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Atlas and the Winter Wildlands Alliance

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KerryProflie

From the Winter Wildlands Alliance:

Dear Atlas Snow-Shoe Company,

SnowSchool is officially winding down for the year and we’ve put together this season-end report to update you on all the recent SnowSchool developments made possible by Atlas’ support this past year.

Program Scope and Impact

As we do at the end of every SnowSchool season, we’ve nearly completed our survey of SnowSchool sites to measure how many participants came through the program this winter. With surveys from most of our major sites in, we estimate that SnowSchool engaged over 33,000 participants across 65 active sites, with 54% of the students qualifying as underserved and 50% of the of kids never having been on snowshoes before! This winter SnowSchool engaged an additional 4,000 adult chaperones, parents, K-12 teachers and volunteer educators. A SnowSchool student had this to say about her experience:

“Dear SnowSchool- Thank you so much for taking us snowshoeing and telling us about wildlife, plus telling us about the water cycle. I told my brother about how fun it was and he can’t wat to go!” –Abbey, 4th Grade Student

Success Stories

Program Expansion: Every winter WWA brings SnowSchool to new communities across the country by working to establish new SnowSchool sites. By partnering with existing organizations WWA can provide the science curriculum, discount snowshoes, educational equipment, on-snow training, over-the-phone/email mentoring and fundraising events necessary to quickly launch a winter program to serve new populations of students. Our national expansion efforts were boosted this year by the first-ever SnowSchool film to appear in WWA’s Backcountry Film Festival. The film, SnowSchool Experiences, featured our Northern Idaho Flagship Site and provided audiences at 107 showings nationwide with a compelling illustration of the program. As a result of this additional exposure and our ongoing efforts, WWA added 8 new SnowSchool sites in the following locations: Idaho City ID, Fairplay CO, Mammoth Lakes CA, Livingston MT, Wenatchee WA, Leavenworth WA, Dillion CO and Plumas County CA. This was the most sites we’ve ever added in a year!

Helping Rural Kids Explore Public Lands: Many successful SnowSchool sites are located in nature centers, Nordic centers, national parks and ski resorts that engage thousands of kids from urban areas every winter. But in many rural and mountainous communities students don’t need to get on a bus and drive hours to a nature center to explore the wilds of winter– they have public land right out the front door of their school. Thus, to bring the SnowSchool experience to students in these rural communities WWA is actively working to develop a new “traveling SnowSchool” program model. The concept was piloted this winter with the US Forest Service at our new SnowSchool site in rural Idaho City. Snowshoes and volunteer leaders arrived at the school and classes of fourth graders headed out the door and onto National Forest land across the street! Look for updates on this project in the coming season as we work to connect all kids with nature and help them understand the importance of our nation’s public lands.

Connecting Students with Snow Science: The SnowSchool program is uniquely situated to help K-12 students explore connections between mountain snow, climate research and water science, topics that are particularly relevant in western states and communities where mountain snow provides approximately 80 percent of the water supply. To capitalize on this opportunity WWA forged a new collaboration in 2017 with the National Resource Conservation Service’s Snow Survey Program. Utilizing NRCS’s network of remote SnoTEL stations (which monitor mountain snow across the west) WWA created a new web-based science activity to follow-up the SnowSchool field trip. This “Snowpack Prediction Contest” enables kids all across the Western US to study decades of snowpack data in their local watershed, and transforms the SnowSchool experience from a one-day event into winter-long science project. Quantitative outcome data collected by WWA shows that underserved students make significant gains is science learning through participation. Fifty-five classrooms of students nationally participated in this project in its first year and WWA aims to expand in future seasons. By combining this innovative snow science curriculum with fun outdoor exploration, SnowSchool is creating for kids both an emotional connection to winter wildlands and greater understanding of the important ecological role of mountain snow.

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The Trail Ahead

With your support we aspire to continue our efforts to increase the number of SnowSchool sites nationally and enhance the overall experience for every student. We envision a thriving national program that will foster rich ecological literacy in our communities and introduce generations of kids to the wonders of snowshoe exploration.

Sincerely,

Kerry McClay, Ed.D.

