Showdown Montana’s “Ski P.E.” Program
Text by Shane Klippenes • Photos provided by Showdown
Would you refer to a ski resort as “An innovator in the field of child health and physical conditioning”? Perhaps it would be appropriate if you were talking about Showdown Montana.
While fighting obesity and disease by encouraging children to put down the IPhone and “go do something” is all the rage these days, Showdown has been leading the charge since 1975, promoting skiing and winter sports to the youth of Central Montana through their Ski P.E. program.
Ski P.E. is a one day program (schools can opt to come multiple times) that includes equipment rental, lift ticket and a two hour class for a significantly reduced rate. This isn’t just an unsupervised day off from school either; students are placed into classes based on their ability level, instructed by long time Ski School folks throughout the morning, and turned loose to ski runs that are appropriate to their skill level after lunch.
“If you can keep him alive, you can have him”. Courtney Funderburk absorbed these words as she cradled the two day old English Setter in her hands and vowed to nurse him to health. Bailey, as Courtney and her Dad named him, required round the clock care for two months, including bottle feeding every three hours and a rotating “potty schedule” that few could understand or appreciate. As a result of this deep love and incredible care, Bailey gained weight and strength, and became intimately connected to his caregiver. As he grew into a healthy, energetic pup, the quality of his breeding and love of the hunt poured out of him, and it was obvious that he wanted to work the field. Training, direction and loving discipline molded him into more than a trusted companion; Bailey became a gun dog and hunting partner for life, one that lasted 14 years, and provided countless memories in the field and home that will never be forgotten.
On Point with seasoned fetch masters
It happened in an instant: the mallards that had been committed to the decoys flared at my movement, but not before a migrating greenhead folded at the bark of the gun and fell onto an ice floe. Daisy, my yellow lab and hunting partner, bolted from the natural cover of cattails and plowed into the slushy water. Her zeal for the hunt and the retrieve combined with an error in judgment on my part, erupted simultaneously to embroil her in a life and death struggle that I could only watch from the safety of the shore.