Nordic Kids is a fun cross-country ski lesson program for all skill levels. Ages 5-15 are welcome to enroll! The lessons typically run every Saturday in January and February.
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Quick Start ->
Step 1: Complete the Nordic Kids registration form. If you are not already a member or have not renewed yet this season, it will prompt you to join or renew your membership before you can register. *Registration runs October 15 - December 15.
Step 2: Read through all the info below, get your gear and clothes, and get ready to HAVE FUN!
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Nordic Kids is a FUN 8-week program that offers kids from 5 to 15 years old (age 15 or under on Dec. 31) and their parents the opportunity to learn the fundamentals of Nordic (cross-country) skiing. This is a volunteer-run program that creates a great opportunity to meet others in the Nordic ski community.
We sort kids into classes by age and ability. Lessons include drills to learn new skills, games to reinforce learned skills, adventures off the trails, and long tours to reach the Nova hut. The emphasis is on safety and having fun.
The Mt. Spokane State Park Nordic ski area. Parents or custodians are responsible for providing transportation for their children to and from the ski area.
7 of the 8 Saturdays between January 2 and February 20 (depending on snow and weather conditions), with Snow Carnival on Feb 20. One of the Saturdays will be taken off due to the Mt. Spokane Nordic Cup (date and more information to follow).
Session Options: Choose between morning session (9:30-11:30 a.m.) or afternoon session (1:00-3:00 p.m.), followed by snack and hot chocolate at the Selkirk Lodge.
Spokane Nordic Membership (required prior to NK registration): $60 per family
Each child: $80
Late Fee after Dec. 15: $30 per family
State Parks Sno-Park permit: $80 (available at area snow sports stores or the State Parks web page listed on the Ski Park page)
A limited number of Nordic Kids tuition assistance grants are available if your family is having difficulty with the class fees. You can download the tuition assistance form here.
How the lesson day works
Kids meet their coaches in either the starting area on Linder Ridge (below the Selkirk Lodge) or the Learning Area (above the Selkirk Lodge). Please have them dressed and ready to ski at 9:30 AM for morning session and 1:00 PM for afternoon. All parents who are not coaches are encouraged to participate in the lessons.
Parents or custodians are responsible for their children before and after class. For their safety, children who return to the lodge early or whose parents are still out teaching are encouraged to stay inside the lodge. They can have a snack, play games or read.
Lesson groups will leave the starting area to find terrain suitable for the skills they will learn for the day. Because of the range of abilities within a group, the group may get spread out. The Coaches will ensure that no child is left unattended on the trail.
If a child is late, we will make every effort to unite them with their group. If the group is out on the trail and not able to be reached, the late skier will be returned to their parent's care and becomes the parent's responsibility.
How classes are determined
In order to create the best possible experience for each child, classes are created by sorting the kids by age, then by skills and physical fitness. This means that children may be moved to a different class after the first or second week of lessons. Placing them with skiers of similar abilities enables the kids to learn more by being challenged as well as not feeling left behind.
Again, we want every kid to have the most fun possible!
Level 1: New to skiing
Level 2: Can ski up and down hills and snow plow
Level 3: Can stop on steep descents and perform proper skating technique
Now That You're Enrolled...
Step 1: Decide how to be involved
During registration, you will be prompted to indicate how you want to participate. Nordic Kids is run entirely by parent volunteers. Nordic Kids thrives on the energetic support of the parents -- without parent involvement, this program would simply not exist. Participation from at least one parent or adult from every family is expected. Participation by both parents, grandparents, etc. is encouraged! Helping out on the snow is a lot of fun and parents also receive pointers from our professional ski Instructors.
There are a number of choices for volunteer placement:
Coaching: Every 10 kids will need 2 adult leaders (on skis) who assist the coach, every week. You don't need to be an expert, just willing to learn and have fun!
Session Coordinators: will serve as communication facilitators for the morning and afternoon sessions.
Lodge Helpers: snacks, patrolling the lodge area and assisting kids that have returned early, and clean up.
Olympics volunteers: help coordinate and run events or the potluck at the end-of-season Olympics.
Your involvement will ensure the kids have a great experience.
Step 2: Get skis for your child
Kids need to have their own ski equipment. You can check our new ski swap page for any listed ski packages. Mtn. Gear, Fitness Fanatics and REI all have child and youth packages for around $200 or less. Fitness Fanatics also has a season lease/purchase plan. Waxless skis are encouraged.
Skis: Skis should have bindings that match the boot type (either SNS or NNN). Waxless skis are recommended because they provide grip in a variety of snow conditions with minimal prep.
Please remember to mark all skis and poles with the child's name.
Boots: Ski boots should have room for toes to wiggle; that helps keep feet warmer. On very cold days, toe warmers can be paced in the child's boots.
Poles: Level 1 children 4 – 6 years of age do not need poles.
*Click here for ski and pole sizing charts.
Step 3: Get your State Parks Sno-Park permit
You must have a SnoPark permit to park at the Nordic area. Permits cost $80 and are available at local ski shops, at the Fitness Fanatics rental trailer beside the Selkirk Lodge and from the Park Rangers. The money from the sale of SnoPark permits supports cross country grooming, snow removal, and winter Parks staffing at Mt. Spokane.
Step 4: Prepare their skis
Applying a universal glide wax to your child's skis is simple and inexpensive. It will help the skis glide better and on days with sticky snow, will help prevent snow from clumping on the bottom of the child's skis. There are several different types available from Fitness Fanatics, Mountain Gear or REI, and you can follow the instructions that come with it.
We recommend purchasing universal SwixF4 glide wax. It comes in a little plastic box with cork glued on the bottom. Simply crayon it on the bottom of the ski and rub it in vigorously with the cork.
Step 5: Dress your child well
Children should come to the lesson dressed in layers. DO NOT WEAR COTTON FABRICS (i.e. cotton turtle necks, blue jeans)! When they get wet, cotton fabrics stay wet for a long time, and draw heat from the body.
Ideally, a synthetic or silk moisture-wicking base layer should be worn next to the skin.
The next layer should be an insulating layer of fleece (or wool).
An outer layer for beginner skiers is usually similar to what is worn by downhill skiers: snow pants and lightly insulated jacket or snow suit. For faster, more advanced skiers the outer layer may be a breathable windbreaker.
Children should wear a winter hat. Try it at home, make sure it is a good fitting one and will not slide on your child's eyes during class.
Mittens are much warmer then gloves. Most kids are encouraged to wear insulated mittens. Some mittens have pockets for hand warmers - those are great, especially for younger children.
Kids should wear wool fleece socks, with synthetic or silk liner, if needed. NO COTTON SOCKS!
Lip balm is encouraged. On warmer sunny days, sunscreen can be used. On colder days put an oil-based skin salve frost nip barrier on your child's face. It should not contain water or any plant juice like aloe vera. WEARING A SMILE IS A MUST!!!
If you have any questions about the Nordic Kids program, please contact email@example.com.