#DeerValleySummer Adventure Camp Art Show

08012014 Art Show 024Deer Valley’s Summer Adventure Camp has been entertaining kids for 19 summers. Based out of the Children’s Center at Snow Park Lodge, Deer Valley Summer Adventure Campers experience hiking trails, biking, lots of guest speakers, hillside playgrounds, bouldering, a rock climbing wall and a full supply of craft projects, games, puzzles, videos and books to complement the outdoor activities.

Each summer the campers participate in S.A.V.E. (Summer Adventure Volunteer Effort), which raises money through an art show for a selected organization. Some of the past recipients have been the Carmen B. Pingree School for Children with Autism, Recycle Utah, Wrightsville Beach Sea Turtle Project and the Blind Children’s Learning Center.  In 2013, the kids raised $772 for the Ocearch Organization.

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Before the Art Show this year, I spoke with Deer Valley’s Children’s Programs Manager, Mya Frantti, to see what the Art Show was all about.

Ryan: Where did the idea of an annual Art Show come from?Mya: The idea of the Art Show came from a brainstorm between summer camp employees, while exploring what we could do to recognize local organizations and get the campers tuned into how important volunteerism is, what it adds to the child’s experience as a whole and connecting them to the community.

Ryan: How many years has Deer Valley been hosting the Art Show?

Mya: We have been doing the Art Show for at least 10 years. Our first recipient was Whiskey, Deer Valley’s avalanche dog. He was sick and needed to undergo a very expensive procedure and the kids wanted to help out.

Ryan: How do you determine where to donate the money?

Mya: In years past we have given the campers a choice of a couple of organizations and they voted. This year the format was a bit different. The People’s Health Clinic did an outreach program with us throughout the summer. They first visited and explained what they do for the kids, then the kids made “goodie” bags for the dentist to hand out which included toothbrushes, toothpaste, temporary tattoos and stickers. After that, the campers went to visit the clinic.

Ryan: How much money do you typically raise with the Art Show?

Mya: Typically we raise between $700 and $1,000.

Ryan: What do you think the kids take away from the experience?

Mya: The Art Show is the culmination of the Summer Adventure Campers’ arts and crafts projects throughout the summer and presents an opportunity for their parents and Deer Valley staff to be able to give a donation for the art pieces that they would like to purchase. This year, the money raised went to purchase books for the People’s Health Clinic. They give each child a book who visits the clinic, whether they are there for their own appointment or with someone else who has an appointment. They are also starting a program for expecting moms, in which the mom-to-be receives a book each time she visits the clinic during her pregnancy. This way they have a starter library by the time their child is born.

Ryan: Any idea who you will be donating to next year?

Mya: 
Typically, we do not decide on the organization until early in the summer.08012014 Art Show 033This was my first art show and I was impressed by the range of different art projects the young campers produced. Everything from hanging lanterns, hand print art, origami, flowers, figure paints and everything in between.  Art lined the halls of the Snow Park Lodge, inviting parents, community members and Deer Valley staff to browse the art work and buy their favorite pieces.08012014 Art Show 026I soon found out that the Art Show offered a lot more than just art. Complimentary drinks and chips and salsa were offered for those browsing the Art Show. The campers served these treats with a smile. The kids being involved really added to the overall environment. The show was a lot of fun for the campers, parents and Deer Valley staff.     08012014 Art Show 075The annual Art Show is held the first week of August and allows the campers to proudly display the varied art projects they have worked on so diligently all summer. The pieces are available to purchase for a donation and this year, the kids raised $1,173 for the People’s Health Clinic.08132014 Check 060The People’s Health Clinic offers uninsured people who live in Summit or Wasatch Counties access to professional medical providers. They offer services such as; general medicine, pediatrics, chronic disease care, prenatal care, women’s health care, mental health services along with many other specialties.Other services offered by the People’s Health Clinic include referrals to low-cost diagnostic testing, free mammograms for women over 40, referrals to social services, job services and help with health insurance applications.

