Steve and Mindy Benton have been leaders of the French Park group for six years. They have compiled a list of suggestions for individuals or groups interested in starting a new ski group.
- Advertise MYSL to your ski area. Get to know the people skiing and working at your local ski area. Find those with families who do or who might enjoy skiing. Approach any individuals with children skiing to introduce MYSL. Steve was introduced to MYSL in 1997 while skiing one day at French Park by asking Sarah Sanborn, wife of Board Member, Jonathan Sanborn, what the fun program with all the kids skiing was all about. Leave MYSL brochures at the park with the staff for distribution to the public. Contact local schools to find out their procedures for distributing fliers.
- Find your volunteers. Once people are interested, ask them to help in any way possible. As a volunteer organization, MYSL relies on the help of many parents and other interested adults and teenagers. We have had great help from some high school skiers and even our Silver skiers and upper level kids like to help with the 1st and 2nd levels. Reassure parents that NO ski expertise is necessary to coach. MYSL provides a complete curriculum that is quite easy to follow. Coaching workshops are also available.
- Recruit skiers. Word of mouth is probably the best motivator. Find friends/families that might enjoy skiing with you. Additionally, MYSL has clip art and sample brochures for distribution to your local newspapers, schools, coffee shops, etc.
- Find the snow. In the past four years, snow has been scarce in the area. The French group skied on man-made snow at Eagle Lake in 2003 and skied on the man-made snow at Elm Creek for most of the 2004 season. Our group managed to ski eight consecutive sessions last year on snow! Encourage your group to go to the snow, wherever it may be. Wirth Park is another option with snow making.
- Have fun with the kids. This is not meant to be a competitive racing curriculum. MYSL is meant to teach children to classic and to skate ski (and to have fun while wearing long sticks on your feet). Many of our young skiers go on to ski competitively in high school and college. We hope to give them the fundamentals and the motivation to ski.