Snow. It’s wet, it’s cold, and it can turn a nice pair of shoes into a dirty mess at the drop of a hat. Suffice it to say, as ELK’s Development Director, an iPad, funder meeting or site visit has always come more natural to me than any science experiment or outdoor expedition. But despite this, almost exactly a year ago today, there I was, attaching my snowshoes with the ELK gang at Rocky Mountain National Park while trying not to fall over.
I can’t be sure if I had yet come to this conclusion at the time, but that’s one of the many great things about ELK. It presents opportunities and challenges to coax youth and staff alike out of our comfort zones, and dares everyone involved to open their minds to new ideas and experiences. Even if case in point, that experience happens to be cold, and snow, and cold snow.
So there I was, finally strapped in and ready to take my 1st wobbly step. Right foot, check. Left foot, check. ELK youth were speeding past me at every step, as I struggled to match their rhythm and grace. Sure, I fell a few times and I’d be lying if my day didn’t end with legs afire, but a new experience filled with brisk clean air and watching ELK youth peer curiously into the nests of hibernating animals, and learn interesting facts about Rocky Mountain National Park (when not throwing the occasional snowball at one another) – was completely worth it. I may never be a fan of the snow, but this trip solidified me as a lifelong fan of ELK, and our wonderful youth!
Interested in supporting an ELK snowshoeing trip? A gift of $25.00 will allow an ELK youth to experience their own snowshoeing adventure. Please contact Jolynn Crownover at firstname.lastname@example.org or (303) 291-7503 to learn more.