About the Program
The Junior Nordic Program is a
multi-year ski program designed to teach children all-round skills for Nordic
skiing. It started with Amy and Lib's popular Treasure Trails program over
20 years ago. Then in the mid-1980s, it grew to a age 4 to 18 program through the efforts of Don Brooks, Paul Nelson, and Shannon Nelson.
Over the last 20 years, the JNP has taught hundreds of kids the joys of freeheel skiing. Quite a few JNP kids have gone
on to race in college (and Holly Brooks went on to the Olympics!).
And many of our students have gone on to coach in the JNP and other juniors programs. The JNP runs for 8 weeks from early January to mid-March. Check
the website in November for exact dates.
For ages 4 to 8, we focus on striding (classic) and downhill skills. Starting around age 8 or 9, kids learn to skate. Kids age 9 and older split their season between classic and skating styles. For kids under the age of 10, learning through games and adventure is very important. Kids in Treasure Trails and Little Nords will play a variety of games like treasure hunts, skiing off trail through the woods, playing soccer on skis, and having snowball fights all in the process of learning to freeheel ski (striding, skating, and downhill). Then when kids enter Freeheelers, they are ready to for directed technique coaching.
Little Nords (LN) Focuses on children age 6-9. Little Nords is broken into 3 groups. Group 1 is for 6-9 year olds who have not gone through Treasure Trails. They will learn Treasure Trails skills with an older group of kids. Group 2 are Little Nords who have moved up from TT or who already have TT skills. Group 2 works on better striding skills and strong downhill skills. Group 2 will begin skiing in the upper area towards the end of the season. Group 3 have completed a year of LN or come in with Group 2 skills. Group 3 will begin learning to skate and work on advanced downhill skills (stem-christies, parallel, and tele turns). Group 3 will often ski the upper area. Little Nords is an 8-week program.
Freeheelers (FH) focuses on kids age 9-18 who are intermediate to advanced skiers. Most Freeheelers have come up through the Treasure Trails and Little Nords programs and are already strong classic and skate skiers. Freeheelers work on perfecting their classic and skating skiing, while still spending time playing games like ski soccer, capture the flag, and pelt the instructor. Freeheelers will also work on their nordic downhill technique, both telemark and parallel. Freeheelers is an 8-week program.
Trailblazers is a program for kids age 9+ who are beginning to intermediate cross-country skiers. Kids who start cross-country skiing at age 10+, start in Trailblazers. Those that learn to skate in Trailblazers move the Freeheelers the next year. They will learn classic and skate skiing and downhill techniques. Trailblazers is an 8-week program.
Junior Racing The JNP is not racing focused, but we develop kids into expert cross-country skiers to be ready for whatever next freeheel adventure they want to pursue. Those kids who want to race will be ready to do so at age 12+. See the Junior Racing tab link in the left navbar for junior racing opportunities if your child is interested in this. Many JNP alums have gone on to race in HS and college.