Stratton Seasonal Programs Blog – December ’23 Edition

Hello Everyone, 

Wow! What an amazing start to the season! It’s been great to see so many of you over our first two weekends of programming. As we look ahead to the holiday week, please keep an eye on the weather and make sure that you and your family dress appropriately each day. Current weather predictions indicate that weather may fluctuate throughout the holiday week. I know everyone has their preferred weather apps but I’m partial to our local amateur weatherman, the West River Weather Guy.

December Holiday Week Schedule

Here’s a friendly reminder about the days that our programs will be running over the holiday period.

  • December
    • 23, 24, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31
    • Programs will not run on January 1

Arrival Process

If you’ll be joining us for the first time over the holiday week, I wanted to take a moment to remind you of our meeting locations and times for each program:

  • Cross Cub – bottom right side of Lower Tyro
    • Drop off from 8:30 am – 8:40 am
  • Synergy – bottom left side Lower Tyro
    • Drop off from 8:30 am – 8:40 am
  • STR – midway up Lower Tyro
    • Drop off from 8:30 am – 8:40 am
  • AAMP – in front of the Mountain Sports School building
    • Meeting from 8:30 am – 8:40 am

Late Arrivals

The upcoming holiday week will bring more guests to the resort than we’ve seen over the last couple of weekends. Please give yourself some extra time in the morning to make it to our line ups on time. If you do arrival late and the groups have already left their meeting areas here’s what do to for each program:

  • Cub Club – check in with the indoor staff in the room
  • Cross Cub – go to the bottom of American Express and look for Frances
  • Synergy – go to the bottom of the American Express and look for Sarah
  • STR – go to the bottom of American Express and wait for Alan and the group to complete their first lap
  • AAMP – go to the AAMP flag and check-in with Randy

Please note that all programs that meet outside will do their warm-up lap on the American Express chair to pick up any latecomers. If you arrive after the groups have completed their lap on American Express we will not be able to connect you with the group for the morning session. Please make every effort to be on time.

Cutting Through Lower Tyro

Last weekend we noticed several guests were ducking under the rope to ski Lower Tryo to the meeting area. We ask that you please refrain from doing this as it interferes with the lessons that are taking place on this new learning terrain. My suggestion would be to ski Lower Tamarack to Village Walk to the base area. Thank you for your cooperation.

Holiday Week Events

Aside from all the fun you and your family will have skiing/riding with our seasonal programs over the holiday week, the resort has a lot of great events that you should take advantage of while you’re here for the week!

  • Holiday Week at Stratton – you can find the complete calendar of events for the week including some great live music at Grizzly’s every afternoon!
  • All Time Warren Miller Movie Premiere – does the ski season really start until you’ve seen the latest Warren Miller movie? Join us on December 26 for a screening at SMS that benefits The Mountain School at Winhall.
  • New Year’s Eve Celebration – Ring in the New Year surrounded by family and friends with us at Stratton. We have live music, a buffet, and an amazing fireworks display planned. Don’t miss it!

Holiday Week Activities

Have you taken advantage of all of the great activities that Stratton has added recently? The holiday week is the perfect time to keep the fun going after the lifts close down each day!

Below you’ll find additional information specific to each program. Feel free to skip down to the program that you or your child are enrolled in. Please reach out to me or the program supervisor with any additional questions. We can’t wait to ski and ride with you and your family all week long!


Tony Bailey
Stratton Seasonal Program Manager

Cub Club

Well the secret is out about Cub Club! Our enrollment is strong this season, it’s great to have some many young sliders joining us in the program this year! With all this interest in Cub Club, we are making a few changes to check-in and lunch for different groups to ease the congestion during our busiest times. 

  • Raccoons and up will be leaving the Club to slide at 8:45.
  • Rabbits on down will be out on the snow by 9:15.
  • If you have a new slider (mouse) then you can have that extra cup of coffee and check them in after 8:45.
  • Lunch will be split with the upper groups eating from 11:15 -12:00, and the lower groups from 12:15-1:00.

With the upper groups going out at 8:45, we will not hold a group. If you are running late give us a call or wait until the morning break to drop your child off. Kristi and I believe these changes will create a much better experience for all of our Cub Clubbers and we truly appreciate your patience and understanding as we make these slight adjustments.

