America’s Oldest and Largest Volunteer-Run Ski School Print

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Open only on the weekends, Sky Tavern’s Junior Ski Program is a planned 8-week learn-to-ski/ride program that starts in January each year. The objective of the program is to provide a safe and fun environment that fosters family participation and a lifelong love of recreational winter sports – all at a reasonable price. Children receive 2-hour lessons from our PSIA/AASI trained snow sports school every weekend in the morning and have the rest of the day to free ski or ride.

Children can join the program with a participating adult member or as a bus student. All children under the age of nine must join with a participating adult. Kids who are nine or older may join with a participating adult or as a bus student. The adult does not need to be the parent – there are adults that bring up the entire neighborhood! The adult just has to be a member and be responsible in case of an emergency.

Co-op Staff
As an all-member run organization, parental involvement is a necessity and the key to our success. Participating member parents join the non-profit and pay a registration fee if they are skiing/snowboarding. A membership fee is all that is charged to non-skiing parents. Skiing/snowboarding adults have the opportunity to take lessons from our snow sports school each morning or afternoon. Since there is no staff, adult members are asked to work a two-hour shift in the morning or afternoon of each weekend day they attend in the job of their choice: helping with the kitchen, parking, checking lift passes, etc. Participating children are the ultimate recipients of all the time and energy the parents invest in the program (hint: sign up early for the best jobs on the mountain if you are not an instructor).

Instructor MVPs
Serving as an instructor is the most valuable position for participating parents. Sky Tavern is first and foremost a teaching facility – without instructors there is would be no program. Sky Tavern needs its parents to teach skiing and snowboarding at all levels. Our PSIA/AASI certified instructors teach you to teach the kids – and they can teach any parent to instruct! There is even a special clinic to teach parents that have never been on a board to teach snowboarding. Instructing is very fun and rewarding, and you might surprise yourself and your kids with your success! Instructor clinics are held during the preseason at Sky Tavern and at other resorts to help get parents up to speed. Give it a try!

Teaching Philosophy
We believe it is important for every child to reach their full potential. We pay close attention to the skill level of your child and ensure they are placed in a class that suits them best. If your child is already a rock star on the slopes, we would love for them to join us as a junior instructor or be a part of the race team! Being a junior instructor can improve self-confidence and lead to a potential career in the mountains or a classroom. Race team training includes instruction on proper skiing techniques, training on race courses or terrain parks, and video analysis. For more information on either the race team or junior instructing, please refer to the additional programs page. Visit the skiing and snowboarding ability level descriptions for information on the different class levels.

Can’t participate? Let your kids enjoy the slopes with the Bus Program!
Children (ages 9+) who participate without their parents will get the same two hour instruction in a class, and will then have the rest of the day to ski or ride. Kids arrive at their bus pick-up location  no later than 7:15am and the bus departs at 7:30am. Their ski day ends at approximately 2:30pm, and they are returned to their drop-off location between 3:30-4pm; parents should arrive by 3:30pm to pick up children.

Pick-up locations:

  • Galena High School
  • McQueen High School
  • O’Brien Middle School
  • Reed High School

Typical Program Schedule
8:00am: Arrive and gets ready to ski.
8:30am: Meet in groups for lessons.
12:00pm: Lunch time!
Afternoon: Free-skiing/boarding and adult lessons.

Can we ski on a non-assigned day?
Adult members may ski at Sky Tavern on a non-assigned day, though they are expected to check-in and be willing to help out. Kids can also ski on non-assigned days, but must attend class in the morning. Bus students may only use the bus system on their assigned day.

Sky Tavern has a full-service food department that serves breakfast and lunch at very affordable prices. Season meal passes for kids can be purchased for $60 and provides the participant a full lunch each day of the season (eight lunches). It is a a limited menu, but is “mom approved.” The menu includes many healthy staples and weekly specials from a talented group of kitchen volunteers. Additionally, Jay’s Mountain Cafe in the terrain park sells snacks for taking care of those mid-afternoon munchies.

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The Winter

Sky Tavern The Winter

The ultimate goal of Sky Tavern is to get kids and families outside together, learning, sharing and enjoying a sport for life.

The Summer

Sky Tavern The Summer

In addition to the development of Sky Tavern cycling infrastructure, we are focused on our connector trail to the Tamarack Lake Connector (TLT) from the Sky Tavern base area.

The Lodge

Sky Tavern The Lodge

Located on the Mt. Rose Highway, 30 minutes from Reno is the oldest non-profit ski and snowboard training facility in America. Rich with history and charm, since 1948, the lodge is fully functional and able to provide the most memerable experiences.

The Mission

Sky Tavern is a nonprofit regional center providing exceptional summer & winter outdoor sports training, competitions, recreation & events accessible to all.

The Vision

Sky Tavern is a community asset that promotes a child's growth & success through exposure to outdoor sports and recreation, no matter the personal challenges.

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