Thank you for your interest in VASS! WE NEED YOU!
If you are a returning volunteer then:
If you are NEW to volunteering with VASS please take a few minutes to read this page as it will answer a lot of questions and will give you an idea about what awesomeness you are committing to. Check out the clip below to meet one VASS student. Please don’t focus just on his ability, as many students and many instructors have different abilities, but do focus on his smile. The mountain is just a place where we all get to explore, learn and laugh together.
Matthew is on the Autism Spectrum. More children are being diagnosed with ASD, Autism Spectrum Disorder, and it is now estimated that 1 in 34 kids is diagnosed with ASD. And here is the sad thing… many of these kids never get the same opportunities as other kids growing up in amazing British Columbia. At VASS, we are making a HUGE IMPACT in this gap and we need your help as an instructor to teach SKI and SNOWBOARD lessons. About 50% of our lessons serve people with ASD.
Your first season would look like this….
First we need to teach you how to teach basic skiing or snowboarding. Easy stuff, like helping a student make their very first turn. So to do that, we have partnered with the Canadian Ski Instructor Alliance and the Canadian Association of Snowboard Instructors. You will need to attend 90 minute ZOOM session followed by a 4 hours on snow session that will focus on improving your ability on snow and your knowledge of teaching the sport.
YOU MUST ATTEND THE OVERVIEW ZOOM AND ON SNOW SESSIONS BEFORE THE CADS COURSE IN THE BEGINNING OF JANUARY:
Next, you attend a weekend training session. This will consist of a 4 hour Friday night ZOOM session, 6pm-10pm, combined with a 2 day, Saturday & Sunday, 7am-4pm, on-snow session. This is the CADS, Canadian Adaptive Snowsports, portion of your learning. This is where you will learn how to take what you now know about teaching snow sports and adapt your teaching plan based on the student that you get the privilege of hanging out with. We will look at techniques for motivation, communication and pure kinesthetic teaching….it will blow your mind. You will also get a chance to try sit skiing, 3 tracking and skiing with your eyes mostly closed while being guided. You will have lots of opportunities to practice and get feedback from CADS Course conductors and you will be blown away by the knowledge and experience you will receive from this intensive weekend.
YOU MUST ATTEND ONE OF THESE WEEKENDS:
Friday, January 8 evening ZOOM session followed by January 9 & 10 all day session
Friday, January 15 evening ZOOM session followed by January 16 & 17 all day session
At this point you are certified to teach all types of adaptive lessons. The price for all of this training is only $50. There is also a $48 fee to gain your CADS membership, which includes insurance, pro deals on some gear and access to more training opportunities. Your total cost for the first year ends up at $98. I may have forgotten to mention as well that you will be getting the chance to ski and ride at no cost.
Now on to the fun stuff…
Our programs run for 7 weeks starting in the middle to end of January and each program runs at the same time weekly for 3-4 hours. The first week is an orientation with your Program Coordinators and this is where you will receive a written profile about your student. We strive to always have first year instructors paired with a more experienced returning instructor and all of our lessons have at least 2 instructors. So you are never alone in this adventure. This first night you will be paired with your partner instructor and have a chance to get to know each other, go over some points of safety, local mountain protocols and review best practices for teaching.
The next 6 weeks…
Once a week you arrive early to the lesson and wait for you student to arrive. And then go and do your best in collaboration with your other instructors to help some awesome person learn how to play on the snow. And I say that with purpose because at VASS a good ski lesson might be learning how to walk on snow in ski boots, and that could be the entire lesson. Or maybe you are learning how to be a better teacher because your student is advancing so quickly you have had to call in a CADS trainer to come and hang out on your lesson and do some jump training. You never know and that is all part of the fun and excitement. Click here to see all of the programs that you could potentially volunteer for.
End of season stuff….
The end of season is an exciting time. It can be time for more training to further your certification and explore disciplines in sit skiing, using outriggers and learning about working with visually impaired students. This is also the time of the year when we have the VASS SNOWFEST, a fundraising/ awareness-raising event that features a fun race for many of our ski athletes from the season. And to finish off the season right, we throw a party in your honour… OK, maybe for you and all of the other volunteers, but I am sure you get the drift.
I look forward to sharing the magic with you, that is, volunteering with VASS. So stop thinking about it and just click below to get registered.
CLICK HERE TO REGISTER
PS…. If you really have lots of questions please check out our FAQ’s or drop a line to firstname.lastname@example.org. There is also a video at the bottom of this page with directions on how to use our registration system.
If you are not a skier nor snowboarder and want to help VASS we need you too….
Thank you for your heart and time. You are some of our most import volunteers as you often have the ability to help the VASS machine run smoothly. Here are some of the roles that we recognize we need help in:
ON THE MOUNTAIN
- Program Assistant – helping the Program Coordinators organize lessons, on and off the snow
Most of the programs begin mid-January and run for 6 weeks.
OFF THE MOUNTAIN
- Volunteer Coordination
- Special Events
If you are interested in volunteering but not instructing a student, please indicate areas you are interested in on your registration form. Click here to register and when you go through the process, please identify yourself as a VOLUNTEER.
Thank you so much for helping out. I look forward to meeting you and thanking you personally for your dedication to supporting your community and adaptive sport. Please click on the link below.