Bill Koch League Ski Program at Sleepy Hollow

2022-2023 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. Hope to see you at Sleepy this winter:).


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, and there will potentially be an option to do TWO DAYS this year. During the program, skiers meet up with their small ski groups (based on age and experience), go for a fun ski and have a bigger group lesson (15-20 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! We are asking that ALL participating families sign up for a volunteer slot this year. The goal of this program is FUN, camaraderie and ski skills improvement over the course of the season. Kids play games on skis, try different challenges, participate in activities and support each other within a smaller ski 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 community races (Wednesdays Night Worlds @ Sleepy!), NENSA & BKL Club youth races and the annual BKL Festival at the end of the season! Max of 130 skiers in this program. 

Program Time:

Fridays* 4:00 – 5:30 PM OR Sundays 2:00 – 3:30 PM

*Two Day Option: For Friday program, there will potentially be an option to add on Adventure Ski Sundays for those kids who would like to do TWO DAYS of BKL. They will do group lessons on Friday and a full ski on Sundays. Details are still coming together…more to come!

Important Dates:

  • Volunteer Ski Leader Training: Saturday, December 3rd
  • First Friday Program: December 9th (snow dependent)
  • First Sunday Program: December 11th (snow dependent)
  • Friday Dates: December 9th, 16th, (no programs Dec. 23rd or 30th), January 6th, 13th, 20th, 27th, February 3rd, 10th, 17th, 24th
  • Sunday Dates: December 11th, 18th (no programs Dec. 25th and Jan. 1st), January 8th, 15th, 22nd & 29th, February 5th, 12th, 19th & 26th
  • The BKL Festival is on March 4-5 at Craftsbury Outdoor Center in Craftsbury, Vermont. It’s a blast!
  • A few other club events will be added as the season gets closer:).

Ski Technique & Group Lesson Options:

Classic Technique Group: All new or beginner skiers should sign up for classic technique. It is the traditional striding technique and builds an excellent foundation of ski skills.

Mixed Technique Group: This group is does both classic and skating techniques. We switch off between skating and classic each week. The mixed technique group is for skiers that have a little more experience (not beginners), with at least 1 or 2 years of classic skiing 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! Note: NOT a VT Nordic Reciprocal pass, will need to purchase a family pass for reciprocal benefits) Scholarships are available- get in touch with the Program Director for more information.
    • Season Ski Rental Fee: $100 per child (+ $6 in tax). 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. 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 or doing a season rental from Ski Rack or elsewhere. The ski inventory has been low the past two ski seasons, so buy gear sooner than later!
    • Rental Equipment Fitting: Thursday, November 17th will be the equipment fitting date for all those who plan to rent ski gear this year. Sign up for fitting slots coming soon.

Volunteering for BKL Youth Ski Program- all families sign up please!

We are asking that ALL participating BKL Youth Ski Program families sign up for a volunteer slot this winter. FYI- You won’t need to necessarily volunteer every week- the minimum would be one job on one day of the program this winter.

Calling all parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends and mentors! Take an active role in the BKL Youth Ski 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 (3:45-4:15 pm) and/or Sundays (1:45-2:15 pm), greeting skiers and parents as they come in and answering questions
  • Set up Crew: Fridays (3:30-3:45 pm and 5:30-5:40 pm)/Sundays (1:30-1:45 pm and 3:30-3:40 pm), setting up table, bibs and group signs, and putting away at the end 
  • Games Keeper: Fridays (3:45-4:00 pm and 5:30-5:45 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 (4:00-5:30 pm) and/or Sundays (2:00-3:30 pm), take photos and videos a few times in the season 
  • Super Ski Leader: Fridays (3:45-5:30) 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. The Program Director also provides a weekly lesson of ski tips and tricks based on the group lesson focus.

PLEASE SIGN UP TO VOLUNTEER HERE. Please sign up early! Many thanks:). Get in touch with the Program Director, Heather LaRocca, if you have questions. laroccabeal@gmail.com or 802-345-7837.


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 (especially for newer racers), with 6-8 races being a good average for more experienced racers. 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.

