So many studies and articles have been written about the benefits of outdoor play for kids – from academics to behaviour – that I’m not going to bother diving into it; besides, most readers here probably already agree!

But getting kids outside, especially in the winter, can be a tall order. And what if your aim is to introduce a whole class of kids to something like cross country skiing? How do you go about finding 30 pairs of skis and boots, organizing the logistics, etc.?

Enter the Skis for Schools program from the fine folks who run the Sir John A MacDonald Winter Trail! This awesome program provides skis for classes of local school kids, takes care of transporting them and dropping them off wherever along the SJAM trail is most convenient for the teacher!

This project kind of got started with a huge donation of used equipment from Nakkertok, but continues to grow with more gear and the ongoing maintenance of existing gear, including special ski bindings that accept regular kids’ snow boots. To that end, SJAM charges $5/kid for this program, which is a pretty good deal, although I’m sure they’d appreciate any support our awesome outdoor community (check out the SJAM fundraising page here).

Groomer Dave from the SJAM winter trail has posted a video explaining how the Skis for Schools program works… here it is:

Skis for Schools Program – An Intro

Attn Teachers: Getting ready for the new season of our #SkisForSchools program. Grateful to have #volunteers @Cheryl Caldwell and Peter Edmison coming onboard to help super charge the service. More details to follow but for now, here is the program in a nutshell. Fresh Air Experience Ottawa OCDSB Students Dovercourt Recreation Centre National Capital Commission

Posted by SJAM Winter Trail on Thursday, December 5, 2019

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