Each week clients from Youth Services’ group homes get to spend time at Snowbird Mountain Resort. Wasatch Adaptive Sports donates professional ski and boarding lessons, as well as all necessary gear rentals and lift access to our youth as part of their winter program.
Founded in 1977, Wasatch Adaptive Sports (WAS) has been partnering with Youth Services for almost ten years. Their professional instructors are the perfect fit for the teens we bring to work with them. As the Youth Services Recreation Therapist, I’m so excited to have them as partners in reaching out to our clients with messages of self confidence, adaptability, and resilience.
I’ve loved watching the teens blossom as they face the challenge of learning a new sport with the support of their instructors. One 12 year old boy, who has struggled with failure in school and social situations, almost gave up when things didn’t work out right away with learning to ski. After a little cool off time, during which he and I observed the successes through trial and error that his peers were having, he was ready to re-engage. By the end of the series of lessons, this client had mastered the basic skills of skiing safely, had a blast doing it, and reported to everyone who would listen that he had found a new coping skill.
Coming out of the winter sports program, this client had a few new labels to identify himself with. He got to trade “failure”, “delinquent”, “run-away”, and whatever other negative labels he’d brought onto the mountain with him for labels like, “skier”, “athlete”, and “cool kid” that his instructors had planted in his self identification vocabulary.
Wasatch Adaptive Sports is a great asset to our community in that they create an opportunity for people of all ages and abilities to test their limits, challenge previously accepted barriers in their lives, and discover new skills, interests, and hobbies within a safe and supportive environment.
They are a great partner to the recreation therapy program at Youth Services, donating access to professional instruction, excellent gear, and beautiful mountain scenery through our participation with their winter and summer programs.
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, author of Flow: The Psychology of Happiness, and a leader in the positive psychology movement, wrote: “Of all the virtues we can learn, no trait is more useful, more essential for survival, and more likely to improve the quality of life than the ability to transform adversity into an enjoyable challenge.”
Teaching the ability to embrace adversity is one of the key objectives of the recreation therapy programming at Youth Services, and Wasatch Adaptive Sports is well equipped to support mastery of that concept with real life, adventure learning experiences.
Check out their website www.wasatchadaptivesports.org to learn how you and your family can build a new skill or two while engaging with some of the most fun, supportive, and professional staff you’ll find in the recreation industry!