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 RETURNING VOLUNTEER? SIGN UP NOW
ARE YOU A NEW VOLUNTEER?
Read the information below.
Pick the volunteer opportunities you are interested in and then SIGN UP BELOW.
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.
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)
- Wednesday – Skiing – 5:45 – 9:00 p.m. (Grouse)
- Thursday - Sit Ski – 5:45 – 9:00 p.m. (Grouse)
- Saturday - Sit Ski – 7 :45 – 11:00 a.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
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 Association of Disabled Skiers (CADS) certification for instructors including a 6 hour overview of the Canadian Ski Instructor Alliance (CSIA)/Canadian Association Snowboard Instructors (CASI) certification courses
- 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!
Volunteer Experience Requirements
Stand Ski and Snowboard
If you wish to work with students in the stand ski or snowboard program, you should be a competent skier 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.
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.
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 Association of Disabled Skiers Level I (CADS Level I) instructor certification ($50 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 IIa is the sit ski instructor certification. Candidates must have 1 season of teaching skiing to persons with a disability after obtaining their CADS Level II. This one-day exam includes a ski-off of ski maneuvers in a sit ski and a practical teaching exam.
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