2017-2018 Volunteer Orientation and Training Dates Announced

June 26th, 2017

Volunteering with Ignite is a fun, rewarding and life-changing experience!

  • Are you looking to bring purpose to your free time on the mountain?
  • Are you an intermediate or better snowboarder or skier?
  • Do you want to share your love for the mountain?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, come to a Volunteer Orientation and Training session!

Upcoming Volunteer Orientation and Training. One session is mandatory:

  • Wednesday October 18th at 6-8PM, Boulder JCC, Levin Hall, 6007 Oreg Ave, Boulder, CO 80303
  • Tuesday October 24th at 6-8PM, Boulder JCC, Levin Hall, 6007 Oreg Ave, Boulder, CO 80303
  • Saturday October 28th at 9AM-11AM, Boulder JCC, Levin Hall, 6007 Oreg Ave, Boulder, CO 80303

Memorial Information for David Levin

May 15th, 2017


It is with deep sadness that I inform you that Ignite President and longtime volunteer David Levin has passed away.

For more than 20 years, Ignite has been a huge part of David’s life. Every week you would see him at WHQ with a smile and a willingness to do what it takes to give “that lesson”.

He also served on the Board of Directors and, for the past several years, as our Board President. He took that role as the board president seriously; leading us to create and implement a strategic plan; working to ensure that the relationship with Eldora Mountain Resort is strong and will continue to flourish and develop for years to come; and working tirelessly to ensure that Ignite has the resources to execute our mission effectively.

In all of my years of working in nonprofits, I have met thousands of individuals with a passion and dedication for the work they do — and in my book — Ignite volunteers are the cream of the crop and David exemplified an Ignite volunteer.

I am humbled and honored to have had the opportunity to work with David — his passion and dedication to Ignite volunteers and students always shone brightly. He will be missed.

The family will have a memorial this Thursday, May 18th at 5:45 p.m. at the Boulder Jewish Community Center, 6007 Oreg Ave, Boulder, CO, 80303 (off Arapahoe and Cherryvale). Please join us in honoring David.

With Gratitude,

Carol Nickell
Executive Director of Ignite

2016 Volunteer Training Clinics

November 1st, 2016

Instructor clinics begin November 12, 2016. Please sign up as soon as possible so we have enough room and leaders!

Just a reminder that all volunteer instructors need two on-snow training days each year.

Please use the Clinic Signup Instructions to select the area you wish to train in and look up your required clinics and videos. Then login (top of website) with your staff login ID and password to update your profile and register for clinics.

Feel free to take extra clinics. The more we know the better we are as instructors. With our disabled veterans program we have the potential of having participants who will be on blue and black slopes, so consider taking one of the advanced clinics in VI and 3T/4T this year. We should also expect more sit-ski participants. Please do think about becoming Bi/Mono qualified!

If you have questions about clinics, please email clinics@igniteadaptivesports.org.

Unless otherwise noted in the clinic:
Morning classroom clinics are from 9AM to 12PM
Afternoon classroom clinics are from 12:30PM to 3:30PM
On-snow clinics are from 8:30AM to 3:30PM (may include lunchtime discussion so bring your lunch)

New and returning volunteers, please direct any questions to volunteer@igniteadaptivesports.org.

Year-End Letter from Board President

April 9th, 2016

Dear Ignite Family,

The 42nd season of Ignite Adaptive Sports is over and Spring is in full bloom down in Boulder. I hope you all enjoyed this ski season as much as I did. I was delighted to participate in the extra day for deaf students to close out the season. Twenty volunteers showed up April 2nd to host 12 deaf children while many of their parents looked on in delight. The day was warm and sunny and with some early morning coaching by Rilee Mielecki on sign language, we were off on a wonderful day of fun in the sun. The kids and parents were all very happy with the day’s lessons. Two of the moms said they would be back next season as volunteers. Hopefully we’ll have some training clinics on the use of ASL (American sign language) next year for the addition of deaf students to our program.

I want to give a huge expression of gratitude to all of our dedicated volunteers and our superb staff who made this season a great success. I was fortunate to work with many of our newer volunteers and juniors by coming up on weekends this year. The spirit and energy of these volunteers has energized our program in an exciting way. Of course I was also delighted to work with our long time instructors who return year after year to provide the best instruction available to the disabled community.

Although the Ignite ski season is over, there are still activities to come. A year-end party on April 30, a summer picnic in August, and hopefully a fall Gala Event in September are all on the schedule. I look forward to seeing most of you at these events and of course back again in the fall for another great season up at Eldora Mountain Resort.

Finally I want to thank EMR and in particular the helpful lifties who made our forty-second season possible. We could not have provided our excellent services without them.

Warmest regards for a great summer.

David Levin, President
Ignite Adaptive Sports at Eldora Mountain Resort

A Great Loss – Stan Slater

February 23rd, 2016
Stan Slater

    Stan Slater, front right in yellow.

Many of our students and volunteers knew Stan Slater. We wanted to let you know that Stan passed away died peacefully this week among family and friends from complications due to his long battle with Multiple Sclerosis. Stan was a great friend to Ignite. His strong character, wit, and strength through adversity was a model to us all. Stan and his wife Paula were a regular Friday fixture at Ignite through many years. Stan served for many years on the Ignite Board of Directors, bringing his wisdom, southern charm, and patience to our organization. It was joyful for Stan to be at Ignite and it was joyful to have him here. The example Stan set for us all, and Paula’s amazing support for that, is something each one of us can take into our own lives and become something much better than we believe we can be. That’s a cause for celebration.

