In March, for the first time in Snow-Camp history we brought young people together from across the country on a residential trip to Pila Italy. We find that young people have very little opportunity to interact with those from different cities but through the annual residential we now strengthen bonds between young people on a national level.
The trip took place over two weeks. In week one our London, Bristol and Cardiff young people came together with our Scotland and Midlands young people heading out to the mountains in week two.
Dare2b generously donated brand-new kit to the young people, thank you! To be given proper snowsports kit for the first time made them feel professional and ready to take on any challenge. They were all so excited and motivated for their week ahead.
We started each week with an ice breaker life skills session. We wanted the different groups to get to know one another and to do this we played different variations of the name game. It was a fantastic way to encourage the young people to talk to someone from another city.
“The highlight of this trip has been meeting everyone on Snow-Camp, everyone has been great! I have made so many friends and I’ve loved going out having fun on the slopes with them.” – Danielle, Snow-Camp Cardiff
The residential is an important element of our year long programme journey as the young people receive essential training for their instructor qualification. Our young people participated in shadowing activities with Interski instructors. This involved working alongside qualified instructors and gaining further knowledge about the coaching discipline. With a lot of snow and often white out conditions, these activities were challenging for our budding instructors! We were really pleased to see them supporting one another, growing into their instructor roles collectively.
“I was very nervous to start the shadowing activities but by the end of the week I was really enjoying it! It has built my up confidence loads. I’m happy to help anyone and speak to anyone now.” – Jamie, Snow-Camp Bristol
As the week progressed the young people became more confident on the snow and they were all eager to improve their skiing and snowboarding techniques. To acknowledge and celebrate their commitment to the sport we handed out our annual Snow-Camp Residential Award to 12 young people over the two weeks. Trey, Ewan and Shannon from London and Daniel, Jamie and Danielle from Bristol and Cardiff won the award in week one. Lakshmi, Reece and William from the Midlands and Caroline, John-Paul and Julie from Scotland won the award in week two. The young people showed significant improvements in their skiing and snowboarding ability as well as having a positive attitude throughout the trip. Congratulations!
“I have seen a phenomenal level of development this week in our Snow-Camp young people both on and off the slopes! Facing their fears at the top of ‘the wall’, showing great strength and support to their peers in a ‘white-out’ and stepping out of their comfort zone when shadowing and leading sections of their lessons.
A lot of the young people who went out to Italy had never been out of the UK before, some never out of London, so this trip really was a once in a life time opportunity for them to learn more about themselves, open their eyes to new opportunities and raise their aspirations to achieve in wherever their next steps take them.” – Lucy Chadburn, London Programme Manager
When we first meet the young people on our summer First Tracks Programme, they’re often facing a number of challenges and have a complex set of needs. Our programmes provide access to the right opportunities and activities to equip young people, facing a multitude of social issues, for a successful future. Our Outstanding Young Person of the Year Award is given to two young people on the residential, to celebrate those who have made significant positive changes to their lives, developed on a personal level and have become exemplary young leaders. This year Elaina from London won the award in week one and Lucas from the Midlands won the award in week two. Congratulations!
“Leading a group of disadvantaged young people from the Midlands out to the Italian alps has shown me first hand how young people can grasp an opportunity, stay focused and achieve so much.” – Chris Walsh, Midlands Programme Manager
The shift from inner-city estate to picturesque snowy mountain was so extreme that it created a hugely positive response from our young people, broadening their horizons and highlighting the different experiences that are now available to them. All the young people will be returning to Snow-Camp in the summer to teach the next group of young people entering our programme journey and many have already made the positive decision to either continue their education, apply for our Apprenticeship Programme or to find full time employment or training.
It has also been fantastic to work with some amazing youth projects this year. Thank you to:
London Youth Projects:
St Andrew’s Club, XLP, Tower Hamlets Outdoor Education Team, SYCT Streatham Youth and Community Trust, FYI- Future Youth Inspired, Ealing Connexions, Shaftesbury Young People, The Renewal Programme and New Horizon Youth Centre.
Scotland Youth Projects:
Getting Better Together, The Urban Fox Programme, SiMY Community Development, Royston Youth Action, MCR Pathways, Prince’s Trust and PEEK Project.
Midlands Youth Projects:
Positive Youth Foundation, Leicester Outdoor Pursuits Centre, TS Sterling Birmingham, Oaklands Youth Centre, Birmingham and Sutton Coldfield YMCA England & Wales.
Cardiff and Bristol Youth Projects:
Young Bristol, Avon Club for Young People, Tomorrow’s People, Willows Youth Club and Merthyr Tydfill Youth Services.
“We love working with Snow-Camp because they are so in tune and so in line with the way we work with young people at XLP. We really hope to continue this partnership with Snow-Camp because it does change lives, it really does.” Matt Conroy, XLP Youth Worker
Special thanks to Dare2b for providing kit and to Zeal Optics for providing goggles.