The ladies in Utah are doing an amazing job of leading the charge on our youth initiatives program – this year Utah Regional Coordinator, Meaghan McKasy, headed up the effort on the hugely successful (S)heJumps into the Canyon event.
(S)heJumps into the Canyon is THE youth outreach event of the year! Now in its 6th year, SJIC took place on March 8, 15, 22, and 29th. The camp is designed for local teens to explore and adventure in the Wasatch mountains with positive and empowering role models. Over 30 teens attended from 4 Boys and Girls Clubs around the Salt Lake valley: Murray, Midvale, Lied, and Capitol West. Teens ranged in ability from “never evers” to those in their 4th year of the program.
One SJIC graduate, Aaron Arnold, even came back to help coach! He graduated from high school last year and did SJIC, never having skied before. In fact, he touched the volunteers last year when he missed the bus up to Alta one of the days and rode his bike up canyon (a brutal ride) to make it. Now he’s a liftie at Alta and totally loving it – and he’s a total ripper! He volunteered this year and you could just tell he was so excited to have all those kids up there. A volunteer coach said, “It was so inspiring to see how Aaron has come to love skiing and how he wants to help other teens learn through (S)heJumps into the Canyon. Talk about motivation for all of us volunteers!”
Everyone was incredibly supportive of the event. We could not have done it without our amazing volunteers who were able to wear both hats of coach and friend by encouraging teens to try their hardest, while still having fun. All kids tickets are generously donated by Alta and rentals are sponsored by the Alta Ski Shop and the Deep Powder House. On hill support from Albion Grill and the Goldminers Daughter made it so that every teen had a warm lunch and a place to keep their shoes during the day. One day the teens were treated to a presentation by Alta Ski Patrol to talk about safety and how the resort operates. They even brought along an avalanche dog! Overall, it was a very exciting event and we look forward to next year!
The Alta Ski Patrol speaks to the group.
Highlights for Meaghan: For myself personally SJIC has been a really important event. It was one of the first SheJumps activities that I got involved in and I think it really helped me to decide that, yes this is a group I want to work with. Also, fun story, but I met one of my closest friends during SJIC 3 years ago. We had the only two girls who didn’t make it off the rope tow one day so the four of us bonded over hot chocolate!
Meaghan providing instruction to some of the SJIC participants.