The Rapid City Rush hired Scott Burt as the new head coach this past summer, and he moved his family to the Black Hills. Making the move easier is tough, but through the years, they’ve found a way.
The average family moves once about every 5 years, and usually just across town or maybe the next county over. For the Burt family, moving means packing up and heading across state lines and into a new community. As a hockey family, they’re used to it, but leaving behind friends and family for a new city is tough. Audrey has found that planning ahead makes settling into a new place easier on all of them; especially for her and Scott’s daughter, Sophie.
Plan ahead and get excited
“I always do research prior to moving to whatever city we’re going to,” Audrey says. “I look for popular parks, things to do, and places where Sophie can do gymnastics. I’ll try to get her signed up and ready to go with activities before we even arrive so she can meet new people and start a new routine.”
Scott agrees, and says, “She’s a pretty independent 10-year-old, and moving gives her the opportunity to meet new friends. We get chances when I’m on the road for her to go visit her friends. But really the hardest part at first is meeting new people.”
Sophie’s favorite thing so far? The Rock Shed in Keystone. She doesn’t have just one favorite rock, but Sophie has narrowed it down to a few: “I have a lot, but my favorites are labradorite and selenite,” she says.
“She’s into things like crystals and gems right now,” Audrey smiles. “So some weekend we’ll probably have to go rock-shop-hopping just to see what else is out there.”
While hockey is his passion, Scott knows it might not be his daughter’s. “Right now all her hockey gear is in our storage unit, so we haven’t started her here yet,” he says. “But she’s met kids in our apartment complex who play basketball, so now she’s a bit of a basketball player. She just goes and tries things and we support whatever she wants to do.” He even has a few of her rock specimens on shelves in his office at the arena.
From Canada to Rapid City
Scott’s dad was in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police when he was a child, which meant the family moved frequently. “I almost consider myself an army brat,” he laughs, “so to me, moving isn’t really a big deal. It’s harder on my family, but I can just pick up and go and figure out what we need to do when I get there.”
Getting used to moving a lot wasn’t the only thing that Scott learned early: his love of hockey also started when he was young. “I started playing at 6 years old and fell in love with it. Like most kids in Canada, I spent my weekends playing in tournaments or watching my dad play. So that’s kind of where it all started,” he says.
Scott played 13 seasons of professional hockey and made the playoffs in all but two of them. He is also one of only six players to have his name on the Kelly Cup — the award for the ECHL’s playoff champion — three times. In 2011, he transitioned to coaching and was an assistant coach for 9 years. The Rapid City Rush is Scott’s first head coaching position, and he’s excited to bring a new voice to the organization.
“I’m grateful for the Rush taking a chance on me,” he says, “and for them understanding what I believe, and hopefully the culture change we can bring to the Rush family.”
The Burts are excited to settle in here in Rapid City, and with one more move under their belt, they’re even better at making the move easier.
Moving your family to the Black Hills? Check out even more advice from a local mom and realtor on for Three Steps to Moving With Kids.
WORDS: ASHLEY JOHNSON
PHOTOS: JESSE BROWN NELSON