2012 Summer Camp Guide: Get your summer shred on

April 23rd, 2012 by

As seen in the 2012 Spring Edition of Freeskier Magazine.

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Photos: Darcy Bacha. Skier: Dane Tudor.

Q&A with Luke "Ocho" Allen, Head Coach.

Freeskier: What makes you most excited at the beginning of each camp session?

Luke Allen: Meeting all the new kids. They are all so excited to be at camp, the energy is amazing!

Freeskier: What is the most important piece of mental preparation for a camper before coming you your camp?

Luke Allen: Be ready to learn, be open minded and, most of all, be prepared to have the best time of your life.

Freeskier: What makes the location of your camp special?

Luke Allen: Windells’ campus is unmatched by any camp in the action sports industry. Campers can be as active on campus as they are on the mountain. Windells owns 53 acres for the true camp experience without the noise, distractions, hustle and bustle of city life. Each session is packed with skateboard and BMX demos. Jump on the tramps or launch into the foam pit or air bags, slide a rail, or jump alongside former and future pros on Windells’ private dry slopes. Windells’ skateboard facilities are second to none in the Northwest and, in all honesty, the world. The who’s who of skateboarding are sure to be skating Windells in the afternoons, just as they have for over 22 years now.

Freeskier: What can campers expect of your on-hill facilities?

Luke Allen: We’re the only place in the US to ride on natural snow year round, with the longest private park on Hood and terrain for beginners to experts. Our park is over a mile-long and has two private rope-tows. It’s creative and ever changing with many features: rails, boxes, a dance floor, wall rides, barrel bonks, a quarterpipe, rhythm sections, the biggest jumps on Hood, hips, corrugated pipes, a 22-foot superpipe, a 100-foot rail, a snake course, three bag jumps (one on campus), mini pipe and more.

Freeskier: What is the general direction or vibe of the ski coaching during a session of camp?

Luke Allen: A low coach-to-camper ratio, nightly video review and session progress cards guarantee plenty of positive feedback from a dedicated, caring staff, empowering you to progress beyond all expectation. Windells offers industry-leading coaching for all levels. Through innovative training and proven coaching strategies, our pro staff helps you reach your goals on-hill and off.

Freeskier: What is the program for meals during camp?

Luke Allen: Breakfast is chocolate chip pancakes, french toast, eggs, sausage, bacon, hash browns and burritos. Pack a bag lunch from the lunch buffet (don’t forget to follow the pb and j rule: peanut butter on both slices of bread, jelly in between, so your bread won’t get soggy!). Dinner in the Heshin’ Delicatessen, with a different theme each night, from Mexican to Asian to Philly cheesesteaks. The kitchen crew uses tons of local and organic ingredients to fuel Windells campers and staff.

Freeskier: What types of off-hill activities add to the camp experience?

Luke Allen: Choose from up to six activities running every half hour from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. nightly. Or if hanging out and relaxing is more your style Windells has shaded seclusion, picnic tables, camp fires, nightly movies, video games, action sports video library and wi-fi blanketing the entire campus. Some of our other activities include: autograph signings, paintball, jousting, sticker-making, human bowling, trampolines, foam pit, zombie face painting, basketball, balloon toss, arts and crafts, sumo wrestling, rap battles, dance parties, horseshoes, bowling, sushi night (adults only), photo shoots, eating contests, talent shows, painting, making t-shirts, whitewater rafting, burp contests, marshmallow eating contests, balance training, go karts (adults only), sand volleyball, tetherball.

Freeskier: Overall, what can a camper expect to come away with from a session at your camp?

Luke Allen: Windells is about progression. We’re about big air. But most of all, we’re about having fun. That’s why you see skiers like Tim Durtschi, Sammy Carlson, Tom Wallisch, Liam Downey, Anna Segal, Keri Herman, Tanner Hall, Pep Fujas and Grete Eliassen coming back year after year. A support crew 300 strong is here to ensure every camper gets exactly what they came for. Take natural snow, sunny skies, the sickest rails, smoothest pipe and best jumps around, and session it with all the best skiers in the world and you have Windells summer freeski camps!

