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Como Youth Ski Club
Welcome to St. Paul Como Park | MYSL Ski Sparks
We've been helping kids learn the life-long sport of Nordic skiing at Como for over 25 years. We welcome kids ages 4 to 14 and their families. The club is a 100% volunteer effort. We look forward to spending another season with happy skiers having fun in the snow!
Registration for Como SkiSparks is through MYSL. Please go to mysl.org and click "Register Today" to complete the registration for your child and sign up for volunteer opportunities. Our club is expected to fill, so register soon.
Need-based scholarships are available for the registration fee. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to request a scholarship.
2021 Schedule and Location
Meet at Como Park Golf Course from 2:00pm - 3:30pm, starting Sunday, January 3, 2021. We will have 8 lessons. We will NOT meet January 18th over the Martin Luther King, Jr., holiday weekend. Our last lesson is scheduled for February 28, 2021, but a makeup lesson (if needed) will be March 7, 2021. Please also plan on attending the annual MyXC Festival and Championship on March 13th and 14th at Theodore Wirth Park. More information on the Festival will be forthcoming.
In the case of no snow at Como we will move to a snowmaking loop. Our backup facility is Elm Creek Park Reserve in Maple Grove, and we will shift our meeting time to 3:30-5:00 at this location. We will give you as much notice as possible when we move to Elm Creek.
MYSL’s curriculum teaches skiing with games using an orderly progression through six distinct levels, Levels 1 through 6. Each level is designed to be done twice. Generally, the levels and age groups for classic skiing are: Level 1 Ages 4-7 (parents ski along with the child); Level 2 Ages 6-8 (parents check in occasionally); Level 3 Ages 7-10; and Level 4 Ages 8-12. The levels for skate ski lessons are: Level 5 Ages 9-13 and Level 6 Ages 11-14. If you are new to MYSL, please use the age guide when you register. If your child has never skied before, however, please register them for Level 1 regardless of their age. We work hard to place children in the best group for their skill level and age, but may have to move children after the first few lessons as coaches assess skill levels. Additionally, level, age, and coach/skier ratio considerations will take precedence over buddy requests. Skill levels are selected or edited in the Household Information section of the club membership process.
Coaching Volunteers Needed
When you sign up your child, please consider being a volunteer coach or assistant coach. If you have already signed up, you can still volunteer by emailing email@example.com. You don't have to be an expert skier. We provide each week's curriculum, there is a December coaches training that you can attend, and we provide a one-hour training for coaching levels 1 and 2 (but any volunteer may attend). If you are unable to make a weekly commitment, but are still interested in being involved, please consider signing up to be a SUBSTITUTE COACH that fills in when needed, or a SWEEPER that skis the trails during lessions to ensure a safe and successful environment for all MYSL participants.
It is important for skiers to have equipment that fits well. Please note that Level 1 skiers ages 4 and 5 do not need poles. Level 1 skiers that are 6 or older (or are in their second year of Level 1) may use poles.
If you need equipment, you may purchase new and used equipment at the MyXChange SkiSwap on November 16, 2020. We plan to have a table at the Swap and Expo so please come say hello!
You may also purchase new or used equipment at the following locations:
- Boulder Nordic Sports (BNS) -- Bloomington
- FinnSisu -- St. Paul
- Gear West -- Long Lake
- Hoigaards -- St. Louis Park
- Joe's Sporting Goods -- St. Paul
- Pioneer Midwest -- Osseo
- Play it Again Sports -- various locations
You may also rent equipment from the Como Chalet before each lesson (about $12 in prior years). In the past, however, the Chalet has closed due to poor snow conditions and we have still had lessons. Additionally, the Chalet often closes its rental shop after President's Day weekend.
Make sure to dress in layers. Polypropylene or lightweight wool will keep the moisture off the skin, wear a number of insulating layers for warmth that can be shed as games and skiers heat up. Add something non-absorbent on the outside to cut the wind and minimize sticking snow when we're rolling around. Use this checklist for success:
Dry boots: Boots need to be dried out near a heat source between uses. They can’t stay in the car or garage.
Dry, wool socks: No poly blends, no cotton. A dry pair of socks needs to be put on right before you put on your boots.
No updrafts: Cold hands can often mean your body is too cool. Make sure jackets are not too big and billowy. To stop drafts, stuff jackets into pants, tighten drawstrings or wear a drink belt.
Put on a hat and a neck gator (buffs, muffs, neck warmers): We all know we lose a lot of heat through our heads. But making sure your ears and neck are covered is just as important.
Good gloves: Good ski gloves/mittens are an investment and can only be found at ski retailers, but they are worth it.
Hand/Foot warmers: For when it is really cold, hand and foot warmers are helpful. These are oxygen activated and you can “turn them off” by putting them in an airtight container (such as a jam jar) to get multiple uses.
Calories: A skier that is low on calories will have a hard time staying warm. Bringing back up snacks and drinks is always a good idea.
Important to Know
- Parking – parking can be a challenge at Como Ski Chalet, so be sure to plan your trip and arrive with enough time to grab bibs. Coaches start skiing at 2pm, promptly. Alternate parking is across the street, if needed. (Como Park Map)
- First Day – when you arrive the first time, please assist your children in finding their coaches outside on the golf course (to the West of the parking lot). There will be level-signs to guide you to the right coach. Each coach will have a ski bib and card for your child. We will collect the bibs at the last lesson.
- Subsequent Lessons – Meet your coach by the level-signs like you did on the first day.
- Volunteers and Coaches – Will be wearing MYSL coach bibs in the level color they coach, with coach names on hats - so you can tell us apart in our snow gear.
- Weather – If the forecast is very cold or cold with wind chill (-2 degrees air temperature or -10 degrees windchill), we’ll cancel. We also may shorten lessons on very cold days (below 5 degrees air temperature or 10 degrees windchill). Cancellations as well as a move to our back-up location in Elm Creek for lack of snow will be noted on this web page, via email to all members, and on Facebook by 8 am Sunday. If we are scheduled to meet at our back-up location in Elm Creek, we are unlikely to have shortened lessons during very cold weather and will instead cancel.
We communicate with Como MYSL families via email and Facebook. We need valid emails for all. When you register please include a contact e-mail address and phone number.
Messages will be sent:
- If we cancel because of weather.
- If we have to move to another MYSL location (due to snow conditions).
- Clarifying questions we may have about your registration.
- Providing updates with news and information about the Como ski club.
- Regarding pickup of rental equipment.
Please contact us with questions or feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We will again offer adult lessons in cooperation with Endurance United! Sessions are designed for new skiers. Join the experienced EU staff for five sessions to quickly improve your skiing. At the end of the 5 sessions, we invite you to ski along with your kids in their group and support the lead coaches. Each session will have a coach dedicated to skate skiing and classic skiing. These sessions take place at the same place and time the kids are skiing (what could be more convenient than that?). Register through Endurance United.