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Community Space Discussion List The Balkans Pages Cyber-Yugo
Project Nada Women In Black Snowboard Peace Camp News, Updates and Job Opportunities
Project Nada Women In Black Snowboard Peace Camp News, Updates, Job Opportunities
 Sljeme/Igman 2006
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 Watch a video of a kid whose life was changed by  a similar program

Riding Raccoons
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Participants of Raccoon Snowboard Programme with Tina Basich on Mt. Sljeme
Snowboard Club Yeti We brought 20-something kids from tough inner-city Zagreb neighbourhoods, whose families suffered in the war, to Mt. Sljeme and taught them snowboarding in a team-building effort to raise their self-esteem, confidence, and positive outlook on life. Although excited that such an opportunity was given to them for free, their initial reaction was that they could not do it. We have heard a lot of "I can't" and "This is impossible" in the first days of programme. Thus their joy was even greater when they completed their first White Slope, then the Green Slope, and conquered the particularly malicious T-bar. Edo even cleared the straight box 50/50 on his 6th day of riding. Too bad winter is almost over and we have to finish with this programme, is what now we hear from them...

On February 26 US pro-rider Tina Basich judged T-Mobile Snowboard Cup on Mt. Sljeme, while the participants of Raccoon snowboard programme where the public jury.

Check out the pictures.

Traditionally, CBT (Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy) is the approach recommended for children diagnosed with PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder). Children in our program were generally not diagnosed, but rather referred to our program by their social workers and school psychologists as satisfying our criteria of being from families victims of war. In most cases they would satisfy the diagnosis of probable PTSD. From Raccoon's conflict transformation experience, we learned that adolescents do not really dig CBT, and participate only if they have to, or if their families receive compensation for their participation. We offered something entirely different, albeit not yet fully tested. We believe snowboarding sure addresses over-arousal and hyper-vigilance exhibited by the PTSD sufferers. We hope to see improvement in the measures of their functional impairment in the follow-up evaluation as a proof that this approach really works.

Those who tried it, know how difficult it is - the first days on a snowboard. Many ordinary people would get discouraged on the very first day by all the falling, and by not accomplishing much in terms of moving forward, stopping or turning. We heard a lot of "this is impossible." So, we started with low expectations. And by the sixth day everybody could do the heel-side falling leaf down the "big hill" serviced by the chair lift, many could turn both ways at the less steep sections, and some jumped, rode quite fast, and even attempted nose-rolls. They mastered the "impossible," giving themselves a huge boost in self-esteem and confidence to tackle the obstacles they are facing in their lives. We believe that by mastering one "impossible," they could learn that "impossible" things are attainable if they try and give it some work.

  RACCOON, Inc., (map and driving directions)
43-32 22nd Street, Suite (buzzer) 301 in Long Island City, between 43th and 44th Avenue
Take or subway to 23rd Street, Ely Avenue