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Hollyburn Cross Country Ski Club FAQs
- Q - What is Jackrabbits?
A - Jackrabbits is one component of the Skill Development Program, which is a volunteer-based learn-to-ski program created by and endorsed by Cross Country Canada and monitored by its provincial affiliate - Cross Country British Columbia. The program introduces children to cross country skiing, fitness and winter fun. The Jackrabbit component is named after and was inspired by Jackrabbit Johannsen the godfather of cross country skiing in Canada. The Bunny and Track Attack components round out the Skill Development Program offerings. See our Programs page for further details.
- Q - What age do you need to be to join the program?
A - Our program starts at ages 4 and 5, when the children are called Bunnies. This is the introductory stage and children at this level will require a parent to ski with them in the program. At age 6, the children start with the Jackrabbit component of the Skill Development Program and start to work towards completing skill levels 1 through 4. The program then transitions into Track Attack for ages 10-12 years (optionally ages 9 or 13). After the Track Attack program, we offer a selection of programs from the more recreational Adventurers or the more competitive Racing Team programs. The racing team consists of the Racing Teens (ages 13-18), Performance Racing (ages 14-18) and, for those that wish to continue racing with the club after graduating from school, Racing Alumni (ages 19 and up). See our Programs page for further details.
- Q - Can my son or daughter who isn't 4 yet be a Bunny?
A - We find that children any younger than 4 are generally not ready for the program that we offer. We do not accept children younger than 4 years old as of the December 31st of the registration year, and we cannot make any exceptions. We do however encourage you to take your young children out on your own to get them to start enjoying the snow and getting the feel of being on skis.
- Q - Is it too late for my 12-year-old to start in the program?
A - A child can start the program at any age, although they may be placed with younger, more experienced children initially. We do encourage older beginner skiers aged 9 to 13 to take a Christmas kids camp with Cypress Mountain. We also group all 9-12 year olds who have never skied before in a Saturday morning beginner Track Attack group.
- Q - My child is only 4 or 5 years old and I am a new skier - can we participate?
A - As 4-year-olds and new 5-year-olds must have a parent accompanying them, the parent must be a comfortable enough skier to ski confidently to the Hollyburn Lodge and back down. If the parent is unable to do this, it is best to wait until your child is 6 years old and can ski without parental assistance. Note, the parent accompanying the child will not be able to volunteer as a coach.
- Q - How does the awards system work?
A - Cross Country BC provides booklets and stickers, which are based on a skill progression system, are awarded at the end of the season. There are separate age-appropriate booklets and sets of stickers awarded for various stages of the program. The first stage is the Bunnyrabbit program for children aged four and five years old. This is followed by the Jackrabbit program which is directed at children in the FUNdamentals stage of development aged six to nine years old. There are four levels of progression in this stage. For children aged 10 to 12 (optionally 9 and 13), we offer the Track Attack program. Much like the progression system in swimming, skiers will receive their specific sticker when they can demonstrate the required skills at that level. If a child does not achieve a specific level at the end of the season, it does not mean they failed. The emphasis is on safety and fun.
- Q - Are there "report cards"?
A - Yes, Progress Cards are provided to each skier on the last session that details what skills they are good at and what skills need further work. The skier will receive the Progress Card and a sticker based on the level that they have earned.
- Q - What is the difference between the club's programs and Cypress Mountain's Kids Camps?
A - The programs offered by the club are coached by volunteer parents. Our goal is to introduce kids to cross country skiing and to hopefully inspire them to continue with life-long participation in the sport. Being a club, we encourage the kids to make lasting friendships and the parents to share experiences in a social atmosphere. The club's Skill Development Program is based on a progressive system of attaining stickers when certain skills are acquired. The teen programs build on that base allowing children to pursue either a recreational or competitive path. The intention is for the children to return each year from ages 4 to 18 to build on their skill levels and friendships. For information on the Cypress Kids Camps, visit the Cypress Mountain website.
- Q - Are you part of Cypress Mountain Recreation?
A - We are completely independent from Cypress. We do, however, work closely with them to ensure the best use of the public facilities for running our programs.
- Q - Does the club offer any other programs?
A - The club does try to arrange adult lessons through Cypress from time to time so that parents can improve their skills while their children are doing the same. We also provide training and skills improvement sessions for coaches.
