NJ has the only nonprofit kids winter activity center in the U.S.
The National Winter Activity Center in Vernon is also home to a nonprofit called Winter4kids, the only such organization in the country.
Winter4Kids is focused on providing children with life skills and opportunities for healthy lifestyles through access to winter activities that they might not otherwise have experienced, such as snowboarding and Nordic and Alpine skiing.
Schone Malliet, the founder and CEO of Winter4Kids, calls it a "summer camp in the wintertime." He once described his own similar upbringing far from the slopes.
"I am an asphalt kid," he said in an interview with U.S. Ski & Snowboard. "I did not grow up skiing. I didn’t think about winter sports at all, except I’d go outside in dirty snow.”
This season, Winter4Kids expects to welcome more than 3,000 kids, with plans to accommodate more than 10,000 kids a year.
The campus added a 27,700-square-foot Nordic Center lodge in 2019 with kitchens, a cafeteria and equipment rooms
Participants can return each year and participate in competitive training.
"Embracing a love for the outdoors, while acquiring skills, our participants look forward to new opportunities for their lives," Malliet said in a written statement. "Improving health, better attendance in school and the joy of new perspectives creates inflection points for these kids. We make a difference!"
For more information, visit the Winter4Kids website.