Your summer family vacation: tips for enjoying water play

No doubt about it, splash time in a pool is synonymous with summer fun! As you head off on your summer vacation, it is worthwhile to review water safety  with your family even if your children swim like fish and spend a lot of time in the water at home.

Notchville Park Smugglers' NotchAt your destination, the environment is likely to be different from what you’re used to, and there may be guidelines that are unique to the setting. By developing familiarity with basic water safety, knowledge of your child’s swimming skills and an understanding of the challenges that water play can pose for young children, you’ll be well prepared for your fun day at a pool or waterpark.

At Smugglers’ Notch Resort, aquatics supervisors and lifeguards ensure a great experience for guests enjoying the resort’s eight pools, four waterslides, and reservoir with water trampoline.

The resort’s aquatics staff share the following observations for parents to keep in mind as their little fishies hit the water:

  • Young children don’t swim the same way that adults do; they may do a “doggy paddle” or a modified tread in which they don’t make a whole lot of forward progress. While these methods will keep a kid’s head above the surface in still water, that child could become overwhelmed by turbulence at the bottom of a slide, waterfall or other feature.
  • Kids can tire more quickly than adults; remember, smaller children are over their heads in areas in which taller people can stand, so they are swimming the whole time!
  • Young children are not able to regulate their body temperature as well as an adult can, so even a pool that seems warm can lower their body temperature.
  • A final thought: kids often won’t communicate well about how they are feeling, and therefore extra vigilance is required from parents and lifeguards.

Swimming pool Smugglers' Notch Vermont

Ready to hit the water with your kids?
Then dive in to these tips from Smugglers’ aquatics staff!

  • Know your child’s swimming ability.
  • Follow height and swim ability requirements on waterslides and other pool features.
  • Supervise your child whenever they are in or near water. Even a slight aspiration of water can be frightening for a young child and impact their positive experience.
  • If you see your child shivering or with blue tinged lips, suggest a towel break to warm up.
  • Obey all pool rules: they are in place for your child’s safety.

May your summer days be filled with lots of splash time!

Notchville Park Smugglers' Notch Vermont

Your summer family vacation: How a quality children’s program benefits your child

As you plan your family’s summer getaway, you may see children’s programs on the activities menu at the destinations you’re considering. Enrolling your child in such programs usually opens up some time together for mom and dad, but keep in mind that quality programs offer far more than a childcare service. Programs can offer your child long lasting benefits, which are wrapped up in a kid-friendly way through the program’s daily fun and games.

To shed some light on what kids can gain from such programs, we checked in with one of the pros at our Summer Fun University (SFU), which develops and manages our children’s camp programs. These programs for ages 3-17 are well known for establishing friendships and introducing new experiences to thousands of kids during their family vacations at the resort.

Jeff Spring, the operations director for SFU programs, has 10 years of experience in outdoor education. He identifies two valuable benefits that children receive from a vacation program specifically crafted for kids:

Experiencing the joy of discovery. Summer camp at a vacation destination offers many children a clean slate, a place away from their day-to-day routine and a sanctuary where they can be themselves in a new environment, Jeff notes. Camp can be a time when kids are more apt to try new things, setting them up for an experience that may be life-changing. Many lifelong passions for adults can be traced back to a camp setting in childhood.

Kayaking Smugglers' Notch Vermont

Jeff says, “In our programs at Smugglers’, we recognize this possibility for every one of our campers. Our counselors strive to provide the positive and enriching environment that encourages discovery, whether a child is learning to play disc golf or checking out a stream with an underwater camera. That moment of discovery is when special memories are made!”

Children's camp Smugglers' Notch Vermont

Connecting with the natural world. Jeff observes that a connection with nature has many positive effects on kids that have been well documented through the years:

  • Active outdoor play encourages overall fitness, plus coordination, balance, and agility. Children's camp Smugglers' Notch Vermont
  • Not only do children show a better ability to concentrate after contact with nature, but exposure to natural environments can benefit children’s cognitive development as well by improving their awareness, reasoning, and observational skills.
  • Time spent in outdoor environments contributes to children’s development of independence and autonomy.
  • Early experiences with nature  and the creatures that inhabit the natural world have been positively linked with the development of imagination and sense of wonder for the world around us.

