Friday, November 25, 2011

Winter camps abound for kids

Sun Valley Resort, YMCA and BCRD offer youth camps

Express Staff Writer

Snow season in Sun Valley is more than just the time of year for kids to don their winter finery. A number of snow camps are available for children to learn skiing and other fun things to do in the winter in Sun Valley. Photo by Mountain Express

With the start of the ski season in Sun Valley, youngsters age 3 to seniors in high school can take advantage of a number of winter camp opportunities available in the Wood River Valley.

Sun Valley Resort, Wood River Community YMCA and Blaine County Recreation District all have upcoming winter camp programs for the kids.

Sun Valley Resort, through its SnowSports School, has three different camp options: Little Spuds, Spud Sessions and Free Zone.

Little Spuds, for kids age 3-4, provides a way for preschoolers to learn to ski. SnowSports is offering three sessions, each of six half days of instruction. Camps will be held on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 1-3 p.m. at Carol's Dollar Mountain Lodge.

The first Little Spuds session starts Jan. 10-11 and will continue on Jan. 17-18 and Jan. 24-25. Session two begins Jan. 31-Feb. 1 and will continue on Feb. 7-8 and Feb. 14-15. Session three begins Feb. 28-29 and continues March 6-7 and March 13-14.

The cost per session, which includes a half-day lift ticket, is $190. All three sessions can be purchased as a "bundle" for $529.

Spud Sessions offers instruction in both ski and snowboard from children in kindergarten through the sixth grade. Three sessions of six lessons each will be offered. The price per session, which includes a lift pass, is $160. All three sessions can be purchased as a bundle for $449.

Spud Sessions will run for a half day, with both morning and afternoon camps available at either Dollar Mountain or Bald Mountain. Morning camps run from 9-11:30 a.m., while afternoon camps run from 12:30-3 p.m.

The first session begins the weekend of Jan. 7-8 and will continue through Jan. 14-15 and Jan. 21-22. Session two begins the weekend of Jan. 28-29 and will continue Feb. 4-5 and Feb. 11-12. Session three begins the weekend of March 3-4 and will continue March 10-11 and March 17-18.

More advanced skiers and boarders can sign up for Free Ride, a 13-week program from youngsters age 6 through seniors in high school. Camp starts the weekend of Dec. 3-4 and will continue throughout the winter. Participants have the option of attending Saturdays, Sundays or on both days.

Season prices are $580 for either Saturday- or Sunday-only attendance, or $895 for both days. Saturday classes are held on Bald Mountain, while Sunday takes place at the Dollar Mountain terrain park.

"These are for kids who want to improve their skills but aren't necessarily interested in competing," said SnowSports staff member Margo L'heureux.

For more information, or to register for either Little Spuds, Spud Sessions of Free Ride, contact Sun Valley SnowSports School at (208) 622-2289.



Both the YMCA and the Recreation District are offering camps for kids during the Christmas school break.

The YMCA has two sessions, both running Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the YMCA building on Saddle Road in Ketchum.

The first session runs from Dec. 19-23 and will be held in partnership with the Environmental Resource Center. Called, "Winter Animal Wonders," the session will show participants how wild animals in the Wood River Valley cope with and survive through the winter.

The second session, to be held Dec. 26-30 will be focused on "World Holiday Celebrations."

The cost for either session is $180 for members and $200 for non-members. Single day attendance costs $55 for members and $70 for non-members. Financial assistance is available. For more information call the YMCA at (208) 727-9622.

The Recreation District is offering two sessions of "Recess from School," the first running from Dec. 19-23 and the second from Dec. 27-30. Both will be held at the Community Campus on Fox Acres Road in Hailey. Camp times are from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day at a cost of $30 per day.

"Some of the days we do things like snow-shoeing, we'll do a swim trip to the Y, then we do some play things here at the campus," said Recreation Director Dave Keir. Other activities include ice skating and sledding.

"We tell them to bring clothing for both indoors and outdoors," Keir said. "Bring your lunch and appropriate clothing and we provide the fun."

More information is available from the Recreation District at (208) 578-2273.

Terry Smith:

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