Dates/Sessions:

SESSION 1 — June 06 – June 13
SESSION 2 — June 16 – June 23
SESSION 3 — June 26 – July 03
SESSION 4 — July 07 – July 14
SESSION 5 — July 17 – July 24
SESSION 6 — July 27 – Aug 03
SESSION 7 — Aug 06 – Aug 12

Price/Contact:

$1,769 – $1,969 — windells.com

Coaches:

Tom Wallisch, Mike Hornbeck, Will Wesson, Collin Collins, Ben Moxham, Nick Martini, Liam Downey, Steve Stepp, Tyler Barnes, Matt Walker, Parker White, Brady Perron, Jeff Kiesel, John Kutcher, Tim McChesney, Nicky Keefer, Andy Parry, Will Berman, Karl Fostvedt, Ashley Battersby, Erica Durtschi, Dania Assaly, Megan Gunning, and many more.

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Photos: Miles Clark.

Q&A  ith John Smart, Founder.

Freeskier: What makes you most excited at the beginning of each camp session?

John Smart: It’s more nerve wracking than anything on the first day. But really, it’s the energy of the kids. And that’s the transformation: you’re not in that world for a whole year and then you’re inundated with a group of wide-eyed kids who have been dreaming about this all year. The energy just ramps.

Freeskier: What is the most important piece of mental preparation for a camper before coming to your camp?

John Smart: Stay wide open. Campers are going to be influenced by a lot of different coaches, with a lot of different perspectives. Don’t have expectations. Stay wide open and you’ll learn a lot more.

Freeskier: What makes the location of your camp special?

John Smart: It’s my hometown, the epicenter of skiing both summer and winter. Whistler Village also offers so much fun for our coaches and campers with our hotel right in the center of town, close to all the restaurants and activities.

Freeskier: What can campers expect of your on-hill facilities?

John Smart: We have a steeper pitch so we can build our big step up jump. We’ve also added a 22-foot halfpipe, which is phenomenal. We have our Showcase t-bar running right through the middle of camp and a big circular connection that links from moguls to slopestyle to halfpipe all in one run. You come around and, boom, you’re at the t-bar. Our location on the glacier is prime.

After adding a 22-foot halfpipe, with an airbag, last year, we are now including a specialty halfpipe training camp to our schedule. Campers can now choose to specialize in pipe, slope, moguls or any combination of the three.

Freeskier: What is the general direction or vibe of the ski coaching during a session of camp?

John Smart: That’s probably one of the best assets of our camp, the coaching vibe. It’s all skiers, just a ski camp, and it’s unquestionably the best skiers in the world, from Olympic gold medalists on the mogul side to X Games gold medalists on the freeride side. We have such a huge roster. The vibe between the coaches is self-made. They show up and they’ve got the youth and the enthusiasm that drives the camp. It’s always been that way, for 20 years, even when I was one of those young guys.

Freeskier: What is the program for meals during camp?

John Smart: That’s the luxury component of our camp. We only dine in restaurants. We have breakfast every morning at Merlin’s and go to the Horstmann Hut on top of the glacier for lunch. And for dinner, we change restaurants every night. We’ll go to a Greek restaurant, an Italian restaurant … campers get to all of Whistler that way.

Freeskier: What types of off-hill activities add to the camp experience?

John Smart: Everything. Wakeboarding, paint-balling, skateboarding, the zip line, mountain biking, downhill or cross country. Soccer, which of course is critical. Soccer bonds everyone. Whistler has an incredible array of different things to do. Of course there are the water ramps and trampolines. We’ve got the Whistler gymnastics trampolines, which is the Olympic facility and then Bounce, which we’re going to be using. Every day they have about three different activities that they can choose from.

Further, we are excited to also add a new film and photo camp to the program. This camp will focus on teaching both film and photo artists the techniques of shooting and editing a multitude of action sports in Whistler with skiing as the primary focus. Staying true to Momentum’s formula, the coaches will be the top leaders in the ski action sports industry for both film and photography. Plans are to include Poor Boyz, Voleurz and Mike Douglas on the film side and Blake Jorgenson and Eric Berger on the photo side.

