Festival A Big Success!!

February 8, 2016

On January 23 and 24, 2016 Bill Koch League Youth skiers ventured to Bristol Mountain in Western, NY for the annual Mid-A Ski Festival hosted by Rochester Cross Country Ski Foundation (RXCSF).  There were 105 registered skiers ranging in age from 3 to 13 years, traveling from four different NY Bill Koch clubs.  Saturday’s events consisted of Freestyle racing and the non-competitive Tour de Ski for those who were not interested in racing.  The afternoon was filled with snow games.  On Sunday, the technique changed to classic and the event concluded with the family fun relay and a cookout. Local news coverage captured the enthusiasm of the relay.

The event also honored this year’s graduating Bill Koch skiers and named the 2016 Secretary Cup winner- Emelia Jordan.  Festival Highlights were captured in video.

Clubs that are interested in hosting the 2017 Festival should contact Mid Atlantic BKYSL Chair Janine Phaneauf or NYSSRA Nordic Secretary Eric Hamilton to express their interest.  Please consider having your club host and continuing this great tradition for our young NY skiers! This is the future of Nordic skiing in New York!


Shenendehowa Classic

February 14, 2015
Here's our happy winners from the fun Bill Koch race after the Shenendehowa Classic today.  There was good representation from the Polar Bears, Saratoga and Shenendehowa Clubs.

Here’s our happy winners from the fun Bill Koch race after the Shenendehowa Classic today. There was good representation from the Polar Bears, Saratoga Biathlon and Shenendehowa BKYSL Clubs. photo by Travis Koziol.


Move it!

January 6, 2014

Want the latest news and posts on the Mid Atlantic Bill Koch Youth Ski League?  They are within the new NYSSRA – Nordic website. This is where all new information will be posted from now on.   This old site will be deleted shortly since all previous posts have also been moved.  When you go to the new site bookmark the URL and delete this old one.  As always if you have any news from your own club or ideas how we can improve the program you are welcome to post on the new site, or just e-mail me the information and I will post it.  Remember that photographs make your words come to life.

First On Snow

November 29, 2013
First on Snow

First on Snow – Photo by Coach Phaneuf

The Polar Bear Bill Koch Youth Ski League Club were the first to document club activities on snow this season.  A lively game of ski soccer is a popular way to use limited snow.  Here they are on one of the Town of Webb fields covered with fresh snow this week.

Welcome to New BKYSL Local Clubs

September 18, 2013

It is always encouraging to start of the new ski season, but to start it off with a new Bill Koch Youth Ski League local club is special.  This year Dustin Hite, himself a graduate of the BKYSL program, is coaching a new club in Camden, NY that will host most of their activities at the Ocseola X C Ski Center.  Welcome to the new club!

Being right in the bull’s-eye of New York’s snow belt every local practice and event will be a success!

The list of active Bill Koch Youth Ski League local programs is now published on the NYSSRA – Nordic website.

Coming into the new season we should all start thinking about the labels for our classes of our youth.  We are no longer thinking J-# in two-year age increments, we should be thinking U-age as in U-8 for anyone under eight years old on December 31 of the year.  These U-8 will always be “lollipoppers”, because these are the youth that get a lollipop for finishing a short race.  U-10 will be racing a longer race, up to 2 K, U-12 up to a 3 K race, on up to U-14 who could expect to complete a 4 kilometer race.

Slowly, we are building a calendar of fun events for the 2013 – 2014 season.  These will be listed on the BKYSL calendar of events as soon as I learn of them.  So let me know of your club’s events.

The Mid Atlantic Bill Koch Festival will be held the weekend of March 8 and 9, 2014 at Lapland Lake, Benson, NY.  In the next few weeks I will be meeting with the same hotel who hosted our overnight stay several years ago in Johnstown.  The most exciting part of the Festival will be the theme which comes from the opening line of one of the Transformer movies, “Now is the time for a new generation of SUPER HEROs.”  So start thinking about a suitable costume for the weekend!  More information will come before the snow flies.

2012 -2013 Season Report

April 5, 2013

NYSSRA – Nordic has a good policy in place with membership fees waived for first year new members age 13 and under.  29 youth took advantage of that this season.  That roughly equates to those that “graduated” or aged out of the youth program.

Even though it was completed some 15 years ago the BKYSL Leaders Manual, still serves as a reference for those days when inspiration for a fun lesson or ski game doesn’t come to mind when planning a practice.  This document is available as a PDF that can be downloaded from the NYSSRA web site.

We had a highly successful Bill Koch Festival at Bristol Mountain, with a clever theme “Festival in the West”.  Many followed the theme with western hats, bandanas and a few mustashed youth.  There was a great turn out by Genesse Valley youth and sparse turn out from Old Forge, from Syracuse, from the Shenendehowa BKYSL, From Cayuga Nordic, and one from the Higley Ermines.  There was a great showing from Erie PA area and I will add their contact information to the on-line listing of BKYSL local Clubs.  Alex Carpentier came closest to the mystery time to win the Secretaries Cup.

NYSSRA does maintain a supply of ribbons for local BKYSL events to which other regional clubs are invited.  That supply must be replenished.

