Snow-Camp, West of Scotland, Spring 2018
I first started at Snow-Camp last summer when I participated in their First Tracks course. I loved it so I went back for the Graduate programme where we heard from different people within the Snowsports industry as well as having one day a week for six weeks of skiing. For most of those weeks I was having lessons working on my technical skiing at Snow Factor and at Bearsden Ski Centre. On one of the weeks we went up to Glencoe and skied on real snow for the very first time. At the end of the course I was sure that I wanted to become a ski instructor.
I wanted to progress onto the Excel programme, Excel was a ten-week course which ran up until April which would give us a Snowsport Scotland Assistant Instructor qualification. I applied to the Neil Mackenzie Trust for funding support as without help I would never have been able to do this. I also worked hard to do some fundraising of my own before the course started to enable me to go to Italy.
I did lots of different things during this programme, we had lessons from instructors at Snow Factor and Bearsden Ski Centre, which was beneficial for our technical skiing and our teaching skills. We also did live teaching, which was people brought in either an adult or a child who had never skied before and in small groups we would teach them the basics of either skiing or snowboarding. The live teaching was all watched by qualified instructors who would help us if we needed any help and would give us advice. At the end of the live teaching we got feedback sheets from the people we taught. Doing the live teaching also helped us with learning how to do lesson plans.
During Excel we had safeguarding course and first aid course, which was extremely interesting, and I can also put those courses on my CV. We also went up to Glencoe on Excel which improved my mountain awareness. Near the end of Excel, we went to Pila in Italy. During our week stay in Pila we had three days of lessons from instructors focusing on our technical skiing and then on the other three days we would shadow skiing instructors which really gave us a brilliant insight to how to teach people to ski. When we came home from Italy, the following week we had our Snowsport Scotland Level 1 Assistant Instructor assessment day which we got assessed on our technical skiing and our teaching, which I passed!
Snow-Camp has changed me as a person. When I began I had no real ambitions. I had no job and wasn’t engaged in any form of education. I lacked in confidence and had no self-esteem. My life was heading in a downhill direction and my future didn’t look bright.
On finishing Excel, I feel my life has turned around. My confidence has grown, and I am so proud of what I have achieved. I have made amazing friends, they are like my ‘Snow-Camp’ family. I have been taught so much and has ignited a passion in snowsports for me. I have now been given a fantastic opportunity to go through an Apprenticeship with Snow-Camp and will be starting this in July.
I am extremely grateful got the funding I received from you so that I could go through Snow-Camp.