Skill Development Program

sdp session

The ski lessons of the SDP program are going ahead for the 2023 – 2024 season. Lessons are expected to start in early January. Enrollment has now ended on December 9.

Ccc logo

The Skill Development Program offered to our young skiers by the Fernie Nordic Society was actually developed by the nation-wide organization Nordiq Canada. The program is standardized across the country. All our volunteer coaches are trained according to the established structure to provide a consistent level of training to our skiers.

The levels in the program are aimed at the various age groups:

  • Bunnyrabbit Program for children 5 years and younger
  • Jackrabbit Program for children from 6 to 9 years old
  • Track Attack Program for children 10 years and older

The Fernie Nordic Society provides training at these levels at our weekly Saturday morning and Tuesday or Thrursday after school sessions. Lessons run from January to March all at the Elk Valley Nordic Centre. We also have additional training at other times of the year such as dry-land training during summer and autumn. Events may combine the efforts of other clubs nearby. This is a great opportunity for young skiers to improve their skills in a fun atmosphere and to challenge themselves.

Saturday Lessons

10:30 – 11:30 am

Tuesday After School
4:30 pm – 5:30 pm

Thursday After School
4:30 pm – 5:30 pm

Cost of lessons

Bunnyrabbit     $60 for either the Saturday, Tuesday or Thursday sessions
Jackrabbit         $70 for either the Saturday, Tuesday or Thursday sessions
TrackAttack      $80 for either the Saturday or Tuesday sessions

Please note that enrollment into the program is done ONLINE for the 2023-2024 season. Please visit the online page to register your child. Classic ski rentals for the season are available for youngsters enrolled in our program at a very low cost. Be sure to select this option during the online registration.

For more information about our program, or to register your child, you may also use our Contact Us page.

Any questions? Get in touch with a volunteer.
cold weather
click for more info

Important Documents

The documents attached below are our basic guidelines for running a fair training program for our young skiers. They are aimed at our parents and our volunteer coaches. We ask all parents and coaches of the 2023-2024 season to read them, to sign the relevant release forms and return to the coaches at the first ski lesson.
Documents  (click to open and/or save):
Coaching Code of Conduct
Parents Responsibilities
Parents Fair Play & Photo Release

KALTIRE has sponsored the province-wide SDP program for the last few years

Kal-Tire sponsor

Inclement Weather Protocol


This policy PDF is available for download.

This policy provides guidance regarding the Fernie Nordic Society’s operations, including our Ambassador Program which supports the opening & closing of the Elk Valley Nordic Centre (EVNC) warming hut, grooming program, events & our Skill Development Program (SDP) during inclement weather. The policy does not apply to recreational skiers who are advised to “ski at their own risk”. However some services may not be provided during some weather conditions.

FNS reserves the right to close the EVNC and Fernie Golf Club trails, including the EVNC warming hut; this may happen at any time due to excessive rain events, wind events, lightning, cold and any other extreme weather phenomenon. The Ambassador Program that operates the EVNC warming hut will only be operated at temperatures of -20C or warmer. SDP & events will be cancelled at temperatures below -15C.

The volunteer run ambassador program may be operated at temperatures of -20C or warmer. The persons responsible for making this call are Mike DeJong & FNS board of directors; specifically Jane Stevens, club secretary & lead of the program. If temperatures are colder than -20C, **the warming hut will not be opened** and a fire will not be laid.

The grooming equipment may operate at temperatures of -20C or warmer. The person responsible for making this call is Mike DeJong & FNS board of directors. Volunteer groomers are asked to stay very close to the EVNC warming hut on cold days. If the temperatures are colder than -20C, the grooming equipment will not operate for the safety of the volunteers.

SDP (Events will observe the SDP guidelines) will be cancelled at temperatures below -15C as measured/estimated at or before noon on Tuesday & Thursday & the night before or early morning on Saturday at the EVNC. FNS grooming & operations director Mike DeJong; alternatively, the FNS board of directors, is responsible determining if the lessons need to be cancelled and for informing FNS Administrator, Alisha Rella, of the decision. Alisha Rella is responsible for informing the SDP coaches & SDP families via email & social media if the session has been cancelled. SDP coaches should consider the following safety measures when skiing with young children during cold days (temperatures below –10C).