Freeskier: Overall, what can a camper expect to come away with from a session at your camp?

John Smart: That’s the greatest reward that they get. They probably won’t know how much they learn until after. The ability for a kid who comes to get exposed to mentors like this and absorb that much information is amazing. We’ve had so many of our campers turn into our superstars who are our coaches later in life. They learn an incredible amount. We have stories from kids saying it’s the best time of their life and that they’ve learned so much in one week. It’s hard to sell it to kids, but when they go through camp they are pretty blown away with what they can learn in a week.

Dates/Sessions:

SESSION 1 — June 22 – 29, (Youth/Adult)
SESSION 2 — June 29 – July 6, (Youth)
SESSION 3 — July 6 – July 14, (Youth)
SESSION 4 — July 14 – July 22, (Youth)
SESSION 5 — July 22 – July 30, (Adult)

Price/Contact:

$1,395 CAD — momentumskicamps.com

Coaches:

Dania Assaly, Paul Bergeron, Josh Bibby, Rory Bushfield, Ian Cosco, Justin Dorey, Alexis Godbout, Rosalind Groenewoud, Mike Henitiuk, JF Houle, AJ Kemppainen, Gus Kenworthy, Riley Leboe, Matt Margetts, Mike Riddle, TJ Schiller, Josh Stack, Chris Turpin, Kaya Turski, Corey Vanular and Colby West.

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Photos: (L) Seth Morrison by Nate Abbott, (R) Matt Walker by Chip Kalback. Bottom by Ryan Sabol. 

Q&A with Rick Shimpeno, Assistant Program Manager.

Freeskier: What makes you most excited at the beginning of each camp session?

Rick Shimpeno: New faces, big smiles, and the overall positive vibe of the crew. I have been blown away by the personalities of our campers, they get along so well that I assume that they are all buddies from back home. I look forward to a ton of new friends each session.

Freeskier: What is the most important piece of mental preparation for a camper before coming to your camp?

Rick Shimpeno: I’d say focusing on what you realistically want to learn. We offer so much it’s easy to get distracted. Set a few goals and be prepared to work hard to achieve them. We have the tools to get you there, but it really helps us when you know what you want.

Freeskier: What makes the location of your camp special?

Rick Shimpeno: We’re in the Rockies! We feel like we’re pretty central and easy to get to. There are a lot of great skiers and riders from Summit County so there is always talent kicking around. We’re an hour and a half from Denver, which is a short flight from most places.

Freeskier: What can campers expect of your on-hill facilities?

Rick Shimpeno: We have a few different zones within the Woodward Central Park which are open in the summer. We have a jump line that had two jumps for most of our sessions last summer, a jib zone which had 16 to 20 jibs, and the jump to airbag zone. We tested out a zone last summer called the playground, which had fun skate style jibs. We’re planning on bringing this back this upcoming summer in some fashion.

Freeskier: What is the general direction or vibe of the ski coaching during a session of camp?

Rick Shimpeno: We always talk about ‘safety, fun, and learning.’ I know it’s not that glamorous or core, but it’s what we always come back to. Every kid gets the same care and attention. It doesn’t matter if you’re working on 900’s or spread eagles, you’re going to have a support group around that is stoked on what you are working on.

Freeskier: What is the program for meals during camp?

Rick Shimpeno: We live and eat in the Edge at Copper Mountain. We have a full café which serves breakfast, lunch and dinner for the camp weeks. I will say that there was a cry to ‘bring back the enchiladas’ at camp this summer. I’ll keep you posted on that one!

Freeskier: What types of off-hill activities add to the camp experience?

Rick Shimpeno: Oh man! We’re fortunate in this area. Copper Mountain has a bunch of activities in the summer that campers can enjoy. First, we have the Barn, which doubles your training time at camp. It’s filled with trampolines, a gymnastic spring floor, skate ramps, foam pits, a snowflex jib run, and a snowflex jump into the foam pit. We typically spend the mornings on snow and the afternoons training (shredding) in the Barn. We also have go carts, a climbing wall, digglers (crazy off road scooters!), tie dye, bumper boats, and The Woodward at Copper Cage (the camp hang out with video games, video editing, create-a-skate and more).

