Bill Koch Youth Ski League

Prospect Mountain Bill Koch Youth Ski League

Dear interested family:

Thank you for your interest in the Prospect Mountain Bill Koch Youth Ski League! The Bill Koch Youth Ski League, founded by Olympic Silver Medalist Bill Koch, is the largest membership group in cross-country skiing in the United States. It aims to teach kids aged 4-13 (pre-K through 8th grade, minimum age of 4) to cross country ski, further develop their existing Nordic skiing skills, and to provide them with a way in which to enjoy the outdoors in winter, get good exercise, make new friends, and – most of all – have fun! Our local program has produced both Olympians and devoted lifelong casual skiers. Come and join us this season to experience for yourself the beauty of this great sport. Please read the following information, peruse the website, and let us know if you have any questions – Contact:

Here are important points as you gear up for BKL:

Where is Prospect?

Prospect is on Route 9 in Woodford, VT. Woodford is approximately 10 minutes east of Bennington, VT. Prospect is situated on the site of the old Prospect Mtn. downhill ski mountain. It is a beautiful property that now hosts a ski touring center. Prospect generously hosts the BKL group.

Practice times:

    • Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3:30pm – 5:00pm (approx.). Practice finish times may flex based on daylight

    • The first practice is scheduled for Tuesday, December 12, 2023 – dependent on snow. The final practice week will be the first full week in March. Exact date TBD as we progress through the season.

    • Kids must be dressed, ready to go and outside the lodge, with skis on, between 3:30 – 3:45pm. Groups will leave the lodge area by 3:45pm sharp to hit the trails. Practices will generally start with games, drills, a lesson on a certain aspect of technique, etc.


    • Kids are split into groups and ski in groups led by BKL coaches, most of whom are current or past BKL parents:

      • Our youngest groups are the Lollipoppers (skiers aged 4-5). The Lollipop skiers are required to have a parent ski with them. They do classic skiing only.

      • Groups are then generally separated by grade level. (1st – 2nd; 3rd – 4th; 5th – 6th; & 7th +). These groups are based on age, ability, and goals.

    • FOR NEW FAMILIES: What group do I ski with if I am new to the BKL program?

      • All Lollipop-aged kids ski in one group

      • New skiers to the program in the 1st and 2nd grades will slot into the traditional 1st and 2nd grade group with kids who have previously been in BKL. They do classic skiing only

    • We strongly encourage kids to attend all practices. This helps with continuity as additional skills are covered in each practice. As with any new activity, consistent practice helps your child progress more quickly. Especially with older beginners, attending every practice will help build their confidence so they can enjoy skiing with their peers more quickly. For the 3rd-8th graders (who ski both classic and skate technique), it is even more important to be there both days so as to become proficient in both disciplines.

    • BKL Coaches are volunteers. Parents are always encouraged to ski with their child’s group, even for the older groups where it is not mandatory. An extra parent helper is GREAT to have. If you’re interested in being a parent helper, please speak with Scott, or Erin to let them know your willingness to help. We can always appreciate parent helpers.

    • Participants are expected to ski in a group led by a BKL coach and participate in their group’s daily activities, and not ski off on their own. If you know that your child may be behaviorally difficult or may need extra help on the trails, we ask that you please help out the coaches by skiing with your child.

Do I need to ski with my child? Parents are not required to ski with their children unless they fall into either of the following categories:

    • Lollipoppers (our youngest groups of skiers, aged 4-5); in this group, you must ski with your young skier or else have another designated adult ski with them.

    • In addition, if you know your child will be difficult, behaviorally, we ask that you ski with them until we determine if/that you are not needed.

    • If you would be interested in helping with your child’s group as an assistant to the coach, please let us know. No major experience necessary!

What gear do we need? Please note that you must have proper cross country skis to participate – you cannot use the skis with plastic bindings which strap over your winter boots. You need proper ski boots and skis with proper bindings.

    • Lollipoppers through 2nd graders are expected to ski on fish scale skis (as they only practice classic technique). Poles may not be used at first, but all kids need poles. Any youth Nordic ski boot is fine.

    • 3rd-8th graders learn both classic skiing (on Tuesdays) and skate skiing (on Thursdays).

    • New to BKL group – beginner skiers in grades 3 and up: As mentioned above, beginners in grades 3-8 will ski on classic skis until their coach thinks that they have a solid classic foundation and are ready to learn to skate. For this group, we ask that kids have both a set of fishscale (NON WAXABLE) skis for classic skiing, and another set of skis for skating (either a pair of “combi” or “universal” skis which should be used exclusively for skating, or a pair of “skate” skis). Skate or combi/universal skis require occasional glide waxing – we will have a clinic or two to demonstrate how this is done. If these terms are confusing to you, we can explain them! Kids also will need a pair of “combi” boots, which can be used with both sets of skis. Kids will need different poles for skating and classic skiing (they are sized differently). Please see Parent Resources page for info on gear sizing.

