Kids Train for Birkie Weekend

NorthStar Community Charter School students learn to cross country ski for Barnebirkie Youth Ski Tour

MINONG, Wis. – The American Birkebeiner cross-country ski race is next weekend in Hayward.

Kids in Minong have been training to ski in the Barnebirkie Youth Ski Tour during Birkebeiner weekend.

Students at NorthStar Community Charter School do project-based learning, meaning they can sometimes get outside during their school day and learn activities like cross-country skiing.

Once or twice a week, twenty-two students gear up and hit the trails behind their school. For the last several years, NorthStar students have trained as a class.

“I like having a buddy next to me just in case I fall and I need help or if they fall I could always help them and I could stick with them if they’re the same pace as me,” explained 5th grader Raya Johnston.

The kids spend about an hour of some of their school days on the trail.

“All you do is mostly walk, but I like to enjoy looking at the trees and stuff,” said Johnston.

Teachers tell us it’s a great opportunity for the class to learn a lifelong sport.

“With the Birkie so close and being such an international event, we just thought what a perfect match to get them involved in that,” said Brian Olson, lead teacher at NorthStar.

The activity has also been included in their classroom learning.

“They’ve done research on where their skis are made or where their poles are made or where their boots are made, so you can do world studies pretty easily,” added Olson.

Next week, the class will ski three kilometers alongside hundreds of other kids kicking off Birkie weekend.

Gunnar Golembiewski skied in last year’s Barnebirkie. He expects to do a little better this time around.

“It will be better than last year I hope. Last year I fell lots of times,” said Golembiewski.

Unlike some activities, cross-country is a sport these students can enjoy in their spare time outside of school.

“Sometimes we only have like an hour and on the weekend I could slow it down and I could look around and explore,” said Johnsoton.

The Barnebirkie kids run is next Thursday. The full American Birkebeiner ski race is next Saturday morning.

Click here for a full list of Birkie weekend events.

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