The 2018 Academic Year is Off to a Great Start

The seasons are changing here in Oregon, and fall has arrived right on schedule. There is a brisk, morning chill in the air and the students just had their first campfire of the season. An early snow also fell on the mountain last week, creating lots of excitement and foreshadowing their first long-distance trip of the year. This Tuesday, September 26, they departed to train at the Utah Olympic Park in Park City, Utah.

Max Daenen and Luke Herbert hanging out on campus.


So far, academics have been going great. I have been impressed with the students, who have been focused and working hard. Our teacher, Maia, is in her fifth year here at Windells and is dedicated to helping them succeed. Mr. Ling, MEWA’s math tutor, also comes in every Monday afternoon to help students learn.

I want to make sure that every parent knows how to access and observe their student’s progress. I have sent individual student email addresses and ID’s to give each parent immediate access to this information, but please don’t hesitate to call, text, or email me if you have any issues logging in.

Mason McDonald at his computer.


Back in their cabins, students are enjoying newly renovated bathrooms. We are currently renovating another cabin, as well, that will be ready for move-in when they return from Utah. This will mean fewer students in each cabin. Also, thanks to feedback from students, parents, and coaches, we have implemented a new, slower paced weekend schedule that incorporates a later breakfast and more campus/study/chore time in the mornings. This schedule may change again once the snow flies, and we’re ready to make that accommodation as well.

I love my job and am working hard to make sure your students’ needs are met. The staff, students, and coaches are all exceptional people, and I am honored to be a part of this family.

-Ann Scott, Headmistress

Academic Update


This year, our Academy students have gotten off to a great start in the classroom. Even though this was the first time many of them have taken online classes, they learned to navigate their MEWA courses with ease and are doing a great job of staying on task and focused in the classroom.

The students are working hard to stay ahead of due dates and have been taking advantage of evening homework time. I have been providing students with one-on-one help in the classroom, and they have the opportunity to work with MEWA teacher, John Ling, one day a week.

So far, I'm amazed at the level of effort and dedication these students have displayed and am looking forward to a great school year!

-Maia Kinigopoulos, Teacher

Skateboard Update


Despite the much needed rain that we've been receiving lately on Mt. Hood, Portland's been nothing but sunshine during our skate visits, so I'd say that so far the skate crew is off to a great start! Having a crew of five skaters plus staff during our scheduled athletic times has made for great sessions filled with the perfect amount of energy.

The Windells skateboard crew.


We've been doing work outs before we skate that mostly consist of light stretching, jump roping and soccer ball juggling— a great and fun way to get the body loose and ready for the day.

We've collectively gone over some goal setting for the year and as much as the students seem to laugh and mock at this, I feel like this is such an important way for them to progress on and off their boards.

Some major goals that they all seem to agree on aside from certain tricks is to eat healthier, stretch more before and after skateboarding, and film a full video part. I'm going to do my best to keep them all on track with this, especially with the eating healthy part, because I think it's easier said than done for us all!

We've also collectively gone over some DREAM travel destinations for the year:

  • #1 Shanghai
  • #2 Barcelona
  • #3 Copenhagen

  • As well as some of our ACTUAL destinations:

  • #1 Colorado
  • #2 Los Angeles
  • #3 Arizona

  • Now, we’re currently on our first trip of the year, taking place in Salt Lake City, Utah and Boise, Idaho. We left on Tuesday the 26th and we will be back on October 6th.

    - Jamie Weller, Head Skate Coach

    Ski Update


    The ski team spent our first official training day of the season by warming up our legs with a hike to one of the cooler parts of Mt. Hood National Forest: Burnt Lake. During this time, we set expectations for the year and worked on goal setting.

    The Windells ski crew.


    The past three weeks have been focused on strength and conditioning, building strength in the legs, core, and back. Strengthening these areas will get the team ready for skiing multiple days in a row as well as prepare them for bigger parks, with bigger features. In addition to building strength, we have also been working on agility and explosiveness through calisthenics and a variety of workouts.

    We have spent the rest of our coaching time training on the trampolines and our airbag jump. We’ve used these to dial-in and perfect some old tricks and make sure everyone has a solid foundation before moving towards learning new tricks. We are very excited to have the opportunity to train on the brand new, state-of-the-art landing airbag when we head to Utah this week, and have high hopes that everyone will walk away from the trip with a few new tricks that will be ready to try on snow this winter!

