As I was reading through Chill’s history, it struck me how far the organization has come since our first unofficial snowboarding season in 1994. The Burlington program came first, followed by Seattle in 1996, Boston in 1997, and New York City in 1998. Over the coming years Chill expanded to thirteen cities, with Portland being the last city added in 2006. Chill’s six themes were added in 2003, we first brought Chill participants to the Burton U.S. Open in 2004, and we began slowly adding non-snow boardsports to our program in 2009.
Since our last new city opening in 2006, Chill’s thirteen offices have expanded programming rapidly, with a total of 64 programs being offered in 2017/18, serving more than1,500 youth. We believe there is still room for program growth in the cities we currently serve, which is why we’re projecting 28 percent growth in the number of youth served at current Chill sites. So we’re pushing aggressive existing site growth but what about expanding Chill’s programming to new cities?
I receive several inquiries each week from individuals interested in bringing Chill’s programming to their city. These inquiries come from all over the United States, Canada, and outside North America (Nicaragua, Israel, and England to name a few). As much as we’d love to bring Chill to all corners of the world we need to plan for incremental growth so we can ensure our expansion is sustainable and impactful. In addition, because Chill provides our programming free of charge, we need to ensure our funding is sustainable as well. With record revenue in our 2017 fiscal year, and a solid development plan moving forward, we’re finally ready to launch our first new city programs since 2006:
- Detroit – Skate, beginning November 2017
- Miami – Skate, beginning November 2017
- San Francisco – Surf, beginning October 2017
- Reno – Snow, beginning January 2018
These new sites will be pop-up programs – one season pilots designed to determine if a target city has the resources and community interest required to support year-round Chill programming. This pilot approach allows us to bring Chill programming to new cities while not initially committing the large amount of organizational resources required to implement a permanent Chill office. Our hope is that one or more of these pop-up sites will quickly grow into a permanent Chill programming location.
So what can you do to ensure that the Chill pop-up program in your city transitions into a year-round Chill program?
- Donate funds
- Host a donor party
- Suggest agency partners (local non-profits we can partner with to provide participants and chaperones)
- Suggest collaborations or other local partnerships
- Become a corporate sponsor of the programs in your city
We’re incredibly stoked to bring Chill to more youth in more cities than ever before. We can’t thank our donors, volunteers, partner agencies, and chaperones enough for their incredible support. If you’re new to Chill get involved and be part of our unique and impactful positive youth development programs!
Executive Director, The Chill Foundation