Although this winter looked different than most, more than 100 Boston youth had the opportunity to get outdoors with Youth Enrichment Services (YES). Young people experienced winter snowsports – including downhill skiing, snowboarding, and cross country skiing – developed self-confidence, and gained new skills on the slopes and trails.
YES’s Operation SnowSports season began on January 14 and will wrap up in early March. Three local ski destinations partnered with YES this winter: Weston Ski Track (Weston, MA), Nashoba Valley Ski Area (Westford, MA), and Wachusett Mountain (Princeton, MA). This season’s programs followed a repeat engagement model to foster greater skills improvement, self-esteem, and connectedness with their peers, YES staff, and volunteer instructors.
YES continued its housing development partnership with the Mildred C. Hailey Apartments this winter. This 840-unit housing development is located on the Jamaica Plain/Roxbury line and is home to low- and moderate-income families. YES partnered with Mildred C. Hailey in the fall to bring outdoor activities to youth who live there. This winter, young people from the apartments had the opportunity to experience downhill skiing and snowboarding – most for the first time – with YES once per week at Wachusett Mountain.
Young people in the YES Cross-Country Ski Program have been active on the trails and having fun this winter! In addition to learning the basics of cross-country skiing and practicing their skills, youth also played games on their skis including freeze tag and ski “soccer”. To close out the season, young people used the skills they gained to participate in the 1st Annual YES Cup, an unofficial – but fun – evening of ski races on the trails.