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      Ski lessons on Mont Ripley

      Winter is finally here and, with skis and snowboards in hand, this group of adults and kids are getting ready to start their daily lesson. No matter what the skill level, everyone has a place on this mountain. "Some people have never skied or snowboarded before, so we'll split them from the group, and then there will be people that have skied or snowboarded before. Those are the beginners, and we'll get them started and then there will be an intermediate and an advanced, also," said Christopher Maxson, Mont Ripley Ski School Director. This is the 64th Annual Christmas Ski School at Mont Ripley and they typically have between 40 and 60 children participate, but today they had around 100. Though the instructors make it look easy, they say while teaching, the ultimate goal is to start with the foundation and then gradually build up different techniques throughout the day. For many first timers, falling is a given, but the instructors say to stay positive because everyone starts somewhere, and taking the lessons is a very important part of the learning process. Instructors use hula hoops as a learning tool for skiers ages five and under. The skier is on the inside of the hula hoop and the instructor is on the outside guiding them around and teaching them different techniques. "Kids are visual learners. They need to see and feel what they're learning. I have hula hoops and we use a ball and we have cones so we can use a lot of those things so they can see and feel and feel comfortable and have a lot of fun doing it," said Jeanie Lebel-Rabitoy, Mont Ripley Ski Instructor. Practice does make perfect, and the instructors are hoping all of these boarders and skiers will leave the mountain more confident after a day filled with fun.