Children’s Programs

2021-2022 Bunny Rabbit, Jackrabbit and Dynarabbit Ski Programs

The Jackrabbit Program was named after the legendary ski pioneer Hermann “Jackrabbit” Smith-Johannsen – a Norwegian immigrant to Canada, who lived and skied to the impressive age of 112. Jackrabbit attributed his long life partially to cross country skiing, a healthy outdoor life and always striving for his personal best. Many of our Olympic nordic stars, including Beckie Scott and Sarah Renner, started in their local Jackrabbit Programs.

Kanata Nordic members who are between 4 and 13 years old can enroll in the Bunnyrabbit, Jackrabbit and Dynarabbit programs. These on-snow learn-to-ski programs run on Saturday & Sunday afternoons at Wesley Clover Parks for 10 weeks starting in January. Kids also receive a free toque and poster in addition to lessons. Some dryland activities for program participants are available in the fall, subject to public health guidance.

If the program you would like to register for is full, please add yourself to the waitlist here.

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions about Bunny and Jackrabbit programs can be found here.   


COVID-19 Related Changes for 2021-22 Season:

  • Kanata Nordic altered the traditional Bunny Rabbit and Jack Rabbit programming to align with Public Health guidance from Ottawa Public Health, the province of Ontario, Cross-Country Ski Ontario and Nordiq Canada. The two major restrictions are (1) limits to group sizes for organized activities and (2) use of indoor facilities.
  • As a result of group size limits, we will use both the 401 Corkstown Rd (equestrian area) and the 411 Corkstown Rd. (campground) trail networks to spread out the skiers and reduce the crowding in parking lots and trail heads.
  • We will likely need to cap the class sizes to help create cohorts. This means that we need volunteer leaders more than ever (smaller classes = more classes = more coaches needed). Please step up and help the kids out. 
  • As a result of item #2 above, we are likely unable to use the club cabin at 411 Corkstown Rd. This means that we are unable to have a warming break with hot chocolate during the lesson. If that is still the case in January 2022, then Kanata Nordic will shorten lesson duration to 60 minutes for Bunny Rabbits and 90 minutes for Jack Rabbits to ensure that the children stay warm.
  • In order to assist families with children in both Jack Rabbits and Bunny Rabbits, we will have staggered start times. Jack Rabbits will start at 1:30 pm and Bunny Rabbits will start at 1:45 pm. Likewise, BR will finish at 2:45 and JR at 3:00 pm, enabling those who might need to travel between 401 Corkstown and 411 Corkstown to do so. 
  • Bunny Rabbits will still need to have one parent accompanying them during the lesson, but we will be unable to accommodate parents accompanying the Jack Rabbit classes except for Leaders and Assistant Leaders.   

Program Information for 2021-22
(click the + for more info)

  • Bunny Rabbit (4-6 yrs)

    The Bunny Rabbit program introduces nordic skiing through organized games and play on skis. It is very important for our newest skiers to have fun while they are learning! For these young skiers, the objectives are to learn the basic ski skills including falling/rising, side-stepping, herringbone and ski walking. Children (and their parents) in the Bunny Rabbit program ski without poles.

    Each child in bunny rabbits must have a parent with the group, so adults should be prepared to have fun with your children!

    This year we are offering Bunny Rabbit lessons on both Saturday and Sunday.

    Saturday Sessions Program Dates: Saturday January 8, 2022 to Saturday March 12, 2022  

    Sunday Session Program Dates: Sunday January 9, 2022 to Sunday, March 13, 2022

    Program Times: 1:45 PM to 2:45 PM

    Location: Wesley Clover Parks (401 Corkstown Rd. )

    Program Prices: $85.00   

  • Jack Rabbits (6 to 10 yrs)

    The Jack Rabbit program develops nordic skills, gradually involving more advanced techniques. Our emphasis is fun while learning, with lots of games incorporated into the lessons. As they progress through the four levels, children learn both classic and skate techniques. Participants are given a personal booklet to track their progress each season. Sticker awards are given for technique and program achievements. 

    There are four levels in the Jack Rabbit program, starting with Level 1, which follows after the Bunny Rabbit program. Generally children achieve a level in one season, although Level 3 and more so Level 4 can take multiple seasons to master. Participants will gradually develop skills in both the classic and skate skiing techniques with the aim of acquiring competence for virtually any cross-country ski outing and condition. Skate skiing is typically introduced in JR3. Skiers are placed into levels according to their age, ability, and previous ski experience.

