By: Ali Kelley, Deputy Associate Director for Let’s Move Outside!
February 29, 2012
This January marked the fourth annual Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month (LSSM). The month-long effort aims to get children and adults of all experience levels on the slopes for an active start to the New Year. LSSM began in 2009 with a few select programs and has since grown to include more than 300 ski resorts in 33 states. Throughout the month of January, these resorts provided introductory ski and snowboard lessons to more than 80,000 children and adults across the country for free or at a reduced price.
A highlight of this year’s LSSM was an event in the rugged mountains of North Carolina. On January 28th, more than 150 young people from Knollwood Elementary and the Whitehead Boys & Girls Club in Atlanta, GA visited Cataloochee Ski and Snowboard Resort in North Carolina’s Scenic Maggie Valley. The Southern Snow Seekers Club sponsored the event, providing the students with exciting opportunities to get active outside and learn new skills. “Our trip showcased snow sports as a fun and enjoyable way to move and stay healthy, even if there’s a chill in the air,” commented Kimberly King, SSS President.
LSSM is very popular in the Rocky Mountains. This January, the Colorado Ski Country USA First Class program celebrated its second year, giving more than 800 5th graders across the state the chance to try skiing or snowboarding for the first time. Participating resorts provided each student with three free lift tickets and one free lesson. According to one parent, the program has “really helped us bond – it’s become our “thing.” And in a time in your kid’s life when it’s only getting harder to “hang out,” this program really brought us together as a family.”
Winter sports like skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, and sledding are great ways to get moving outside during the cold winter months. As one LSSM fan said, “humans were not meant to hibernate!”
LSSM is made possible by the support of national, regional and state associations, retail organizations, product suppliers, and individual resorts across the company. Next year, LSSM hopes to expand its program to reach even more kids and families in every part of the country.