Freeskier: Overall, what can a camper expect to come away with from a session at your camp?

Rick Shimpeno: We hope that every camper rolls with a few new tricks, although we can’t guarantee that. We can definitely say they will have an awesome week of camp hanging out with a bunch of folks that love freeskiing as much as they do. We do have a pretty good track record on new tricks … but let’s focus on the week of fun!

Dates/Sessions:

SESSION 1 — June 12 – June 16
SESSION 2 — June 17 – June 23
SESSION 3 — June 24 – July 30
SESSION 4 — July 01 – July 07
SESSION 5 — July 08 – July 14
SESSION 6 — July 17 – July 21
SESSION 7 — July 22 – July 28
SESSION 8 — July 29 – Aug 02

Prices/Contact:

$799 – $1,799 — woodwardatcopper.com

Coaches:

Peter O'Brien, Tyler Conway, Dave Zweig. Visiting Pros: Ian Compton, Matt Walker, Chris Benchetler, Andy Mahre, Seth Morrison, Phil Casabon, Grete Eliassen, McRae Williams and many more.

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Skier: Michelle Parker. Photo: Ben Girardi.

Q&A with Garrett Russell, Coach.

Freeskier: What makes you most excited at the beginning of each camp session?

Garrett Russell: The new people we get to meet and the lives we get to change. [laughs] But seriously, we get returning campers and new people and it feels good that we’re educating them on how to enjoy the mountain and use backcountry tools.

Freeskier: What is the most important piece of mental preparation for a camper before coming to your camp?

Garrett Russell: I’d always recommend, when you’re traveling anywhere, to keep your expectations low. That way they can only go up. I mean, we can’t control the weather and whatnot, but if you go into it pretty adventurous, you’re going to have a way better time.

Freeskier: What makes the location of your camp special?

Garrett Russell: The location of Bariloche is unbelievable. When it’s good, you can ski all the way to the bottom—from above treeline to treeline to bamboo—it’s awesome. In addition, the couloir skiing we get on the backside is steep and for real. I don’t see any other camps in the world offering that kind of terrain and experience.

Freeskier: What can campers expect of your on-hill facilities?

Garrett Russell: We have a lot of lift access, but we love to hike and build backcountry jumps. Not much park, but we’ll be out there exploring the mountain. The mountain is our park. We ski all day, as much as we can.

Freeskier: What is the general direction or vibe of the ski coaching during a session of camp?

Garrett Russell: We bond really well with the campers, becoming family and friends. Anyone who makes it down to Argentina is willing to travel and be open-minded, and that’s something we respect. We try and just educate and have fun, that’s the most important thing. We’re all living together and campers hang out with us and see our lifestyle.

Freeskier: What is the program for meals during camp?

Garrett Russell: Breakfast is funny because they don’t really do it down in Argentina, so we pull arms and legs to have eggs and breakfast foods to get campers fed well for the day. Then on your way to the chairlift we have a restaurant that makes our sandwiches for lunch. If it’s bad weather, we’ll eat at the restaurants.

At dinner we’ll have an Asado, which is an Argentine Barbecue, once a week. The rest of the time it’s pretty sweet, we get three courses for dinner at the hotel restaurant. I’m always excited to eat well.

Freeskier: What types of off-hill activities add to the camp experience?

Garrett Russell: Well we’ve got a nice heated pool and living up at the mountain is rad. There are also avy and Spanish classes to work on some cultural skills. You can get college credit for that, as well. Sometimes we take a boat to another island and check out the forests. But it’s variable. It depends on the age group of the campers, too. I mean, if it’s an older crowd, we’ll just go and rage it. But if it’s a younger crowd, we entertain them.

Freeskier: Overall, what can a camper expect to come away with from a session at your camp?

Garrett Russell: I think it’s an experience you’ll never forget. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve have people that had the best run of their life or the best day of their life. We are creating an experience that will stick with them forever.