    Saturday Sessions Program Dates: Saturday January 8, 2022 to Saturday March 12, 2022 – (FULL)

    Sunday Session Program Dates: Sunday January 9, 2022 to Sunday, March 13, 2022  

    Program Times: 1:30 PM to 3:00 PM

    Location: Wesley Clover Parks (401 and 411 Corkstown Road)

    Program Prices: $85.00   

  • Dynarabbits (New skiers age 9 to 13)
    Dynarabbits is for children starting their skiing at an older age. This is a great entry point for new skiers ages 9 through 13 years who would feel out of place with the younger beginners in Bunny Rabbits or early Jack Rabbit levels. The objective for this program is to give these older new skiers an introduction to skiing in both techniques, so that they can leapfrog into the level of their peers within a season or two.

    Saturday Program Dates: Saturday January 8, 2022 to Saturday March 12, 2022

    Sunday Session Program Dates: Sunday January 9, 2022 to Sunday, March 13, 2022

    Program Times: 1:45 PM to 3:00 PM

    Location: Wesley Clover Parks (401 and 411 Corkstown Road)

    Program Prices:$85.00 

Program Leaders & Assistant Leaders
Please volunteer! Kanata Nordic’s limiting factor for enrollment in children’s programs is having enough coaches; with more leaders, we can help more children learn to ski (e.g. potentially add more junior classes).

All Kanata Nordic programs depend on volunteer coordinators and coaches. Club-subsidized training (Nordiq Canada  & NCCP) for volunteers is available, including as ski leaders, assistant coaching and/or first aid. This is a great opportunity to build your cross-country skills and share your passion for nordic skiing with others. You do not need to be an expert level skier to coach, especially in the younger levels like Bunny Rabbit or Jack Rabbit – enthusiasm is more important!

For more information on Children’s Programs contact Jackrabbit Coordinator,

Volunteer to be a Leader Register    
Ski swaps are the best place for a deal on used equipment. They usually happen in October and November. Plus you can resell old equipment there and get back some of your original purchase price (junior skis hold their value for a surprisingly long time).
Another thing to note is that when skate skiing you don’t use grip wax on your ski base. With waxable classic skis, a parent can remove the grip wax in the kick zone under the bindings and over-wax with glide wax – which will make for a serviceable beginners’ skate ski. With no-wax skis (fishscale or skin skis), it becomes more difficult to skate because of the large grip area under the binding. It may be worth considering renting a pair of skate skis for introductory lessons.  

Cancellation Policy 

As much as we love to ski, there are some days when learn-to-ski lessons are not feasible due to weather conditions. Lesson cancellation will happen in the event of extreme weather or unsafe ski conditions (i.e. freezing rain / icy conditions).

We follow Cross Country Ontario Guidelines for cancellation: 

  • Bunnyrabbit groups (age 4-6): If the temperature without windchill is below -15°C
  • For older children / adults : If the temperature without windchill is below – 18°C

Determining & Communicating Cancellations:
Lesson cancellations are determined by 10:30 am on Saturday mornings and be posted on the website.

In colder temperatures, leaders adjust their lesson plans so skiers are not standing around. As well, we respect parents decision to determine what is best for their child and in what conditions they should be skiing.

Always make sure you and your children are dressed for the weather and are comfortable in the conditions.

Refund / Cancellation Policy: Memberships fees are non-refundable. If you wish to withdraw from a program, we will refund the program fee less 20% retained to cover the club’s associated administration costs. To obtain a refund please contact by January 12, 2022. Please note that Kanata Nordic reserves the right to cancel any programs with insufficient registration or without volunteer leaders. In this case every effort will be made to find an equivalent program or a refund will be offered.

Kanata Nordic programs are subject to the will of Mother Nature. We generally follow Nordiq Canada’s guidelines in terms of program cancellation. This means programs will be cancelled if conditions are unsafe  or temperatures are below acceptable limits. We attempt to reschedule cancelled events but this is at the discretion of group leaders. The Club will attempt to give its members as much notice as possible for program changes caused by weather we thank you for your understanding. 

In the event that program instruction days are cancelled by Kanata Nordic at the direction of Provincial or Municipal authorities in response to the COVID health emergency and classes cannot be rescheduled in the current ski season, credit will be given for a portion of the program fee towards 2022-2023 registration fees.