Sky Tavern is a nonprofit regional center providing exceptional summer and winter outdoor sports training, recreation, competitions and events, accessible to all.
Open only on the weekends, the Sky Tavern Junior Ski Program is a planned 8 week learn-to-ski/ride program that starts in January each year. The objective of the program is to provide a safe and fun environment that fosters family participation and a lifelong love of recreational winter sports at an extremely reasonable price. Children receive a 2 hour lessons from our PSIA/AASI trained snowsports school every weekend in the morning and have the rest of the day to free ski or ride.
There are a few ways for a child to join the Sky Tavern Junior Ski Program, with a participating adult member or as a bus student. All children under the age of 9 must join with a participating adult. Children 9 years and older may join with a participating adult or as a bus student. The joining adult need not be the parent. There are adults that bring up the entire neighborhood! The adult just has to be a member and be responsible in case of an emergency. There is some paperwork to this but it is done all the time.
Adults are the Staff
Since Sky Tavern is an all-member run organization, parental involvement is a necessity and the key to our success. Participating member parents join the nonprofit and pay a registration fee if they are skiing or boarding. If an adult doesn't plan to ski or ride the nonprofit membership is all that is charged. Skiing or boarding adults have the opportunity to take lessons from our Snowsports School each afternoon if they like, or simply free-ski with their family. Since Sky Tavern has no staff, adults are asked to work a two hour shift each weekend in the job of their choice, helping with the kitchen, parking, checking lifts, etc. Sky Tavern has been described as a co-op. All of time and energy the parents put into the program, the children receive the benefits of. It is something the parents can do for all the kids of the Truckee Meadows. (Hint: Sign up early for the best jobs on the mountain if you are not an instructor!)
The most important job a participating member parent can do for all the kids is become an instructor. Sky Tavern is first and foremost a teaching facility and without instructors there is no program. We need parents that are willing to teach skiing and snowboarding at all levels. Our PSIA/AASI certified instructors teach you to teach the kids. They are parents that started out just like you, with little or no instructing experance and found out they loved doing it. They then went on to become great teachers and were certified through Sky Tavern's in-house process. We can teach any parent to instruct! That is how they got their start. We even have a special clinic to teach willing parents that have never been on a board to teach snowboarding. It is fun and you might surprise yourself and your kids. Give it a try, please! Instructor clinics are held during the preseason at Sky Tavern and at other resorts to get parents up to speed as instructors.
Our Teaching Philosophy
We believe it is important for every child to reach their full potential. What this means is that we pay close attention to the skill level of your child and ensure we place them in a class that suits them best. For more information on the different levels, please refer to a description of the different Skiing and Snowboarding ability levels.
If your child is already a rock star on the slopes, we would love for them to join us as a Junior Ski or Snowboard Instructor or be a part of the Sky Tavern Race Team! Being a Junior Instructor can lead to huge jumps in self-confidence and be the first step towards a career in the mountains or maybe one in the classroom. Race Team training includes instruction on proper skiing techniques, training on race courses or parks, and videotaping and analysis. For more information on either Race Team or Junior Instructing, please refer to Programs.
Children 9 years of age and older, who do not have a participating adult, can be transported to the resort via bus. For an additional fee, each child will be picked up from one of several pick-up locations, given the same 2 hour lesson, and then has the rest of the day to ski or ride. We round them all back up at 2:30 and they are returned to the pick-up location at approximately 4:00pm.
New for this season is paying for each bus ride each week. Still lots to work out but if it works a kid could ride the bus Saturday or Sunday or both. They would be able to miss a weekend and not be charged for the bus ride. Sky Tavern always tries to keep the bus program affordable and accessable to everyone. This may have a few bumps but it will let kids ride both days. Cost will be per ride and yet to be fixed but will be as low as we can make it.
The pick-up locations are to be announced but close to everyone. Last season was:
Galena High School
McQueen High School
O'Brien Middle School
Reed High School
A Typical Day At Sky Tavern
8:00am: Arrive and gets ready to ski!
8:30am: Meet in groups for lessons.
Noon: Lunch Time!
Afternoon: Free-skiing and adult lessons.
Can we still ski at Sky Tavern, on an non-assigned day?
Adult members may ski at Sky Tavern on a non-assigned day but are expected to check-in and be willing to help out. A child of the member may ski, but must attend class in the morning, even on the non-assigned day. Bus kids may only use the bus system on their assigned day but we are trying to change that! Stand by.
Where do we eat?
The Sky Tavern lodge has a full food service department, where breakfast and lunch can be purchased at very economical rates. Season meal passes for kids can be purchased for $70 and will offer each participant a full lunch for each day of the season (for a total of eight lunches). A limited menu but Mom approved. In addition, our terrain park boasts the Snack Shack for those mid-afternoon munchies. Sky Tavern's food is not the run of the mill hotdogs although those are cooked too. There are some fairly intense and talented adults in the kitchen. The weekly specials look like they come straight from Master Chef! Maybe a bit of one-up-man-ship happens sometimes!