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Chill Foundation teaches students life lessons, through snowboarding

7:34 PM, Feb 21, 2013   |    comments
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WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- Teaching young people life lessons through sports isn't new, but the sport Diane Roberts discovered might surprise you.

She traveled with the "Chill Foundation," a program with chapters in D.C. and Baltimore. The organization's mission is to build self esteem and teach life skills to at-risk and under-served children, through snow boarding.

The 10 to 18-year-olds take an hour and a half bus ride to Liberty Mountain in Pennsylvania.

On the way up, they discuss one of the core themes for the 6-week program: patience, persistence, responsibility, courage, respect and pride.

Once they hit the slopes, it isn't just about snowboarding; it's about taking those themes and learning lessons while they're out there. Nine-year-old Rosie Burriss says, "Courage is when you're confident about yourself."

She explains, "You can't say I can't do it because if you say you can't do it you can't do it then." When she falls, she has the courage to pick herself back up and keep trying. Ten-year-old Camron Crosby also remembers themes they have talked about and what they mean, from persistence and responsibility to respect and courage.

Chill Coordinator Brad Little says they picked snowboarding because it's challenging for the kids. At the end of the day, the young snowboarders file back on the bus and discuss whether they applied this week's theme on the snow. Instructors know they'll take those lessons back home, to their schools and through their lives.

The chill foundation has 14 chapters in North America, one in Austria and one in Australia. The Baltimore and D.C. chapters are holding all day shred-a-thon Sunday at Liberty Mountain to raise money for the organization. Click here for more information on the Chill Foundation.

Written and Reported by Diane Roberts

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