Jen Dale tells of her first three months in Canada

How many people do you know who can afford to spend six months working and playing in Whistler? I’ll bet not that many. But that is exactly what 23 of us are doing right now. And we love it.

After an incredibly hectic and tentative few weeks prior to departing we all made it to Whistler. We began training for our jobs in Minis (3 – 4 years), Juniors and Supers (5 – 12 years). Spread right across the valley, from Blackcomb to Creekside, we began working a 40 hour week, with each of us stepping up to the task of teaching children to ski. Cries of “I want my mommy” or “I hate skiing” are commonplace, but as each day passes we learn how to deal with the trials and tribulations of teaching skiing. Plus, one look out across the valley reminds us all that we are some of the luckiest people in the world – I mean what an office!

Not only are our jobs incredible, but Whistler itself is one of the most vibrant places I have ever been to. There is so much to do and enjoy. Having just passed the half way marker, we are starting to realise that this dream is soon going to end. But this is certainly not the end for the 2007-2008 Whistler candidates, oh no! Many of us have achieved our Level 1 CSIA Instructors Qualification whilst being here, with one member achieving his Level 2 and others working towards it by the end of the season. We have had the time of our lives here and have made life-long friendships along the way. There have been some pretty tough things to deal with (injuries, accidents and interesting experiences at work), but it has certainly been the best 3 months of my life, and here’s to three more of the same! I wish anyone who is off on a Gapper’s experience (particularly to Whistler) the best of luck – but can you pack me in your suitcase first please?!


Written by Jen Dale (Whistler November 2007)

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3 Responses to “Jen Dale tells of her first three months in Canada”

  1. Jon Arnold

    Thanks for the brilliant article Jen.

    Since Jen wrote this article for us she has finished her season along with the rest of the November 07 group. Jen had such an amazing time that she is now working at a ski resort in Australia for the winter season there. This just goes to show that a Gap Year really can open doors!

  2. Jen Dale

    March 2012, and i’m still in Whistler working at Ski School! Thanks Oyster for everything you did for me. It just goes to show that fantasy can indeed become a reality!

    • Jon Arnold

      Hi Jen,
      Thanks for your comment – glad to hear that you are still working hard as an Instructor in Whistler! I still show a photo of you with a group of your kids when people come in here for interviews!

      I hear the snow is awesome at the moment, enjoy the rest of your season!



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