January 14 - March 8, 2023
Wednesdays 4:15 - 5:30 p.m. at Bridger Creek Golf Course
Saturdays: time TBD (likely 10:30 am - 11:30 am) at Crosscut Mountain Sports Center
Age cutoff: skiers should be age 5 by January 1, 2023 and in kindergarten.
August 31: Parent Info Meeting. (View presentation HERE.)
September 8: Registration opens
October 14: Scholarship Application deadline
January 14: First Day
March 8: Last Day
Registration opens for all Intro programs at Noon on September 8, 2022. Stay tuned for more info. These programs fill quickly. We recommend signing up for our mailing list so you don't miss information.
BSF welcomes our youngest skiers to our Kinder Program. Kids must be at least 5 (as of January 1st, 2023) AND in Kindergarten to be eligible.
This program is designed to be a playful introduction to classic cross country skiing, and no previous experience is necessary. These kinders will learn to get comfortable on skis through games and snow exploration, learning some basic balance and gliding skills.
January 14 - March 8, 2023
WED: 4:15 - 5:30 p.m. at Bridger Creek Golf Course
SAT: time TBD (likely 10:30 - 11:30 am) at Crosscut Mountain Sports Center
At checkout, you can choose:
*See processing fees below.
For invoices over $1500, payments can be made in 3 payments. IMPORTANT: If your family is registering multiple children, please be sure to register and checkout all in one transaction if you'd like a payment plan option. The newly updated system does not allow us to combine orders/create payment plans after the fact. If participants are registered in separate transactions, it will result in separate payment plans.
(*If you have extenuating circumstances with the $1500 starting point on payment plans, please contact us.)
How the payment plan works: When checking out in SkiClub Pro (our registration system) choose "payment plan." New this year: the SkiClubPro system will automatically charge you for each of the three payments.
The following processing fees will be added to your total. These are the fees charged by the payment processor; BSF does not keep any of these fees.
Credit cards paying in full: 3% fee
Bank transfer paying in full: no fee
Credit cards payment plan: 3% fee and $1.50 per payment ($4.50 total)
Bank transfer payment plan: $2.50 fee per payment ($7.50 total)
BSF offers a generous scholarship and financial aid program. Applications are due mid-October each year.
Please note: If you need assistance, apply for it! These funds are meant to keep kids skiing. Applications are confidential, and we take into account all your circumstances, not just taxable income. (Too often, we see families assume they make too much money to qualify for help, and yet they are considering limiting participation in a program because of the cost. Apply! )
Tues/Wed/Thursdays meet at the Lindley Park Pavilion. Parking is available on both Cypress and Buttonwood Avenue. NO PARKING in the Lindley Center Parking Lot.
Last-minute schedule changes do sometimes occur: we'll announce those as needed, via email and the TeamReach app.
At the end of December, you will receive an email requesting you to fill out a survey. Please be sure to respond; your answers will help us make an the best initial placement of your child into a group on the first day.
When you register for the program, you will be added to an email list. Your coaches will send weekly emails with the full schedule, important notes, and info for parents. Last-minute changes may also be emailed. (It’s important that you do not unsubscribe to any BSF emails, as this is our main mode of communication in the winter.) If for some reason, you are not receiving emails from the Intro Coordinator, let us know!
We may also use the Team Reach app, for schedules and last-minute communications.
(Suggested donation calculated based on an average volunteer session of 3 hours and the industry standard value of volunteer time ($25/hour).)
One of the ways BSF keeps program fees lower is through volunteer hours. Without your volunteer hours, we would need to use additional paid staff to fill the void; this would increase program costs significantly, which would also make it more difficult for some families to afford BSF. When only a small percentage of BSF parents take on the brunt of volunteer hours, it leads to volunteer burnout.
We have openings for help at practices, organizing ski and fundraising events, helping at the events themselves, as well as trail work and volunteering for our community trails. We encourage you to volunteer for ANY program--Nordic, Alpine, Freestyle, or trails. If you have a specific skill set you think would be helpful, please let us know. There are always little things we need, from photography, to database entry, to hanging up posters around town.
We post signup sheets and volunteer needs throughout the year at: https://www.bridgerskifoundation.org/about/volunteers
Proper equipment is required. Kinder skiers only need one pair of classic skis.
Skiers in the Intro groups should use fish-scale (waxless) classic skis. We do NOT recommend 3-pin bindings; they tend to get stuck in the groomed tracks.
We do not recommend waxable classic skis for U6/U8/U10 age groups. But, if you do start looking towards a pair of waxable classic skis, which is what most U12 Development Team skiers begin to use, please know that parents are required to put kick-wax on their own child’s skis (BSF Intro coaches do not wax kids skis).
Skis - Classic skis should be approximately the height of the child or up to their wrist when their arm is raised above their head.
Poles - Classic poles should reach between the armpit and the shoulder.
It is suggested for most U6/U8/U10/U12 skiers to have combi boots. These cross-country ski boots will come up over the ankle. Skiers will be able to classic ski and/or skate ski in these boots, enabling the U10 and U12 age groups to just have 1 pair of boots.
