The final week for the CHILL program can be a bittersweet pill for the kids to swallow. On the one hand, they are finally able to snowboard in control and start to explore the mountain. Some even adventuring into the terrain park and down tree runs. And on the other hand it’s the last day of the program, but with hopes that they will be back in the mountains some day. The week’s theme is PRIDE, which was discussed on the hill in their etiquette, but also in their daily lives. For me to watch the same group of kids put gear on for the first time and than ride a chair lift and attempt snowboarding and than see them six weeks later snowboarding with courage and excitement, I also felt the pride for them in completing the program.
Burton’s CHILL program helped over 1,000 kids this year across the country including 100+ participants here in Utah. From Ogden to Provo, participants had the opportunity to get free gear rental, lessons and lift tickets that were donated from Burton, so they could learn how to snowboard in six short sessions. Although the first few weeks may be trying the kids that stuck with it were encouraged to explore Brighton Ski Resort and hone their skills over the mountain. Riding to and back down the mountain the kids had a chance to talk about their experiences, frustration and insight into how the program was helping them.
On the last night I took a two kids through the peewee park at Brighton and let them hit a few rails, which they had seen other kids doing for a few weeks. I also know that they were not thinking about their situation off the mountain, but concentrating on those rails and those moments they will always remember.
I wanted to send a very thankful shout-out to Burton, Brighton Ski Resort, Nick Diachun and the entire volunteer staff of CHILL for shaping the youth of tomorrow by shredding today!
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