So we’ve heard a lot of friends say their kids learned to ski / snowboard at Quechee. Every weekend this winter we see a lot of kids there running off to ski school. We’ve rented to a lot of families looking to get their kids to learn – they always ask the question – what’s the right age to start? Honestly, it depends on the kid, but most kids start around 4, but I’ve heard as early as 2.
Our oldest daughter is 3.5 years old – and we finally had the chance to get her on skis. To be honest, we weren’t sure whether it was worth it to spend $35 on rentals, and $75 for group lessons. Maya has always been initially shy – at soccer class, gym class, swim class, even her pre-school where she’s been going for 2 years! We thought we’d spend all the money and she would refuse to leave us and go to class… but we decided to go with the plunge anyway. The first few minutes were every parent’s nightmare – Maya screaming, crying and clutching with all her might to me… Paul comes by and suggests we just separate (and eases my parental guilt – saying he’s only had one kid in all his years teaching who didn’t cry on the first day). He pairs Maya up with an amazing teacher Kristy – who proceeds to show Maya all the animals at her house – 2 dogs, a pig, several horses, a few goats – Maya is immediately smitten and forgets about her fear. She holds Kristy’s hand and marches confidently up the hill to the T-bar. Parents are asked to keep their distance for fear of distracting the kids, but I can’t help but sneak a few close peeks. I was amazed by how happy and confident Maya was after Day 1 (more than 2 hours of non-stop teaching – mostly 2:1 and 1:1). Maya LOVED it, couldn’t stop talking about skiing. Here’s a video I snapped of her learning to snow-plow on day 1 – notice the pure joy in her face after she gets a high five and waves to me. Importantly, was exhausted and slept like a baby that night.
When asked if she wanted to go back the next day, Maya gave me an emphatic “YES!”. So we wake up extra early, load up on pancakes, and get out to the hill early. This day, instead of tears and crying, she marches confidently right up to Kristy, all smiles. The morning session is 3 hrs of sessions – I don’t remember Maya doing ANYTHING for 3 hrs – especially in the freezing cold. At the end, Maya wants to show off her new skills to mommy. Instead of snow plows and turns, Maya bombs down the hill – while I scream for her to slow-down and do her “big pizza” (their term for snow plow). She just laughs as she flies by me…
Honestly, it’s hard to put into words how proud I was of Maya – turning her fear into accomplishment, learning a new skill, and having a blast. Most importantly, I actually think Maya had a breakthrough at Quechee – I believe that she’s gained a huge amount of self-confidence. As a dad, that’s all I want for my little girl – for her to be happy, and approach life with confidence. I just had no idea she’d get all that from skiing! Just another reason to love Quechee and look forward to an extended ski session! Now we can’t wait to get our son Owen on skis – we might even start him at 2!