The West Coast Nordics Ski Club offers biathlon in conjunction with our Jackrabbit program. Contact Clay Ronaghan at email@example.com if you are interested in this program.
- Q - What is "CCBC"?
A - CCBC is Cross Country British Columbia, our parent organization that has provided us with the program and guidelines to follow and that provides the club with insurance. Check out their web site at http://www.crosscountrybc.ca for more information.
- Q - Can I ski with my child?
A - For safety reasons, if your child is a four-year-old Jackbunny, it is a requirement that parents ski with their children. Optionally, parents of older Jackbunnies can also ski with their children. However, in order to provide the best teaching environment for all children, parents of Jackrabbits are asked not to ski with their children. As well, volunteer coaches normally do not lead the groups in which their children are placed.
- Q - I would like my child to be in a class with a friend. I would like my child to ski in a higher-level group. Can he/she be moved?
A - Although we make every effort to accommodate parents' and children's wishes, the final placement decision is left to the coaches and session coordinators based on the skiing ability of the child. Although some groups can accept a wide range of skiing abilities, others cannot. And in order to meet safety guidelines, it is necessary to arrange groups to meet a certain adult to child ratio.
- Q - Where do I go each session?
A - Ensure you arrive early, at least fifteen minutes before your scheduled start time and much earlier if you have ski rentals to pick up or if your session is on a sunny afternoon. Parking on some busy weekends has resulted in long walks to the ski area. After picking up your skis if you have rented them, look for the Jackrabbit banner on the right just past the main entrance to the ski area. Look for the session coordinator under the Jackrabbit canopy. They will provide direct your child to their coach. They can also any questions that you may have. Remember to pick up a white, numbered bib for your child. For the first session, your child will be placed into a group appropriate to his or her skiing ability. For safety's sake, new skiers should keep their skis off until instructed to put them on by their coach. For subsequent sessions, your child should find and meet with their coach.
- Q - How many sessions are there?
A - There are nine regular scheduled sessions for the Bunny and Jackrabbit programs. Starting with Jackrabbit level 3, the children ski one weeknight session as well. The Track Attack program starts skiing as soon as Cypress Mountain opens and has dryland sessions before then. In addition, the club offers or promotes other events. These include the Lantern Ski, a night-time ski by candlelight during the Christmas holidays, and the P'ayakentsut - a ski tournament for kids and loppet for older teens and adults - that is a highlight towards the end of the season. Note that some of these special events require extra fees or a separate registration.
- Q - What happens if the mountain is closed?
A - If the cross country ski area is open, even if the downhill area is closed, then the club will be operating. Call the Cypress snow line at 604-419-SNOW (7669) to find out if it is open. In the event of a cancellation, there will normally not be any make-up sessions. Due to the costs and logistics difficulties, we cannot offer refunds for any session cancellations. The club incurs certain operating costs (like coach training and operating overhead) that exist regardless of whether or not sessions are cancelled. It is rare event, however, for a session to be cancelled.
- Q - My child can't make a session - do I need to tell anyone?
A - A quick e-mail or phone call to one of the coaches as a courtesy would be a good idea so that they do not wait around for your child.
- Q - What is the club's refund policy?
A - Refunds are only provided for medical reasons (doctor's note required) on a pro-rated basis. Contact Cypress Mountain directly for information regarding refunds for any trail passes or rentals purchased from them.
- Q - Does the club have ski equipment for the Rabbits?
A - Classic ski equipment must be supplied by the participants or rented on the hill from Cypress Mountain. You can also pre-purchase rental of classic skis for the season (for the weekend sessions only), at a reduced rate, from Cypress (information is provided at registration time). For skate ski sessions (Jackrabbit Levels 3 and 4), the club owns enough skate skis (mostly with Salomon bindings and some NNN bindings) for one group per session to use. Your coaches will organize ahead of time at which session they will introduce skate skiing (this is typically for Jackrabbit Level 3 and higher). If the Rabbit has good quality Salomon compatible boots it will allow them to try skating. Cypress rents skate boots (usually small women's sizes for children), which makes the skating experience more enjoyable.
- Q - I have pre-purchased rental skis from Cypress. Where do I pick them up?
