banner photo: Youth ski league on Shen campus, March 2018.
Bill Koch Youth Ski League
Shenendehowa Nordic Club’s BKYSL program meets weekly from November to March to get children (ages 4-12) outside to enjoy cross country skiing and winter activities, with or without snow – join us!
The program meets every Tuesday after school at 3:45pm in Koda Middle School, room 711. The purpose of the club is to get kids outside to enjoy the winter months. Parents are welcome to enjoy the fun and games. We also occasionally meet on the weekends to practice on hills or share fun with other youth ski clubs in our area. More info: Coach Eric Hamilton at 518-371-7548 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Shen Nordic is the perfect way to introduce cross country skiing. Established in 1990, the Bill Koch program has taught hundreds of area children and their families the simple skills needed to love XC skiing. It also provides the basics to pursue Nordic ski racing in middle and high school – or just plain fun on snow! SNC is one of a dozen clubs in the Mid-Atlantic region sanctioned by the NYS Ski Racing Association - Nordic (www.nyssranordic.org).
This year, the annual Mid-Atlantic Bill Koch Youth Ski Festival will be hosted locally by HURT Nordic (www.hurtnordicskiing.com) and the Town of Greenfield at Brookhaven Golf Course on March 9-10, 2019. Shen Nordic will be participating and we look forward to coming home with a collection of medals or ribbons.
The weekend will feature fun events, covering all things Nordic. There will be fun, low-key races, a scavenger hunt on skis, and dinner Saturday night, followed by a bonfire. Come out and enjoy a weekend of skiing with the whole family, at a nearby, convenient location! More info and registration: www.skireg.com/nys-bill-koch-youth-ski-festival
If “fun on snow” sounds good, join us any Tuesday!
There are several youth, learn to ski programs in the Capital Region. These programs fall under the national Bill Koch Youth Ski League and encourage children in grades Kindergarten to 8th grade to get out, enjoy winter, and learn to cross country ski. Children do not need any experience cross country skiing to join these programs. Skiing are taught through the use of games, technique drills, and play on skis. Equipment is also available, free of charge, on a first-come, first-served basis, so sign up early!
Local programs can also be found in Greenfield and Queensbury through Hudson United Racing Team (www.hurtnordicskiing.com). For more info on Greenfield, contact Chris Yarsevich (email@example.com), and for Queensbury contact Bob Underwood (firstname.lastname@example.org). Farther afield, there are also youth programs in Old Forge (www.polarbearskiclub.org), Saranac Lake (www.deweymountain.com), and Lake Placid (www.mtvanhoevenberg.com).
Season Ski Distance
Shenendehowa Nordic Club has an end-of-season award to reward your motivation and dedication through the ski season. This is for any club member who achieves various milestones in total distance skied in the season. Keep a log and record the distance you ski whether it’s in practice, competitive events or just having fun. Add up the kilometers every week and month for an end-of-season total.
If you’ve covered more than one of the distances you can receive an award and appropriate recognition at the end-of-season dinner. Gold = 600k, Silver = 400k, and Bronze = 300k. Bill Koch Youth members have different requirements based on age.
Equipment can vary dramatically depending on skate vs. classic technique, touring vs. racing vs. backcountry use. Luckily, our area has some great ski shops to help with all the decisions.
Alpine Sport Shop in Saratoga Springs – www.alpinesportshop.com
Berkshire Outfitters in Adams, Mass. – www.berkshireoutfitters.com
Cascade XC Ski Center in Lake Placid – www.cascadexc.com
Garnet Hill Lodge in North River – www.garnet-hill.com
High Peaks Cyclery in Lake Placid – www.highpeakscyclery.com
Inside Edge in Queensbury – www.insideedge.biz
Lapland Lake in Northville – www.laplandlake.com
Osceola Tug Hill in Camden – www.uxcski.com
Play It Again Sports in Latham – www.playitagainsports.com
Sports Page in Queensbury – www.sportspageski.com
The shops carry equipment for all types of skiing and can help you decide what you need. In general, beginners will typically start with a light touring ski and expand from there. Bigger, wider, and heavier gear is useful for backcountry skiing (deeper snow and steeper terrain), while lighter, faster gear is used for racing or training. Whatever equipment you decide on, get out there and enjoy the snow!