First Tracks provides young people (aged 13-21) with their first experience of snowsports on artificial slopes within the UK, taking place throughout July and August each year.
The young people are taught how to ski or snowboard by qualified instructors and Snow-Camp young people, who have completed the full Snow-Camp Programme Journey, as they are the best role models to demonstrate to the new young people what they can achieve with the charity.
Young people on our programmes are exposed to other youth groups and young people from across their city, addressing territorial bias and gang culture. Furthermore, for every hour spent on the slopes the young people spend the same amount of time in the classroom in our guided life skills sessions. These sessions are designed to help young people reflect upon the skills they are demonstrating on the slopes – perseverance, commitment, listening, teamwork, patience and overcoming fear as well as how to respond to challenges, deal with peer pressure and setting goals for the future. All essential life skills for young people.
At the end of the 2 days the young people will have made significant progress on the slopes and will have experienced, for the first time, the feeling of sliding down a ski slope, giving them an increased sense of achievement and a pride in what they have accomplished. Finally, an awards ceremony closes the course, with the young people receiving their accredited Snowsport England, Snowsports Wales or Snowsport Scotland Snow Life Award along with medals and certificates, providing a lasting record of their achievement and experience with us. It is always rewarding to see the impact of the First Tracks Programme on the young people, as they always achieve far more than they thought possible and many are keen to progress on to our Graduate Programme, which runs throughout the Autumn.