The North Shore Nordic kids’ ski program is going great, program director Megan Brown reports. They are seven weeks into the eight-week program, which has been a huge success.
This year, five levels were able to be offered, with 50 total skiers and a waitlist. Brown says that the decision to cap off the registration at 50 was due to a lack of coaches. However, 15 adult volunteers and coaches are making this program possible. Brown commented, “We have had a wonderful season so far! We have been mastering skills, hills, and lots of fun games!”
The last Sunday of February, February 26, will feature a giant obstacle course for all the skiers as a fun closing event. There will be three levels for the obstacle course, as well as a mass start race for Levels 3, 4, and 5. Season awards will be given to all skiers.
Even though the ski program ends on February 26th, the skiing fun doesn’t have to stop there! A huge Minnesota Youth Ski League festival will be held with all other regional Minnesota Youth Ski League programs the first weekend of March. Brown says, “We had so much fun at this event last year and can’t wait to attend again! It is so fun to get all the skiers from all the separate programs together for some fun and games.”
North Shore Nordic co-leader Jen Bushmaker said, “The magic of cross-country skiing is that you can enjoy this activity no matter what your skill level. While getting kids outside might seem like an antiquated yet obvious sentiment, for many young people, consistent outdoor participation in activities like cross-country skiing is far from a reality. As someone who is passionate both about winter and about outdoor education for our youth, North Shore Nordic allows me to meld those 2 passions together. We all know that recreational opportunities are essential to healthy communities. What I love is that we are able to offer a club here in Two Harbors that will help bring our community together. Nowhere else is this more evident than when you look at our coaches and helpers. North Shore Nordic is 100% dependent on volunteers.”
Maggie Bartlett’s young daughter, Elise, is a Level 1 skier. This is Elise’s second year in the North Shore Nordic ski program, and both her and Bartlett love it. 2022 was Elise’s first time ever being on skis, and the Level 1 coaches taught her the basics. What she was taught stuck with her, says Maggie Bartlett, who reports that this season Elise got “right back into it,” and started where she ended skill-wise last year.
When I asked Bartlett for some feedback from a parent’s perspective, she replied, “I love that the club encourages the kids to get out and be active in the winter months. It’s also awesome that they have so many levels of skiing so kids can learn with a group that matches their skill level. We have been nothing but impressed with the program and hope it continues for many years to come!”