08012014 Art Show 065A few weeks after the Art Show, the campers were able to present representatives from the People’s Health Clinic with books that they were able to purchase from the money raised, as well as the really big check pictured above.

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The Executive Director of People’s Health Clinic, Nann Worel, took time to sit down with me and answer a few questions after the presentation.

Ryan: Where did the idea to give every child a book when they come into the clinic originate?

Nann Worel: We believe very strongly that health literacy is an important part of our mission.  It is very difficult to live a healthy life if one is unable to read. Imagine how difficult life would be if you couldn’t read the instructions on a prescription bottle or read a food label in the grocery store. Statistically, low income children have one or NO books in their home so we wanted to encourage parents to read with their children and give them books to do that with.

Ryan: How many books a year does the clinic give out?

Nann Worel: Hundreds!

Ryan: How do you get all of those books to give away?

Nann Worel: Various organizations have children’s book drives for us throughout the year and we are frequently given donations with which to purchase books, like the Deer Valley Summer Adventure Camp did recently.

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Ryan: Are there other ways people can help out the clinic?

Nann Worel: We are always in need of volunteers—whether they have a medical background or not. We also need financial support.

Ryan: Are there other items the clinic needs?

Nann Worel: We currently need new computers and printers, a portable tympanometer and a 3D probe for our Ultrasound machine.

Ryan: How can people get involved?

Nann Worel: They can call me at 435-333-1875, or our Volunteer Coordinator, Barbara Clark at 435-333-1849

Summer Training with Bryon and Brad Wilson

On a warm sunny day, during the #DeerValleySummer, I headed out of the office and caught up with Bryon and Brad Wilson at the Utah Olympic Park in Park City, Utah. It was my first time at the Utah Olympic Park and I was surprised to see so many skiers jumping off of ramps into water and then swimming to the edge of the pool with skis on. Air bubbles, operated by a Utah Olympic Park employee, softened landings into the pool. I thought this was an ingenious idea.

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For those of you who might not know, Deer Valley Resort sponsors Bryon and Brad Wilson, two of the current U.S. Freestyle Ski Team athletes. Deer Valley began sponsoring Bryon in 2010 and in 2012 added Brad to their roster of athletes. I wanted to know what it took to be a world-class athlete and how a winter athlete trains when the snow melts.

Eric Schramm Photography 2013

Ryan: How do you guys train during the summer?

Bryon: We have a great facility at the Utah Olympic Park, where I spend a lot of my time.There are many ways for us to access crucial training time nowadays. Later this summer, we will be in Whistler BC, Canada, getting some snow time on the glacier.

Ryan: As brothers do you always train together or do you have different training techniques?

Brad: We always train with each other, which is really nice because we are constantly pushing each other.

Ryan: How often will you be at the Utah Olympic Park training?

Bryon: We can get a good two months at the Utah Olympic Park. I really enjoy training up here.

Ryan: What is the biggest difference jumping into water instead of onto snow?

Brad: Jumping in water allows you to crash without the consequences you have crashing on snow.  And a lot of crashing is involved when learning a new trick.

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Ryan: What do you wish to improve upon, going into next ski season?

Brad: I am currently ranked fourth overall and there is a lot I need to work on to be in that top spot.  Improving my jumping skills is going to be a major focus this summer.

Bryon: I’m always looking to push my abilities to the next level and learn something new to help myself improve.

Ryan: Looking back on the last ski season, what stands out the most for each of you?

Brad: The Olympic experience stands out the most for me. Being able to compete in the Olympics has been a dream ever since I started competing.

February 9, 2014 - Source: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images Europe

February 9, 2014 – Source: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images Europe

Bryon: One thing that stands out for me every year is competing at Deer Valley Resort in front of huge crowds. I also love Champion ski run.

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Ryan:  What do you guys do for fun, when you are not skiing?

Bryon: We got into mountain biking since we moved to Park City, also golfing and fishing.

