Grouse Mountain Tyee Ski Club - Great People, Great Racers since 1929

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Jan 16 | General
On The Road. A Chaperone's Story


Getting your kids to Grouse for training is a stress inducing struggle that’s taken years off the lives of every Tyee parent.  It gets marginally easier as your racers get older. Then before you know it they don’t need you anymore.  You drop your U14 at a bus for a road race and say see you later.  The days of early breakfast, packing bag lunches, doing a healthy dinner and rushing your kid to bed for a good sleep before race day are over.  Or are they? If you’re missing that kid connection and race weekend experience you could always chaperone.  Sounds terrifying right? We asked one of our U16 parents Lauren Eder what to expect.

Give us an outline of a day in the life of a Tyee Chaperone.

“Wake to uncivilized alarm to prep for breakfast, unload/re-load dishwasher, cut up fresh fruit, cook/fry/bake breakfast, make coffee/tea, set tables.  Set up "buffet" for sandwiches and other lunch items.  Serve breakfast and ensure everyone is eating something!  I then negotiate a snack and dinner time with the coaches.  Finally breathe once everyone has left, then begin first of many dishwasher loads.”

In the short downtime Lauren says she ”goes to work! (conference calls, etc.).”

She says there is some time for skiing before the afternoon rush when the racers return and it fires up again

“I Prep for snack (cut up fresh fruit/veg, heat finger-food snacks, slice baked items, set tables, run more dishwasher loads.  I have to remind athletes about homework then continue (my own) work. Next I prep for dinner (prepare salad, cook/bake/heat entree, set tables), serve dinner and ensure (almost) everyone eats their veggies!”

After dinner Lauren says the skiers head back to their rooms. “Once everyone has left I pour a glass of wine and eat dinner then resume dishwasher loads.”  The day wraps up with a round of quiet time/bedtime reminders.

How do you prepare? Do you plan meals in advance and then get the food?

“With Costco 5 mins from home, menus are planned around their offerings - though I try to incorporate at least 1-2 home-cooked meals.  At least one pre-shop is needed at Costco to plan out the menu and track prices - looking for the deals in the week or two prior. (Shopping with a laptop in my cart does draw attention.  Purchase dates are planned, trying to buy some things in advance (canned, or dry goods, freeze-able items, items needed for recipes) and some things last minute (fruit, bread items).”

How many meals are you making?

“Including snack, there are 4 meals per day.  Some athletes prefer to handle their own breakfasts and lunches, but all athletes are together for snack and dinner. 

What about snacks?  What are the most consumed items?

“Just about everything is consumed - everyone is hungry!  Baked items (muffins/loaves), fruit, and whatever is hot (popcorn chicken, spring rolls, soup, samosa).”

Do you have time to get out of the condo and ski yourself?

“Time needs to be managed to make that happen.  I try to at least run each day, and ski when the conditions are good and the simplest items are on the menu.”

Do the athletes help with cleanup?

“Yes they do, thankfully.  Bringing used dishes/cutlery to the kitchen and scraping, then loading into the dishwasher is much appreciated.  Some take the initiative to clear remaining items and wipe down the tables - which is much appreciated!”

Without embarrassing anyone (please embarrass if you'd like) do you have a sweet/thoughtful moment by one or more of the skiers on your trip at Sun Peaks?

“This is my favourite moment: After dinner, some video analysis, a team meeting, Lily was called out to identify anything else to talk about, and she answered "We're just waiting for Lucas to sing."  (He had initiated several karaoke-style performances of a variety of songs, which most athletes usually joined in on, including 70's, 80's music.  It was so nice to see everyone coming together on these occasions.)  Everyone laughed, Lucas jumped up in front of the fireplace, and the singing started right away - I think with "Africa" by Toto!”

Please share something comical or cringe worthy if you can.

“As a mom, this is cringe-worthy: After dinner one evening, Dylan S returned from the hot tub alone and asked me if I had any rice.  I thought this was odd, and said that I did - it was on the menu for the next dinner.  He said "ok" and proceeded to his room.  I asked him why he'd asked, and he said "My phone was in my pocket the entire time I was in the hot tub."  I will know to think of other than a meal next time someone asks me for rice!  (And there is now a dedicated bag for such occurrences - see attached photo - P.S. Despite doing most of the right things - including 48 hours in rice - the phone did not make it...”

What advice do you have for someone wanting to chaperone but intimidated by the idea of taking care of that many kids?


"It's ok to be intimidated, as it makes one do a lot of planning and advance preparations.  And remind yourself that you're not the first one to attempt to feed and manage that many people - so it can be done!"  (I had never fed ~19 people out of my OWN kitchen prior to December, let alone in a small hotel kitchen, so the calculations for quantities and the strategies for purchasing were essential.)”




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