Let’s face the facts: snowboarding is wicked fun, but it also costs a buttload of cash to go snowboarding. Think about it. The outerwear, lift-ticket, board, boots and bindings…the list goes on and on. Everybody who follows the passion of snow shredding also know that it is the best distraction in the world, getting you out there and not thinking about the everyday life. Well Snow Camps is trying to give that feeling to London’s disadvantaged young people. Sounds great to us, if you want to help check their website for further information.
This season another 240 young people from deprived areas will hit the Alpine slopes thanks to Youth Charity Snow-Camp. Snow-Camp enables young people from the most disadvantaged areas of London to experience snow-sport trips of a lifetime, combining the thrill of learning to snowboard with tailored life-skills sessions enabling young people to develop new skills, make positive decisions for their lives and grow in confidence and self esteem.
Ed Leigh, presenter of BBC’s Ski Sunday sums up Snow-Camp: “The mountains are one of the most impressive landscapes on earth and have an immense power to both humble and inspire people. The idea behind Snow-Camp is very simple: to share the mountains with people who would normally never get to experience them, but who need them most. The project has huge potential to help young people.” Dan Charlish, director of Snow-Camp could not agree more: “Many of the young people involved have never left their area of London, let alone the country, and this means the trips have an even more profound effect on them. The majority of young people who take part have never had a passport, and acquiring one is all part of the Snow-Camp experience, widening horizons and providing new opportunities.”
Last April, Snow-Camp took 120 young people from 12 youth groups across the capital to the Alps. Taking groups from many different areas enables the charity to challenge the territorial nature of young people who would not normally mix with those from other areas. During the week away they realise their many similarities, and the gang culture of the inner city is challenged. This year the plan is to take 240 young people and staff from 20 youth groups to Les Deux Alps and Val Thoren, doubling last years numbers.
Daily life-skills sessions are key to the impact of the programme, enabling young people to realise that what they have learnt on the slopes – determination, perseverance, teamwork, overcoming fear and challenges – is essential for achieving their goals back at home. The course enables young people to reflect on their experiences of life to date and to focus their sights on what they can achieve in the future – regardless of their potentially difficult home situation. The combination works, as Gerry Sutcliffe, Sports Minister said: ‘It is using snow-sports to teach young people life-skills that makes Snow-Camp such a fantastic project’
Dan Charlish continues: “We want to see the charity grow to be able to offer this opportunity to many more inner city young people. We are always seeking new ways to raise the funds required to achieve this goal, through charitable trusts, funding bodies, company sponsorship and the generosity of individuals who can see the benefit of the work we are doing with young people.”
Think about what you would have missed without snowboarding and get involved!