A - Well before your session starts each week (give yourself at least half an hour, much more on sunny weekends), go to the Cypress Ski Rental building. Show them your child's ski session and rental pass. Cypress staff will then supply your child with skis, poles and boots for the session. Note, only classic equipment can be supplied; skating equipment must be rented separately at your own cost. You can keep your equipment until the end of the day if you wish. When you are done with them, please return the skis, boots and poles to where you rented them. Note that the club is not involved with rentals, so please discuss any issues with Cypress directly.
- Q - How do I find out more about the Hollyburn Cross Country Ski Club?
A - Browse this web site or check our contacts page for our e-mail address. Someone will respond to your e-mail within a few days.
Go to our Registration pages (click here) to see common questions about the registration process.
- Q - I don't have time to volunteer with the club, and I don't have any time to do any training.
A - Volunteering for one of the club positions does not need to take a lot of time out of your busy life and many positions require no training whatsoever. If you volunteer as an assistant session coordinator, it just requires a bit of time at the start of a morning session to help set up and organize kids and coaches or a bit of time after the end of an afternoon session to help put away equipment. Group assistants ski with the groups to help out with managing the kids (no coaching) and give you the opportunity to get some skiing in instead of just waiting around for your child. Race/event volunteers need to commit to a minimum of two club events which, for many of the tasks, require as little as four hours per event day.
- Q - Why are you asking for the ages of volunteers and adult members? I would rather not give you that information.
A - CCBC requires this information for insurance and government funding purposes. This information is kept completely confidential and is only shared with CCBC. And we promise not to ask you for your weight.
- Q - I would like to help out but I don't ski very well. Can I still help?
A - We provide training and try to partner new coaches with experienced coaches. This is the perfect opportunity to improve your skiing. We also have many other non-coaching positions that need to be filled. For example, we are developing a group of cross country competition officials, for which we pay for training.
- Q - What kind of training is provided for volunteer coaches?
A - All volunteer coaches are required to take the National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP) Introduction to Community Coaching workshop, which allows you to coach the younger six and under Jackbunnies, and also the Community Coaching workshop to be available to teach children older than six years (Jackrabbits). Both courses are required by the club for insurance purposes even if you are only teaching Bunnies. In subsequent years, we provide training at the beginning of the season for returning coaches and weekly skill upgrade sessions on a regular basis. There is also the option to take higher-level NCCP courses such as the Learning to Train (on snow and dryland) workshops, which will get you ready to coach Track Attack and the Training to Train workshops for coaching the racing team. The club covers the costs of these courses.
- Q - I would like to help coach but I can't fit the required courses and sessions in this year. Can I still help out with the sessions?
A - You can help out as a group assistant (help to organize the children but not actually teach), assistant session coordinator or session coordinator. There are also many other volunteer positions that help us in the organization of the club.
- Q - What am I expected to do if I volunteer for "some volunteer position"?
A - Have a look at the detailed Hollyburn Cross Country Ski Club Organizational Positions document for a description of each position. Further descriptions, and a link to this document, are on our Volunteers page.
- Q - What kind of time am I expected to commit as a coach or race committee member?
A - In addition to the nine 2 hour sessions (2 hours for bunnies), for first-year coaches there will be a required day-long Introduction to Community Coaching course that allows you to coach children up to six years of age and a weekend Advanced Community Coaching course that allows you to coach the older Jackrabbits. In addition the club puts on skills sessions every season for all coaches before the sessions start. All coaches must attend an evening pre-season all-coaches meeting where time is spent with the Program Coordinator and Session Coordinators to organize the groups and discuss how the sessions will unfold. Take a look at the required commitments for coaches at the Volunteer Coaches page.
First-year race committee members are encouraged to take the Cross Country Canada Level 1 Officials course and assist with club at least two events. For further details, take a look at our Volunteer Race Committee page.
- Q - I would like to coach this year but, due to earlier commitments, will have to miss several sessions. Will that be a problem?
A - Although we would prefer that you attend every session, we do understand that personal and business commitments do from time to time occur. We would like that you miss no more than one or, at most, two sessions over the season. You will need to inform your session coordinator well ahead of time of the day(s) that you will miss and help to make arrangements for a substitute during your absence. If you know that you may miss more than this, please consider volunteering with the club in other capacities.
- Q - How old do I need to be to be a coach?
