Parent Update Thanksgiving

mt hood november 2015

Hi Parents,


The resort opened this past weekend and Mt. Hood is looking like a glacier again. This is a photo taken by our student Evan Meany. Evan enjoys taking photos for fun and is enrolled in a digital photography class this semester. I would like to put together a yearbook for the students, but I need the help of all the parents and kids on this one. I am going to have students submit their photos to me from weekend adventures (such as Evan’s), trips, and just fun memories from the semester so far. I would like to ask all of the parents to start thinking about some photos to include as well. This is something you and your child can work on when they are home for the holidays. I would like a baby picture, one from elementary school and another from middle school. These can be funny, embarrassing, serious, or all of the above. Like I said, I don’t need these back right away, but I wanted to put this on your radar. Ideally, I could get 3-5 photos from each of you by February 1.


This past weekend was pretty mellow. The kids went up and rode at Timberline on Saturday and Sunday they stuck around campus and skated BOB and the Concrete Jungle (our outdoor park). It was finally dry! It was nice to see a little sunshine J The students also went to see a movie on Sunday evening. Yesterday and today are double days since there will be no school on Thursday or Friday due to Thanksgiving break.


Thursday we are planning on having a special Thanksgiving dinner that would make everyone’s grandma proud! Wally, our previous Head Chef, has taken a new job closer to home.   Wally has been a large part of Windells Academy and camps over the years and while we are sad to see him go, we are happy he will have more time at home to be with his family. Our new Head Chef, Steve Strenge, will be joining us this week. He has worked for multiple camps, and prides himself on quality food for large groups. He has been switching up the menu and we are excited for him to spice up our lives!


After our feast on Thanksgiving we will be having our second annual Academy football game. Friday the plan is to go riding up at Timberline and then to go into Portland for the Tree Lighting at the Pioneer Courthouse Square in downtown that evening.


That is all I have for you this week! I hope everyone has an amazing holiday.


Take care,



A Week in the Life of an Academy Student

Ever wonder what it would be like to attend a school where your campus is a skatepark, you live with your friends, you get to ski/snowboard/skate every day, and go on amazing trips? Check out what an average week looks like for the students that attend Windells Academy. ..

School days you roll out of bed, put on your slip-on Vans and cruise into the cafeteria where our chef will cook you a hot, fresh breakfast that is made to order.  Want pancakes? You got it.  Scrambled eggs with cheese? Yes, please.  Want it all? No worries, we know you are a growing active teenager who’s stomach is a bottomless pit.  We will fill that pit with food that even grandma would approve of.  Even though this place is like a dream world, we do some normal things too…like school.  However you can work at your own pace and when the bell rings you get to head up to Timberline to snowboard or skate the world renown campus known as the Concrete Jungle.  When you feel like mixing things up we can take you into Portland to skate some other parks.  We even get access to private skateparks like The Grato, Nike, and Adidas.  We typically do this all week.

When the weekend comes we mix things up.  We go to video premiers at local shops, we explore this amazing place that we live, from waterfalls to hot springs, and of course we stop at every skatepark along the way. We take campus tours and help you figure out where you want to go to school, if you don’t know what you want to be, we can help show you how you can work in the action sports industry doing something you love.  Not all of our students want to be the next Nick Goepper, some just want to have fun and be immersed in the industry that they love, surrounded by like minded people.  We will take you on industry trips to places like Adidas, K2, and Airblaster to allow you to talk to some people about what they do and how they got involved.  We want to give our students the ability to do whatever it is they want, whether that is being a professional athlete, like Nick Goepper (who attended Windells Academy before becoming an Olympic athlete), or be a Marketing Director for their favorite company.

Our goal is to help you succeed and have the most fun doing it.  Come live, learn, and ride with us.  Not ready to fully commit? Send us an email or give us a call and we can set up a trial visit to see if this is the place for you.  If you can’t come to visit us here in Oregon, we may be coming to visit a place near you.  We have the opportunity to travel all over while still working on school (huge perk of online schooling).   This semester we have already been to New Zealand to ski and snowboard for three weeks.  We took a skate trip and went to seven states, skated 24 skate parks, and explored three National Parks.  Next week the students that ski and snowboard are heading to Colorado and the skate kids are heading down to Arizona.  The students have the opportunity of a life time here at Windells Academy and so do the staff.

All of our staff skis, snowboards, and/or skateboards.  The days of saying “my teacher just doesn’t get it” are long gone.  She will teach you how to write your paper in MLA format and how to kick flip.  Your coach has worked with athletes like Chas Guldemond, they have built some of the best skateparks you have ever seen, and been in magazines like Thrasher.  Your principle can teach you how to hand plant and can probably snowboard better than most of the kids at your high school that claim to snowboard.  At Windells Academy we get it, and we get you.   Come join the fun!



