The Lounge (for Parents)
Information to help to guide, support, and educate the parents of DCWST athletes.
When Does the Season Begin?
On-snow organized training for all team members begins on the first day of our 4 day Holiday Mini-Camp which occurs during the week between Dec. 25th and Jan. 1.
When are “Tryouts" and What Skills are Required?
For new members the season begins with a tryout session held concurrent with the first day of Holiday Mini-Camp. Coaches will ski and ride with athletes on various trails and over varied terrain in order to (1) ensure each new member has the minimally necessary skill set to assure a safe, enjoyable and productive season, and (2) assign returning members to the appropriate groups and coaches to begin the season.
No prior competition experience is required, but all participants must be confident skiing/riding all slopes at Wisp Resort.
What is the Training Schedule?
Holiday Mini-Camp consists of four consecutive days of training for all members during the week between Dec. 25th and New Year's Day. Weekly "regular" alpine and snowboard training occurs Saturday mornings from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. and Sunday mornings from 9:00 a.m. to 12 noon. Alpine gate training is also offered Thursday and Friday evenings.
When Does the Season End?
Our season ends with the Maryland Governor's Cup competition weekend, which is typically the first or second weekend in March.
Where Do Team Members Meet for Training Sessions?
Team members meet at the Race Shack at the bottom of Squirrel Cage about 15 minutes before the start of the session. Athletes should be ready to start immediately, with all gear, clothing and lift passes on and ready to go. Coaches and training groups will leave the Race Shack area promptly at the beginning of each training session. At the conclusion of each training session, parents of younger team members can pick up their athletes at the same location.
What Are the Age Groups for Alpine Racing?
Age groups, established by USSS rules, are determined by ages as of December 31st for the season in question. The age groups are as follows:
U8 - 6 & 7 yrs old
U10 - 8 & 9 yrs old
U12 - 10 & 11 yrs old
U14 - 12 & 13 yrs old
U16 - 14 & 15 yrs old
U18 - 16 & 17 yrs old
Does My Child Need a Helmet?
YES, team members must wear a protective helmet (specifically made for snow sports) at all times they are skiing/riding with the team and during all competition events. For helmet rules see the "Gear and Equipment" section of this page. Questions about gear and equipment should be directed to the coaching staff.
What Type of Equipment Does My Child Need?
See the "Gear and Equipment" section of this page. Questions about gear and equipment should be directed to the coaching staff.
Where Do I Find Information About and Register for Competitions?
Ski race information can be found at https://adminskiracing.com/ (search for events under the PARA region). Snowboard event information can be found at https://www.usasa.org/ (search for events in the Appalachian Region).
Click here to review the DCWST's Performance Recognition Program and how the intrasquad DCWST Cup works. Click here to see the most up-to-date DCWST Cup standings.
PARA Western Region State Championship Standings (U12s and U14s)
As a USSS member club, the DCWST requires all affiliates (athletes, coaches, volunteers, parents, etc.) to adhere to the USSS Code of Conduct (COC) (https://usskiandsnowboard.org/governance/policies) and to obey the DCWST Team Rules (found below) at all times during the training and competition season. This includes while actively participating in training sessions or events AND at any time when the person’s actions could be in any way associated with his/her participation in the program (i.e. after practice but still at the training or race venue, at team related off-mountain events, when interacting with other team members or affiliates, etc.).
DCWST Team Rules:
Respect all coaches, teammates, and fellow competitors.
Be courteous and respectful to mountain employees, ski patrol, and all guests of the mountain.
Behave in a sportsmanlike manner during training, competition, and events.
Stay off of closed trails and/or and observe all signs.
Ski/ride under control and in such a manner that you can stop and/or avoid other objects and other people.
Do not stop where you obstruct a trail or are not visible from above.
Keep the “race shack” and the areas around it clean at all times.
Obey the USSS Code of Conduct at all times.
Need some new DCWST swag or apparel? Shop here!
Need some gear and wondering if anyone on the team has some that would work for you? Click here to visit our Gear Swap to see what is available!
Preparing for Practice: Check the team calendar for start and end times as well as any additional details that relate to the training session. Review the weather and make sure that your athlete is dressed appropriately and has all necessary gear (LIFT PASS!, goggles, hand warmers, necessary equipment, etc.) to remain on snow and with his/her group for the entire training session.
Start of Practice: All DCWST training sessions begin at the "race shack" (at the bottom of Squirrel Cage). Please have your athlete there no later than 10 minutes before the the training session is to start so that coaches can organize the groups, check for athlete readiness, and start on time. Younger athletes should be escorted to the race shack by a parent/guardian. Late arrivals are expected to find their group on their own (we recommend that they wait at chair 2/3 for the group to lap around).
End of Practice: Athletes are dismissed by the coach(es) from the race shack. Any parents who would like to talk to the coach(es) about the training session or those who have questions in general are invited to meet with the coach(es) at the race shack after athlete dismissal. Parents of younger athletes should report to the race shack approximately 10 minutes prior to the end of the training session to ensure continuity of supervision as coaches are not responsible for athletes outside of designated practice times.
After Practice: Make sure all gear is completely dried, in working order, and prepared for the next training session, race, or event. Note - keeping equipment properly tuned for practice is just as important as it is for competition/race days!
Find your race dates on the DCWST team calendar (or on the TeamSnap schedule). Get additional info and register to race at https://adminskiracing.com/.
Find and register for events at https://www.usasa.org/competitions/regional-competitions/regional-series-calendar
DCWST is a volunteer, nonprofit organization run by parents with a passion for winter mountain sports. The fees from each of our member families each year help us pay for coaching and maintain the wide array of specialized technical equipment that it takes to run the program and and host our events each season. There is so much more support we need, however, and we are grateful to our parent community for all that they give to DCWST as volunteers. Volunteer opportunities exist in many areas, such as:
- The DCWST Board
- Finance and Strategic Planning Committee
- Parent Outreach Committee
- On Snow Events Committee
- Athlete Recognition and Team Banquet Committee
- Social Events and Fundraisers Committee
- Practice (SSS) Crew
Not only does volunteering help your child and DCWST, it is a most rewarding experience on its own. Being part of and learning in detail all there is to learn about these wonderfully exciting and challenging sports is truly an experience to treasure.
If you, your child, or another member of the public are injured while on snow call Wisp Ski Patrol at 301-859-3159 ex. 2138.
To communicate with the team regarding emergency situations call the Program Director at 301-501-9939.
In the case that your athlete's coach believes your child has experienced a concussion, you will need to provide THIS FORM before he/she is allowed to return to practice/competition. For additional information on USSS's concussion policies and protocols visit https://usskiandsnowboard.org/governance/policies/concussion-policy.
Looking for additional training opportunities beyond the DCWST season or outside of the local region? You may be interested in a short term ski camp or longer term ski academy. Check out the information below to learn more about these opportunities and then talk to a DCWST coach regarding the best option(s) for your athlete.