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The first week of my Snow-Camp Apprenticeship was good! On Tuesday John Paul, Will, Laura and I went to a witch themed Escape room in Glasgow as a team bonding exercise. It was a good laugh, we had to search for several keys to open boxes and doors until we escaped! It really brought us together as a team!
On Thursday we went to Snow-Camp’s Glasgow office for the very first time. We discussed all the different policies Snow-Camp has in place from equal opportunities, child protection and safeguarding to health and safety. We also signed our contracts and discussed the apprenticeship and what’s expected of us over the next year.
On Friday we went to a beautiful hotel called Crossbasket Castle in East Kilbride to meet Sarah and Michael from SD Consultancy. They will be assessing us throughout our SVQ in Activity Leadership training. We discussed the different modules and they showed us how to use the e-portfolio to upload our evidence. Then we took some pictures outside the hotel it was a beautiful day in Scotland!
Sadly the Snow-Camp First Tracks Programme has come to an end, it was an amazing five weeks. My knowledge and skills about teaching people how to ski has grown massively over the last few weeks and I feel so much more confident as a ski instructor. The instructors at Snow Factor were extremely understanding and were willing to help me if I had any questions. One day I taught a Snow Factor customer with little help from the instructors, which was an amazing experience and really boosted my confidence.
I also learnt lots of different activities and games to use for when you’re teaching people new skills, which is great and will be so beneficial for when I teach again. There were times, especially at the start, when I was out of my comfort zone like when I had to stand up and talk to big groups of young people but now I am so much more confident talking to large groups of people.
It was really rewarding when young people and youth workers came up to me and thanked me for my help and saying my Snow-Camp story was inspirational. Overall First Tracks was a huge success and I can’t wait for the Graduate Programme to start!
Three weeks ago I started my very first placement at Bearsden Ski and Board Centre, it felt like a new adventure! The first week of my placement was “maintenance week”. This meant that the slope was closed for a week so that we could de-weed and look after the slope, which was actually a lot of fun. It was brilliant for team building as I got to know the instructors working there. They made me feel super welcome, which helped me to overcome my nervousness!
Over the past two weeks I have been shadowing lessons and doing some handy jobs around the ski club. Doing my placement at Bearsden has been a great experience so far, every day is different and I learn new things every single day! The placement has been super beneficial as I’m feeling so much more confident teaching members of the public.
I have learned so many things that I probably would never have learnt without this placement, for example Kerr showed me how to fix the poma tow and what to do if the poma breaks down. I was also shown how to turn the poma and sprinklers on. I am really thankful to Gordon the manager for letting me do my placement here and to all the Bearsden staff who have made me feel so welcome.
I have been up to some exciting stuff since I last wrote my blog. The Snow-Camp team and I went to Edinburgh to meet Snowsport Scotland at Sport Scotland. We discussed our upcoming Excel course and new training opportunities for our Youth Forum including volunteering at race events. We also met the new Snowsport Scotland CEO, who was lovely! Our second meeting was with the Heriot Watt Snowsports Club who were also lovely, they have raised lots of money for Snow-Camp, which is amazing! They invited us to talk at some of their events, to tell their club members more about Snow-Camp!
At my work placement at Bearsden Ski Club I have been learning so much. Everyday here is a learning day and I love it! In the office I have gained so many new skills like writing sales invoices, creating memberships and how to work their databases. Everyone in the office has been so patient with me and have taken the time out their busy days to show me how to do things and I’m very grateful. I also had the brilliant opportunity to watch the SSSA dual slalom races which took place at Bearsden, it was amazing to see how the day was run and to see some of the phenomenal talent.
As part of my work placement I have also been shadowing lessons including beginner, parallel ski and those with additional ski needs. Shadowing lessons is wonderful experience as now I know what teaching techniques I need to use for different groups.
I would like to thank everyone at Bearsden and all the people who support Snow-Camp because without you these things wouldn’t have been possible!
I’ve had such an incredible experience this month. John Paul and I joined young people from other Snow-Camp regions in Val Thorens France. Hotel Le Val Thorens the hotel company organised an amazing week away for us! We learnt all about how a hotel runs and gained knowledge and work experience in various areas of the resort. Here’s what I wrote while I was away:
We’ve had an amazing time so far full of exciting activities and talks! They have totally expanded our knowledge of the various job opportunities available in Val Thorens.
The first talk was from Eric, who runs Setam. Setam are a company who organise the ski passes for the resort. We also heard from Frederique, Setam’s Marketing and Communications Manager. They told us all about how their company works, what jobs are available and the history of the resort.
Our second talk was from the Ski Patrol Manager from Theirry, who told us all about his job. It was really interesting to hear about skiing safety, sorting the piste with the CAT and ski patrol. I have so much respect for Thierry, English is his second language and he was so full of confidence when standing up and talking to us.
The third talk of the morning was from gondola staff. They told us about controlling the lifts and the special gondolas call the Funitel Peclets. They were invented in Val Thorens to enable skiers to get to the top peaks even on very windy days. Val Thorens is the highest resort in the Europe!
The last talk and activity we had was with Proneige the ski school. Their Commercial Director, Juan who explained the various job that are available in his company like working in their office, becoming a ski technician or instructor. We then had a team building activity, which my team won but we did have the help of the Proneige instructors so had an advantage!
Last night we had dinner at the 5-star hotel, the Hotel Le Fitz Roy. I have never eaten in such a nice restaurant before! Thank you for inviting us!
I’m having such a brilliant time and I have learnt so much. I am thankful and grateful to Hotel Le Val Thorens for setting up this incredible trip for us. I now want to work a season when I finish my Snow-Camp Apprenticeship.
It’s my final blog post! I have been up to some exciting stuff since I last wrote my blog.
In February, Snow-Camp’s Excel Programme started. I helped to teach and support the young people and it was amazing to see the commitment and hard work they put into their own personal development. They gained vital qualifications like first aid, safeguarding and protecting children and they also really improved their technical skiing/snowboarding skills ready for the instructor assessments. I really have enjoyed seeing the young people progress over the year, going from complete beginners and being really unsure of whether they will be able to ski or snowboard to now being really good skiers and snowboarders.
During the Excel Programme we went to Montgenèvre in the French Alps as part of the young people’s instructor training. I had such an amazing week, we met some lovely young people from London. I was so glad I was there to see the young people’s faces when they saw the mountains for the first time. Some of the young people hadn’t been out of their town or city before!
I also started a placement at DSUK (Disability Snowsports UK), which is a charity who deliver specialist lessons for people with disabilities. I learnt about all the equipment including the mountain man and the bi-unique. I even got some training on how to teach people with the equipment. I have thoroughly enjoyed doing my placement at DSUK, as I have learned so much. Thank you.
In April I collected Snow-Camp’s Volunteer Friendly Award, which is given to organisations who really support their volunteers. It was great to be at the awards ceremony with our volunteer Lee.
In May, I went on the BASI Alpine Level 1 course. When you achieve this qualification it means you can teach people how to ski on mountains abroad as well as artificial and dry slopes. It was a fun week, my knowledge on ski instruction grew so much and my technical skiing improved massively as well. For the final assessment I gave a mock teaching session to my peers with the BASI trainer assessing. I’m so happy because I passed! I’m so glad I got the opportunity to do the course, it has opened so many doors for me. Thank you BASI.
The last year has been so good with Snow-Camp, I’ve learnt so much, met some amazing people and gained so many new experiences. I can’t recommend the Apprenticeship Programme enough! In the future I will continue to volunteer at Snow-Camp while pursuing a career in the snowsports industry!