Family Dinner Night


Family Dinner

Every Tuesday night we sit down to an amazing family style dinner.  It is so nice to bring everyone together at one table and connect.  The students and staff have all made a commitment to wearing nicer attire, putting their cell phones down, and enjoying each others company.  It’s still a very casual affair but it’s fun to see everyone looking nice and sharing a meal together.  These photos were taken the week before Halloween.  If you look carefully you might see the spooky ghost image (Evan, Above) at the dinner table.  Take a look at our resident club GQ (Alden and Harri, below).

Dinner Suits

Every week we try to bring in a guest speaker from the industry to share their story and answer questions.   Jamie Weller, who is always far too humble, agreed to get up and share a bit of his life story of hard work, great friendships, and total dedication to skateboarding.  It was enlightening to say the least and the students were inspired by his passion and had some amazing questions that Jamie fielded like the pro he is.  It truly is amazing to see how much joy our sports and culture can offer those who choose this amazing life path.

I am inspired by this group of students and staff and look forward to seeing where their dreams and passion will take all of us this year.  Thank you to the students, parents, staff for working hard to build such an amazing program and bring together a wonderful team to be a part of.

The Snow is falling and we are all getting excited for an amazing year together.

Think Snow and dry concrete (perfect world scenario:))!


Windells Academy Big West Skate Trip


With a lot of miles ahead of them, the Windells Academy skate students and staff set off for two and a half weeks of adventuring across the big west. As the van pushed westward from the lush forests of Oregon and Washington to the vast sky of Montana, the crew hit some of the most fun skateparks en route. From the easy flowing, smooth Mountain Dew Skatepark in Lewiston, ID, to the deep, pool coping bowls of Saint Ignatious and Whitefish Skateparks in Montana. With each day and night an adventure, the crew sets up a full campsite filled with tents and hammocks and cooks by firelight to enjoy the fresh air and freedom that nature gives them. As they head eastward they look forward to Glacier National Park, Yellowstone, Jackson Hole Wyoming, and last stop, Denver. With each passing day, the excitement of an ever changing landscape and fun skatepark to land a new trick awaits them.

Words by: Hayley

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Windells Academy in New Zealand

Lake WakatipuMt. Hood, Oregon is home to Windells Academy, but we are fortunate enough to have a second home in Queenstown, New Zealand.  With the limited snowfall on Hood this past winter, and a group of amazing skiers and snowboarders fiending to get on snow, we had no other choice, but to head down under for some spring skiing at Cardrona Mountain on the south island of New Zealand.
It was a long journey getting here, but we finally made it to our final destination in Queenstown.  The drive from the airport to where we’re staying really set the tone for the whole trip.  We all knew that New Zealand was going to be incredible, but the panoramic views in every direction cannot be captured in an Intagram photo, no matter how many filters you throw on it.  There is no justice for the beauty that we have seen so far.
Once we all got settled in at the house here at our New Zealand campus on our first day, we went into the town and checked out some of the local shops that sponsor High Cascade Snowboard Camp and Windells New Zealand.  We did a little sight seeing and went to the skatepark to stretch out our legs.  After wandering around town sight seeing and watching the sun set over the waterfront of Lake Wakatipu, we were welcomed home to a hot dinner prepared by our hosts Sharon and Clayton.  They are long time High Cascade employees and have deep roots here in Queenstown.  We could not have asked for better people to be hosting us.
Today is our fourth day of being on hill at Cardrona and the conditions are all time.  All of the students are getting their legs back and the vibe could not be better.  Nothing beats sunny park laps with your friends in New Zealand. Of course we have to shake things up a little bit and work on school each day.  However, when your view is a rugged cliff side and a green meadow with water the color of blue Frost Gatorade (this is not an endorsement!) flowing through it, you remember that life at Windells Academy is amazing.  I know it sounds like a rough life, but someone has to do it! Keep checking back for more updates on our trip in New Zealand and be sure to follow us on Instagram for edits of all the good times.
– Katie Nalder

Thomas Meador Nico Pipitone with a Method Shelby Snyder at Lake Wakatipu Students  at Lake Wakatipu HCSC Van

Windells Skate Academy is Headed to Maui

Skateboard High School goes to Maui and I for one (and probably everyone else) am soooooooo jealous! That’s right our Academy Skateboard Students are all headed to Maui for the last 2 weeks of September.

We are going on a skate and surf camp trip like no other. We’ll be camping on a beautiful property owned by one of the original owners of the DaKine Brand. The property features several acres of land with scenic camping (not too far from the beach) and several skate parks nearby on the Island. Imagine what it would be like to skate in the morning, chill on the beach in the afternoon, and have a family style camp out every night! Yup that’s our style.

While there our students will be learning about polynesian culture, skating daily (of course), and surfing . . . all while working with our renowned Skate Director, Jamie Weller, on a top secret DIY concrete skate feature. An experience like this can only be earned, normally, through a lifetime of skating professionally, hard work, and building relationships. Our students are fortunate to have coaches like Jamie with access to the relationships we’ve developed with amazing people like him and all of our industry partners. This is an opportunity that will change the way our students see the world and skateboarding for ever.