Dates/Sessions:

SESSION 1A — July 25 – Aug 1
SESSION 1B — Aug 1 – Aug 8
SESSION 2A — Aug 8 – Aug 15
SESSION 2B — Aug 15 – Aug 22
SESSION 3 — Aug 22 – Sept 1 (Adults Only)

Price/Contact:

$2,195 (7 day) $2,995 (10 day) $4,195 (14 day) — sassglobaltravel.com

Coaches:

Michelle Parker, James Heim, Pete Connolly, Lucas Moore and many more.

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Photo: Ashley Barker.

Q&A with Matt Sterbenz, Head Coach.

Freeskier: What makes you most excited at the beginning of each camp session?

Matt Sterbenz: The returning faces, typically with a bit more facial hair.

Freeskier: What is the most important piece of mental preparation for a camper before coming to your camp?

Matt Sterbenz: It’s equally important to just get away from home, leave all that BS behind and enjoy yourself somewhere magical like Whistler for a week, and also to know what you want to learn while being there. It’s easy to get distracted with all those pretty Quebec girls running around you know.

Freeskier: What makes the location of your camp special?

Matt Sterbenz: The fact that it’s Canada, even better Whistler, the sanctuary where all freeskiers ought to pay tribute at least once a year. It definitely also doesn’t suck to be way up on the glacier every day.

Freeskier: What can campers expect of your on-hill facilities?

Matt Sterbenz: Lots of space. Usually ski camp feels confined. Ken and the boys have done a great job expanding the camp over the years to where you can feel at peace amid all the commotion. Last year we had all the usual park features including a pipe. Another unique aspect was the amount of airbags and their configuration. We even have beginner level airbags. I thought airbags were just for hucking, but I was proven wrong. It actually helped a lot kids get their first backflips and threes around.

Freeskier: What is the general direction or vibe of the ski coaching during a session of camp?

Matt Sterbenz: We dedicate one coach per five to seven kids. They become somewhat of a gang and typically one to be reckoned with. Other camps float coaches so kids have someone different leading each day, but I believe in the constant coach program we use. That way, most importantly, everyone becomes good friends by the end of the session or summer, depending on how long the campers stay.

Freeskier: What is the program for meals during camp?

Matt Sterbenz: We all eat breakfast together and snag a bag lunch to take to the hill. Experienced coaches and returning campers usually find a way to spice up their lunch wrap or sando with some bacon or potatoes from breakfast. Then we just hit the Village for dinner. That meal is not included, but it offers everyone a chance to go fill up on whatever they’re feeling at the end of a great day.

Freeskier: What types of off-hill activities add to the camp experience?

Matt Sterbenz: The COC compound has been growing over the last couple of years. It’s not so much about the epic adventure as it is just being at base camp. I prefer the 40- foot wide mini ramp, but there are lots of BMX jumps and street course ramps to configure different ways. There is also basketball and inflatable castles for jousting and just beating each other up. We brought in a ski ramp last year that flings you onto an airbag. It looked pretty wild.

Freeskier: Overall, what can a camper expect to come away with from a session at your camp?

Matt Sterbenz: Hopefully kids leave with a bit of life guidance. Kids come to camp for a lot of different reasons. Once they get beyond the shock value of camp, and that they’ll be skiing with pros they typically only see in movies and mags, the attention gets shifted back on the campers. We figure out where they’re at, where they want to be and how they can get there. Not everyone who comes to camp wants to be a pro skier and there’s so much more to learn while you are here.

Dates/Sessions:

CAMP A — June 24 – July 1
CAMP B — July 1 –July 8
CAMP C — July 8 –July 15
CAMP D — July 15 –July 22

Price/Contact:

$1,485 – $1,885 CAD — campofchampions.com

Coaches:

Joe "Cheese" Schuster, Rob Heule, Kye Petersen, Callum and Sean Pettit, Chris Logan, Max "Snacks" Hill, Keltie Hansen, Reed "Speedman," Wiley Miller and many more.

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About the author:
Henrik Lampert loves hot dogs, the Boston Bruins and Norway. He's the Online Editor here at Freeskier.