This is our latest information about the implications of the Covid-19 pandemic on our ski trips..
If you have any questions, please do contact us.
The School Ski Trip - what next?
Firstly, many thanks for all your calls to hear how we are doing here at The Ski Company; thankfully all well and looking to move forward. I appreciate that many of you are keen to get your ski trip off the ground now that school is about to resume but understandably have concerns.
Whatever view anyone has on school trips during these difficult times, it is always possible to find an ‘expert’ to agree or disagree, one thing is for sure, at the moment we are certainly not short of experts with opinions!
I appreciate that the issues we face with coronavirus would have challenged even the most competent of governments, even so, one would have hoped the advice from Westminster to be at the very least coherent and thoughtful, but an endless series of U-turns, updates or whatever you want to call it, does not instil confidence. We can all agree that coronavirus has for the moment, changed the world we live in and finding a safe and sensible path forward will not be easy. The decisions that have already been taken in school to enable children to return will have already involved a lot of thought and care and the decisions yet to be taken will also require more thought and care as you strive to minimise risk.
That dreaded word risk, that little word with just four letters with an almost insatiable appetite for our time, so let us see if we can satisfy this word’s appetite when considering a ski trip.
For those of you who have not travelled with The Ski Company before, our main destination for European ski trips is Crans-Montana in Switzerland staying at the International Summer Camp Montana (www.campmontana.ch).
Let us for the moment consider two of the main aspects of a ski trip in Covid-19 times, getting there and being there.
I have recently returned from a fact-finding mission to Crans-Montana. I spent two hours travelling by underground from Greenwich to Heathrow, two hours at the airport, one hour on the flight (very quick - no traffic), one hour collecting my bag and getting out of Geneva Airport and two hours on the train to Crans-Montana, a total of eight hours all wearing a face covering. I would have preferred not to have worn the face covering but to be honest it was not a big issue. The flight was full, but thanks (I know this is the wrong word) to Coronavirus, I now know all about HEPA filters. I even know what HEPA means - High Efficiency Particulate Air (filter) - and a HEPA filter captures 99.97 percent of airborne particles over 0.3 micron in size, however I freely admit that I have no idea how small a micron is, but I am relatively sure that the air I was breathing on the flight was probably a lot cleaner that the air I breathe in my local supermarket.
I arrived in Crans-Montana on the 17th August during the last week of the International Summer Camp for children from around the world that had already been running for eight weeks. The weather was beautiful, the children attending the camp did not seem to have a care in the world, the camp was Covid-19 free and had been all summer. Children can be described in many ways - delightful, engaging, loveable, adorable, amazing, angelic or another way of describing them would be as walking talking virus factories with a suboptimal sense of personal space and hand hygiene. Children seem to have the ability to add this particular virus to their already prodigious arsenal of viruses with ease but thankfully they do not seem to suffer the consequences of Covid-19 so, in a strange sort of way the children in our care have become weaponised!
In many ways the issue being faced, by those adults who are actually look after children, those by the very nature of their job have to be close to children, be it those working in schools or those working in summer camps or winter trips, is how to protect themselves from infection. I am sure your school has received numerous edicts from on high on how to do this and you have all invested huge amounts of time and energy developing your plans, your bubble; you have created space between desks, one way systems, new timetables and much more in an attempt to protect, but at the end of the day we know there will be children carrying the virus into your bubble and we do know this virus loves a nice warm room with limited fresh air, somewhere like a classroom! On a ski trip I know there will be children arriving in resort with the virus but here I have a huge advantage, I have a very big bubble. In my bubble I can fit in mountains. During the day we are in lots of space out in the fresh air and we know this is not a good place for the virus to jump around.
Risk - how do we quantify this now, everything we do is riskier than it was before. For the adults involved are they at a greater risk if they come along on a school ski trip? Probably not and I could find ten experts to agree with me, but then again, I could also find ten experts who would disagree with me, so who knows? For the children, the risk for them is from those in charge, their understandable fear of coronavirus and their instinct to protect. This virus could be with us for a very long time so I think we better start to learn to live with it and have the confidence to get on with lives whilst protecting those around us who are vulnerable. At the end of the day, we all want the same thing for our children, a great education with great experiences and memories that will last a lifetime.
In all aspects of school life, until we get a vaccine, we are going to have to be more flexible. Here at The Ski Company in this new and fast changing world we will, as always, have the best interests of your group at heart. We all need to move forward thoughtfully and carefully, you need to teach these newly weaponised youngsters and we are here, when you are ready, to provide a little bit of excitement and fun into the mix.
Many thanks for taking the time to read this, I know you are going to be in for a tough time, I wish you good luck and good health and if you want to discuss some fun in the snow please give me a call.
Crans-Montana winter 2021
Term time by air £835, Half term by air £1250
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