Does anyone have any experiences with the Development (DEV) Team at Mt. Wachusett? Is it a good program? Are they producing competitive racers?
Dev Team is not specifically a race program. It is a skier development program. It's designed for kids to build general skiing skills ... and have a heck of a lot of fun in the process. The kids are broken up by ability and put on teams at the beginning of the season. They then ski with the same group and instructor once a week on Sat or Sun for ten weeks. A couple of the teams are race-oriented. These teams build skills to ski fast under control. Some of the kids in Dev Team do move on to the Race Team. There is also a team with freestyle orientation.
If you are interested in a true competitive race program, then you would want to put your kid on the Race Team. If your kid doesn't have the skill level yet for race team, a year or two on Dev Team would help.
The program has been hugely successful and grown considerably. It's up to several hundred kids total for Sat and Sun. At some point it will be capped because we're just about at the limit of capacity. I think the success has a lot to do with both the skill building as well the social and fun aspects. Parents see their kids skiing better and the kids go home saying they had a ton of fun. The consistency of the same coach and group really helps. The kids get to be friends and work together. The coach can put together a series of lessons that build from week to week.
If you have any specific questions, feel free to PM me and I'll try to answer.