Teen-agers who ski have one of two problems -- they either have parents who ski or they have parents who don't ski.
If they have parents who ski, they are destined to ski forever at mom and pop's favorite mountain, babysit for younger brothers and sisters in the evening, and endure precautions to slow down and dress warmly.
If they have parents who don't ski, they have no way to get to the mountain, unless they can cajole skiing parents of friends to let them tag along. Then they are not only subject to the tortures suffered by children of skiers, but have to contend with non-skiiing parents who are convinced they are risking life and limb every tiem they strap on long boards.
However, help is available. Several Washinton area agencies, realizing the pressures on skiing teens, have instituted programs designed to meet their particular needs, and those of their parents.
These programs, run by the YMCA and local recreation associations (as well as by teen clubs, church and synagogue groups, and some high schools) provide supervised, organized, packaged ski trips. They include:
YMCA Camp Letts offers by far the largest and most comprehensive teen ski trip programs run by the Y's Ski Program Plus under the direction of Pat Butcher, the Y's program director, and Don Hubbard, the ski program organizer.
The "plus" in the program is the staff, which supervises each trip -- YMCA professionals and their wives, teachers, and summer camp counselors, most of whom are Eastern Professional Ski Instructors of America (EPSIA) registered or certified.
They offer lessons as part of the program, and evening activities that tend toward football and soccer in the snow. The program is open to students ages 12 to 16. High school seniors are allowed along if they agree to go along with the no-drinking, no-drug rules.
YMCA trips run every weekend through the beginning of March, and include several one-day trips. Packages include transportation, lodging, lifts, instruction, breakfast and dinner, insurance, evening activities and staff leadership. (One-day trips do not inlcude lessons, meals, or lodging.)
Prices for weekend trips range from $83 to $179. Upcoming trips include: Jan. 18-20, Camelback, Pa.; Jan. 24/25-28, Super Weekend Trip Semester Break Ski Special, Mount Snow, Vt.; Feb. 1-3, Elk Mountain, Pa.; Feb. 8-10, Hunter Mountain, N.Y.; Feb. 14/15-18, Washington's Birthday vacation Super Trip, Sugarbush, Vt.; Feb. 22-24, Camelback, Pa.; Feb. 89-March 2, Greek Peak, N.Y. and Elk Mountain, Pa.; March 7-9, Hunter Mountain, N.Y.; March 13/14-16, Super Ski Weekend, Bromley, Vt.; March 21-23 Snowshoe, W.va.; April 11-13, Late Winter Bargain Special, Killington, Vt.
Day trips, for $25 or less, go Jan 20 to Roundtop, Feb. 3 to Ski Liberty, Feb. 10 to Bryce Mountain and Feb. 24 to Roundtop.
For further information call YMCA Camp Letts at 261-4286 or write to The Ski Program Plus, YMCA Camp Letts, P.O. Box 208, Edgewater, Md. 21037.
The Fairfax County Recreation Department scedules are three one-day ski trips a year for teens 12-19. One has been held, but the next one is set for Jan. 28,, and the third is yet to be announced.
The Jan. 28 trip features the Ski Roundtop area in Lewis Berry, Pa., and for $25 includes round trip bus transportation, lifts, insurance and rentals. Lessons cost an additional $6. Call the Fairfax Recreation Dept. at 691-3400 or write to Fairfax 4-H Fund, 3945 Chain Bridge Road, Fairfax, Va. 22030.
The city of Rockville has "Ski Rockville" every Thursday night through March 6 at Ski Liberty, Pa. The bus leaves at 4 p.m. from the Civic Center mansion and returns at 11 p.m. The package is $12 a trip, which includes lifts and bus transportation, or you can buy a five-week package for $50.
There are special prices on ski rentls and lessons. For more information call 424-800, ext. 309, or write to City of Rockville Recreation Department, Recreation Services Building, 850 Avery Rd., Rockville, Md. 20851
The Arlington County Recreation Department has organized trips to Ski Liberty for night skiing on Saturdays. The bus leaves at 3 p.m. and returns between midnight and 1 a.m. from the Northern District Travel Club. Space is still available on the Jan. 26-Feb. 2 packages. The cost bus and lifts is $13; rentals are $5 and lessons are $6. For more information call 558-2154 or write to Northern District Travel Club, 300 North Park Dr., Arlington, Va. 22203.
Montgomery County Department of Recreation sponsors Monday evening trips to Ski Liberty and an extensive Sunday ski schedule. On Monday evenings (Jan. 21, Feb. 4, Feb. 18) the bus leaves at 5 p.m. from the Gaithersburg Square shopping center and returns at 11:30 p.m. The cost is $13.50 for transportation and lifts, $5.50 for rentals.
Sunday trips usually leave from the Korvette's parking lot on Rockville Pike, anywhere from 5 to 6:30 a.m. depending on the distance to the ski area. The bus returns between 7:30 and 9 p.m. You probably missed the bus that left at 6 this morning for Roundtop, but you can catch the trips Jan. 20 to Byrce, Va. Jan. 27 to Wintergreen, Va. Feb. 3 to Blue Knob, Pa. Feb. 10 to Massanutten, Va. Feb. 17 to Ski Liberty and Feb. 24 to Wisp, Md. The cost ranges from $20 to $28 (which includes transportation, lifts and leadership) and there are special rental and lesson prices.
For further information call 468-4217 or write to Montgomery County Department of Recreation, Adventurers Club 1979 Ski Program, 12210 Bushy Dr., Silver Springs, Md., 20902.