Important Dates and Times:

  • Practices on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 4:00 – 5:30 PM
  • Season runs November 29th – March 5th
  • No practices on December 27th & 29th, February 28th and March 2nd
  • Races typically happen on Saturdays, and some on weekdays
  • Mark your calendar- The BKL Festival is on March 4-5 and in Vermont this year at the Craftsbury Outdoor Center. 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.
  • Sleepy Hollow 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- kids take boots home, but skis and poles stay at Sleepy Hollow, with the exception of races at other venues. There are other gear shops that have great rental programs too, such as the Ski Rack in Burlington. 
  • Helpful Tip with Rentals: If your child plans to ski frequently at other places besides Sleepy Hollow, you may think about purchasing equipment for cost efficiency or doing a season rental from Ski Rack or elsewhere. The ski inventory has been low the past two ski seasons, so buy gear sooner than later!
  • 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! Note: NOT a VT Nordic Reciprocal pass, will need to purchase a family pass for reciprocal benefits) We have scholarships available! Get in touch with the Program Director for more information.
  • Season Ski Rental Fee: $100 per child (+ $6 in tax). 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.
  • Rental Equipment Fitting: Thursday, November 17th will be the equipment fitting date for all those who plan to rent ski gear this year. Sign up for fitting slots coming soon.

General COVID-19 Related Information:

  • 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

1. Complete Online Registration- links below open on October 17th at 9:00 am

  • FRIDAY BKL Youth Ski Program (K-8th) Registration- program full, sorry! contact Program Director, laroccabeal@gmail.com to be added to the waitlist. 
  • SUNDAY BKL Youth Ski Program (K-8th) Registration- program full, sorry! contact Program Director, laroccabeal@gmail.com to be added to the waitlist. 
  • BKL Middle School Race Program (5th-8th) Registration

2. Complete Payment for Program

  • Pay online via Sleepy Hollow Square Site
  • Pay by check- Make checks payable to Sleepy Hollow Inn and mail to Heather LaRocca, 4541 VT Route 100, Waterbury, VT 05676.
  • Note: Payment must be received within a week of registration to confirm spots.

QUESTIONS?

Contact the Sleepy Hollow Bill Koch League Program Director,

Heather LaRocca, laroccabeal@gmail.com or 802-345-7837


2022 Sleepy Hollow Summer Camps!

Announcing Sleepy Hollow summer camps for 2022! We will be offering 4 weeks of camp this year, two weeks of our Slammin’ Outdoor Camp and two weeks of our Summer Ski Camp. Weeks of camps the same, so participants can sign up for one outdoor camp and one ski camp to give more kids opportunities.

SLAMMIN’ OUTDOOR CAMP: Get outside and adventure in Sleepy Hollow’s 850 acres of forest and trails! We head out on the trails every day to explore the natural world around Sleepy with a new outdoor theme every day, including birding, orienteering, stream and pond studies, geology and botany. We also do fun outdoor activities every day- hiking, mountain biking, swimming and more!  Campers can expect a fun week outside packed with activities, art projects and games.

Ages: 8-12 years old

Cost: $300 per camper

Weeks: June 27 – July 1  OR August 1-5 (BOTH FULL- WAITLIST ONLY)

Time: 9:00 am – 3:30 pm

SUMMER SKI CAMP: Spend the week outside at Sleepy Hollow’s 850 acres of forest and trails, with running, hiking, mountain biking, rollerskiing*, swimming and more! The camp is geared towards kids that are excited to try some summer nordic ski training. We get out on the trails every day and do activities, art projects and games too, all with the focus of summer fun outside! *No rollerskis needed- we partner with NENSA and they bring a fleet for us to use:).

Ages: 10-14 years old

Cost: $300 per camper

Weeks: July 18-22 OR August 8-12

Time: 9:00 am – 3:30 pm

Questions? Contact Heather LaRocca at laroccabeal@gmail.com

ONLINE REGISTRATION:

Sleepy Hollow Summer Camp Registration

PAYMENT OPTIONS:

  • Online at Sleepy Hollow Square Site – look under Bill Koch Programs for “Summer Camps 2022”
  • Send a check: please make checks payable SLEEPY HOLLOW INN and mail to Heather LaRocca, 4541 VT Route 100, Waterbury, VT 05676. Note: Checks MUST be received WITHIN TWO WEEKS to confirm registration.