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Advice for planning a school skiing trip

Discussion in 'School trips' started by RSL33, Oct 22, 2009.

  1. Hi there,
    (First post so please be gentle! )
    I've recently joined a school who are running their first school ski trip next Easter to Switzerland. (14-18yr olds).
    I've been selected to go on the trip as i've skiied before but it was years ago and it was a family trip (not really the same thing) so i'm not that clued up about school trips.
    Anyway the HT has now asked me to become the main point of contact for all the parents questions so i'm being bombarded with questions about the trip and what the kids will need to bring etc.
    > Is there a good checklist of things to bring that i could issue
    > Where can parents get the ski clothing (jackets / trousers) without spending a fortune
    > What about helmets (are they needed)
    Any help much appreciated

    Rich
     
  2. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    Are you using a company for this trip? Who is actually running the trip (someone from the other school)? Get the company or the organiser to send you the info you need. presumably at some point before you go you will be holding a meeting with all te parents and kids. You can always stall their questions by saying that everything will be provided at that meeting.

    One tip regarding parents. When I take trips abroad I have a special sim card for my phone. I can give the parents the number on that sim and I also store their emergency numbers on the it. Thus I can contact them or vice versa if required (not always an emergency but it could be a delay in a flight or crossing or a change to a meeting time). I also give the kids on the trip that number so in an emergency they can contact me if they are not with the group. Once the trip is over I can delete the info from the card and return my normal Sim to the phone. Plus when I put credit on my 'trip' Sim I can give the receipts into school and they pay. Just remember to give the school the new number so they can get in touch. Also you may wish to give your bank the new number if you are planning on using your credit or debit cards abroad.

    Make sure someone in your school (usually SMT) has your number and that you have their in case you need to speak with them during the trip.
     
  3. There's a good company I've come accross called snow kit, they specialise in schools and will even come along to your parents evening if you ask them. They do clothing hire as well as sales and I think they also hire helmets if you want your group to wear them.
    If you visit their site they also have an equipment guide that you can download, print off and distribute to your parents. The last time I looked it was also on a separate page on their site if you just want to read it. There's a fair bit of useful information if you dont understand what you need and also a checklist I think. Have a look at www.snow-kit.com
    The helmet question is an interesting one, some groups insist on them, others don't. Where are you going? if it's Italy I think you'll find it's law for children under a certain age to have to wear a helmet.
    Hope this helps,
    Sue
     
  4. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    Surely if you are using a company they will provide all the necessary kit in the price? Surely you are not planning on hauling a loads of kids plus all the equipment to Switzerland? Coals to Newcastle and all that!
     
  5. Sorry Blazer, I may have misled you with my choice of words. What I meant was it is usual for students to buy and/or hire their accessories and ski clothing in the UK and companies such as snow-kit will come along to the parents evenings to present on what's needed, allow the students to try on their hire clothing and also have a range of accessories that they can either buy or order. By accessories I mean items such as gloves, hats, goggles, sun cream, socks etc rather than equipment which I assume you have read as skis and boots!
    I agree it's not really practical to carry out equipment such as boots and skis for the entire group, that is best rented in resort and as you rightly point out this is normally organised by the tour operator and is included in the price.
    Rich - I hope that has made this clear. Have a look at www.snow-kit.com and contact them if you want them to come into your school. I'm sure they'll help.
    Sue
     
  6. Hi Rich
    I've no connection with this school, but you may find this information leaflet I found on the web to be helpful: http://www.biddickschoolsportscollege.com/uploaded/2010torgonSKIbooklet.doc. I've been involved with a number of ski trips and it seems to cover the essentials.
    I'm not sure if there is any current guidance about helmets, but non of the groups I was involved with (most recently 3 or so years ago) used them, except for junior-school aged kids accompanying the staff. At that thime I don't think that the local ski hire shops would have been set up to provide helments in the quantities that would be needed either, though that may have changed.
    Good luck with your planning.
     