The southern Adirondack region will host a Bill Koch Festival in March 2014 at Lapland Lake.  The theme will be, “It is time for a new generation of Super Heros!”

The Ks for Kochers logs were due by April 1, 2013.  There are two Gold medal seasons one for 410 kilometers by J4 skier Adam Bollt of the Higley Ermines, and one for 243 kilometers by J5 skier Alex Carpentier of RXCSF.

My thanks to Heidi and Bill Broderick who recently started a Mid Atlantic Bill Koch Group on FaceBook.  This should help greatly with communication between divergent coaches through out the Mid Atlantic region!

Nominations remain open for a BKYSL Committee Chairman for the 2013 – 2014 season.

Festival 2013

March 29, 2013

Thank you to the Genesse Valley and RXCSF for a fantastic festival at Bristol Mountain in Canandaqua.  To summarize the fun that we all had explore this video of the high points of the “fest of the west” posted by Heidi Broderick.

First Snow

November 4, 2012
First BKYSL Skier on Snow!

Hannah Collinsworth is the first BKYSL Skier on Snow in New York State! – Photo by Mitch Collinsworth.

And here she is, the first Mid Atlantic Bill Koch Youth Ski League member on snow.  Hannah Collinsworth is in her backyard on Beam Hill on the ridge just east of Ithaca.  Way to go, Hannah!

Great reminder that NYSSRA – Nordic should distribute this year’s ski log soon.  More snow is on the way.

To see a video of a portion of Hannah’s first 2 k of skiing click here.


October 31, 2012

There’s snow, lots of it, in the hills of West Virginia and it is headed this way.  Time to get out the skis and check the fit of the ski boots.  All over the Mid Atlantic plans are being made for a great season.

The Gennesee Valley BKYSL and RXCS Foundation will host this season’s Mid Atlantic Bill Koch Festival March 2 and 3, 2013, at Bristol Mountain. You recall that the festival was held there several years ago. It is a great venue and we all had a memorable time.

There is a new BKYSL Club in North Creek/Garnet Hill and a new one starting up in the Kingston area.

NENSA’s Bill Koch Festival will be in Weston, MA Feb 8, 9 & 10 and you are invited!

Other dates for your calendar:
– January 1, 2013 – Resolution Day race at Old Forge with BK fun race
– February 3, 2013 – Old Forge BK fun race.
– February 17, 2013 – Shenendehowa Classic BK Fun race.
Can your club add a date to this calendar?

We will be doing the Ks for Kochers program again this year. I will distribute a PDF of a log you and your youth can use to keep track of the distance you accumulate over the season.

And here’s a special challenge for you. Take a picture of your first ski on snow and send it to me with a couple sentences describing where you are and when. The first NYSSRA – Nordic BKYSL renewed/new member will receive a gift package in exchange for the photograph.

Looking ahead to 2014, the Southern Adirondack BKYSL clubs have expressed interest in hosting the 2014 Festival at Lapland Lake.

2012 Season Report

March 23, 2012
A Graduating J3 Starts

A Graduating J3 Starts

There were 149 Bill Koch Youth Ski League Youth (age 13 and under) who had membership in NYSSRA – Nordic this season.

2012 Secretary's Cup Winner

2012 Secretary's Cup Winner

I pass along the ski community’s gratitude to the Old Forge and specifically the Polar Bear Ski Club for a fantastic 2012 Mid Atlantic Ski Festival.   Our youth had a great time and didn’t seem to mind that they had very little new snow over an icy base.   A decision was made early in the week before the Festival to change Saturday’s race to free technique.  Additional new snow was predicted on Saturday afternoon and evening.  If additional snow had materialized then they would have had more to work with as they set track for Sunday’s championship.  It was a great accomplishment for an otherwise lackluster season.

Paintball Biathlon at Dewey Mtn

Paintball Biathlon at Dewey Mtn

The Lake Placid and Saranac Lake youth had a fantastic series of paintball biathlon events that stimulated much interest and participation.   NYSEF hosted 6 events throughout the winter at the Olympic Ski Jumps in Lake Placid and Dewey Mountain Recreation Center in Saranac Lake. We had over 85 young athletes participate in at least 1 event this winter. This program was supported by the Uihlein-Ironman Sports Fund of Lake Placid.

The RXCSF Youth Ski/Genesse Valley BKYSL has offered to host the 2013 Mid Atlantic Bill Koch Festival.  The Southern Adirondack BKYSL is seriously considering hosting the 2014 Festival at Lapland Lake in Mid March.  If others have a vision for hosting a Festival please let me know.   Guidelines will be provided on request.

We recently received an order of Bill Koch Program first place through fifth place and participant ribbons to replenish NYSSRA – Nordic’s supply.  These ribbons are available to NYSSRA – Nordic Bill Koch clubs on request.

We recommend that NYSSRA – Nordic continue the practice of waiving first year membership fee for youth 13 and under.  This past year there were 51 that took advantage of this offer.

Graduates from the Bill Koch Program

Graduates from the Bill Koch Program

Congratulations to Travis Koziol who skied a total of 18 hours and, as a J6 skier, received a Silver Ski Distance Award. Any one else who kept a ski log needs to get their nominations in for this season’s recognition.