Shred Mama: Family Camp

Kelly Vance

I talked to Kevin English from High Cascade Snowboard Camp about their new program called Family Snowbaord Camp.   This unique concept turns snowboard camp into a family vacation, providing learning opportunities for kids and adults, ages 4 and up.  To me, it sounds like a fantastic opportunity to get your kids (and maybe your significant other) excited about snowboarding before winter rolls in.  Nothing like teaching your youngster (again, or significant other) to snowboard in sunny, warm weather to make things fun and less complainy. I’m all about less complainy.

Tell us who Family Camp is for. 

HCSC’s Family Snowboard Camp is for any form of a family unit with kids who are 4 or older and love snowboarding! Even if you have infants, you can take turns snowboarding and staying off-hill to take care of your young-un(s).

Do you get a lot of younger kids? 
We do get a lot of younger kids.  We used to only allow 12 and up for overnight camp; now we allow 9 and up with day campers even younger.  One of the ideas of Family Snowboard Camp is to have something for even younger kids!

Coaching-wise how do you deal with the very young kids, who may get tired/cranky sooner than the rest of the campers?
It’s all about understanding that these younger kids have shorter attention spans and need more frequent rests.  I am a father of two and our Family Camp manager, Krista, is the mother of a 5 year-old so we are acutely aware of the unique needs of these younger snowboarders!

Do parents get in on the action too?
Of course parents get in on the action.  This is a vacation for everyone.  So whether you have a 4 year old or a 13 year old, we have coaching, instruction, and supervision for your child while you get some adult snowboard time.  There are also evening opportunities for parents to spend time with the rest of our Adult Campers, which takes place the same time as Family Camp.

Where did the idea for family camp come from?
For years we’ve seen such cool pioneering families ask about camp or simply come to Mount Hood as families to ride.  I think with me having kids of this ripe age (4 and 7-years old), I finally pushed to make this happen.  I’m part of this demographic that snowboarded in the 90’s and 2000’s; we now have kids, disposable income, and some of us may even happen to have a minivan.  But besides having a totally cool functional vehicle (haha) we want to share experiences with our kids.  It seems that this generation of parents, more than any before, is really looking for positive ways to engage with their children.  Family Snowboard Camp does just that through intentional on and off snow experiences.

Is this a good way to get your kids into snowboarding?  How much progression do you see in the course of the week from the “never-evers”?
This is a perfect opportunity to get your kids into snowboarding!  For the first time at HCSC we’ll have tiny (80cm and bigger) snowboards / boots / bindings, and a Burton Riglet park which is specifically designed for making that first day on snow successful.  We define “success” as mom, dad, and child as all having smiles on their face.  And did I mention it will be 70 degrees, under blue skies on perfectly soft snow?  Yep, no learning in bitter cold snowstorms here.


Do you also get adults who’ve never snowboarded before (ie. Maybe dad snowboards but mom doesn’t?)
We absolutely teach adults who’ve never ridden before.  In 2009 our VP of Programming, Chris Hargrave, developed HCSC Soft Start™ with Burton to accomplish just such a task.  I’m basically saying there are no excuses!  We are here with arms wide open to anyone of any level who wants to experience an amazing time on a snowboard!

What kinds of off hill activities do you do with families?
We really want to provide families with great flexibility while having a thread of togetherness.  As such, we’ll have optional Family meet-up times on the hill to free ride together, daily childcare (4-8 yrs) from 12pm-3pm at Collins Lake resort, including kids snowboard videos, sponsor crafts and activities, and afternoon snack. Family arcade night; Family Activity / Rest day at the Ski Bowl Adventure Park; Parent’s night out; Kid’s movie night; Family swimming at the Resort and Family Skate session with coaches in one of our skate parks.  Lots of funs stuff!  And if you don’t skateboard, we have the right coaching and equipment to make that foray a successful one too!

Give us the details - where and when and how to sign up:
Arrival day: June 26
On-Snow: June 27 – July 2
Departure Day: July 3

For more information and to register, call 503.206.8520 on your cell or dial us up on the web to see photos, videos, and full descriptions.


Posted by Kelly Vance on 05/07/15

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