We will miss you Stan,
Your Ignite Family

The Big Cheese Tops List of Celebrated Volunteers

February 8th, 2016

We are proud to announce that the Big Cheese, John Humbrecht, has been recognized by Boulder Weekly as one of the people in Boulder County that should be celebrated for the community work they do. Not only is he celebrated, he tops the list.

We are very proud of you John!

Read more about John and the other celebrated community members at Boulder Weekly

2015-16 Season Clinics Have Started

November 11th, 2015

The ski season is starting and we at Ignite Adaptive Sports started our first clinics this last weekend.

We ask all volunteers to help us get ready for the season to take at least two on mountain clinics. The more clinics that you take, the better we are prepared for all the wonderful students that we will teach this season.

Do you know someone that would enjoy volunteering with Ignite? Have them get in touch with Michelle at Volunteer@IgniteAdaptiveSports.org.

Volunteer Profile – Courtney and Nick Mimmo

April 20th, 2015

Courtney and Nick Mimmo both started with Ignite this fall and we chatted about their experience with Ignite for a little while a few days ago.

Courtney and Nick Mimmo

Courtney and Nick Mimmo spending time at Eldora.

Courtney, was recruited at the Farmers Market when shopping with my visiting mother. After hearing that the program helped kids and adults on the Autism Spectrum, my mother said I should really go and check it out (my nephew is on the spectrum). Nick and I love skiing together, and Nick is an awesome coach/mentor, so this seemed like a great way for the two of us to spend time together and learn more about adaptive skiing.

After the first introductory meeting at the JCC, we got a really great vibe from the people (both organizers & volunteers) and the program was unlike anything we had ever learned about.

In the offseason we like to hike and enjoy the outdoors with our dog Baxter. We also enjoy exploring as much of Colorado as possible since this is just our second year living out here. There’s such an amazing high that you get after volunteering on the mountain. Nick and I feel so lucky to get to experience that. Our skiing has improved immensely and Nick got his PSIA certification, which wasn’t even a thought before joining Ignite.

Nick’s favorite place on the mountain is Bryan’s Glades and then the trailer happy hours after a great day of volunteering. Courtney loves listening to live music in Timbers Lodge after an enjoyable day on the slopes

Before my first lesson, says Nick, I was pretty nervous, but we had a VI student who had the most contagious positive attitude. I learned more than I ever could have imagined in that one day. It set a great tone for the rest of the season.
Courtney- I spent a Saturday morning with a CD/DD student who was 21 and had a busier social schedule than I did at 21. She was so fun to talk to and ski with. I learned a lot from her in the three hour morning session. It was one of the best days I had all season, and I don’t mean with Ignite, just ski-season in general.

Volunteering with Ignite has helped us a lot with our nephew. We love him and have always been close with him, but we feel so much more confident now building a relationship with him, then we did before volunteering with Ignite. So much that we’ve learned from the experience can be applied to our day-to-day lives.

Heidi Hatch Cross Country Instructor Awardee David Bye

April 20th, 2015

We at Ignite are elated that one of our own, David Bye, has won the Heidi Hatch Cross-Country Extraordiaier Instructor Award and we got a hold of him to hear more about his story.

David Bye

David Bye, Heidi Hatch Cross Country Instructor Awardee

This is a little bit awkward. I didn’t learn of the award until Monday of this week, when Finn told me I had won it, and that he had picked it up for me. I still have not seen the award itself. To say the least, I was surprised by the news.

The selection was made by the staff of the Nordic program–we were each asked to pick someone and then explain why we made that choice. So I don’t know whether I got the most votes or had the best reasons, or some combination of both.

I worked hard (as all Nordic instructors do) during the clinic. I was able to ski with the fastest student skiers, and I had some wonderful students. I think a part of the reason I was selected is that I was the oldest instructor there, and some of the others saw me as a role model for denying aging.

Upon hearing I won, I had a wide array of feelings. After I recovered from the initial surprise, I felt proud and a little grandiose. After all, these were instructors from all over the United States, many of whom have attended the WSC for 15 years or more, and they selected me.

Then I began to feel like an imposter–could this all be a bad joke? How could I have won? I wondered if the other Ignite instructors would be put off by my winning. How could he have won?

Finally I became more comfortable with winning the award. I did work hard, and I did good work. I made friends with the other instructors (it was my second year, and many of the instructors I already knew), and helped out as much as I could. “And, doggone it, people like me.” Now I feel gratified by having won the award.

When I started with Ignite, I had rather rudimentary skiing skills and teaching skills, and little, if any, confidence in either. I have learned cross-country skiing skills from Ignite instructors and from one PSIA clinic I took (encouraged by Ignite). From working with many different Ignite students and observing other Ignite instructors, I have learned to meet students where they are, assess their abilities and their aims, and work to assure they stay safe, have fun, and learn a little. I am much more comfortable now in meeting new students and having the confidence to believe I can teach them something.

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