Nature Center Smugglers' Notch Vermont

  • A relationship with nature encourages a child to recognize the value of quietness and space that can be found in many natural settings.
  • Last but not least, immersive experiences in nature encourage a positive environmental ethic in children that can lead them to be  responsible stewards of the natural world.

Whether your family chooses to visit Smugglers’ or another vacation destination, we hope Jeff’s insights have given you food for thought as you consider a vacation program for your child.

Read more about Smugglers’ summer programs for kids ages 3-17


The more the merrier: Planning travel with another family

Traveling with another family can be lots of fun! There are several benefits: both adults and children have others to interact with beyond immediate family,  the diversity of interests within the group may entice everyone to try activities that they might not typically select, and sharing vacation costs can result in savings. Of course, traveling with another family can also create challenges – those are bound to happen with more people in the mix! But happily, with proper planning and forethought many of these challenges can be managed ahead of time.

Family games Smugglers' Notch VermontMany groups of families and friends plan their vacations at Smugglers’ Notch Resort, attracted by the varied menu of activities for all ages, comfortable lodging, and beautiful mountain setting. If you’re considering a getaway with another family, these tips from the resort’s vacation planning staff will put you on the road to a well-planned vacation.

  • Start planning as early as you can in order to select dates that accommodate everyone’s busy schedules and to secure a destination that is attractive to all travelers. If you’re pulling together a large group or reunion, Smugglers’ group vacations staff recommends starting your planning six months to a year ahead.
  • Have a conversation about your vacation budget, particularly if you’re considering sharing costs on particular activities or amenities.
  • Discuss what type of lodging will best serve your group. You may want a common area to gather in or ground floor lodging for convenience and accessibility. Seek out lodging with full kitchens if you’d like to prepare some meals. If you’re looking for ways to trim cost, consider sharing a large accommodation versus having each family in their own space. Sharing space typically yields some savings.
  • Identify your recreational interests. What’s on everyone’s wish list? Is there interest in individual activities as well as group activities?Swimming lagoon Smugglers' Notch Vermont
  • After considering your lodging needs and recreational interests, look for destinations that are good matches.
  • Once you’ve reserved your dates, be sure to communicate any individual requirements to the host property. For example, it’s best to check in with the destination prior to arrival to discuss  special dietary needs or to make arrangements for cots or cribs.
  • There may be additional activities that entice you once you arrive at your destination. Consider adding a little extra into your budget for these special additions.
  • Keep communication flowing during your getaway. Try not to sweat the small stuff.

Family picnic Smugglers' Notch Vermont


Enjoy your getaway! You’ll be making memories that will stay with you for years to come!

Show your mountain love: How to practice responsible stewardship during outdoor recreation

Whether you are heading to a mountain destination for a weeklong vacation or a day visit, you can play an important part in retaining beautiful natural settings for recreation. Developing good mountain citizenship skills involves following best safety practices and taking responsibility for environmental stewardship. Modeling this responsible behavior can encourage children to follow best practices, too.

At Smugglers’ Notch Resort, a designated Environmental Leader in Vermont, resort departments such as mountain operations and ski patrol work to ensure the resort’s mountain playground can be enjoyed and preserved. They offer the following mountain caretaking tips to keep in mind as you plan and enjoy your outdoor adventures. How many of these tips do you already follow?

Family hike Smugglers' Notch Vermont

 Prior to your day on the mountain

  • Make sure your recreation equipment is properly maintained to ensure optimal use.
  • Familiarize yourself with your destination’s recreation policies.
  • Don’t let your car idle too long when starting out for a day of mountain recreation. Excessive idling releases harmful pollutants into the air. Typically, in cold weather, it’s fine to begin driving after about 30 seconds of warm up time. Excessive idling also may harm your engine.
  • With local travel, seek out a carpool, or look for rideshare opportunities or public transportation to access your mountain destination.

