Last Monday, 150 bright-eyed kids got a chance to ski with 23 top US athletes at the 4th Annual Lickety-Splits Ski Camp for Kids. The camp offered the opportunity for kids to spend the afternoon playing games and learning to ski from some of the best skiers in the country.
Tyler Kornfield, the founder of Lickety-Splits, noted “This year’s camp was the best yet. Since the beginning, we have had between 100 and 140 kids [per year] and this year, we had a record of over 150.”
The Lickety-Splits camp is a way for elite Alaskan athletes to give back to the community and get kids excited about skiing, Kornfield explained. “Among the coaches, eight ski professionally, 19 skied or are skiing in college, and they represent many of the ski clubs in Alaska.” Kornfield himself is a two-time US National Champion and professional athlete with the Alaska Pacific University Nordic Ski Center.
Konfield noted “The priority of the camp was to get the kids outside and having fun while having solid role models to look up to.” The camp was free to attend, and open kids ages 7-13.
Lickety-Splits focuses on a younger age range than Fast and Female, and unlike Fast and Female, is open to both boys and girls.
“When I was planning and starting Lickety-Splits, I based a lot of it off of Fast and Female because they do an amazing job. The priority of my camp was to get the kids outside and having fun while having solid role models to look up to.”
At the camp, the kids practiced technique, played games, and even participated in a mini race. Lex Treinen, also an athlete with APUNSC, was the coach of the uphill/downhill station where kids learn basic climbing technique and practiced slalom turns on the descents.
“My favorite part of doing this is meeting all the kids, seeing their excitement for skiing, and helping inspire the next generation of athletes”
Kornfield’s goal, ultimately, it to get more kids interested in skiing early on. “This is a crucial age group for getting them excited to ski before moving on to middle school and high school.”
Kornfield himself followed that path, skiing with Alaska Winter Stars, UAF, and ultimately APU. “We designed the camp to connect kids with more athletes like me who came up the same pipeline.”
The camp is slated to be held again next year in mid-December.
Alex Kochon (firstname.lastname@example.org) is the former managing editor at FasterSkier. She spent seven years with FS from 2011-2018, and has been writing, editing, and skiing ever since. She's making a cameo in 2020.