Brad: The thing I do most is art; I think it’s the perfect thing to do to relax in between training sessions.

Ryan: How did you get into art, Brad?

Brad: Being from Montana, we grew up in the outdoors. Everything we did, we did outside. But the art is just something I was inspired to start doing and have been trying to perfect ever since.

Ryan: What do you have coming up in the next few months?

Brad: Off-season training is in full force. It is going to be very busy until the snow falls. We’re in Whistler this summer for three weeks, we go to Mount. Hood for a week, then Chile for two and a half weeks. Next, we go to Switzerland in September for another three weeks. Between these camps, we will be spending our time at the Utah Olympic Park.

Have you ever gone off the ski jumps at the Utah Olympic Park? Tell me about it in the comments below or on Twitter @RyanMayfield or @Deer_Valley and don’t forget to keep up with the Wilson brothers on Twitter; Bryon   Brad  

OCEARCH at Deer Valley Resort’s Summer Adventure Camp

For the second year in a row, Chris Fischer from OCEARCH enlightened Deer Valley’s Summer Adventure Campers on the importance of preserving our oceans.

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Mr. Fischer and his team allow scientists to study sharks in an environment safe for both the researchers and the sharks. They do this by catching and tagging sharks so scientists all around the world can study them. While most people would say they’re afraid of sharks, Mr. Fischer explained that sharks should actually be scared of humans; nearly 200,000 sharks are killed each day and if this continues, future generations will not be able to enjoy these awesome creatures.

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“I’m thrilled to be part of Deer Valley’s Summer Camp. Park City is home for my family and I, and I’m excited to be able to connect these kids to the OCEARCH mission and bring the ocean into their summer camp. Thanks to Deer Valley for inviting me!” - Chris Fischer, OCEARCH Founder and Expedition Leader

OCEARCH is a non-profit organization with a global reach for unprecedented research on great white sharks and other large apex predators. After having Mr. Fischer speak with the campers last year, the kids decided to donate the proceeds from the annual end-of-season Art Show to OCEARCH; nearly $800! They were also able to SKYPE with Mr. Fischer while he was on an expedition in Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

This year Mr. Fischer returned with Dr. Alex Hearn, a world-class scientist who specializes in the study of fish movements with a strong focus on conservation. Mr. Fischer and Dr. Hearn not only spoke about the importance of preserving our oceans but also gave some great life advice to the young campers.

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“An inch is a cinch and a yard is hard.”

Mr. Fischer explained when his team first started out, no one had ever done what they were attempting to do. By working together and taking little steps, they have been able to accomplish a lot, but there is still room for improvement. Mr Fischer shared his message that we have a lot of things we can improve on when it comes to ocean conservation and it starts with an inch.

One way OCEARCH is bringing attention to ocean conservation is with the OCEARCH Global Shark Tracker app, available to download for free. The app allows you to see the shark migration patterns, just like the scientists who are studying them; you can even track individual sharks by name and see where they were tagged and where they have been since. I downloaded the app and follow OCEARCH on Facebook. I think it’s so cool to be able to see where the sharks have traveled.

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After OCEARCH was done with their presentation, I spoke with Kurt Hammel, Deer Valley Resort’s Children’s Programs Assistant Manager.

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Ryan: How did Deer Valley Resort get involved with OCEARCH?

Kurt:  We learned of OCEARCH from one of our staff members. We are always looking for people who have ties to the Park City community to get involved with our Summer Adventure Camp.

Ryan:  What is the biggest thing the kids take away from these presentations?

Kurt:  I think the oldest kids realize the impact that killing sharks has and that they need to be the next generation to help. The younger kids seem to be really fascinated with sharks.

Ryan: Do the kids ask you a lot of shark questions in the days after the presentation?

Kurt: Some of the kids could talk about sharks all day, every day! The boys love to make shark pictures. A lot of these pictures will end up in our Art Show at the end of the season.

Ryan: Can you tell me more about the Art Show?

