Clubhouse Chronicles: Eight things your child will learn in Aspen Supports Kids |

Clubhouse Chronicles: Eight things your child will learn in Aspen Supports Kids

Meredith Elwell
AVSC’s Aspen Supports Kids director

At Aspen Valley Ski & Snowboard Club, our thoughts have started to drift to days on the hill — first turns, powder days, park laps and more. Registration is now open for all AVSC programs, including Aspen Supports Kids, our recreational group lessons. If you’ve skied or boarded at Buttermilk, Highlands or Snowmass, you’ve likely seen these ASK groups moving in packs around the mountain. Here’s a taste of what they’ll learn this winter; if you have a little one at home, we hope you’ll consider joining in on the fun!

1. Safety

It is important for our children to understand and respect the incredible mountains we live in. The number one goal of the Aspen Supports Kids program is to educate our participants on the rules of the hill. This will always take precedent over any advancements in levels and terrain; we believe on-hill safety is the foundation for all fun and progression!

2. Technical Skills

Your child will go through a technical progression to start mastering the hill. We know this one can be tough to accept for parents, but it’s true: enrolling your child in an Aspen Supports Kids program is the first step to accepting that someday they may be better than you.

3. Navigation

They’ll explore the mountain with their group and get to know every nook and cranny within their zone of ability. By the end of the season, they’ll be popping off their favorite bumps, cruising through tree lines, and linking turns on some awesome runs. They’ll learn their way around trail names, lift lines, picnic spots and more.

4. Teamwork is Critical in Individual Sports

Skiing and snowboarding may be executed at an individual level, but we’re nothing without our teammates. Kids will learn to work as a team, making group decisions and supporting each other. Whether giving each other an encouraging high five after tackling some new terrain or helping pick each other up after a “yard sale”-style crash, we are better together.

5. The Location of the Nearest Lost and Found

There is a lot of equipment involved — skis, poles, boots, snow pants, jacket, gloves, ski socks, layers, goggles, helmet, etc. This teaches kids accountability and responsibility for their own things. They need all of these things to have a good day on the hill, and they figure this out fast. That said, at some point in the season, you will most likely be amazed at how many of these items your child will lose. There’s no doubt they’ll visit the lost and found!

6. Food is Fuel

It’s no secret that our athletes love lunch. We’re incredibly grateful to Aspen Skiing Company employees and patrons who dine with and around us. Kids quickly learn that food is fuel and is often the key to a successful day on the hill. Snacks are always helpful between meals — don’t be shy about packing some healthy snacks in their jacket pockets.

7. New Lingo

Huck. Shred. Drop. Gnar. Freshies. Crust. Corn. Powpow. Stomp. Your child’s vocabulary will grow and you will soon learn how to explain your day on the hill using the latest and greatest vocabulary, too.

8. Style Points

Our mountain culture encourages individuality and personal expression on the hill, and Aspen Supports Kids fully embraces and encourages this! Whether kids rock tutus, capes, feathers, or animal helmet covers, your athlete will learn that dressing for skiing and snowboarding can — and should — be fun!

We are excited to be thinking about winter and we hope you are too. If you have any questions about Aspen Supports Kids and the upcoming season, please do not hesitate to call or email me ( We can’t wait to see everyone soon!

Clubhouse Chronicles is a behind-the-scenes column written by the Aspen Valley Ski & Snowboard Club that runs periodically in the Outdoors section.