Ski in July with pro coaches at Woodward Copper’s 2017 on-snow camps, plus BMX, skate and more | SummitDaily.com

Ski in July with pro coaches at Woodward Copper’s 2017 on-snow camps, plus BMX, skate and more

Come summertime, urban snowboard pro Joe Sexton trades his board and boots for a laptop.

"I'm just trying to relax, but not too much," the Minnesota-born pro said during the second week of mud season this May, when Arapahoe Basin is the last (and only) stop for skiers and boarders. "I skate, I golf, I fish, I have these two brands I work on — PUBLIC (snowboards) and 1817 — so summer really helps me get caught up. That's when you come up with ideas for the next thing."

The start of summer isn't exactly glamorous, Sexton said, but it has to be done, and at the ripe age of 30 years old he already has dozens of ideas for outerwear, accessories and snowboards, not to mention a decade-long pro career and slow-burning business plan to sustain it all.

"The thing they don't teach you is: the more successful you get, the less popular it (your product) becomes," Sexton said after explaining how 1817 started about a decade ago in his living room, but only launched as a "real" company about three years ago. "As it grows and gets bigger, people assume you're a billionaire and won't support you anymore. That's why I want to grow slow — you can't blow up and expect to be successful forever."

Words of wisdom for anyone — businessmen or up-and-coming snowboarders alike — but summer can't be all work and no play for Sexton. That's why, over the past three seasons, he's made a point to visit Copper Mountain every July for one of the highlights of his year: a week of snowboarding at Woodward Copper, home to the only full-scale, on-snow, lift-served terrain park between Oregon and the East Coast from June to October.

"They're doing it right there," Sexton said of the Woodward Copper crew, which hosts hundreds of youth and adult athletes every summer for nine weeks of camp. "They have good counselors, and it's one of those things where we don't dread going there. I get to see other (pros) quite a bit, but not under the circumstances of summer snowboarding. It's just so much fun."

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Snow for all

Snowboarders like Sexton aren't the only ones shown summer love at Woodward Copper. For nine weeks, from June 5 to Aug. 5, Woodward plays host to about 40 guest pro coaches and more than 1,000 campers, split between snowboard, ski, skateboard, BMX, mountain bike, scooter and cheerleading.

The on-snow ski and snowboard camps are Woodward's claim to fame, and they're even better this season. For $1,899 per session, ski and snowboard campers get six days of meals, Barn access (aka foam pit and trampolines), afternoon activities and pro-level instruction, including extended on-snow sessions: 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., instead of 9 a.m. to noon like past years.

"The campers wanted more on-snow time, and we know we can offer more now with the lift and the snow we farm," Woodward Copper general manager Morrison Hsieh said, referring to the carpet lift installed last season. "We have a staging area with tents and music, and it's a really good experience."

What if you're there for a skateboard or BMX camp and still want to check out the snow? After all, as a residential camp, all youth attendees (ages 7 years old and up) at Woodward live and hang out together when they aren't training. To close the gap this season, every camper at every weeklong session is treated to a barbecue at Pipeline Park, the on-mountain terrain park built with snow farmed from the wintertime Central Park. It comes complete with three snow jumps, about a dozen jibs and an airbag feature, plus a barbecue zone for those afternoon get-togethers.

"They get this really cool on-snow experience in June or July, which is pretty amazing for someone who doesn't even really go skiing in the winter," Hsieh said of the new on-snow barbecues. "It's like, 'Mom, I went to skateboard camp and had a barbecue on the snow!' I feel like it will lead to really cool stories."

Then, of course, are all the memories of meeting pro heroes like JP Walker, Scott Stevens and Chris Grenier — the crew Sexton joins for Week 6 from July 9-15.

"We want it to be known that we're not these scary dudes," Sexton said of coaching and riding with campers. "We're snowboarders, just like them, and if you want help let us know. We just try to be a friendly presence. I understand that pros can be intimidating, but I really don't picture any of us guys that way."

Beyond the boards

Along with skate and snow camps, Woodward Copper also hosts unorthodox sports like scooters and cheerleading.

The cheerleading camps tend to fly under the radar, but Hsieh says this season's camp roster is impressive, thanks to a few VIP coaches from competitive and collegiate teams. Campers (mostly girls, but there are no restrictions) practice tumbling, formations and more on the Barn's spring floors, trampolines and tumble track. The name of the game is progression, just like everything else Woodward teaches, and by the end of the week every team of cheerleaders performs a routine at the talent show finale — just like the good-old summer camp mom and dad attended.

"What's cool about that program is the campers work with coaches to get a joint routine," Hsieh said. "They do it on the last night of camp with tumbling, dancing — everything else they learn — and when they put that together for the talent show it's pretty awesome."

2017 Woodward Copper camps

Woodward Copper has a little something for everyone, kid to adult, this summer. Here’s a glimpse at camp schedules and guest coaches for the on-snow ski and snowboard programs, plus skateboard camps. Pricing is $1,899 for weeks one to four and $1,849 for weeks five to nine.

For a full list of camps, including BMX, mountain bike and more, see WoodwardCopper.com.

Meet the pros

Week 1 (June 4-10): Snowboarders Torstein Horgmo, Craig McMorris, Brage Richenberg, Kyle Mack and Nik Baden; skier Will Wesson; skateboarder Jordan Hoffart

Week 2 (June 11-17): Never Summer snowboarders; skier McRae Williams; Colorado Skateboards

Week 3 (June 18-24): Snowboarders Red Gerard and Alex Andrews; skier Keegan Killbride; skateboarder TJ Rogers

Week 4 (June 25 to July 1): Snowboarders Ted Borland, Chris Beresford, Justin Keniston; Icelantic skis; skateboarder David Reyes

Week 5 (July 2-8): Skier Kim Lamarre; skateboarder Brad McClain

Week 6 (July 9-15): Snowboarders JP Walker, Joe Sexton, Chris Grenier and Scott Stevens; skateboarder Kevin Romar

Week 7 (July 16-22): Snowboarder Sarka Pancochova; skateboarder Taylor McClung

Week 8 (July 23-29): Snowboarder Scotty Vine and Arbor Snowboards

Week 9 (July 30 to Aug. 5): Snowboarders Max Warbington, Gus Warbington and Phil Hansen