January Buster Blasts

January 9, 2019

Greetings Busters and Parents,

 

One word to describe this week: Snow!

 

Obviously, this week’s snowfall is the result of the Snowflake Burning ritual performed by several Minibuster and Mightybuster groups last weekend. Here are seven things all Busters can do to ensure that current weather patterns continue:

 

  • Do your best snow dance
  • Wear pajamas inside-out
  • Place a spoon under your pillow (plastic, metal, or wood)
  • Leave ice cubes on your porch
  • Place a white crayon in your freezer
  • Run around your kitchen table five times
  • Pray for snow!!!

 

Please read on for important Buster updates regarding this weekend:

 

Alert! Alert! (That is, Email Alerts)

Okay, we hear you! Or, at least, many of you. Thanks for the emails asking for emailed reminders to check the link to the Buster Blast (or – in some cases – those of you that told us you actually like seeing our emails in your inboxes!). We are exploring the best way to send an emailed alert. In the meantime, please let us know if you do NOT wish to be on the distribution list for a weekly reminder to check the Buster link!

 

Party Time – Ice Cream Social

Our first Après-Buster party is this Saturday at Spruce Camp! Ben & Jerry’s will be doling out mini-cups and pint slices of Vermont’s Finest till the cows come home! There will be a cash bar for parents. If you feel your child might need sustenance other than ice cream to be in top party mode, perhaps bring an energy bar or hit the Great Room cafeteria first. Party details below:

  • Who: All Busters/AMP participants and families
  • When: Saturday, Jan 12, 3PM
  • Where: The Alpine Lounge and Overlook in Spruce Camp’s Great Room
  • What: Ben & Jerry’s for the Buster community!
  • Why: To celebrate an awesome start to the Buster season! (And to say thanks to your Buster coach!)

 

Ski With A Patroller (Week 2)

Speaking of Vermont’s Finest, this week Ryan Davis’ Stowebuster group will ski with a Stowe Patroller on Saturday and Abby Weinreb’s on Sunday!

 

Timing, Anyone?

Last weekend, despite Sunday’s snow, many Buster groups (after shredding pow all morning) took runs in gates – our first gate training of the season. We will continue setting gates in anticipation of our first official races in February (see events calendar below). This Saturday, we will set a dual Giant Slalom course… with TIMING! Busters can ski the course and actually get their times. Question: How much can you improve with each run?

 

Reminder: this is just training and for fun. No bibs, no results, and no pressure. Yes tunes! And a great practice opportunity.

  • What: Timed Gate Training
  • Where: Competition Hill
  • When: Sat, Jan 12 1230PM-2PM
  • Who: AMP, Stowebusters, Mightybusters

Note: Volunteers needed! We could use a Buster mom or dad to serve as a race starter and to help announce times over the loud speaker. Interested? Email maiken@vailresorts.com.

 

Superhero Sunday

Who are your heroes? Along with Tom Brady and my dad, mine are the Minibusters and coaches who have accomplished so much this season (multiple chairlift rides last weekend!). Minibusters and Mightybusters will decorate their spaces and selves like superheroes on Sunday, Jan 13 (hero supplies provided). It’s not a bird or a plane; it’s our Minibusters and Mightybusters!

 

Snowboard Sundays

Thanks to all who have already registered for Snowboard Sundays. There are still spaces available for all four Sundays. In order to participate, you MUST EMAIL maiken@vailresorts.com. Reminder: we are not sending entire Buster groups for snowboard lessons (unless your child’s entire group signs up for a date). More information below:

  • Who: The first ten (10) Stowebusters per Sunday who email us at maiken@vailresorts.com. First-come, first-served.
  • Where: Drop-off and Pick up at the Adventure Center Mountaineer Corral
  • When:
    • Sun, Jan 13
    • Sun, Jan 27
    • Sun, Feb 3
    • Sun, Feb 10
  • What: Snowboard lesson free of charge with a discounted rental for Busters.
  • How it works:
  • Ten pre-registered and confirmed Busters will have access to discounted rentals (50 percent off) in our Spruce rental shop. Payment due at time of equipment pickup.
  • Snowboard-Busters will be welcomed free-of-charge at our Mountaineer corral behind the Adventure Center at 915AM and matriculated into the appropriate level in our regular ski school snowboard lessons.
  • Note: Adventure Center lessons begin at 930AM and end at 330PM. Lunch is included.
  • Note: Buster coaches will not participate in snowboard lessons. Whole Buster groups won’t participate together (unless you coordinate and all sign up together!)

