Volunteering Info

The Ford Sayre Alpine Recreation program is an all-volunteer program. We appreciate everyone who has volunteered in the past for offering your time and skills to the children of the Upper Valley. We are looking for volunteers again for another season of skiing, learning and merriment! Please consider how you can help by reviewing the information below.

As this program is yours, as parents, skiers and community members, we invite feedback.

Structure of the Alpine Recreation Organization

Directors: Megan Tompkins and Skyler Tompkins

Area Captains:  These folks are the safety personnel, class organizers and otherwise the glue of our volunteer based organization. Partial responsibilities include maintaining a list of all the groups under their purview, with the names of the instructors and the skiers. On the slopes, they are at their designated spot – Magic Carpet, Winslow Chair or in front of the Skiway at Holts Chair seeing that students connect with their groups. They mark off the groups that have headed up the mountain and when they come down at the end of the day. Kids who are late arriving stay with them at the bottom of the lifts until their groups come back down. They are the contact person for the instructors – if they need a sub, if a child should be moved into another group, etc. This great job introduces you to a wonderful group of kids and the parent volunteer instructors. These positions, of which there are about 9, are usually reserved for our non-skiing parents.

Coaches/Instructors: While the Directors and Area captains prepare the program for success, the coaches teach core skills, providing a safe and fun learning environment, while tracking the students’ progress through the outlined ability levels. To ensure we have a common instruction style, there is a MANDATORY On-Snow Clinic for our instructors, taught by Dartmouth Skiway Instructors. We also have an Instruction Manual for our instructors. This is a wonderful source, guiding you through various lesson ideas and the skills needed for the students to progress.

Substitute Instructors: As many of our volunteers have known conflicts in their schedules or other conflicts that arise, we are in need of instructors who will fill in where needed. This can be a great option for a volunteer who knows they will miss more than two weeks of lessons. Sometimes a substitute has been asked to take over for an instructor who, for different reasons, can no longer teach, while others have had fun teaching groups of new learners up to our expert skiers.

Specific information on the Kids Ski classes: Parents will assign their children based on the criteria noted below and we will modify groups from there. The following criteria will also be used at the conclusion of the season to assist in placement in the future.

Five Ability levels: (A-D/E)

  • A – Beginner – Student has skied before but on a limited basis and with little instruction. Can ride the Magic Carpet but may need help. May need to stay on the beginner hill for the first 3-4 weeks.
  • B – Beginner – Can ride the Magic Carpet, but are still working on turns so they can progress to the chair-lift and longer trails in the first 2 weeks.
  • C – Intermediate – Skiers range from those doing linked wedge turns to those beginning to parallel turn. Lower level C-groups have yet to use ski poles, while appropriate use of ski poles is introduced to higher C-level groups.
  • D / E – Advanced Intermediate/Advanced – consistent parallel turns.

Nitty Gritty Stuff “On-Snow” Volunteers need to know:

  • Instructor Manuals are located on this web site. You should read through it; specifically the level you will be teaching.
  • The objective of the program is to ski safely and have fun. We are not training racers–we are a recreational program that encourages a lifelong love of skiing and the outdoors. The objective is to teach kids skills to improve their skiing–but not under pressure or stress–or through boring lectures on techniques. The idea is to get out, get some fresh air, exercise, and have fun.
  • On the day of the On-Snow Clinic at the Dartmouth Skiway, you will be told what level you are teaching, be provided with the list of students in your class and their contact information, receive your ski bib (your ski ticket for the days you teach) and of course, receive instruction on how to teach your class.
  • Your main contact throughout the program is your Area Captain. Any questions, issues with the kids or your class should be raised with your Area Captain.
  • ALL INSTRUCTORS AND SUBSTITUTES MUST ATTEND THE ON-SNOW ORIENTATION CLINIC RUN BY SKIWAY STAFF.

TO VOLUNTEER please complete the volunteer registration form on the Online Registration site.

Benefits: While altruism is recognized; compensation for sharing your time and expertise is rewarded with free group lessons based on your skiing ability. If taking advantage of the lessons, you will be asked to choose either Thursday lessons from 9-10:30 or Sunday from 8:45-10:15. Your ticket, which you will receive from your instructor that morning, will allow you to continue to ski until 12:30 on that day.

So think snow, be one with gravity, and let this be the best season for the kids yet!

Many Thanks – Megan &  Skyler