This season through December and January we launched a new program called Park Ratz. Park Ratz is a coach led crew of snowboarders who meet weekly to practice and learn new tricks. Each session starts at Help Boardshop where riders prepare by warming up and practicing tricks on our trampolines. After trampolines the whole crew takes the JSAW van across the highway to Hyland Hills and spends the next few hours riding together, working with their coach, and learning new tricks.
While it’s merely snowboarding on the surface, Park Ratz is all about developing riders mentally and spiritually as they bond with one another and their coach. To teach a rider in Bible study is excellent, but to engage with them as a mentor in life activities is the catalyst for a disciple making relationship. A coach can model for a rider what it looks like to model Jesus on the hill. Hebrews 13:7 says “Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.” Likewise, a rider can imitate the faith of their mentor and coach.
We had 7 riders and 2 coaches participate and got overwhelmingly positive feedback from riders and their parents. One rider in particular that I got to ride with was very eager to learn and seemingly had no fear. The only thing he lacked was the practical knowledge and strategy for the tricks he wanted to learn. It was really exciting to explain to him how he should approach the rail and execute the trick then watch him implement that and land it the very next run.
Most of the riders who participated in Park Ratz had not been to a JSAW program before so it served as a great opportunity to model Christ for them and to introduce them to the ministry. Now they have all been invited to our other programs and to Bible study. I pray they show up with the same eagerness to learn as they had while snowboarding.
If you would like to see more camps and coaching opportunities: CLICK HERE!