Cookie Corral

I love a parade. I know, it’s a cliché, but it’s true.

But I especially love a parade that stars my kids (and their ski instructors) sporting some sort of dress-up.

So the last day of Sunday Ski Experience always ranks high on my fun-meter. This year was no exception. I hiked up to the ropeline that marked the parade venue, alongside some other parents who are clearly of greater intelligence levels than I am (read: they thought to bring beer from the lodge for the festivities)—the sound system installed on the deck of Black Diamond Lodge for the afternoon was already pumping pop tunes (hooray!) and the sun was beating down on the third unseasonably warm day in a row.

Quincy the Bear Kicks of the Ski School Parade

Before long, Little Guy and his fantastic (did I mention how awesome this Massachusetts-born guy is??) instructor were cruising down the alley, making perfect turns.

In a feat of timing I could never have engineered myself, Big Guy was riding up Burns lift just in time to watch his brother ski down the run. Greg skied backwards, coaching Seth and a buddy to make turns—while wearing the kid-sized cowboy hat (aka Woody’s Hat) that my Toy Story-obsessed tot had insisted on taking to the Children’s Center that morning. Upon closer inspection, I noticed that Greg also had Dine Dine, Little Guy’s omnipresent lovey, tucked into his own jacket. Little Guy’s helmet was resplendent in construction-paper wings, streamers and balloons.

 At the bottom, the littlest skiers were rewarded with Cookie Medals—Deer Valley’s signature sugar cookies wrapped in foil, and festooned with a ribbon to look like a medal.

eating the ski school prize

 After we gave Greg a hug goodbye, Little Guy and I returned to the sidelines to await Big Guy’s group. The Super Skiers made their way down the slope.

 (“Everyone else’s group had animal names, which we thought was a little too limited, so we decided to just describe ourselves ,” explains Big Guy, who is reading over my shoulder as I type.)

Christina, their very fun instructor, had organized the group to form a “Human Slalom,” wherein the students skied down the hill, stopping in a well-spaced formation to mimic slalom gates. Sweet! Christina rewarded her troops with Hershey’s Kisses, Deer Valley temporary tattoos, and badges with pictures of the Deer Valley Mascots.

After the ski school graduation celebration.