    • Waxable Classic Skis (encouraged but not required for experienced skiers grades 3 and up only): Starting in grade 3, experienced kids who have been skiing for several years and are solid classic skiers are encouraged (but not required) to have waxable classic skis, so as to learn the skill of waxing (they need to know this at the high school level). Waxable skis are not required, though – fishscales are just fine if that is what you prefer! If kids have waxable classic skis requiring kick wax, they and their parents are responsible for learning how to wax their skis (and waxing them as needed).

    • Waxing help: We will aim to have some kick wax clinics early on for those who need it. In addition, coaches with these experienced 3rd graders and up who are on waxable skis will have kick wax on hand at practices in case participants have not applied the right kick wax or applied it incorrectly; coaches are there to help guide and teach the skiers how to wax but are not there to be a child’s personal wax technician. We also will have glide wax clinics to teach people what the glide zone is and how and when to wax it.

    • Gear Leasing through BKL: If your child needs gear, you can either lease gear from the club (assuming we have the right sizes of skis, boots and poles for your child – but gear is limited!), or you can buy gear. If you are interested in leasing, please come to the leasing event on Sunday, Nov. 5th 2023 at Prospect. Note: we do not have lease gear for adults.

      • Lease gear costs:

      • Package costs:

          • 1 pair of skis, 1 pr. boots, 1 pair of poles: $60/season

        • 1 pair of skis, 1 pr. boots, 2 pairs of poles: $65/ season

        • 2 pairs of skis, 1 pr. boots and 2 pairs of poles: $100/season

        • Individual equipment leasing costs:

          • Skis $40/ season

          • Boots $25/ season

        • Poles $10 per pair/ season

    • If you are looking to buy gear, there are several ski shops locally which you can check out. In Adams, MA, Berkshire Outfitters offers discounted packages of skis, boots and poles for sale to BKL families. Instant Replay in Pittsfield, MA sells used gear, too.

Other activities: Aside from the regular practices, the Club usually hosts two races (with other Bill Koch League Clubs in the Southern VT area) in which all BKL skiers (from youngest to oldest) are invited to participate. There are other BKL races throughout the season in the southern VT region in which the kids can participate if they desire. At Prospect, the Club holds an annual scavenger hunt in the woods (called the Skijegr’n), which culminates in a medal ceremony. The Club also holds a moonlight ski after practice one month, and we usually we get the opportunity to ski with the Williams College Nordic team for an afternoon. These additional activities are a lot of fun!

COVID – ALL BKL ACTIVITIES ARE CONDUCTED OUTSIDE. All families and their children are asked to stay home if feeling unwell.

Registration: If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to email us at If the Program sounds of interest and you would like to sign up your child, please fill out the registration form and NENSA waiver found on the Parent Resources page and bring them to the Info meeting/Registration/Leasing event on Sunday November 5th. Space in groups may be limited so please come to sign up on December 4th. All the information on fees and payment info is included on the forms – checks are required for payment, so bring a checkbook.

Thanks so much for your interest in the Bill Koch Program, and we hope to see you on the trails!


Erin McEnaney and Scott McEnaney

Prospect BKL Program Co- Leaders



    • Between 3:30 – 3:45pm on practice days, we will work on some fun games that are meant to build skills and community. Yes, games help with skills on skis. Coaches will leave for the trails at 3:45pm sharp. Practice times are daylight sensitive so we aim to leave at 3:45pm so we can get the most time on the trails!

    • If you are not able to make practice, please try to communicate this to your coach. This is more of a courtesy to our coaches than a requirement.

    • If you need to leave school early to accommodate our practice times, it is up to you to get approval from your child’s school for early dismissal.

    • “New to BKL group” skiers of varying age groups (3rd and up). If your child is new to BKL (and not lollipop or 1st/2nd grader) and he/she has school friends in the program who have been skiing for years, your child may or may not be skiing with his/her friends immediately. This group of skiers will learn the basics and will “graduate” to a comparable group if and when the coach feels they are ready to integrate. Your child might not be skiing with their old friends right away, but a huge part of BKL is making new friends!

    • Ski Lease through BKL: Prospect BKL maintains a limited supply of skis, poles, and boots for rental to our skiers. Current supply chain issues are hindering us from having extra gear. We will do our best to rent appropriate fitting gear for your child(ren). In the event we do not have gear that is appropriate to your child(s) size needs, we encourage you to do your own research to secure gear. Many of our BKL families have spare gear hanging around which we may be able to help. Bottom line: Please have patience with us regarding gear for your child. We do NOT lease gear to adults.

    • Because we are a parent-run, volunteer organization we expect parents to volunteer during the season. We have a variety of jobs that you will have an opportunity to sign up for early in the year. You can sign up from anything from scooping ice cream to volunteering to assist in a group that needs a parent helper. Many jobs require very little commitment or skill; the most important thing is that we all volunteer for something. You’ll also find it’s a fun way to meet other parents in the club.