On the mountain

  • Respect the mountain environment by not littering, and pick up and dispose of any trash others may have left behind.
  • Use refillable water containers to stay hydrated. This minimizes your trash production.
  • Stay clear of any wildlife you might see. Never feed wildlife.
  • Leave the natural environment as is. Never cut trees or brush to make trails. Illegal trail clearing can damage the soils on steep slopes, which can lead to erosion.
  • Follow the rules and respect directions given by mountain personnel such as ski patrol, hiking guides, or rangers.
  • When recreating on unmarked and unpatrolled terrain, stay in groups of three or more.
  • In winter, familiarize yourself with the National Ski Area Association’s Skier and Rider Responsibility Code to prepare for a day on the slopes.

Children's hiking program Smugglers' Notch Vermont

Making sure that mountain surroundings remain pristine and beautiful should be a goal that all outdoor recreation enthusiasts are invested in. If you’re already following these suggestions, we’re glad to hear you’re one of the mountain caretaking tribe! Pass along your stewardship practices to your family and friends!

Your spring family vacation: Head to the slopes

What’s to love about spring skiing and snowboarding? Plenty! Savvy families know that a spring ski vacation is a wonderful experience, with sunshine and blue skies highlighting longer days, warmer temperatures yielding soft snow that’s easy to learn or improve on, and destinations typically offering late season deals on vacation packages. If you’ve never considered a spring skiing and snowboarding vacation for your family, our family vacation experts are here to share four reasons why you should book a ski destination for your family’s spring getaway.

Snow play Smugglers' Notch Vermont

Spring offers a winning combination of sunshine, blue skies, and pristine white snow. Just being outside on spring’s bluebird days leave skiers and riders with a happy, relaxed vibe. It’s a great time to celebrate the beauty of the mountain, pack snacks or a lunch, and enjoy the views provided by a summit picnic during your day on the trails. The warm temperatures lead to a feeling of celebration and plenty of socializing, with parking lots populated by tailgate barbecues and lodge decks filled with skiers and riders enjoying the sunshine. The season also provides plenty of fun events on the mountain, like pond skimming contests to watch or participate in; check your destination’s events calendar for details.

Skiing and snowboarding Smugglers' Notch Vermont

Spring’s longer days offer more hours to try new activities and adventures while on vacation. Take advantage of spring’s longer days to fill your vacation days with plenty of action. How about inserting a zip line canopy tour into your ski day? Or signing up for instructional sessions in a snow sport that’s new to you?

Mountain trails in spring typically have great conditions to learn skiing and snowboarding skills. Get a jump on the next ski season by learning new skills or fine tuning existing ones by signing up for instruction during your spring vacation. “Spring’s softer snow conditions make it easier to learn to ski without the distraction of winter’s colder temperatures,” says Harley Johnson of Smugglers’ Snow Sport University®. “You’re not so bundled up and you have more freedom to move your body.” Soft spring snow is easy to carve turns into and more forgiving of falls. Another benefit: you’ll likely find that there are fewer skiers and riders on the slopes in spring, which also lends itself to a more relaxed learning environment.

Cookie race Smugglers' Notch Vermont

The lowest rates of the season can be found in spring. Typically, vacation package rates for a spring ski vacation are much lower than the rates of a winter getaway. At Smugglers’, SuperSaver rates on lodging packages are in effect from mid-March through early April, and run about 15 percent lower than height of the season rates. For the best value, look for a package, like those offered by Smugglers’, that features lift tickets and family-pleasing inclusions of amenities and activities at no extra charge.

Are you ready to think spring? Once you and your family have enjoyed the pleasures of a spring ski vacation, the experience just may become a yearly tradition!

