old girls ski day more is to be fitted with a resort-issue grey/black helmet that some boy might have worn, and then while on the slopes to see other girls snowplowing by in:

http://www.boeri.com/arashi.html

or worse if a pack of 13-something boys ski by...

JMO.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FRAU
This question is really specifically for the 7springs Folks --

I talked my girls - ages 13 and 9 - into coming with me to have a girls' ski bunny weekend next weekend 17th and 18th. It will be their first time on skis, and I want them to get the most positive intro possible. They are never-evers.

I want to spend time with them - not just dump them off at the ski school and then pick them up many hours later. So I was wondering what the best way to go might be?

Should I schedule a family private, so I can be there WITH them while they learn? Should I do morning group age-level lessons for them, meet for lunch and then do afternoon group lessons? or what?

The 9-yr old is usually game to try almost anything, while the 13-yr old has a lower frustration/giggle level and a lower "I'm going to make an idiot out of myself" threshhold. Both play basketball and are pretty coordinated.

Any other suggestions?

Also, can I rent them helmets there, or should I arrive already armed?
post #4 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by skidad55
Personally I would let them buy helmets they will actually want to wear. Nothing will ruin a 13 year old girls ski day more is to be fitted with a resort-issue grey/black helmet that some boy might have worn, and then while on the slopes to see other girls snowplowing by in:

http://www.boeri.com/arashi.html

or worse if a pack of 13-something boys ski by...

JMO.
LOL - I see your point.
Fortunately, she has never been much of a fashion-queen, but I will give her the option.
post #5 of 23
Give 'em BOTH the helmet option. Ask if you can have a certified gal instructor. The nine-year-old won't care, but the 13-year-old will unless she has a male basketball coach.

The rental place won't provide much boot fitting help, so you should remember that the boots should hold the foot like a firm double handclasp with no squeezing or pinching. There should be only one ski-appropriate sock in a boot. Nothing like the end of longjohns or the hem of jeans or the stretchy cuff of snowpants should be tucked inside the boot. And the boot cuff should close snugly around the leg so that you cannot insert fingers.

Unless they ask, I wouldn't stand and watch. Nothing's worse that trying something new with an audience. You can check back with them after the first half hour and ask if they need to remove a layer of insulation or something. They should start with layers they can remove as they work up a sweat.

Does that area use a rope tow for beginners? If so, they should have appropriate handwear. And they should not have anything like loose long hair, scarves or loose, open clothing when using especially a rope tow but any sort of lift.
post #6 of 23
Trust me on this

If you would like your gilrs to learn to ski so you can ski with them...don't be part of the lesson. Family lessons never work out as well as letting them learn on their own.

Our Jr. Ski program is first rate. Let them spend a weekend or two in it and you'll be amazed how well they can ski. After a few weeks, do privates, as needed to fine tune or advance or they may ask to come back to Jr. Ski occasionally. Most kids do. Most kids we work with in Jr. Ski out-ski their parents in a short time, so get practicing
post #7 of 23
My suggestion for the first day is a full day lesson. Private is fine, but if you can find a group lesson with kids the same age that will be even better. They will be with other kids who have also never skiied before. Not much of an embarrassment factor when they are all falling all over the place. They will accomplish a lot more a lot faster with a instructor than they will with you. They know how to pull your strings. They tough it out with an instructor.

After a full day, they will most likely be able to tackle the greens with you on day 2. Obviously you ski. In my opinion, especially with girls, warmth is the key. Make sure they have appropriate gloves and socks and a neck gator. Once they are cold, the game is over.

Good luck and have fun.
post #8 of 23

3 times the fun

I have three daughters, presently ages 16, 14 and 9. I have skied with them since each was age 4, so I do have some basis.

If you have girls, you know each has their own hot button, so hear me out and make your choice based on each kid.

We tried both 6-week local group and ad-hoc 1-2hr. privates. The privates worked out much better- they learned more and progressed faster than sitting on the side for 45 minutes while they get their 15 minutes of fame. Determine your kids preference, give them a choice. Also give them a choice about time of day. Unless you've really got them under your thumb, teenage girls want/need some independence.

I limited lessons to a couple hours over a weekened, frankly, we're a family and not going to dump them for a day. Time together is important to us and them.

I like privates because the girls got a great assessement (be sure to meet and debrief the instructor afterwards) and they got enough head knowledge to work on for the remainder of the weekend. Remember, skiing is supposed to be fun. If money is no object, I'd go for 2 hours. If ,more limited, go for 1 hour.

I also let the girls have some say in what kind of instructor they get. I give the instructor my assessment of their ability and let the instructor then chat with my daughter and decide for him/herself. In my case each girl is in their own separate class, please.


No way would I want to be around my girls when they were in a class or a private lesson. They would be so upset with me... I'll leave it at that. I have been known to hide at a distance uphill and watch for a few minutes, that was about it.

Another queue you take from the kids (at any age) is when to stop and go inside. As tired as they may be, sitting in the lodge for an hour may be all they need, even though they say they are done.


About rental helmets. If they are going up anything greater than a rope tow, a helmet is in order. I don't insist on helmets in the never-never-never-land beginner area, though my wife insists. Many people however are very repulsed by the notion of wearing a helmet that someone else had on. Head lice in particular. You have to balance that against the investment cost, if the child choses not to imbibe in the sport long-term.

