RENO, Nev. - About two thousand kids and adults of all abilities took to the slopes at Sky Tavern for opening weekend.
“Sky Tavern is the best program because they teach everyone to learn to ski whether you're fifty-five or five,” Ski Instructor Nancy Nordland said. “We couldn't ask for a better day; there's good snowfall, we're going to be here for the rest of the season and it's a fabulous experience for everybody.”
The program has fostered a family-friendly atmosphere over the years.
“Parents and kids can be together on the slopes and you have a million replicas of parents who are out here to watch your kids so you know they're safe,” Nordland said. “You know they're confident and they're out here learning something.”
The non-profit ski and snowboard program is the largest one in the country. Hundreds of thousands of people have learned to ski and ride at Sky Tavern and it caters to all ability levels. Bob Guerrero has headed up the Adaptive Program for more than a decade.
“It's incredible, we work with kids with all types of disabilities,” Guerrero said. “Mental, physical, emotional, behavioral, everything.”
They're still looking for participants and volunteers for the program this year. The volunteers say it's a rewarding job.
“The smiles, these kids absolutely love it!” Ski Trainer Carol Stranford said. “I've been here 15 years and I have made friends that have lasted my lifetime here. I love seeing the kids come back week after week and year after year.”
“It's amazing to see the progress,” Nordland said. “Next week these kids who can barely stand up will probably be on the Poma Lift and the week after that they'll be on the chairlift. They learn so fast and it's so rewarding for the parents and the kids.”
Anyone interested in learning how to ski or volunteering their time can learn more on the Sky Tavern website; we've posted a link on our web channel, www.kolotv.com