SnowSchool Site Spotlight: Catamount Outdoor Family Center

Photo provided by Catamount Family Outdoor Center

Every year, SnowSchool works with 35,000 students at 70 sites across the country. For many of these kids, exploring the wilds of winter is a new experience. A majority of SnowSchool students are snowshoeing for their first time ever, and many SnowSchool sites focus on engaging Title-1 Schools and other populations that are typically underserved by outdoor programs. SnowSchool educators can be teachers, professional outdoor educators, park rangers and some are volunteers who want to share their passion for winter and adventure with kids–a few are even SnowSchool alumni!

Every one of our 70 SnowSchool sites are unique in the way they serve their community through education and stewardship

One of our newest SnowSchool sites, Catamount Outdoor Family Center, made significant strides this winter getting hundreds of local Vermont youth outside and learning about science. The center launched their SnowSchool program in 2021 with the goals of introducing kids to snowshoeing and helping them learn more about their own Lake Champlain Watershed. The response from local teachers and students has been enormously positive (see teacher/student feedback, right)

Catamount Outdoor Educator Amanda Preston commented that “Catamount’s inaugural SnowSchool year would not have been possible without the Lake Champlain Basin Program’s grant support which enabled us to purchase snowshoes and other snow science equipment. This grant also allowed us to completely cover the program fees for 20 programs (both in snow covered school yards and as field trips on the COFC’s trail network) reaching across nine Vermont towns and 445 local students.”

Catamount Outdoor Family Center is Vermont’s centrally located, most extensive professionally maintained multi-use trail network with year-round fun for active outdoor people of all ages. Read more about and get involved with Catamount Outdoor Family Center’s SnowSchool program here.

Nationally, WWA’s SnowSchool program acts as an experiential bridge connecting kids to the world of snow science and winter recreation. Our curriculum is designed for kindergarten to high school and combines a field trip in the snow with classroom presentations. Students learn about hydrology, winter ecology, wildlife, and snow crystals. They also make a vital connection between the snowpack and the water they drink every day. “Every year we work to bring the SnowSchool experience to new communities and the kid who need it the most” said Kerry McClay, WWA National SnowSchool Director.

“Every year we work to bring the SnowSchool experience to new communities and the kids who need it the most” – Kerry McClay, WWA National SnowSchool Director

Check out some more photo highlights from Catamount’s SnowSchool season-