Nature’s Mountain Classroom’s Adventure Pocahontas program took on Snow- shoe Mountain Resort December 9.
One hundred ninety-two students ascended to 4,848 feet to hit the slopes with the help of 38 ski instructors and 32 volunteers. Students were outfitted with everything they lacked – from ski socks and snow pants to gloves and even jackets. If a student did not have an item needed to enjoy the day on snow, it was provided free of charge and given to the children to keep so they could enjoy winter weather long after the ski adventure was over.
Donations from Snowshoe Mountain, the Snowshoe Foundation, Ski Barn, The North Face, Blackstrap, Dakine, Turtle Fur and individual families made this enormous undertaking possible.
This was a first time on skis for 94 percent of the students.
One of the best parts about the Adventure Pocahontas program is the opportunity to introduce our local children to the outdoor recreation opportunities we capitalize on here in Pocahontas County. Tourist from all over the country come to Snowshoe each winter to partake in the wonderful skiing and snowboarding Snowshoe offers. Nature’s Mountain Classroom teaches students what the fuss is all about and teaches children what makes living here so great.
When the school buses pulled up to the Big Top Rental Shop, students and teachers were greeted by instructors, who were giving out high fives and cheering on the kids, getting them excited for their ski adventure.
After the mayhem of gearing up nearly 200 students in all the winter clothing needed for a cold day, as well as ski boots and skis, it was time to hit the slopes. Skidder – Snowshoe’s beginner slope – was littered with participants wearing the “Not all classrooms have four walls” slogan and Adventure Pocahontas logo.
Everywhere you looked there were pods of five to six children with an energetic Ski School Instructor explaining and demonstrating the basics of skiing. Students were laughing, dancing, making funny faces and falling all around us.
Once students were tired or finished skiing, they were treated to snacks, hot chocolate and a variety of activities. Volunteers from WVU Extension 4-H, Pocahontas County Libraries, Parks and Recreation and Snowshoe Mountain hosts entertained the kids with books, crafts, snow play, games and a movie.
By the end of the day everyone was exhausted, but the lines of students boarding the buses were filled with smiling faces.
This amazing day of adventure would not have been possible without the continued support of the Pocahontas County Board of Education, principals, teachers and bus drivers.
The Snowshoe Resort Community District covered the transportation costs of this adventure. Lunches were provided to students through the National Nutrition Lunch program and packed with love by school cafeteria staff.
Without the donations and support from countless businesses, organizations and individuals this program would not be possible, and we are all so grateful. Students were given the opportunity to make memories that will last a lifetime.
The fun on the slopes is just beginning for the Adventure Pocahontas students. Each second through fifth grade student has received an “Adventure Perks” card. This card entitles the student to one free lift ticket every day of the ski season. All the student needs to do is go to the ticket counter at Snowshoe or Silver Creek, show their Adventure Perks card and they will receive one free pass each day they wish to ski or snowboard – no blackout dates.
Our second grade ski adventure kicks off February 24 with four Thursdays of ski lessons as well as Adventure Pocahontas signature programming. In addition to skiing, the second grade program focuses on creative writing, weather and health.