Volunteer with CADS

Everybody Can Help!

Volunteer with CADS Calgary, one of the most active adaptive skiing and snowboarding programs in Canada!

By donating your time, you’ll be enabling persons with disabilities to experience the joy and freedom of adaptive snow sports! Our supportive community of volunteers welcomes volunteers for both on-hill and non-skiing positions, from registration help to teaching lessons on the snow, meaning there’s a role for everybody, including those who prefer shoes and flat ground.

Our vision is to develop a community of life-long, passionate adaptive skiers and snowboarders at ski areas everywhere. Whether or not you can ski, we’d be grateful for your help! All that we ask for is a positive attitude and a nominal time commitment between November and early March. New friends, free training, volunteer appreciation events, and special offers and discounts are just some of the benefits enjoyed by CADS volunteers.

The number of students who can participate in the program is directly tied to the size of our volunteer team, so register to volunteer with this great program today!

Ready to find out more? 

Enable Persons with Disabilities to Experience the Joy and Freedom of Adaptive Snow Sports!

Volunteer Opportunities

Here are just some of the volunteer opportunities that you can get involved with:

  • Ski and snowboard instructor
  • Ski and snowboard instructor aides
  • On hill (non-skiing) helpers
  • Indoor helpers
  • Board committee members (fundraising, special events, marketing, etc.)

What Volunteers Are Saying

I volunteered for CADS for the first time this past winter. I met some amazing young kids and adult students who impressed me with their skills and I loved seeing the pure joy skiing brought them. I felt welcomed by the staff and previous volunteers. I really enjoyed the opportunity to also work on my own ski skills and learning how to teach students in various groups. I will be back!

Danielle H.

Volunteer

Volunteer Teachers at CADS 

Utilize your Sunday evenings from January to early March to share your stoke by providing ski and snowboard training to persons with disabilities.

You don’t need to be an expert skier to teach with CADS! All we ask is that our on-hill instructors be able to confidently ski or board from the top of Winsport Canada Olympic Park or any other moderate terrain ranked as a green run.

Learning To Teach

If you’d like to share your passion for skiing or boarding, but lack the confidence or know-how to teach, we’ve got you covered! We invest in our volunteers by providing training on Thursday and Friday evenings in November and December. Thursday nights provide an opportunity for instructors to develop their own skills, while learning proper technique. Friday nights focus on more specific training related to the group they will be teaching in.

While November and December training nights are completely optional, they are imperative for new volunteers to feel comfortable and prepared when starting lessons with a student. Additionally we also offer training from January to March on Thursday nights which you have the choice to hone in your CADS discipline training or advance your own skills!

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Sundays in January through early March provide the opportunity to put that knowledge to use as our program participants turn to you for instruction on the hill! We typically maintain a one to one instructor to student ratio, and first-time instructors will pair with seasoned instructors in order to gain experience. If you ever find yourself unsure of how to proceed, relax, as we have certified instructors available on-site to provide guidance. You can do it, and you’ll be glad you did!

Missing a Lesson as a Volunteer

As much as we would love for you to attend every training session and lesson that is offered, we understand that situations arise and you can’t always attend.

If the absence is on a training session, no worries! We will see you at the next one.

If the absence will be on a student lesson night, please contact your group supervisor or email info@cadscalgary.ca. The earlier the notice, the more time we have to reassign instructors to your student and ensure that everyone has a great lesson. It is important for us to know if you will not be attending so that we can make alternate arrangements and so that they are not sitting around waiting for you.

Make A Difference

Register to be a CADS volunteer.

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Volunteer Registration 

Registering to Volunteer with CADS can be done in 1 of 2 ways:
  1. Online registration
  2. Attend an in-person registration event

With both online and in-person registration, a $50 annual membership fee is required. These fees cover liability insurance while on the hill and membership fees for CADS Alberta and CADS National.

Police Checks

All CADS Calgary volunteers are required to complete a vulnerable sector police check once every five years. Download our 2020-2021 Police Check letter. The police check will need to be completed prior to starting training. Once you have a copy of your police check letter, please email it to info@cadscalgary.ca. If you are using their online system, please ensure you use the information from the police check letter to ensure we are sent your results.

1. Online Registration

This is a fast and easy way for both new and returning volunteers to activate their yearly membership. Click the link below that takes you to our membership page. Once there, you will be required to follow the prompts to enter your information, agree to our liability and photo release terms and pay for your membership. 

Upon completion of the online registration process, you will receive via email our New Volunteer Welcome package that will include all of the important dates and additional information to ensure that you have everything that you need to start out volunteering with us!

2. Attend an in-person registration event

If you prefer to come to meet the team and other volunteers personally, please join us for our in-person registration event. This year’s event is to be held on September 26, 2020, at the Frank King Day Lodge, Cafeteria Level at Winsport, 88 Canada Olympic Way Rd SW.

