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Volunteers are the lifeblood of Maine Handicapped Skiing.

Over 350 people yearly give their time and expertise in helping our participants achieve their goals of independence, skill development and just having a great time!

If you would like to become an MHS volunteer, please call 207-824-2440 or 800-639-7770, or email [email protected].

Three categories of volunteers serve the participants of Maine Handicapped Skiing:

*Instructors (winter & summer - ski, board, canoe, kayak and cycling.)

*Advisors (winter ski & board)

*Specialized (winter & summer)

Volunteer Instructors (winter)

Volunteer instructors typically work one-on-one with a child or an adult with a physical disability, teaching the participant how to downhill or cross-country ski, snowboard or snowshoe and assisting the individual in improving skills both physical and technical.

Volunteer instructors report to an advisor who supervises him/her, evaluates the instructor's performance, works on developing new training skills throughout the season, and ensures that the MHS motto "Safety, Fun, and Learning" is fulfilled!

Volunteer Instructor requirements:

You must be at least 18 years old.

Be an intermediate or better skier or boarder.

Have your own ski equipment with indemnifiable bindings or snowboard.

Attend up to 3 days of training in your chosen sport in November and/or December (before season begins).

Volunteer ten days as an instructor during the MHS season (early January through March).

Volunteer Instructors (summer)

Maine Handicapped Skiing offers several summer sports programs for people with physical disabilities. Volunteers are needed to assist participants during their lessons. Summer volunteers receive special training for each sport offered to participants.

Volunteer Instructor requirements:

You must be at least 18 years old

Canoe and Kayaking: basic paddling and safety skills

Cycling: have own bicycle and wear helmet

Golf: love of sport and willingness to help others

Volunteer Advisors (winter ski and board)

Volunteer advisors oversee instructors assigned to them, assist with their training and skill development, and evaluate assigned instructors on an on-going basis throughout the season. Advisors maintain the superior quality of teaching and training at Maine Handicapped Skiing.

The criteria for becoming an Advisor:

A minimum of two years volunteering as an instructor

A minimum of two adaptive ski techniques taught

Excellent safety knowledge

Understanding of how MHS works

Advanced ski or board level

Attend tryouts and/or training

Instructors that are highly trained and experienced are often invited by staff and advisors to become an advisor. Instructors can also apply to become advisors when they have the necessary qualifications.

Junior Volunteer Program

With an eye on the future and the need to cultivate new volunteers, Maine Handicapped Skiing created the Junior Volunteer Program in the winter of 2002 for 16 & 17-year-olds. The purpose of the program is to introduce young people to adaptive skiing/riding and prepare them to become adaptive ski or snowboard instructors at 18.

The junior volunteers are taught by MHS volunteers and staff in training clinics designed to introduce adaptive teaching techniques, technical skills on the slopes and disability etiquette. Volunteers "team teach" with experienced MHS volunteers, work with blind skiers, 3 & 4-trackers, and try out bi-, mono-, dual- and adaptive cross country skis and outriggers. Through the training provided, MHS helps young people work towards becoming an adaptive ski or snowboard instructor and helps establish a comfort level in being with people who have physical disabilities.

The program is available during the winter months at the Sunday River Ski Resort location and consists of six sessions held on weekends beginning in January. The days consist of two two-hour training sessions, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Program participants receive lift tickets needed during training.

Cultivating young adults to become volunteer ski/ride instructors is one way that Maine Handicapped Skiing can continue to build our volunteer base in the years ahead.

Junior Volunteer Requirements:

Must be 16 years of age before the first date of the program.

Must provide own ski/snowboard equipment.

Must be an intermediate level skier/rider.

Must make a commitment to the six weeks.

Must have MHS paperwork completed and necessary forms signed by parent or guardian prior to participating.

Please call or e-mail for junior volunteer application.

Specialized Volunteers

Maine Handicapped Skiing depends on volunteers with many different skills to make our program work!

Snowmobile drivers provide uphill transportation to MHS participants who are unable to use the chairlift (accompanied by their instructors). Drivers report to the Volunteer Coordinator and work directly with advisors and instructors to ensure transportation needs are met safely.

Photographers capture the fun and excitement of Maine Handicapped Skiing year-round with still photos, slides and video pictures of MHS participants, volunteers, and staff. Videographers may be asked to film participants and volunteers so their on-slope techniques can be evaluated at a later time. Participants/volunteers can gain tremendous insight into their skill development by viewing their progress over the course of the season! Photographers report to the Director of Development and Public Relations.

Office assistants assist MHS staff on many necessary tasks including but not limited to answering the phone, working the reception desk, copying, filing, doing data entry and preparing mailings. Office volunteers report to the Executive Assistant and work with all MHS staff to ensure that MHS's administrative needs are met.

Ski-A-Thon volunteers assist with numerous tasks in the weeks prior to the event and on the day of the Ski-A-Thon. Volunteers are needed for transporting refreshments and equipment, registration, helping prepare lunches, acting as MHS ambassadors on the slopes, assisting with the Fun Race, Obstacle Course, and much more!