Make winter fun! Our winter sports experts share their tips

The winter season offers many wonderful opportunities for families to enjoy the outdoors. When you and your kids participate in a winter sport, you’ll gain the benefits of playing outside in the fresh air and being active. Learning a new sport together can enhance family relationships as well as boost your children’s confidence and self-esteem. We talked with winter sports experts at Smugglers’ Notch Resort in Vermont, to get their thoughts on what makes winter recreation so special.

The nature connection. Chris Rice is the manager of operations for Peak Expeditions, which runs the ice climbing and Via Ferrata programs at Smugglers’ Notch Resort. He says, “Getting outside in the winter gives people the unique experience of enjoying and being active in nature while having fun and challenging themselves. Here in Vermont, the winter season offers some of the most picturesque landscapes and beautiful scenery in New England. Smugglers’ Notch is one of the premier ice climbing locations in New England. Whether rappelling into an ice canyon or climbing up a frozen waterfall, we like to connect people to environments that many never get to experience. That connection to nature is special and fulfilling.

Snowshoeing and cross-country skiing also provide a connection to nature, notes Paul “PK” Kayhart, at the Smugglers’ Nordic Center. “Participating in either sport can be a nice way to get outside and take in winter’s beauty at the pace you choose. Enjoy the countryside with friends and family or enjoy touring in peaceful solitude.” You might let the kids lead the way and explore by looking for animal tracks in the snow or identifying trees by their bark. Kayhart observes Smugglers’ visitors enjoying guided treks for families that talk about animal habitats and forest heritage, a vacation highlight that encourages kids’ interest in the natural world.


Don’t be surprised to find that being a part of the winter landscape prompts big grins and feelings of exhilaration. “I love the way my kids hoot and holler as they go down the slopes,” laughs Harley Johnson of Smugglers’ Snow Sport University®, which, as part of its children’s ski and snowboard curriculum, connects kids to nature with fun activities, such as visiting Father Winter in his teepee on Morse Mountain.

Being active. Smugglers’ experts put the emphasis on having fun for families interested in winter recreation, but they are quick to highlight the health benefits of these outdoor sports. And you don’t have to be a pro to gain these health benefits. According to Kayhart, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing provide a great low impact and whole body workout. He adds, “Both cross-country skiing and snowshoeing can be beneficial for a variety of other reasons, such as improvement of balance, working the body’s core, and mental refreshment and stimulation. Don’t forget about the bonus calorie burn due to the cold!”


Downhill skiing and snowboarding also have aerobic benefits, while engaging lower body muscles as well as the core, notes Johnson. Of ice climbing, Rice says, “It is a great leg and core workout that can really improve a person’s balance, while requiring a lot less arm and grip strength than people think.”

Personal growth. Look for a program with a focus that works with your family’s preferred learning style. For instance, Peak Expeditions programs are designed with the “challenge by choice” model in mind, which Rice explains as “we encourage people to push themselves a bit, but there is always a fun way of achieving success.” Johnson notes that sometimes beginners may be wary of a new experience, and having the support of a professional instructor can enhance a newbie’s skiing or riding experience through tips and guidance. Don’t be shy about communicating your needs to program staff.


With young children, Johnson suggests talking about the activity in advance so that kids are prepared for it. This can help alleviate any nervousness they may feel and help them to proceed confidently. “It’s a good idea to discuss expectations with them ahead of time. It is important to keep their expectations reasonable so that they are not disappointed,” she says, pointing out that sometimes, young beginner skiers and riders think they will be riding the chairlift or doing tricks right away. “Remind them that there is a lot of fun to be had in developing the skills that prepare them for the next level. Tell them that even ski and snowboard instructors take lessons to polish their skills. Let them learn at the rate they are comfortable with, and that will build their confidence. Each milestone can be a family celebration.


