By Bailey Monty, Burlington Program Coordinator
Admittedly, I was apprehensive at first. How could we safely return to our programs? How could we provide a meaningful and impactful experience for our youth without adding to the long list of new and persistent stressors already embedded into their daily lives? Could we do it? Would it be worth it?
The answer came down to not only, yes, we can, but indeed we should! As I started seeing summer camps reopen, my apprehension diminished and my optimism (cautiously) bloomed. Kids in the community were walking about in small groups, keeping a safe distance, wearing masks, and despite these changes, having fun! I began to sense that they understood, and that they needed programs like ours.
So, we went for it.
Six youth geared up to skate once again: donning helmets, pads, skateboards, and one extra piece of protection – a mask – we hit the local skatepark. The experience was overwhelmingly positive, and it showed us all (again) just how adaptable our youth can be.
Isn’t that our whole thing: overcoming challenges in the face of adversity? Well, challenge accepted.
The smiles on faces were worth it. The falling down and getting back up was worth it. The trying over, and over, and over again, was so worth it. We crushed goals and learned ollies, kick turns, dropping in, and everyone’s undisputed favorite – the strawberry milkshake.
We worked together to maintain each other’s safety, we learned new skills, we talked about the importance of core values, and we cheered each other on every step of the way.
The return to programs will continue to be gradual, careful, and safe, and we’ll continue to adapt with the world around us. But one thing is for certain: our youth need Chill and we need them. And boardsports, now as much as ever, are the perfect vehicle for taking on challenges.