IMPORTANT! NEW VOLUNTEER INSTRUCTOR REGISTRATION INFORMATION
Thank you for your interest in VASS! WE NEED YOU!
To become a certified instructor for VASS, there are 3 training components to complete:
1) CSIA certification: a 6 hour introductory course on the basics of how to teach skiing
2) CADS Level 1: 2-day course on how to teach skiing to people with disabilities
3) Autism Module: 3 hour course on understanding Autism and how to work with students on the Autism spectrum
While we are able to offer the CSIA certification and Autism Module training in January (see details below), we currently have a waitlist for our CADS Level 1 training courses. We are working on resolving this issue by opening up more spots in our current courses and offering an end of season CADS Level 1 course, however this does NOT impact your ability to volunteer with VASS and experience the amazing VASS magic!! It simply means that you will initially sign up as an Assistant Instructor and will be working alongside an experienced instructor until you can complete your training later in the season.
ARE YOU LOOKING FOR A FUN, REWARDING EXPERIENCE?
VASS delivers ski, snowboard and sit ski lessons to people with a disability in the Lower Mainland.
All lessons are 100% coordinated and taught by volunteers. VASS enables people to contribute to their community while having fun in a mountain setting.
ARE YOU A NEW VOLUNTEER?
If you are a new volunteer, BEFORE YOU SIGN UP, please read the options below and then register at the bottom of the page . If you have any questions about volunteering contact us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We have a range of volunteer opportunities – on and off the slopes! In return for your energy and enthusiasm, we offer free ski & snowboard lessons with certified CSIA & CASI instructors, lift tickets for the days you work, social events and the opportunity to share your passion with others. For our students and our programs to receive the most benefit it is preferable if you can volunteer for at least 2 seasons.
ON THE MOUNTAIN
- Ski & Snowboard Instructor – teaching skiing and/or snowboarding
- Program Assistant – helping the Program Coordinators organize lessons, on and off the snow
- Monday – Snowboarding – 5:45- 9:00 p.m (Grouse)
- Tuesday – Skiing – 5:45 – 9:00 p.m (Cypress)
- Tuesday – Autism program -5:45-9:00 p.m. (Grouse)
- Wednesday – Skiing – 5:45 – 9:00 p.m. (Grouse)
- Thursday – Sit Ski – 5:45 – 9:00 p.m. (Grouse)
- Saturday – Sit Ski – 10:00a.m. – 2:30 p.m. (Seymour)
- Saturday – Skiing – 7:45 – 11:00 a.m. (Grouse)
- Sunday – Skiing – 7:45 – 11:00 a.m. (Grouse)
- Sunday – Snowboarding – 7:45 – 11:00 a.m. (Grouse)
- Race program -Thursday – 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. & Saturdays from 7:20 a.m. to 2:30 p.m
- Volunteer Coordination
- Special Events
If you are interested in volunteering off the mountain, please indicate areas you are interested in on your registration form.
As a volunteer, you dedicate your time and energy with our organization. Volunteers are rewarded with benefits which include:
- FREE ski and/or snowboard lessons for your own skill development
- Certification from Canadian Adaptive Snowsports (CADS) for instructors including a 6 hour overview of the Canadian Ski Instructor Alliance (CSIA)/Canadian Association Snowboard Instructors (CASI) certification courses ($55 course fee)
- Helping others enjoy the thrills of skiing/snowboarding and the mountain experience while making new friends and having fun!
- Awesome social events and season-end Party!
STEP 3: Decide how many days a week you would like to volunteer and which program you wish to volunteer for and SIGN UP NOW.
Volunteer Experience Requirements
Stand Ski and Snowboard
If you wish to work with students in the stand up ski or snowboard program, you should be a competent skier or snowboarder on blue runs. You need to be strong enough on the slopes so that you do not fall and are able to ensure that your student is supported, physically, if needed. You need to have your own equipment.
If you wish to volunteer for sit skiing, you should be a strong intermediate to advanced skier. You should have a strong stance on your skis and must be confident in your abilities. This is not meant to scare people away; anyone can come up and shadow the program once they have their CADS Level I to see if sit ski is the right avenue for them. Students range from needing a lot of help and support (non-verbal and very limited mobility) to progressing towards independent skiing. All our students get enrichment from the experience. These students find snow and ice a hazard in their life, to make it a fun thing is nothing more than miraculous.
The mechanics of helping out a beginner sit skier means you may be in close to the sit ski to offer support. For new sit skiers you need two assistants: one seasoned and one new. We always have a mentor on the team to help transition the new team members. The second assistant works as the brake-person and must be able to adjust to what is unfolding in front of them. This can mean applying hold back power to the tether to slow the student down or do a quick hockey stop to stop the sit skier and 1st assistant before they enter a danger zone (tree, fallen skier, child, witless wanderer etc.) We also encourage new team members to role play and take the place of the students when possible to get a better understanding on how the sit ski handles and enhance their training abilities.
If you have questions about your experience on the slopes, please email email@example.com to discuss this further.
Volunteer Instructor Training
In order to volunteer as an instructor with VASS, volunteers must complete the following:
- FREE 6-hour on slope introduction to teaching theory through the Canadian Ski Instructors Alliance (CSIA) or Canadian Association of Snowboard Instructors (CASI)
- Completion of the Canadian Adaptive Snowsports Level I (CADS Level I) instructor certification ($55 fee). The CADS Level I is a 2½ day course including an indoor session, on-snow sessions on three-tracking and four-tracking, visually impaired; adaptive equipment and sit ski training, and has a written test.
(VASS offers both the CADS Level I and the prerequisite CSIA/CASI training in the early winter each year.)
If you already have your CADS Level I, VASS supports progression through the CADS instructor certification framework outlined below.
CADS Level II is a 1-day exam, which includes a ski-off of 4 skiing maneuvers and a practical teaching exam. All volunteers must have taught skiing to persons with a disability for one full season after obtaining the CADS Level I and have 18 hours CSIA/CASI training prior to being eligible for this level.
CADS III is the Examiner Level. Volunteers must have taught for 3 seasons after obtaining their CADS Level IIA. Candidates must apply to the BC Technical Committee to become a Rookie Examiner. They must attend, teach and examine with a senior examiner at a full Level II course.
CADS IV, Senior Examiner, is the highest level within the CADS certification. Candidates are appointed by the CADS board based on the individual’s resume of experience teaching skiing/boarding to persons with a disability. Candidates must have CADS Level III.
To support VASS in another way please email firstname.lastname@example.org