National SnowSchool Director

 

 

Prepare for National Trails Day

backcountry-avalanche-safety-snowshoers-940x564Looking to get out on snow while you still can? In the Trails.com Snowshoeing section you will find everything from easy snowshoe trails to overnight backcountry snowshoeing and winter camping trips. They have winter trails everywhere from sno-parks and winter playgrounds to remote backcountry lakes, canyons, and mountain peaks – something for snowshoers and “winter hikers” of all abilities and experience levels. Each snowshoeing trip is a complete chapter from a snowshoeing guidebook and includes a detailed trail map, driving directions to the trailhead, and a clear description of the route, all produced by well-known outdoor guidebook publishers. Every snowshoe route is linked to USGS topographic maps from the trail overview page, and many also offer a host of additional features like photos, regional locator maps, and avalanche danger assessments. To find a great snow trail for you, just click on the link. Then browse by selecting a specific region or “Top Trail” from the list, or by simply clicking on the interactive state map. Get out, enjoy the trails, and tag us in your photos!

Gear Review: Atlas Snowshoes for Kids

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Caption: Smuggler Notch Family Snowshoe Programs include the Family Snowshoe Cider Walk, which is an educational and fun guided trek on the special kids’ trail, followed by hot apple cider at the Nordic Center. The resort carries a full line of Atlas Snowshoes for kids.

Looking to buy new snowshoes for your kids? Check out Backcountry.com’s  Atlas kids’ snowshoe gear reviews to help you choose the best model snowshoes for your girls and boys.


Atlas Mini Snowshoe – Girls Turn Her Into A Winter Adventurer.

It’s amazing how a snowstorm can transform a landscape into a magical new realm, especially for curious kids exploring backyard trails and forests in the wintertime. Satisfy your budding explorer’s thirst for wintertime adventure with the Atlas Girls’ Mini Snowshoe. This lightweight, vibrantly colored snowshoe makes learning fun and easy, meaning she’ll be hooked from the minute she slides it on ’til the very last mile of the hike. The signature snowflake traction leaves a fun pattern in the snow, so she can retrace her steps back to the car.

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The Mini Snowshoe is ideal for girls ranging from four-to-eight years old, thanks to a fully adjustable Grom binding that comfortably secures without pressure points. Dual adjustments along the binding’s instep and heel accommodate rapidly growing feet. The rotating toe cord offers an efficient stride across snowy landscapes, also digging the steel crampon into hardpack snow and icy trails with sure-footed grip.

  • Makes snowshoeing fun and intuitive
  • Fits girls from four to eight years old
  • Grom binding secures without pressure points
  • Rotating steel toe cord for walking efficiency
  • Steel crampon digs into icy surfaces and trails
  • Signature snowflake traction along bottom

Atlas Sprout Snowshoe – Boys Wintertime Fun Is Calling.

Introduce your budding explorer to the wintry wonderland of snowy forests and hiking trails with the Atlas Boys’ Sprout Snowshoe. This fun-loving snowshoe is decked out in fun colors and lightweight materials, making snowshoeing fun and easy for first time users. Snowflake traction along the bottom leaves a fun pattern in the snow, so he can retrace his steps on the way back to the car.

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The Sprout Snowshoe is ideal for kids ranging from four-to-eight years old, thanks to its fully adjustable Grom binding that comfortably secures without pressure points. Dual adjustments along the binding’s instep and heel accommodate rapidly growing kids while securing comfortably without pressure points. The rotating toe cord offers an efficient stride across snowy landscapes, helping to dig the steel crampon into hardpack snow and icy trails with sure-footed traction.

  • Makes snowshoeing fun and intuitive
  • Fits kids from four to eight years old
  • Grom binding secures without pressure points
  • Rotating steel toe cord for walking efficiency
  • Steel crampon digs into icy surfaces and trails
  • Signature snowflake traction along bottom

Atlas Echo Snowshoe – Girls Get Her Hooked On Wintertime.

Get your little lady hooked on exploring snow-covered environments with the Atlas Girls’ Echo Snowshoe. Let’s face it; most kids don’t want to use something if it doesn’t look cool. That’s why Atlas hooked up the Echo Snowshoe with fun-loving graphics and bright colors. They’re primarily designed for groomed trails, cross-country loops, and flat-to-gently rolling terrain.

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The Echo Snowshoe adjusts to fit girls from eight to twelve years old. The Grom binding provides a secure fit without hassle, so she can enjoy the outdoor experience without the need for constant adjustments. The Fixed Toe Cord snugly wraps her boots for maximum security as she walks across snowy fields and forests. Made from lightweight aluminum, the V-frame makes walking as easy as possible with its pinched-in tail and curved design. This shape shakes off snow with each step, so she’s not carrying extra weight. It also promotes a natural gait that’s intuitive for beginners.