Volunteer FAQs

Our lesson nights are generally Sunday evening with the final lesson on a Saturday night in early March. Lessons are designed to run for 2 hours with your student during the 3-hour window that WinSport is running the lifts from 6-9 pm. Generally, the student and instructors work out what start time works best for them. For some of our younger students like to start at 6 pm to be finished by 8 pm and ready for school on Monday morning.

CADS Calgary is recognized as being one of the largest single location CADS programs in Canada with 150-170 students each year.

At CADS Calgary, we strive for 2 instructors per student.  With 150-170 students, this means we need to have 350+ volunteers instructing each year.  In addition, we have experienced Supervisors in each group assisting the volunteers.  This brings the total number of volunteers we require to approximately 400, in order to avoid having to turn students away.

Our program runs 8 lesson nights on Sundays, starting in early January. The first lesson can often be affected by the day of the week that January 1st falls and when normal school classes resume.

Generally, the first 7 lessons are held on Sunday nights in January and February, with the exception that there is not a lesson on the Family Day long weekend in February (roughly the 3rd Monday in February).

The final lesson night has been held on a Saturday night for the last few years and coincides with the “Friends & Family” night where parents, siblings and friends are encouraged to join our students on the hill.

Thursday nights are for “Skills Improvement” and run from December to the end of February. These nights are optional, but an excellent opportunity to learn a new technique to help guide your student more effectively.  In some cases, you may be able to see what it is like in one of the other groups, such as sit-ski, or how you can use out-riggers to help you ski with only a single ski.

Friday nights in December should be considered mandatory for all new Instructors to prepare for teaching their students.

The primary importance is continuity for the students. However, CADS recognizes that our volunteers have other commitments, eg. travel for work, and they may need to miss a lesson night occasionally. 

Thursday nights are optional, but provide an excellent opportunity to learn new skills, either how to teach for the adaptive requirements of your group or improve your own proficiency.

Friday nights in December are specifically designed to prepare volunteers within the discipline you will be working with. New volunteers find these sessions extremely valuable for gaining confidence before the first lesson night in January.

A Volunteer Registration fee of $50 is required to cover the cost of your Registration and Insurance with the National organization.

All lift tickets for CADS events, ie. Lesson, Training, Instructing on the Mountain trip will be covered by CADS.

If you require rentals, you will be responsible for covering this cost.

CADS Calgary has an arrangement with WinSport to offer Volunteers a reduced rate on a WinSport Season Pass.  This offer is normally made early in the Fall, ie. September, so watch closely or inquire with info@cadscalgary.ca.

We are always looking for new volunteers to ensure we don’t have to turn students away.  Registration for Volunteers is available on-line starting in September and in-person Registration is generally the last Saturday in September.  Volunteers can also register at the Student Registration, close to the end of October.

We hold an Orientation evening at WinSport in mid-November to give an overview and provide an opportunity to ask questions and get to know some of our other volunteers.

New Volunteer Orientation, on the snow, is generally the last Saturday in November and then the following week on Sunday. New volunteers are asked to attend one, but not both of these days and then respond to a small survey asking their top 3 picks for groups to work in.

Volunteers are placed according to student need as the first priority, but we also make a strong effort to match our volunteers with their most desired group.

We have had volunteers join us midway through the lesson program where they can be used as a ‘helper’ where needed in various groups.

Yes, all volunteers are required to request a Police Check for “working directly with the disabled and with children/minors”, often referred to as the Vulnerable Sector. Once the check has been completed a copy of the resulting letter must be forwarded to CADS to complete your Registration.

A Police Check is required every 5 years.

Certification with the professional organization is not required.  CADS provides training for instructors to help them with different adaptive requirements.  Also, on Thursday evenings CADS offers personal boarding/skiing improvement on Thursday evenings, 7-9 pm.

Definitely, volunteers need to be able to ski comfortably on green runs and utilize the chair lift.

Yes, we do have some positions available to volunteer with CADS. For example, helping to organize the Gala, assisting with Registration for Students and Volunteers, helping to Check-in volunteers and give out lift passes.

Youth are designated as being under 16 years of age and therefore cannot work alone with a student.  However, in almost all cases, instructors work in pairs and arrangements may be made with a Supervisor to pair up a Youth volunteer with an older Instructor.

This is a common concern with our new volunteers and we take the education of our volunteers very seriously. Therefore we offer initial training on Friday nights in December and the opportunity for ongoing training on Thursday nights throughout the season.

Every effort is made to pair a new instructor with an experienced instructor.

Questions?

Contact us today to help empower people with disabilities through participation in adaptive snowsports.