Words by Sam Haddad
A grey inner city housing estate is about as far removed as you can get from the white winter wonderland that is an Alpine ski resort. Growing up in the former, you would have no reason to expect the latter to ever be something you got to experience.
Skiing is expensive, more than ever these days, with even double-income middle class families struggling to take their kids away to the mountains, let alone less financially-fortunate parents. But one charity wants to change that.
Snow-Camp believes that a ski or snowboard trip can have a uniquely transformative effect on a young person’s life, especially someone who has grown up in a deprived urban area, while teaching them essential life skills at the same time.
“The mountains have always been a rejuvenating and inspiring environment. I felt the kids we were working with, in these very oppressive inner city estates in London, would be the most able to benefit from sharing that environment…”
I ask Dan Charlish, Snow-Camp’s co-founder and director how the charity started. He says: “It came about in 2003. I’d done a season and had a few friends in the snowsports world and I was doing a lot of youth work with kids in Stockwell, south London.”
“I wanted to bring the two together and start something that would enable some of the kids we were working with to experience snowsports but also grow as individuals through that experience.”