The Volunteer Schedule and Curriculum Packet Are Now Posted

Volunteers please click on "Volunteer Resources" and navigate your way to these documents.  The schedule is non-interactive, that is to say you need to email me directly if you want to sign up or switch a date.  The packet is for you to use as you need but I will have several available each day of SnowSchool.  Thanks to all!


First SnowSchool Group to Arrive at Bogus Basin January 5 2010!

Tomorrow 45 students from the Boise Language Academy will attend the first 2010 session of Bogus Basin SnowSchool!  Thanks to all volunteers and other folks who have helped make this season a reality.  See you on the mountain!



The SnowSchool Season Has Begun!

December 1st, 2009

Hi SnowSchool Supporters,


I wanted to say thanks to all of you who attended our orientations in November. It feels great to know so many people are ready to support our community and help kids get outside.


We are now only 5 days away from our first On-Snow training!   I ordered several feet of snow a couple of weeks ago but it has yet to arrive.  We plan to go ahead with the On-Snow training, despite the bogus title (snow-pun intended) and make the best of what conditions we have.  Often times there is just enough snow in the shade for us to do a bare bones demonstration of our activities.  Many of you have signed up for the training this coming Saturday December 5th but there is also the January 3rd option.  Let me know if you'd like to switch for any reason. 


We've tried to arrange the schedule to progress from indoor drudgery to outdoor bliss, so hopefully the day will end up being fun for everyone.  Here's what to expect:  


8AM Carpool meets in front of Highlands Elementary (3434 North Bogus Basin Road), no RSVP required

9AM Complete Paperwork and Orientation at J.R. Simplot Lodge (3rd Level)

10AM SnowSchool Logistics at The Nordic Lodge

10:30AM On-Snow for Winter Ecology with Super Naturalists Edna and Ray Vizgirdas

12:30 Lunch in lodge and Sign-Up to Lead SnowSchool Dates

1-3PM On-Snow for SnowSchool Activities with Kerry and Ilyse

3PM Q&A if needed

4PM End


Please bring a sack lunch and be prepared to spend the day outside!


If you are having a scheduling problem please let me know so we can work something out!  Thanks and see you on the mountain!



Kerry McClay



October 15th, 2009

Dear Dedicated SnowSchool Volunteers,

This morning as I sat outside on the covered deck in front of the Bogus Basin office a brisk gust of wind blew in a downpour of October rain.  Some might say it is strange that such a seemingly unrelated event would remind me of SnowSchool, but it did.  The thundering sound of rain beating against the pavement, the unmistakeable scent of fresh moisture saturating the air and the blinding sheets of silvery wetness all joined forces to wrestle my attention away from my busy work.  I guess in a way this is what we try to do at SnowSchool.  For the past two winters we have joined together to create an experience of sudden and all encompassing immersion in the very forces that shape life on our planet.  Students have learned about the nature of their community by braving powerful snowstorms, wandering through towering pines, following mysterious animal tracks and by burrowing through deep drifts of Bogus Basin powder.  They have learned in this way because, through your leadership, you have granted them the opportunity.   Let's get together and make it happen again!
So it is with create anticipation that I would like to announce the opening of the Bogus Basin SnowSchool season!  Please note the following important dates:
Orientation for Returning Volunteers: Thursday November 5th 7PM at the Bogus Basin Downtown Office (2600 Bogus Basin Road)
Orientation for New Volunteers: Wednesday November 11th 7PM at REI Boise   
For the returning volunteers there will be an opportunity to sign-up for dates and I will also be going over new developments in this year's program (there are a few).   
We are also very priviledged to have an ongoing relationship with PCEI Americorps.  We lucked out and got an amazing Americorp member, Ilyse Sakamoto to join us on the mountain this winter.  I asked her to write a few words on the subject:
Hi fellow SnowSchool enthusiasts.  My name is Ilyse Sakamoto and I am fortunate enough to have been granted the position of the AmeriCorps volunteer for the 2009-2010 SnowSchool season.  This past May I graduated from Providence College with a Bachelor’s degree in Public and Community Service Studies.  I have moved back home and am looking forward to spending some quality time with my old friend Bogus Basin.  What an amazing opportunity for the youth of Boise to be able to experience the mountain in a way that was never offered to me as a young student.  I am drawn to SnowSchool so heavily because it is a true fusion of the many aspects of service that I have come to regard as essential components of being a mindful community member: community outreach, education, environmentalism, teamwork, organizing, creativity, philosophy, reflection, leadership, relationships…just to name a few.  The building of relationships is one of my biggest motivators and I am slowly realizing that this is not limited to purely human relationships.  Through my past work as an AmeriCorps member with Bogus Basin’s Mountain Discovery Camp (summer 2009) I have started to learn just how crucial and necessary it is to recognize the innate relationships we share with nature. These connections are not contingent on our acknowledgement; they exist, have existed, and will continue to be a key ingredient in the human person.  Programs such as SnowSchool work to develop this sense of awareness by encouraging individuals to understand and appreciate their natural settings, by learning how to take advantage of the multitude of lessons it has to offer, and by beginning to understand what it means to live harmoniously with a part of existence that is so often overlooked.  I am humbled to be part of such a supportive network and thrilled to start building those relationships with the students, teachers, volunteers, and the mountain in such a unique way.  I cannot wait to begin this exciting journey. -Ilyse Sakamoto 
 As you can see we are very fortunate to have such a talented person onboard for the upcoming SnowSchool season.  Please let me know if you have any questions and please let your friends know about the SnowSchool volunteer opportunity.  I look forward to catching up with all of you!
Kerry McClay
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