Below is some of the feedback we have received from participants and their familes about our program.
- I had the great honor of getting to snowboard at the Bart center for a week a few years ago. After the loss of most of my right leg, just above the knee due to an enemy fired RPG in Iraq in 2003 one of my first thoughts was that I would not be able to snowboard any more. But within a few months I was back at the top of the hill knowing only that I was going to get to the bottom one way or another. Along the way I met the people from the Bart Center. They invited me to come to their mountain for some world class instruction and a week of fun and great food with other disabled athletes. Not only was it an amazing week in some beautiful country, But they gave me tools that I would use to further my career as a snowboarder. I have since taken those tools to the top of many mountains; to the top of many race courses, to the top of super pipes and terrain parks all around the world. I even completed my childhood dream of racing in the winter X Games.
I have had a lot of help in my life. But when I encounter people and places like the Bart Center and the people who make it happen I am left in Awe. Someday I'm going to have to pay all of this help forward and I'm not going to know where to start. To everyone involved with the Bart Center I’d like to say, "thank you, from the bottom of my heart, thank you” Id like to give you all a hug and tell you about all of the success that your program has allowed me. How you helped me pick up the pieces of my shattered life and build something that was far better than what I started with.
Keep up the good work guys, you are changing lives. ;-)~ Keith
- Our thanks goes to all who organize the Bart Center's activities. As a mother of a special needs child, I am always searching for activities that include my entire family yet be sensitive to the needs of my child with a disability. My two children enjoyed kayaking, hiking, picnicking and just general playtime in the great outdoors. It was comforting and relaxing to be a part of a community that is so open and understanding to each of my children. Thank you for offering a program that is family centered. We are looking forward to the Ski Program.
Rebecca V., parent
- When our developmental pediatrician urged us to enroll our 3 year old non verbal autistic boy in The Bart Center for skiing lessons, I fully expected to get sent home for the season after our first appearance. Our son was of the snow, he refused to keep the skis on or to walk in ski boots and plucked at his helmet when he was not sobbing. The only things he seemed to be remotely interested in were the presence of other kids and the mechanics of the magic carpet, where we stood frozen while sobbing and observing everything for the remainder of the session. To my surprise, our instructor, Betsy, thought that was enough to build on and wanted him back the following week. Betsy could read him like a book and lesson after lesson seemed to know what was making him upset even before I did, so we would have a snack or add a layer of clothes or adjust the boots rather than forcing our way. The crying diminished and was gradually replaced by smiles, sometimes even on a day with tough conditions. He would always leave with a huge sense of accomplishment, bursting with pride and squeezing with delight all the way home and if he could speak his vocalizations were surely about how he shredded the mountain. Our son went from being afraid of snow to making wide turns toward an instructor in just one season.It was easy to see what learning to ski was doing for him. For once he was able to participate with peers on roughly the same level as they were instead of falling into his usual coexistence on the sidelines of life. The Bart Center has an incredible vision and in our son's case, is accomplishing such a beautiful thing as allowing a child to feel a sense of belonging in a nurturing and kind environment. We are not a family of skiers but this experience has given us incentive to look forward to the winter and yes, hopefully take to the lifts together. ~ Birte K., parent
- My 12 year old autistic son Ryan is not a fan of any sport or pretty much any outside activity. However, since we are a family of skiers, we thought we should have him try skiing. Our hope was that one day we could all ski together. We chose the Bart Center because we like the family friendly atmosphere at Bromley Mountain.
This past winter was our 3rd year with the Bart Center. I'm thrilled to say Ryan is doing fantastic! Not only is he learning to ski, he is enjoying it! Whenever we come up to Vermont, Ryan willwake up in the morning and start putting on his ski clothes, even if we’re not skiing that day!
I think the staff at The Bart Center is a huge part of Ryan's success with skiing and overall happiness with the sport. All of the instructors are so kind and patient. You can tell that they really want to be there. They really want to help.
Ryan is very lucky to have the opportunity to ski with The Bart Center. I'm thrilled with his progress. I know he can't wait till next winter when he can ski again! ~ Rebecca P., parent
- I started going to the Bart Center three years ago. I really like it there because everybody is so friendly and awesome! When I started skiing I was pretty bad. Now I am so good that I was asked to go on the ski team! All because of The Bart Center and their great instructors.
When I was having trouble with my ski boots, Betsy listened to me and told me how to fix the problem. Now I have ski boots that fit and are comfortable.
The instructors got me moving more and taught me that I can ski for a whole day with just a little break. I also got asked to shadow teaching the younger skiers and I did and I thought it was really fun! I learned to have patience and what it’s like to be one of the instructors. I think I may want to be an instructor in the future.
I am glad my mom signed me up to go to the Bart Center!~ Ruthie G., participant