Beginner’s Mind

“As beginners, the foreign language of awkward body movements communicates a commonality and leaves an ego naked. In this fragile moment, we are able to lay a foundation, a connection,” writes Becca. It’s hard to forget the first time you wedged fingers into a granite crack or careened wildly out of control down a ski slope. I bet you remember who was alongside of you.  In the outdoor world, as we age, we can become picky. We are able to discern choss from splitter granite or hard packed moguls from Utah’s finest snow. Opportunities to return to that beginner’s wonder can be rare. Sometimes it is as simple as trading two planks for one.

Burton Chill Program: 

The Chill Program is a non-profit, learn-to-ride program for under-served youth in urban areas across the U.S. In short, it’s a kick-ass program started by Jake and Donna Burton of Burton Snowboards fame that gets 2,200 youth who have never ridden before and probably wouldn’t have the opportunity to do so other wise out on the slopes. It’s not some photo-op program either. The Chill people do it right. This isn’t just a chance to try snowboarding; it’s a chance to learn. The program last six weeks. Participants receive lift tickets, rentals, transport to the mountain, lessons and most of all a pretty unforgettable time.

I’ve been involved as a volunteer for Chill for about three seasons now, and am always blown away by the impact it can have. (You might remember this Story). Snowboarding isn’t going to solve the world’s ills, but this program can have a pretty powerful influence on some (certainly not all) of its participants.  Most of all…it’s a frickin blast to volunteer. Check out their site for locations. I’d highly recommend it for people looking to get involved in their communities.

Music: Yea Yeah by Matt & Kim  •   Two Times by The Blakes  •   Day in the Life (Featuring Steph) by Substantial

Music provided by IODA Promonet.


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