Can’t link arms for blob tag during a pandemic? No problem, let’s whack each other (from a distance) with foam noodles instead! RXCSF youth skiers found plenty of ways to have fun in the snow this winter while adapting to COVID rules. 75 kids, with volunteer help from several high-school skiing program alums, explored new techniques and terrain in small groups through activities like a skiing playground at Mendon Ponds (jumps! bumps! Slalom! snowmen!), Ski Bingo at Bristol, and a photo scavenger hunt at Cumming Nature Center.
Skiers new and old tried out their racing chops in low-key local time trials/races, and many found skiing adventures throughout the state: hopping into the NY junior racing circuit at the Lake Placid, Gore and Rochester JN qualifiers; skinny-ski touring to Avalanche Lake in the ADK backcountry; and having a blast at Bill Koch League events at Lake Placid and the new Osceola resort.
Our hometown RXCSF youth festival was pared down to avoid crowding this year, but managed to pack classic racing, an outdoor picnic, Nordic Cross obstacle course sprinting, and a Birkebeiner Fantasy Camp ski tour into a gorgeous day at Cumming Nature Center. And to cap off our local season, skiers from age 4 through high school (thanks for joining, program alums!) skied, jumped and danced the Funky Fishlegs for a total of 444 km at our annual Skiathlon Mini-Marathon (half classic, half skate, how far can you ski in an hour?) – a collective 276 miles per hour!
But maybe nothing captures Bill Koch League skiing better than the looks of devilish joy and the inadvertent improvement in ski technique that happen when you give a bunch of new skiers a foam noodle and license to whack as many parents/coaches as they can catch in a game of kids-vs-adult whacking-stick freeze tag at Mendon Ponds. There’s a skier (and a kid) inside everyone!