  • Inspire her to explore winter landscapes
  • Fits young girls from 8 to 12-years old
  • Designed for groomed trails and flat-to-rolling terrain
  • V-Frame promotes easy walking across snowy environments
  • Grom binding is intuitive to use for beginners
  • Fixed Toe Cord wraps her boots for a secure fit
  • Tempered steel crampons for extra grip across ice

Atlas Spark Snowshoe – Boys Keep The Spark Alive For Playing Outside.

Just because winter has rolled into town for the season, doesn’t mean that your kiddo has to forgo playing outside on account of a little snow. Instead, layer him up in his warmest sweaters, strap the Atlas Boys’ Spark Snowshoe to his feet, and get to tromping around.

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This kid-specific Spark snowshoe is built for young outdoor enthusiasts who range between the ages of eight and 12. Additionally, it features a size that adapts with your growing spitfire and is constructed with durable kid-friendly materials. The Grom Binding touts a molded tongue that provides a pressure-free fit and reduces the hassle of straps. Meanwhile, the fixed toe ensures that the snowshoe stays secure underfoot. And this fixed toe technology offers easy maneuverability, which is optimal for kids who are constantly on the go. The durable Atlas V-frame and tempered steel toe and heel traction assure paramount grip underfoot, so your little sparkplug can keep trucking until the cows come home.

  • A kid-friendly snowshoe for romping in deep snow
  • Atlas V-frame is lightweight and durable
  • Fixed toe ensures snowshoe stays secure
  • Grom Binding provides warmth and pressure-free fit
  • Heel and toe traction promote grip underfoot

SHOP ATLAS KIDS SNOWSHOES

Ramakko’s & Atlas Donate Kid’s Snowshoes to Kivi Park Outdoor Classroom

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On top of being a recreational getaway and haven for wildlife, Kivi Park can now call itself an outdoor classroom.

Ramakko’s Source for Adventure and Atlas Snowshoes donated 40 brand new pairs of #snowshoes to Kivi Park this winter so local kids could experience their fabulous #snowshoeing trails. The park started a snowshoe-lending program for schools, to get kids outdoors and into the fresh air.

James Moody of the Sudbury Star reported in February 2016 that the new park near Long Lake is inviting Sudbury schools to sign up for its Get Healthy, Get Active program, which covers transportation costs and outfits kids with snowshoes for a day of fresh air and exercise in the woods.

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“It’s to get the schools back out, to get the kids active and encourage healthy living,” said Melissa Sheridan, a member of the Kivi Park development team. “Nowadays the majority of schools don’t have snowshoes because of budget cuts, so the kids don’t partake in that because of the lack of equipment.”

Sheridan said any school board wishing to participate is welcome to register for a snowshoe day at the park.

Staff from the park greet the school groups when they arrive, she said, and ensure each kid gets a pair of suitable snowshoes. The park also boasts outdoor rinks, and larger groups may wish to break the day into a half-day of skating and half-day of snowshoeing, she noted.

Ramakko’s provided 40 pairs of premium Atlas snowshoes, in a couple of different lengths suitable for youth. “They’re lightweight and easy to use,” said Juliana Weaver, a manager at Ramakko’s.

A parent herself, with kids in Grades 5 and 7, Weaver said she appreciates how important outdoor experiences are for kids, as well as how tricky they can be to finance through the school system.

“I know there’s only so much money that can be spread out for field trips, even if parents are pitching in for whatever the amount is,” she said. “So it’s great when something is as easy as this.”

She said a snowshoeing program at her children’s school was cancelled a couple of years ago and it’s a loss a number of families have felt.

“It does make me excited that kids in our geographical area will be able to get out snowshoeing again,” she said.

Kivi Park reported that the program was completely oversubscribed within 48 hours.  “Amazing program for an incredible cause! Our children, our students, our teachers and our schools need and want this type of outdoor active program. Thank you Atlas Snow-Shoe Company and Ramakko’s Source for Adventure for making it possible Kivi Park!


Atlas Snowshoes offers a variety of models and sizes, including men’s snowshoes, women’s snowshoes and kids snowshoes.  SHOP ATLAS SNOWSHOES.