A week o' spring with Discovery Southeast

Posted: Friday, March 19, 2010

Eaglecrest and Discovery Southeast have teamed up to offer a week of snow sports fun during Spring Break.

In addition to Eaglecrest's popular skiing and snowboarding holiday camps for all ages and abilities, Discovery Southeast will be offering numerous opportunities to discover the area on snow shoes.

"We'll kick off the week with a snowshoeing activity for families in the Books2Boards program on Saturday, March 20 and end the week with a family Discovery Day snowshoe hike on Friday, March 26," Beth Weigel, executive director for Discovery Southeast, said.

In addition, Discovery Southeast will offer "Try Snowshoeing" mini-hikes and games throughout the week that will familiarize participants with the new Porcupine Chairlift area.

This past year Discovery Southeast purchased 20 pairs of youth snowshoes and seven pairs of adult snowshoes through a grant from the Douglas Dornan Foundation and through the Winter Wildlands Association's Snow School. Foggy Mountain Shop will also be helping out with snowshoes if needed.

Books2Boards is a new program through the Eaglecrest Foundation that purchases the gear necessary to provide opportunities for around 50 local youth in grades six and seven.

Discovery Southeast will also be helping these youth go from Books2Boards to boots through another donation of rubber boots from Gastineau Guiding Company.

"Juneau has formed a great coalition to get kids outdoors and when Gastineau Guiding made this offer to donate all the good condition rubber boots they used to use in their tours, I knew exactly how to get the gear to the families and young people who needed them" Weigel said.

Any boots left over will go to the Juneau Children Outdoors Community Coalition's Clothing Exchange event scheduled for March 27.

Discovery Southeast will also offer a second backcountry skills session as part of Discovery Day on Friday, March 26. This event is happening through a partnership with Eaglecrest Ski Patrol and the Juneau Mountain Rescue. Youth who wish to participate in this afternoon session should be able to descend the west side of the mountain on skis or a snowboard, and will work with patrol and rescue professionals to learn about backcountry travel and safety. Participants will also practice avalanche transceiver skills in the Easy Searcher Beacon Park.

Other upcoming events and programs for Discovery Southeast include the 21st Annual Dinner and Auction on Saturday, April 3 at Centennial Hall from 5-8:30 p.m., World Ocean Day Celebration in early June and Outdoor Explorers Summer Day Camp which begins June 14 and runs through August 13.

To register for Discovery Day or other Discovery Southeast programs call 463-1500. For more information activities visit www.discoverysoutheast.org or www.skijuneau.com.

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