Hundreds of thousands of kids have been taught skiing and snowboarding by parents and other adults at a ski area just for them. While once part of the City of Reno, Sky Tavern is now a 501(c) 3 non-profit. Located on the Mt.Rose Highway, 30 minutes from Reno, every winter the Junior Ski Program operates weekends with the parents helping for a few hours as the staff of Sky Tavern. An old fashion CO-OP that is a true community effort.
There are lots of different ways a kid gets to be involved (see the Our Programs tab). The basics are that if a youngster is 9 to high school age they can sign up for the bus program and come up alone for Saturday or Sunday. Buses run from five area schools, Reed, Spanish Springs, McQueen, O'Brien and Galena. Over the last 70 years this has been a rite of passage growing up in the Truckee Meadows. Hundreds of kids a day load their gear and get away for a day in the snow. The cost is a little higher to pay for the ride, but what kids learn and experience on their own, changes lives.
All kids can join with their parents or other adults that have paid to join the Junior Ski Program. All adults pay too. It is how the power bill gets paid. The little guys, eight and younger must be signed up with a responsible adult. Some parents are instructors, while other work in support roles such as the cafeteria, lift lines or other needed positions. Most adult positions are two hours a day and everyone is part of the process of running a ski area with no one on the sidelines! Parents and other adults giving up time, talent and treasure for the kids is how this gets done each year. All your new best friends are at Sky Tavern and the cost to an adult is pretty low compared to the fun. It is worth everything you will put into the kids!
Sky Tavern has one of the largest groups of Professional Ski Instructors of America (PSIA) and American Association of Snowboard Instructors(AASI) in the Tahoe area. These are parents that found they loved teaching and became certified through a free program at Sky Tavern. They watch over the other parents that are instructing making sure everyone progresses. Lessons range from beginning to very advanced levels including racing and freestyle. Instruction starts at age three in SkyKids and go on up to high schoolers. There are even lessons for Mom and Dad included in being part of the process.
A weekend only, eight week program starting in January, the objective is to provide a safe and fun environment that fosters being active, family fun and a lifelong love of winter sports at as low a price as possible. Kids attend classes every morning and have the afternoon to show off what they can do by free skiing.
Sky Tavern is a non-profit regional center providing exceptional summer and winter outdoor sports training, competitions, recreation, and events, accessible to all.