Rice of Peak Expeditions strongly believes in the personal benefits of winter outdoor activities. He notes, “Getting outdoors for these activities is a fun way for people to develop self-confidence, trust and communication skills. Leaving one’s comfort zone a little really pushes personal growth and can be a great way to grow as an individual, group, and family.” Continuing to relive such experiences through shared memories and storytelling enhances family bonding just as much as participating together in the actual activity. Alpine skiing, snowboarding, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, and ice climbing are all sports that families can enjoy together and pursue as lifelong hobbies.

We hope you and your family are ready to choose a winter sport that’s right for you and that you’re excited to play in the snow this winter!




Unplugging: A dad shares his family’s experience

What happens when you replace your kids’ electronic gadgets with bingo night, singing, pirates, bonfires, and Ping-Pong®?

By Josh Briggs

Do you remember when family game night meant playing actual board games? When arts and crafts didn’t require some sort of printout from your laptop? How about the days when you could have a family dinner and not have every member of your gang staring at a glowing screen? Well, this year our family decided to take an unplugged vacation at Smugglers’ Notch Resort in Vermont.

I bet you can imagine the look on my 12-year-old son’s face when I told him we were leaving the iPod® AND the laptop home for this trip. Not to mention the utter despair in my 8-year-old’s voice when he realized that the Nintendo DS™ was also going to sit out for this journey. I have to be honest, I wasn’t entirely sure that my wife and I would make it through the weekend without checking email at least once. With a little hesitation we piled in the car, packed up like we were going on a vacation in 1978, and headed north to Smugglers’.

It only took a few minutes in the car to realize this trip was going to be different. Instead of the barely audible thumping of the latest teen pop song humming through headphones, there was some actual conversation. “Hey Dad, isn’t that the same car you used to have?” “Mom, when was the first time you went skiing?” So cool.

Once we arrived at Smugglers’ the real fun began. In a matter of minutes we were safely loaded into our condo right on the slopes, changed into our bathing suits (and parkas) and on the shuttle to the indoor pool. We quickly found our way into a game of water volleyball (our team won!) and took a relaxing dip in the kid friendly hot tub. Not a single word about a video game in five hours.


After dinner we headed down to the FunZone and had a family Ping-Pong tournament. It was so nice to hear each of my family members tell me how much fun they were having, just playing Ping-Pong. After a quick sing/dance along with Goodtime Charlie, we went back to the room to call it a night.

The next day started with some fantastic skiing up to lunch time, when we were serenaded by Rockin’ Ron the Friendly Pirate. Now, I was pretty certain that the kids were going to think that the singing pirate was a bit too much, but half way through the first song the whole family was laughing and singing along. I really couldn’t believe it: our experiment was working!

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Prior to our trip, we decided that we would all take some ski lessons, and the boys were pretty vocal about NOT wanting to. “It’s like going to school while we are on vacation,” they told us. Despite their protests, we met our instructors and hit the slopes. The kids went their way and we went ours. When we met back up later that afternoon the kids were transformed! They had such a great time in their lesson and couldn’t wait to do it again the next day. They had made a connection with the instructor and had improved their abilities tenfold. What else can you ask for?

We remained unplugged for the remainder of our visit to Smugglers’. In fact, we didn’t miss the electronics at all. My family has been talking about our amazing adventure ever since and can’t wait for our summer getaway later this year. We’ve decided to make it a bi-annual family tradition and have already planned our hiking excursion. If someone told me last year that my kids would be anxiously awaiting our next Ping-Pong tournament, I probably would have laughed. Now, I have to tell you, I can’t wait to get back up there either. If you are like me and are getting tired of seeing your gang zombie-eyed staring at those flickering screens, unplug. I promise you won’t regret it.


Josh Briggs and his family are from Massachusetts. They have enjoyed two family vacations at Smugglers’ Notch Resort.

Traveling with a baby: Tips from Smugglers’ Notch Resort’s nursery director

As director of the TREASURES child care center at Smugglers’ Notch Resort, Shelly Schaffer sees many new parents who arrive at the resort feeling daunted by the new adventure of traveling and vacationing with their little ones. Schaffer and her staff have years of experience supporting families’ special getaways at Smugglers’. They understand that traveling with an infant requires a bit more planning and offer a few simple tips below to help parents have a relaxing family vacation with their baby.

