My family swapped and traded and waited for sales, and finally managed to get ourselves almost all outfitted with cross-country ski gear. We have a line on the last piece of equipment we still need: a pair of ski boots for our 6-year-old.

Not the kind of people to let a lack of equipment stand in our way, for our first run up in the Rattlesnake rec area we simply swaddled our little girl in snow gear and blankets, plunked her on a sled and took turns towing her. It’s certainly not a method I’d recommend, but for our first ski outing of the season it worked just fine. In fact, it was bliss.

And boots or not, our daughter has figured out a way to tromp all over the yard with her skis and poles. I just love seeing how much she loves being outdoors. And I love watching her interest in a new activity awaken.

And so, of course, I just loved the story in today’s Missoulian about Seeley Lake’s plans to get every one of its elementary and middle-school students outfitted with cross-country ski gear.

According to the story,

Soon, all Seeley Lake students will have the opportunity to learn how to cross-country ski thanks to a new school program. Thanks to the generous support of the community, the school was able to purchase new Nordic ski equipment for every fourth grade student. In the next four years, the goal is to outfit every student between fourth and eighth grade with Nordic skis, boots and poles and making the sport a part of the children’s exercise curriculum.

Alas, it’s an expensive proposition to buy all the necessary gear for every student: an estimated $192 per kid. That’s why the schools’ fundraising for this effort is ongoing. I wonder if they might be interested in some donated secondhand equipment? If you have some, it certainly wouldn’t hurt to ask.

Photo by TOM BAUER/Missoulian

Photo by TOM BAUER/Missoulian