Active Winter Day

Adventure in winter sports at Frost Valley

By Kara Richardson Whitely

A friend and her daughters invited my girls and me to a day at Frost Valley, a YMCA camp and retreat in the Catskills. It was the Monday of President’s Day weekend and fearing a day of begging for more and more movies, video games, and iPad, I thought this would be an awesome adventure.

Being active can be difficult on winter days, but the weather forecast was mild and we decided to give it a go. We packed the night before, filling a full suitcase with snow pants, boots, gloves, and a change of clothes. 

In my years when I was more than 300 pounds, I avoided a lot of winter activities. Sometimes the excuse was simply because my snow pants didn’t fit any more. But this year, with many pounds gone, I decided that I was going to get back into it. It would be good for my kids and me.

We left at 6:30 a.m. to arrive by the time the activities started. Since we would be there for just the day, we didn’t want to miss a thing. This was a wonderful day of just trying new activities.

We started with cross-country skiing. There were people there to help get them on skis but it was up to us to stay upright. Emily, who is now 4, loved the idea of it, but kept getting caught up in the long, thin skis. Anna went ahead with her friend.

We checked out the snow-tubing ramp, which comes with the added Activity Points bonus of having to lug your snow tube back up the mountain. Even I tried the snow tubing, which went down an icy shoot and sent me far into the field and back up the hill.

It wasn’t all outside. There was an indoor archery range, where I felt like Merida in Brave (without her great aim). There were crafts — from making a tic-tac-toe board by cutting rounds out of a log and sticks to making candles by dipping a wick again and again into beautiful, colorful vats of wax.

We ended the day with the indoor climbing wall.

By the time we arrived home in New Jersey at 8 p.m., the girls were practically begging to go to bed. And honestly, I was too. But more than anything, we’ve opened the door to more winter fun this year and years to come. One day, I hope, we’ll even get back into downhill skiing.

For now, though, I just basked in the success and wonder of our active winter day.

Follow Kara on Connect @gorgegirl15

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