School Groups - Joseline Beaulieu ( or 613-363-2032) or Doug Boeckh ( or 613-931-3264)
Ski  Instructor - Tanya Deeks ( or 613 360-2088)
Snowshoe Instructor - Jean-Pierre Tibi ( or 613-347-1229)


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Schools Program

Want to join or help with the program?

Schools, teachers, school staff, or other volunteers interested in participating in the Schools program, please contact Joseline Beaulieu at or 613-363-2032 OR Doug Boeckh at or 613-931-3264.

FOTST runs a program to introduce children from local schools to snowshoeing and cross-country (XC) skiing in the Summerstown Forest.  The program is geared primarily to Grades 4, 5, and 6, although we have also had great outings with younger grades, high schools, and even St. Lawrence College students.  Generally we are able to accommodate approximately 50 snowshoers at the same time as well as approximately 40 skiers in either morning or afternoon sessions throughout the season.  Begun four years ago, the FOTST Schools program has had over four thousand visits to the trails and a lot of happy and enthusiastic youngsters.

Many of the participants in this program have seldom had the chance to partake in any outdoor wintertime recreational pursuits.  Having introduced them to the delights of snowshoeing and XC skiing, they are encouraged to come out to the trails at other times with their families.  To facilitate that, FOTST gives them a free coupon allowing them one free XC ski or snowshoe rental on weekends.

 How the program works

Before the beginning of the season, FOTST schedules outings with the schools.  At each outing, FOTST staff greets the children at the bus and helps them into their equipment (snowshoes or XC skis).  The staff, volunteers, and teachers, lead the children on the marked  trails through the predominantly hardwood forest.  The distance covered varies with the time available and the age and capabilities of the group of children.  Upon their return to the trailhead, students are able to exchange stories of their exploits over fruit or cups of hot chocolate before returning to their bus.  Even a bus driver has been known to strap on the snowshoes on occasion!

 A typical snowshoe outing

A snowshoe outing involves a guided trek of 3-4 km.  Guides discuss various points of interest along the route including animal tracks, different tree species, forest ecology and the like.  For some lucky children they may catch glimpses of deer, foxes, porcupines, owls and other wildlife.

 A typical XC ski outing

 The children participating in a cross-country ski outing receive a short orientation session before setting off on their own or in small, guided  groups along the FOTST marked and groomed ski trails.  The more adventurous children ski between 6 and 8 kms though other students will find great delight in repeatedly skiing up and down the hills on one of the trails. 

 Responsibilities of the schools

Participating schools are responsible for the transportation of students to and from the trailhead in the Forest.  Schools send teachers to supervise the children, both on the bus and during outings.  They also help the FOTST staff prepare the children for either a snowshoe or XC ski outing.

History of the program

The program was initially funded by an Ontario Ministry of Sport and Health promotion, a Healthy Communities Fund grant.  During the two years of the grant, it was known as the South Glengarry Winter Fitness Initiative and represented a collaborative effort between the Friends of the Summerstown Trails and the township of South Glengarry.  For the last two years, FOTST has run the program with increasing success and without any government assistance.

Ski Lessons

The following courses will be offered this winter (2017-18 season).  Courses may be cancelled if there is insufficient enrollment. Course start dates may be deferred due to lack of snow.

Adult learn to ski - classic technique

4 Saturdays   January 20, 27, February 3 and 10     10:00 AM – 11:30 AM

The fundamental skills and techniques of classic cross-country skiing will be covered including balance and weight shift, diagonal stride with and without poles, double poling,  ascending and descending techniques such as herringbone, sidestep, and snowplow.
Registrants will be contacted prior to the first class and given assistance and advice with regards to proper equipment and clothing.
Rental equipment is available.

