SnowSchool

SnowSchool at Bogus Basin began back in the winter of 2005 as a collaborative effort between the Bogus Basin Nordic Center, the Boise National Forest and Winter Wildlands Alliance. The three organizations teamed up to pilot a snowshoe field trip program where elementary school kids could experience the wonders of the winter landscape and learn a few things about science and ecology along the way.  Since then the program has grown by leaps and bounds.

SnowSchool is actually a national program run by Winter Wildlands Alliance that operates at 45 independent sites across the nation's snow-belt. WWA teams up with local nonprofits, ski areas, nature centers and national parks to get kids out to explore the winter on their own two feet.  As the National Flagship SnowSchool Site, Bogus Basin continues to collaborate with WWA and the Boise National Forest to develop and implement dynamic winter education programs.

Historically employees from the Boise National Forest led snowshoe outings at the Frontier Point Nordic Center for years and this partnership created the foundation for what grew into a formal winter field trip program.  Today the SnowSchool field trip leaders are a dedicated group of volunteers and interns from Boise State University who have a passion for human-powered winter recreation and an interest in natural science.

The Bogus Basin Nordic Center is the perfect home for the SnowSchool program since it was intended from the onset to be an educational facility. The surrounding forest terrain and extensive trail network, with its gorgeous views of the Treasure Valley and the Seven Devils range in the distance, provides an incredible landscape for kids to explore on snowshoes.

In recent seasons the City of Boise Environmental Education program has become an important partner in the SnowSchool program.  Through the WaterShed Education Center and the Foothills Learning Center, teachers now have the option to schedule free pre-trip classroom visits.  These engaging presentations focus on snow-science and winter ecology and complement classroom science curriculum. 

SnowSchool is open to 4th through 6th grade youth groups during the months of January, February and March. Recently we've piloted a new curriculum for high school students that is available upon request.  SnowSchool operates Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 10am to 2:00pm. Groups of up to 45 kids can be accomodated thanks to a generous $5,000 grant from the local REI that allowed the purchase of MSR and Atlas snowshoes.