    Along with our daily training in Utah, we will be taking tours of some ski industry companies located in the Park City and Salt Lake City areas. This will give our athletes a look into the other side of the industry and how these brands operate on a day-to-day basis.

    - Wynn Berns, Head Ski Coach &
    Brian McCarthy, Assistant Ski Coach

    Snowboard Update


    The Windells Academy Snowboard team has something that's truly hard to find for a group of diverse teenagers: Support, drive and passion. Over the past few weeks the team has come together to support and push each other towards their respective goals.

    The Windells snowboard crew.


    While on the Windells Campus the kids have been focusing on reaching these goals and developing their snowboard skills through the use of trampolines, skateboards and airbags. Another large portion of their time has been dedicated to turning them into better athletes through the use of our new, on-site gym facility.

    The year has just started but everyday we are stepping closer to achieving the goals of these awesome individuals.

    -Tommie Bennett, Head Snowboard Coach


    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:))! Chris

    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 at Windells Academy with Sean Neary

    Sean Neary - Roast Beef

    Sean Neary roasting some beef while gapping to the down tube. Photo: Sean McNally

    It was another amazing summer here at Windells Academy! Good weather, great snow and good vibes. Sean Neary was out here putting in some extra work and it definitely shows. Check out his summer edit and be on the look out for him this season! [Read more...]

    Summer at Windells Academy with Reid Smith

    Back Lip Reid Smith

    Young Reid greasing the C-Rail. Photo: Sean McNally

    It’s true, spending your summer on Mt.Hood is pretty amazing; Reid Smith can definitely vouch for that. No stranger to the Hood life, Reid was back this summer to shred the Windells lane and stoke out campers and coaches alike with his stylish tricks. Check out Reid's latest edit to see what the summer shred is all about!  

    Reid Smith Summer 2014 from reid smith on Vimeo.

    Not Your Typical Summer School

    Jake Nolan Left Three

    "Jump Around" Jake Nolan sending it in the Windells lane. Photo: Sean McNally

    When most kids hear the words "summer school" they cringe. Not one teenager wants to spend their summer stuck inside of a classroom, solving for "X" and writing book reports about "The Catcher in The Rye." They would rather be with their friends, enjoying the warm weather and creating memories that last a lifetime. But what if summer school didn't have to be so dull and boring? What if you could move one-step closer to graduating without having to sacrifice hanging out with your friends? Well at Windells Academy that is exactly what we offer. [Read more...]

    Season Edit Round Up

    Chair 27

    Chair 27 to the top of the park! Photo: Sean McNally

    All year long, our student-athletes have been working hard to achieve their goals. For most of them, the season started in September, where they began training at our Private Park on Mt Hood. Everyday from there, moved them one step closer to their objective. Thru the tramp training, the gym sessions, the sweat and the tears, they learned what goes into achieving a goal. All their work accumulated into National Titles, various podiums and invitations to exclusive competitions all over the world. To get a taste of what our students learned this year check out their season edits! [Read more...]

    Spring Has Sprung: Windells Academy Explores Oregon

    Photo: Sean McNally

    Cannon Beach, Oregon. Photo: Sean McNally

    Oregon's landscape is diverse to say the least. The Windells campus is located in the Mt Hood National Forest which is made up of dense evergreen trees, abundant waterfalls and is situated on the volcano studded Cascade Mountain Range. If you drive 2 hours West from campus you'll end up on the Oregon Coast. The 363 mile coastline is quite varied, with craggy cliffs and coves to windswept sand dunes. Drive 2 hours East from campus and you'll end up in the high desert which averages only 15 inches of annual rainfall. [Read more...]

    The “Perfect” Storm – Windells Ski Academy heads North

    It's deep out there!

    It's deep out there! Ski Coach Matt Goodson enjoying some Pow. Shot with GoPro Hero3

    The Northwest is a skier's paradise. The area offers plenty of steep terrain, along with endless amounts of snow. While most of the country measures their snow storms in inches, out here in the Northwest we measure our snow storms in feet.  [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!