Bill Koch League Ski Program at Sleepy Hollow

2021/2022 Bill Koch League

​Bill Koch League is a Nordic ski program designed for kids in Kindergarten through Middle School. Each session includes ski technique lessons, games, fun and adventures on the trails at Sleepy Hollow. Some kids become racers, some kids will ski tour on and off trail, some kids become back-country skiers and all will come to appreciate a great ski on fresh powder! We have two programs: the BKL Youth Ski Program for kids in K-8th grade and the Middle School Race Program for kids in 5th-8th grade. See information for each program below. Registration, payment and volunteer links are at the bottom of the page.

Announcing a few changes this year:

  • We are now opening the Middle School Race Team to 5th graders. 
  • Kids are getting a season’s pass included with the program this year!
  • We have changed the name of the “Regular BKL Program” (Friday/Sunday, K-8th) to BKL Youth Ski Program
  • We are expanding the program a bit to accommodate more kids who want to ski!


BKL Youth Ski Program:

This program is for skiers of all experience levels, in K-8th grade. We meet ONCE a week on Fridays OR Sundays. During the program, skiers meet up with their small ski groups (based on age and experience), go for a fun ski and have a group lesson (15-18 kids) with an instructor on their skiing technique. Each smaller ski group is led by a volunteer ski leader. See below to sign up to volunteer! The goal of this program is fun on skis and personal improvement over the course of the season. Kids play games on skis, try different challenges, participate in activities and build camaraderie within a group. There are also opportunities throughout the season for all skiers (K-8) who wish to experience racing and are welcome and encouraged to participate in local races, NENSA youth races and the annual BKL Festival at the end of the season! Max of 110 skiers in this program. 

Program Time: Fridays 3:45 – 5:15 PM OR Sundays 2:00 – 3:30 PM

Important Dates: The following includes season dates for the program and the 2022 BKL Festival.

  • December 10th/12th- February 18th/20th with a break for the holidays (no program Dec. 24th/26th and Jan. 31st/2nd). 
  • The BKL Festival is on March 5-6 at Quarry Road Trails in Waterville, Maine. It’s a blast!
  • A few other club events will be added as the season gets closer:).

Ski Technique & Group Lesson Options:

Lesson Days:


Friday


Sunday


Technique Offered*: (see note)      

           Classic or Mixed (classic & skating)              

             Classic or Skating or Mixed (classic & skating).          

Experience Levels:

      All levels, no beginner skiers in mixed groups         

          All levels, no beginner skiers in skating or mixed groups    


*Note on Technique Choice: All new or beginner skiers should sign up for classic technique. Mixed (classic & skating) and skating technique is for skiers that have a little more experience. We really encourage most kids to do BOTH classic and skating at some point.

Program Fee and Rentals:

    • Program Fee: $165 per child (includes a season’s pass now!)
    • Season Ski Rental Fee: $100 per child. We will be giving kids one pair of boots to use and take home with them. Skis and poles stay at Sleepy Hollow and are for use at Sleepy Hollow.
    • Rentals & Ski technique: The kids are welcome (and encouraged!) to do both techniques, especially if they have their own ski gear. We have less flexibility with gear rentals this year because we are giving kids boots for the season to help limit covid risk. They will need to choose either skate or classic boots to keep for the season.  We recommend they use the boots, skis and poles that match their lesson technique.  The skiers can try the other technique on any other day they ski at Sleepy Hollow, and their rental boots will fit either type of skis (it is just a little harder to skate with classic boots).
    • Helpful Tip with Rentals: If you plan to ski with your child frequently at other places besides Sleepy Hollow, you may think about purchasing equipment for cost efficiency. The ski inventory was very low last season, so buy gear sooner than later!
    • Mark you calendars: Friday, November 12th is the Boot and Equipment Fitting Session for rentals

Volunteers Needed!

Calling ALL parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends and mentors! Take an active role in the Friday/Sunday BKL program! Whether you are a seasoned skier or not, there is a job for you! Volunteers are the KEY to our successful Bill Koch ski program. Our volunteer jobs include:

  • Check-In Table: Fridays (3:30-4:00 pm) and/or Sundays (1:45-2:15 pm), greeting skiers and parents as they come in and answering questions
  • Set up Crew: Fridays (3:15-3:45 pm) and/or Sundays (1:30-2:00 pm), setting up table, bibs and group signs
  • Games Keeper: Fridays (3:30-3:45 pm and 5:15-5:30 pm) and/or Sundays (1:45-2:00 pm and 3:30-3:45 pm), bring game supplies up to meadow, help set up cones, clean up cones after program and bring game supplies back down
  • Photographer/Videographer: Fridays (3:45-5:15 pm) and/or Sundays (2:00-3:30 pm), take photos and videos a few times in the season 
  • Super Ski Leader: Fridays (3:30-5:15) and/or Sundays (1:45-3:30), meet up with ski group, take the group out on a fun ski and bring them to their lesson, Heather also provides a weekly lesson of ski tips and tricks based on the group lesson focus.