  7. Just sent you a personal message. I can e-mail you some forms and letters that I've used if they are of any help too.

    JHT
     
  8. Hi there
    I ran my 1st ski trip last year, with the next one going out at Easter, and the one for 2011 already in the planning!
    Regarding helmets, I think they are a legal requirement in Italy for u14's, so you should be ok in Switzerland - although personally I'm making them compulsary for all of my students this year.
    Kit - Aldi/Lidl tend to get good quality ski wear in at very reasonable prices.
    Make sure kids take plenty suncream, and lip protection.
    Also, just as an aside, last year we had a locker at the gondola station to keep the pupil's skis/shoes in. In the morning i'd head up and get everything laid out, then the other staff would bring the kids up. The kids would then go up the gondola when they had their kit together, and meet their instructors at the top. One day when about half our kids were up the hill, they shut the gondola due to bad weather - but we had no members of staff at the top of the hill. Then 2 wee girls got lost, phoned their parents in a state, then i had the parents phoneing me in a state, it was all rather messy. So, make sure you always have a staff member in the 1st gondola - even if the instructors are waiting at the top of the hill!
     
  9. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    Just checked with the teacher who went on our trip to Switzerland. The kids had to wear helmets.
     
  10. landaise

    landaise Occasional commenter

    My son went on a ski trip with his collège a couple of years ago (we live in France). Trip is run every year by experienced PE teachers who are also qualified ski instructors.
    Helmets must be worn, it's common sense and every year several people die in the alpine resorts because they were not properly equipped (remember actress Natasha Richardson this year?)
    Thsy should remember to take several layers of clothing: long sleeve t-shirt + fleece under outer wear for example.
    Better to have anorak+ trousers than one of those all-in-one things.
    Don't forget 50+ protection, ski quality lip balm, gloves and GOGGLES (sunglasses are not good enough
    Can't help much with ski wear as it's readily available in all sports shops here. Have a look online. Decathlon (French sports retailer) sells in the UK and other online sports retailers should havejackets at least.
     
  11. You would never give a 5 yr old a motorcycle and get him to ride at 50 mph. Without a helmet.
    I would strongly advise you to rent helmets. Accidents do happen and I think it is foolish not to ski without a helmet. Be clear with parents anyone caught offpiste will be sent home on a plane at the parents' expense...
    Be aware that flying to Canada for 2 weeks can be cheaper than skiing in Switzerland for a week. Most Geneva people go to France to ski because it is so much cheaper. Same goes for lessons. I went to a small local resort called Hirmentaz near Geneva for my son to learn to ski and it was excellent, but it is only low altitude and so not guaranteed snow throughout the season.
     
  12. Big Swiss resorts- Verbier, Grindelwald etc. are megabucks so rent before you go.
    The Supermarket Migros La Praille in Geneva has cheap prices but unless you have local connections I do not see how you would organise it from UK.
     
  13. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    Surely if you are using a specialist ski company they will have already taken care of this and it will be in the price?
     
  14. Hi again,
    Sorry been runnning around a bit so haven't had a chance to reply. Thanks for all the help and ideas. really useful.
    Just to clarify - we are getting all the skis and boots out in resort, it was the clothing & accessories etc that i was asking about. I looked at the Aldi / Lidl stuff and it seems pretty good but the parents seem to have so many questions about whether it's the right quality of stuff that i'm not sure how to advise them.
    I'm definitely going to suggest that all the kids should use helmets to the HT and then it takes away the worry. Although the comment about old used / smelly stock from Susiehockey got me thinking. Have you used this snowkit company. I had a look at the website and it looks like it could be interesting. Especially if they'll come and visit the school as i think a lot of the parents would like somebody who knows what they're talking about to be there to offer advice when they're looking to buy kit for their little darlings!
    Anyway - back to the marking - joy!
    Rich
     
  15. make sure you go with a good company too - we have recently started going with 321ski www.321ski.co.uk and I have to say they are very good; before departure, during and the nice 'what can we do better next time' phonecall when we got back. Very refreshing.
    We went to Zell am See and previously Schladming before that. Austria has proven to be very good value compared to our bi-annual US one before, and I'm sure it's not just my imagination that Austrians have been unbelievably friendly to us. So keep ski trips simple, good value and European 'local'.
    Anyway I hope that helps too - add this to the good post re:decathlon and also TKMaxx. Both very useful
    JS
     

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