Kurt: The annual Art Show is held the first week of August. It allows the campers to proudly display the many and varied art projects they worked on so diligently all summer. The pieces are available to purchase for a donation to that year’s S.A.V.E. project.

Ryan: What does S.A.V.E stand for?

Kurt: Summer Adventure Volunteer Effort. This effort raises money through an art show for a selected organization. Some of our past recipients have been the Carmen B. Pingree School for Children with Autism, Recycle Utah, Wrightsville Beach Sea Turtle Project and the Blind Children’s Learning Center.  In 2013, the kids raised $800 for The OCEARCH organization.

Camp Art

Ryan: What other speakers do you have lined up for the Summer Adventure Camp?

Kurt: This summer we have some great speakers lined up, including former Olympians, the “Hired Guns” cowboy entertainers, Hawkwatch and an Origami demonstration during the week of our Art Show.

Ryan: Origami; see if they can make hawks and sharks.

Kurt: I’m sure the kids will ask for those first.

Ryan: What is your favorite part of the Summer Adventure Camp?

Kurt: The great thing about Deer Valley’s Summer Adventure Camp is that we are involved in a broad variety of activities with the goal to be active in our community and at the resort as well. We are not sport/activity specific and kids get to experience a lot of different things in just one week here.

Ryan: Can guests still sign up their little ones for Summer Adventure Camp?

Kurt: Absolutely, Summer Adventure Camp is open until August 20. Parents can sign their children up weekly or even for just a day or two. For more information on the Deer Valley Summer Adventure Camp, please visit the website here.

Have you downloaded the OCEARCH Global Shark Tracker app? Tell me what you think in the comments below or on Twitter @RyanMayfield or @Deer_Valley.

Double Blues for the Views

Growing up in Utah, I have always been surrounded by the mountain scenery. It’s not until I leave the friendly confines of Utah or ski at Deer Valley Resort until I really appreciate what I get to see every day. Recently I headed out on the slopes with a friend from North Carolina named Cash. All day Cash was raving about the incredible views at Deer Valley.

Cash is a strong skier and you could say that I still have a few things to learn. We stuck to green and easy blue ski runs for most of the day. During lunch at Empire Canyon Grill, where I introduced Cash to the famous Deer Valley Turkey Chili, we started planning new runs we hadn’t skied. Cash assured me I was ready for more difficult terrain.

Using the new Deer Valley Resort App we scouted out the best places to take my skiing to the next level. We started off and took Empire Express chairlift to the Orion ski run. Cash and I were taken aback by the amazing view at the top.

Ski Day View

The view made me forget I was about to embark on a double blue ski run, the most difficult run I had ever attempted on skis. When I passed the sign that said Orion I thought it was only appropriate my first double blue to be named Orion, a name so close to mine. Right before I made the turn to totally commit to the ski run I thought to myself “OhhhhRyan what are you doing?” And got a good laugh.

Orion Sign

After making it down in one piece my skiing confidence was at an all-time high. Cash and I made our way over to Little Baldy Mountain to take on our next double blue ski run. After taking Ruby and Homestake chairlifts we found ourselves at the base of the Mountaineer Express chairlift after a few runs. We took Mountaineer chairlift to the top of Little Baldy Mountain.Taking a left off the chairlift we made our way down the Jordanelle ski run, our second double blue of the day. The top of the run is lined by homes to skier’s right. Once we passed the homes the view becomes breathtaking. The white snow paired with the Jordanelle Reservoir made for an incredible sight. We were clearly not the only ones who thought the view was incredible. Two sets of skiers were pulled off to the side taking pictures. We couldn’t help but stop and take pictures of our own. One skier offered to take our picture after Cash struck up a quick conversation with the gentleman.