  • If children are inappropriately dressed they should be excused from the session and their parent should be notified.
  • Inform skiers and parents that a hat should be worn at all times. Ensure ears are covered to avoid frostbite.
  • Bring children inside when they say they are cold.
  • Choose areas that are protected from the wind and avoid activities in open areas.
  • Keep the young children close to the Warming Hut in the event that someone does get cold.
  • Allow additional time to warm-up; it takes longer to get the body warmed-up for sport activity in cold weather.
  • If in doubt cut the session short.

Coaches Corner

sdp volunteers

Meet our dedicated coaches for the 2024 season of our Skill Development Program. All lessons are happening at the Elk Valley Nordic Centre on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

No kids ski on Saturday

Hello everyone,

We had planned a fun group ski on Saturday in place of a formal SDP lesson. But we have decided to cancel it in view of the frigid temperatures that are expected in the morning.

We hope that you will have a good weekend. The Flying Viking Challenge on Sunday morning is our last event of the season. The temps should be milder and you are welcome to come for a ski and to cheer for your favorite Viking! It all starts at 10:30 am on Sunday ending around 3 pm.

Coaches Nancy and Sam

Ski Lesson on Saturday

skill program

Hello to all parents!

It’s been a wonderful season and we’d like to thank you, your kids, and all the volunteers who make the Fernie Nordic Society Skill Development Program such a success.

Saturday March 7th is the last official lesson of the Saturday program! Traditionally we have a dress up day, so open your tickle trunks! The following Saturday we will have an informal lesson for those who are in town from 10:30 to 11:30 like usual. It’s also the Fernie Flying Viking Challenge, so those who are around can also cheer on the viking participants – and please check it out and register at

dressup SDP

Tuesday March 10th is the last official lesson of the Tuesday program and we will dress up as well!

Saturday April 4th @ 10:30 am we invite the entire club to come out for a season finale and another chance to dress up. We will have games to play and fun to be had regardless of the weather! There will also be a BBQ by donation.


Stay tuned for information on ski rental returns and in the meantime, Happy Griz Days! and don’t forget about the Snow-to-Icecream challenge at

from Sam & Nancy and all the volunteer coaches

Fun activities for Saturday morning

race poster

Hello Skill Development Program families!

Sorry for the long email, please bear with me!!

On Saturday February 22nd, we are holding the 8th Annual Community Fun Race. This is a purely fun event meant to bring the entire community together. This event is free for members or non-members and no day pass is required.

race poster

The first event is the Hot Chocolate Run. It will start at 10:45 and takes the place of SDP lessons. A team made of an adult and child will ski from the hut to the intersection of the Jackrabbit loop and the Cedar loop exit (open area). There will be volunteers with a propane fire pit and hot chocolate for the kids. While the kids stay at the firepit, the adult will ski the Lizard Lookout and Cedar loops (approx. 2km), then return to the firepit, pick up their child, and head back to the hut. There will be small prizes for everyone, but the event isn’t timed and is meant to be entirely fun. Please arrive prior to 10:30 just like a normal lesson day – a little earlier would be better if possible!.

It would be wonderful if all SDP kids are able to partner with an adult, but we understand that not all kids have an adult in their life who is able to ski with them. If this is the case, we will partner your child with a coach or a race team member. We may have more than one child with an adult.

After the Hot Chocolate Run, there will be a Relay race followed by a Sprint race. We’d love to see lots of families participating or cheering! Please see more details on our website.

If you would like to participate in all the race events but aren’t sure what to do with the kids while you participate, please contact me. We’d like to offer watch over a group of kids so that everyone gets a chance to take part.

How to take part?

Please use the webscorer sign up at to add your child to the event and let us know if there is an adult to attend with them. Please enter “partner needed” if a coach or race team member will be paired. We will have a special area to meet, and all partnered kids will get a bib per usual lessons.

There will be hot food available by donation. Please bring a bowl and spoon if you would like to participate! All proceeds will go to the race team.

Finally, pass this along to anyone you know. The more the merrier!! Also, if you would like to volunteer in some way, we could always use help corralling the racers!