There were 18 responses to this week’s Tele-Talk question: “Do you agree with Conway schools’ decision not to participate in the Junior Ski Program?” It was a pretty even split, with seven responses of yes and nine responses of no. Two people didn’t directly answer the question.

I do not, and I am incredibly happy with my children’s school voting to participate this year. Skiing is an individual sport. There is little contact involved. My children have been able to put on their own snow gear and ski equipment since 4 years old. As an employee of a local resort, I can attest to the level of thought and care put into the logistics of opening safely. These programs are THE ONLY WAY many of the valley’s children EVER get to ski. Monica Ingham

It’s not the skiing, it’s the logistics. How do you safely transport a whole school to a mountain? How do you safely get the smallest of kids dressed and on the snow? Currently, the buses to and from school are sparsely populated by design. Small cohorts of kids stay together indoors and outdoors at school. That cannot be replicated for any whole school off-site activity. It’s sad, but it’s the right decision. Emily Calderwood

My kids are young adults now, but we’re lucky to have been able to ski through this great program. They always told me how many people were crowded in the lodge, to the point they had to sit on the floor against walls. This is about keeping your children safe, along with all the teachers and volunteers. All the other outdoor sporting events had safety measures setup and there were no tourists crowding around the school/fields. THAT is the big difference between these two activities. I truly wish the other schools would follow suit as well. I applaud Conway School district for putting kids, staff and volunteers first. Tammie Savini

Absolutely not. If students are able to attend school, and attend sporting events, they should be able to participate in outdoor activities as well. Makes no sense students can meet outside, have outside classrooms and congregate outdoors, yet can’t ski. And we wonder why mental health is such a huge thing? We wonder why our children are finding themselves involved in other “activities.” This COVID situation is serious, but we can’t stop our children from living entirely. Side note: I absolutely understand this needs to be taken seriously and that not everyone is strong enough to recover ... I have family members with compromised health, too. But let the kids be already! Samantha Jones

Our youth is doomed with adults like this. Bob Volpe

Personally, I don’t agree. The district had no problems allowing contact sports this fall along with other sports where social distancing was not 100 percent achievable. At least with skiing, you can maintain a healthy distance. And after reading the state’s guidance on ski areas, it would appear the ski areas will have strict guidelines. Josh Robichaud

That’ll help the ESSC sale. Cases. Cases. But extremely low deaths. Larry Nash

Bartlett isn’t doing ESSC this winter either. Young kids would need to go inside crowded lodges to warm up and use bathrooms, along with all the community volunteers and the general public. No way to stay socially distanced, and very different than kids playing sports outside on a field. Kurt Erickson

We all need to start taking this virus more seriously. Only do things that are absolutely important and needed. The risk is not worth the reward. It is so stupid to cluster together multiple schools for skiing. Terry Stevens

Tamworth is also opting out. I don’t know how they would possibly get all the kids on buses to the mountain, get the little ones dressed, then undressed for the bathroom in the lodge. It would be a lot more exposure for six days of activity. Kathy Cloran Bunker

I wasn’t happy with it. Cross-country skiing is the only way to get him outside in the winter. I was willing to bring him and pick him up, but I do understand the hardships they would face if they went ahead with it. The superintendent said they would try to get the kids to cross-country ski or snowshoe closer to each school. I think that’s a great compromise as every school is near a trail or big field. Now, I just have to find a place to rent cross-country skis for the season. Shana Enos

It makes sense. Without lodges open, it’s so complicated. Melissa Scher

The Junior Ski Program should not be canceled this coming season. The kids have been shorted at every turn for the past close to nine months with all the sports canceled or cut back. This is skiing in the cold, outdoors and not wrestling. Close contact is minimal, in pandemic terms, with goggles and now masks on. They have been shorted the needed exercise that kids should have and the competition that builds character. Our own five loved the program and looked forward to ski day. Now, two of them have volunteered and their own kids are in the program. Don’t deny this great program to the kids of our valley. Jim Shuff, Freedom

They are predicting our cases to reach 1,000 a day by Thanksgiving. As sad as it is that skiing was canceled, the reality is we are heading into cold/flu season with a highly contagious deadly virus. Our goal should be to not overwhelm our health-care system as well as not put our teachers at risk and keep our kids safe. Do I think canceling ESSC sucks? Absolutely. Do I think they made the right decision? Absolutely. Stay safe and wear a mask. Cherie Jewell

I believe the reason for some towns bowing out of the ski program is because the mountains themselves are not cutting the same deals as usual with the schools. $10+ dollars more per kid and only 1 hour of actual ski time. What kind of opportunity does that give the kiddos? There’s a larger story out there. Ashley Farnum

I think it’s ridiculous to stop the ski program. You can’t keep taking everything away from these kids. Kids need activities to keep themselves happy and healthy. Being outside in the crisp winter weather is good for them. Plus, most skiers will have their faces covered with scarves anyway. I doubt skiing a few hours a week will hurt anything. I see kids walking around Settlers Green and Walmart all the time and no one seems to be restricting their activity, so why stop it this way? Schools need to go back to the way it used to be, by letting kids be kids again. David MacLean Sr., Chatham

Conway’s population is about 82 percent transplants from Taxachusetts aka Democrats, therefore those in power want to control every aspect of the individual’s life, so they say “no skiing for you!” Jackson, Madison and Bartlett are free-spirited. If you want to ski, go for it. You control your own life. Democrats will mind their own business here. Democrats have always been party poopers, just like my grandfather on my mother’s side!

Absolutely not. If we don’t let them kiddies ski they will take drugs instead. Anyone who disagrees smokes too much weed and crack. This is Dave in North Conway.

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