Birkie Trail Kids is excited for the 2023 season to begin! Lessons are open to children ages 3 years old – 5th grade. The cost for the 2023 Winter Season (7 lessons and 1 race) is $30. Teach your child to love skiing and the great outdoors with Birkie Trail Kids!

Mission

To promote the sport of cross country skiing by providing a fun and organized teaching program for all area youth. We encourage children to develop skills in cross country skiing in a non-competitive atmosphere.

Birkie Trail Kids

Lessons

Birkie Trail Kids Winter (formerly Hayward Nordic Kids) lessons are held at the Samuel C. Johnson Family Outdoor Center at the OO Trail System on Sundays from 1:00 – 2:30pm (lessons for ages 3-5 will be from 1:00 – 2:00 pm).  Lessons for the 2023 season begin on January 8th. The end of the season race will be on March 5th.  There are no lessons the week of the American Birkebeiner.  Special lesson dates include dress up day, Treats on the Trail, and Friday night Glow Skis.

Parents are asked to be present during lessons.  The younger groups may not ski for the full hour, so please confirm with each head coach about length of lesson.  On colder days, lessons may be shortened.  Please do not walk on the trails, even if you are helping with your child’s group.

Registration

Registration for the 2023 season is closed.

Please email birkietrailkids@gmail.com with any questions.

We love to share photos of the fun the kids have at Birkie Trail Kids. Photos will be used in our gallery and on our Facebook page; permission for this is included in the online registration.

Additional Lesson Opportunity

Is your child looking for more than just one ski lesson a week? Then consider registering for our Thursday night ski class. Add-on lessons begin Thursday, January 5, 2023 from 4-5pm at the OO Trailhead, and end on February 16,2023. This program is for kids of all abilities, ages 7-11. You can register for this program during the registration for Birkie Trail Kids. Cost is $70 for 7 lessons.

Coaches will get kids skiing and having fun on the trail- all while working on balance, coordination, and technique, but mostly fun! Techniques include classic and skate – anything goes! Cost is $70 for the 7 week program.

Who: Kids of all abilities, ages 7 – 11
When: Thursdays, 4:00pm – 5:00pm
Where: OO Trailhead
Cost: $70.00

Equipment Rental

We have skis, boots and poles available in all sizes for you to rent for the season. The cost to rent equipment is $45. Equipment rental handout will be in early December at the Samuel C. Johnson Family Outdoor Center at the OO trailhead in Seeley. Please sign up for a time to pick up your rental equipment during registration. Volunteers will be on hand to help fit your child for skis, boots and poles.

Groups & Lesson Details

Children in Birkie Trail Kids are grouped by age and skiing technique. We teach the classic technique through 2nd grade and then allow children to choose to either learn the skate technique from 3rd-5th grade or stay with the classic technique.

Groups are designated by age or grade. The Bunnies are 3-4 year-olds; Jack Rabbits are 4-5 year-olds; Arctic Foxes are in Kindergarten; Wildcats are in 1st grade; Timberwolves are in 2nd grade; Snowflakes are in 3rd grade, using skate technique; Blizzards are in 4th grade, using skate technique; Avalanches are in 5th grade, using skate technique; Grizzlies are in 3rd-5th grades using classic technique.

Classic Groups for Ages 3 – 6

BunniesJack RabbitsArctic Foxes
Typical age(s):3-4yr4-5yr5-6yr
Typical grade(s):NAJr KK
Typical skiing ability (# of K’s able to ski):1k 2k2.5 – 3k
Fundamentals
How to fallXXX
How to get up without polesXXX
Balance Drills – games without polesXXX
Relaxed arm swingXXX
Pole introductionXX
How to get up with polesX
Downhill
Skiing down in trackXXX
Downhill tuckXXX
SnowplowXX
Wedge turns on hillsXX
Snowplow/wedge turns on bigger hills (ski around cones)X
Uphill
Duck walk “herring-bone” uphill (bigger hills)XXX
Uphill striding, stomping on ski to grip (small hills)XX
Technique
Diagonal stride walking/shuffling in trackXX
Skiing in track – weight transfer without poles (toe-knee-nose)X
Star turn/step turnXXX

Activities to learn skills:

  • Everybody fall/ legs up like a bug/straighten skis
  • Elephant arm swings
  • Hot potato (with ball)
  • Simon Says (balance, side steps, etc.)
  • Red Light, Green Light
  • Red Rover, Red Rover (ski under legs or connected arms)
  • Hot Snow (hop from one foot to another)
  • Chariot Rides (pull with inner tube, stop with snowplow)
  • Hokey Pokey
  • Tag games
  • Obstacle course/ski around cones

