by Kayla Petering
The last time we were up at Copper we took our three year old daughter for her first ski lesson. I have to confess up front we didn’t actually look into what a lesson included and figured it would be an hour long outing and she would come back hopefully with a few skills. The night before her lesson we went onto the website to make sure we knew where we were going the next morning and were surprised to find out it was an all day thing - 9:30am until 3pm - and included lunch and snacks (which was good because we totally were not ready for all day). I pretty much figured they would be calling us within the first hour to come pick her up. My hopes were not high at all but we got her up the next morning, took the bus to West Village and checked her in.
The check in process is super straight forward. We were told to show up early (we got there at 8:30) which was good because there is paper work to fill out and if you need rentals that part of the check in can take a bit longer. They also put a GPS tracker on her that allowed us to follow her progress throughout the day and see what she was up to. At this point I still believed I would be back in just an hour or two to get her because she is three and while all day is really awesome, my hopes were not high that she would make it. We gave her a hug and watched her walk off to join the rest of the 3-5 year old age group and then ran off to get breakfast without her because I will take any chance I can get to have a kid free date.
I wasn’t skiing that day but my husband was and he purposefully would go by West Village to check in on her. Every time he went by he would send me a video and oh my gosh, I was so impressed. Before this lesson she had only really gone out with my husband and it had basically involved her squealing in delight as she just shot down the hill as fast as possible. We were hoping this lesson would help her learn how to stop and change directions. At 11am, she had only been in the lesson for an hour and a half or so and she was already maneuvering through and around giant barriers and acting like she had been skiing her whole life. We kept checking in throughout the day really expecting to get a call that she was done but she never stopped and neither did the instructors.
When I was watching, there was only one other kid in her group and they both just kept riding the carpet up the hill and going down again and again while the instructors helped them work on different skills. When we picked her up at the end of the day she actually pretended she didn’t know us because she wanted to stay and ski longer. The instructor even told us every time they offered her a break she would tell them no and go up the hill for one more run. I was beyond impressed.
She hasn’t stopped talking about her ski lesson since that day and I could not have been happier with it. In fact it helped her so much we are planning on buying a package of more lessons in the future and making that a priority for her next ski season. I went into this experience without much research figuring she wouldn’t gain much from it because she is so young but came out of it realizing how valuable ski lessons really are and what an amazing opportunity it was for her to work on and develop skills at such a young age. We will definitely be doing it again and if you are on the fence, try it out and let the lesson speak for itself!