In other news, our staff has been hard at work, with many of the new sliders advancing thanks to our enhanced Learning Area. A reminder that Saturdays are for instruction, and Sundays are for evaluation. The supervisory staff will be skiing with each group on Sunday and during the vacation weeks for evaluation, validating the feedback from the coaches. They will decide when your child moves to the next group. All students progress at different rates, please trust the process, as we have developed some top sliders in all the other Seasonal Programs.

If this winter break is your first day in Cub Club, try to stop in before your first sliding day to get a cubby and equipment labeled. If you can not we will get it done at check-in. All students are required to have a season pass, please double-check that they have their pass on them, when Cub Clubbers do not have their pass it slows or stops the group. We have noticed that some of our smaller sliders are having trouble opening the new RFID gates. Because of this, we are going to start using the Yo-Yo’s for all of our Cub Clubbers. If your child does not have a Yo-Yo see Kristi or myself. We are running a bit short on Yo-Yo’s so if you have a stash at home please donate to the cause.

A couple of additional housekeeping items:

  • We slide in all weather conditions, and there are no inside activities, other than breaks and lunch. Please make sure your child has ample clothing for “All Conditions”; a neckie, extra gloves, and warmers are a must!
  • We have a few specific processes that need to be maintained, so here are a few rules to follow:
    • The coaches are required to bring all students back to the room for pick-up. This is for the safety of the children, please do not interfere with the process.
    • We understand that you may like to check in on your child or say hello on the mountain. This can be a distraction for them, as well as the others in the group. If you need to check in on your child please stop in at the room and speak to the indoor staff.
  • We have children with severe allergies in the room. We can not have any OUTSIDE food in the room.
    • This includes muffins, cereal, lunch items, and any breakfast items need to be consumed before entering the room.
    • We are already seeing this happening, the staff is instructed to remove the food item.
  • We are expecting to see the majority of our Cubs throughout the Winter Break.
    • Please make sure to take the time to check in your child on the whiteboard, when you don’t it just slows down the process.
    • Please don’t just yell out your child’s name as you rush by! 

Thanks for getting this season off to a great start. Looking forward to seeing everyone progress throughout the season! Well, that’s all for today, if you have any questions or concerns please reach out. See you next week!

Matt Erickson
Cub Club Supervisor

Kristi Menzies
Recreation Programs Supervisor

Cross Cub

Hello Stratton Cross Cubbers! 

It has been so great skiing with you the past two weekends and I am looking forward to meeting those of you who have not made it up yet.

I can’t believe the Holiday week is already here! This is one of my favorite weeks, as we see students make tremendous progress since we are out on the hill 6 days in a row. That being said, 6 days is a long time. If you notice your child is extra tired, it may be beneficial to take a session off (especially since we are back to skiing full days). 

While we have some pretty solid groups formed, we still have not had all children or coaches join us yet, so students may be changing instructors for the next few weeks. While we try, we do not guarantee the same coach every weekend, but we do work on the same skill set and for the most part, students stay together as a group.

Please ensure you are showing up to the flag on time each morning. Groups are sent out for the morning by 8:45. If you do arrive late in the morning, you can look for me at the bottom of Amex and we will try to connect your child with their group. If you arrive late, we cannot promise they will end up with their normal group, so please make every effort to make it to flag before groups depart for the day. We will not be looping for our afternoon session so please make sure you communicate with your child’s instructor if you plan on coming back so we can maximize our afternoon.

Our coach’s day on the mountain begins with a safety and tech talk meeting where we review safety concerns and plan accordingly for lessons that day. We also review class skills and talk shop regarding skill goals and drills, techniques, and tips for achieving them. This meeting will take place at our meeting area first thing in the morning. If our team is wrapping up the meeting when you arrive, we ask that you please be patient and allow us to finish up before we start to greet and interact with you and your children. 

Please follow us on Instagram at @strattonseasonalprograms and tag us to be highlighted on our story. Click the picture above to see our latest Reel!

Your children’s equipment should be maintained throughout the season, sharp edges and wax go a long way toward your child’s enjoyment and safety, so please check their gear continuously throughout the winter. (I have noticed quite a few bindings that needed to be adjusted already.)

We also ask that all children ski with goggles. Once Mother Nature decides to bless us with enough snow to venture into the trees, we require the children to wear them. No goggles = no tree skiing!

Please also check your child’s gloves and make sure to pack them hand warmers (even if they say they don’t need them!). Children are expected to be able to put on their own equipment and some of the smaller mittens with zippers/Velcro are hard for a child to maneuver themselves. Hestra mittens seem to work well as they can easily pull them on themselves and they are long enough to pull over the sleeves of their jackets.