There are 2 binding systems in cross-country skiing, the SNS (Salomon) system and the NIS or NNN system. Please make sure your child’s boots and bindings match! If you have Salomon boots and NNN bindings - they will not go together. Fortunately, most youth combi boots and bindings have NIS/NNN binding systems - but if you’re not sure, please reach out and ask.
We recommend that skiers dress in layered clothing that does not restrict movement and prevents overheating but still protects them from the elements. Multiple layers are better than one thick, insulated layer. We recommend a buff/neck warmer for cold and windy days. Skiers are required to have (at a minimum): waterproof gloves/mittens, a hat, and a windproof jacket layer. Younger skiers (U6 and U8) will often wear their snow-pants. Older skiers (U10 and U12) will often wear a lighter weight weather-proof cross-country ski pant.
Skiers may want to have a headlamp for the first few weeks of practice when it gets dark so early.
Remember to eat a small snack between school and skiing. Cold temperatures lead to higher energy requirements for skiing and keeping warm. Kids should also bring a water bottle (please label with name) so they can stay hydrated during practice. BSF will provide hot cocoa and snacks at the end of every Intro session - as long as there is a parent volunteer to organize this!
Bozeman kids are a hardy bunch. Lessons will only be canceled due to extreme temperatures. Coaches will make those decisions as necessary. Sessions will not be canceled or postponed due to lack of snow or snow conditions; instead, we’ll communicate instructions for dry-land training (ski-specific activities for outside when snow is not available).
We do not have make-up days, for either sickness or weather-related cancelations. No refund for canceled or missed practices.
While we don’t put on formal races in the Intro program, we typically organize fun relays. Should they wish, BSF hosts a FUNSKI series, which many kids jump into (often with a parent), including a fun relay with costumes. There are a number of other local races in Montana with youth categories. At this age, it's important to keep racing a fun experience; it's not about the results. As a parent, you can help by focusing on the experience of watching your child: "I love to watch you ski," rather than focusing on their performance.
Also, it's important to note that racing is never mandatory in any of BSF's programs. Ultimately, we hope that most skiers come to love the personal challenge of a race. But they can also choose to participate in the BSF training only, even as they get older.
Please make yourself familiar with our policies, the BSF Athlete & Parent Handbook, and other important information on the Resources Page.
BSF Newsletters contain regular "Parent Corner" articles to help you navigate the parent/athlete dynamic.
Intermountain Division (IMD) License
There’s a bigger picture to what BSF teaches skiers, when and why. BSF’s programs are consistent with the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Long-Term Athlete Development (LTAD) Systems.
What does that mean? We’re not focused on short-term success—and the hazards (and burnout) that often come with it. Instead, we follow LTAD plans that are individualized and based on science to make sure your child can maximize their long-term potential as a skier (should they wish to do so) and their enjoyment in the sport. We take into account a child’s development physiologically, cognitively and socially, as well as their experience skiing.
The LTAD is the ideal progression for an athlete, based on science, and allows for an individualized approach. This makes it easy for your child to progress through our programs as they age and develop, even on to skiing as an adult Masters athlete. That being said, not every skier has the opportunity to start at Phase 1. Skiers are welcome to join us at any stage.
The LTAD is a living document and is updated frequently. View the most up-to-date LTAD for Nordic HERE.)
Years skiing: 1-4
Days per week: 1-3
An emphasis on outdoor recreation. Ski for play, fun and balance. Parents should encourage play, rather than training. Child should participate in many physical activities and explore individual coordination or balance-based sports. Team sports are encouraged to build teamwork, ethics and fair play.
Begin to develop fundamental movement skills through play, fun, novel activities. Explore activities and games that use a variety of body movements and that encourage range-of-motion and exploration of movement options. Fast movements developed by running, jumping, throwing. Create a foundation for agility, balance and coordination through participation in multiple sports or physical activities. Endurance is established through sustained activity and play.
Athletes in Phase 1 should have fun on snow, with games and play enhancing both enjoyment and skills. This includes learning how to run on skis, gaining confidence, general athletic skills, fitness and coordination. Terrain should be flatter, shorter trails.
At this time, it’s important to foster an environment that promotes enjoyment amongst the participants. Provide participants opportunities to experience success with even the most fundamental of tasks and positively reinforce these behaviors. Inspire a passion for the sport.
Competition only exists in the form of cooperative games or relays on skis.
Years in skiing: 1-4
Days per week: 2-6 or as enjoyable
An emphasis on outdoor recreation. Parents should emphasize activity versus training. Child should play many sports, with active participation in coordination- or balance-based sports.
Increase play to enhance specific elements of physical fitness in open environments. Continue to establish foundations of endurance through sustained activity and play. Add duration to activities and games. Introduce and practice mobility exercises through unorganized play and some structured activities. Use fun playful activities to enhance body awareness, spatial awareness and object manipulation.
Athletes in Phase 2 should have fun on snow, with games and play enhancing both enjoyment and skills. Gaining confidence and coordination while running on skis in multiple directions. Ability to balance on both skis while moving downhill. Tactics are learned through self-discovery by skiing and adapting to different terrain.
Continued cultivation of a fun environment to allow child to continue to experience success. Use simple self-talk cue words to reinforce task-oriented behaviors. Focus on the love of sport.
Compete for fun. Local competition at age-appropriate distances.