Think about your “wish list” of priorities when choosing your destination. Are you looking to spend time with your partner? You’ll need to consider what child care services are offered, which could include private sitters and an onsite child care center, like the one offered at Smugglers’. Thinking about this ahead of time allows you to contact the destination and ask questions prior to arrival, which can help reduce the stress of setting up child care at an unfamiliar place.  Would you like to have convenient laundry services? Infants can go through a week’s worth of clothing in just a couple of days. Perhaps a condominium setting with in-home washers and dryers would be a much-appreciated feature. Would you rather not eat out every night? If so, note whether your destination has lodging with a kitchen or kitchenette. Pre-planning some easy meals in your lodging can provide a seemingly effortless dinner option and make maintaining an infant’s routine easier.

baby-on-swingConsider the staff at your vacation destination as a resource prior to arrival. When planning a trip with an infant, there are lots of questions that come up, primarily related to keeping your baby happy and on a familiar routine. While a destination’s website offers lots of information, it’s reassuring to connect with a knowledgeable staff member at your destination via email or a phone call. They can fill you in on what’s available right on the property or in the area, and whether you’ll need to pack extras of everything, or nothing! Resort destinations like Smugglers’ are likely to have stores that stock diapers, wipes and baby food, and rental services for everything from baby carriers to strollers.

Plan your route with baby’s needs in mind. Prior to heading off to your destination, it’s useful to map out your stops along the way. Diaper changes or bathroom breaks are often needed at the most inopportune times, so it helps to know where the next rest area is. It may also be helpful to start driving during the night or just prior to nap time, when your infant is usually sleeping. This helps keep fussy babies quiet and can make hours in the car more tolerable, especially if you have other young children unaccustomed to long car rides. If you do leave in the evening, a stay en route may be necessary, and planning your route ahead of time can help with identifying potential overnight lodging.


Research child-friendly restaurants along your route – not just restaurants that tolerate kids, but those that welcome them! If you’ll be traveling through a mealtime, it can be helpful to look up places to eat before you hit the road. Almost every parent has experienced that unsettling moment when their child decides to fuss and cry in a quiet restaurant. By looking ahead to find eating options where children are welcome, you can thoroughly enjoy your meal.


Relax – your pre-vacation preparations have covered all the bases. The more relaxed you are, the more relaxed your baby and other children will be, and your family will be well on their way to creating special vacation memories.


Money in the bank: Managing vacation costs

Families on vacation want to have a great time while managing vacation costs. So how do you obtain the most value for your dollar on vacation? According to the vacation planning professionals at Smugglers’ Notch Resort, it pays to be flexible with your plans and do your research. Here are some of their tips for planning a budget-friendly family vacation:

Be flexible…

  • with your vacation dates. Book during periods that are non-holiday periods. If you have the flexibility to travel during non-peak times, you’ll always find a deal.
  • with your transportation. If a destination is within driving distance, or a train route is available, you may save money over flying.
  • and consider traveling with friends or extended family members. At many destination resorts like Smuggs, sharing the comforts of a larger condominium home is always a better value than booking separate homes.


  • package inclusions for your stay. Book a package with inclusions that will offer the most complete vacation experience for your family members.
  • the cost of adding on activities. It may be better to pay for desired inclusions up front rather than tack them on upon arrival.
  • special offers by calling your destination; there may be an unadvertised special.
  • your travel route if you choose to drive. Careful planning of your route will help you avoid backtracking or missed turns that can cause you to lose time and spend more money on gas.
  • the activities you’ll want to participate in and look for special offers. You may find that a multi-activity program will be less costly than a la carte selection of activities.

We hope these tips are money in the bank for your family!