Hope you all enjoy the holidays and thanks for letting us ski with your children.

See you next week!

Frances Hoeffner
Cross Cub Supervisor


Season’s greetings Synergy family,

First and foremost, myself and the coaches would like to sincerely thank each and every one of you for being kind, patient, and flexible while we continue sorting groups throughout the holiday week. I have been able to ski with several groups already and can already see wonderful friendships being formed!

To recap the first two weeks of our program, all of our groups have been building confidence by finding and re-discovering our ski legs. All groups have been focusing on building awareness of where they are standing on their skis and asking themselves questions such as: Where do I feel most balanced? Am I leaning too far forward? Am I sitting in the back seat? Coaches have been supporting our skiers with thinking about their athletic stance and their balance throughout various terrain and weather conditions.  Several groups have also started talking about turn-shapes, specifically “C-shaped” turns, and understanding the importance of creating a rounded turn from start to finish to control speed while other groups have introduced the importance of pole plants!

Most importantly, everyone has been establishing group routines and ski etiquette, such as setting up specific meeting spots on the sides of trails, allowing the person in front of you to make two turns before it’s your turn, parking below the group when stopping, and looking uphill before moving downhill; to name a few. Be sure to ask your skiers about what they have been learning in Synergy! 

While Mother Nature has sent us a challenge, learning how to slice through that ice (and some grass) is a New England skiing pastime. It builds character!

As we head into the holiday week, let’s all remember to prioritize safety on the hill as we navigate what it means to ski the east!  

On behalf of the coaches, I would like to wish all of you a warm and festive holiday season and a healthy, safe, and happy New Year!

See you on the slopes, 

Sarah Kneip (and Waffles the penguin) 
Synergy Supervisor

Housekeeping Items

  • Program runs 8:30 AM – 11:30 AM
  • First loop (warm-up lap) on AMEX is at 8:45 
  • Lunch (separate from the program) runs from 11:30 – 12:30
  • PM loop on AMEX is not guaranteed!  
  • Pick-up is 3:00 PM. Please be on time! 
  • Let coaches know if there are changes in pick-up arrangements
    • i.e. meeting at the Club or Base lodge rather than the flag, another adult is picking up, picking up early or running late, etc.


Hey STR!

We’re so excited about the beginning of the season! Snowmaking and Grooming teams are working hard to open more trails. Everyone cross their fingers and think snow and hopefully, Mother Nature will help us with cold temperatures.

So far we`ve gotten to know one another a bit and have been discussing a name for STR, Sidney did a great job making one awesome option of logo for us! Feel free to bring more ideas.

We have been refreshing some information, and talking about better shape to our turns, if you haven’t been in the snow with us yet, no worries, we’re gonna review all the content in the coming weeks. 

Quick reminder! We always make a loop to check on late students in the morning and after lunch, but if you ever come late don’t hesitate to give me a call. If a student is not coming back for the afternoon part please let me know!

Happy Holidays!

Alan Rechetelo
STR Supervisor


Hello AAMPers, 

I hope you’ve enjoyed the start of the season and you’re looking forward to skiing with us for the week! I’ve heard some great feedback from a few of you about how things are going but if you have anything else you’d like to share, please reach out.

AAMP is a very unique program, I don’t think there are many programs like it around the country. From the coaching and leadership side, we’re so grateful to have this amazing group of skiers join us year after year.

As we look toward the future of this program I think there is a lot of room for growth. With around 1,000 children participating in our non-competitive and competitive programs, there are a lot of parents missing out on all the fun. Our coaches and leaders will do everything in their power to make AAMP a more inclusive experience for our newest members but we can’t do it alone. We need your help with this as well. We ask that you help us by giving new AAMPers a warm welcome and bring them into the amazing community that so many of you have been a part of for a long time.

I know a mission to increase participation in the program may be concerning to some who may like the program because of its smaller size but I think you’ll find that as we grow we will be able to provide a more specialized experience for our AAMP participants. More participants = more coaches which means more groups each with a slightly different focus.

This isn’t something that’s going to happen overnight but it is something we will be working towards moving forward. For starters, you can expect to see new faces in the program from time to time as Randy connects with Cross Cub and Synergy parents and invites them to try out the program for the day.

Thank you so much for your help with this and please reach out if you have any questions/feedback. See you at the mountain for a fun week of skiing!!


Tony Bailey
Seasonal Program Manager