Oh yeah, nothing beats a nice sunny day for the first lesson. A good attitude is worth it all.

Good Luck & Enjoy!
Bill
post #9 of 23
Go with the kids program. For me a private lesson is more geared for an adult.

Kids like to be with other kids.

Matt's right about the Springs programs, our kids were skiing with us on our first trip there by Friday.
post #10 of 23
It's all about movement in general on the first day...go with a class or the program T-Matt talked about.

Once they are skiing (able to connect turns) then a private may be worth while.

No way should you spy ! Go skiing. It's not a matter of you "dumping them off" as much as ...."hey MOM's STILL watching : "

Helmets...I have never in my experience seen a head or neck injury on the beginner hill. I do recall one on a slope out west where classes routinely go on the first day once they ride the lift. That was an odd circumstance to say the least.... I wouldn't worry about the helmet thing unless the place is jammed with people that day.

Meeting for lunch is a great idea (assuming they are not in a lunch program with the instructor and the rest of the class) ...meeting their instructor at the end of the lesson and asking what trails (if any) they can ski at that point is mandatory.

Most of all, it's about them having fun...a nice day helps..good snow helps... no pressure helps...laughing at all of it helps....and you skiing at their speed when you all ski together after the lesson helps.
post #11 of 23
Frau: Don't put unreasonable expectations on your children
or the instructor. I see so many disasters because of pressure
by the parents that their kids perform at some certain level.
Don't get caught up in what level they are or other meaningless
stuff. What is most important is that they have fun and want to ski
again.
post #12 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by skier31
Frau: Don't put unreasonable expectations on your children
or the instructor. I see so many disasters because of pressure
by the parents that their kids perform at some certain level.
Don't get caught up in what level they are or other meaningless
stuff. What is most important is that they have fun and want to ski
again.
That's exactly what I'm aiming for - and only that.
I've only been at this for a year myself. It's just that it has become a guilty-pleasure for me and I want to include the kids - IF they are interested. And that's a big if. I floated the idea, and they are at least game to try - so that's what we're doing.

Truthfully, I'm not sure I can AFFORD for them to get TOO interested! LOL. It's taking a huge chunk out of the budget just for ME - and then there's the older son who won't be with us this time. Today I went to the discount sports store to get some polypro and decent gloves for the girls, and one of them needed a fleece for layering, and I got a balaclava for each. It came to 200 bucks - and that was at Dunhams. And this is after having to get each new basketball shoes LAST weekend. There goes THAT paycheck
post #13 of 23
Getting the Fleece and other gear clues me in that you know what you are doing. More than half the battle, expecially with women and kids, (sorry FRAU but it's true.) is keeping them warm and comfortable.

If it were me, I would put them in a private or a 1/2-day lesson to start. My kid started out fine in group lessons.
post #14 of 23
Thread Starter 
Okay, We're set up for tomorrow ( Sunday). I'll let y'all know how it goes.
post #15 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by FRAU
Okay, We're set up for tomorrow ( Sunday). I'll let y'all know how it goes.
Most of us already know....they are going to have the time of their life !
post #16 of 23
What a great mom. 3 girls at those ages. Hats off!
post #17 of 23
Thread Starter 
I've got two brand-new "Green Goblins" here!!

Many thanks to Mara (Girls Rule!) for the hard work, and to Matt for the advice for mom -- you guys are great!

Molly was pretty worn out and needed Hot chocolate and out of the boots, but Maggie had no rest until she took a trip down Philips Run w/ Mom before we left.

Both were asleep in the car before we were off the mountain:

Looks like I've got some new ski buddies! Awesome!!
post #18 of 23
This is just the beginning: let the good times roll!
post #19 of 23
Thread Starter 

New Greenies and a Great Teacher

post #20 of 23
Totally too cool!!!!!!!!!
post #21 of 23

Wow !!

FRAU, I saw Matt in the locker room in the AM...I`m sorry I missed you , I had a 10-12 lesson...I`m sure Mara was great------and you had a chance to see the results later in the day--The sun was out , the snow was super and Mara and Matt are great!!!

-I assume you took advantage of our Jr Ski all day program ......great program and great Pros.....

Also, I notice that you have a NEW jacket---( looks super)-----Larry C
post #22 of 23
Oh the pink goggles. Jane would be jealous. I'm glad someone had their priorities straight this weekend!
post #23 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by janesdad
Oh the pink goggles. Jane would be jealous. I'm glad someone had their priorities straight this weekend!
LOL -They came as a set with the helmet. She almost went for the blue set instead, but changed her mind at the last minute. (Giro at Dick's).

Maggie was really excited - couldn't wait to go show me what she learned. We ended up leaving her older sister in the Lodge for one last run.

In fairness, Molly got pretty beat-up playing basketball the day before, so she was tired and sore before she started. It is a mixed league and she is one of only two girls on her team. It was a really physical game. The last quarter she got pissed-off and tired of taking elbows, so she started "giving back" - got several court-burns and fouls to show for it.

She hung in there great for a three-hour private lesson though - I'm proud of both of them!
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