 

Thanks to everyone… see you this weekend!

 

The Buster Team

 

January 2, 2019

Happy New Year Busters and Families!

 

New Year’s Resolutions:  

  1. Ski lots 
  2. Pray for snow 
  3. No more Buster emails!
  4.  

No more Buster emails, you say? That’s right: after this week, the ONLY place to get your weekly Buster update will be at this link: https://www.stowe.com/plan-your-trip/ski-and-ride-lessons/category/Stowebusters

 

Staying Informed: Our Best Advice

Make the above link a tab on your mobile device (Click "Add to Home Screen" on your IPhone or Android. Add to your favorites on your laptop). We update the site every Wednesday with upcoming events, need-to-know info for each weekend, and our best Buster tips.  

For example, this week’s Blast includes the date of the first Après-Buster party and how to get involved with Buster Snowboard Sundays (we have a new approach this year). Read on to get the scoop!

 

Ski With a Patroller – Starts this Weekend!

The Stowe Ski Patrol was the nation’s first. Starting this weekend, all Buster groups will have the opportunity to get a tour of 269 (the top Patrol house) and take a run with a Stowe patroller. The first groups to participate will be Kelly Carroll’s (Saturday, Jan 5) and Colton Forrester’s (Sunday, Jan 6).

 

Hitting the Gates – Sunday, Jan 6

Last weekend’s Skills Quest tasks were harder than you might think. One of the activities – Hockey Stops – are easy… when the conditions are perfect. Add a little pitch and a little slick, and most Busters found it more difficult than expected. Easy? No. Eye-opening? Yes. Worthwhile from a skill development standpoint? Absolutely.

 

This weekend, we’ll be setting early season GS courses on Competition Hill. To all Busters/AMP participants who think skiing gates is a piece o’ cake… we’ll see you on the course this Sunday!

 

When: Sunday, Jan 6, 1230PM-2PM

Where: Competition Hill

Who: AMP, Stowebusters, Mightybusters

 

Snowflake Burning

We need snow! Minibusters and Mightybusters will take matters into their own hands this weekend. Groups will make paper snowflakes during an indoor break. Then they will proceed to one of our fireplaces and throw the flakes in the fire as a sacrifice to the snow gods. If Ma Nature’s not gonna make it snow, Busters will!

 

Minibuster and Mightybuster Pickup and Drop-off

The Gondola base area is a busy place. Parents: please be sure to come all the way into the protected corral area before picking up your child or communicating with your coach. Safety first: let’s avoid standing in the busy travel lanes at the Gondola.

 

Minis Ride the Chairlift!

Speaking of Minibusters, congrats coaches and kids: our three youngest groups of Minibusters rode – and skied – the Adventure Triple last weekend. Way to go! Will they ever ski the Carpet again? Of course. Was this an unbelievable accomplishment? Yes!!

 

Snowboard Sundays

Who wants to try snowboarding? We will offer a limited number of Stowebusters the opportunity to snowboard on a first-come-first, served basis. Busters don’t have to be just skiers; some of us ride too (or want to learn)! Details below:

 

     

  • Who: The first ten (10) Stowebusters per Sunday who email us at maiken@vailresorts.com. We will start taking sign-ups by email only on Sunday, Jan 6. First-come, first-served.
  • Where: Drop-off and Pick up at the Adventure Center Mountaineer Corral 
  • When:  
    • Sun, Jan 13
    • Sun, Jan 27
    • Sun, Feb 3
    • Sun, Feb 10 
  • What: Snowboard lesson free of charge with a discounted rental for Busters.
  • How it works: 
    • Ten pre-registered and confirmed Busters will have access to discounted rentals (50 percent off) in our Spruce rental shop. Payment due at time of equipment pickup.
    • Snowboard-Busters will be welcomed free-of-charge at our Mountaineer corral behind the Adventure Center at 915AM and matriculated into the appropriate level in our regular ski school snowboard lessons.
    • Note: Adventure Center lessons begin at 930AM and end at 330PM. Lunch is included.
    • Note: Buster coaches will not participate in snowboard lessons. Whole Buster groups won’t participate together (unless you coordinate and all sign up together!)
    •  

Après-Buster Party

Who: All Busters/AMP participants and families

When: Saturday, Jan 12, 3PM-4PM

Where: The Alpine Lounge and Overlook in Spruce Camp’s Great Room

What: A get-together for the entire Buster community

Why: To celebrate an awesome start to the Buster season!

