From bunny hills to park rides, three tSB youth take on snowboarding camp
One of our biggest goals at the Service Board is to increase access to the outdoors for BIPoC youth, particularly through snowboarding, and to support the diversification of the snowsports industry. For more than 27 years, our Core Program has provided pathways to access this fun and challenging sport with up to 50 hours on-mountain each year! But to diversify the industry, we saw it necessary to provide opportunities for promising young BIPoC boarders to grow and develop beyond a single year of instruction. So in 2020, we got together with our friends at CAPiTA Snowboarding and High Cascade Camps and we made a plan to make this a reality. We would pool our resources to create a scholarship fund that would provide tSB alumni with a chance to attend snowboarding camp, hone their skills under expert instruction, and learn more about the industry. Read on to hear from our 2022 snowboarding camp scholars, Arya, Phillip, and Quinci, about their experiences at camp!
Hi everyone! My name is Arya, I use she/her pronouns, and I’m a prophet at tSB!
When I was told that I was going to be able to attend the summer camp I was ecstatic. A new mountain, new people, new experiences, and improving my skills? I felt like I was the luckiest person on Earth. However, this was my first time attending a summer camp so I didn’t consider the cons of attending camp. For the first few days I felt mad at myself, I wasn’t improving at snowboarding like everyone else, and I couldn’t for the life of me figure out how to talk with my cabinmates, I felt like I was wasting a once in a lifetime opportunity. But I found at my lowest points there was always someone willing to support, whether it was a hug or listening to me rant. So it made me think, maybe it was okay to improve at my own pace, to talk when I wanted to, to not be happy all of the time, I shouldn’t have to be the best to prove that I am grateful or worthy to be there.
After that I started to have a lot more fun! I learned how to do an ollie and I got to hit a box (though my landings haven’t been as successful). Figuring things out socially was a little more tricky, I’ve grown up in an amazing community that’s filled to the brim with diversity, so coming to this camp with a huge majority of white and wealthy people was quite a shock. But luckily with time I made friends and got to know my cabinmates more. Laughing at 1 am with my friends, playing silly games with the younger campers, and even falling straight on my face, these moments I will cherish for a lifetime. Those five days were some of the best in my life. Thank you tSB for our awesome experience! And I wish the future tSB Ambassadors good luck!
Hi, I’m Quinci Spivey, I go by She/Her Pronouns and I was a peer leader this year for tSB. My experience at camp was great! The girls and counselors in my cabin were super friendly and we hung out the whole time and we still talk to each other outside of camp. My favorite part of camp would be all the friends I made and being able to further advance my skills and even learn new ones. Going to camp was an amazing experience because I got to meet so many people from all over and everyone was super welcoming and not judgmental for people that were learning something new. I pushed myself to ride park at camp even though I have never before and I‘m glad I did because it was awesome. I was able to hit my first box and I was working on trying a board slide on the box. I was also able to work on my carving skills and trying to land a back side 180. I am proud of myself that I pushed over my fears and tried new things because it was very rewarding. I am so grateful that I got the opportunity to attend this camp because otherwise I feel that I wouldn’t have pushed myself to try out all the things I did. It was a little uncomfortable at some points because there wasn’t many people that looked like me at camp and there were also not as many girls as there were boys so at times, it was a little intimidating to do things. Overall going to camp was an astonishing experience and I made so many memories that I will be talking about for the rest of my life. Thank you so much for this opportunity and I will never forget my time at camp!
Hello, I’m Phillip Russell. I go by he/him pronouns and I’m a prophet at tSB.
My time at High Cascade was a fun and learning filled experience. I made a lot of progress on riding because of the help from the instructors and made friends while progressing. Getting to be on the mountain everyday was one of my favorite things about the camp. It was tiring and some of my gear was drenched, but the camp made sure I could deal with those things. The camp allowed people to buy and test out gear in case your own was unusable or if you just wanted to try it out. Those are just some things that I really liked about the camp.
There were groups for every skill level so I was placed with people who were learning most of the same things I was learning. While in my group I learned to hit boxes and small jumps mostly. I was really proud of that because before that week I could barely do ollies. I tried other things like rails and riding switch but I was less successful with those. When the camp ended the snowboard instructors left me with tips on what to work on more to perfect my skills which was super helpful. Because of that, I can continue to improve my riding even though they aren’t here to teach me.
Going to camp was a great choice. Being able to form new connections and strengthen older ones with the other tSB attendees. I’ll miss the friends I made there, the instructors, counselors and the activities the camp held. I really valued my time there and hope to go back another summer.