Fun on the slopes: Tips that build confidence

Building confidence is very important to a successful skiing or snowboarding experience, whether you’re brand new to either sport, returning to the slopes after an absence, or considering moving up a level in your abilities. Taking a lesson should be your first step. Why? Because professional ski and snowboard instructors are trained to build the confidence that will yield a great experience – they want their students to succeed! If you’re looking for ways to build confidence on the slopes, read on for tips from the pros at Smugglers’ Notch Resort’s Snow Sport University®.

Choose an instruction level that is appropriate and the type of instruction that meets your needs. Most ski resorts outline ability levels on their websites, typically on the section of the site having to do with instruction. The description might have class levels numbered, with 1 being beginner level and 9 being expert, or they might have descriptive names, such as “novice” or “first timer.” If the levels as described leave you confused, call your destination and describe your family’s abilities to aid in proper placement. If you’re an intermediate or expert looking for fine tuning, check in with your destination to see what program might be perfect for you. For example, Smugglers’ offers a wide range of instruction from group to private to special sessions for teens, plus women’s clinics and adult camps. Proper placement means comfort and confidence!

ski rentals

When picking up rental equipment, remember that the rental technicians are great resources. If your boots don’t feel quite right, ask them if the size can be changed or if they have suggestions on how to increase comfort. Try to factor in time to wear the boots around for a bit indoors to get a feel for them – taking that extra time can pay off for kids as well as adults. Make sure equipment fits well and is comfortable before heading out. If you own your own boots, consider a consultation with a bootfitter who can make adjustments that result in total comfort.

When you arrive for an instructional session, feel free to share. Share goals, share concerns, share anything that might impact the experience, whether it’s a private one-on-one or a group lesson. Sharing pertinent information at the outset can allow for proper placement in a group, and ensure an experience that is tailored to your individual goals. adult ski

Be in the moment! Adults tend to be more challenged by this than kids! Keep your mind on your experience of learning how to ski or ride. Enjoy your time on a beautiful mountain in the crisp, clear air. If frustration or nerves overtake you, that’s fine – consider sticking with the same level for more time or stepping back a level until you’ve reestablished a feeling of comfort. Learning something new or improving your skills can be a challenge. Celebrate each little milestone that you, or if you’re a parent – your child, meets during the learning experience. Remember, there’s no test – your experience is all about fun!

If you’re a parent, consider your child’s instructor as your partner in developing a confident young skier or rider. Oftentimes, a parent’s ability to relax and ski or ride with confidence is linked to the knowledge that his or her child has acquired the tools to be responsible on the slopes. A good ski school supports many facets of a young skier or rider’s development. First, instruction is offered step-by-step at a pace comfortable to the learner, with a review of the skills mastered before progressing. Second, safety considerations are presented in a variety of formats so that the message is reinforced. For example, at Smugglers’, the skier’s and rider’s responsibility code is incorporated verbally into teaching settings and is included on a special children’s trail map. Third, instructors welcome parents’ questions at the end of the day and offer suggestions about how parents can model or reinforce the lessons learned, either through conversation or fun on-slope activities. It all adds up to confidence and peace of mind!

Keep track of your days on the mountain. Downloading a tracking app to your smartphone helps you keep an ongoing record of your favorite trails as well as your progression in skiing or riding. Smugglers’ makes it easy for families with children in the full-day instructional camps to do a daily review. Each child is outfitted with a gps trackingFlaik™ GPS that tracks their route, mileage and speed, and can be reviewed at the end of the day through secure log-in. At Smuggs; tracking your runs on the mountain can also be done with the resort’s Smuggs Tapped app. Young children may enjoy creating an ongoing journal of their ski and ride outings incorporating photos and trail maps. Whether you track your adventures with technology or by putting pen to paper in a journal, reviewing and reliving your day on the slopes is a fun activity for all ages that is sure to prompt many good stories and memories.

By following these tips, you and your family will be well on your way to becoming confident skiers or riders! Revel in every run you take!