 

Safety, Fun, & Learning

After three weekends, we have dealt with snow, rain, and sleet. We’ve seen wind-holds, run and glade closures, and wildly varying temperatures. A huge congratulations to coaches for keeping everyone safe, keeping it fun, and still doing tons of skiing and skill-building. FYI: The building of solid fundamentals will continue even as more terrain opens. Please keep in mind that our December and January terrain and conditions are not yet what they were last February and March. Please keep in mind that safety is our first priority. And keep the faith: more snow is on its way. When it comes, Busters will be skiing all over – on the greens, blues, and blacks… just like we always have!

 

See you this weekend!

The Buster Team

 

December Buster Blasts

December 26, 2018

Hello Busters and Families!

 

We hope you had a wonderful holiday season. Here is a quick holiday Buster Blast to get everyone back in the mood for some skiing.

 

To those who made it last weekend, it was amazing. The weather was a challenge to be sure, but the many Busters who joined stayed safe and had awesome fun. Way to go Busters and way to go coaches! Safety, fun, and learning!

 

Skills Quest – December 29

We canceled Skills Quest last week due to conditions, but we will be ready to rock this week. We will set up challenges and activities – the same ones used by the US Ski Team as they ramp up their season.

 

When: Sat, Dec 29, 1230PM-2PM

Where: Competition Hill

Who: AMP, Stowebusters, and some Mightybusters

 

Know the Code

Coaches will be quizzing Busters on the Skiers’ Responsibility Code this weekend. Please review the Code with your family!

  1. Ski in control
  2. People ahead have the right of way. It is your responsibility to avoid them
  3. Stop where you don’t obstruct a trail and where you are visible from above
  4. When starting downhill or merging onto a trail, look uphill and yield to others
  5. Use retention devices
  6. Observe all posted signs
  7. Prior to using any lift, have the knowledge to load, ride, and unload safely.

Pajama Day

When: Sun, Dec 30, 2018

Who: Mightybusters and Minibusters

What: All Minibusters and Mightybusters wear jammies under your ski clothes! Note: footed pajamas NOT recommended!

Why: ‘Cause jammies are fun!

 

If your Buster has not been with us yet, please make a point of getting up here. This season-long program depends on your commitment!

 

Think snow!

The Buster Team

 

December 19, 2018

Hello Busters and Families!

 

It was a successful launch to Busters 2018-2019! Congrats and thank you to parents, Busters, and coaches! Busters showed up Ready, Responsible, and Respectful -- consistent with our Code of Conduct. Way to go Busters!

 

Here are some important notes heading into Weekend Number Two…

 

Our Goals This Weekend

  • Welcome new and returning Busters who weren’t here on Weekend #1
  • Groups. Continue to assess our groups and to make changes where necessary
  • Goals. Discover your Busters’ goals… and yours too.
  • Safety. Continue to review and establish safety guidelines and expectations. Note: the key to skiing trees and parks… build your coach’s trust in you!
  • Fundamentals. Continue to build and hone early season fundamentals.

 

Special Events – Starting Saturday, Dec 22

Busters will be doing the same early season skill-builders that World Cup overall points leader Mikaela Shiffrin worked on this summer (unlike Busters, Mikaela’s ski season extends 11 months of the year!). Busters get our own hill space to focus on these challenges that build solid fundamentals. Fun!

  • Where: Competition Hill
  • When: 1230PM-2PM
  • What: USSA Skills Quest activities

 

Don’t Deck the Halls… Deck Your Skis Instead!

We already had instances of people picking up the wrong skis. Please… be sure the skis you pick up (and the ones you pack into your cars when you leave!) are yours.

 

Ways to protect your gear:

  • Make sure not just that your name is on your skis… but that your name is ALL OVER your skis. Bigger is better. More name tags are better than one or two. Your Name. Everywhere!
  • Looking for last minute stocking stuffers? How about a ton of stickers? Then have your Buster decorate his/her skis with above stickers! Same for poles!
  • Don’t like stickers? Then how about patterned duct tape? Stick a big piece on your Buster’s skis (and wrap a few wraps around his/her poles too!). My favorite tape patterns: Tie Dye and Mac&Cheese.

