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Development Programs for kids

Euler

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My daughter has begun to ask if she can do Mount Snow's development program next year. This is a program where kids get placed in a small group with a trainer and ski together for half days on Sat/Sun from mid December to mid March. Cost is about $900 which is a good deal if you think of it as 35 small group lessons. Do any of you have any experience with these programs? My daughter is a ten year old intermediate skier. One of my worries is that the program will be full of kids who have been in snow camps/ski programs/development programs since they learned to walk and she'll be placed in a group with much younger kids. Another worry is the fact that she won't have a day to sleep in the entire winter. The benefits are huge - she'll have high level, small group training far a half day every Saturday and Sunday through the weekend, and will certainly become an outstanding skier. For me an added benefit is that it ensures I'll be at the mountain skiing at 8 o'clock every weekend day next winter.

Anyone have any experiences to share?
 

severine

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No experience but all I see are benefits. If she's interested in the program, and you feel it's valuable, then why not? Sleeping in is over-rated.
 

campgottagopee

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No experience with my own kids (no gots) but I was one of those kids and I say do it. I remeber being a kid and not being able to sleep the nights before skiing. Hey, if she doesn't like it then all that's happened is you've wasted 900 bucks----like none of us have ever done that before.
 

drjeff

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My daughter has begun to ask if she can do Mount Snow's development program next year. This is a program where kids get placed in a small group with a trainer and ski together for half days on Sat/Sun from mid December to mid March. Cost is about $900 which is a good deal if you think of it as 35 small group lessons. Do any of you have any experience with these programs? My daughter is a ten year old intermediate skier. One of my worries is that the program will be full of kids who have been in snow camps/ski programs/development programs since they learned to walk and she'll be placed in a group with much younger kids. Another worry is the fact that she won't have a day to sleep in the entire winter. The benefits are huge - she'll have high level, small group training far a half day every Saturday and Sunday through the weekend, and will certainly become an outstanding skier. For me an added benefit is that it ensures I'll be at the mountain skiing at 8 o'clock every weekend day next winter.


Anyone have any experiences to share?

My 4 year old is ANXOUSLY waiting until she's old enough to "graduate" from Snowcamp and move on to Mount Snow's development program. I know from talking to some of my neighbors in my complex up there whose kids are either currently enrolled and/or are "veterans" of the development program that I haven't heard a bad word about it. Parents have been really impressed with the level of advancement in their childs on snow abilities, and the kids tend to really enjoy the program and make friends with many new folks.
 

SkiDork

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don't worry about integration. She'll quickly catch up to her age level, and if they feel she should be moved to a different coach they'll do it.
 

hiroto

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We did similar program for our son in at Wachusett for 4 years, from age of 7 to 10 although it was only for Sundays.

Those programs are good deal because unlike individual lessons, instructor knows the kids and once they adjust the group according to their skill, there is no wasted time belonging to a group with variable skill level and no wasted time for instructor to learn about your kid.

Negative side is that you won't have single day of relaxing morning during the winter time, and you will be stuck to a single mountain and won't be able to travel to different mountains. Now that my son is off the program, we are enjoying the more relaxed mornings and varieties of mountains we can travel to. But we sure are enjoying skiing with the result of the program.

It helps if you daughter can find a nice friend in the group, but you just have to cross your fingers and see what happens. One of the reason we could go on for as long as four years is that my son found a really good friend and continued to ski with him in a same group for 3 years.
 

Euler

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We did similar program for our son in at Wachusett for 4 years, from age of 7 to 10 although it was only for Sundays.

Those programs are good deal because unlike individual lessons, instructor knows the kids and once they adjust the group according to their skill, there is no wasted time belonging to a group with variable skill level and no wasted time for instructor to learn about your kid.

Negative side is that you won't have single day of relaxing morning during the winter time, and you will be stuck to a single mountain and won't be able to travel to different mountains. Now that my son is off the program, we are enjoying the more relaxed mornings and varieties of mountains we can travel to. But we sure are enjoying skiing with the result of the program.

It helps if you daughter can find a nice friend in the group, but you just have to cross your fingers and see what happens. One of the reason we could go on for as long as four years is that my son found a really good friend and continued to ski with him in a same group for 3 years.

We live 20 minutes from Mount Snow, and buy passes there so being limited to one mountain is not a big deal. Most of the other mountains I've gone to this year have been on days when we could get both kids set up with sleepovers or something and the we went adults only.

Agreed that finding a friend in the group will be a key for my daughters experience.

Thanks for all the feedback.
 

hammer

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We did similar program for our son in at Wachusett for 4 years, from age of 7 to 10 although it was only for Sundays.

Those programs are good deal because unlike individual lessons, instructor knows the kids and once they adjust the group according to their skill, there is no wasted time belonging to a group with variable skill level and no wasted time for instructor to learn about your kid.

Negative side is that you won't have single day of relaxing morning during the winter time, and you will be stuck to a single mountain and won't be able to travel to different mountains. Now that my son is off the program, we are enjoying the more relaxed mornings and varieties of mountains we can travel to. But we sure are enjoying skiing with the result of the program.

It helps if you daughter can find a nice friend in the group, but you just have to cross your fingers and see what happens. One of the reason we could go on for as long as four years is that my son found a really good friend and continued to ski with him in a same group for 3 years.
Just wondering...are these any better/worse than the ski programs kids do through school?

My kids each went through the lessons for a few years as part of the local school ski programs. The lessons seemed to be OK for the first year but they didn't get too much out of them after that time. As a result, my daughter went without lessons this year.
 

WWF-VT

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My sons ski and ride in the Blazers program at Sugarbush. They are all day weekend programs from December - March. Kids really enjoy the programs, there are top notch coaches and they learn a lot through the season. They are grouped in the beginning of the year with other kids at their same ability level. The programs focus on skill development as well as plenty of time for free skiing and riding as a group. We have no problems getting everyone off to the mountain in the AM. The boys have made friends with the many of the other kids in their groups.
 

kbroderick

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Just wondering...are these any better/worse than the ski programs kids do through school?

My kids each went through the lessons for a few years as part of the local school ski programs. The lessons seemed to be OK for the first year but they didn't get too much out of them after that time. As a result, my daughter went without lessons this year.

Totally different, from my experience. I've worked as an after-school program instructor, race-dev program coach (i.e. for a program designed to be a bridge between the every-weekend ski school program and the race club), and as a weekend-program race coach. The after-school programs had a much higher babysitting quotient, and a lot of the kids were more interested in hanging out with their friends than really working on skiing; the weekend dev programs are an entirely different environment.

To the original poster: I'd say go for it. I started as a weekend-program rugrat around 7 or 8 and went from there to racing, and my skiing is much better for it. Being in the habit of getting on snow for first chair on the weekend is a good thing, too, even if it's a PITA (and I know there were times when it was a serious PITA for my parents to get me out in the morning--I've never been and probably never will be a morning person).
 
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