The lodge at Bulkley Valley Nordic Centre prepared and ready to receive skiers just prior to the start of Snow Camp Dec. 13. (Facebook photo)

The lodge at Bulkley Valley Nordic Centre prepared and ready to receive skiers just prior to the start of Snow Camp Dec. 13. (Facebook photo)

This one time, at Snow Camp

Youth prepare for Nordic ski season with instruction and fun at Snow Camp

It was another fantastic Snow Camp this year with enough snow to enjoy the trails and challenge the skiers. With a great support network of coaches and parental volunteers, there was plenty of fun and hard-work for our participants.

Forty-six young skiers ranging in age from 8 to 14 came from across the Hwy 16 corridor: Snow Valley in Terrace, Nechako Nordics in Vanderhoof, Caledonia in Prince George, Bull Mountain in Williams Lake, and, of course, plenty of youth from the host club of the Bulkley Valley Nordics.

We had visiting coach Matt Smider from Revelstoke Nordic up as special guest to inspire the masses and meet with our local coaches and older athletes for higher level instruction and guidance too. He spurred on the many kids with great warm-up routines and fun both on-snow and off-snow.

Our dedicated local coaches also put in many hours with the young crew to help maintain an atmosphere of fun and learning to help improve technique, fitness, bonding and understanding for the life-long ski perspective and potential future racers.

Volunteer coaches included Patrick Williston, Steve Wickham, Andrea Dunbar, Helene Fleury and Sandy Mclean from BV Nordics, Travis Carter from Snow Valley and Zoe Dhillon from Nechako. Some of the older junior-race level athletes also pitched in as coach helpers.

The obvious emphasis was plenty of snow time to get instruction on technique, endurance, breathing, strategy, focus, and of course fun with relays and time trials.

The snow conditions were great to expand upon skills for classic and skate skiing, and the temperatures were brisk but great for outdoor activity.

This was punctuated with some good times off snow too – for swimming, hip-hop class, talent show, socializing, and eating great food. Which of course brings up the tremendous work of parent volunteers in the kitchen and in the lodge, particularly Paula Bartemucci and Tamara Gillis preparing and serving healthy food and snacks to fuel the athletes and coaches.

And certainly, nothing would be ski-able without the hard work of the grooming team, making crisp trails.

All of this is possible thanks hugely to the sponsor, Teck BC. So we appreciate the financial support they provide along with the hats and prizes as well, as keepsakes for the kids.

And we are grateful for the structural and logistical support of Cross-Country BC too.

Also new on board this year to help coordinate the logistics of such events is Michelle Doogan-Smith in a special new role with our club.

Now the energy to begin the ski season of racing and the Jackrabbits programs has ignited the kids.