Welcome to the 2014-2015 SnowSchool Season!

It's here....SnowSchool season 2014-2015 has officially kicked off! 


Welcome back to all you dedicated and passionate SnowSchool volunteers! I hope each of you had outstanding summers and are still enjoying the warm weather. The leaves have started to fall but the temperatures outside hint more at bike riding and hiking than they do snowshoeing and belly sliding. But we're not fooled by that, there's much to be done to prepare for another exciting season of SnowSchool.


Teachers have been booking their SnowSchool trips since last spring; the calendar is almost completely full; and we've got over 2,000 students scheduled for an amazing day of learning through hands-on experiences up on the mountain. And as always, these 2,000+ students would never have this opportunity if it weren't for exceptional community members such as yourselves! It is you who are the heart and spirit of this program. The students come up to the mountain, some greatly challenged by the environment, and leave more knowledgeable, inspired, excited, in awe, and connected. Connected to their classmates, lessons they've learned in the classroom, the snow, the local ecosystem, the winter environment, and their SnowSchool leader. It is your leadership that creates an experience for these students that some describe as, "the best day ever" and "the best day of [their lives]".



It's time to get back into the swing of things, SnowSchool style. We'll kick off this season with our Veteran Volunteer Orientation. There are a few new additions to this season I'm excited to share with you all. This orientation will be held on Wednesday, November 19th, 7pm, at the downtown office (2600 N. Bogus Basin Rd.). Bring your calendars and planners so you can sign up for volunteer days. You can also check out the SnowSchoolwebsite and calendar in advance to get an idea of when you'd like to volunteer (you can also send me an email with dates you'd like to volunteer for if you can't make the orientation). Follow this link (or copy and paste) to the calendar:


In an effort to continually grow our volunteer base, I'm asking each of you to "Bring a Buddy" to the orientation on November 19th. Ask a partner, friend, sibling, family member whom you think would enjoy sharing their passion for nature and learning with students to join you at our orientation. She/ he will have the opportunity to learn more aboutSnowSchool and how to get involved.


If you are unable to attend orientation, here's a list of our training days:


1) Activities day (1 of 2): Saturday, December 13th. 9:30am-3pm. Nordic Lodge. Carpool will be at 8:45am. 


2) Build the Igloo: Friday, January 2nd. 8:45am (carpool)- 3. Nordic Lodge.


3) Activities day (2 of 2): Saturday, January 3rd. 9:30-3. Nordic Lodge. Carpool will be at 8:45am.


4) Winter Ecology with Edna: Monday, January 5th. 8:45 (carpool)- 3pm. Nordic Lodge. This day will start with Carolyn Volk giving the "Critters and Crags" pre-trip lesson that our students receive. Now you'll know exactly how they've been prepped and what they've been introduced to.


5) Snow Science day with Brian Anderson: Tuesday, January 6th. 8:45 (carpool)- 3pm. Nordic Lodge. This day will start with Cindy Busche giving the Snow and Water Cycle pre-trip lesson that our students receive. Now you'll know exactly how they've been prepped and what they've been introduced to. We'll also end this day with a fun trail orientation scavenger hunt. Just in case you need a refresher. 


Please send me a quick note on which training days you will be attending so we don't leave anyone behind at the carpool.


***Also, please know that I am always happy to present about SnowSchool to any interested parties you may be connected with. Just give me a call or shoot me a message. I always love sharing SnowSchool with others.***


Hope to see each of you at orientation or training. Thank you again for the commitment, continual support and passion your bring to SnowSchool. 

Ilyse Sakamoto


Ever wonder what a day at SnowSchool looks like?

Well, here you go. 

No, SnowSchool is not a skiing's an educational science-based program that allows Treasure Valley students to explore the Boise National Forest in a winter environment. Students head into the forest on snowshoes and utilize the natural wonders of the outdoors to learn about various topics such as snow science, ecology, natural history, physical education and much, much more. 

Bogus Basin's SnowSchool was featured in the Life section of the Idaho Statesman on Sunday, February 16, 2014! Katherine Jones, Statesman photojournalist, did an amazing job capturing the spirit of the program. Check out the Statesman's photos and video to get an idea of what SnowSchool is really all about. Thanks so much, Katherine!


SnowSchool in the Statesman 

Be sure to check out the Life section of the Idaho Statesman THIS SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 16th! Katherine Jones, Statesman photojournalist, did a story on SnowSchool last Tuesday. The story features 5th and 6th grade students from Amity Elementary. Be sure to take a look! 


Need your SnowSchool fix?

Here's the prefect opportunity:


We could still use a bit more help on Wednesday (1/22) and Friday (1/24) of this week. 

Wednesday, January 22nd: Whitney Elementary. This is one of two groups we'll host from Whitney's 5th grade classes. This is a super important day as this is the school we are piloting our follow-up program with. These kids will be collecting and recording data in the field (from the snow pit analysis) and taking it back to their classrooms to analyze. We need 2 more volunteers for this day. It's going to be a big, fun, full day. 

Friday, January 24th: Whitney Elementary. This is the second half of Whitney's 5th grade students. This day will also include recording data for their follow-up program. We need 2 more volunteers for this day. 

Please, if you are interested or able to help out on either or both of these days, let me know. This program is only possible with the community volunteer leadership team. These students need you to ensure they have an incredible learning and adventuring experience. 

 Thank you to all of you for your help and continually stepping up to ensure this program is a success. 




Shadow Week

The time has come...SnowSchool will officially be hosting it's first students THIS WEEK! Our first group, Central Elementary 3rd graders (a brand new class to SnowSchool) from Nampa, will be our very first group of the year! We've got a huge, huge first week ahead of us. Groups of 30, 45 and even 54 students will be the very first of the season to do snowshoe rock paper scissors, climb into the igloo, and be part of an incredible community program.
This upcoming week is shadow week! It's the prefect opportunity to get your snowshoe legs back on and re-familiarize yourself with the program and activities. It's going to be an amazing week! This first week is sure to be buzzing with early season excitement and energy. 
This program would never be possible without the dedication and passion that you all share about the outdoors, winter spaces, and engaging and educating so many youth from our city. However, we still need volunteer leaders to start us off right! 
Here's a look at what our first week looks like:
Tuesday, January 7th- Nampa Central Elementary- 3rd graders- 45 students
Wednesday, January 8th- Owyhee Harbor- 6th graders- 30 students (we have this day covered)
Thursday, January 9th- Whittier- 5/6th combo- 54 students
Friday, January 10th- Horizon- 5th grade- 54 students (could use one or two more volunteers)
We need a great deal of support for Tuesday and Thursday.
Let's kick off the 2014 SnowSchool season with a bang and make sure these students have the inspiring, unforgettable experiences so many past students have had. 
Please email or call me if you are interested in coming up this week to lead or shadow. Thanks again for your dedication and commitment to this program. It wouldn't be possible without you. 


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