The Peaks offers both a daytime learn-to-ski elementary school program and an evening program for school ski clubs. The daytime program, dubbed "The World's Greatest Field Trip," attracts 5,000 elementary students from some 200 schools in a three-hour radius - from as far away as Nashville, Tennessee. For $12, a student gets a lift ticket, rental equipment, a lesson and lunch.
"The kids are so excited," says Ream. "Sometimes they're apprehensive, but they always wind up having a positive experience and don't want to leave."
This is the future of the sport. Paoli deserves – as do all Midwest ski areas sponsoring similar programs – kudos for promoting snowsports to future generations. This is the time to get them started. According to the Midwest Ski Areas Association each season something like 250,000 students across the Heartland are introduced to skiing and riding through similar programs.