Mt Hood U12/14 Camp Marks the Return of an SOD Tradition

Submitted by U12 Coach, Jeff Jones

The summer of 2018 marked the return of the Southern Ontario Division (SOD) summer camp. For those old enough to remember the camps of the 80’s and 90’s this was the return of an Ontario ski racing tradition. The camp was held in response to requests from SOD clubs, coaches, parents and even kids to provide a fun, skill development opportunity for racers during the summer break.

The focus of the camp was on ski racing fundamentals, both technical and tactical. These fundamentals are the foundation for future success and critical to the strength of our U12 and U14 age groups.


At 11,245feet the Palmer Glacier at Mt. Hood, Oregon is the highest summer ski training site in North America. Hood was the ideal location with the Timberline ski area providing an amazing training surface. Cool nights and warm days, produced excellent hard snow and perfect weather for training on the snow and off. The Huckleberry Inn provided a comfortable home away from home with healthy meals and comfy beds.


U12 and U14 Athletes participated in two training sessions: July 25-August 1 or August 1 – August 8th. In total 18 Athletes from six different clubs – Craigleith, Brimacombe, Jozo Weider, Toronto Ski Club, Timmins (NOD) and the Heights of Horseshoe –  took part in the camp. Project staff included Jenn Warren, Jeff Jones and OST Alumni Steffi Ralph.


Each training session included six days on snow with 3 days slalom and 3 days GS training. Athletes were challenged with multiple skill development environments each day. Athletes trained a variety of free ski drills, drill courses, stubbies, panelled GS gates, and full SL gates. These environments encouraged different turn shapes at various speeds, all the while focusing on the fundamentals of good technical skiing.  Perfect weather and hard snow allowed athletes to focus on skiing. With a quick turnaround, thanks to almost no lift lines, plus long training lanes, athletes were able to rack up miles of skiing.

A small coach to athlete ratio created excellent learning conditions both on and off the snow. Daily video sessions off the snow solidified what was worked on each day. Off snow activities included daily dryland workouts, hiking, swimming and yoga. Activities were designed to be fun while teaching athletes the link between fitness and their on snow performance.


The Coaches all agreed that all the athletes made great progress. The camp provided an opportunity for athletes to train in a nearly perfect environment, in small groups, with few distractions. It was exciting to be part of some significant breakthrough moments.

On behalf of Steffi, and Jenn we congratulate all the athletes on a successful and productive camp. I look forward to staying in touch and watching you all progress through the coming months leading up to the 2018/19 season.

Stay posted for the 2019 SOD Summer Ski Camp Dates!