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From the views to the terrain, this was the peak of our ski day. According to my Deer Valley app this was also the fastest I skied all day, 39 MPH. What are your favorite views from around Deer Valley? Share your thought with me in the comments below or on social media @RyanMayfield on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Ryan’s First Ski Lesson

Learning to ski can be very intimidating. I was nervous leading up to my first ever ski lesson. This wasn’t my first time on skis however, it was my first time since I was a small child. I have been a snowboarder my entire life. After finishing college I planned to learn to ski. I have a lot of friends that ski and instead of take the time to learn, I continued snowboarding.

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In the fall of 2013 I started a job at Deer Valley Resort. The job called for an intermediate skier. I figured that I would pick up right where I left off when I was 4 years old (It’s just like snowboarding, right!). Boy was I wrong. My first day on skis I did everything wrong. I couldn’t turn, crossed my skis, and  dropped my pole off the chairlift. It was safe to say that I was a little rusty. I knew then I needed the help from an experienced ski instructor. After recovering from a few rough falls, I scheduled my lesson for the middle of January.

I felt like I had to start at the bottom and work my way up. The Deer Valley rental shop had a sign on the wall explaining the six different skiing levels. I thought I was a “Beginner.” So I signed up for this level.

Ski Lesson Sign

Deer Valley made it really easy to find my ski instructor. Signs outside of the ski school pointed me in the right direction and signs marked where each skill level gathered. I soon met a very nice young man named Brandon. He took my lesson receipt and put me in a group of three other skiers with the same skill level.

Max 4 sign Sign

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We took the chairlift up to the top of the Wide West ski run, after introducing ourselves to the group. After making sure we all knew how to stop, our instructor gave us some pretty basic instruction. Like, get in an athletic stance, hands in front of you, and keep your weight balanced. Brandon explained that he needed to watch us ski a little bit before he could instruct us. We made our way down Wide West making slow parallel turns as our instructor watched.

Ski Lesson Chairlift Ride

When we reached bottom of Wide West Brandon informed us that we were all actually “Advanced Beginners” and were done with the training hill.

One person in our group said she felt more comfortable staying with the beginners on Wide West. So my “max 4″ group lesson became a lesson of three and one instructor, we were about to get upgraded to “Advanced Beginner.”

I would have to say my favorite part of the lesson was getting to know the other two skiers and the instructor. Adriana was around my same age and from Washington D.C. She moved to Park City to ski for the winter with her boyfriend. Greg was an older gentlemen who had retired and lived all over the world. He told us interesting stories all afternoon about the places he had lived. Our instructor Brandon explained that he was the youngest instructor at his level of expertise at Deer Valley. This gave him the nickname “Pampers.” He was from Oregon and moved here to teach skiing and be a part of, in his words “The best ski resort in America.” I’m a huge people person and these memories are the ones really took away from my ski lesson.

Ski Lesson on Wide West

Brandon told us that he liked teaching skiing by what is called the mileage method. He explained that the only way you will get better at skiing is to ski. This was really cool because we got in a lot of runs during the lesson.

Our first run was a green run called Ontario. We got there by taking Silver Lake Express to Silver Lake Lodge, then skiing down to Quincy Express. The best part of this run was that there were a lot of designated Ski School areas. We would ski down to the signs out of everyone’s way, and get instruction from Brandon. This worked really well for me.

Ski Lesson Sign

We skied from 1 p.m. until 4:15 p.m. Skiing from one Ski School area to the next. Brandon would ski in front of us a little bit and then watch as we came down. We would work on new stuff on the easier parts and things he had already taught us in areas where it was more difficult.

At the end of the day Brandon told us that we were done with the green runs and we needed to tackle our first blue run. The group was a little nervous to say the least. We made our way up Carpenter Express and took Little Stick ski run down. This run was a little narrow in some spots. The best part of Little Stick was being able to see the resort from a different view, which was very beautiful. After reaching the bottom Brandon explained that we were now intermediate skiers!

Ski Lesson

Have you had a lesson at Deer Valley or another ski resort? Tell me about it in the comments below. Also, check back I will be updating my progress throughout my first season as a skier!