There are tons of Busters… and only a few brands of skis. We all place our skis on the same racks. End the heartbreak of coming out and finding your equipment missing. Make it so nobody could possibly mistake yours for theirs.

 

Get Your Buster Hat

They’re back! Buster hats will be for sale in the Buster Room in Midway Lodge at Buster pickup on Saturday, Dec 22. Hats are $35 ($5 of which is donated to Friends of Stowe Adaptive Sports). There’s a limited number… but don’t worry if you get shut out: more are on the way. 

 

If You Live on Spruce Side

  • We will resume our “Stowe Mountain Club Shuttle Service” on Saturday, Dec 28 (pickup in front of SMC at 815AM). Why not this weekend? We are encouraging parent/coach face-time!
  • All Mightybusters and Minibusters will be starting on the Spruce side again this weekend. Rather than hustle your child across the Over Easy to Mansfield only to have them return to ski Spruce, parents can meet coaches at the end of the Bridge to Nowhere (next to Spruce Camp) at 8:50AM.

 

Eat Well, Ski Well

Our coaches noticed an incredible improvement in energy level and focus over previous years with our new attention to nutrition. Busters consumed no candy before lunch, and they kept sugar consumption to reasonable levels post-lunch. And it showed in their performance. Keep it up!

 

Meanwhile, we know we don’t need to impress upon parents the importance of getting good rest. Get good rest, ski your best!

 

Every Weekend

We look forward to seeing you every single Saturday and Sunday from now until March 31st. Reminder: Busters DO meet on the Saturday and Sunday after Christmas (Dec 29&30). See you then!

 

Think snow!

The Buster Team

 

 

 

December 12, 2018

Greetings Busters and Parents!

The countdown is on:  just three… two… one… days till Busters 2018-2019!

Some important reminders for our opening weekend:

 

First Day Meeting Locations

  • Reminder: we meet at 830AM in the Great Room in Spruce Camp on Opening Morning, Saturday, December 15.
  • Lunch is in the usual places
    • Minibusters and Mightybusters eat in the Adventure Center at 11AM
    • Stowebusters and AMP eat in Midway at 12PM. (Note: Please send your Buster with a little extra cash until they test the Resort Charge function on his/her Epic pass!)
  • Pickup is at the usual places
    • Minibusters and Mightybusters next to Gondola Barn at 230PM
    • Stowebusters and AMP in front of Midway Lodge at 230PM
  • Starting Sunday, December 16, morning drop-off is as follows:
    • Minibusters and Mightybusters next to Gondola Barn at 830AM
    • Stowebusters and AMP in front of Midway Lodge at 830AM

 

Paperwork

All Busters must have two pieces of paperwork completed

  • Buster Registration (emailed in November)
  • Buster Release of Liability (emailed in December)

Both are available at the bottom of this page under Program Information. Have you returned both? If you are unsure, please email both to our sales team again (stoweadventure@vailresorts.com). Note: the Adventure Center is open from 8AM-430PM if you want to return paperwork in person and pick up your child’s identifier tag.

 

Identifier Tag

You can pick up your identifier tag at the Adventure Center from 8AM-430PM or pick it up at our registration table in Spruce Camp on opening morning.

 

Eat Well, Ski Well

Buster coaches discussed nutrition at this year’s annual Buster team training sessions. You are what you eat, and if you eat well, you’ll ski well. New this season: Stowebuster and AMP coaches will enforce a new nutrition policy. Simply, no candy before lunch. Please tell your Busters to plan on eating food other than candy during morning breaks!

 

Expectations for Opening Weekend

  • Coaches will be assessing groups and communicating with leadership and parents.
  • Coaches will cover safety topics, the Responsibility Code, and the Buster Code of Conduct.
  • Groups will focus on mostly blue and green terrain.
  • Tons of friends, tons of fun!

 

Habit Forming

Buster Blasts are posted on this page on Stowe.com Put it in your phone or device… We will update the page weekly. Be ahead of the curve… please get in the habit of checking the page for weekly Buster updates.

 

Future Busters?

Do your Busters have younger siblings that want to be involved? Click here to check out the 6-pack at Cubs Childcare Center for ages 3 months to 3 years.

 

Final Words

We have spoken with many of you in the weeks leading up to Saturday. We are as excited as you! We can’t wait to reunite with our returning families and meet the new. Safe travels… see you Saturday!