Cost: $100         Instructor: Tanya Deeks (CANSI Level 1 instructor)    Maximum class size: 8

Intro to skate skiing - the fundamentals

Sunday January 21     10:00 AM to 12:00 PM (noon) Rain date: TBA

The fundamental skills of cross country skate skiing will be covered including weight shift, gliding on one ski, double poling, and freeskate. This course is best suited to either established skiers who are comfortable with classic skiing and want to learn the newer skating techniques or to well conditioned athletes new to the sport.
Skate skis are available for rent. Classic skis are not appropriate for this class.

Cost: $40     Instructor: Tanya Deeks (CANSI Level 1 instructor)   Maximum class size: 8

Intermediate skate skiing - technique refinement

Sunday February 4     10:00 AM to 12:00 PM (noon) Rain date: TBA

The various techniques of skate skiing will be covered including free skate, offset, one skate, 2 skate, ascending and descending techniques. This course is suitable either for skiers completing the Intro to Skate Skiing course or for good skiers who have had some experience on skate skis.
Skate skis are available for rent. Classic skis are not appropriate for this class.

Cost: $40     Instructor: Tanya Deeks (CANSI Level 1 instructor)   Maximum class size: 8

Fundamentals of classic skiing

Sunday January 28     10:00 AM to 12:00 PM (noon) Rain date: TBA

This course will provide the participant with the basic skills of classic skiing from which to build upon for cross training or racing purposes. Classic skiing has proven to be one of the best full body cardio sports and is an excellent cross training activity for runners. Participants will learn the basics of balance, weight shift, diagonal stride and basic ascending and descending.
Classic ski equipment is available for rent.

Cost: $40     Instructor: Tanya Deeks (CANSI Level 1 instructor)   Maximum class size: 8

Private and semi-private lessons

These can also be arranged through our instructors.  Please contact the instructors directly for more information.
Rental skis are available.

Tanya Deeks, or 613 360-2088

Doug Boeckh, or 613-931-3264.

Ski Lesson Registration

Preregistration is required. FOTST members receive a 10% discount on ski lessons
To register, or for more information, please e-mail or call the instructor for the course; you will then receive a registration form. To rent equipment, ask for what you need when you register.

Payment is by cash or cheque payable to the Friends of the Summerstown Trails.  Please note that course fees are non-refundable. Should a class need to be postponed, all participants will be notified. Reasons for class postponements include insufficient snow, extreme cold, excessive windchill, heavy rain, freezing rain and hazardous driving conditions. We will make every reasonable attempt to reschedule classes at times that will work for people.  Normally, make-up classes will be offered for postponed classes on the next available Saturday.

We want you to have FUN!!

 Rental of equipment  

To rent equipment, ask for what you need when you register for a class. 

Excellent quality waxless ski equipment (skis, boots, and poles) is available at a cost of $10/class. Rentals are for a period of up to 4 hours, so participants can practice skills after their formal class. Participants renting equipment for all classes will be charged a total rental fee of $30/adult. Skiers renting equipment will also receive a 10% coupon redeemable for purchases of ski packages through Total Cyclery Sports in Cornwall.

Snowshoe Lessons

Two learn-to-snowshoe clinics will be offered this winter:

Saturday January 6    11:00 AM to 12:30 PM         Rain date: TBA

Sunday January 28    11:00 AM to 12:30 PM        Rain date: TBA

Each clinic will allow participants to come out and strap on first-class snowshoe gear and receive basic instruction in this great winter fitness opportunity, including the use of walking poles, information on different types of snowshoes and more. Classes will be conducted on the scenic Summerstown trails. Once you are hooked on this activity you will learn to love our Canadian winters again!

Cost:  $15     Instructor: Jean-Pierre Tibi

Cost includes equipment rental.  Participants bringing their own snowshoes pay a reduced fee of $10.

Preregistration is required.  To register, or for more information, please call or e-mail Jean-Pierre Tibi at 613-347-1229 or

Ski Wax Essentials

Ski Wax 101 - Paul Couture

For good information about waxing skis. Click image to download

Document - Ski Wax