We’re off and running with the first USANS Story of 2018… 30 more to follow in December.
Thanks for joining us again for the 8th annual Story Project where we use our collective memories to bring us together and raise a little money for the sport! Last year we we raised over $150k to fuel our high flying athletes and programs. Be the first on the list for this year- click here to donate now!
Cameron Ski Club
It’s Tuesday evening in mid-January. Kids are fed, grandma and grandpa are on the way. It’s about five degrees outside but no wind so we will have ski practice in Cameron, WI. Thankfully, it hasn’t snowed so our “10 meter” hill is ready to go. I round up my layers and the hot chocolate because the kids will want it tonight. Me and the hubby take off to the hill which is a 1 minute drive from our house. We arrive and get the propane heater started. Our “clubhouse” will only heat to about 40 degrees tonight but it’s better than 5. We plug in our light, take the fence off the landing, plug in the hot water, and the skiers start to arrive.
The kids take a run around the parking lot of the old elementary school, which is icy. We do some stretches and practice some in-run positions. The kids get “suited up”…well only about half of them have suits but we will get there. The first jumpers climb the snow pile made by the village loader with stairs up the side, carved and maintained by our ski parents. Right now the track is in great condition and the hill is fast so the best jumpers will fly up to 22 feet. We use feet because it sounds better that 7 meters. Despite the cold, most of the kids go down and up and down and up, barely taking a break. They work on in-run positions, timing, and telemarks. Some of them just work on balance and standing up. There is a line of skiers at the top of our ski jump for an hour and fifteen minutes. Parents stand to the side of the hill, some help at the bottom taking off bindings. One person helps at the top, putting on bindings. I stand to the side, coaching and helping as needed.
Before I know it, it is time to wrap it up. Some kids have gotten more than 10 jumps. There was a crash or two. Some kids rode the “practice hill” (the hill to the side with no bump) all night. Everyone had fun. A dedicated parent rakes the landing and puts up the fence. We pack up, turn off the light and the heater. I get in my van. Like the kids, I am not cold because I have been running here and there all evening. I breathe. That was the most fun I have had since last practice. This is what I was meant to do. I play my part in keeping the sport alive and I enjoy it immensely.