FAQ




  1. What if I've never skied before?  No problem! The club is intended for all levels of ability and previous skiing experience is not necessary.

  2. How do I register for the club?  Registration opens in the fall and lasts until the start of the season. Note that the program's enrollment can be limited, so don't wait too long. Please visit the registration page for more info and detailed instructions.

  3. What is a typical practice like?  Kids start at the ski touring center trailhead (1018 Lowell St., Carlisle) at 8:45 by signing the attendance sheet and getting an orange bib which identifies them as a BKL participant. After dividing into age groups, the coaches, kids, and parent-volunteers depart on trails at 9:00 for skiing-related exercises, games, and physical activities. They return by 10:30, although the age 6 & under “Lollipop” group usually returns by 10:00.

  4. What should I wear?  Dress for exercise, and in layers that can be removed if necessary. Winter coats and thick snow pants are not recommended since the exercise will usually provide plenty of warmth. For dry-land (no-snow) practices, footwear should be appropriate for trail running and games. And don't forget gloves and a hat!

  5. What about the ski equipment?  All participants must have cross country ski equipment for the season. Generally, no-wax “classic” skis are recommended and are available at nearby retailers along with ski boots, bindings, and poles. Alternatively, wax-able classic skis can be used but will require extra work in applying grip wax before practice and removing it after practice. Skating skis will be an option for kids who are proficient with the classic technique, assuming that snow conditions allow several weeks of classic skiing first. If you need to purchase equipment, don't wait too long because store inventories can get low as ski season approaches.

  6. Can I rent equipment from the park's ski touring center?  No. The club's practices begin before the ski touring center opens for business, and the club frequently skis when snow conditions are inadequate for the ski touring center to be operating.

  7. Do I need to purchase a trail pass from the ski touring center?  No, not for the Bill Koch League practice from 8:45-10:30. During snowy periods when the park's ski touring center is open for business, club participants get free skiing during the program hours. If you ski after 10:30 and the ski touring center is open, then you would need to purchase a trail pass.

  8. What if there's no snow?  The club meets each Saturday morning during the season regardless of snow cover (unless announced otherwise). When no snow cover exists, “dry-land” practices involve physical exercises that build muscles for skiing as well as games and other activities. If there is no snow by January 4th, the club will plan to travel to So. NH. to chase the snow.

  9. How does the club communicate information?  We have a Facebook page and a Google Group. The Google Group is the main method of communication, so at least one parent should be a member of it.

  10. As a parent, how can I volunteer?  Parent volunteers are needed to help the club operate. Volunteers who are able to coach or assist with coaching are especially important. Other tasks include “trail sweeping” to help keep groups together, overseeing the sign-in process for the orange bibs and the collection of bibs after practice, and being present for other opportunities as they arise.

  11. Are dogs welcome?  If the ski touring center is open for business, dogs are not welcome on the groomed ski trails. Otherwise, dogs are welcome at the park but are restricted to leashes in some areas. And because kids can be afraid of dogs, owners should be aware of their dog's effect on others, be ready to use a leash if asked, and be willing to keep a comfortable distance away from the BKL groups if necessary.

  12. What if there's bad weather?  Occasionally bad weather warrants canceling a practice but this is unusual.

  13. What's the Bill Koch League Festival?  NENSA holds the annual Bill Koch League Festival typically in early March, although the dates vary, at different locations throughout New England. The weekend of events includes races, activities, a parade, and the excitement of about 500 kids on skis. It's lots of fun!

  14. Who is Bill Koch?  Bill Koch is the first American to have won an Olympic medal in cross country skiing. A native of Brattleboro, VT, he won the silver medal in the men's 30km race at the 1976 Olympics in Innsbruck, Austria as a 20-year-old. A few years later, he was the overall World Cup champion in 1982 when he popularized the technique we now call skating.

  15. Have any other Americans won medals in cross country skiing?  Yes, Jessie Diggins and Kikkan Randall won the gold medal in the women's team sprint at the 2018 Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea.