Frequently Asked Questions
Many of these are also on our club information letter, emailed welcome letter and chaperone information letter.
- Is this a school / community education sponsored event? Why can't I register on the Community Education website? We are not sponsored by the Annandale school system or affiliated with Community Education. The club is maintained solely on a volunteer basis. Community Education generously provides information about the club in their winter activities newsletter but we do not use their registration system.
- How do I register? Starting with the 2017/2018 season, all registration is done online through this website. There is no registration through community ed. School offices have information forms available and will make announcements when registration is open. Please include email addresses and cell phones on your registration as we need these to contact you in the event of a cancellation or medical emergency. If online registration is not an option please contact us.
- Can I pay by Paypal, check or cash? Sorry the online registration system only allows credit card payments. In the event of extreme circumstances alternative payment might be arrangeable on a case-by-case basis.
- I missed the registration deadline - what can I do? Sorry, if you don't get the form to us by the final deadline we cannot register your child in the club. We have to have our final numbers into Powder Ridge by a certain date so they can prepare and print lift tickets. Please contact a coordinator to have your name saved to a mailing list for next season.
- What package should I choose? It depends on whether or not the child has his/her own equipment and/or a season pass:
- Package 1 includes lift tickets and equipment rentals so it is appropriate if you have neither.
- Package 2 includes lift tickets only so it is appropriate if you have your own equipment but no season pass.
- Package 3 is the Club Fee only package. It is appropriate if your child has a season pass and their own equipment. The Club Fee entitles your child to transportation to / from Powder Ridge and use of our designated meeting area. Anyone without this attempting to ride the bus to Powder Ridge will be refused.
- Note that the Club Fee is included in all packages.
- How does the season rental (package 1) work? New for 2017/2018 season the Package 1 registration includes a FULL SEASON rental card. This means that your child's rental equipment is covered on any visit to Powder Ridge instead of only club nights! On the first night we will provide the stand paper rental forms. They will go through the rental line as usual and Powder Ridge will collect their rental information (boot size, ski/board length, etc) and put this in a database. They will then print season rental cards with your child's rental information on it. Once these cards are distributed you no longer need any paper forms to get rental equipment. NOTE: the season rental passes do NOT include helmet rental.
- What if my child forgets or loses their rental card? If you forget your card they will need to go to the front desk where they can look it up. If your child loses their card they should also talk to the Powder Ridge front desk for a re-issue. There may be a re-printing fee.
- How does my child get to Powder Ridge? 2 buses leave for Powder Ridge immediately following the normal bus departures. One bus leaves from AES and another from AMS. The AMS bus goes directly to Powder Ridge. The AES bus goes to the high school to pick up any kids there that need transportation and then goes to Powder Ridge. A coordinator is present at AES and AMS to take roll and provide assistance in boarding the bus. Once the kids are boarded the coordinators travel to Powder Ridge to meet them before they arrive. Buses usually arrive at Powder Ridge around 3:30 depending on road conditions.
- Where do the buses pick up / drop off? AES is by the standard bus loading area. AMS by the side doors in the parking lot. AHS out the back doors of the Commons by the picnic tables. The AMS return bus arrives at the side entrance parking lot.
- Can I take my child to Powder Ridge myself? Certainly. Please notify a coordinator so we know not to look for them at the school.
- What if they have their own equipment? Each school has a designated secure holding area for ski / snowboard equipment - check with your school office. After school is out they can get this equipment before they board the bus to Powder Ridge. Note that M&M Bus requires that all skis/snowboards that are brought on the bus be kept in a storage bag.
- My child has a season pass and their own equipment - can they still ride the bus? Yes, sign them up for Package 3 (Club Fee Only) - this entitles them to ride the bus to/from Powder Ridge and to use our designated meeting area.
- Can I ride the bus with my child? M&M prohibits anyone who is not trained as a bus driver from riding with them.
- What happens when the children get to Powder Ridge? A chaperone will meet the buses as they arrive at Powder Ridge and direct them to the designated area reserved for our club. A coordinator will hand out lift tickets and rental forms (1st night only) to the kids. Chaperones will assist the kids with filling out rental forms, getting equipment on, and getting kids to lessons (if applicable). The kids are then free to do as they wish until departure time at 8:00. Other than lessons there are no scheduled activities until departure.
- Where is Cardinal Cruisers designated meeting room? It is down the stairs immediately to the left as you enter the Powder Ridge chalet's main entrance doors. Parents are always welcome in the club meeting room, stop by and visit for a bit. If you have trouble finding us ask at the front desk. NOTE: As of the 2015/2016 season we are no longer located upstairs next to Chester's Lounge.
- How does departure work? Buses leave Powder Ridge to return to Annandale at 8:00PM SHARP. At 7:30 we will have Powder Ridge announce "first call" over the speakers letting the kids know it's time to start getting ready for departure. The kids need to return all rental equipment and get all their clothes, backpacks, etc ready and on the bus before it leaves. Chaperones are onhand to assist with this process. Even so, this can be a frantic time especially if your child isn't paying attention and misses one of the calls. We typically do 3 announcements every 10 minutes beginning at 7:30. Unfortunately in some spots on the hills the speakers are barely audible so it's very important you stress to your children that they pay attention to the time. There are clocks at the bottom and tops of the chair lifts though they are easy to miss. Consider packing a watch.
- Can I pick my son/daughter up from Powder Ridge? Can we leave early? Yes, you can do this at any time. If you do pick up your child please fill out the sign-out sheet in our room so we know your child has been accounted for. Please sign your child out even if you are a chaperone. If you are picking someone else up who is not your child (e.g. a neighbor), please have their parent contact a coordinator so we are aware of it.
- Can my child stay after 8:00? Yes, if you have arranged a pickup for your child after our departure time, please inform a club coordinator so we do not mark them missing for the bus ride.
- Where does the bus drop the kids off? Even if your child is in elementary or high school, the return bus goes to the middle school - please be there at 8:20 PM to pick up your child. A coordinator will be present to make sure all kids are accounted for, so PLEASE DON'T BE LATE! If you want to pick up your child in South Haven we can arrange to have a drop-off at Mom's Restaurant on Highway 55 as well. Please make arrangements beforehand. For those high schoolers who drive themselves to school we will also have one bus that will continue from AMS to the high school as needed.
- What if my child misses the bus? While it's rare and we do our best to take attendance before departure this does occasionally happen if someone isn't paying attention. It is the parent's responsibility to pick up their child from Powder Ridge if this happens.
- My son/daughter is a beginner - what should I do? All beginners are welcome in the club, even if they've never skied or snowboarded before. Our best advice is to sign them up for lessons and join them for the first few nights to help them get comfortable after their lessons. You can do this and still be a chaperone as well. It's also helpful for beginners if they sign up with a friend due to the amount of free time they have after lessons are over.
- How do the lessons work? If you chose to pay for them, a Powder Ridge ski or snowboard instructor will take a group of our kids for a one hour group lesson on the first 3 club nights only. These lessons will cover the basics so they are able to manage getting their equipment on and off and going up and down the bunny hill first and later the chair lifts. After the lesson is over they are on their own for the next 3 hours. Even if your child has been skiing or snowboarding before but still considers themselves a beginner they can still sign up for lessons. Intermediate lessons are available as well. Adults (chaperones included) are not able to partake in these group lessons - if you need an adult lesson talk to the Powder Ridge front desk.
- What if they miss their lesson? Additional group lessons begin at 5:00 and 6:00. If they miss the 4:00 lesson they can still take one at the alternate time.
- Why are there only 3 lessons? Powder Ridge ski school feels that after 3 lessons just about everyone has enough skill to manage the basic runs on their own. Typically they start skipping their lessons after 2-3. If you want additional lessons you can make arrangements directly with Powder Ridge.
Food / Clothing
- Will my child be fed supper? With the except of pizza night (see below) we do not provide any food. Pack a lunch or send money for them to eat at their leisure. Powder Ridge has two full-service food areas with pizza, burgers, sandwiches, hot chocolate, etc. The upstairs bar and grill, Chester's Lounge, requires an adult to be present with them though. It is important for them to eat as going down the slopes takes energy and it's cold and gets late. Please make sure this is planned ahead of time. We do not designate a time for eating, your child must choose a time to eat on their own.
- What should my child wear for club night? PLEASE make sure your child has warm and dry outdoor wear, especially hats and mittens for Elementary children who have to go outside for recess. If you are in doubt, pack extra. Powder Ridge has mitten warmers that cost a quarter per use. Shaker hand/foot warmers are an excellent item to send with your child.
- Does my child need to wear a helmet? Helmets are strongly encouraged for the safety of your child. If you do not own one, Powder Ridge offers helmet rental to Club members at low cost. Please include on your registration form. Powder Ridge Ski Patrol also offers helmets for purchase at reasonable prices.
- What happens if there is a medical issue or injury? We are not formally trained as first responders. Any child with a medical issue or emergency will be assessed by Powder Ridge Ski Patrol. We will notify parents and/or emergency contacts via the information provided on the the registration form. If your child winds up in Ski Patrol likely someone will have to come to Powder Ridge to pick them up.
- How can I find a coordinator? One coordinator will be in our designated meeting room at all times unless there is an urgent matter to deal with. If that happens we will try to make sure a chaperone is available. We will also have our cell phones on us.
Absences / Changes / Cancellations / Refunds
- What if I want to cancel or change my registration package? You must first notify a club coordinator. Any possible credits for cancellation will be issued by Powder Ridge in the form of a gift card. If you wish to switch between skiing and snowboarding this is not an issue as the cost is now the same. You can exchange ski rental forms for snowboard and vice versa at the front desk. With the season rental pass you should also be able to choose either ski equipment or snowboard.
- What happens if we get new equipment for Christmas and we had a rental package? Congratulations on your decision to purchase equipment, if you do this the remaining club rental forms (and/or season rental pass) can be exchanged for partial credit with Powder Ridge in the form of a gift card.
- What happens if the weather is really bad? We usually have to postpone at least one club meeting per season due to extreme weather conditions including blizzard, wind chill advisory or even rain. The decision to cancel is made no later than noon on the day of club. If it is clear the weather will not be good we will sometimes postpone the Sunday beforehand. Even though you may feel the weather is just fine we have a lot of younger Elementary kids that cannot handle extreme conditions so in the interest of safety we will sometimes cancel club even if school stays in session. When we decide to cancel the school admins will include it in the announcements, we send out emails, text messages, update the website and Facebook group. Please make sure you have some way to be reached for these notifications.
- If a club night is cancelled what do the kids do? We are not responsible for this. You have to make arrangements with your son / daughter on this. You should have instructions for your child to ride the bus home, to day care, go to kids club, etc.
- If a club night is cancelled do we still get to have 6 meetings? Yes! We will update the schedule to extend the season if we have a cancellation. Think of it more as a postponement. The season will extend to the next Monday where school is in session. We will notify you of any schedule changes.
- What if my child is sick? Please notify a club coordinator via text or email so we know not to look for them at bus boarding. The same applies for any absence. We do not get absent lists from the schools so we rely on parents to communicate this to us.
- What happens if my child misses a club night? If a night is missed due to illness, school event, etc. there is no credit or refund for lift tickets (packages 1 & 2), no rental loss is incurred as the rentals are for the entire season as of the 2017/2018 season.
- But what if we miss because of scheduled band/choir concert, family vacation, hockey practice, etc.? Even if you know ahead of time that your child will miss club due to a concert, practice, family event, etc, there is no refund/substitution for the lift tickets. Please communicate these absences with a club coordinator. We understand there are often conflicts but this is Powder Ridge's policy so we abide by it. Powder Ridge provides a bonus night lift ticket as a way to compensate for possible missed club nights.
- What if my child gets injured? A documented injury, either at Powder Ridge or elsewhere, that prevents your child from participating in club will result in issuance of a refund in the form of a Powder Ridge gift card. A coordinator will work this out with Powder Ridge.
- Can I transfer my child's unused rental forms / season rental card? No. Powder Ridge prohibits the transfer of unused rental forms, they are for the child's use only. If you wish to turn them back in to Powder Ridge you may do so in exchange for a Powder Ridge gift card. Note that with the new seasonal rental cards for package 1 we do not even use the paper rental forms.
Chaperoning / Discounts
- I enjoy skiing / snowboarding - can I join my son / daughter? Yes! Please consider being a chaperone - you receive a free lift ticket and rental equipment if needed (limited availability). Even if you do not want to chaperone we always welcome parents to enjoy this sport as a family.
- What do chaperones do? The main chaperone job is to assist with the frantic arrival and departure process. This includes: Helping the younger kids with their rental equipment so they get through the rental process quickly and to their lessons if needed. Making sure they get their equipment returned so they can get on the bus on time. Keeping your eyes open and alert for any issues on the hills, even with kids not in our group. Assisting with any injuries. Making sure kids behave in the meeting room and keeping the area clean. Chaperones should be able to stay until the buses depart.
- What if I see someone get injured? If you see an injury on the hill, please go over to the child and assess the extent of their injury. If it appears serious, encourage the child not to move until a member of Ski Patrol can help. Do not leave the child. Ask others around you to alert Ski Patrol of the injury, use your cell phone to call a coordinator if necessary. If the child is brought to Ski Patrol go with them so you can assist with the injury reporting and assessment process.
- What are the benefits of chaperoning? Other than the admiration of the coordinators :) a limited number of chaperones receive a free lift ticket and rental for the night. Once all kids are through rental talk to a coordinator to arrange for your free lift ticket and rental if needed.
- Do you offer any other discounts? Yes, Powder Ridge has discounted rates for "Friends and Family" of group members on both lift tickets and rental equipment. Please talk to a coordinator to make arrangements.
- What happens if my child misbehaves on the bus? All M&M bus rules apply and therefore will be dealt with on an independent basis. This could result in any of the following: warning, specialized seating, suspension or expulsion from the club.
- What happens if my child misbehaves at Powder Ridge? At Powder Ridge, misbehavior could result in warnings, suspension or expulsion from the club depending on severity of the issue. Any suspension/expulsion from the club is done without refund, including bonus night tickets. Depending on the severity Powder Ridge may also impose other consequences. Please remember that we are volunteers and that this club is a privilege. We have a very low tolerance for behavior issues.
- What is picture night? We have a photographer come to Powder Ridge to take individual pictures. We will provide order forms the prior club night and/or via email. Usually this is on the first or second club meeting. The pictures are typically taken early, before lessons around 4:00. Interested students should arrive with the order form completed and cash or check payment.
- What is snowboard trial night? NOTE: As of the 2015/2016 season, Snowboard Trial night has been discontinued. For those that choose a ski rental package Powder Ridge offers a discounted snowboard trial on the 4th club meeting. For a small fee those that signup receive a 1-hour snowboarding lesson and a snowboard rental. Pre-registration is required and we will coordinate this the week beforehand. The child's ski rental form that would normally be used for this night is valid for any other trip to Powder Ridge. They may also choose to use it that night if they decide snowboarding isn't for them.
- What is pizza party night? We usually have one club night near the end of season where we pay for some pizza and beverages for the kids. Note this is usually not enough pizza to feed hungry kids who have been skiing / snowboarding so they should have other supplemental food plans as usual.
- How does Bonus Night work? Bonus night is a free lift ticket given for the first Monday following the end of club. It only applies for those that purchased packages that include a lift ticket (1 and 2). Bussing will not be provided. Bonus night lift tickets will be given out on the last night of club. For students who miss the last night of club they will be delivered to the school office. The bonus night lift ticket is not transferable - it is only valid for the date printed on it and only after 3:30 PM. There are no refunds/re-issues for inclement weather unless Powder Ridge closes. Bonus Night rental forms are NOT included. In addition for anyone who purchased packages 1 or 2, Powder Ridge issues an additional discount voucher good for a future visit.
- Powder Ridge D-Team: For those that wish to learn more about skiing and snowboarding Powder Ridge has various Development teams that practice and race on Saturdays or Sundays (with optional practices on some week nights). There are separate coaching fees. Any member of Cardinal Cruisers can try a D-Team practice for free - contact a coordinator to arrange. There are both skiing and snowboarding D-Teams. More information here: Skiing / Snowboarding
- Annandale Co-Op Alpine Ski Team: The Annandale school runs a co-op racing ski team that combines athletes from area schools to learn slalom racing. More information on their web site.