Bill Koch Ski Program at Sleepy Hollow

2020/2021 Bill Koch League

​Bill Koch League is a nordic ski program designed for kids in Kindergarten through Middle School. Practice includes ski technique, games, personal improvement, fun and adventures on the trails at Sleepy Hollow. Some kids become racers, others become back-country skiers and all will come to appreciate a great ski on fresh powder!  We have two programs:   the Regular BKL program for kids in K-8th grade and the Middle School Race Program for kids in 6th-8th grade. See information for each program below. Registration and payment links are at the bottom of the page.

Regular BKL Program:

We meet TWICE a week on Fridays and Sundays from December 11th- February 21st. With a break for the Holidays (No practice Dec. 25th and 27th).

Due to Covid we have changed a few things for this year’s programming.  Each child will pick a day for the lesson, either Friday or Sunday, and a lesson technique- classic (all levels), skating or mixed (more experienced).  FYI- Skating or Mixed (both skate and classic) will be an option for more experienced skiers, and kids doing both techniques will need at least one set of their own gear. We will split the kids into groups of 15 for the lessons with Heather!  The remainder of the practice time and the non-lesson day will be spent with the parent volunteers doing a mixture of adventure skis and fun activities.  Max 90 skiers in this program (we have to be very strict on this number this year!).

Regular BKL groups, age K-8th grade (groups based on age and ability) will meet on:

  • Fridays 3:45-5:15 PM
  • Sundays 2:00 – 3:30 PM

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! Click here to register for the Bill Koch Festival (coming in January).

Program Fee and Rentals:

  • Program is $130 per child ($120 program fee + $10 neck gaiter)
  • Season Ski Rental Fee is  $100 per child (for renters, we will be giving kids one pair of boots to use for the season to help limit covid risk. See note below.)
  • 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 take advantage of their non-lesson day to do the other technique and their rental boots will fit either type of skis (it is just a little harder to skate with classic boots).  Every lesson will have something for every skier, regardless of experience and what technique they are doing.Ideally, we will work towards a structure that enables all the kids to get experience in classic and skating as they grow and take on nordic skiing as a life-long sport:).
  • Mark you calendars- Friday, November 20th is our Boot and Equipment Fitting Session

Volunteers Needed:

Calling ALL parents! Take an active role in the program! Whether you are a seasoned skier or not, there is a job for you! Volunteers are the KEY to our successful Bill Koch program. Please sign up early! Complete the following questions AND sign up for specific tasks on the site below:

SIGN UP HERE to volunteer today! Thank you!


BKL Middle School Race Program:

The Middle School race program is for skiers in grades 6-8 who are excited to race 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 regular BKL 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 Regular BKL program. Max 25 skiers in this program.

BKL Middle School Race program, grades 6-8th will meet on:

  • Tuesdays and Thursdays, December 1st – February 18th, 3:45 – 5:00 PM
  • Races typically happen on Saturdays, and some on weekdays (changes/information still to come regarding race structure and covid)

Equipment Information:

  • Skiers will need classic equipment (boots, skis, poles) and skate equipment (boots, skis, poles), as we are learning both techniques. Combi skis and combi boots do exist and can work, though for the comfort and success of the skier, it is generally recommended to have classic and skating equipment. 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- unless your child has raced classic before, waxless classic skis (fishscales) are preferable for the first year of racing. These 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.
  • 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.

Program Fee and Rentals:

  • Program is $210 per child ($200 program fee + $10 neck gaiter)
  • Season Ski Rental Fee is $100 per child (Rentals note: 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. 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 20th is our Boot and Equipment Fitting Session

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 continue to 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.
  • Health screening and temperature checks will be done at check in daily. If a temperature is found to be over 100.4 degrees, the participant will be sent home. In addition, the Dept of Health recommends that the same adult do drop-off/pick-up each day to reduce contact between individuals. Adults should wear face coverings when doing drop off and pick up. 
  • Our staff are required to wear facial coverings while at work. The only exception will be when they are actively skiing. At breaks on the trail face coverings will be put back on. 
  • We will require all volunteers and participants to wear face coverings while at Sleepy Hollow. 
  • All of our indoor restrooms will be closed to the public to reduce unknown transmission sources. There will be outdoor portalets and hand sanitizer for skiers’ use. But we want all families to know that the trail system we will be using is a public network, owned by Sleepy Hollow. Although all users are asked to follow proper social distancing guidelines and use face coverings as recommended, we will most likely encounter other trail users. Our staff will be coaching the campers on safety protocols while meeting people on the trail to maintain proper social distancing. 
  • All staff have completed the required COVID-19 training required by VOSHA. In addition, staff have reviewed the state requirements for programs and will be modifying activities appropriately. During the program we will be following proper social distancing guidelines recommended by the VT Dept of Health. We ask that prior to the start of the program, you familiarize your participant with proper social distancing criteria so that this is not a new concept when they arrive to the program. We realize that this can be more difficult for children to comprehend, and are prepared to manage this in a group setting both on and off the trails. If you have siblings attending the program together please explain to them the importance of modeling social distancing between each other as well. The other participants and trail users may not know they are siblings and mistake their behavior as not appropriate social distancing. The VT Department of Health recommends facial coverings for participants. We will leave this decision to the individual families. 
  • We are limiting the size of our program this year, and we are doing smaller group lessons to reduce risk due to COVID-19. 
  • We will have hand sanitizer available on site in key locations after points of contact. If possible, please send your participant with personal hand sanitizer and/or disinfecting wipes for personal use. If you have any questions after reviewing this information please contact us directly. This is required for all participants to attend as we want to be sure all families are familiar with our COVID-19 response and the plan in place to follow Dept of Health requirements. 
  • In completing registration, 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 that the risk of becoming exposed to or infected by COVID-19 at Sleepy Hollow Bill Koch practice.”  
  • To see NENSA’s New England Cross Country Promise and further information and recommendations regarding COVID-19 and cross-country ski programs, visit:  https://nensa.net/new-england-cross-country-promise/
  • For more information on COVID-19 and Vermont State regulations, visit: https://www.healthvermont.gov/response/coronavirus-covid-19

Bill Koch Program Registration and Payment

Registration Links:

  • Regular Bill Koch League (K-8th) Registration- sorry, program FULL, email Heather LaRocca, laroccabeal@gmail.com to get on the waitlist
  • Middle School Race Program (6th-8th) Registration- Sorry, program full!

Payment Options For All Programs: be sure to pay for the program and rentals here (if you are getting them)

  • 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 Regular BKL program!

Calling ALL parents! Take an active role in the Friday/Sunday program! Whether you are a seasoned skier or not, there is a job for you! Volunteers are the KEY to our successful Bill Koch program. Please sign up early! Complete the following questions AND sign up for specific tasks on the site below:

SIGN UP HERE to volunteer today! Thank you!

Questions?

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

Check out the Facebook Page – Click below