Pros:Friendly, easy to get to, great ski school, great with little kids
Cons:Individual lessons for adults hard to get at times
Besides being easy to get to and very friendly, Shawnee is a great place for kids to learn to ski. At another Poconos ski area, I paid $50 for a half day of ski school for my four year old, and she ended up outside for only about 20 minutes. It was more like babysitting than ski school.
Recommend this product?
At Shawnee, I put her into SkiWee and by the time I came back, she was snowplowing down a gentle slope around a miniature slalom. She could turn, slow down, and stop. They have a great area for the little ones with a lift that's like a conveyer belt. The kids just stand on it and it goes up a little hill. They start out on one ski, so that they feel stable, then progress to two skis.
The instructors were all great and very good with little kids. Each child wears a wristband that matches one worn by their parent. No child is released to anyone without a matching bracelet. I checked during the morning and each time, found that my daughter was well supervised and receiving a lot of positive attention.
After one morning of SkiWee at Shawnee, my daughter was able to ski down the bunny slope with me and get on and off the lifts with just a little help. What I especially liked was that they were able to teach her control of her speed and turns in just one morning. Before the lesson, she had been somewhat afraid skiing down the bunny slope between my skis. After SkiWee, she wanted to ski down alone, and did it without any trouble!
I was so pleased, I enrolled her in the full day school later and she progressed so quickly, that we were able to ski down beginner slopes together, taking them one section at a time. This was made much easier and safer thanks to the Shawnee lift operators. They slow the lift and help small children get on. They were very helpful and offered assistance when they saw a small child without waiting to be asked.
We had such a good time last year and saw such progress, that we will be buying a season pass this year. Thanks to Shawnee, my daughter has been able to start skiing safely at an age where it can become second nature to her. She'll be spared some of the frustration I went through learning to ski in my late teens.