Thank you to those families who replied to our email assessing interest in skiing in Austria in late June. As we expected, we returned a fairly broad range of feedback, from some folks who are ready to travel again very soon, to others who would not consider a trip for the foreseeable future. As we hopefully can all agree, there are no right or wrong answers here. As I’ve heard from a few sources lately, we are all in the same sea, but we’re in different boats – that is true, and my heart is with every member of our community, regardless of your individual circumstances. For everyone – without exception – this situation presents unique challenges.
After discussion with staff, other program leaders across our industries (schools, summer camps, and ski academies), and our Board of Trustees, I have made the following determination about summer camps.
We are cancelling the Hintertux camp in June.
Our focus for summer training will be working through progressively more complex camp environments, as we determine best practices and establish safety, cleaning, and social distance protocols appropriate for our environments. No BBTS/WVA coaches or programming will be permitted to operate outside these levels without explicit clearance.
We will be following a Tiered Approach to Summer Camps:
Tier 1 – When we are permitted to do so, most likely in late June or July pending guidance from the governor of NH, we will begin running summer day camps on the WVA campus in Waterville Valley. These will be alpine dryland training camps and/or freeski/freestyle dryland and ramp camps. We are working on protocols to allow us to utilize the AirBag site and it may be available by the time we’re ready to run. Day camps will be 5-day sessions and may be limited to groups of 8 – we believe we will be able to run at least two groups of 8 (one freeski/freestyle and one alpine) but total gathering numbers will follow in the next set of NH recommendations and we need to ensure we have sufficient space between individuals and groups. Specific protocols around day camps will specify social distancing, and all camps will be based out-of-doors (we do not intend to use the Tom Barbeau Training Center in Tier 1). Day campers will bring their own food and drink each day. As is our norm for dryland camps, we’ll provide activity, training, focus, and fun(!!) in an environment where kids are motivated to get better, stronger, and learn new skills.
Tier 2 – Summer overnight or indoor camps. As we follow recommendations in NH and also observe practices of other summer camps, we will aim for an overnight camp session (at least one, potentially two) in later July or August. This would be a week-long dryland camp with lodging available in the WVA dorm, and meals served in our dining room. This would also be available to Day campers.
Tier 3 – Travel. As we continue to gauge risks, recommendations, and safety protocols around gatherings, testing, social distance, and travel, we will continually assess whether we can safely travel to ski. At this point, we have loose aspirations of traveling to ski with small groups in late July or August, either domestically at Mt Hood, or internationally in Saas Fee, Switzerland. There are many variables to work out for either destination, and we’ll communicate when we are able to confirm details such as dates or recommended ages. Either destination would be an option for both freeski/freestyle and alpine groups.
We will be updating the website to reflect sign-ups for dryland camps soon. Given the restrictions on group numbers, we are also anticipating more interest than we can safely accommodate, at least in the first few weeks. Please know that we are going to err on the side of safety oversize for the foreseeable future, and thank you in advance for your patience if you aren’t able to register your child for the dates you’d prefer. We will not be doing daily drop-ins for any day or session this summer. All registration will be done in advance online. We will also circulate information before we make registrations live so you will have equivalent access.
I know this email will leave many families in limbo on summer skiing, which I understand may be frustrating but which I can’t fix – I think we’re all growing big muscles in the area of ‘managing uncertainty’ through this process, and I am doing my best to communicate the things we know and the things we don’t know.
Thank you for all your support and participation, and I look forward to seeing many of you over the course of this summer….or your foreheads and eyes, at least!
In masked solidarity,