NASC SKI CAMP SAFETY
At National Alpine Ski Camp, all campers are supervised 24 hours a day. It is difficult to convey the feeling of security and warmth the staff and facility provide, but the kids tell the story of the safe, warm, and friendly environment provided by NASC.
Let’s begin with an overview of the NASC philosophy. At NASC our basic goal is to provide a safe, fun learning environment in which every camper’s needs are attended to and goals are achieved. To accomplish this, we have refined our program over the past 30 years to become a very positive and well-rounded experience.
Most of the ski camp staff have been returning for many years and know the format and program very well. These coaches have developed relationships with hundreds of kids over the years and are very well trained and experienced in dealing with all of the situations that arise at camp. This experience is critical when it comes to managing the safety of all activities, the social interaction between campers, and the positive ski camp experience.
At NASC, everything we do is rooted in positive feedback and experience. Participation is the beginning point. If kids are intimidated, they don’t want to participate. We help kids participate at the level they are comfortable with while teaching new skills and encouraging further exploration through a carefully managed progression of skill development. This allows campers of all experience levels to participate and enjoy the sports we offer in an always positive way. Comfortable, yet challenged. Many campers return the next year with stories about how they started mountain biking competitively or joined the local climbing gym based on their experience at camp. Comments like these tell us we have succeeded in our goals.
The entire ski camp staff is involved in the supervision of the campers. Because we are involved in activities from wakeup to bedtime, supervision is constant. All activity times are mandatory with several choices given. Coaches live in the cabins with the campers and are highly experienced in managing the social diversity of the group and gaining cooperation from the campers to facilitate the camp experience.
We are not a command-style, “hup-two-three-four” organization. We feel that the kids are here to participate and enjoy themselves and will therefore take upon themselves the responsibility to cooperate with ski camp staff and campers, follow the rules, try hard, be punctual, and generally be good people. Our program is designed to allow kids to succeed at this, become more self-sufficient, and raise self-esteem.
Every effort is made to keep the interaction between the different age groups and sexes appropriate. Boys’ and girls’ dorms are separate buildings and are supervised by males and females, respectively. Age groups are separated by dorm assignments as follows: 8-12, 13-15, and 16-18. We understand that the older kids’ behavior, although appropriate within their age group, is not always appropriate for the younger ones. The program is structured to limit this type of interaction and enhance all the age groups’ experiences.
The rules at NASC are easy to follow. No smoking, drinking, or drugs. Violators will be sent home immediately at their own expense without a refund. Campers are asked to refrain from behaviors which affect others negatively, such as using foul language, ditching activities, and littering. Punishments for the aforementioned are usually KP-oriented. It’s simple cause and effect; break rules, lose participation privileges. Because of the structure of the program, we seldom have incidents requiring punishments to be administered. At no time do we use any method of punishment that would be considered inappropriate or harsh, and all are administered by the director.
In conclusion, those are some of the points that I would like you to know about our program. The safety of every child is our primary concern; the fun, positive learning experience, our second; the resulting development in skills, our third. Annually, we have 50-70% returning campers. This tells us it’s working. If you have any questions or would like a list of references in your area, don’t hesitate to call and discuss it with me.
Ski Camp Director