Snow Camp visit
On 30 August I, together with Sos P-T and Sophia from the office went to Hemel Hampstead snow centre to spend a morning with Snow Camp and on of their first tracks programmes. Having cycled a year previously to raise money for Snow Camp it was wonderful to see the charity in action and speak to some of the young people who have been through their programmes. Dan Charlish who founded the charity hosted us and gave us an overview of what was going on.
The first tracks programme is a taster session to see whether skiing or snow boarding actually appeal and included in the two day course are some life skills sessions. Helping run the day were graduates from the Excel programmes and their new apprentices, and Dan arranged a Q and A session for us to hear more about their stories. What was abundantly clear was that their experiences with Snow Camp were clearly life changing. Equally, they had all developed a strong passion for skiing or snow boarding and they enthused as they recollected their various experiences of being through the courses. The Excel courses (where PT Ski sponsor 1 young person through the programme every year) are 10 weeks long and train the attendees to become qualified ski or snowboard instructors; Excel culminates in a week in the mountains shadowing instructors and gaining valuable mountain experience. With a level 1 instructor qualification new job opportunities in the snowsports industry become very real.
It was particularly nice to meet Warren who had been on last year's Excel and who was one of the young people we had sponsored through our cycling endeavours. He is now an avid snowboarder and was thrilled to be coming back to help Snow Camp as a volunteer. He is hoping to go to university to read economics and will be the first person from his family to do so. We also met 2 apprentices; they had also been through the Excel programme and were now doing a 1 year apprenticeship with Snow Camp. Currently they are on 6 week placements with Snow & Rock and Cotswold Outdoors respectively and will soon be back at Snow Camp to help with the Graduate programme in the autumn.
We also got the chance to go on the snow and see the lessons up close. Although there were Hemel teachers in charge of the lessons the Snow Camp volunteers were certainly putting their new found teaching skills to good use.
It was wonderful to spend the time with Snow Camp and we look forward to supporting more in the future.
To learn more about the charity please visit www.snow-camp.org.uk.