 

Think snow!

The Buster Team

December 5, 2018

Hello Busters and Families!

Experience of a Lifetime. Safety, fun, and learning. Those are perfect descriptions of the Buster program. The Buster program is the perfect combination of all-terrain skiing, technical instruction, and making friends for life. Sound like life-changing experiences? They do to us too. Welcome to Busters 2018-19!

WHO are the Busters?

  • Minibusters (ages 3&4). Lunch included (Adventure Center at 1130AM)
  • Mightybusters (ages 5&6). Lunch included (Adventure Center 1130AM)
  • Stowebusters (ages 7-14). Lunch NOT included (Midway Lodge at 1130AM)
  • All Mountain Program aka AMP (ages 13-16). Lunch NOT included (Midway Lodge at 1130AM)

WHEN do Busters ski?

  • First Weekend: Sat & Sun, Dec 15&16, 2018
  • Last Weekend: Sat & Sun, March 30&31, 2019
  • Busters meet every Saturday and Sunday between the above opening and closing dates for a total of 32 ski days.
  • Buster drop off is at 830AM and groups leave promptly at 845AM. Buster pickup is at 230PM.

WHAT are our Expectations? What is the Buster Code of Conduct?/p>

The Buster program provides consistent instruction and consistent groups. Achieving this end requires consistent attendance. It also requires adherence to our Buster Code of Conduct. We ask that parents be familiar with this Code and that you review it with your child.

WHERE do Busters meet?

  • Sat, Dec 15: First day of Busters. ALL Busters meet in the Great Room in Spruce Base Camp at 830AM. Pickups are at the usual locations (see next line) and times.
  • For the rest of the season, starting on Sun, Dec 16, all Busters meet at Midway Lodge at Mansfield. Dropoff is at 830AM. Pickup is at 230PM. Repeat: all Busters begin and end at Midway.
  • Upper Lot B: Stowebusters and AMP meet by the lodge
  • Lower Lot B: Mightybusters and Minibusters meet below the parking lot. (Note: Minibusters and Mightybusters who live on the Spruce side can meet their group on the side of Spruce Camp at the “Bridge to Nowhere” at 850AM.
  • A Note about Parking: Like last year, the two lots by our dropoff areas that comprise Lot B are reserved for Buster family arrival and will be blocked to all other traffic until 9AM on weekends and holidays. (After 9AM, the general public will also be allowed to park there.)

WHERE do Busters ski?

Busters is an all-mountain program. We ski everywhere possible in a wide variety of ways. Every Buster skis green, blue, and black terrain. We race in gates, and we ride in parks. We ski in the trees (in-bounds); we ski forwards, backwards, and sideways. We meet in all conditions, so be prepared! We encourage friendships and group bonding; we discourage cliques. Most of all, we keep it safe and fun!

WHY Busters?

Skiing lots, learning lots, making friends. Learning to be safe, responsible, and to make good decisions that affect oneself and others. Getting solid technical instruction and free-skiing time too. Coaches who love the sport and who love to share their passions for being outdoors in Vermont in winter. Families who do the same. Why not?

First Day – Sat, December 15

As mentioned above, we meet in the Great Room of Spruce Camp Base Lodge at 830AM. Remember to tuck your child’s Epic pass in a pocket. Please be sure your Busters are dressed appropriately with in-tune and working equipment. Lunch and snacks are provided for Minibusters and Mightybusters. Stowebusters and AMP participants need snacks and lunch, money for snacks and lunch, or Resort Charge applied to their Epic pass. (Note: if you haven’t tested your child’s Resort Charge, please pack cash as a backup.)

Same Kids, Same Coach

We strongly encourage you to – at all costs – be here on the first weekend so that we can assess as many of our new participants as possible. Also, please bear with us as we solidify our groups in the first few weeks of the program. Even if your child has been in the same group for years, please support us if we ask him/her to try something/someone new. After all, our goal is the same as yours: to get everyone in the right group with the right coach!

Last Words

One key to our success is communication… between kids, parents, and coaches. Our almost-weekly Buster Blasts will be posted on Stowe.com. Click here to visit the Buster page for the latest updates.

November brought a record amount of snowfall to Mount Mansfield. We can’t wait for opening weekend. Welcome, welcome, welcome… let’s go ski! Best regards,

Mark Aiken
Alison Berlin
Carl Bertelsen
and the Buster Team