If you have ever wondered what it might the like to go to a high school that understands how important it is to learn and skate every day then don’t hesitate to call us, we get you. We believe that skaters immersed in their culture will fuel their passion for their education and a successful life.  The Windells Skateboard Academy campus is home to one of the best indoor and outdoor concrete skate parks in the world; and our program travels extensively throughout the U.S. (and overseas) to experience the inspiring culture that has developed through skateboarding.   At the Academy you get an education that universities and colleges desire all while pursuing your passion for skateboarding!

Want to skateboard while going to high school?  Call or email us to schedule a campus visit and change your life forever!

(503)622-8751 /
Maui beach

maui skate park

Windells Snowboard & Ski Academy is Going to NZ!

After an amazingly successful summer on Mt. Hood we decided to mix things up and head to the land of the Kiwis and Maoris to enjoy one of the best snow years they’ve had on record! That’s right, we are headed to the Southern Hemisphere where we’ve been told that toilets spin in reverse! Does that mean a backside is actually going to be a frontside?  Come join us and our friends at High Cascade and Windells New Zealand!

Here’s the scoop: our students, academic staff, and coaches depart on September 17th with approximately 20 hours of travel time and land in NZ on the 19th (Time Warp) staying for a full 3 weeks. While there we will be on snow daily and immersing ourselves in the local culture and history of the country. Our students will come back with lots of new tricks in their bag and might even know how to stomp out a Maori HAKA step or two (tradtional warrior dance).

They’ll be staying at the High Cascade and Windells New Zealand campus with our coaches, academic staff, and Sharon White, President of operations in New Zealand. Our NZ campus is tucked away in a region of the country that looks like it’s straight out of Tolkien story. High Cascade and Windells ZN offers camp programs for youth and adults just like in the State.  Located in Queenstown, our NZ campus is close to some of the best snowboarding and skiing in the southern hemisphere. The daily schedule is packed with training, fun activities, great food, picturesque study settings, and great people! This trip is sure to change lives for the better and help our students get a jump on the US snowboard and ski season.

If you’ve been considering joining the Academy for a semester of education and riding don’t hesitate. Along with this trip we will be skiing and snowboarding in Oregon, Colorado, Utah, California, Wyoming, Washington, BC, and more. At the Academy we believe that immersing yourself in your education and learning through experiences built around what you love to do enables you to build your best academic and athletic results.

If your not already signed up for this semester of travel and fun then give us a call or email us to schedule a campus visit and change your life forever!

(503)622-8751 /


QT shot

The Lab: New For Summer and Fall 2015 Semesters

New for the summer and fall 2015 semesters, Windells Academy will have a MaxAir Super Quad 14’ x 14’ trampoline. The MaxAir Super Quad features a smooth, powerful bounce with plenty of room to focus on mechanics and development of new tricks, from basic rotations, all the way to the most advanced. [Read more…]

Farming on the Palmer Snow Field

complete snow farming

Notice The Vertical Rows of “fencing” – Snow Farming in Full Effect on Palmer – P: J. Ingersoll

We’re often asked about Mt. Hood, the phenomenon that allows Windells to offer skiing and snowboarding camps all summer long. There are natural aspects that cater to year-long snow on the Palmer snow field that we discussed in a recent post, but there is a tactic that Timberline Resort has used summer after summer to maintain skiable terrain into the summer months, called snow farming. Resorts throughout the world have been practicing snow farming for years, in ways that we may not even notice as skiers and riders. [Read more…]

Summer School: Ride with your favorite pros while taking high school classes

Windells Private Park on Mt. Hood

Windells private terrain park is always kept in pristine condition throughout the summer


Windells Academy students are able take Summer High School classes while progressing their snowboard, ski, or skateboarding skills. Students can progress year-round as Windells Academy operates throughout the calendar year offering Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer semesters. During the Summer months, ski and snowboard students have access to Windells private terrain park up on Mt. Hood from June 11th – August 12th.  Having access to natural snow during the Summer months allows for athletes to learn new tricks and experience rapid progression in a short period of time.

The Academy skateboard program offers the same great in-class experience paired with sunny weather and access to some of the best skate parks in the country. Students explore different skateparks littered throughout Oregon and Washington on a daily basis.

The Summer Academy house

The Son Lodge is home to Academy students during the summer months


The Summer Academy runs during the same time frame as Windells Summer Camp sessions and Academy students and  residential assistants stay at Son Lodge, a devoted Academy house. This separation gives students the ability to enjoy some of the amazing aspects of summer camp while also being able to focus on schoolwork once back at the academy house. The Summer Academy program also offers industry trips and activities available exclusively to our students. Two of our freestyle ski program alumni Nick Goepper and ABM took full advantage of their summers on snow and it helped them progress their skills to an amazing level. To see what they, and other academy alumni have to say about the perks of the Summer Academy, take a look at the embedded video!