Ski Program Contines Through Pandemic

July 07, 2021 | Education | Becky Caswell

Car doors flew open and Harris Junior Academy third-eigth graders tumbled into the chilliy mountain air and snowy landscape. After an early morning departure from HJA in Pendleton, Oregon, students arrived at Anthony Lakes Mountain Resort in North Powder, Oregon to participate in an annual educational ski program.

Excitement and nerves ran high as students bundled up, secured their ski gear and gathered for their lessons. For the next seven hours, they experienced the thrill and the challenge of a day on the mountain. 

Although the pandemic changed many things about the school year, Shannon Whidden, HJA principal, was determined to ensure students could still benefit from the ski program. With the lodge closed in response to the pandemic, students made a gathering area at outdoor picnic tables. Thankfully, sunshine and blue skies blessed each ski day.

Students found many ways to encourage each other during their outdoor adventures. From waiting for each other on the slopes to cheering for someone who was riding the big lift for the first time, teamwork played a role in building positive memories and making the program a success for all. 

Getting exercise and fresh air while enjoying God’s creation continues to be a yearly tradition at HJA, despite the pandemic’s limitations. 

“It was incredible to watch our students grow in confidence as they conquered the slopes,” said Whidden. “All the participants, from beginners to experienced, gained new skills and created unforgettable memories.”