A former resort becomes the nation’s first private youth ski facility.
Vernon, N.J., is now home to the National Winter Activity Center (NWAC), a ski facility that was formed by the National Winter Sports Education Foundation (NWSEF). This facility was formed to improve the lives, health and fitness of kids aged 6-17 through participation in winter activities. During this program, children will participate in about 40 active hours as opposed to spending time bundled up on the couch indoors.
The NWAC is the nation’s first private 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated winter sport facility for kids. This facility is open to local members, such as the YMCAs of East Orange, West Essex, Wayne, Fairview Lake, South Mountain and Sussex County. Since this facility is located on the property of the old Hidden Valley ski area in Vernon, the ski facility is the closest ski resort to the upstate New Jersey region.
“National Winter Activity Center provides a one of a kind opportunity for youth who would typically not have the chance to experience winter activities such as skiing and snowboarding,” said Schone Malliet, Founder and CEO of the NWSEF. “Part of our goal is to help reverse the low retention rate in winter sports, while combating childhood obesity and inspiring a lifelong habit of regular exercise during the winter months.”
According to a recent release, one of the biggest goals of the NWAC is to encourage kids to be active outdoors during the winter months when most opt to stay indoors and become sedentary, aiming to help combat obesity and type-2 diabetes through winter activity.
Children who participate in the programs with the NWAC will learn to ski and snowboard in the seven-session program, provided by coaches who are trained by the United States Ski and Snowboard Association. Participants will be fully equipped with gear during either morning or afternoon sessions, when they will meet with their coaches to receive on-snow training, along with a snack and healthy meal.
The NWAC ski facility hopes to introduce 4,200 children to snow sports over the next three years, retaining 50 percent as adaptors and encouraging 10 percent to eventually enter the world of competitive winter sports, according to the release. Additionally, NWAC will also have competitions as part of the renovations including a complete development of the Competition Trail. United States Ski Team athletes will visit and ski with the kids, providing motivation and instruction.
For more information about the National Winter Activity Center, please visit winter4kids.org.