Classic Groups for Ages 7 – 10+

Wild CatsTimber WolvesGrizzlies
Typical age(s):7 - 88 - 910+
Typical grade(s):123 - 5
Typical skiing ability (# of K’s able to ski):3ks4 ks5 to 6 ks
Fundamentals
How to get up with polesXXX
How to get up without polesXXX
Balance Drills – games without polesXXX
Balance Drills – Double pole in tracks with one ski liftedXXX
Downhill
Snowplow/wedge turns on hillsXXX
Snowplow/wedge turns on bigger hills (ski around cones?)XXX
Skiing down in trackXXX
Perfecting ability to step out of  track on bigger down hills XXX
Step turn fundamentals on small hillX
Step turn on bigger hills (ski around cones?)X
Uphill
Uphill striding, stomping on ski to grip (small hills)XXX
Duck walk “herring-bone” uphill (bigger hills)XXX
Duck walk, using inner edges (bigger hills)XXX
Technique
Skiing in track – weight transfer without poles (toe-knee-nose)XXX
Skiing in track – weight transfer with polesXXX
Perfecting pole placement when striding, core crunchXXX
Double poleXX
Double pole with  kick; improve technique, pick up the speedX

Activities to learn skills:

  • Obstacle courses
  • Slalom Courses
  • Frisbee games (soft frisbee)
  • Relay races
  • No pole drills
  • Tag games
  • Chariot games (with inner tubes)
  • Skooter game (ski with one ski)
  • Stop sign game (stop on hill)
  • Jump turns (how far can you jump around, 90-180o)
  • Bathroom scale (stronger with straight arms or bent arms)

Skate Groups for Ages 7 – 11

SnowflakesBlizzardsAvalanches
Typical age(s):8 - 99 - 1010 - 13
Typical grade(s):3 - 44 - 55+
Typical skiing ability (# of K’s able to ski):3-5k5-7k6-10k
Fundamentals
How to fallXXX
How to get up with polesXXX
How to get up without polesXXX
Balance Drills – games without polesXXX
Balance Drills – Double pole in tracks with one ski liftedXXX
Downhill
Snowplow/wedge turns on hillsXXX
Snowplow/wedge turns on bigger hills (ski around cones?)XXX
Step turn fundamentals on small hillXXX
Step turn on bigger hills (ski around cones?)XXX
Skiing down in tuck positionXX
Uphill
Duck walk, using inner edges (bigger hills)XXX
Diagonal “V” – focus on weight transfer to glide during “duck walk”XXX
V1 uphill drill poling on favored sideXXX
V1 uphill drill alternating poling from side to sideXX
V2 uphill drill on gradual uphillsX
Technique
Double poleXXX
Marathon skateXXX
“Diagonal V” – modified herring bone/duck walk with glideXXX
“V1” on favored side (right or left)XXX
“V1” on non favored side (right or left)XX
“V2” – poling on both sidesXX
“Alternate V” – poling on one side only, time different than “V1”X
Transitions – starting into hills, coming down from hills & rolling hillsX

Activities to learn skills:

  • Simon Says
  • Relays
  • Scooter Ski Relay (one ski)
  • Obstacle Course
  • 360 degree Jump Turns
  • Falling forward w/partner (hips farthest forward on skis with heels down before you fall)
  • Extended Diagonal Motion
  • Slalom course
  • Samurai Swordsman
  • Tandem Scooter Ski (have a pair each take off inside ski and ski together)
  • Four Square (cross poles on ground, jump from one square diagonally to another)
  • Longest Glide
  • Train Ski
  • Lie Down Sprint Races

Coaches and Volunteers

Birkie Trail Kids coaches are all volunteers, and we appreciate the time and effort they contribute each week to teach your children the lifelong sport of skiing! We always welcome volunteers and coaches at any level to help make each lesson great. Whether it’s getting out on the beautiful Birkie Trail system to coach or assisting our hard-working coaches, we’d love to have your help. Each season is fun and successful because of the great help we receive to make Birkie Trail Kids a great experience for all skiers. Please consider volunteering to help a child enjoy winter and learn a lifelong sport! We welcome new ideas and value enthusiasm from parents, coaches and volunteers, new and old. To volunteer with Birkie Trail Kids, please click HERE. We’re looking forward to a great season!

Interested in helping with season planning, equipment, or lesson planning? Email birkietrailkids@gmail.com!

Contact Us

Email birkietrailkids@gmail.com if you have any questions!