Snow Camp and Ski Club of Great Britain have partnered up to give young people an opportunity to get experience in the snowsport industry. Snow Camp’s goal is to harness the power of skiing & snowboarding to break down barriers, broaden horizons and address the biggest social issues facing underserved young people today.
In the lead-up to the ski season, Snow Camp has provided apprentices to work in the Ski Club marketing department to understand this area of the ski industry. Darnel Vigille worked with Ski Club during October and was a fantastic asset to the marketing team during his placement. This is his story so far with Snow Camp:
“Before Snow Camp, I aspired to be a games designer so throughout my education, I leaned more toward subjects such as music development, art and computer science. After passing these subjects, I moved on to a ‘games art and animation’ course in college which helped a lot in understanding the fundamentals in-game design.
“Although I’m a bit rusty now and need to hone my skills, I learned how to Photoshop, 2D/3D animate, play instruments and record songs, code in Python and a few other things. Unfortunately, most roles in the job required years of experience which I did not have so it was hard to find a suitable job that would hire a college leaver.
“The job search continued until I stumbled across two jobs; a childcare job where I learned safeguarding, first aid for kids and many other things, and a digital marketing role where I worked in a team to research and deliver podcasts about the restaurant industry. I juggled these jobs for a while however they weren’t what I wanted to do for a living and so after 6 months, when the contract ended, I left the digital marketing role and solely focused on childcare.
“Soon after though, I found Snow Camp through my local youth group. They advertised it as two days of learning to snowboard which sounded amazing considering I would never have this opportunity again, so I agreed.”
“Starting Snow Camp was terrifying because I didn’t do well with new people. The first tracks were great and it was a life-changing experience, I met a few people but mainly stuck with those I came with. Although I went with 6 other people from my youth group, by the time Graduates came around, there were only three of us and many more people from other youth groups I’d never met. This is where I really started progressing my skills with snowboarding and communication.
“I found it increasingly easier to talk with certain people, but most were still strangers, however, Daisy and Paige were a big help with this. The way they delivered sessions with a calm and inviting demeanour made it easy to connect with other participants as well as the youth forum and apprentices.
“At this point, I was totally invested in Snow Camp, I wanted to progress my skills on and off the slopes, do the apprenticeship after the Excel programme and eventually pursue a career in the Snowsports industry. Although I knew what I wanted to do before Snow Camp, it’s a hard and competitive industry to get into so for me to find Snow Camp and then be able to train as a snowboarder, as a mental health coach, first aider, basically up from nothing and help me secure some placements in the Snowsports industry is really helpful in my journey.
“ I went from juggling two jobs that I didn’t really want to pursue, social anxiety and zero skill as a snowboarder to now a qualified first aider, riding park and able to deliver sessions on and off the slope, mainly thanks to Snow Camp.
“Now that I’ve finished my journey as a young person and become an apprentice, I’ve been given the opportunity to work closely with people in the Snowsports industry. I have shadowed BASI-qualified instructors in the Snow Centre to learn how to effectively deliver different levelled lessons to the public and to see how it all works behind the scenes. I have also shadowed sessions with DSUK and Snowbility which are skiing and snowboarding for the physically and mentally impaired/disabled. These are great opportunities as they provide me with the experience and knowledge I need if I want to work in a similar setting in the future.
“Right now, I am on placement at the Ski Club of Great Britain. They are a membership organisation where members of the public can sign up through their website for winter holidays to resorts all around the world with benefits like discounts, Ski Club trips, travel insurance and more. As much as the industry is competitive much like any other, everyone at the Snow Centre and the Ski Club are very helpful and welcoming; they work well with each other to maintain a healthy work environment. Although I’m not the most sociable person, it is a very likeable group and a great place to work and I would’ve never gotten the opportunity to do any of this without Snow Camp; the opportunities they provide are beneficial to my journey and without them I wouldn’t be where I am today.”
To find out more about Snow Camp visit here.