This is a guest post by Nicholas Snavely. Nicholas is the Central Minnesota Youth Ski Club Coordinator and Nordic Ski Club of Central Minnesota Board Member, as well as an avid outdoor enthusiast. He volunteers in both these roles and assists with the coordination of the Sons of Norway Barneløpet held each year at Riverside Park near where he lives in southeast Saint Cloud. A native Minnesotan, Nicholas and his wife, Sharalyn, enjoy spending time outdoors with their two girls, ages 10 and 14, and two boys, ages 8 and 12. They enjoy cross country skiing, biking, camping, canoeing and disc golfing, as well as hunting, fishing, wild ricing and growing their own produce in local community gardens to feed their family.
Any time of year in Minnesota is a great time of year – but winters in Minnesota just might be my favorite. What’s not to love about it? I get to Nordic ski, teach kids how to cross country ski and help plan the annual Sons of Norway Barneløpet (a youth cross country ski event)! As you can tell I love cross country skiing and it’s been keeping my family active and very busy lately.
To kick off the cross country skiing season, the Central Minnesota Youth Ski Club hosts 8 sessions to teach kids the fundamentals of this lifelong outdoor recreation activity. The sessions are scheduled for every Sunday from January 8, 2017 through March 5, 2017 from 1:45 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. The sessions are a great way to get kids active in the winter and start building the love of cross country skiing. We take a break in the action on Sunday, January 22, 2017 to help host the 10th Annual Sons of Norway Barneløpet. This is a free children’s Nordic ski event for ages 3 to 13 and let me tell you, it keeps getting better every year. I look forward to the laughter and smiles it brings to everyone…both young and old.
The Sons of Norway Barneløpet event is a celebration of Norwegian heritage and cross country skiing and it promises to bring fun, adventure and education. Amid a festive atmosphere – complete with plenty of food, demonstrations and sampling of Norwegian treats – kids and families get to enjoy music and see members of the Sons of Norway dressed up as Vikings. The Viking Age Club from St. Paul is planning to come and let’s not forget – kids get to CROSS COUNTRY SKI (some for the first time) using skis provided by the local Central Minnesota Youth Ski Club and it’s all FREE!
Here is a previous year’s WJON video created that shows you just how fun this event is…
Planning the Sons of Norway Barneløpet is a coordinated effort. It is hosted by the Sons of Norway members from Trollheim of St. Cloud, Vennekretsen of Anoka, and FjellSyn of Mounds View Lodges. The Central Minnesota Youth Ski Club and Nordic Ski Club of Central Minnesota provide a lot of assistance along with many contributions from local businesses and organizations. Check out the 10th Annual Sons of Norway Barneløpet poster and see all those who help.
With so many enthusiasts helping us plan this event, we know it’s going to be awesome. Here are the details for this year’s 10th Annual Sons of Norway Barneløpet:
- Who: Kids ages 3 to 13 years old
- When: Sunday, January 22, 2017 (Youth “race” starts at 1:00 p.m.).
- Where: Riverside Park, 1725 Kilian Blvd. SE, Saint Cloud, MN 56304
- Cost: FREE
- Registration: On-site registration starts at 11:30 a.m., but pre-registration is preferred. Print registration form, here. This gives organizers an idea of how many participants to expect.
- Prizes to all participants!
Minnesota Youth Ski League cross country ski equipment for children will be provided by the Central Minnesota Youth Ski Club, if needed. There is a limited amount of skis to use so come early (any time after 11:00 a.m.) to get a pair and practice a bit.
We are hoping to get twice as many kids as last year, so share the word, bring out your children and give cross country skiing a try!
Central Minnesota Youth Ski Club Coordinator – like us on Facebook!
763-232-4921 (Cell phone)
Nordic Ski Club of Central Minnesota Board Member