Junior Nordic Curriculum and Safety Information
Junior Nordic skiers, except Polar Cubs, learn both classical (diagonal) and skate skiing, normally in 2 week intervals. Polar Cubs learn to classical ski only. Skiers learn proper care and handling of equipment, trail etiquette, good sportsmanship and how to act responsibly in the outdoors. A typical practice session will include a warm-up period, a lesson in technique, and a fun activity. Activities for younger skiers emphasize fun on skis, balance, strength and coordination.
All skiers are assigned to one of 4 skill groups based upon ability level. The skill groups are in turn divided into smaller groups of between 5 and 10 skiers each. Advancement to the next higher group is determined by the coaching staff and occurs when the skier has:
- Mastered all the techniques taught at his or her current group level,
- Demonstrated a responsibility level consistent with promotion,
- Demonstrated understanding of etiquette and ski rules consistent with promotion, and demonstrated the physical stamina necessary for the next higher group.
There are risks inherent in any outdoor activity like cross country skiing and although every effort is made to prevent accidents, minor scrapes and bumps do occur from time to time. The coaches are equipped with medical kits. Each year the coaches attend a first aid training session. Parents are responsible for making sure their children know and follow the rules to prevent injury to themselves and others. The most important rules that parents should discuss with their children are:
- Obey the coach and parent helpers.
- Never ski alone. If you are in front of the group and come to an intersection, always stop and wait for the coach.
- Never leave your group without permission.
- Use your equipment properly—especially poles (people can be seriously injured by the sharp points of ski poles.) Keep poles pointed at the ground and do not point with poles or use them for games like tripping others.
- Pay attention to trail signs and be sure that you are going in the correct direction of travel if the trail is marked as “one way.”
- Avoid moose encounters—Moose are a common sight on the trail everywhere. Usually moose mind their own business, but they can be unpredictable. Never pass a moose on the trail, get between a mother and her calf, throw anything at a moose, yell at it or walk or ski toward it. If a moose moves towards you, get behind a tree or anywhere you are out of sight.
The inherent dangers involved in cross country skiing combined with the large size of Junior Nordic require that children promptly obey the rules established by the coaches and parent helpers. Children who are unable to obey the rules pose a threat to the safety of others as well as themselves and put an unfair burden on the coaches, other children, and parents. Children who are unable to follow the rules established by the coaches will not be allowed to attend practice. Normally, the following progressive procedures will apply:
- First infraction—Formal warning to skier
- Second infraction—Meeting between coach, child, and parent
- Third infraction—Suspension for 2 weeks
- Fourth infraction—Suspension from the program
At the discretion of the director or committee, certain serious infractions (such as fighting or situations involving risks of physical harm) may result in deviation from this progressive discipline policy, up to and including immediate suspension.