Emery Black of Black Mountain. Courtesy of Chisholm Ski Club

RUMFORD — Chisholm Ski Club — in conjunction with  Black Mountain of Maine and Western Foothills Kids Association — is excited to announce its new initiative, Youth Ski Program, to encourage youth in the towns of Rumford, Mexico, Dixfield and children from other regions of Maine to participate  

in winter sports activities.  

The initiative offers a wide range of programs, training, equipment, and events with dedicated founding and corporate sponsorships available. A GoFundMe campaign is established while individual donors are welcome via mail donations as well. The Youth Ski Program will include after school and weekend activities and will expand as dedicated funding expands. 

CSC, founded in 1917, is one of the oldest ski clubs in the United States. For more than 100 years, CSC has produced and nurtured numerous Olympic and National athletes. CSC has a rich history of hosting national and international skiing events. CSC’s Youth Ski Program includes both Nordic and Alpine tracks. The Youth Nordic Development Program is open to Maine residents. Equipment and outfitting  provided to those that qualify. The Youth Alpine Program is fee-based with significant financial assistance for qualified youth, including outfitting. 

A ‘soft program launch’ with elementary youth during this most recent winter season has kindled the flame of  excitement in the River Valley and surrounding communities. Forty-plus youth, ages 4-14 — many of whom had never  Nordic skied before — enjoyed a fun-filled winter under the direction of Dan Warner, Erin Haynes and Miki Skehan.

Based on this season’s success, CSC’s Youth Nordic Program will be expanded and modeled after the Bill Koch League — the largest youth nordic program in the United States. 

CSC’s Youth Ski Program will have after school and weekend offerings for youths aged 4-14. The program will run for 10 weeks. Age-appropriate skills development will be taught while special activities, events and races will be held for  participants to engage in. Any Maine youth may participate although participation may be restricted due to funding  considerations. 

Technical skills clinics will be offered for adults and youth alike and will be free to program participants and open to the  public for a fee. Most activities will be held at Black Mountain of Maine or at participating schools nearby. Other ski locations will be visited during the winter to engage in a program outing and for competitions. Additionally, CSC will provide financial assistance to promising competitive Alpine and Nordic athletes of all ages. 

The goal of CSC’s kick starter funding model is to raise $25,000. An anonymous donor has agreed to match-fund a  portion of the proceeds. Funds will be used to acquire equipment, clothing, and help offset coaching, trail grooming, and  transportation expenses directly incurred by the program. 

Contributions to CSC’s Youth Ski Program can be made by mail: Chisholm Ski Club Youth Development, PO Box 616, Rumford, ME 04276 or by donating to the Club’s GoFundMe page: Chisholm Ski Club Support Kids’ Winter Activities 

Chisholm Ski Club is located at Black Mountain of Maine Ski Area in Rumford. The Club has a rich  tradition which dates to the early days of the 20th century at its Spruce Street location and its mid-1900s days at  Scottie’s Mountain. Over the years the Club has hosted several world class Nordic skiing events, including the 1950 World Championships, 1976 NCAA Cross Country Skiing Championships, 1991 National Biathlon  Championships, 1993 US Cross Country Skiing Championships, 1992 USSA XC Jr. Olympics, 1993 U.S. Masters  Cross Country Skiing Championships, the first ever U.S./ North American Women’s Ski Jumping Championships in 1996, 1996 National Junior Olympics, 1996 Chevy Truck U.S. Nationals, the 1999 NCAA Cross Country Skiing Championship, the 2003 Chevy Truck US Cross Country Championships, the 2004 Chevrolet US Cross Country  Championships, the 2009 NCAA Cross Country Skiing Championships, the 2010 USCSA National Championships and the 2011 and 2012 US Cross Country Championships.