As summer draws to a close, we want to take a moment to reflect on the skiers and communities we got to connect with this summer through our Learn-to-Rollerski sessions. This is the second year we have intentionally expanded our summer programming to incorporate more non-race focused programming to reach more folks across the Northeast who are new to skiing and rollerskiing.
We kicked off the summer with our second annual trip to Gould Academy for a multi-club clinic hosted with folks from Gould, Maine West Project Play, and the Bethel Outing Club. Participants joined us from those programs as well as Quarry Road Ski Club, Portland Nordic, Great Glen, and JacksonXC. Turnout was high with 40 middle and high school participants working on their agility, balance, and coordination while running through the rollerski ramps and playing a variety of games including broom ball!
Next we held a rollerski clinic in conjunction with the Lost Nation Rollerski race at the Craftsbury Outdoor Center. This clinic provided an exceptional opportunity for participants to watch some high level skiers in action prior to trying rollerskis themselves. Also, the rollerski track at Craftsbury is, without a doubt, one of the best surfaces to learn on. While the clinic at Gould was geared towards middle and high school skiers, this clinic was open to all ages and had participants ranging from 8-50 years of age.
We stayed in Vermont for the next two clinics both of which were hosted at the Champlain Valley High School in Hinesburg, VT. This is our third year in a row supporting a morning of rollerskiing for both sessions of Sleepy Hollow BKL’s weeklong summer ski camps. This group is always a blast to work with and after covering some basics, we focused on agility and debuted rollerski hockey!
Next up were camp visits to the Green Mountain Valley School (GMVS) and Stratton Mountain School (SMS). Both schools are supporting NENSA sponsors and we love connecting with them and their campers over the summer.
During the first week of August, GMVS facilitated three separate camps at the same time: the Eastern / Central U16 National Camp, their own summer camp, and an international camp hosting fifteen Italian athletes from their partner school, the Sportoberschulke, in Mals, Italy. At the conclusion of the week, NENAS helped set up a really fun agility course complete with ramps and slip n’ slide finish! Check out the recap video here.
Following the GMVS school visit, NENSA traveled to the SMS. SMS has been hosting awesome summer camps for BKL and junior-aged skiers for many decades now and they always have some exciting rollerski activities lined up for their campers. In 2018, NENSA made its first camp visit to SMS with the bicycle ramps – luckily for us and the campers, none other than Jessie Diggins was there to try them out and show the first group of skiers how to pump the track! Each year we visit SMS the comfort and ability-level of the skiers seems to reach a new level. NENSA visits on the “flip day” between the BKL and junior camp groups and this year we saw over one hundred skiers cycle through the ramps in Sun Bowl parking lot!
We wrapped up the summer in the same state we started in, Maine, with the final clinic of the season held up in Orono with the Penobscot Valley Ski Club at the Orono High School. The high school takes the cake for having the most buttery pavement we’ve encountered all year! After a little technique-work, participants all got to try the brand new set of ramps made by one of the local high school skiers. We incorporated the ramps into a fun agility course and wrapped up the clinic with some rollerski hockey. The goal of this clinic was to build comfort on rollerskis and for many of the skiers, this was their first time on rollerskis. Everyone pushed themselves to try new things and showed considerable improvement over the course of the afternoon.
While that’s a wrap on the summer season, we have many more rollerski opportunities on the horizon this fall! Check our event calendar to stay-up-to-date and we hope to see you out there. If you would like to schedule a rollerski clinic for your club or camp for next season, check our info page HERE for more details and then reach out to [email protected]. We do our best to fit in as many clinics as we can.
A big thank you to our NENSA associate sponsors – Salomon, LL Bean, Swix, and Fischer – for their dedicated and ongoing support of NENSA. We are also grateful to Enjoy Winter and Swenor Rollerskis for supplying use with an awesome fleet of rollerskis so all our clinic attendees can learn to rollerski on top-of-the-line equipment!