Telluride Mountain School students learning various adaptive techniques
On the first of two lesson days, the energy in the office was tangible as Mountain School volunteers met their TASP lead instructors and ran through their goals, game-plan, and teaching progressions of the day. Many TMS students admitted to being nervous and apprehensive, but as soon as the students from St. Michael’s came through the door, the room was ablaze with conversation and laughter as everyone got geared up for their first run of the day.
St Michael’s students quickly picked up where they left off last year (the program happens annually) and, with the help of their energetic assistant instructors, honed skills and techniques, all the while laughing, dancing, and playing. At the end of the day, it was difficult to tell if everyone’s legs were more sore from a full day of skiing or faces were more sore from endless smiles and laughter.
Day 2 saw much more improvement and the continuation of great spirits although many were surprised by how quickly the exciting program had to wind down. The closing ceremonies saw each participant awarded with certificates that were covered in well wishes and congratulations from teachers, instructors, and staff. Instructors were able to say a few words as to their participant’s progress and milestones and the speeches were overflowing with pride and encouragement. One TMS student even read a long letter to her participant aloud, thanking him for his leap of faith (to come skiing and trust her as an instructor) and how closely bonded a friendship they now have.
These ceremonies, plus a St. Michael’s student’s birthday, had everyone wanting the day to go on forever, but school and other responsibilities called to both Mountain School and St. Michael students alike. After long drawn out hugs and goodbyes, and maybe a teary eye or two, everyone went their separate ways with a common treasured experience and already a glimmer of excitement looking forward to next years program.