Shredding the slopes with Asheville’s Youth Outdoor Recreation Program

It’s hard to believe, says Christen McNamara, but for the first few years the City of Asheville’s Outdoor Recreation program offered a youth snowboard and skiing series, there were spots left unfilled. It’s even harder to imagine now, since this year’s program boasts a full roster of 45 kids that filled up within one day of registration.

“We filled up quickly this year,” says McNamara, the City’s Outdoor Recreation Program Coordinator. Offered by the Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts Department, outdoor recreation programs are a way to introduce children and teens to the variety of recreation opportunities the region offers. From rafting and hiking in the summer to skiing in winter, McNamara says the programs encourage kids to get out and get active. “It’s like a beginner course to all these activities,” she says. “We want kids to get outside and move around.”

Over five Fridays this winter, the kids participating in the ski and snowboard program will take a bus bound for the snow covered slopes in Cataloochee, have the opportunity to take lessons, and ski from 5:30 until 10 p.m. The group’s first trip heads up the mountain this Friday, and based on the reactions she saw last winter, McNamara anticipates a good reception from the boys and girls taking part.

“You’ve never seen kids smile this much,” she says.

Although the ski and snowboard program is full for this year, the Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts Department offers a variety of opportunities for the upcoming spring and summer, including several camps for different age groups. There are also outdoor programs offered during Asheville City School teacher work days and for home-school students.

Click here for a full listing of Outdoor Recreation Programs and prices.