South Lake Tahoe Nonprofit Snowshoe Program

Kirkwood on 3/15/2018 11:01:05 AM

Two of our nonprofit partners united for an outdoor education adventure, sponsored by EpicPromise. See below for the story from the Boys and Girls Club of Lake Tahoe!

During President’s week break, the Tahoe Rim Trail Association and the Boys and Girls Club of Lake Tahoe came together to run a snowshoeing program at the Club. The program was funded by a grant from Epic Promise and all age groups took part. It was uncertain for a while whether we would have any snow, but Mother Nature delivered just in time. The younger grades enjoyed snow play and lessons on how our local animals survive our winters. 4th grade and up strapped on snowshoes and headed down to Trout Creek, where they combined a lesson in using snowshoes, with how snow is formed, water flow in the winter, and even did an impromptu trash pick-up.

The highlight of the week was the teens’ overnight snow camping experience. Eleven teenagers braved the snow and -20 temps to camp out on the fields next to the Club. For some this was their first experience of camping, let alone camping in the snow! The program started with learning how to set up a camp in the snow, how to look for shelter from the wind and the positioning of tents. They then cooked their evening meal on camp stoves and played a two-hour game of tag in the snow to keep themselves warm. By that point everyone was ready for bed and we were so proud and impressed when we didn’t see them again until morning. Adventure activities such as this are vital to the social and emotional growth of our members.

The experience of staying out all night, doing something special but also hard, will have increased their self-confidence, resilience and strengthened their friendships. Now when they tell us they can’t do something, we will remind them that they slept outside on one of the coldest nights of the year, which proves they can do anything!