A - Coaches need to be a minimum of 14 years old, comfortable on skis and have a fun-loving, enthusiastic attitude.
- Q - I am a parent that will be accompanying my bunny child. Can I also volunteer to coach?
A - Since you will be dedicated to participating in the program with your child, you will not be able to coach.
- Q - Can you make sure that I coach during my child's session?
A - You can sign up to coach whichever session you'd like, which is normally for the same session that your child is skiing in (although you will not be assigned to coach your own child). We will not ask you to coach any other session than the one you have signed up for.
- Q - How do I sign up as a coach or volunteer?
A - When you register your child(ren) for a program, you will have the opportunity to register yourself as a volunteer (including coaches). All volunteers must also sign up as club members. If you volunteered as a new coach, the Coaching Coordinator will contact you regarding the Introduction to Community Coaching (ICC) and Community Coaching (CC) workshops that you need to participate in so that you receive the proper training as a coach.
- Q - My child is not competitive and does not like racing. Is there an alternative?
A - Track Attack is not a racing program. It builds on the skills learned in Jackrabbits as outlined in the Long-Term Athlete Development (LTAD) model that the Skill Development program is based on. It does introduce participants to competing as an option, and we encourage all participants to try entering at least one fun event such as the Midget Championships, but there is definitely no requirement to compete as part of Track Attack.
- Q - My child is eleven years old and will still be in Track Attack next year. However, he is very keen on racing and would like to ski more than two to three times a week. Will he be able to join some training sessions with the racing team?
A - Yes, we have started to integrate the older Track Attack children who are interested in racing into some of the Race Team practices when they are scheduled at the same time. It is best to discuss this with the Head Racing Coach as well as your Track Attack coach.
- Q - My daughter has "graduated" from Track Attack. She would like to continue to ski with many of her friends from Track Attack who are a year younger. She would also like to participate in additional practices with the older racers. Will this be possible?
A - Yes, your daughter could contiue to ski with Track Attack. She is also welcome to join additional sessions with the racing team. It would be best to discuss this with the Track Attack coaches for coordinating resources and training plans.
- Q - My son will be 9 next winter. He is a very strong skier and loves to race. Could he possibly ski with Track Attack next season even though he is officially a year too young?
A - Yes, probably. You need to contact the Track Attack Coordinator to discuss requirements prior to registration.
- Q - What is the Racing Team about?
A - The Racing Team is an accelerated program designed for kids that love to ski and are interested in racing. The focus is on skiing better and faster. Racing Teens, for ages 13 to 18, is for youth who want to dedicate more time to skiing well competitively. Performance Racing is a year-round program for youth aged 14 to 18 who wish to focus on skiing well competitively. Dryland training complements on-snow training.
- Q - Who can join the Racing Program?
A - Any child who has completed the Track Attack program.
- Q - My child has "graduated" from the Track Attack program this year. She is keen on racing and training hard. Your program recommends the Performance Racing program for kids 14-18 years old. Will my child be able to join the Performance Racing program right away (without transitioning through the multi-sport program)?
A - No, a child cannot enter the Performance Racing program right away. All 13-year-olds who are interested in racing should register in the Racing Teens program. They will be able to, if they wish, attend all the practices and races with the Performance Racers. Essentially, they have the ability to do the Peformance Racing program for one year at a lesser cost.
- Q - My child likes to race but can only commit to skiing two to three times a week. He would however like to join the dryland program during the non-skiing seasons. Would this be possible?
A - Yes. The Racing Teens program is designed for your child.
- Q - What if I can't make all the Racing Team sessions?
A - There is no requirement for Teen Racers or Performance Racers to attend all of the practices. Teen Racers will better succeed in the sport if they can attend two or more practices per week through the fall and winter. They are also encouraged to attend some of the spring and summer dryland practices as their schedule allows. The fact that we hold several practices per week year round allows all of the athletes the flexibility to attend the practices that work best with their schedule. Performance Racers will want to attend as many practices as possible year round to achieve their goals.
- Q - What kind of equipment do I need for the Racing Team?
A - The skier will need contemporary, good quality classic and skate equipment. The sessions will be divided approximately 50/50 between classic and skate technique. It is required that the skier have his/her own set of equipment. If you require assistance in purchasing ski equipment, please contact the coach.