Saturday February 9, 2013

"Mom," said my then-seventh-grader, "Why don’t I get to have winter sports? When am I supposed to go skiing?"

Oh boy, I thought: we have created this situation, haven’t we? With my husband’s supportive chaperoning and my dogged determination in fundraising for winter sports, we have truly made it clear that we think skiing/snowboarding is "good thing."

What sort of parents are we to suddenly say "no more" when they reach BAMS, where there is no downhill program?

In seventh grade, we felt that sending our son "to the mountain" -- with just friends and no chaperones -- was not quite right. The price for regular Sundays was very high, and so he wanted to go on the "special days," like "pay-your-own-age-day." The "special days" were "too crowded," according to my husband.

Now what?

Happily, we found two answers: Granite Gorge and a special price for Mt. Snow. (If you are a Mt. Snow fan, keep reading for special savings for you, too!)

Last year, we found that Granite Gorge was happy to provide a group rate for night skiing on Thursday nights. We grabbed 10 or so kids, a couple of parent drivers, and off they went.

It went so well that we are back again this year, with extended hours from 4 until 8 p.m. this year. Although Friday mornings are tough now, it’s a great family-run mountain with enthusiastic staff, and the BAMS kids who are going enjoy it thoroughly.


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A great side benefit for our family was the ability to have our daughter learn during lessons there, too. She wanted to go along, so we put her into their lesson program, and she’s made great progress.

Still, all the kids clamored for "the mountain." Mt. Snow, undoubtedly, is a bigger ski area, with more lifts and just "more fun."

This year, I called Mt. Snow and explained our situation. They understood the dilemma, and responded with a special group rate for "BAMS students and their friends."

For six Sundays in January/February and March, Mt. Snow is offering a special rate of only $33 per youth and $38 per adult for an all-day lift ticket. We just have to have a minimum of 10 people.

The remaining dates for Mt. Snow in 2013 are Feb. 10 and 24 and March 3. Please know: you can’t just show up at the door and get this rate. You have to confirm by 6 p.m. the Saturday night prior to the Sunday ski date. And yes (this year at least) you need to confirm by e-mail to me at jill@globalcow.com or by phone to 802-254-2879.

There is also a Facebook page that helps us all coordinate rides. Look for "Brattleboro Mt. Snow Group 2013."

So, the school started a great program, and taught our kids how to snow board and ski. And we, as parents, got to choose to continue with it. Or not, of course.

Makes me wonder what else we as parents continue with-or not?

How about the great "veggie of the month" program where the kids taste test a new vegetable? Somehow, I don’t think I’ve been quite as diligent with the veggies as I have been with the snowboarding!

Jill Stahl Tyler is a parent to three children involved in the local schools. She firmly believes in all education, and currently sits on the boards for the Brattleboro School Endowment and the Brattleboro Town School Board .