Bretton Woods Guide Training
February 14-15,  2009

    After a short train trip and a nice relaxing drive to Franconia, NH participants and guides from NERSFL were welcomed by Jim and Susan Moore from the Bretton Woods Adaptive Program to their home. Jim and Susan provided excellent accomodations not to mention the wonderful meals prepared for us throughout our weekend. Friday night everyone got to know each other, with Joanne Jordan providing some information to their hosts about NERSFL.

   On Saturday after a great scrambled egg breakfast everyone headed over to Bretton Woods and were introduced to volunteers from the Brettonwoods Adaptive Program who were going to be trained as ski and snow shoe guides. After a brief introduction of ski and snow shoe guiding techniques and commands, we split up in to 3 groups - one snow shoe group, and two groups of guide trainer/ & visually impaired skiers paired with Bretton Woods Adaptive volunteers. Off we went! NERSFL guide trainers/vip skiers worked together to demonstrate the necessary commands and effective ways to communicate to ensure a smooth and successful guide/skier pair as we skied on beginning and intermediate trails at Brettonwoods. After Adaptive Program volunteers observed skier and guide trainer they did some guiding with the visually impaired skiers as well as taking turns guiding each other while blind folded.

    There was truly a comfort level and commitment among the Adaptive Program volunteers who were snow shoeing and skiing with us! The weather was perfect as were the ski and snow shoe conditions throughout the day! After a relaxing lunch in the lodge we were introduced to yet another group of skiers and snow shoe guides to train in the afternoon which we did, repeating the mornings training experience.

   Once again when those of us who returned to our hosts home we had yet another delicious dinner and prepared for the next day which included another hearty breakfast and a snow shoe expedition around their neighborhood.

   We would like to thank our gracious hosts for welcoming us to their home and hosting us for the weekend and the other Adaptive Program volunteers who trained with us on Saturday.

    NERSFL president Marie Hennessey would also like to thank guide trainers Dave Fisk and Paulie Jacobson and trainer/skier Joanne Jordan and snow shoe trainer and participant Jean Shiner and snow shoe guide Victor Lachance for their commitment, time and guide training which they so graciously offered last weekend!

   When it came time for us to leave we did so reluctantly because of the good times we had with old friends and making new friends. We all agreed that this was a “win win” situation for all of us. Several of the guides we trained hope to join us during our March weekend at Bretton Woods so look forward to meeting another great group of individuals who are now affiliated with NERSFL!

NOTE: Marie Hennesy and Joanne Jordan contributed to this article. Edited by Nancy Brown.

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