Students hit the slopes

By on January 15, 2009

by Lynn Meredith

All it took was for one student to express an interest in forming a ski club at Kaneland, and more than 50 students and two teacher-sponsors jumped on board. The first Kaneland Ski and Snowboard Club will hit the slopes at Wilmot Mountain, Wis., this Saturday.

“We had a meeting to see if there was any interest,” Spanish teacher and Ski Club co-sponsor Michelle Jurcenko said. “Over 50 kids came out.”

The student organization is completely self-financed and will not require any financial support from the high school or the district. With the District’s Transportation Fund under tight budgetary restrictions, the club has hired bus transportation from outside. Jurcenko said that initially insurance was a sticking point, but the club was able to find insurance that not only covers medical injury that might occur to a club member, but also any injury a club member might cause another skier.

The students have all levels of experience, some having skied out west and some having only watched skiing on TV. The cost of the trip includes a lesson, something the sponsors require of those students who have never skied or snowboarded before.

“I was surprised that living here, quite a few students have some experience,” Jurcenko said. “Some are novices. Some have skied but have never snowboarded.”

Club members can bring their own equipment or rent it at the slopes. For $75, they will get round-trip bus transportation, a lift ticket, lesson and ski rental.

Jurcenko, who has 20 years experience as a skier and sponsored a large ski club at a school where she taught in Ohio, is hoping that the three trips the club has planned this year will be successful and that it can expand to more trips next year.

The club will go to Cascade Mountain, Wis., on Feb. 8 and Devil’s Head Resort,Wis., on Feb. 22. It needs a minimum of 20 participants for each trip. The trip to Wilmot Mountain has 26 members signed up to leave from Kaneland High School at 8 a.m. on Saturday. They will return to the school by 6 p.m.

Wilmot Mountain has provided club members with a tip sheet covering what to wear, how to put the lift ticket on their jacket, what equipment they will need, and even how to walk in ski boots.

Students require the consent of their parents to take part in the event. Jurcenko is looking forward to the first trip.

“It’s great to see the kids outside of class,” she said.