SIGN UP TO VOLUNTEER HERE. Please sign up early! Many thanks:). Get in touch with Heather LaRocca if you have questions. laroccabeal@gmail.com


BKL Middle School Race Program:

The Middle School race program is for skiers in grades 5th-8th who are excited to ski, to try racing and to learn both classic and skate skiing techniques. We work on striking a balance between doing some good skiing, learning technique, building endurance and strength, building group camaraderie and having FUN. Our goal is really to encourage and support kids in personal improvement and taking on Nordic skiing as an enjoyable, life-long sport. We also work to really support the growth of those skiers who want to excel in racing. The practice sessions are more rigorous than the BKL Youth Ski Program and skiers must participate in at least 3 races over the course of the season. Participants must have some skiing experience (cross-country or downhill) to register for this program. Some exceptions can be made for very athletic kids, but generally, kids who are new to skiing should register for the BKL Youth Ski Program. Our group will most likely be split into a 5th-6th group and a 7th-8th group. Max 40 skiers in this program.

BKL Middle School Race program, grades 5th-8th will meeting times and dates:

  • Practices on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 3:45 – 5:15 PM
  • Season runs November 30th – March 3rd
  • No practices on Dec. 23rd, Dec. 28th, (optional Dec. 30th), Feb. 22nd, Feb. 24th
  • Races typically happen on Saturdays, and some on weekdays
  • Mark your calendar- The BKL Festival is on March 5-6 at Quarry Road Trails in Waterville, Maine. It’s a blast!

Important Equipment Information:

  • Classic and Skate Gear: Skiers will need classic equipment (boots, skis, poles) and skate equipment (boots, skis, poles), as we are learning both techniques. We do not recommend combi skis. Combi boots can work just fine, but ultimately skiers will want to have classic and skating boots, as they best support each technique. Sizing for skis tends to be weight dependent- companies and gear stores often have sizing guides. Boots should be snug, like a running shoe, but still have some wiggle room for toes. Classic poles should come up to about the armpit in length and skate poles should come up to the upper lip (note- ski boots and skis will make skiers a little taller, so be sure to account for that with sizing).
  • Classic Skis- Waxable vs. Waxless (fish scales): If your skier HAS done a year or more of racing, we recommend getting waxable classic skis. If your ski has NOT raced before, waxless classic skis (fish scales) are preferable for the first year of racing. Waxless skis have a texture on the bottom that helps with grip on the uphills. After they have a year of racing under their belt, they can move to waxable classic skis, on which we apply a sticky wax for getting up hills and provide way less drag on the downhills. Please do get in touch if you have questions about this.
  • Rentals: Rentals are a great option, especially if your child is in a growing phase and goes through a set of gear every season. Sleepy Hollow has rentals and there are other gear shops that have great rental programs such as Ski Rack in Burlington.
  • All that said, ski gear is expensive and can add up, especially as your child is growing. Kids do not need the best gear, but getting the right sized gear can impact the growth and success of your skier over the course of the season.

Program Fee and Rentals:

  • Program Fee: $300 per child (includes a season’s pass now!)
  • Season Ski Rental Fee: $100 per child. We are giving skiers boots for the season to minimize covid risk. Skis and poles are for use at Sleepy Hollow only, except race days at other areas. Kids can use rentals any day of the week at Sleepy Hollow, and they can use both our classic waxless skis, or our skate skis.
  • Mark you calendars: Friday, November 12th is the Boot and Equipment Fitting Session for rentals


General COVID-19 Related Information:

  • Guidance from the State of Vermont on school winter sports is not yet out, but when it is released, we will fine tune our approach to the Bill Koch program this year based on guidance from the State of Vermont and the Vermont Department of Health. We will keep you updated as changes occur or issues arise throughout the season.
  • In completing registration, parents/guardians will read and agree to a covid waiver indicating that, “I acknowledge the contagious nature of COVID-19 and voluntarily assume the risk that my child may be exposed to or infected by COVID-19 by participation; and that such exposure or infection may result in personal injury, illness, permanent disability, and death. I understand the risk of becoming exposed to or infected by COVID-19 at Sleepy Hollow Bill Koch practice.”  
  • To see NENSA’s Covid Considerations and further information and recommendations regarding COVID-19 and cross-country ski programs, visit:  https://nensa.net/nensa-covid-19-considerations/
  • For more information on COVID-19 and Vermont State regulations, visit: https://www.healthvermont.gov/covid-19

BKL Program Registration and Payment

Registration Links:

  • BKL Youth Ski Program (K-8th) FRIDAY Registration (Link live on October 4th @ 9:00 am)
  • BKL Youth Ski Program (K-8th) SUNDAY Registration (Link live on October 4th @ 9:00 am)
  • BKL Middle School Race Program (5th-8th) Registration (Link live on October 4th @ 9:00 am)

Payment Options For All Programs: 

Be sure to pay for the program and rentals to complete your registration. Payment must be received within a week of registration to confirm spots.

  • Pay online via Sleepy Hollow Square Site
  • Pay by check- Be AWESOME and save us 2.5% in cc fees. Please make checks payable to Sleepy Hollow Inn. Mail to Heather LaRocca, 4541 VT Route 100, Waterbury, VT 05676

Volunteer for the BKL Youth Ski Program!

Calling ALL parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends and mentors! Take an active role in the Friday/Sunday BKL program! Whether you are a seasoned skier or not, there is a job for you! Volunteers are the KEY to our successful Bill Koch ski program. Visit the link below to see the list of volunteer jobs and sign up. Please sign up early! Many thanks:). 

SIGN UP TO VOLUNTEER HERE

Questions?

Contact the Sleepy Hollow Bill Koch League Program Director, Heather LaRocca at laroccabeal@gmail.com

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